The Best Editor-Tested Linen Sheets You Can Buy Now
When it comes to upgrading your bedroom, your bedding is the perfect place to start. Given that we spend up to one-third of our lives in bed, it’s only natural that we’ve become more invested in making it as downright dreamy as possible. And what better way to invest in your sleeping space than to find some of the coziest and long-lasting sheets that transport you to a luxury hotel experience as soon as your head hits your pillow?
Linen sheets might just be one of the best bedding investments you can make, and, if the personal experience of some of our editors is any indication, once you go linen, you may never look back. So, why all the hype? To put it plainly, when made well, linen sheets are extremely long-lasting, luxuriously soft, and get better with age. They’re easy to care for (a softly wrinkled look is the goal), breathable, and have superior temperature regulation — keeping you warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Because they get softer with time, they also won’t pill, nor will they need to be replaced in just a couple of years. Oh, and they’re environmentally friendly. They’re basically the perfect piece of year-round bedding — but unfortunately, unlike other best things in life, they don’t come cheap.
One hundred percent linen bedding is costly, but so very worth it if you’re able to make the investment. So you can make the best decision with your budget, we spent months testing linen sheets from a wide range of brands, price points, and manufacturing processes and narrowed down the field to bring you the best of the best. If you’re ready to take the plunge into linen (which we highly recommend that you do) or upgrade your current set, check out our favorites below.
The Best Linen Sheets
What to Consider When Buying Linen Sheets
Linen sheets have become somewhat of a status symbol in recent years, thanks to social media showcasing their effortlessly relaxed aesthetic, but also because of their higher price point. So, what exactly is the difference between linen and cotton, and how do you choose what’s best for you? If this is your first foray into purchasing linen sheets, here’s everything you need to know.
What Is Linen and What Are Its Benefits?
Linen is made from flax, a strong plant with long, sturdy fibers that make it easy to spin into thread. Two times stronger than cotton, linen textiles are known for their durability and can last for years, if not decades.
Because linen fibers are thicker than cotton, thread count is lower in linen sheets and the weave is often visible. This looser weave, along with linen’s natural moisture-absorbing and -wicking properties, makes linen sheets supremely breathable (hence why it’s such a great fabric for summer clothing). Linen is ideal for hot sleepers and warmer climates, but it also regulates temperature well, keeping you warm and cozy in winter also. Essentially, linen makes a great year-round choice — another reason the investment can be well worth it. On top of that, linen is hypoallergenic and bacteria-resistant, so it’s perfect for those with sensitive or acne-prone skin.
Linen is also wonderfully sustainable: flax requires very little irrigation (rainwater is enough for it to grow), doesn’t require pesticides to yield a healthy crop, and linen processing expends a low amount of energy. Plus, quality linen sheets are so durable, you won’t have to replace them very often, reducing waste. And once they do eventually need to be retired, they are fully biodegradable.
With so many benefits, are there any downsides? Of course, linen textiles have a casual, laidback look that is part of their appeal and charm, but if the visible wrinkles aren’t your style, this could be a drawback. That said, some heavier-weight linen sheets combat this expectation, and you can always wave a steamer over your sheets if you like an extremely neat bed.
It’s important to note that flax fibers are rougher than cotton, so if you’re dreaming of downy-soft bedding right out of the package, these may not be for you. Even high-quality linen is a bit grainy or textured at first, with a heavier weight that can take getting used to if all you’ve ever known is airy cotton bedding. But it’s important to keep in mind that linen will get softer with each wash and use — often the opposite of other materials, which can pill or weaken over time. Many modern retailers try to speed up the aging process by pre-washing their linen bedding to make it softer, and while it’s possible for this to impact the sheets’ long-term quality, being ready for immediate use is definitely nice in terms of enjoying the luxury of linen sheets right away. All this to say, don’t be afraid of roughness at first, especially with organic, unwashed, or raw linen and even the most expensive sets.
Where Does the Best Linen Come From?
Flax is mostly grown in Western Europe — particularly Belgium and France, but can also come from Ireland, Lithuania, and Portugal, among other places. Belgian flax is known for being the highest quality because of the particular climate and soil properties found there. Although many retailers source their flax from Europe, they may actually produce their linens or assemble their bedding in other places, such as China or the U.S. This shouldn’t be assumed as an indication of worse quality, as the type of looms and mills the linen is produced with have a much greater bearing on the end result of quality rather than where it’s produced.
One of the benefits of linen is that it’s easy to care for, so take a “less is more” approach. Use a mild detergent (you don’t need a lot), and skip the fabric softener and bleach. Wash in cold or warm water as hot water will harm the fibers over time. Air drying is best, but if that’s not feasible (oh, you don’t live in a farmhouse?), tumble dry on low, and pull the sheets out just before they’re fully dry to avoid major wrinkling. Using wool dryer balls can help increase fluffiness. Most of all, embrace that effortlessly relaxed look: Wrinkling is to be expected, so you can skip the ironing. If you must iron, we recommend taking the sheets out of the dryer before they’re fully dry, and iron on low heat right away.
Why Is Linen So Expensive?
In short, flax is more laborious to harvest, linen is more time-consuming to weave, and most of the world’s flax supply is centered in one specific area of Europe, so it’s less abundant. We have a great, more in-depth explainer on it here. To be honest, if you find a linen sheet set priced lower than $100, it’s probably too good to be true. It might last you for a short period of time, but the quality simply isn’t there, and you’ll likely deal with shredding sooner rather than later.
- OEKO-TEX Standard 100 certified: Products are free of harmful synthetics and dyes.
- Made in Green by OEKO-TEX certified: Materials used in products are traceable and have been tested for and are free from harmful substances.
- GOTS certified: Products align with the Global Organic Textile Standard, which defines the worldwide recognized requirements for organic textiles.
- Cotton LEADS program: A reliable cotton supply chain providing raw material that is responsibly produced and identified.
- Made Safe certified: Products are nontoxic and made with safe ingredients/materials.
- Fair Trade certified: Products are created in alignment with the economic standards in place for manufacturers to equitably distribute the benefits of ingredient, material, or product trade.
- Global Cotton Initiative partner: The production process uses fewer synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, increases cotton yields, reduces water usage, improves soil health, and applies decent work principles.
- Climate Neutral certified: Products created by a company that actually offsets more carbon emissions than they generate, making them carbon negative.
What We Look for in Linen Sheets
We tested a wide range of linen sheets, judging them on the following criteria:
- Feel: How do the sheets feel out of the box? Are they heavy and rough or airy and soft? Are they comfortable to sleep on?
- Durability: Do the sheets feel thick enough to prevent shredding? Do they get softer with time and washing?
- Availability: Can the sheets be purchased as a set or only individually? Are there options for removing the top sheet?
The Best Linen Sheets
Best Overall: Brooklinen Linen Core Sheet Set
Brooklinen has taken the bedding space by storm, and its Linen Core Sheets set lives up to its name. If you’re looking to upgrade your go-to sheets, this light and cozy linen sheet set is the perfect place to start. “Bottom line is that these sheets are comfortable, seem high quality based on a handful of washings, and I have really liked the feel of them,” says AT home projects director Megan. “I have had linen duvet covers but not linen sheets, and I wasn’t sure how I’d like them. Sometimes linen does not feel that soft! But these were pretty soft out of the package and have only gotten softer after each wash.”
This set comes in five neutral shades, as well as seven more limited edition colors. And these sheets are stone-washed before you buy them to achieve what they call a “perfectly imperfect” relaxed feel.
- 100% European flax linen
- Available in 6 sizes, 5 essential colors, and 7 limited edition colors
- Fits mattresses up to 16″
- Includes 1 flat sheet, 1 fitted sheet, and 2 pillowcases
- Machine wash cold on gentle cycle, then tumble dry low
- OEKO-TEX Standard 100 certified
Who It’s Best For: Those looking for a luxury sheet investment; those looking for softer linen sheets.
Good to Know: There is a chance that these sheets may thin over time after many washings.
Best Value: Echelon Home Washed Belgian Linen Sheets
The Echelon Home Washed Belgian Linen Deep Pocket Bed Sheet Set not only promises to prevent sheet slippage, but it also does so at an affordable price. “My pet peeve with sheets is when they come up at the corners; I also hate putting sheets on because I feel like it’s like playing Whack-A-Mole in the sense that once you get one corner on, sometimes the opposite corner comes undone,” says AT co-op manager April. “Honestly, I was skeptical over these staying on but I was pleasantly surprised! They’ve stayed put nicely, considering I definitely move around a lot while I sleep, so that’s impressive.” The fitted sheet is elasticized to prevent slipping, and the deep pockets slide over the mattress up to 15 inches high. Plus, each set arrives pre-washed for ultimate comfort.
- 100% Belgian flax linen
- Available in 4 sizes and 4 colors
- Fits mattresses up to 15″
- Includes 1 flat sheet, 1 fitted sheet, 2 pillowcases
Who It’s Best For: Those who move around a lot while sleeping; those looking for snug-fit sheets.
Good to Know: The King and California King fitted sheets have a seam at the bottom where the main part of the sheet meets the deep pocket, but it isn’t on the sleeping surface so it shouldn’t affect comfort.
Best Luxury: Boll & Branch Linen Sheets
Securing some great breathable sheets is a must in the summer. Enter: Boll & Branch’s Linen Sheets. This light and airy linen sheet set is naturally cooling for the warmest sleepers. “I love these linen sheets, they’re perfect for those in-between temps where it’s not too hot or too cold,” says AT shopping director Jada. “They’re almost as soft as silk and stay cool to the touch throughout the night.” These sheets are finished with a proprietary four-step garment wash, which ensures their softness and gives them a relaxed look.
- 100% Belgian flax linen
- Available in 6 sizes and 4 colors
- Fits mattresses up to 17″
- Includes 1 flat sheet, 1 fitted sheet, and 2 pillowcases (1 pillowcase in Twin and Twin XL sets); Split-Kit set includes 2 Twin XL fitted sheets
- Machine wash cold on gentle cycle, then tumble dry on medium
- Fair Trade and OEKO-TEX Standard 100 certified
- 30-day trial
Who It’s Best For: Warm sleepers looking for cooler sheets; those looking for lighter bedding.
Good to Know: The color may fade after a few washes, depending on the shade you choose.
Best Organic: Sijo LuxeWeave Linen Sheets
If you’re a hot sleeper looking for something more durable, the Sijo LuxeWeave Linen Sheet Set may be the way to go. “As far as linen sheets go, I think the quality on this set is top-notch,” says AT executive lifestyle director Charli. “The color, quality, shape and durability of the set seemed on par with what anyone would desire when looking for a great set of linen sheets.” You can also sleep easy knowing that these sheets are made from GOTS-certified organic flax fibers, so they are 100 percent free of any harmful chemicals, pesticides, and GMOs.
- 100% organic French flax linen
- Available in 4 sizes and 7 colors
- Fits mattresses up to 16″
- Includes 1 fitted sheet and 2 pillowcases; flat sheet is optional
- Machine wash cold on gentle cycle, then tumble dry low
- OEKO-TEX Standard 100 and GOTS certified
- 30-night sleep trial
Who It’s Best For: Those wanting organic linen sheets; those wanting a variety of colors for their sheets; those looking for less expensive linen sheets that don’t sacrifice quality.
Good to Know: Adding a flat sheet to this sheet set could increase the price by as much as $140, depending on the size.
Best Linen Blend: Cozy Earth Linen Sheets
If you’re looking for a great moisture-wicking linen blend, these bamboo-linen Cozy Earth Linen Sheets will do the trick. Made of 70 percent viscose from bamboo and 30 percent linen, this sheet set also feels cooler than cotton and helps with temperature control. “I prefer my flannel sheets for cooler temps and these for warmer temps,” says AT shopping writer Nikol, “plus these sheets’ linen material looks so effortlessly stylish.” This set comes in five chic colors — olive, natural, light grey, navy, and white — plus, its enhanced weave prevents pilling and ensures durability over time. Per Nikol, “I’ve washed these a few times now, and they’ve held up great.”
Read our full review of the Cozy Earth Linen Sheet Set.
- 70% viscose from bamboo & 30% linen
- Available in 7 sizes and 5 colors
- Fits mattresses up to 20″
- Includes 1 flat sheet, 1 fitted sheet, 2 pillowcases; Split-King set includes 2 Twin XL fitted sheets and king-size pillowcases
- Machine wash cold
- 10-year warranty
Who It’s Best For: Hot sleepers; those who prefer a fabric blend with a smoother finish.
Good to Know: All of Cozy Earth’s products include warranties against pilling, abnormal rips and tears, and workmanship defects, so you can rest assured that you’ll be receiving high-quality and durable sheets.