We updated this article in March 2022 to add more information about each featured product as well as expert commentary.
If you're looking to protect your natural hairstyle, silk and satin hair caps for sleeping are a staple to have in your arsenal. Sleep caps reduce friction between your hair and pillow while you sleep, which keeps curls defined and hydrated, protects hair from split ends and shields against frizz. Hair caps are great for women with extremely dry hair since they help to lock in moisture, says Kiyah Wright, a celebrity hairstylist in Beverly Hills, California. While solutions like silk pillowcases can help, silk hair caps for sleeping go the extra mile by fully encasing your hair, keeping friction to a minimum. Plus, bonnets lock in any products that you use on your hair before bed, which means that they actually absorb into your hair, not your pillowcase.
While the Good Housekeeping Institute hasn't tested silk sleep caps directly, we have tested silk pillowcases and silk sheets, made of both real silk and synthetic satin, for smoothness and moisture-wicking benefits, durability, comfort level and more. That means we know what goes into silk and satin products to help your hair be at its best. Below, we rounded some of the best silk and satin hair caps for sleeping out there loved by online reviewers, including Black-owned brands lauded for natural haircare. Whether you want to protect your tresses with satin or sleep with silk, we have picks that are perfect for every style, length and budget:
- Adjustable drawstring
- Bold prints
- Made of satin weave, not silk
Founder Ranay Daye came up with Glow By Daye bonnets to give Black women high quality, well-designed bonnets for protecting hair. With over 1,400 5-star reviews on Amazon, this bonnet is a cult-favorite. "The satin feels great and is comfortable to sleep in," says one reviewer. "I love the drawstring that allows it to adjust to just the right tension."
- Fits snug while you sleep
- Cordless fit
There's nothing more annoying than securing your strands at night, only to wake up to your sleep cap on one side of the bed and a tousled head of hair that went unprotected at some point in the night. This sleep cap has a wide edge that lays flat against your head all-night long so it won't slip and slide. "This is the only bonnet I repurchase over and over again," says Good Housekeeping Institute Cleaning Lab analyst, Jodhaira Rodriguez. "It stays on through the night even when I move around a lot while I sleep, but isn’t uncomfortably tight and actually holds all my hair."
- Adjustable ribbon
- Affordable for real silk
- Good for thick or long hair
In GH Textiles Lab testing, LilySilk's silk pillowcase performed well. This silk brand is a popular choice for everything from bonnets to shirts and is more affordable than many other silk offerings. Its large size makes it ideal for those with fuller or longer hair. "This is my first sleeping hat," says one reviewer. "I was looking for something to preserve braids. This is a great, lightweight option. Cozy, comfy, not too tight."
- Made of pure silk
- Elastic band works for all head sizes
- Good for thick and curly hair
- Doubles as a hair accessory
- May be too large on medium or thin hair
This lavish Slip bonnet is made of pure silk. It also works for a variety of head sizes thanks to a silk-covered elastic band. This bonnet was designed specifically for thick or curly hair, so it's perfect for anyone with a lot of hair (or braids!) In GH Textiles Lab testing, Slip's silk pillowcase had the highest smoothness rating, but was prone to wrinkling and more delicate than some other fabrics.
- Long, roomy fit
- Ideal for long hair and extensions
Whether you've got waist-grazing locks or a head-full of box braids, this extra-large sleeping cap is sure to keep your style protected while you snooze. This long sleep cap is a go-to for one of GH's beauty pros. "When I have to sleep with my hair wet, it allows my hair to partially dry while I sleep and I don't have to worry about wet hair hitting me in the face or staining my pillow," she says.
- Suitable for day or night wear
- Comes in multiple colors
This Grace Eleyae satin-lined cap is adjustable, which lets you ensure the proper fit. “Whether I'm sporting braids or straight hair, Grace Eleyae's satin-lined caps always manage to keep my tresses looking good," says GH's Senior Home Editor Monique Valeris. "They come in a nice range of colors and they do a good job of helping to keep frizz and dryness at bay.”
- Authentic, handmade prints
- Soft and gentle on hair
- Roomy size
All bonnets by Cee Cee's Closet, a brand founded by Chioma and Uchenna Ngwudo in New York City, are handmade in Nigeria. Its prints, like this one, pay homage to West African culture. Reviewers love how the fabrics on these wraps feel. "This head wrap made me feel like a goddess," one says.
- Made of silk
- Stylish design
This pure silk bonnet from Silke London doesn't just feel luxurious — it also looks sophisticated and chic. "Not too tight yet stays on all night," one reviewer notes. "Doesn't give me a headache or hurt my ears. Keeps hair neat and in place and it actually looks shinier in the morning."
- Adjustable drawstring
EboniCurls is a beloved bonnet brand for many reasons — it's lightweight (made with a single layer of satin), it has a drawstring so you can adjust to your preferences and it comes in seven colors. "This is the best hair bonnet I've ever purchased: I could tell the minute I felt the fabric that this was 10X better quality than the fabric my old hair bonnet was made with," a reviewer raved. "I also love the size of this hair bonnet — it's twice as big as the hair bonnets you can buy at the drugstore."
- Snug yet comfortable fit
- Reviewer favorite
- Bargain price
- Random pattern selection
For the price (less than $5!), it's hard to beat this eye-catching Evolve bonnet. "I absolutely love this bonnet," one reviewer says. "It fits well, not too tight and doesn't come off at night. I love the quality and design. Also, there's no dye transfer to my linens like I experienced with other bonnets."
Hair caps made of both silk and satin will do a great job protecting your spirals, so seek out those materials. Here are a few key differences between them to know:
Silk is a fiber made by the bombyx mori moth. "Real silk feels much more luxurious and has built-in temperature regulation properties so it’s overall more comfortable," says Lexie Sachs, Good Housekeeping Institute Textiles Director. Have you seen some brands saying their products are made of Mulberry silk? That means that moths have only been fed Mulberry leaves. "This type of silk is considered the highest quality, but not all silk fabrics are Mulberry silk," says Sachs. If you want a natural and more luxe fiber, silk is your best bet.
Satin is a weave, so many silk fabrics are also satin. In many cases, satin fabrics are also made with polyester, though they can be made with other materials as well. "Synthetic satin is smooth while being more affordable and more durable (silk is delicate!), though it doesn’t feel as natural and unique as silk," says Sachs. Don't worry — satin bonnets still offer smoothing and protecting benefits.
Sporting one of these hair protecting caps while sleeping is practically foolproof. Simply gather all of your hair into whatever style you please and place the bonnet on top. You can sport a top knot, a curly pineapple or Dutch braids, the choice is truly yours.
If you've shied away from hair caps because they won't stay put, consider giving it another go with this tip: "I tell all my clients to keep a satin scarf over your ears while you sleep," Wright suggests. "This will keep it secure and it won't come off in the middle of the night."