There are a lot of options for luxury bed sheets, but they largely boil down to three choices: cotton, pure linen, and silk.
Telling silk from cotton or linen is pretty easy. But many people get lost on the difference between linen and cotton. There’s definitely a difference in price — pure linen being more expensive. But is there really an improvement in quality?
You might be surprised.
We spend about a third of our lives sleeping. It’s worth the time to research your options and discover just what will give you the best night’s sleep. Without further ado, here’s our guide to pure linen.
What is linen?
Isn’t linen just the name for all bed coverings, from bedsheets to pillow cases and doona covers?
Yes, but it’s also a specific type of fabric.
While cotton is, obviously, made from the cotton plant, linen comes from the flax plant. Flax is one of the oldest cultivated plants in human history. There are many species of flax across the globe, and it has been used for both manufacturing — basket weaving, clothing, sheets — to medicine — the same flax plants that give us linen give us linseed and flaxseed oil.
Flax plant fibres are very strong and durable. This makes linen a particularly long-lasting fabric, that can remain in use for many years.
As trivia, the word “linen” literally means “made of flax”, as older Germanic languages called the plant “lein” or “line”.
Why is linen becoming more popular?
Linen used to be the fabric of choice when it came to bedsheets — hence referring to all bedding broadly as “linen”.
Then over the last few decades it seemed to lose popularity. High thread count cotton sheets became all the rage. Egyptian cotton has been king of the bedroom for some time. It also didn’t hurt that cotton is noticeably more affordable than linen.
But now it’s making a comeback.
Because people are starting to realise that linen isn’t more expensive for the sake of it. It is genuinely a superior fabric for bedding.
And while it might be more expensive to buy a single set of linen sheets, that set will last longer than comparable cotton sheets. Cheaper sheets stop being cheap if you have to keep buying them.
Let’s break it down:
Pure linen vs Cotton
Linen and cotton share many features. They’re both hypoallergenic, and they both have antibacterial properties. Both fabrics breathe well.
The biggest difference lies in the properties of the fibres they’re made from. As we’ve said, linen is made from flax. The flax plant produces fibres that are much tougher and more durable than cotton fibres. Linen sheets are about twice as strong and durable as cotton sheets.
There is a downside here, however. Because they’re tougher, they’re more likely to break during the manufacturing process. Once the fabric is weaved, it will last a long time — but before until it’s together, it’s harder to weave.
This is one of the reasons the cost of linen is higher. There’s more work involved in making it.
Linen has a higher moisture absorbency than cotton. This, likewise, makes it longer-lasting.
Linen is a great insulator, and better suited for warmer clients than cotton. Being an insulator, it’s also suitable for cooler climates — the perfect year-round fabric.
Pure linen benefits
- Soft, comfortable feel.
- Long lasting.
- Provides great insulation, making it ideal all-year round.
- Breathes well
Pure linen cons
Unfortunately, linen isn’t perfect. It does have some drawbacks.
- More expensive. While justified by its quality and the manufacturing labour involved, it can be a significant barrier to entry for some.
- More easily creased. Linen fibres are fairly inelastic, so they crease readily. Not for those who are particularly concerned with the smoothness of their sheets.
Pure linen sheets — Try some today
A combination of pure linen bedsheets and quilt covers will result in one of the most luxurious, comfortable sleeps you’ve had in years.
We have a range of quilt cover sets to suit any style. These sets include pillowcases, providing pure linen comfort from head to toe.
Our pure linen bedsheets will likewise add that comfort and insulation you desperately want during the hottest and coldest months.
Our pure linen ranges can be mixed and matched in styles to create contemporary looks to suit any home. Check out our range and try a set today — you’ll notice the difference.