When it comes to choosing sheets, there are many options available. Two of the most popular options are linen sheets and cotton sheets. While they share some similarities, there are a few key differences that you should be aware of when making your decision.
In this section, we´ll look at how the two fabrics compare in terms of comfort, durability, and other factors to consider when selecting sheets.
Linen is a natural fiber made from the flax plant’s fibers. It’s obtained by soaking, drying, and bleaching the flax fibers. Most flax is grown in France, Belgium, and the Netherlands, but it’s also grown in other parts of Europe and even in some parts of North America.
Cotton is also a natural fiber that’s made from the cotton plant. It’s typically obtained through spinning and weaving processes, which weaves together the fibers of the cotton plant to create fabric. Cotton is primarily grown in India, China, Pakistan, and various parts of the United States.
Let’s take a look at the main differences between these two types of natural sheets:
Linen has a unique, slightly rough texture that some people find uncomfortable. Cotton is much softer and smoother to the touch and is often preferred by those who want an ultra-soft feel when they sleep. However, both fabrics become softer with each wash and with time.
Linen is much more durable than cotton and less likely to tear or wear out because it´s around 30% heavier and more robust than cotton. Cotton sheets can become worn down more quickly, particularly if they’re washed too often or not properly cared for.
However, organic cotton sheets are much stronger than conventional cotton because they haven´t been treated with any chemicals that could weaken the fibers, but linen sheets are still more durable.
Both linen and cotton sheets require proper care to look their best. Linen should be washed in lukewarm water with a gentle detergent, and it can be ironed on a low heat setting to help maintain its crispness.
Cotton sheets should also be washed in lukewarm water, but they should be air-dried to prevent shrinkage. Regarding wrinkle resistance, cotton sheets are more resistant to wrinkles than linen.
Cotton sheets tend to be more affordable than linen sheets. However, due to linen’s durability, it may be a better investment in the long run. Linen is also less likely to need replacing as often as cotton.
You can also consider investing in quality long-staple organic cotton sheets, such as Supima Sheets by Coyuchi. They´re more expensive upfront but are much more durable and last longer than conventional cotton sheets.
In terms of breathability, both cotton and linen sheets offer excellent ventilation, however, linen sheets are a bit more breathable than cotton. So if you tend to sleep hot or live in a warm climate, linen sheets may be the better choice. Cotton is slightly more absorbent than linen, but both are able to keep you cool during the night.
Linen is generally considered to be more eco-friendly than cotton. It requires fewer resources to produce, making it a sustainable choice. However, if you buy organic cotton sheets, they can still be more environmentally friendly than regular linen sheets.
One big advantage of linen and cotton sheets is that, as long as they´re undyed and free from elastic fibers, they can be recycled or composted when you’re ready to replace them.
Winner: Tie (it depends on what type of cotton you buy)
Linen is a great choice for rustic or casual designs and can easily add texture to your bedroom. As it´s prone to wrinkling, it looks best when left slightly crumpled or lightly ironed. Cotton is incredibly versatile and you’ll find it in a wide range of colors, styles, and patterns. Both fabrics can be blended with other materials to give them a unique look and feel.
Linen may contain certain dyes or treatments that can cause skin irritations, so it’s best to go for cotton if you have sensitive skin. On the other hand, linen sheet manufacturers, such as Magic Linen, use non-toxic dyes and treatments, so check the labels before buying.
Cotton can also contain certain chemicals, so again, read the labels before purchasing or buy GOTS-certified and Oeko Tex certified sheets for your safety. These certificates guarantee there are no toxic substances present in the fabric.
Winner: Tie (depends on the quality of the fabric)
Read More: Microfiber or Cotton Sheets, What´s the Difference?
In this section, we´ll choose the best bed sheets depending on your needs:
So choose cotton sheets if:
Choose linen sheets if:
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Magic Linen is one of the best linen sheet brands on the market. Their sheets are made from 100% premium European flax and come in many beautiful colors and patterns. They’re also Oeko Tex certified, so you can rest assured that their products are free of harmful chemicals or dyes.
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Magnolia Organics has some of the best organic cotton sheets on the market. Their sheets are made from GOTS-certified organic cotton, so you know they’re free of toxins and harmful chemicals. They come in a variety of beautiful colors and patterns. Plus, their sheets are ultra-soft yet breathable and long-lasting.
Read More: Eucalyptus vs Linen Sheets
Choosing between linen and cotton sheets comes down to personal preference. Both fabrics offer many benefits, from breathability to durability. However, cotton may be the better option if you’re looking for a softer texture and easier maintenance.
On the other hand, if you prefer breathability and sustainability, then linen is your best bet. Whichever you choose, read the labels to ensure you’re getting quality sheets free of harmful chemicals and toxins. Good luck with your search!
Read More: Cotton vs Eucalyptus Sheets
My name is Kamila, and I'm passionate about researching non-toxic, organic products for the home. I believe it's so important to create a safe and healthy environment for our families, and I enjoy helping others do the same.