There is no question; silk comforters have been the epitome of luxury bedding since the Chinese empress, Xi Ling-Shi, purportedly discovered silk and invented the silk loom in the 28th century BC. Silk was the original luxury bedding of choice for the kings of China for many centuries.
As the popularity of silk grew, it was traded farther west into India and eventually Egypt. Though the Chinese Kings tried hard to maintain the secrecy of sericulture (methods of raising silk worms for silk production), the popularity of silk fabrics eventually led to its production in other countries, first Korea.
Silk is so desirable because its extra long fibers, between 500 and 1000 meters, make an extremely soft and durable fabric. Silk is produced by silk worms. Its fibers are unraveled from silk cocoons and then turned into fabric. The best kind of silk is Mulberry silk cultivated from worms fed a strict diet of mulberry leaves in a controlled setting. The exceptionally long mulberry silk fibers make is possible to weave the most fine, smooth, and durable fabrics.
Silk is luxurious. It is:
- soft to the touch
- supple, conforming to your body like a cocoon
- breathable, keeping you dry and warm
- light in weight and snuggly warm
- naturally hypoallergenic (superclean)
Wrapping your body in a silk comforter is one of the best experiences to be had in luxury bedding. Since the time of ancient China, silk has been prized for its comfort. But the harvesting of silk fibers and production of silk bedding is a labor intensive process. This makes silk comforters naturally a more expensive bedding item. So is the price of a silk comforter worth it? Are there any less expensive, equally good alternatives?
Alternatives to Silk Comforters
Down comforters is another popular type of comforter, often sold alongside silk comforters. Down comforters have a better weight to warmth ratio silk comforter. They too are breathable and naturally hypoallergenic (when down is cleaned properly in manufacturing process). Down comes in a wide range of quality from 500 fill power up to 850 fill power. Likewise prices have a wide range from just over $100 to several thousand dollars.
Down comforters have a very different user experience though. They do not wrap and conform to your body shape; instead they lay over top of you. But primarily, down comforter covers are usually made of cotton fabric, which is just not nearly as smooth as silk and does not feel as good against the skin. Lastly, many down comforter covers are not down proof, so you are left with bits of down floating throughout your bedroom.
Other types of natural fiber comforters include lambs wool and alpaca wool, along with synthetic fill comforters, usually made from polyester. These comforters are similar to down in that their filling lofts inside the shell of the comforter. The fill material expands to trap air and retain heat. They are all puffy like down, but inferior to down in terms of weight to warmth ration.
All these other fiber filled comforters function differently from silk. A silk comforter drapes and wraps around your body, and has an exquisitely soft hand (feel). Other comforters lie on top of you, but don’t wrap around you so snugly.
So, are silk comforters worth the price? Undoubtedly they are the best in luxury bedding in many people’s minds. The only question remaining is whether they are within your budget. If you can afford a rare luxury that will last for many years, it will increase the quality of your sleep and the enjoyment you take in the 1/3 of life we all spend in bed.