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7 Best Acne Pillowcases for Clearer Skin

acne pillowcases

123RF (Aleksandr Davydov)

If you haven’t tried acne pillowcases, you’re ignoring a crucial part of your skincare. Even the best acne treatments for adults can only take you so far if you’re still spending six to eight hours a night with your face pressed against an oil and bacteria-covered pillow.

What Are the Best Acne Pillowcases?

Silvon anti-acne pillowcase Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Machine washable
  • Antimicrobial silver thread
  • Machine wash and dry
Price: $29.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
White pillowcase with box Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Antibacterial and antifungal
  • Egyptian cotton
  • Machine washable
Price: $169.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
White pillow with pillowcase Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Uses antimicrobial silver
  • Soft cotton fabric
  • Machine washable
Price: $21.52 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Two white bed pillows Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Affordable
  • Set of two pillowcases
  • Silk has antibacterial properties
Price: $16.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Copper pillowcase Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Antibacterial copper
  • Affordable
  • Machine wash and dryable
Price: $23.75 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
grey and white doublesided pillow Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Infused with 4% silver
  • Organic bamboo
  • Affordable
Price: $22.59 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Two white pillows Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Made with USA-grown cotton
  • Antimicrobial silver
  • Color and size options
Price: $19.97 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Our Unbiased Reviews
  1. 1. EDITOR’S CHOICE: Silvon Anti-Acne Pillowcase

    • Can personally vouch
    • Seven percent silver threads
    • Machine washable and dryable
    • 30-night trial
    • Pricier than others
    • Can't buy in pairs
    • Colors are limited

    Silvon was the first silver pillowcase I personally tried and the reason that I know these pillowcases really make a difference. I’ve tried hundreds of acne treatments but switching to Silvon was the first thing that actually brought my acne under control.

    According to an article in the scientific journal Antibiotic, silver has been used for hundreds of years as an antibacterial agent back to 1500 B.C.E. in China. The silver breaks through the cell walls of bacteria preventing their normal functions and hampering DNA replication. 

    Despite the scientific basis, when I got a pair of these as a media sample (with no guarantee that I’d review them at all) I was skeptical but after about a week I started noticing that my skin was less red and my breakthrough zits were much smaller. A month into using the pillowcase, changing them about once a week, my skin was surprisingly happier than ever. I’ve been using Silvon for years now (I have since invested in several more of their pillowcases) and the difference has been incredible. 

    One of the neatest things I discovered is that on those nights when I’m either too tired or sick to do my whole face care routine, there weren’t any consequences. Normally if I’d skip one night I’d be in for a small breakout but that hasn’t been the case since switching. On the other hand, if I switch to a normal pillowcase, I can expect breakouts like clockwork. 

    It’s not perfect and I still get some hormonal acne but I do find that it’s easier to control than before. 

    The pillowcase is made with seven percent silver thread and 93 percent Supima cotton grown in California. It feels just like a soft pillowcase with no hint that it contains silver. It doesn’t have as much slip as silk or satin but has more than your standard cheap cotton pillowcases which is nice for hair health. 

    I like that it comes in multiple colors to best match your bedroom decor including white, silver, sand, and sky.

    Silver has also found its way into skincare like prebiotic moisturizer products.

  2. 2. Onyx Zinc Acne Pillowcase (2-Pack)

    • Zinc is antibacterial and antifungal
    • Good for acne and dandruff
    • Machine washable
    • Neutral plain white color
    • Air dry only
    • Pricier than most
    • No color or size choices

    For those dealing with acne and dandruff or Eczema, an Onyz Zinc Pillowcasem which is both antibacterial and antifungal, may be for you.

    Zinc has been used and studied for its antibacterial properties for years which makes it a good choice for creating an anti-acne pillowcase. Zinc is also antifungal which can be helpful for those who deal with dandruff (which often has a fungal cause) or other skin conditions. Plus it’s just nice to have a pillow that won’t go all fungal because that’s gross. 

    Like the silver pillow options, the Onyx Zinc Pillowcase is as soft as other Egyptian cotton pillowcases and you’d never know it was infused with zinc The product also says it’s supposed to help you sleep better but that doesn’t track for me. 

    Onyx offers a silver pillowcase as well. 

  3. 3. Fight Acne Pillowcase

    • Five percent antimicrobial silver
    • Soft cotton fabric
    • Cotton from renewable sources
    • Machine washable
    • Pattern isn't very attractive
    • Air dry only
    • Can't buy as a pair
    • No color choices

    It’s not just the best hand sanitizers that fight germs, this Fight Acne Pillowcase prevents the growth and transfer of bacteria by being made of 95 percent cotton and five percent antimicrobial silver thread. Silver ions kill bacteria on contact so your pillow stays cleaner.

    Despite having metal threads, the Fight Acne Pillowcase is soft. You’d never be able to tell it had silver in it by touching it. The product also claims that silver is good for hypertension, arthritis, and aging, but I don’t buy that. There is good, real science behind silver killing bacteria so I buy this for acne, not for your arthritis. 

  4. 4. Hisen Home Silk Pillowcases (Set of 2)

    • Affordable
    • Silk has antibacterial properties
    • Prevents hair breakage
    • Set of two pillowcases
    • Not as antimicrobial as silver
    • Not vegan
    • Not everyone loves zipper closure

    When it comes to protecting your hair from breakage, a silk pillow is the way to go–but silk has also been shown to have antibacterial properties making it a double threat for beauty sleep. This Hisen Home Silk Pillowcase is made from Mulberry Silk, a particular grade of silk made from domesticated silkworms that are fed exclusively mulberry leaves.

    Interestingly enough, silk itself isn’t antimicrobial but the process of separating and the silk fibers leaves a residue that is antibacterial. 

    All that means in practice is that your silk pillowcase will help prevent bacterial growth which is just what we’re looking for.

    For those with hair that tends to tangle or break, like me, the slipperiness of silk is lovely for keeping your hair from going out of control overnight.

    I like that you can get these pillowcases in sets of two, in three different sizes, and five different colors.

  5. 5. AlfredX Copper-Infused Pillowcase

    • Antibacterial copper
    • Machine wash and dryable
    • More affordable than some
    • Satin finish is good for hair
    • Fabric materials unlisted
    • I don't buy the anti-aging angle
    • No choice of sizes

    Copper, like silver and zinc, has antibacterial properties to prevent acne and this copper pillowcase also uses a satiny finish to help prevent hair breakage. The AlfredX Copper Pillowcase uses copper oxide fibers which release copper ions that kill bacteria and prevent them from colonizing your pillow and spreading to your face.

    It’s machine washable and dryable and the copper ions are good for around 100 washes which, if you wash it once a week, is around two years. For the price, that’s not bad at all. 

    The pillowcase also makes some pretty drastic claims about its anti-aging properties but I wouldn’t put much stock in those. Buy this to fight acne and for preventing hair breakage, not because they say it will reduce signs of aging. 

    I like that you have a choice of colors (gold or blue) but it would be nice if they released some more neutral colors. 

  6. 6. MMLK Silver-Infused Organic Bamboo All-Season Pillowcase

    • Unique two sided case
    • Designed for cool or warm weather
    • Antimicrobial
    • Only one side has silver
    • Pricey for being one-sided
    • Cotton isn't as cool as bamboo

    This Anti-Acne Pillowcase by MMLK is uniquely two sides so you can choose which is most comfortable for you that night. The white side is classic, breathable cotton. The beige side is organic bamboo with 4% pure silver fiber woven into it, making the fabric antimicrobial so it prevents the growth of bacteria, fungus, and mold. 

    The idea is that the cotton side is more breathable and better for warm nights and the bamboo side is good for fighting acne. In general though, bamboo tends to be more breathable than cotton, especially if you sweat because it wicks better than cotton (hence why bamboo pajamas are so popular). 

    So I would say points taken away here for only having acne-fighting silver on one side. It comes in one or two-pillowcase packs. 

  7. 7. Miracle Made Silver-Infused Pillowcases (2-Pack)

    • Options for colors and sizes
    • Antimicrobial silver
    • Comes in a set of two
    • Made with USA-grown cotton
    • Not many colors
    • Can't buy just one
    • Not everyone likes sateen

    I like that this Two-Pillowcase Set by Miracle is made with Supima cotton grown right here in the United States which was then infused with silver. Silver is still one of the best, antimicrobial options and is both long-lasting and doesn’t negatively affect skin. 

    The infused cotton claims to prevent 99 percent of bacteria growth and, while it doesn’t mention it on the product page, all silver-infused pillows will inhibit the growth of mold and mildew. 

    They’re available in white or stone grey as in standard or king pillowcase sizes.

What Causes Acne Really?

The quick answer is it's complicated. According to Mayo Clinic, there is a wide range of factors involved but the bottom line is some combination of oil production, dirt, and bacteria creating clogged pores. 

Hair follicles have an annoying tendency to become blocked up with natural skin oils and head skin cells. To harmful bacteria, this combination is a perfect habitat to feed and grow. Yuck. When the bacteria really take hold, inflammation and white blood cells (pus) kick into gear and now you've got a zit. 

Can My Pillowcase Give Me Acne?

Yeah, it can, I'm sorry to say. We're always told to avoid touching our faces to reduce the risk of acne because our hands tend to be dirty, but then we go home and lay on the same sheet of fabric night after night.

Each night, your pillowcase soaks up natural oils from your face and hair as well as makeup residue, lotions, hair products, and dirt. 

That's not a big deal for the first night--but every night after that, you're rubbing your face on a pillow caked with the build-up of the previous days' oils and dirt. 

After a while, the pillowcase becomes a breeding ground for bacteria. Some studies featured by Business Insider have shown that an unwashed pillowcase contains more bacteria than a toilet seat or pet food bowls. Not to mention the dust mite and fungi issues that affect other areas of health besides your skin.

Pro tip: Avoid using dryer sheets when you can as it leaves a residue on your fabrics that can rub off on your face and clog pores. 

How Often Should I Wash My Pillowcase?

If dirty pillowcases are to blame, then the cheapest solution is to just change the pillowcase more often, right?

Well, sort of. How often do you feel like doing laundry? Because a certified sleep coach told Insider that you should wash your pillowcase every two days to prevent acne triggering bacteria.

I don't know about you, but I don't have time to do that much laundry. Plus I know I'm never going to remember to do that.

Instead, I needed a pillowcase that is resistant to bacteria so it can last a bit longer without causing me to break out.

How Do Pillowcases for Acne Work?

These pillowcases are designed with materials that prevent bacteria from growing on them. That way our pillowcase stays cleaner longer. 

To do this, they may use a variety of naturally anti-bacterial materials like copper, silver, or silk. 

Silver or copper pillowcases may sound uncomfortable but they're as soft as cotton. You'd never guess they contained any metals at all.

Fun fact: While silk is thought to be anti-bacterial, it's actually the residue of the agents used to separate the silk threads when spinning the silk that is anti-bacterial according to an article published in Biopolymers. Either way, it works. 

Silk pillowcases for acne are also great for protecting your hair from breaking.

Will a Special Pillowcase Prevent All Breakouts?

Nothing is a cure-all and there are other factors in your life like your skincare routine and hormones that will affect acne. Even with an anti-bacterial pillowcase, your best chance at avoiding acne is to change it at least weekly.

I change mine twice a week. While you may be sleeping on fewer bacteria, the fabric will still soak up oils from skin and hair care product residue which can clog pores. 

Do You Actually Use One?

I do. I sleep on a silver or silver plus silk pillowcase each night. I've tried a couple of brands and Silvon is my go-to for the most reliable acne prevention. 

Honestly, I didn't expect much from these types of pillowcases but now I don't use anything else. I travel with them. It's drastically cut down on any breakthrough zits from my normal acne routine.

What Else Can I Do to Prevent Acne?

I'm going to say something that we're all sick of hearing by now.

Don't touch your face.

That's your best weapon in keeping dirt, bacteria, and oils off your face. When I have breakthrough zits I use an acne spot treatment to try to keep it from getting worse. 

Some acne has a hormonal cause and that is harder to control and should be addressed with a doctor. 

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