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Cotton has long been considered the be-all end-all of fabrics. Breathable and insulating all at once, manufacturers use it for everything from clothing to bed linens. However, in the world of bedding, two new fabrics are vying for cotton's celebrated status: copper and silk. With the approval of celebrities from beauty gurus to Instagram models, the benefits of silk pillowcases and copper pillowcases have been touted enough to increase their sales and popularity. Is there any substance to the attention these bedding alternatives have garnered?

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1. Copper has Anti-Microbial Properties

Silk pillowcases have been given slightly more attention than copper pillowcases, but don't count copper out. It has impressive antimicrobial and anti-bacterial properties, and ancient civilizations recognized this. Ancient Egyptians used copper to clean wounds, and Greek doctors did the same hundreds of years later. The mineral is incredibly lethal to bacteria, including the dangerous MRSA bacterium, which is resistant to antibiotics. For this reason, researchers are currently investigating its use in hospitals; doctors and scientists hope it will help keep cross-contamination at a minimum. So why does this matter in copper pillowcases?

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