In 2016, employees of the sleep brand NIGHT saw that Kim Kardashian was looking for a pillow that could help with her neck problems, so they sent her one of theirs. Apparently, she loved it. Nearly three years later, one of those very same pillows ended up on my desk for testing. Even though I didn't have neck pain, the pillow also has plenty of beauty and wellness claims attached to it, making it the perfect candidate to test for Bustle's 30 Day Trial series.
NIGHT founder Kalle Simpson tells me there are two things that make the NIGHT pillow special: a 100 percent mulberry silk pillowcase and an air-light memory foam pillow core. "Both components are hypoallergenic, which means they create an unfriendly environment for mold, mildew, dust mites, and other pollutants and allergens," Simpson explains. If you wake up stuffy, these allergens could be a culprit, so getting rid of them would theoretically help you sleep more comfortably.
The buzziest claims around silk pillowcases in general are the alleged skin and hair care benefits. NIGHT's website says the pillow minimizes wrinkles, supports clear skin, improves the effectiveness of face creams, makes hair shinier, and prevents hair loss. While NIGHT has done internal trials that indicate the majority of people who try the pillow like it, the dermatologists I spoke to for this piece said they didn't know of any published scientific studies that conclude sleeping on silk has these types of benefits. (One very small study from Wake Forest University did record a reduction of acne in people who slept on "silk-like" pillowcases compared to a placebo group, but beyond that, I wasn't able to find anything other than anecdotal evidence — though the before and after photos from other people who've tried switching to silk are intriguing.)
Nada Elbuluk, MD, MSC, an assistant professor of dermatology at the USC Keck School of Medicine, tells me she typically doesn't make any pillowcase recommendations to her patients who are looking for skin benefits. "If they are really looking for anti-aging treatments ... there are many other recommendations that would provide much more scientifically proven benefit in this realm, [including the use] of sunscreen on a regular basis, topical anti-aging products, and various cosmetic procedures," she says. New York City- and Miami-based dermatologist Dhaval G. Bhanusali, MD, says sleeping on silk is also typically not one of his first skin care recommendations. "While in theory, it could be beneficial, there isn’t much — if any — science to back it up for skin benefits," he explains. And while there may be more benefits with hair with less breakage or loss, he notes, "even that is still mostly theoretical." However, Bhanusali says he "can see the benefit in having a dark-colored pillow that may help with sleep and a memory foam base which helps with comfort."
Even though the lack of scientific evidence doesn't always mean something straight up doesn't work, I had my own doubts that the pillow would make any difference in terms of visible results for me — only because I'm already the person who'll tell you to throw away all your cotton pillowcases RIGHT NOW. At home, I've been sleeping exclusively on silk pillowcases for a couple years (partially because I really do think they cause less stress for my hair than cotton cases, and partially because I just like how cold silk stays) so I assumed I wouldn't see any difference in how my hair and skin looked after I switched to NIGHT. Simpson tells me sleeping on silk is definitely better than nothing, but putting a fancy silk pillowcase on a regular ol' pillow means I'm likely not getting the hypoallergenic benefits that the full NIGHT system offers. All that, plus the fact that my previous pillows were several years old and cost perhaps $10 at IKEA, was enough to convince me it couldn't hurt to try.
The brand says the amount of time consumers say it takes to see a difference in their skin and hair using the pillow ranges from a week to a few weeks. So, I put it to the test for a full month.
First, please enjoy some baseline photos that were taken with no makeup immediately before I got into bed on the first night of sleeping with my new, fancy pillow.
I started testing in December, so at that time of year, my skin was feeling a little red and sensitive, plus both my hair and skin were a bit dry. I was mostly hoping the pillow would indeed make my moisturizer more effective, and potentially smooth the cuticles on my hair down.
One thing I immediately noticed: This pillow is comfortable. I've been largely unimpressed with other memory foam ones I've tried (hence the $10 IKEA pillows), but this one is honestly the perfect balance between firm and squishy. I know every memory foam brand claims that, but I'm telling you: NIGHT really nailed it. My partner would try to steal the pillow every night throughout the experiment, that's how good it was. I always assumed waking up with a little stiffness in my neck and shoulders was normal, but I really saw that minor pain all but vanish once I started using the pillow.
After a week of using the pillow, I took another set of selfies, this time immediately after I woke up, before I had brushed my hair, or done anything to my face.
So, yes, I did get a haircut to take care of my split ends in that week, but this was taken five days later, so I can't attribute all that shine to any sort of professional blowout. My skin looks a little glowier, but I didn't notice any huge differences overall.
For the next couple of weeks, I woke up without seeing any major changes in my hair or skin. I still loved sleeping on the super comfy pillow though, and when it came time to travel to my parents' house for the holidays I brought the NIGHT with me — which, it turns out, was incredibly easy to do. The pillow rolls up into its travel case nice and tightly. Simpson tells me she always takes the pillow on the plane and it's never counted toward her number of carry-on items.
Thanks to being heated largely by fireplace, my parents' place is even drier than my apartment, so this was the time to put that "makes your moisturizer work better" claim to the ultimate test. I wore a hydrating sleeping mask overnight one day, and snapped these selfies when I woke up.
I'm positively glowing!!! This didn't stick around all day, but it was cool to see how little of the mask had soaked into the pillowcase.
My final test for NIGHT was seeing how well it helped a blowout hold up overnight. On the left, you can see a photo of me feelin' myself in the salon bathroom. And on the right, is a photo of me immediately after rolling out of bed and taking my hair down from the silk scrunchie I wrap it in to sleep.
I definitely had to do some restyling with heat tools (especially in the bang area) after waking up, but overall I was impressed with how well my hair held its shine overnight, since my usual set of sheets tends to suck any smoothness right out of my strands.
Though any changes to my hair and skin were very minor after a full month of sleeping on the NIGHT, I stand by the statement that this is the most comfortable pillow I've ever tried. It is also the most expensive pillow I've ever tried, and $150 is definitely steep, especially if you usually get your bedding from Target or IKEA (like I do). If you do have happen to have $150 saved up that you want to spend in the name of self care and potentially a more restful sleep, I'd definitely recommend giving NIGHT a go. Besides, the brand will let you try the pillow for up to 101 nights and return it for a full refund if you aren't obsessed.
Also, my skin and hair definitely didn't get worse, which I'd consider a win in the world of testing products without scientific evidence.