1. It stops your hair from drying out
Cotton pillowcases suck moisture out of hair, dry hair is more prone to breakage. Satin helps you to retain moisture within your hair.
2. Satin is very smooth so there is less abrasion
Cotton fibres are rough compared to satin so as you toss and turn, all that rubbing can cause hair fibres to break.
Personally, I have a cotton pillow case but I cover my head in a satin cap. I have in the past used both a satin cap AND a satin pillow case and I didn't think combining the two made much difference.
What do you do? Do you use both a satin pillow case and a satin cap? Or do you secure your hair with a satin doo-rag and double that up with a satin cap?
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