Linen Vs Cotton Sheets- Guide to Choose the Best

Cotton and linen sheets are made from plant fibres and are in demand because of their own unique benefits, price point and feel. Both are the most commonly sought after sheet materials, which means you’ve got a plethora of options to pick from to match your bedroom’s interior style and decor.

Nevertheless, it can be challenging to identify the right sheet to purchase to cater to your sleep preference and needs.

The linen sheet is usually woven from the flax plant’s fibres, which offers a unique textured feel and look. This sheet is thicker than its counterpart, yet still breathable and light – thanks to the fibre’s width and length. On the other hand, Cotton comes from the plant’s fibres making it smooth and crisp.

In this post, we’ve compiled a detailed guide comparing linen and cotton sheet to ensure you make a smart choice.

What’s a Linen Sheet?

Linen is quite different from other sheet materials on the market because of its all-inclusive manufacturing process. It starts with drying the harvested flax plants and removing seed through a threshing process.

Other processes, including wetting the threshed stalks and putting it through several couples of processes to ensure no woody bits, fibres are polished and spun into yarn. Now, the yarns are woven into the fabric. This unique manufacturing process and material makes linen have this distinctive granular feel and makes it impressively durable.

More so, it’s hypoallergenic naturally, and linen sheets come with filtering properties to prevent allergens and germs. On top of that, linen is anti-static, which makes it a suitable choice for people with sensitive skin. Despite being thick, it remains exceptionally breathable, which makes linen sheets feel cool during warm temperatures.

Plus, this material helps ensure a cool sleeping experience with its ability to absorb moisture. More importantly, it’s an ideal choice for people looking to purchase an eco-friendly sheet; thanks to its biodegradability, and durability.

Keep in mind that its all-inclusive manufacturing process makes this bedding choice a bit pricier than other products on the market. Furthermore, it comes with a distinctive texture which may feel coarse at first to some sleepers, but it will get soften with repeated washings.

Unlike other fabric, linen won’t likely shed or pill and offers remarkable durability, especially when cared for properly. The linen features a unique structure, which makes its thread count not a reliable indicator of quality.

Linen fibres lack much resilience or elasticity, which means this sheet will likely wrinkle easily. However, many sleepers find the wrinkled, crumpled appearance as distinctive and charming.

Linen Sheets – Pros & Cons


Very durable option


Naturally hypoallergenic

Impressive breathability

Environmentally friendly

Strengthens and softens with each wash


Tend to wrinkles easily

Initially coarse, thick feeling

Hefty price point

Limited colour options

What’s a Cotton Sheet?

Cotton is the most common bedding material, and it’s obtained from a plant’s seed capsules. A cotton boll is used to protect the cotton seeds and compose at least 200,000 fibres depending on the length. When it comes to cotton sheets, you should consider longer fibres for a better sleeping experience. Also, long-staple cotton sheets are pill-resistant and more durable.

Another thing to note is the varieties of options cotton sheets comes in:

  • American Upland Cotton: the American Upland Cotton is affordable and commonly grown in the United States. It makes up 97% of all grown Cotton in the USA and features short cotton fibres.
  • Supima/Pima Cotton: this a long-staple cotton mattress. The prima Cotton is soft and durable. It’s commonly grown in South American countries and the U.S., the Supima Cotton, is a particular proprietary Pima cotton grown in America.
  • Egyptian Cotton: This material is sought after for its unparalleled durability, superior softness and ELS fibres. This cotton type is grown in the Nile River Valley because of the tropical climate and extensive irrigation to create suitable conditions for ELS cotton.

Besides, it’s derived from various plant types and can be woven in varying weave ranges, including distinctive twill, cool and crisp percale, and satin-like sateen. But irrespective of their style or source, every cotton sheet comes with covetable features such as softness, natural moisture-wicking capabilities, and unparallel breathability.

Cotton Sheets – Pros & Cons


Wide range of weaves, varieties, and price points

Moisture-wicking and impressive breathability


Readily available

Soften with every wash


Wrinkles easily

Not as durable as synthetic fabrics

Hefty price point

Tend to shrink quickly

How Do Linen Sheets and Cotton Sheet Compare

While Cotton and linen are obtained from plants, both come with distinctly varying characteristics. Cotton offers a smooth feel, while linen features a special texture and comes with a subtly patterned in different designs. Also, Cotton is thinner than linen, but both are naturally moisture-wicking, breathable and light. Also, they are known for their remarkable durability and strength.

Linen sheets are not available in limited colour options, and patterned linen bedding is not easy to come by. Cotton sheets are usually softer than the counterparts at first, but both beddings get increasingly soft with every wash.

One of the big challenges is how to determine the quality of both sheets. Cotton sheets are judged by their thread count, which has to do with the thread density running vertically and horizontally with each fabric’s square inch. However, linen sheets quality is judged by their weight.

Cleaning & Care

To extend your linen bedding’s lifespan, it’s essential to take proper care. Therefore, reading the instruction by the manufacturer is crucial, as it includes the right dryer temperature and kind of water to use depending on the dye, weave, and stitching. Generally, you should avoid laundry and bleach additives such as colour brighteners to ensure your sheets don’t get damaged.

Try not to overload your wash and wash your linen bedding with different colours. Also, you should not iron these sheets. However, you can remove wrinkles by running your sheets via a wrinkle-release cycle or use a slightly warm iron.

Similarly, you should stick with the manufacturer’s instructions when washing your cotton beddings. Typically, you should stay away from laundry additives, harsh detergents, and hot water to prevent shrinkage or fibre damage.

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