Today’s blog post topic is a big one because we’re tackling the great bedding debate: which is the best bed sheet material- cotton or linen? Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference, but to help guide you, we’re breaking down everything you need to know about both cotton and linen, their pros and cons, and some tips on how to choose the right bed sheet set for you.
First, what exactly are cotton and linen sheets made from?
Well, cotton is pretty obvious- cotton sheets are made from the fibers of the cotton plant. In general, cotton is heavily sprayed with pesticides and other chemicals, which is why you want to make sure you’re purchasing organic cotton bedding (more on that here).
Cotton sheets also come in a variety of weaves, which affect both the feel and performance of the sheet. Percale sheets feature a one over one under weave, which results in a soft yet crisper feeling sheet- we liken it to the feeling of your favorite white button-down shirt. Its weave makes it ultra-breathable, so we typically recommend it for summer, warmer climates, and anyone who sleeps warm/sweats a lot in their sleep.
Sateen is another popular weave, and it features a three over one under weave. This results in a silkier, smoother feel to the sheet, and its more wrinkle resistant than percale, which can have more of a rumpled look. It also has more of a sheen to it than the matte percale sheets.
In general, we recommend sateen for cooler months or climates, or for anyone who wants a slightly heavier sheet.
Finally, we have a brushed flannel cotton, which is perfect for chilly winter months. Here, the surface of the cotton is brushed with a metal brush, which raises the fibers of the fabric, resulting in ultimate softness and fibers that can better hold onto heat.
Now onto linen.
Linen is made from the stalks of the flax plant, and it is a much cleaner product than cotton. While our cotton sheets are certified organic, our linen sheets aren’t certified organic, simply because it is such a clean product to begin with that there really is no need for organic certification.
(However, all of our linen is European Flax certified- this ensures traceability at every stage of the processing local farming that is environmentally conscious and commits to zero waste, zero GMO, and zero irrigation. It’s also in compliance with the International Labour Organization, which promotes social justice and human and labor rights. All certified European flax is grown in France, Belgium, or the Netherlands.)
If you’ve been dreaming about that perfectly imperfect rumpled bedding look you’ve probably seen all over Instagram and Pinterest, Linen is the bedding for you. It’s always been a popular bedding choice but has really increased in popularity in the last few years and has a beautiful, natural aesthetic.
That’s a bit about the materials themselves, so now let’s take a closer look at which bedding type is right for you.
- More affordable than linen
- Clean product (if you go with organic)
- Soft and gets softer with every wash
- Less durable than linen (typically a 3 - 5 year lifespan)
- Available in a variety of styles (sateen, percale, brushed, etc.)
- Smoother look
- Higher price point than cotton
- Breathable and temperature regulating
- One of the cleanest materials in the world
- Soft and gets softer with every wash
- More durable than cotton
- Crinkled/lived in look
Pro tip: if you love the rumpled look of linen but it isn’t in your budget, percale cotton is a great option. It is typically more affordable and has a similar (though less pronounced) crinkled look.
So, there’s your breakdown! As you can see, both cotton and linen make fantastic bedding options, and you really can’t go wrong.
Shop your percale cotton bedding here.
Shop our sateen cotton bedding here.
Shop our brushed flannel bedding here.
Shop our linen bedding here.