Linen vs Cotton Sheets

Jun 24, 2023

Linen and cotton sheets are two of the most popular fabrics for bedding, with each one having many different varieties and uses. Linen is often considered to be more luxurious than cotton, but it will also cost you more money. Cotton sheets are less expensive than linen sheets, but they aren't as soft or breathable as linen. We'll help you decide which type of sheet will provide the best night's sleep for your household!

What is the Difference Between Linen and Cotton Sheets?

Both are made from natural fibers and fall somewhere in the middle of the softness spectrum, but linen sheets tend to be a bit more durable than cotton (and thus last longer). Both are breathable and good for hot weather, but if you prefer a fluffier feel, cotton may be your best bet. In terms of price per sheet set, cotton tends to be cheaper than linen.

Top Similarities

Linen and cotton are both made from organic fibers. They're durable, breathable, hypoallergenic and lightweight. They also both require little to no ironing to keep them looking crisp and fresh. Finally, they're wrinkle-resistant—a huge perk for busy people who want their bedding to look great without much effort on their part!

Key Differences

Here are the key differences between linen and cotton sheets:

Linen is more breathable. Because linen fibers are more loosely woven than cotton, they allow air to circulate through them more freely, resulting in a cooler sleeping environment. This is especially important if you live in a humid climate or have trouble regulating your body temperature while you sleep.

Pros and Cons of Linen Sheets

Linen sheets are a natural fiber, which means they're breathable and cooler than cotton sheets. They're also more durable than cotton, so you can expect them to last longer. However, linen sheets are more expensive than cotton and take longer to dry in the laundry.

The pros and cons of linen sheets compared to other types of bedding:

Pros of Linen Sheets

  • Linen is breathable, which makes it more comfortable than cotton.
  • Linen is durable and lasts longer than cotton. It's also easy to care for and can be washed in the washing machine or by hand.
  • Linen is good for sensitive skin because it doesn't irritate like some fabrics can do (cotton).

Cons of Linen Sheets

As we discussed above, linen is more absorbent than cotton. This means that it will hold more of your body’s heat and take longer to cool down. This can be a pro or con depending on who you are and what kind of bed sheets they prefer.

Pros and Cons of Cotton Sheets

  • Cotton sheets are easier to care for than linen. Cotton is a natural fiber and does not require the same level of care as linen, which requires dry cleaning or ironing.
  • Linen sheets are more breathable than cotton sheets. Linen is made from the fibers of the flax plant, and these fibers allow air to pass through them easily.

Pros of Cotton Sheets

  • Cotton is soft, breathable and durable

Cotton is a natural fiber that can actually improve with age. While linen wrinkles less easily, cotton tends to stay soft over time. It's also highly breathable and keeps you cool in the summertime. These properties make it ideal for bedding sheets or any other items you want to sleep on during the warmer months of the year.

Cons of Cotton Sheets

Cotton sheets are not as durable as linen, and they don't breathe as well. They're also not quite as soft. If you wash them too often (or use fabric softener), they can pill and shrink.

What Should You Buy?

So what should you buy?

  • If you’re looking for durability, breathability and absorbency, linen is the way to go.
  • But if you’re on a budget or just want something super soft and cozy, cotton sheets are an excellent choice.

You Should Buy Linen Sheets If...

There are a number of reasons you might want to buy linen sheets. As a more breathable material, they’re often recommended for those who tend to sleep hot or live in warmer climates. Linen is also known for its luxurious feel—with its soft, smooth texture and cool temperature, it’s no wonder that linen has been thought of as one of the most comfortable fabrics around.

You Should Buy Cotton Sheets If…

  • You want a breathable, soft fabric. Cotton sheets are made from natural fibers (like cotton) and will absorb moisture from your body when you sleep, making them more breathable than synthetic fabrics like polyester or nylon. As a bonus, this also makes them softer and more comfortable to lay on.
  • You want an affordable option. Cotton is a relatively inexpensive textile to produce, which means that it’s typically one of the most affordable options for sheets available on the market today—particularly if you go with 100%-cotton options rather than blends!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)

What is the difference between cotton and linen?

  • Cotton sheets are made from a soft, light-colored fiber derived from the cotton plant. They are strong and breathable, but they can also become rough over time if not washed properly.
  • Linen sheets are made from flax fibers that have been spun into yarns, woven into cloth and finally cut into linen fabric. The term "flax" refers to the same fiber used to make non-organic cotton; however, flax must be cultivated organically because it is susceptible to pests like insects or worms that could contaminate non-organic crops.

What are the pros/cons of buying organic vs non-organic?

Pros: Organic bedding lasts longer because it's free of harmful chemicals; no harsh chemicals means less linting when washing your linens too! Your body will thank you later :) Cons: The upfront cost may be higher than buying cheaper conventional bedding options but once you factor in how often you'll need new sets over time due to wear & tear vs longevity with organic options then overall savings should outweigh initial investment costs quickly enough :)

Is it better to sleep in cotton or linen?

Cotton sheets are the most common type of bedding material, and they're great for all seasons. Linen sheets can be a bit too warm in summer, but they're breathable and absorbent, making them a good choice if you live in a humid climate.

Is linen better than cotton for hot weather?

In the summer, linen is better than cotton in almost every regard. Linen is more breathable and therefore helps keep you cool at night. It also holds up better to stains, which can be especially important if your sheets are white (you don't want anyone else seeing that pizza stain).

Linen tends to be a bit more expensive than other fabrics, but it's worth it if you're planning on using your sheets for years to come.


If you’re looking to invest in new bedding, it’s important to know the difference between these two fabrics. While they are both made from natural fibers, they have very different properties that make them ideal for certain seasons and c

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