In this post, we reveal everything you need to know about copper pillows, including their benefits and the best copper pillow brands. Let's get started!
If you’ve been sleeping on silk in hopes of reaping the anti-aging benefits it bestows, it may be time for an upgrade. Copper pillows are the new and improved sleeping companions that are showing a multitude of positive effects on facial skin. Here’s what we know thus far.
In this article we discuss the following:
- What is a Copper Pillow?
- The Difference Between Copper Pillows and Copper Pillow Cases
- Benefits of a Copper Pillow
- Copper Pillows and Wrinkles
- Copper Pillows and Acne
- Copper Pillows and Sweat
- Are Copper Pillows Safe?
- How to Wash a Copper Pillow
- Can you Dye a Copper Pillow?
- Copper Pillow Brands
- Serta Copper Pillow
- Essence of Copper Pillow
- Tommie Copper Pillow
- Beautyrest Copper Pillow
- Hydraluxe Copper Pillow
What is a Copper Pillow?
In short, a copper pillow is a slip covering that features copper oxide particles embedded within the fabric. They are usually made with polyester or nylon as these hold said particles better.
Understanding why a copper pillowcase might be beneficial to the face that sleeps up against it is as simple as understanding copper in general. Copper is one of the nine essential nutrients that the human body needs in order to function. Almost all tissue in the body needs a certain amount of copper daily in order to maintain normal physiological processes.
The kicker is that humans are unable to make any new copper of their own, and all new copper has to come from an outside source. Most of us get our copper through our diets, and some might make use of a copper water bottle so that their water is infused with copper. Those with more severe copper deficiencies may be required to take supplements to prevent copper-related illness.
The human need for copper is no new scientific revelation, despite how little research is currently being conducted to support its importance. Over 5,000 years ago, the Ancient Indians were documenting the importance of copper in their Ayurvedic texts, and around the same time the Ancient Egyptians were walking around with mass amounts of copper jewelry clinging to their wrists and necks.
A few years ago, modern scientists began looking at the ever-increasing copper deficiency that was prevalent in both men and women. They found that a significant portion of one person’s daily copper intake was reserved, by the body, for the skin (15% to be exact). This tells us that the outside of the body needs copper just as much as the inside does.
There have since been some major advancements in the world of copper skincare. People are waking up to the visible benefits that come from enriching the skin with copper, and products containing copper peptides are starting to become preferable to retinoids and other potent serums.
The human body has proven that it doesn’t actually mind how the copper is delivered to the skin. Whether it is from the inside out, or outside in, the body seems to recognize copper from all angles and does what it can to absorb as much as is presented to it. Isn’t that a reassuring notion?
The Difference Between Copper Pillows and Copper Pillow Cases
This terminology has brought much confusion to unfamiliar shoppers who are interested in this new-age technology.
As it stands at present, there is no such thing as an actual copper pillow. The pillow itself is simply a regular inner; it’s always and only the pillow case that is infused with copper oxide particles.
If you’re looking to invest in a copper pillow, you’re actually looking to invest in a copper pillow case. Try not to get confused when navigating the market. There are some retailers who will include the pillow inner in the purchase, but it’s only ever the case that is able to offer you the copper-to-skin benefits as this is the only part of the unit that makes direct contact with the face.
Copper pillow cases come in an array of size options to suit the existing pillow inners of potential buyers. It’s helpful to note that one doesn’t need to invest in copper pillow cases for all of the pillows on their bed, unless of course this is of importance to them. It is sufficient to just purchase a case for the pillow that sits directly under the sleeper's head.
If the individual sleeps with two, or even three, pillows stacked up, it is only the top pillow that requires a copper pillow case. The reason we’re harping on about this is because copper pillow cases don’t come cheap; the technology is new and there are not many manufacturers saturating the market just yet. The false belief that all of one’s pillows require a case of their own can deter some people from ever making the initial investment.
We’ve also encountered a number of individuals who want to reap the benefits of a copper pillow for their skin, but they don’t actually use a pillow when they sleep. This is not uncommon, particularly among individuals who suffer from back problems.
We encourage these individuals to go ahead with their purchase of a copper pillow case and simply use it without the pillow inner. Lay it flat where your head will be as you sleep, as though it were just part of your bed sheet. This way, you’re able to gain the benefits of the copper but you’re not forced to use an actual pillow in the process.
We know many individuals who felt the same when silk pillow cases became the anti-wrinkle rage. In those cases, they simply placed an empty silk pillowcase, or silk scarf, under their heads during slumber.
Benefits of a Copper Pillow
When it comes to the skin, copper has the very important role of stimulating dermal fibroblasts proliferation. It is also responsible for collagen production, as well as elastin fiber, which is what keeps general signs of aging at bay.
Copper in the skin also supports something called superoxide dismutase, which is an antioxidant enzyme that helps to protect the skin of the face from free radicals in the environment. There are some studies that have also linked copper to melanin in the skin, which means there is a link between copper and pigmentation.
As we mentioned, no human being can produce copper of their own; it has to come from some sort of external source, be it through food, water or supplements. These are all forms of digested copper, and thus the internal body gets first preference when they make it into the digestive system. The skin is somewhat at the bottom of the food chain, and receives whatever copper the body can spare after fulfilling the internal needs first.
This is what makes a copper infused pillow so enticing and revolutionary. It’s a way of offering the skin of the face a nightly encounter with copper particles that have potential benefits after long term use. Most copper pillow brands claim that a user can expect to see visible results after just four weeks of sleeping on these fabrics.
There are two main reasons consumers seem to be trying out copper pillows: wrinkles and acne.
Copper Pillows and Wrinkles
Copper is a vital component in the process of collagen synthesis. Reducing and/or preventing wrinkles is as simple as increasing the levels of collagen present in the facial skin at any given time. The more collagen there is, the less wrinkles there are. This can again be attributed to the recent increase in popularity of skincare products containing copper peptides, and vitamin C, as these are two ingredients with powerful collagen stimulation abilities.
In 2012 there was a small clinical study conducted on the new copper pillow technology. The participant group was divided into two parts, with one half made to sleep on copper pillow cases, and the other on regular cotton cases.
After 8 weeks, the group sleeping on copper all reported a reduction in the appearance of the crows feet wrinkles around their eyes. All members of the group sleeping on regular pillow cases reported no change to their existing wrinkles.
Copper Pillows and Acne
In addition to the above-noted copper infused pillow benefits is the benefit of acne relief. Interestingly, copper embedded fabrics are not a new phenomenon at all. Hospital linens and scrubs have been infused with copper particles for years due to the natural antibacterial and antiviral properties that copper offers. It helps slow the spread of bacteria and viruses between patients and wards.
More than this, many bandage manufacturing companies have used copper particles on their inside of their products as they work to prevent further bacterial growth in wounds, allowing for more rapid healing to take place. This has its origin in ancient times, when the wounds of warriors would be dusted with copper to help heal them faster.
Copper is naturally antimicrobial, which makes it a viable ally to anyone battling the spread of acne on their facial skin. Acne gets worse as bacteria spreads, and few people realize that even just sleeping on the wrong fabric can cause acne to worsen night by night.
Wait, there’s more…
Copper also happens to be a powerful anti-inflammatory agent. We know this from people using copper to fight inflammation in the wrists and hands due to arthritis. Some health practitioners believe that copper bracelets can deliver anti-inflammatory effects that seem to relieve chronic pain.
With acne comes inflammation, often making one’s condition look and feel a lot worse than it probably is. Sleeping on copper may work to provide anti-inflammatory benefits to the affected skin, giving the face relief and an opportunity to heal other sectors in the process.
There is little scientific research in existence to back up the effects of copper pillow cases on active acne, but many satisfied users report their personal experiences with the products, attributing great amounts of healing to their decision to make the pillow switch.
In recent years, silk pillow cases were seen as the superior choice for people with facial acne. This was because these cases were so soft that they did not aggravate the skin during slumber. The friction-less fabric leads to a reduction in inflammation over time, despite the fabric itself possessing no antibacterial or antimicrobial properties.
So, it would seem that copper pillow cases have ‘one upped’ traditional silk ones in that they bring a handful of additional benefits to the table. Silk may have been limiting irritation, but copper is actually providing a foundation for healing to occur.
Don’t get us wrong, sleeping on silk is still a massive improvement to sleeping on regular pillow fabrics, but copper cases are definitely at the top of the pillow hierarchy.
Copper Pillows and Sweat
Copper infused fabrics are naturally cooler in nature and don’t retain heat the way regular fabrics tend to do. This is beneficial to anyone who tends to heat up like a radiator whilst sleeping, often leading to excessive sweating, especially in and around the head area.
Sweating during sleep is common, but, when it’s happening regularly to the facial skin, the pores have the tendency to become clogged. This means your skin is dirty more of the time, and is likely to have further problems as a result in future.
Our sleep sweat has nowhere to go, so it seeps into the bedding and pillow cases nearest to it. Our pillows absorb more sweat that we can imagine, thus a pillow case offering cooling technology is generally going to be a worthwhile investment.
The best part is that you can feel the pillow case actually doing what it claims to do. The temperature difference is tangible, and regular users of a copper case will be able to tell the difference in coolness the minute the case is removed/replaced with a different fabric.
Are Copper Pillows Safe?
Copper infused pillows are based on a technology that has been evolving over the last decade, with sporadic studies being conducted every so often. The scientific community is still very unfamiliar with the long term benefits that these devices might possess, but we won’t be surprised if sleeping on copper is a societal norm by 2040.
At present, there is no evidence to suggest that sleeping on copper is unsafe. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Users of copper pillows seem to have only good things to say about their long term experience, obviously having monitored the overall condition of their facial skin over the years.
One thing that we think everyone should be made aware of is that certain people can be prone to topical copper allergies. This is rare, but there are cases where individuals have discovered their skin’s aversion to copper whilst wearing copper jewelry or even applying a copper peptide skin care product.
A topical copper allergy can manifest in a number of different ways. For most people, it’s a blackening of the affected skin as well as the copper itself; this is as a result of the acids colliding negatively. This can lead to itching and even signs of eczema, which is similar to most metal allergy reactions.
For others, a copper allergy can occur externally but affect the individual internally. Some report headaches and nausea.
Since the copper oxide particles present in a pillow case are so small, it is highly unlikely that one will experience any severe reactions to nightly encounters with the device.
Copper Pillows and Acne
When using any device with the intent to treat acne, one always needs to take extra precautions. Those suffering from acne will know how important it is to keep their towels, clothing and bedding clean, and to have them on rotation wherever possible.
Acne is worsened the second more dirt is introduced to the already compromised pores. During the recent pandemic, school children with acne experienced more severe breakouts due to wearing fabric masks daily that could not be cleaned often enough.
Your copper pillow and your acne need to find a harmonious coexistence. You will need to make an effort to wash your copper pillow properly, and regularly, so that it doesn’t become saturated with sweat and bacteria that may further aggravate your breakouts. Copper pillows are safe for people with acne, provided they are washed and cleaned.
How to Wash a Copper Pillow
Copper pillow cases are made to last, so you’re going to be washing this product for as long as you remain a sleeping being. These pillow cases only last forever if you follow the care instructions provided.
Most copper pillow cases are machine washable, and you can toss them in with any other bedding or like-colored garments. One thing you can’t do is add fabric softener into the mix. Regular detergent is fine, but fabric softener puts the copper oxide particles at risk and may work to strip them from the fabric. It will also break down the memory foam if a pillow comes with an inner built in.
Similarly, copper pillow cases can go into a dryer, but dryer sheets are not advised.
Hand washing your pillow case is just fine, and lukewarm water is recommended. Again, even whilst hand washing, you should avoid fabric softener and detergents containing fabric softener.
You may or may not be familiar with the environmental movement toward washing garments less. As a society, we’ve been falsely conditioned to believe that our clothing requires an intense wash far more often than it truly does. Mass loads of machine washing is detrimental to the environment, and uses up a lot of our very precious water resources. As a result, finding ‘washing’ alternatives has become the mission of many.
It’s been proven that leaving ‘dirty’ garments in the sun for a few hours actually works to pull out bacteria as effectively as a machine wash can. Accumulated smells are also able to move out of fabric when left outside, which leaves little reason to throw them into the wash as often.
Your copper pillow will see increased longevity if you find ways to not run it under water as often as is deemed socially acceptable. Don’t be afraid to explore these options, especially since the garment holds natural anti-microbial properties regardless of how it is washed.
Can Your Dye a Copper Pillow?
Something worth noting is that a lot of people are curious as to whether or not they can dye their copper pillow case at home. These pillow cases are so new to the market that they aren’t yet available in a wide range of colors. In fact, most are available in a sort of copper-hue, said to reflect the natural ambiance of the technology.
For some, this is less than preferable as the single pillow case can be quite the focus puller on a bed of just white. They ponder dying their case to a less eye catching tone, perhaps dark gray or black.
It is not recommended that one dye their copper pillow case under any circumstances. The acidity of the fabric dye will work against the properties of the copper particles, likely rendering it useless by the time the dye dries. If you don’t like the color of your copper pillow, simply hide it behind your other pillows by day, only bringing it out into the open by night. Some people actually store their copper pillow elsewhere until it comes time to sleep, not wanting to taint the aesthetic of their bedroom.
Copper Pillow Brands
Serta is a brand that is known and trusted around the world when it comes to the world of slumber. They jumped onto the copper technology train pretty early on, and their copper pillows have been known to sell out worldwide.
The copper pillow offered by Serta is an all in one device that comes with a memory foam inner sewn into the cover. You need to be a pillow-sleeper to make use of this unit, as the cover is not removable.
The copper fibers are woven into the outer casing, which is made from a mix of polyester and spandex. Serta claims that their fibers will never wash out, which is reassuring. We also like that the pillows themselves are not overly padded; if you need extra height whilst sleeping, you would simply stack your usual pillows underneath this very thin one.
Users of the Serta copper pillow report it to be incredibly comfortable for all sleeping positions. Those that sleep on their side seem to be just as satisfied as those who sleep on their stomachs.
These Essence of Copper pillows are interesting as they have been designed with the more basic benefits of copper in mind, and not necessarily the skincare benefits.
The actual pillow inners feature the copper particles in their outermost lining. These are not finished products, and these inners still need pillow cases over them before they can be displayed on a bed (the Essence of Copper printed logo all over the pillows ensures this).
The Essence of Copper pillow king size targets individuals who want hypoallergenic, odor free and anti-fungal pillows in their homes. The overall benefits of copper are of more interest to this target market than just the effects of copper against the skin.
These are fantastic pillow inners to have in all bedrooms of one's house, especially if this is a home that tends to be shared with strangers (such as an Airbnb rental). The pillow inners will work to keep the home sanitary and delay/prevent the growth of harmful bacteria.
These pillows retail in pairs and are relatively affordable when compared to more trendy copper pillow cases. Technically speaking, one could make use of these pillows without cases in order to reap the anti-aging/anti-acne benefits of copper against the skin.
Tommie Copper is a name that will continue to shape the copper healing industry for the foreseeable future. The brand is not limited to pillows; on the contrary, this represents a very small portion of their products.
Tommie Copper is concerned with all forms of copper healing in relation to the human body. They have designed unique pieces of technology that use copper energy to support the body’s natural healing processes.
Copper has long been linked to sporting injuries, and the body has been shown to recover from muscular strain and even tearing a lot quicker when enough copper is present. Tommie Copper sells back, arm, leg, wrist and even foot braces that they claim contain the healing powers of copper and deliver them from the outside in.
They also have what they call a ‘support shirt’. This is a compression t-shirt that can be worn during strenuous activity to support the body. The fibers are infused with copper oxide, as are the rest of the products in their range.
Tommie Copper saw a need for anti-odor, anti-bacterial, supportive pieces that could be used to aid people in everyday life. The same care instructions for copper pillows apply to their range of copper infused garments.
You either love the Beautyrest copper pillow, or you hate it. it. The design is so taste specific that there is little to no in-between.
This rustic pillow comes with an inner and a case. The case contains the copper magic, and is removable if so desired. This is great for individuals who might want to spend a night off of the memory foam inner every so often.
We’ve got to admit, the memory foam does melt around the head and neck like butter. This is a very airy and supple pillow that was made with comfort in mind — you can tell.
The pillow and cover only come in king size, which makes them largely unsuitable for travel purposes. This will be a homebound pillow, though you could simply take the case along in a suitcase if you do need it to be wherever you are.
Lovers of crisp, white bedding — fear not! Hydraluxe has come to save the day; or at least the aesthetic of your bedroom.
The Hydraluxe copper pillow is a combination of a memory foam inner, and a copper infused outer casing. Both the inner and outer casing are pure white, making them an easy fit for bedrooms with existing white linen.
The brand boasts the following on their packaging: “Infused with Earth’s collagen producing element”. This tells us that Hydraluxe had skincare in mind when they formulated this product, and are acknowledging the potential benefits that come from sleeping up close and personal to copper particles.
The pillows are incredibly cozy; this foam settles in perfectly around the ears and neck. There is a natural cooling effect that comes from the copper outer, which is wonderful in the summer to prevent excessive sweating (and the resulting clogging of pores).
We hope you have found this guide to copper pillows helpful! If you enjoyed this article, you would probably be interested in learning more about how you can use the health benefits of copper to your advantage. Check out our comprehensive blog post here to learn all about how you can benefit from using a copper water bottle or other vessel to store your water.
About the Authors: This article was collaboratively written by our team of researchers and writers with the benefit of all available scientific studies and other relevant literature. Our team of researchers and writers include experienced health researchers. Please note that information in this article is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.