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- Linen sheets are the most breathable sheets you can buy in the summer.
- Their slightly wrinkled texture may be an acquired taste for some, but we love the casual look and the comfortable yet durable feel.
- While linen is notoriously expensive, we found high-quality options that still come at accessible prices.
- Read more: The best cotton sheets
I used to be categorically opposed to using linen sheets. I thought they were itchy, messy looking, and frankly, antiquated.
I also used to be categorically wrong. I have since seen the light of linen, and I’m here to spread the good word.
Linen is made from the fibers of the flax plant and the fabric is often produced in Europe (mainly France and Belgium). It’s known for being durable, absorbent, and breathable, which is why it’s so welcome during warm seasons.
My partner and I both “sleep hot,” meaning we get easily overheated at night — but once I introduced linen sheets into the mix, we both felt their cooling benefits pretty instantly. Neither of us woke up sweaty or uncomfortable after the first time we used them, and we’ve been believers ever since.
Linen sheets have become our go-to staple for every season — not just when the weather gets warm. In the summer, they stay breathable and cool when I’m otherwise burning hot. In the winter, they keep me from getting sweaty when I’m wrapped up like a burrito in my down comforter.
Linen has a slightly rough and wrinkled texture, but it usually gets softer with increased use and washes. If you like a lived-in aesthetic, you’ll love linen. Linen sheets are basically the Meryl Streep of bedding — a timeless staple that will continue to age gracefully and beautifully over time. Product care can vary by brand, but you’ll typically want to hand wash or machine wash your linen sheets on a gentle cycle, without bleach. Then, tumble dry or line dry them.
Here are the best linen sheets:
- Best linen sheets overall: MagicLinen
- Best soft linen sheets: Parachute
- Best value linen sheets: Brooklinen
- Best organic linen sheets: Coyuchi
- Best linen sheet design: Primary Goods
Prices and links are updated as of 6/23/20. We’re currently testing linen sheets from West Elm, and we’re also considering a high-end pick for our next update.
Best linen sheets overall
MagicLinen’s comfortable linen sets include a deep option for thick mattresses and wear beautifully over time. You’ll also get the most color choice here.
Linen is the only thing you can buy from MagicLinen, which is precisely the reason it’s been able to edge out other brands that have only treated the material as one more piece of their larger bedding puzzles.
All of its products are handcrafted in Vilnius, Lithuania. The linen is stonewashed — a softening process that’s completely natural and non-toxic — and OEKO-Tex certified, meaning it meets chemical safety standards and is free from harmful substances.
One reason these sheets stand out so much to senior editor Sally Kaplan is that they come in deep options for mattresses up to 18 inches tall, a sizing that’s usually difficult to find for linen. That means you can use mattress toppers or pads and still enjoy the comfort and feel of linen.
According to Sally, MagicLinen’s sheets aren’t the softest out of the bag, but after two years of use, they’ve aged well, getting softer and cozier with every wash.
Despite the fact that the sheets are hand-cut and sewn in a small studio by textile artisans, the brand has somehow managed to keep prices competitive. You won’t pay more than $300 for a set, unless you have a king-size bed. If you’re not sure yet about committing, you can get fabric samples. A set of all the colors only costs $5, plus you’ll get a $5 discount off your next purchase.
This set comes with one fitted sheet, one flat sheet, and two pillowcases, and it’s available in all bed sizes.
Pros: Looks and feels better over time, comes in many colors, suitable for thick mattresses, OEKO-Tex certified
Cons: Takes some time to become softer and more comfortable
Best soft linen sheets
Parachute’s linen sheets are woven tightly enough that they almost feel silky to the touch, and they remain breathable while still keeping you warm at night.
As with all of Parachute’s other sheets (we also love its percale cotton set), special care is taken in sourcing materials and manufacturers for these linen sheets. They’re made from European flax in Portugal, and since they’re washed in small batches, they have an extra soft finish.
While you may think of linen as a typical summer fabric, this set actually makes for an excellent winter option thanks to its thickness.
The basic set comes with one fitted sheet and two pillowcases, with the option to add a flat sheet for $110-$120. You can get a matching linen duvet separately for $210-$270.
Pros: Soft feel, good variety of colors, warmer than average thanks to their tight weave
Cons: Twin sizes only come in white, may feel too thick for summer
Best value linen sheets
Made with Belgian and French flax in Portugal, Brooklinen’s linen sheets are comparable to Parachute’s set — but the value of Brooklinen is slightly better if you require a top sheet.
These sheets are thin, airy, and breathable, or, every warm sleeper’s dream. They’re pretty similar to Parachute’s, though they feel a little rougher and they’re slightly more affordable.
Brooklinen’s sheets are OEKO-Tex certified, meaning they meet chemical safety standards and are free from harmful substances.
Changing your sheets every time should be easy because the brand has a simple design trick: it labels every side of your fitted sheet with “short” or “long.” Another fun part of shopping Brooklinen’s linen sheets is the bright and attractive color options, as well as patterns like stripes, which are usually harder to come by in linen sets.
The set comes with one fitted sheet, one flat sheet, and two pillowcases. You can get a matching linen duvet for an extra $249.
Pros: Good value, OEKO-Tex certified, many beautiful color options including patterns and limited edition styles
Cons: Not available in twin sizes, slightly rough
Best organic linen sheets
Truly organic linen is hard to come by, which is why we appreciate Coyuchi’s thoughtful and careful approach to the fabric.
Coyuchi, a brand that’s always been committed to organic products, transparent and ethical practices, and nature-inspired designs, is one of the few makers of organic linen.
As it turns out, if you’re buying linen, you’re already being somewhat of an environmentalist. Flax is an eco-friendly plant that doesn’t require much fertilizer or irrigation in order to thrive. However, Coyuchi goes one step further by only working with farmers in France who grow other organic crops (e.g. wheat, legumes) in the soil that the flax rotates through. This process ensures that the flax is 100% organic.
In addition, the linen is Global Organic Textile Standard certified, Made Safe certified, and colored with organic dyes.
Expect to pay a premium if you care about shopping organic. Coyuchi’s durable and heavyweight Linen Set, which comes with one flat sheet, one fitted sheet, and two pillowcases and is available in eight colors, costs twice as much as other options in this guide.
Pros: Organic and eco-friendly, durable weave
Cons: Pricey, not available in twin and full sizes
Best linen sheet design
Primary Goods has a clever design that snaps the top sheet to your duvet, so you’ll never wake up with a bundle of fabric at your feet.
I never enjoyed sleeping with a top sheet because it simply didn’t stay put throughout the night. After trying Primary Goods’ linen sheet set, I don’t hate top sheets anymore. The set features 10 snaps each on the long sides of the top sheet and duvet cover, so they’ll always move together.
The linen itself is great and thoughtfully produced, too. It’s sourced from France, stone-washed for softness, and naturally dyed. It’s also OEKO-Tex certified and Global Organic Textile Standard certified. Soft and breathable, it feels great on my skin, plus the light pink color I own looks effortlessly casual.
The Primary Goods Complete Set is more expensive because it also includes a duvet cover, but I think it’s well worth the investment, especially if you’re a top sheet enthusiast.
The set comes with one fitted sheet, one flat sheet, one duvet cover, and two pillowcases.
Pros: Clever top sheet design, quality construction
Cons: Only comes in three colors and stock is often low, pricey, not available in twin sizes
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