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Best Linen Sheets – 2019 Reviews and Buyer’s Guide

Our Research

19
Linen Sheet Sets Considered
32
Hours of Research
4
Sleep Experts Consulted

Quick Overview

When you’re shopping for linen sheets, you’ll find there’s a wide variety to choose from, and it’s important to cut through all of the marketing hype and confusing terminology to find the best sheets for you and your needs. Linen isn’t like other common bed sheet materials; you can’t differentiate based on thread count or criteria you might use when judging other sheets.

Best Linen Sheets

This guide provides information for you to shop wisely for linen sheets. It’s an excellent bedding choice for moisture-wicking, cooling, durability, and comfort. You’ll find our top picks for linen bed sheets below as well as information on how to assess the quality of linen sheets, how they’re made, how to care for them, and what you need to know to choose the best linen sheets for you.

Our Top 5 Picks

The Best Linen Sheets – Reviewed

Editor's Pick – Parachute Linen Sheets

Editor's Pick – Parachute Linen Sheets

Highlights

  • 100% flax
  • Customizable sets
  • OEKO-TEX certified
  • Choice of seven colors, garment dyed
  • Deep pocket 16”
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Editor’s Pick Overview

We chose Parachute’s linen set as our editor’s pick because of the luxury linen feel at first night’s sleep and continually improving performance and feel over time with excellent durability.

Parachute Linen sheets are breathable and crisp out of the package. They soften with each wash with a three to five wash break-in period before the feel settles. There is some shrinkage with the initial wash but then the fit remains constant. These are not available in twin or twin XL sizes.

They should still fit after the shrinkage unless you have an extremely tall mattress. Linen wrinkles but stylishly so and the continuous hem is attractive. The standard set is a fitted sheet and pillowcases. A top sheet is extra. There’s a 60-day return so you can try them at home.

Best Value – Merryfeel French Linen Sheets

Best Value – Merryfeel French Linen Sheets

Highlights

  • Pure French linen
  • Pre-washed
  • Deep 15” pocket
  • Choice of eight colors
  • Excellent price point
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Best Value Overview

We chose Merryfeel’s linen set for our best for the price selection because it runs about $100 less than comparable sheets. It’s a good product to buy and try to see if linen is for you.

Merryfeel’s French linen sheets represent affordable luxury for those that want to try linen without breaking the bank. The price point is impressive but with some quality differences compared to pricier brands. They come pre-washed with a lovely drape and texture.

The French linen is inherently antibacterial and hypoallergenic and features a deep 15” pocket. Although they are pre-washed, most buyers still saw some shrinkage with the first wash. There are eight attractive colors, and the sheets come in all but Twin XL sizes. Expect standard linen wrinkling.

Best Luxury – Cultiver Linen Sheets

Best Luxury – Cultiver Linen Sheets

Highlights

  • Pre-washed
  • Extra deep 18” pocket
  • Choice of 15 colors or two stripes
  • Come in Twin, Queen, King, Cal King
  • Can buy pieces a la carte
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Best Luxury Overview

We chose Cultiver as the best luxury linen sheet set because of the high quality and array of color choices to suit any taste. These sheets perform well and are worthy of the higher price tag.

Cultiver linen sheets are thicker and have a more substantial feel than other linens. They are stone washed and pre-washed to ensure they are soft from the start. They have an extra deep 18” pocket on the fitted sheet that should accommodate most mattress heights.

You can choose from a wide array of colors. And if you’re not sure what you want, you can order different swatches to test out in your home before purchasing. These sheets wrinkle artfully, drape nicely, and are cool to the touch. They sleep well in warm and cool weather and come in four sizes (Twin, Queen, King, and Cal King).

Best Range of Colors – Magic Linen Sheets

Best Range of Colors – Magic Linen Sheets

Highlights

  • Regular and deep pocket options
  • OEKO-TEX certified
  • Stonewashed
  • Choice of 10 colors and three patterns
  • Craftsman made
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Best Range of Colors Overview

Our choice for linen sheets with the best range of colors, the Magic Linen sheets come in a selection of ten colors, two striped options, and one subtle grid pattern — all dyed without heavy chemicals in an Oeko-Tex-certified facility. These come in options to fit every mattress size, and you can choose between regular and extra-deep pocket sets at 10” and 18” deep.

Magic Linen sheets sleep cool in summer and are comfortable in winter under thicker blankets. They are durable, and performance improves over time.

Magic Linen’s sheets come out of the box not as soft as some other brands, but break-in over time to a spectacular feel. They are naturally stonewashed and hand-cut and sewn by sheet craftsman, not machines, so each set is unique.

Softest Linen Sheets – Snowe Linen Sheets

Softest Linen Sheets – Snowe Linen Sheets

Highlights

  • 100% GOTS certified organic cotton
  • 1 flat sheet, 1 fitted sheet, 1-2 pillowcases (varies by size)
  • 15-17" pocket depth (varies by size)
  • 310 thread count
  • 90-day return period
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Softest Linen Sheets Overview

From celebrated home good retailers Snowe, the ultra-plush Snowe Linen Sheets made our pick for softest linen set. The Sheets are crafted in Italy through a unique air-washing process that blasts, tumbles, and whips sheets with bursts of air to relax the linen fibers. The manufacturing process ensures sheets are “buttery soft” compared to other linens, while the weaving process promises durability.

Snowe Linen Sheets come in a choice of essential white, ash gray, and slate blue. In addition, buyers enjoy free shipping and returns to destinations within the continental U.S.

Buying Guide – How to Choose the Best Linen Sheets

Since you spend one-third of your life sleeping, it’s worth the investing in your bedding. Linen is an excellent luxury choice for sound sleep year-round because of the many benefits it offers.

This guide explains what linen is, how it’s made, and its benefits. We’ll explain what to look for when buying linen sheets for your bed and how to care for them to ensure the best performance and longevity.

What Is Linen and How Is it Made?

To comprehend the distinctive look, feel, and durability associated with linen bed sheets, it helps to understand the unique way the product is manufactured. Linen comes from the flax plant. Inside the flax plant are cellulose fibers and the very best linen comes from hand-harvested flax as it retains the longest fibers for a stronger material. Flax is harvested, dried, and threshed to remove the seeds.

The threshed stalks are then wetted and put through a process called retting before being dried and cured. Scutching is next; this process removes woody bits from the flax fiber. Then there’s heckling which splits and polishes the fibers and finally, it’s ready for spinning into a fine, thin yarn.

From there, the yarn is ready to be woven into sheets on a loom in a horizontal and vertical weave. High thread count is not a sign of good quality of linen sheets. Instead, a better gauge is fabric weight plus the harvesting, handling, and manufacturing of the yarn and fabric.

Is Linen Right for You?

Linen has a distinctly different feel than other sheets, even those made from natural fibers. It is not a traditional soft feel. Instead, there’s a crisp substantial feel that’s more like clothing. They don’t generally come out of the package ultra-soft like some cotton and synthetics. Instead, they require a break-in period and soften on subsequent washings. If you want ultimate softness from the first night, you may not have the patience for linen.

With proper care, however, you can get years of comfortable sleep with a softer sensation every time you launder your linens. And linen comes with the benefit of being breathable and naturally moisture wicking during the hotter months, while remaining exceptionally insulating when the weather turns cool. If you have trouble with temperature regulation, linen sheets may be an attractive solution.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Linen Sheets

  • Temperature Regulation – Linen is ideal for warm and cool weather. It conducts heat five times better than wool yet lowers perceived temperature by four degrees better than cotton or silk in hot weather.
  • Moisture-Wicking – Nature’s wicking fabric, linen can absorb up to 20 percent of its weight in moisture before starting to feel damp.
  • Resistant to Lint and Abrasion –Linen fibers don’t tend to shed or pill like other cotton and other types of of bedding.
  • Remarkable DurabilityUnlike other fabrics, linen sheets become stronger and softer over time with use and washing. This means when you invest in linen sheets, they can last decades if cared for properly.
  • Health Benefits – Linen fabric improves skin moisture, is hypoallergenic, dirt resistant, and beneficial to sleepers with allergies. Linen can also benefit those with skin sensitivities and conditions because of its anti-static properties.  For greater benefits, go for organic linen.
  • Environmentally Friendly – An eco-friendly material, linen is derived from flax plants — a renewable source that requires minimal processing energy, minimal pest control, and no irrigation. Crafted from natural plant fibers, linen is considered biodegradable.

Cons

  • Wrinkling – Because flax fibers have minimal elasticity and resilience, linen fibers don’t easily return to their original shape after being compressed. As a result, linen wrinkles more than any other fabric, and features a lower resistance to folding and crumpling. However, some owners see linen’s wrinkled, crumbled appearance as distinctive and charming — a plus rather than a disadvantage.
  • Coarser Feel – At first, linen has a coarser feel than other types of bedding. The initial pebbly feeling may be disconcerting to some sleepers, but linen sheets do soften over time with washes. There even exists “pre-washed” linen sheets that are designed to start out softer than traditional varieties, though these typically come at a higher price point.
  • Higher Price-Point – Because of linen’s sophisticated weaving process, many linen sheets come with a higher price point than other types of bedding.

What to Look for in Linen Sheets

Softness

If linen sheets are very soft out of the package, they are not the best quality. Some brands coat their linen with a chemical wash to make it feel softer initially. But after washing, they roughen. Instead, look for sheets without chemical processing and expect them to soften over time.

Thread Count

Linen thread counts shouldn’t be high. The fibers are thicker and cannot be woven into a tight weave. The ideal count is 80-120, but most linen sheet makers don’t advertise based on count and may mention weight instead with the ideal being between 175-190 GSM (grams per square meter).

Price

Linen sheets are pricier than other materials because of the labor-intensive process. However, these sheets can last a decade or more with proper care, making them an investment in quality.

Fit (Size and Pocket Depth)

Shrinkage is a concern with linen sheets, even with those advertised as pre-washed. Check pocket depth carefully and buy a little larger than you need as you can expect 5%+ shrinkage. Some premium linen brands sell only queen and king-sized sheets.

Color/Pattern

Linen sheets don’t come in the wide array of colors like you can get in cotton or synthetics. Some brands may sell just a few color options and rarely offer patterned designs. Also, be aware that many linen sheets are garment-dyed in small batches, so color can vary.

Weight

Unlike cotton, thread count is virtually meaningless when it comes to linen sheets. Instead, linen bedding is advertised by grams per square meter. A quality linen sheet will have a medium weight (or around 6.50 ounces or 185 grams per square meter) that cradles without trapping your body.

Caring for Your Linen Sheets

While linen sheets are highly durable and can last for a decade or more, proper care is required to get the best possible lifespan. Here are the basics for how to care for your linen sheets and protect your investment.

  •  Read the manufacturer’s care instructions. Depending on the weave, dye, and stitching, they may recommend a specific wash temperature and dryer setting.
  • Don’t bleach or use added chemicals. Bleaching linen sheets can weaken the fibers. Also avoid any laundry additives (color brighteners, etc.) that might damage the fabric.
  • Don’t wash in a crowded load. Linen loves water and cleans best when it can soak it up, so don’t launder your sheets in a washer crowded with other items. Only wash with like colors.
  • Don’t hot iron your sheets. Linen sheets will wrinkle. It’s a fact. You can use the wrinkle release dryer setting or dry on a line to combat wrinkles. You can also warm iron, but never hot iron. It can damage the fibers.
  • Treat stains ASAP. While linen repels dirt naturally, stains will set quickly because the fabric rapidly absorbs liquids. If you stain or spill, strip the sheets off the bed immediately. Blot the stain then soak if needed.
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