Despite being devoted to my bed and coziness in general, I must admit that I've never really paid attention to bedding beyond aesthetics. My naïveté led me to believe that sheets were sheets; why did it matter what material they were? I was (obviously) very sorely mistaken, but I didn't realize it until I purchased a microfiber sheet set from Amazon solely based on price. Not only did they start pilling after two washes, but they made me, a not especially hot person, sweat like crazy no matter how cold my room was. After months of uncomfortable nights, I finally called it quits and started doing bedding research.
That's when I finally discovered the wonders of linen sheets. Surely you've seen the look on Instagram or Pinterest: Perfectly rumpled linens that make you want to dive right into bed. They're easy—softly wrinkled is the goal! They're also breathable and seriously good at temperature regulating, keeping you warm in the winter and cool in the summer. No more kicking off the covers! They also get softer with time, won't pill and are environmentally-friendly. They're practically perfect in every way, although they aren't exactly budget-friendly. Fair warning: 100% linen bedding is costly, but oh so worth it. Read on—we've rounded up our favorite sources for linen sheets so you can see for yourself. (Note on pricing: all prices listed are for Queen sets. If a set is not available for purchase, then the pricing reflects the cost for a top sheet, fitted sheet and two pillowcases.)
How This Works
Every week we research new product categories and bring our final picks into the office, where we haggle and decide which ones make the final list. Everything is based on quality, appearance and price. These are what we could choose for our own home.
Our Top Pick
I started sleeping in linen sheets about six years ago, and there were few choices back then. Since it's become an AVALANCHE as new and old companies have crowded into the space, each one delivering their own nice version. For this personal test lab, I put all the ones I've purchased over the years up against a curated collection of new entrants and was surprised with where I landed.
In total transparency, I was, in the beginning, a linen sheet snob and felt that the upper end sheet sets were far softer, richer, more colorful, and overall better than anything at half the price. While I still love my Matteo Vintage Linen sheets, I now feel that you can really find a lovely night's sleep at all ends of the spectrum, AND chose the Simple & Opulence Linen Sheet Set to make an example of this. Incredibly soft, bright white and with a lovely trim (that no one else seems to have thought of), this sheet set has a stunningly low price and is a great place to start, have multiples of, and use in all your beds. A bit thinner than the pricier brands, it may wear more quickly (linen does break down with time), but it's still a great value.
Our Best Bedding Posts:
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If you're hesitant about spending some serious cash on linen sheets, or are a first-time linen bedding buyer, check out this budget-friendly set from Birch Lane. With six colors to choose from and lots of positive reviews, this set is a solid option, whether you're just starting out or want to add more sets to your collection.
This set from West Elm is made of 100% Belgian flax and comes in four neutral shades. Seriously soft and lived-in from day one, these sheets are also surprisingly inexpensive for linen—and are currently on sale!
Crane & Canopy was the very first direct-to-consumer bedding company back in 2012, and their linen sheets are some of the best out there. Made of 100% Belgian flax and made in Oeko-Tex certified factories, each top sheet and pillowcase also has a gorgeous hand-stitched border detail that adds even more luxury to already high-quality sheets.
Inspired by California surf culture, Brooklinen creates easy and stylish linens that look perfectly unfussy. Made of stonewashed Belgian flax and produced in Portugal, these sheets also carry a lifetime warranty, so you can be confident in your bedding investment.
New to the bedding industry is Primary Goods, a company that started on Kickstarter under a lofty mission: To create bedding that would put an end to making your bed. The result? A top sheet that snaps onto your duvet, eliminating bunching and tucking. Just as great (maybe even better) than the high quality French linen products are the company's ethical factories and value on transparency.
If you're looking for options beyond the classic white and gray, check out the linens from The Company Store. Their bedding doesn't come in sets, but that just means you can have fun mixing and matching the nine color options. Plus, we're loving the classic hemstitch border—just a little touch of luxury goes a long way.
The brand that started it all, Parachute has become a cult favorite in pretty much every home category they offer products in, bedding included. In line with their minimalist ethos, Parachute recommends sleeping in their bedding without a top sheet—in fact, their traditional sheet set doesn't include a top sheet at all and is priced much lower, at $169. If you're still unsure, fear not—Parachute offers a 60-day trial run, so there's no worry about buyer's remorse.
Linoto's founder created the company out of his NYC apartment in 2007 when he couldn't find any linen sheets under $1,000. The brand boasts American-made linens that are high quality and come in a variety of bold colors. They arrive pre-washed for softness and (hooray!) come with a 30-day money back guarantee period.
A favorite of Maxwell's, Rough Linen sheets are appropriately named—they are indeed a bit rougher than other linens (but get softer over time) and are probably best suited to longtime linen users. This bedding has a real homespun quality to it—it was actually inspired by the linen discovered in the founder's grandmother's Scottish cottage.
You may be more familiar with Eileen Fisher's clothing, but the company also has a great home collection with Garnet Hill that includes reader favorite linens. Made of French flax and designed with a casual picot trim, these linens come in a range of colors and can easily be mixed and matched.
Another excellent American-made option, Matteo LA creates seriously well-made linens that go through a special washing process that creates especially rich colors and soft fabrics. The company places a high value on community manufacturing, as well as quality over quantity—each product is sewn at a slower rate and hand inspected.
The only truly organic bedding on this list, Coyuchi's linens are made of French flax and come in a sturdy chambray weave. Coyuchi as a company is committed to sustainability, using only organic fibers and utilizing environmentally-friendly shipping and packaging practices.
If you're looking for something ultra luxurious, you can't do much better than this collection from Matouk. What makes this bedding really stand out is the "Old World" weaving technique— Matouk's founder was trained in Italy during the 1920s and the fabric is still woven there. The result is particularly lightweight and comfortable linen bedding that is truly heirloom quality.
Tips for Linen Bedding Care
- Air drying is best. Throwing your linens in the dryer decreases their longevity, but letting them fully air dry can leave them feeling stiff. To compromise, we recommend drying them for a few minutes on low- to medium-heat to soften them up.
- Keep the washing routine as simple as possible. When it comes to linen, mild detergent in cool or warm water is all you need. Fabric softeners and bleach can wreak havoc on linen fibers and are best avoided.
- Rotate your sheets to avoid overuse. It's best to have at least two sets of sheets in order to preserve the quality and longevity of your bedding. This tip is a good rule of thumb for all types of bedding, but linen especially benefits from rotational use.
Other Good Resources:
- The 10 Best Linen Sheets to Inspire Deep Dreaming — Best Products
- Where to Buy the Best Linen Bedding Online — Architectural Digest
- I Switched to Linen Sheets — and It Changed My Life — PopSugar
- The Best Linen Sheets — Wirecutter