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Linen VS Cotton Sheets: How Do You Choose?

Updated May 6, 2020

Choosing a new mattress can be pretty overwhelming with the range of options available. Once all the information for the aforementioned purchase has been dissected and the decision decided upon, there is still one more step that is crucial when outfitting your new bed in style. Should you purchase linen or cotton sheets?

People tend to forget that bedsheets and comforters are the final steps in making your bed really comfortable. The wrong sheets against your body can lead to a restless sleep and a lack of energy come morning.

If you never put much thought in the type of sheets you would prefer that would also meet all of your needs, read on through this article to discover the similarities and differences in linen versus cotton sheets.

What are Linen Sheets?

For generations, linen sheets have been the top choice while outfitting a bed. With its various thread counts and woven structure, these sheets are smooth and comfortable without breaking the bank.

The threads of linen sheets are generally thicker and longer than cotton and can outlast their counterparts due to its durable nature. With a stiff-to-smooth and consistent feel, this sheets can also have slight massaging properties due to microscopic breaks in the material. The softness of linen sheets can also intensify over time after multiple times of washing without losing their durability.

You may want to read: Best Linen Sheets

Benefits of Linen Sheets

There is a reason why not only most people but also business ventures such as hotels or rented homes use linen sheets. Linen sheets are durable pieces of material with a longevity most sheets do not possess as well as also being considered anti-allergic by most healthcare professionals.

Linen sheets have unique filtering properties that can reduce the number of allergens and germs found in a typical set of bedsheets. With moisture reducing abilities and breathability, airflow through the sheets leaves them cool and dry no matter how long they are in use. This can reduce the recurrence of allergy symptoms or other respiratory problems.

The nature of the material is also anti-static, which allows the skin and body to maintain natural pH levels, which can benefit those who suffer from sensitive skin or skin conditions.

Linen sheets have also long been viewed as one of the more environmentally friendly options when it comes to sheet shopping due to their long life-span and their construction from flax seeds, which are considered a renewable resource. These sheets are made from natural means, which also deemed to be biodegradable when they have finally outlived their purpose.

Downsides of Linen Sheets

Linen sheets can take multiple times of washing and up to three years to feel as smooth as cotton sheets. Their thicker and coarser material at the beginning of their lifespan can be off-putting to those who prefer softness in their sheets from the minute they are removed from their package.

The higher the thread count in linen sheets can also increase the cost, so to purchase a softer linen sheet set could run your budget up to the hundreds of dollars. While an investment due to their longevity, it is a substantial expense for the wallet.

What are Cotton Sheets?

Cotton sheets are sheets made from the fluff grown on a cotton plant. Used for centuries due to its accessible nature, these sheets gain their strength from the weaving of multiple fibers into yarn. This yarn is then used to construct cotton sheets or other various material objects.

With a soft feel from the first touch, cotton sheets have always been applauded for their inviting look and feel, wrapping the sleeper in pure comfort.

Benefits of Cotton Sheets

Cotton sheets gain their strength and durability from the complex woven structure used during their construction. While the longevity of cotton sheets aren’t quite the same as the linen sheets, cotton still offers breathability through airflow channels and a cool sleeping surface.

Consistent use and washings will allow these already soft sheets to become even smoother, allowing for a luxurious feel against your skin each time you slide between them for bed. This is beneficial for those who sleep hot or suffer from dreaded night sweats.

With its woven design, cotton sheets can absorb water or moisture that amounts to approximately 25% of their weight. They also change between seasons extremely well with multiple layers offering both weight and warmth during winter months, as well as a single sheet sufficient for hot summer nights.

Downsides of Cotton Sheets

Cotton sheets have a lifespan of approximately three to five years, so the expense of replacement will occur at a more frequent rate than linen sheets. This comes from the slightly weaker material used in the construction of the sheets. While the cotton sheets are soft and smooth from the first touch, this means the threads of the sheets can break down easier over time than the threads of linen sheets.

Cotton can lack a strong moisture-wicking ability, so they can take longer to dry when wet, and that’s regardless if that moisture comes from night sweats or simple washing.

Line Cotton Sheets Comparison

Linen Sheets
Cotton Sheets
Anti-allergen for those who suffer from allergies or respiratory issues Soft and smooth feel right from the packaging
Durable with a long life-span Can be layered for warmth and weight without
running hot
Anti-static which benefit those who suffer from various skin ailments Can absorb up to 25% of their weight when faced with moisture


Conclusion

Regardless of your decision, remember that the sheets on your bed will be resting against your skin and no one else’s. If you prefer the sturdiness and durability of linen sheets, then base your decision around that. If you prefer the thinness and coolness of cotton sheets, then research the best brand for your needs and your wallet.

Both styles of sheets have benefits and downsides as discussed throughout this article, and hopefully, this information was helpful enough to narrow down a decision that you will not regret.

If you have any helpful tips on the research process for sheet-finding or would like to share your personal advantages and disadvantages of a particular style of sheets, please feel free to comment down below. This article can also be used as a guide for your family and friends that are currently trying to decide which sheets would be best for them as well!