If you’re choosing between snuggling up to a linen or cotton bed sheet at night, rest assured that both bed linen materials can lend themselves to a luxurious night’s sleep.
There are, however, some ways in which these fabrics diverge. In particular, you’ll notice a difference in their look and texture. Cotton is more soft and less wrinkly whereas linen is crisp and more prone to wrinkling.
In this article, we’ll break down both linen fabric and cotton bed sheets to help you decide which fabric should carry you off into dreamland.
Whether you desire a silky touch or snuggly feel, our selection of bed sheets will be your favorite thing to sleep with. Browse our different types of sheets to find the perfect bedding.
There are two key points of distinction to be aware of when deciding whether pure linen or cotton sheets should dress your next bed:
While these are the main differences, we’ll explain more about the two and let you decide which you prefer.
First, let’s dive into more detail about cotton.
Cotton fabric is a natural cellulose fiber derived from the cotton plant (a member of the mallow family). It’s one of the world’s oldest and domesticated non-food plants, with an agricultural history dating back 6,000 years.1
Cotton is one of the most versatile types of natural fibers on the planet—it’s the leading natural fiber in the textile industry and a go-to fabric for bedding.
Common types of cotton bedding include:
There’s a reason why cotton has made such an indelible impression on human culture. The benefits of cotton sheets go above and beyond pure coziness and include:
Overall, cotton’s fresh, light build and cozy feel make for an idyllic year-round sheet.
Linen fabric is a natural textile made from the flax fiber, or linseed, plant. Archaeological evidence shows humans were spinning, dying, and knotting linen fiber as far back as the Upper Paleolithic period—30,000 years ago.2
Linen is a uniquely durable fabric and is often produced using heritage treatment processes. Many manufactures use softening procedures like stone or enzyme washing to distress the fabric for a softer product, though the use of chemicals during these treatments may aggravate those with sensitive skin.3
There are many advantages to turning to organic linen for your bedding, including:
Most cotton sheets can be machine-washed with warm or cool water and a non-toxic detergent. It’s best to avoid using high temperatures—whether hot water or hot dry settings—which can deplete color and shrink your sheets. Fabric softeners should also be avoided, as they can sap the fabric’s finish.
Linen sheets require a higher investment in care than cotton sheets, and you’ll need to tend to them properly to ensure the longest possible lifespan. Linen bedding can be machine-washed on a weekly basis with the following guidelines:
Ultimately, cotton and linen fiber are both high-ranking fabrics for bedding. However, linen can be higher maintenance to both produce and own—and can take some time to break in. This makes linen a preferable option for pillows and throws, rather than the sheets you cozy up to on a nightly basis.
While linen can be a more demanding sheet to work with, you’ll be able to snuggle up to cotton straight out of the gate (or the box, as it were).
Whichever fabric you choose, here are other considerations for choosing sheets:
Considering sheets from other materials? Perhaps percale vs sateen sheets? How about tencel vs cotton? Additional materials for sheets are worth considering, especially if you have sensitive skin.
For instantaneous luxury the next time you make your bed, sink into Casper’s range of bed sheets:
With four comfy options to choose from and hues from across the color spectrum, we provide cotton bedding for every kind of sleep priority, from staying cool to looking luxe and everything in between. As long as you choose Casper, you’ll never have to compromise on luxury sheets and quality sleep. If you still can’t decide, check out our guide on how to buy sheets so you can begin your journey to better sleep.