When it comes to shopping for luxury bedding, decoding fabric quality can be a daunting task. Most of us are familiar with using the traditional measure of 'thread count' for cotton when choosing our bed sheets and pillowcases, and this is generally considered the key measure used to determine the quality of cotton bedding.
When it comes to silk bedding and products, a different measure comes into play: the 'momme count'. Although lesser-known, momme count is a crucial factor in determining the quality of a silk pillowcase and is essential to understand in order to choose the best silk pillowcase to suit your needs.
Momme count is arguably the most important factor in determining the quality and durability of a silk pillowcase and other silk accessories.
In this blog post we explain the most common questions we get asked about momme count for silk pillowcases:
- What momme count for silk fabric really means
- Why momme count is so important to consider when buying a silk pillowcase
- Is higher momme count always better?
- Our top tips on finding the best silk pillowcase to suit your needs
What is momme count for silk fabric?
Originating from Japan, the term 'momme' (pronounced 'mummy') is the traditional measure used to describe the weight of the silk fabric. Specifically, it indicates the weight (in pounds) of a piece of fabric that is 100 yards long and 45 inches wide. So, if a fabric is 19 momme, it means that 100 yards of the fabric weigh 19 pounds, whilst 22 momme would correspond to a weight of 22 pounds. This means that a higher momme count corresponds to a denser, heavier silk fabric, which means that the silk fabric is more durable and feels more luxurious against your skin.
Momme count vs. thread count
When comparing silk and cotton, the most important distinction lies in the difference between momme count and thread count.
Thread count in cotton refers to the number of horizontal and vertical threads per square inch. A higher thread count often suggests a softer and more durable fabric, but it's worth noting that thread counts over 600 in cotton can sometimes lead to the fabric being less breathable.
In contrast, the momme count in silk speaks to the weight and density of the fabric rather than the number of threads. A higher momme count indicates a higher concentration of silk threads, yielding a fabric that is denser, more lustrous, and more durable. This generally means that a higher momme count translates to a higher quality silk pillowcase.
Is a higher momme count always better for a silk pillowcase?
There are many benefits to having a higher momme count for silk fabric, however if the momme count is too high, the silk fabric can feel too heavy and weighty against the skin, which means that it is also important to find the perfect balance between thickness of the silk and fluidity of the silk fabric.
This is why it is widely considered that 22 momme silk pillowcases and silk accessories are the perfect combination of durability, luxury and fluidity. A 22 momme silk pillowcase feels considerably more luxurious than lower momme counts to provide ultimate comfort, however at the same time it isn't too heavy and allows a good amount of fluidity.
The benefits of having a higher momme count like 22 momme compared to 19 momme or lower is:
Durability: Heavier silks are generally more durable and resist wear and tear better. Silk products with higher momme counts can withstand daily use and frequent washing better than their lower-momme counterparts. This means that 22 momme silk pillowcases can be machine-washed which is a big benefit!
Luxurious Feel: The higher the momme count, the more silk threads are present, resulting in a more luxurious, thicker, and opaque fabric. This makes 22 momme silk pillowcases the ultimate choice for a luxurious sleep experience. This is also why we only use 22 momme silk fabric for all of our silk accessories such as our silk eye masks, silk robes, silk scrunchies and silk headbands.
Better Temperature Regulation: Dense silk (with high momme) is better at maintaining a comfortable body temperature. It stays cool in the summer and warm in the winter, making it a great all-season fabric. This is especially important for silk pillowcases and silk robes that will be against your skin for long durations.
- Benefits of a silk pillowcase for skin and hair: Using a silk pillowcase has a number of beauty benefits for skin and hair. Using a high momme silk pillowcase means that it has a higher percentage of silk and so you reap more of the benefits of using silk compared to alternative low momme counts or silk blends. Pair with our 22 momme silk eye mask and silk scrunchie for the ultimate beauty sleep!
19 momme vs. 22 momme silk pillowcase - which to choose?
A 19 momme silk pillowcase offers good level of softness, making it a popular choice for bedding. However, for those wanting a more luxurious feel and even greater durability, a 22 momme silk pillowcase is often considered the gold standard. A 22 momme silk pillowcase offers excellent longevity and is significantly thicker feel compared to 19 momme. This does also mean that a 22 momme silk pillowcase comes at a slightly higher price compared to a 19 momme silk pillowcase due to the higher concentration of silk threads required, however we truly believe it is worth the small additional cost for this reason!
This is why here at The SIlk Collection, we only use 22 momme fabric for all of our silk pillowcases and silk accessories. Whether you are indulging in a silk pillowcase, a silk eye mask, silk scrunchies or a luxury silk robe, our entire silk collection uses only 22 momme for the ultimate luxury feel.
This also means our silk pillowcases and accessories are more durable and can be machine-washed for convenience.
Finding the best silk pillowcase to suit your needs
In summary, momme count is a very important factor when deciding the best silk pillowcase to buy for your needs. If you are looking for a durable, high quality silk pillowcase, it is important to opt for a 22 momme silk pillowcase rather than a 19 momme or silk blend.
TOP TIP: If a retailer does not state the momme count of their silk pillowcase, please be wary as this usually means that the silk pillowcase is not of a high quality and is likely to be 19 momme or lower. The best silk brands tend to state the momme count of their silk pillowcases and silk accessories on their website clearly so that you can ensure that you are investing in a real silk pillowcase with a high momme count.
Top tips for finding the best silk pillowcase: what else should you consider in addition to momme count?
In addition to momme count, there are a few other factors to consider if you are about to buy a silk pillowcase:
- is it 100% mulberry silk? - make sure to check that the fabric is 100% silk or you will not experience the same benefits with a 'fake silk' equivalent.
- is it OEKO-TEK certified? - make sure that the silk fabric has been tested by an independent source to ensure that it is free from harmful chemicals and toxins. At The Silk Collection, our silk fabric is OEKO-TEX® Certified (Standard 100) which means that it has been tested and proven to be free of any harmful toxins or chemicals during the production process.
- what type of enclosure is the pillowcase? - many silk pillowcases offer a zip closure rather than a traditional envelope enclosure, however it is important to consider the longevity of your silk pillowcase. A silk pillowcase with a zip can not only tug on hair overnight, but there is also the possibility of the zip becoming damaged over time after a number of washes. This is why at The Silk Collection we only create envelope-design pillowcases for comfort and functionality.
- does it come with a gift box? - a silk pillowcase makes the perfect gift for her or him, and it is important to ensure that it is presented in a way that makes it easy for gifting. At The Silk Collection, each silk pillowcase is hand-packaged into our signature gift box so that it is gift-ready for loved ones (or for yourself!). Shop our best-selling silk pillowcase gift sets here.