Splurge or Save: Should You Buy Brooklinen’s $300 Linen Sheet Set or Quince’s $170 Alternative?

published Mar 11, 2024
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Credit: Photos: Brooklinen, Quince; Design: Apartment Therapy

You can’t underestimate the importance of good bedding. What constitutes “good” bedding is subjective, of course, although you can more easily find your desired comforter, pillow, or sheet set once you take into account the season you’re shopping for and what kind of sleeper you are. When it comes to sheets, for example, flannel sheets are great for winter. For summer, you’ll want a linen set. But really, if you enjoy a laid-back aesthetic and organic feel against your skin, you’ll want linen on your bed year-round. In any case, it never hurts to have a linen set in your rotation so you can switch things up from basic cotton. The only thing is that real linen sheets made from natural fibers can cost you a pretty penny, although it’s not impossible to find a relatively affordable bundle. But should you go for the more expensive option? This question would prove difficult to answer were it not for our Splurge or Save series, which compares two editor-tested and loved products that serve the same purpose but retail for different prices.

Our editors have tested numerous linen sheet sets over the years, although two stand out among the rest. Brooklinen is an editor-loved bedding brand no matter the product category, so it stands to reason that we would love their linen core sheet set. That being said, we also tested Quince’s European linen sheet set not too long ago, and it retails for $130 less. Keep reading to hear whether we think you should splurge or save.

Credit: Photos: Brooklinen, Quince; Design: Apartment Therapy

Brooklinen vs. Quince

Although both Brooklinen and Quince are widely known as bedding brands, they’ve both become go-to destinations for a wide variety of home goods. Whether we’re raving about Quince’s stylish and durable carry-on suitcase or Brooklinen’s dreamy-smelling laundry detergent, there’s always something new and exciting to look forward to from each company. But even with all of that being said, we repeatedly find ourselves impressed with their bedding, including their linen sheet sets. The only question is whether you should opt for Brooklinen’s $300 set or try Quince’s slightly more frugal $170 alternative.

Overview of Brooklinen’s Linen Core Sheet Set

Although there’s much to love about linen bedding, from its cooling properties to its boho appearance, the one downside you’ll find with many linen sheet sets is that they’re not very soft. It’s natural for linen to have a slightly rough texture, but you’ll be happy to learn that Brooklinen’s set actually deviates from the norm in that respect. Megan, AT’s home projects director, tested the linen core sheet set and found it to be surprisingly snuggly.

“These were pretty soft out of the package and have only gotten softer after each wash,” she noted. “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.” The reason for this is that the sheets are stonewashed before you even get them, ensuring a much smoother skin feel than you’ll get with other linen bedding.

Our editors aren’t the only ones who love this pick. When we visited Brooklinen’s store in Brooklyn to ask employees about the brand’s most underrated offerings, all three of the staffers we spoke to recommended the set. “Linen, while also being super breathable, is also our most open weave,” said Tessa, one of the store employees. “It is really great at moisture absorption, so it can absorb up to 20 percent of its own weight without feeling damp. If you’re a sweaty sleeper or if you’re in a humid environment, linen is going to keep you feeling dry, not sticky at all when you sleep.”

All three of the store employees said they sleep on the linen core sheet set, themselves, and that it’s Brooklinen’s best-selling sheet set online. When Senior Commerce Editor Alicia felt them, she also affirmed that they were comparable to cotton in terms of softness.

The sheet set also comes in six sizes, and you can always count on Brooklinen to deliver in the color department. There are seven color and print options, to be exact, and two limited-edition hues. Whether you sweat during the night or you’d like a cool surface to lie on under your heavy comforter, we definitely approve of Brooklinen’s linen core sheet set.

Overview of Quince’s European Linen Sheet Set

We didn’t realize just how similar Quince’s linen sheets were to Brooklinen’s until we sat down to compare them. Like their more expensive counterpart, Quince’s sheets are made of 100% European flax, and they’re also OEKO-TEX certified, meaning they’re made without harmful chemicals. This also means you’re less likely to experience or develop allergies while sleeping on them, which is especially important ahead of spring and summer.

Mark, AT’s director of commerce, swears by this sheet set, conveying that it feels more lavish than standard cotton or synthetic sheets right out of the package. “As I smoothed the sheets over my mattress, the material felt only slightly rough, but the real test of how comfortable they are would come later that night when I finally got into bed,” Mark wrote in his review. “The linen sheets were only a bit more weighty than my usual bedding, but a thousand times more luxurious. Not rough, not crinkly, just … nice.” He went on to compare the set to ones he’d slept on at expensive hotels, adding that the linen has only gotten softer with each wash.

The reason why we’re extra inclined to recommend Quince’s linen sheets — aside from their more forgiving price tag — is because they’re available in a whopping 21 colors. Choose from a variety of calming, sophisticated hues that’ll no doubt elevate your entire bedding setup. What’s more, you can purchase a whole sheet set, which includes a fitted sheet, flat sheet, and two pillowcases, or forego the flat sheet with the $80 fitted sheet set. If your linen closet is overflowing with unused flat sheets or you simply don’t enjoy sleeping under them, this option is going to be a game-changer.

As Mark also mentioned in his review, $170 is by no means cheap for a sheet set, but it is relatively affordable compared to other brands’ linen sheets, whether we’re talking about Brooklinen, Cozy Earth, Silk & Snow, or Parachute. Even as a self-admitted cheapskate, Mark still can’t recommend trying Quince’s linen sheets enough.

The Verdict

You can’t go wrong no matter which linen sheet set you choose, but ultimately we’d advise you to save and go with Quince. In our previous Splurge or Save post, we compared two comforters and emphasized that choosing the right bedding is subjective because of all the different materials available. But given that both of these sheet bundles are made of the exact same material, you might as well save the $130 you’d put toward Brooklinen’s.

Although the Quince linen sheets might not feel as soft as the Brooklinen sheets from the get-go, they will become softer the more you wash them while still retaining their light, airy feel. Simply put, they’re more customizable in terms of color and included components. Additionally, both the Quince and Brooklinen sheets are suitable for year-round use and will prove especially comfortable during the warmer months.

With so many similarities present, we think this decision is a no-brainer. Although we’ll remain lifelong Brooklinen fans no matter the product category, this time around it’s Quince for the win. We have no doubt linen-lovers will come to enjoy the European linen sheet set just as much as we did, and if you don’t yet own any linen bedding, now’s the perfect time to make your foray into the breathable, moisture-wicking material. But be forewarned — you might be tempted to outfit your entire bed in it once you realize how great it is.

Buy: Brooklinen Linen Core Sheet Set, Queen, $239.20 (normally $299)

Buy: Quince European Linen Sheet Set, Queen, $169.90