The 7 Best Organic Pillow Cases for Sustainable Sleep

Coyuchi's sateen cases are our top pick for certified organic pillow covers.

We independently research, test, review, and recommend the best products—learn more about our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

Pillowcases in different colors

Kirill Rudenko / Getty

Many of us end up buying pillow cases more often than full sheets sets, because they are more likely to wear out or be stained by hair oils and products, makeup, and skin treatments. Pillow cases are also an easy way to try a new bedding material (like silk or bamboo) before you commit to a whole new set of sheets. You can also mix colors or patterns that complement—but don't necessarily match—your sheets.

If you're looking for a sustainable option, choosing a pillow covering that's earned an organic certification is one of the best ways to go. Organic fabrics are woven from natural fibers, which are farmed without synthetic pesticides or fertilizers.

We dug deep into materials and manufacturing practices to find the best organic pillowcases available.

Best Overall: Coyuchi 300 Thread Count Organic Sateen Pillowcases

5
Coyuchi 300 Thread Count Organic Sateen Pillowcases

Coyuchi

Sizes: Junior, standard, king | Colors: Undyed, white, fog | Certifications: Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), Fair Trade, Made Safe

Coyuchi's combination of robust certifications and high-quality feel make these pillow cases our top choice. The 100% organic cotton material is grown and woven in India in a Fair Trade facility, and is certified organic and Made Safe. Sales also benefits 1% for the Planet, which means a portion of all proceeds is donated to environmental causes. It comes in plastic-free packaging made from cotton.

Because of the way it is woven, sateen has a shinier side and a matte side, and that shinier side is gentle and smooth on the skin. Sateen is naturally wrinkle-resistant and because of its tighter weave, it’s a little heavier, so some might find percale more ideal for the warmest summer nights, although sateen is an every-day luxury choice the rest of the year.

The manufacturer recommends washing these cases on the delicate cycle, and avoiding fabric softeners. Coyuchi offers a 30-day refund policy.

Best Budget: Sol Organics Classic Organic Pillowcases

Sol Organics Classic Organic Pillowcases

Sol Organics

Sizes: Standard, king | Colors: White, ivory, blue, dove grey, sand | Certifications: GOTS Organic, Fair Trade

These pillow cases have everything you need and nothing you don’t. They come in five colors that will mix with most bedding designs, and are a 100% GOTS Certified Organic Cotton fabric (also certified Fair Trade), that’s 300 thread-count and made from long-staple cotton that’s extra-soft to the touch. For the same price and from the same materials, Sol also offers two other styles of pillow case—a pleated edge, and hemmed-edge, as well as a percale version.

Best Cotton: Boll & Branch Percale Hemmed Pillowcase Set

Boll & Branch Percale Hemmed Pillowcase Set

Nordstrom

Sizes: Standard, king | Colors: White, natural, dune, pewter, stone, shore, mineral, spruce | Certifications: Fair Trade, GOTS organic, Standard 100 Oeko-Tex

Boll & Branch makes a huge variety of pillow cases from 100% certified organic cotton. There’s the signature hemmed version listed here, but the brand also offers other details like color blocking, embroidery, and eyelet as well as several other prints and striped patterns. Made with long staple fibers for extra softness, the cotton is from family-owned farm where workers are treated with dignity, and the factory where the cases are made is Fair Trade certified.

Best Silk: Avocado Silk Pillowcase

Avocado Green Mattress Organic Silk Pillowcase

Avocado Green

Sizes: Standard, queen, king | Colors: Navy, pink, white, grey, beige macciato | Certifications: Standard 100 by Oeko-Tex, Carbon Neutral

Although this pillow case itself does not have an organic certification, silk is a natural and fully biodegradable material, and so we think Avocado's 100% silk cases deserve a place on this roundup.

Momme refers to the weight of the silk fibers used to make the fabric—a higher number means a more durable, dense silk. This silk pillow case from Avocado Green is made from 22-momme mulberry silk (a common momme for bedding is 19), so not only does this pillowcase feel good, it should last longer too.

Silk pillowcases are recommended by skincare professionals because they're gentle on your skin and hair. This one comes with its own 100% GOTS organic certified bag to wash it in. You can put it in a gentle cycle on cold with other delicate garments and then hang dry (it dries quickly). Avocado is also a Certified B Corp.

Best Percale: L.L.Bean Organic Cotton Percale Sheet Collection

L.L.Bean Organic Cotton Percale Sheet Collection

L.L.Bean

Sizes: Standard only | Colors: Chambray blue, cream, grey heather, white | Certifications: GOTS organic, Standard 100 by Oeko-Tex

Percale has a crisp, matte finish that many people prefer, especially if they sleep hot, since percale is more breathable—both lighter and cooler—than other sheet types. It’s a classic for a reason, and few companies do classic as well as L.L. Bean. The company offers sheet sets and these pillow cases in 220-thread-count 100% GOTS-certified organic cotton that are tested for harmful substances and have the Standard 100 by Oeko-Tex certification as well.

Best Bamboo: Ettitude Signature Sateen Pillowcase Set

Ettitude Signature Sateen Pillowcase Set

The Verticale

Sizes: Standard, king | Colors: Sky, canyon, moss, cloud, sage, sand, slate, ocean, rose, slate striped, skylight striped | Certifications: Standard 100 by Oeko-Tex, FSC, EcoCert organic

These 100% lyocell-from-bamboo pillow cases are a great way to try out if you might like the slippery silkiness of bamboo sheets. The fabric is certified Standard 100 by Oeko-Tex and the cases are packaged in a reusable drawstring bag.

Ettitude specializes in bamboo fabric, and even has a trademarked in-house version called CleanBamboo, which some people find to be gentle on hair and having a cooling effect for skin. The bamboo used to make the fabric is grown using only rainwater, and requires less land than cotton to cultivate.

Best Jersey: Under the Canopy Organic Jersey Pillowcase Set

Under the Canopy Organic Jersey Pillowcase Set

Under the Canopy

Sizes: Standard, king | Colors: White, aquifer | Certifications: GOTS organic, Oeko-Tex Made in Green

If you prefer the soft stretchiness and give of jersey sheets, or just like a jersey pillow case for its gentleness on skin, this 100% GOTS certified organic cotton option is a good one. In addition to organic, these cases are Oeko-Tex Made in Green certified, which means that they have been tested to ensure they don’t contain harmful substances, and are also made in a socially responsible workplace. In this case, they are made in Pakistan. The cases come in cotton packaging to reduce plastic consumption.

Final Verdict

The Coyuchi sateen pillow cases feel luxurious, look and feel silky, and have an impressive number of trustworthy certifications. If you are looking to try out a truly luxurious organic silk pillow case, consider investing in the Avocado Silk Pillow Case.

What to Look for in Organic Pillow Cases

Certifications

When shopping for organic pillow cases, look for reputable certifications. Remember labels like “all natural” and “natural materials” and even “organic” (without an accompanying certification) don’t mean much. Instead, look for GOTS certified, USDA certified organic, or EcoCert, which all ensure that the fibers used to produce a fabric are organically cultivated.

You can also keep an eye out for Certified Vegan products, Fair Trade labels, and pillow cases made from textiles that are OEKO-TEX Certified—that guarantees the product is non-toxic.

Feel

Ultimately, your preferences on how something feels on your skin are personal. Some people love the way linen feels and others can’t stand silk. When considering cotton and bamboo sheets, remember that higher thread counts don’t automatically equal better or more comfortable sheets. The ideal range is 300 to 600, since lower thread counts can be less soft (ignore thread counts when it comes to flannel sheets). 

Budget

The nice thing about pillow cases is that they’re much less expensive than a full sheet set—so they can be a fun place to splurge. Keep an eye out for sales, because brands often have extra pillow cases to unload, so you could get something higher quality, which is especially nice to have around your face and head, for a lot less if you are a savvy shopper.

Why Trust Treehugger?

To determine which pillow cases made this list, we researched the market to find materials with strong organic certifications, and checked on whether brands were involved in other people- and planet-friendly manufacturing, packaging, or shipping initiatives. We only included products with with trusted third-party organic certifications, with the one exception of the silk option.

Author Starre Vartan has been an environmental and science journalist for more than 15 years. She founded an award-winning eco-website and has written a book on living green.

View Article Sources
  1. "2020 Impact Report." Ettitude.