Cotton vs. Linen Bedding: What’s Best For You?

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Do you struggle having a good night’s sleep? Well the bedding you choose to sleep can make a huge difference in how well you sleep. Cotton and linen sheets are considered the two best options for bedding. But when it comes down to cotton vs. linen bedding which is better? 

There might not be an outright winner as there are lots of personal factors involved. With this guide you’ll find out everything you need to know about cotton and linen bedding. The pros and the cons of each bedding material. And which of the two will be best for you. 

The Benefits Of Natural Bedding

Cotton and linen bedding are both great for bedding options allowing air to circulate while you’re sleeping. As they’re both made of natural fibres.

These materials are moisture wicking meaning the fibres absorb your perspiration and release into the air. So you won’t get hot and sweaty. 

Both linen and cotton are hypoallergenic. And they’re considered eco friendly because of their natural fibres and how easily the plants are grown. 

Cotton vs. Linen Bedding

Linen Bedding

What Is Linen Bedding Made From?

Linen sheets are made from the stalks of the flax plant. When the flax is spun into the linen fibres, it tends to have a nubby texture. 

Typically Belgian linen is considered the highest quality for linen sheets. This goes for the origin of the flax plant and where the linen is woven. French linen is also usually one of the best for quality.

Qualities of Linen Bedding

The fibres of linen are long and are made up of a looser weave, so is an excellent material for regulating your body temperature while sleeping. Keeping you cool in the warmer temperatures. And as it’s a heavier material than cotton you’ll stay warm in the cooler months. 

As linen is made from the stalks of the flax plant. It has a strong and durable structure. This also makes the fibres thicker and longer than cotton. Which means linen bedding tends to have a longer life. 

You’ll usually find linen bed sheets being used in top hotels and other overnight hosting such as Airbnbs. 

The Pros of Linen Bedding

Texture – As you wash your linen sheets they will get softer and smoother over time. 

Breathability – Linen will naturally regulate your body’s temperature throughout different climates.

Life span – The durability of linen is one of the best. Linen bedding will last years and through lots of washes.

Hypoallergenic – If you have sensitive skin, linen makes a really good option. 

The Cons Of Linen Bedding 

Texture – It will take a few washes to get the linen bedding to a softer feel. 

Maintenance – Linen sheets do get wrinkled easily. So if you like your sheets crisp and smooth you’ll have to put some effort into ironing them.

Cost – The price of linen bedding tends to be higher due to its durability and quality. It depends on where and the type of bedding you’re buying. 

Variety – Commonly available in solid colours rather than patterned bedding.

Weight – Even though linen is still a lightweight material, it’s a heavier fabric than cotton. 

Best Tips For Linen Bedding

  • Look at where the linen is from and where it’s woven.
  • Wash in cool water.
  • Iron when slightly damp.

Types Of Linen Bedding Available:

  • Linen – Natural and hasn’t been through much processing.
  • Stonewashed Linen – When linen has already been through the process of washing to make it softer than it’s natural state.

Cotton Bedding

What Is Cotton Bedding Made From?

Cotton sheets are naturally the softer and smoother material of the two. They’re made from the fluffy white cotton balls of the plants. The balls are then gathered and cleaned and spun into threads for clothing and other uses. 

Qualities of Cotton Bedding

The threads of cotton are lighter and therefore lots of threads are woven together to make up the cotton fabric. The weaves of cotton are a tight weave but because of their natural qualities still make a breathable material. 

Because of the weaves of cotton there are a wide variety of colours, patterns and finishes for bedding available. Cotton bedding is just as great an option in terms of being environmentally friendly and hypoallergenic. 

The Pros of Cotton Bedding

Texture – Cotton bedding is naturally soft and smooth when brand new. And will get even softer with time. 

Breathability – The cotton fibres allow air to circulate while sleeping no problem. And will keep you cool. 

Maintenance – Cotton bedding can get wrinkled but is a lot easier to smooth out than linen sheets. 

Variety – There are lots of colours, patterns and different weaves available in cotton bedding. So finding a style that suits your bedroom decor shouldn’t be an issue. 

Weight – Cotton is a lightweight material great for sleeping and layering. 

Cost – Cotton is generally more affordable compared to linen bedding. Again dependent on where and cotton bedding type.  

Hypoallergenic – For sensitive skin cotton bedding is great.

The Cons of Cotton Bedding

Lifespan – Cotton is always a great bedding choice but has a shorter lifespan than linen bedding.

Maintenance – Cotton is prone to shrinkage so take care of washing your sheets.

Best Tips For Cotton Bedding

  • Don’t rely on thread count for quality. Higher thread count is not a higher cotton quality guarantee.
  • Focus on the quality of yarn.
  • Wash your cotton sheets on a cool temperature 40 degree temperature at most.
  • Iron when slightly damp.

Types of Cotton Bedding Available: 

Cotton Percale – This cotton bedding has a matte finish and has a  lightweight finish for extra cooling qualities. 

Cotton Sateen – If you’re looking for a more luxurious look, cotton sateen has a high sheen silk finish to the fabric. This tends to be a heavier weight and will keep you warmer. 

Egyptian Cotton – One of the best qualities of cotton available. Located and grown next to the River Nile where cotton grows stronger than most places. 

Brushed Cotton – Has a soft flannel like feel about it. A good option for the cooler months.

Shop Cotton and Linen Bedding

Yellow Linen Duvet Cover from Schoolhouse

1. yellow linen duvet cover

A lovely bright yellow linen duvet cover that will brighten up any room. But keep you cool enough during a warm night.

Floral Patterned Percale Duvet Cover from Peacock Alley

2. floral percale duvet cover

One of the great things about cotton bedding is the patterns you can get. This percale cover has a beautiful floral to go in your bedroom.

Washed Linen Bed Set from Etsy

3. washed bed linen set

This top rated Etsy seller has lots of colours available in the washed linen sets. You’ll be able to find a colour to match your style in this top quality bedding.

Linen Bundle Bedding Set from Parachute

4. linen bundle bedding set

A lovely linen bed set in a classic white for simplicity. Available for Parachute.

Linen Duvet Comforter from Etsy

5. linen duvet comforter

A natural linen cover with a nice button detail. With lots of colour options to choose from.

Sateen Cover Duvet Set Parachute

6. sateen cover duvet set

A sateen cover is great for the colder months for extra warmth. You can get this set is five lovely muted colour ways.

Flannel sheets from Peacock Alley

7. flannel sheets

This flannel sheet set will definitely keep you cozy during the winter. Made from Egyptian cotton these sheets are ultra soft.

self care checklist

That completes the guide for cotton vs. linen bedding for those who were stuck deciding!


cotton vs. linen bedding: whats best for you?

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