You’ve chosen the perfect mattress and pillows — but your effort for a good night’s sleep doesn’t end here. You also have to pick the best bedding for you. Amongst other types, linen bedding vs cotton are two famous options.
When it comes to cotton or linen sheets, there are quite some factors to consider. From their definitions and differences to their benefits and caring requirements, there’s much to learn about.
Linen sheets vs. cotton sheets — which one’s for you? This article will help settle the debate, and by the end, you’ll hopefully be able to tell which out-of-cotton bedding vs. linen is your go-to!
What Is Cotton Bedding?
Cotton bedding is bedding made from the cotton plant. It is known for being pure and breathable — more on the benefits in a minute. Multiple cotton threads are tightly woven together to create a pure cotton (or 100% cotton) sheet. Even then, there may be variations in different cotton bedding.
This is because bedding made from short-staple cotton is lower in quality and more susceptible to degradation. So, if you have a cotton sheet that doesn’t give you the comfort you’ve been promised, it’s probably made from low-caliber cotton — and needs an upgrade!
Long-staple cotton, on the other hand, produces sheets that are more durable and of better quality. As the number of threads woven together (per unit area) increases, the softness of the sheets increases, too.
What Is Linen Bedding?
Linen bedding is made of linen, a natural fiber extracted from the stalks of flax plants. This material is very strong and sturdy yet lightweight. it has been used for decades, and is famous for its toughness. In fact, linen is one of the oldest fabrics to be around.
Durable linen sheets become softer with each wash and can last several years. Be careful of cheap linen, though; it can feel stiff and rough, depriving you of the smooth and comfortable feeling of good quality linen.
Linen is also a natural fiber like cotton, and is woven together to form sheets. But both have their fair share of differences, too — our next topic below.
Difference Between Linen Bedding vs Cotton
Where do the differences between linen and cotton kick in? Let’s find out!
Softness: Cotton sheets are soft as soon you as begin using them, while linen sheets may feel stiff initially — they soften with every wash.
Temperature regulation: Cotton sheets remain cool all year round, while linen tends to be cool in summer and warm in winter.
Lifetime: Cotton bedding can last up to 5 years, while linen sheets can go on much longer.
Absorbency: Cotton is more absorbent than linen (as it can hold 25% of its weight in water, as opposed to linen’s 20%).
Weave: Linen has a looser weave, while threads are woven more tightly in cotton.
Smoothness: Cotton is smooth, while linen has a relatively rough texture.
Breathability: Linen has a looser weave than cotton, making it more breathable than cotton.
Hypoallergenic properties: Linen is naturally hypoallergenic, making it ideal for people with skin sensitivities.
Durability: Linen is more durable than cotton.
Flexibility: Cotton has more stretch and flexibility than linen.
Susceptibility to wrinkles: Both cotton and linen easily develop wrinkles. But linen is relatively stiffer, so it performs better.
Moisture-wicking properties: Linen has better moisture-wicking properties. This means it dries up faster than cotton.
Eco-friendliness: Both cotton and linen are made from natural materials, but linen is considered more eco-friendly due to its longer lifetime and higher biodegradability.
Variety: Cotton can be woven into several types of weaves, meaning cotton sheets come in a greater variety. They are also available in more colors and patterns when compared to linen sheets.
Price: Linen bedding costs more than cotton, contributing to higher upfront costs. Be sure to consider their longevity while purchasing, though.
Benefits Of Linen Sheets vs Cotton
Linen vs cotton bed sheets each holds their own benefits. Let’s begin exploring the reasons why you should choose linen sheets:
- Linen is hypoallergenic. This is because its loose weave and low thread count lower its likeliness of trapping dust particles. With linen sheets — no more skin irritation!
- Linen sheets are highly durable, so they’ll last you a good few years before needing replacement.
- These are also environmentally friendly and can help you minimize your impact on the surroundings.
- Linen wicks moisture well. It can draw water (or sweat) from the body and dry up very quickly.
- Linen makes for one of the strongest, most sturdy type of sheets. It is also much more breathable than other types and helps with under-the-cover air ventilation.
- Linen bedding is one of the highest quality of bedding, especially luxury linen.
Benefits Of Cotton Sheets vs Linen
Linen sheets are cool, but cotton sheets have their benefits, too. Naming the top ones,
- Cotton sheets have an incredibly soft and silky feel (as their threads are finer than linen).
- Cotton can be woven into a multitude of weaves, so there’s a greater variety available in the market, for example, percale and sateen.
- It is also believed to have more colors, patterns, and prints — and hence stands a better chance of matching your home decor.
- Cotton can be layered for more warmth.
- Their complex woven structure makes them strong and durable.
- Cotton sheets are a cheaper option than linen.
Is Linen Bedding Comfortable?
Linen bedding is very comfortable to relax and sleep in. Its moisture-wicking properties mean you will stay dry and comfortable all night. Its hypoallergenic and antibacterial properties also mean your sheets stay clean.
Is Linen Better Than Cotton?
The answer to this question is relative. If you’re a hot sleeper, you may want to opt for cotton sheets, as they stay cool throughout the year. If you’re looking for luxury and longevity — and are willing to spend a few bucks — go for linen bedding.
Weight the pros of cotton bedding vs. linen and choose the one that fits your needs best!
Care And Cleaning
Now that you know the differences between cotton and linen sheets, let’s shed light on how to care for each type of bedding.
How To Care For Cotton
Cotton sheets are easy to care for. Toss them into your washing machine with a mild liquid detergent at a warm temperature, and voila, they’ll be as clean (and soft) as new!
Remove them from the dryer whilst slightly damp to prevent them from developing too many wrinkles. You can then line dry them — bonus points for promptly ironing the damp sheets.
How To Care For Linen
Wash linen in lukewarm or cold water. Be sure to protect its fibers by using a mild detergent and opting for the gentle machine cycle.
The best part is, linen doesn’t require ironing. So, you could take it out of the dryer and spread it straight onto the bed! Additionally, linen becomes softer and more absorbent with each wash.
The lifespan of cotton and linen depends on the quality of the sheets. Read on to learn about their sustainability!
How Sustainable Is Cotton?
If you’ve been tricked into believing the higher the thread count, the more the sustainability — we’ve got some news for you.
The sustainability of cotton actually depends on the type of cotton used, not the number of threads it contains. Short-staple, low-caliber yarn produces less sustainable cotton sheets. On the other hand, high-quality cotton is highly sustainable — especially when compared to synthetic fibers.
How Sustainable Is Linen?
Linen is very sustainable — even a few times more than cotton.
Its long life means you won’t need to dispose of old sheets often. But when you do get rid of old linens, they will have minimal impact on the environment as they’re fully biodegradable.
What’s more, the spinning and weaving process of linen uses the entire flax plant, leaving behind no waste.
Is linen bedding vs cotton better to sleep on?
The better bedding option for you depends on how much you’re willing to spend and the type of sleeper you are. Linen sheets are heavier and more sturdy than cotton sheets, have more breathability, and last longer, but they’re also more expensive. So, consider your needs and budget and decide accordingly!
Can I mix cotton and linen bedding?
Yes, you can mix and match cotton and linen sheets as per convenience. For instance, you can use a linen bedsheet and couple this with a cotton duvet. You may also choose to use a linen bedsheet (for the luxury) and pair it with cotton pillowcases for the extra softness. It all comes down to personal preference and choice.
In the debate for linen bedding vs. cotton sheets, the prize goes to … well, the one that suits you best. And to decide which one is ideal for you, it’s important to read up on the benefits of each, plus the differences between linen and cotton sheets. In that regard, this blog post comprehensively sums up all such aspects of cotton bedding vs. linen!
Which do you find best for yourself — cotton or linen sheets? Share your selection (and reasoning) in the comments section below!
This was super helpful! Thanks!