While finding the right pillowcase is a highly personal endeavor, it's essential to choose one that's comfortable, durable, and protects your pillow from dirt, oils, and sweat.
We purchased over a dozen pillowcases from top-rated brands and tested them over several weeks, evaluating quality, feel, breathability, and overall value. Our best overall pick, the Parachute Linen Pillowcase, is made from European flax, garment-washed for softness, and available in 10 colors and two closure styles.
Here are the best pillowcases.
Best Overall: Parachute Linen Pillowcase Set
Increasingly soft fabric
Two styles available
What do buyers say? 76% of 2,400+ Parachute reviewers rated this product 4 stars or above.
Parachute's Linen Pillowcase Set stood out from the rest after weeks of testing top pillowcases on their quality, durability, fabric, and breathability. This pillowcase earned 5 out of 5 stars in all categories and is our favorite for its soft, breathable, all-natural, and eco-friendly construction.
Our testers confirmed this pillowcase–made from 100 percent European flax–is ultra-soft straight from the packaging. The linen fabric is also quite durable and holds up well to long-term use while offering low-maintenance care. These pillowcases are machine washable and soften with laundering.
Available in 12 different colors like moss green, cream, fog gray, and clay red, there is something for everyone's taste. You can also choose between a side-open or back-envelope style pillowcase. The price is higher than others on our list, but this pillowcase set beats the competition in quality and comfort.
Best Budget: Room Essentials Jersey Pillowcase Set
Slightly baggy fit
For a more budget-friendly option, the Jersey Pillowcase Set by Room Essentials provides a soft sleeping surface that most people are sure to love. It earned 4 out of 5 stars for quality, fabric, and breathability. (The solid options are 100 percent cotton, but the heathered fabrics are a 50/50 cotton-polyester blend.)
Considering the wallet-friendly price point and soft, stretchy, T-shirt-like feel, our testers gave this pillowcase set a 4.4-star rating for overall value. One thing to note is that the fit is somewhat baggy, so it may sag off your pillow on one side, depending on the fill level.
Best Splurge: Coyuchi Organic Relaxed Linen Pillowcases
Increasingly soft fabric
If you're looking for a splurge-worthy set of pillowcases, Coyuchi's Relaxed Linen Pillowcases will instantly transform your bedroom. They earned 5 out of 5 stars for quality and breathability, although our tester noted that Coyuchi's linen feels heavier than you might expect (it boasts a 185 gsm weight).
Woven from certified-organic flax fibers and available in six neutral and design-forward hues, the fabric scored a solid 4.5 stars. Though our tester noticed that it was ever-so-slightly coarse out of the packaging, you can generally count on linen to get softer over time. Overall, if you're able to spend a bit more on your pillowcases, Coyuchi's relaxed linen can't be beaten. Our only real complaint is the steep price.
Best Sateen: Brooklinen Luxe Pillowcases
Not as airy as linen and percale
Woven from long-staple cotton and featuring a four-over, one-under satin weave, Brooklinen's Luxe Pillowcases are a clear favorite. It earned a perfect 5 out of 5 stars for quality, effectiveness, and fabric. The envelope closure ensures a perfect fit for all of your pillows, and the 480 thread count feels luxurious and soft. We gave it a 4.5 star rating for temperature, as the material is breathable but not as airy as linen and percale.
Available in a variety of chic hues and sharp prints, these sumptuously smooth sateen pillowcases earned a 4.8-star rating for overall value. If you're partial to the silky feel and subtle sheen of satin but want something more breathable, this is a great choice.
Best Silk: Fishers Finery Mulberry Silk Pillowcase
Mesh bag included
Three sizes available
This pillowcase, which is woven from 100 percent mulberry silk fibers with a 25-momme density and a charmeuse weave, earned perfect scores for fabric and quality. Our tester gave it 4-stars for durability, (hand-washing is recommended but it comes with a mesh bag for machine-washing), and a 4.5 star rating for temperature and overall value.
Available in several color options, the material is exceptionally smooth and cool to the touch. We like that it comes in three sizes and can be purchased in singles or sets of two. This is good for people who like to switch out their pillowcases multiple times a week and may want an odd number.
Best Organic: Pottery Barn Classic 400-Thread-Count Organic Percale Pillowcases
Slightly baggy fit
Pottery Barn has never steered us wrong, and these Classic Percale Pillowcases are no exception. Crafted from 100 percent cotton certified by the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), they scored 4 stars for quality and fabric. Our tester gave them 5 stars for durability and temperature since they can be washed on a warm cycle and offer a crisp, cool feel.
While the fit is slightly loose, this set is surprisingly affordable, so our tester gave it a 4.2-star rating for overall value. We also appreciate that these pillowcases were made in a certified Fair Trade facility.
Best for Hot Sleepers: Serena & Lily Percale Essential Pillowcases
Only one color
If you tend to run hot at night, we recommend the Essential Pillowcases from Serena & Lily. The 100 percent cotton material earned 5 stars for quality, durability, fabric, temperature, and effectiveness, thanks to its crisp finish, breathable weave, and cool-to-the-touch feel. Our tester gave this set a 4.5-star rating for overall value, noting its hotel-like appeal. She also appreciated that the pillowcase doesn't have unnecessary slack, which made it fit perfectly on an extra-stuffed bed pillow.
Best for Cold Sleepers: The Company Store Legends Hotel Bromley Yarn-Dyed Velvet Cotton Flannel Pillowcases
Brushed on both sides
The Company Store's Velvet Flannel Pillowcase earned a perfect score for its exceptionally soft and cozy fabric. Our tester gave it 4.5-stars for quality and temperature, explaining that the 100 percent cotton material is warm, but still plenty breathable.
It also earned a 4.5-star rating for overall value. The slightly weighty material is brushed on both sides, making it buttery soft while enhancing the insulation. This makes it a great option for those who run cold at night, as well as anyone looking for a designated wintertime pillowcase.
Best for Skin: Slip Silk Pillowcase
Made of pure mulberry silk fibers with a 25-momme density, the cool-to-the-touch Slip Silk Pillowcase earned a perfect 5-star rating for quality, fabric, temperature, and effectiveness. While our tester didn't have any complaints about the sleek and glossy material, she gave it a 4.4-star rating for overall value on account of the expensive price tag.
We like that it fits snuggly without any unnecessary slack and has a pocket on the opening side to completely conceal the pillow. Though research is limited, lots of folks opt for silk to avoid creases and irritation on their skin while they get their beauty sleep. According to the maker, this pillowcase is also unlikely to tug on your hair or create frizz-causing friction.
Our number one pick is Parachute's Linen Pillowcases (view at Parachute). Woven from European flax fibers, this ultra-soft and airy set earned 5s for quality, fabric, durability, and breathability. If you're looking for something a bit more affordable, we suggest the Room Essentials Jersey Pillowcase Set (view at Target). Our tester gave the soft and stretchy material a 4.4 star rating for overall value.
What to Look for in a Pillowcase
When choosing a pillowcase, there are a few standard fabric options. Cotton is known for being soft and breathable, and it can often provide a luxe feel for an affordable price. Microfiber and polyester are also inexpensive and wrinkle-resistant. For a more luxurious feel, opt for silk or linen.
While plain-weave cotton is common in pillowcases, you’ll also find sateen and jersey weaves. Sateen has an ultra-smooth feel, while jersey feels lived-in like your favorite T-shirt. For a silky smooth pillowcase with a shiny finish, opt for satin.
Since you’re purchasing pillowcases separately from your existing bedding, you can either find pillowcases that match or choose a pop of color that complements your bedroom décor. Of course, if you’re going for a hotel-style look, classic white is the way to go.
How many pillowcases should you have?
Just like sheets, you’ll want to have at least two complete sets of pillowcases for every bed in your home. This way, you’ll have a spare set when you wash your pillowcases every week or so. Since pillowcases are in direct contact with our faces, they can accumulate more buildup of oils, makeup, and dirt than sheets.
Pillowcases should be replaced at least every one to two years, or sooner if they become frayed, torn, or permanently stained.
What material is best for pillowcases?
Pillowcases come in a variety of materials. Popular choices include cotton, silk, satin, linen, microfiber, and polyester. The best pillowcase material is a matter of personal preference.
If you’re in search of a durable, soft, and breathable pillowcase, cotton is a great choice. Linen is a natural material that is moisture-wicking, soft, and strong, with one caveat, linen tends to wrinkle. For a lightweight fabric that is also wrinkle-resistant, polyester and microfiber materials are frequently used in pillowcases. Silk and satin pillowcases are often preferred for their smooth and cool texture which is credited with keeping hair from tangling and preventing sleep lines on your face.
What is the best thread count for pillowcases?
Thread count is mostly a matter of preference and not necessarily an indication of quality. Due to the nature of the weave, some high-quality fabrics are limited in terms of thread count. For instance, linen caps out at about 150, and it's considered one of the best bedding textiles.
Additionally, lower thread counts are often more breathable, as they allow airflow to pass through.¹ Sateen and bamboo thread counts can get as high as 800, and microfiber can surpass 1,000. These fabrics are typically a little warmer and not quite as breathable as traditional cotton and linen.
Why Trust The Spruce?
Theresa Holland is a freelance commerce writer specializing in home design, lifestyle, and textiles. For this article, she tested 14 pillowcases from various retailers and brands, carefully assessing the quality, fabric, durability, breathability, and overall value of each. Before making her final selections, she also researched the thread counts of different materials, as well as the care requirements and suitability for different sleeping styles. Theresa has been writing for The Spruce since 2019 and covers bedding, cleaning supplies, and interior decor. You can find more of her bylines on MyDomaine and Byrdie.