Linen sheets are the gold standard when it comes to bedding, but what is it that makes them so special?
“The luxurious, timeless look of linen always elevates any bedroom and keeps you healthy without a footprint on the environment,” says Katerina Rothman, founder of Denver-based Beflax Linen. “Linen is temperature-regulating and is evergreen bedding — it keeps you cool on a hot summer night and keeps you warm during the winter season.”
Linen has a long history (it was first produced in Mesopotamia, and ancient Egyptians used it for clothing and as part of the mummification process). Today, cotton is more widely produced than linen because the linen-making process is time-consuming and requires hands-on skills.
“[It] has several complicated and lengthy steps, from planting to harvesting, some of which cannot be automated and therefore require manual labor,” Rothman says. (We detail that lengthy process in our FAQ section at the end of this story.)
But, she adds, linen is the only natural fiber fabric that is healthy for you: It’s eco-friendly, sustainable and is credited with better sleep, thanks to increased blood circulation through its fibers. It’s also hypoallergenic, has antibacterial properties and repels UV rays.
Plus, “linen is a more breathable fiber, so it is great for temperature regulation," says Sarah Keneally, merchant for home at Garnet Hill, a retailer specializing in natural fibers.
"Linen is a great fiber for people who are prone to allergies; it’s more hypoallergenic than a cotton sheet. The natural properties of the fiber and the somewhat looser weave of the fabric doesn’t trap dust and particles from your home," she adds.
In a nutshell
- Linen is more time-consuming and labor-intensive to produce than cotton.
- Its made of naturally breathable fiber with a looser weave, which helps with temperature regulation and makes it hypoallergenic.
- The linen-making process is eco-friendly and sustainable: It's almost zero waste and doesn't pollute water.
But what should you have in mind when choosing your linen sheets? We spoke to textile experts and did the research to create this list of the best linen sheet sets for all tastes and budgets. Plus, we asked the pros what considerations should be top of mind when shopping, and we used their expertise to create a handy FAQ guide.
The bottom line? You should have a setup that promotes a dreamy night of sleep. Keep scrolling or use the links below for our top picks.
What to look for | Best budget | Best overall | Softest | Most sustainable | Most cooling | Best French | Most vibrant | Best for newbies | Best all-season | Best blend | Best organic | How it's made | FAQs | How we chose | Meet our experts
What to look for when choosing linen sheets
Linen is often more expensive than cotton or synthetic fabrics: You should expect to pay between $200 to $700 for high-quality linen sheets, according to The Sleep Foundation.
Keneally says linen sheets take more time and skill to make than manufactured cotton or synthetics; plus, making the fabric is reliant on the season’s crop success, which also affects the cost of the final product.
Textile workers have to handle spinning fibers into yarn and weaving on looms, often requiring years of expertise. The upside is that with the proper care, linen sheets will last for a decade or longer.
Don’t be fooled by the misnomer “bamboo linen.” Sometimes called "bamboo rayon," bamboo linen doesn’t actually contain any linen fibers at all. While it's true that bamboo linen is made from broken-down bamboo fibers, the process to get it to be a usable fabric involves much harsher chemicals than its flax linen counterpart.
Case in point: In 2022, the Federal Trade Commission fined Walmart and Kohl’s millions of dollars for falsely marketing their bamboo rayon sheets as eco-friendly. Actual linen sheets (which are sustainable) will be labeled as such. So if you’re looking for a healthier sheet set, linen is the way to go.
Linen sheets will break down faster if they’re exposed to high temperatures, so experts recommend washing linen sheets once a week in warm or cold water, and using a biodegradable detergent that’s not harsh on fabrics. Use the delicate cycle, then tumble-dry on low or air-dry the sheets. Caring for your linen sheets will prolong their life — some linen sets even last generations.
“Linen is a coarser fiber than cotton, so it has an inherent textural hand [feel], while cotton feels smooth under hand,” says Keneally.
Rothman adds that linen is often not as soft as cotton right out of the box; that's because cotton and synthetic fabrics are treated either naturally or with chemicals to soften them.
Unlike cotton sheets, linen is determined by weight rather than thread count. “I recommend choosing linen bed sheets in the range of 165 g/sm to 195 g/sm," says Rothman (g/sm stands for "grams per square meter"). "Less than that would be too thin for bedding, and more than that range could feel heavier and ‘burlappy’ or rough,” she adds.
- Temperature control: As we've already mentioned, linen’s fibers allow breathability and increase air flow; the weave of the fabric helps to naturally regulate temperature and wick moisture. This leads to restful night’s sleep, a rejuvenated feeling and more.
- Hypoallergenic: Linen is considered hypoallergenic because dust particles don’t cling to the fibers of the fabric, and it has antibacterial properties.
- Sustainability: Linen is sustainable because the entire flax plant can be used for linen thread, as well as jute twine, a natural concrete strengthener. The tops are used for creating flax seeds and linseed oil for cooking. The spinning and weaving process is almost zero waste, and because no chemicals or harsh dyes are used to produce naturally certified linen, there’s no water pollution.
Best budget linen sheet set
Material: European flax linen | Sizes available: Twin, full, queen, king, Cal king | Colors available: 19 | Care: Wash warm with mild detergent, line dry or tumble-dry on low | Warranty/return policy: 365 days
Quince is known for creating luxury-quality, sustainably made products at an affordable price, and this sheet set doesn’t disappoint. Thousands of reviewers on the brand's website have given these sheets a five-star review, but on a personal note, I was gifted these breathable linen sheets and love them — and I like them even more with every wash.
Woven from 100% European flax and manufactured in India and China, they meet the Standard 100 by OEKO-TEX and are made without harmful chemicals or pesticides. These sheets are mid-weight linen and pre-washed for softness, offering luxe bedding at an affordable price.
They come in a full range of sizes (you can even opt to leave out the top sheet!), have a corner depth of 16 inches on the fitted sheet, and are elastic all the way around.
Best overall linen sheet set
Material: European flax linen | Sizes available: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, California king | Colors available: 13 | Care: Wash warm with mild detergent, line dry or tumble-dry on low | Warranty/return policy: 60 days
Parachute’s linen sheet sets are made in Portugal using European flax linen. Beyond that, Parachute is invested in reviving a dying linen industry in Portugal’s Guimarães region by working with a family-owned textile workshop — one that’s been in the biz for almost a century.
In addition to linen's natural sustainable qualities, Parachute’s linens are also OEKO-TEX Certified. The top sheet is an optional purchase with this sheet set, and the pillowcases feature their signature envelope closure.
Parachute’s linen sheet sets consistently sit atop “best of” lists for being among the softest right out of the box, while also being some of the most affordable. One verified reviewer notes why: "These are more of a weathered linen, and absolutely perfect. Just a completely different texture than anything I’ve felt, and because they have the weathered feel to them, they don’t get wrinkled as easily as typical linen sheets."
Parachute's sheets are also noted for being breathable and comfortable while remaining durable wash after wash.
Softest linen sheet set
Material: European flax linen | Sizes available: Twin, full, queen, king, Cal king | Colors available: 12 | Care: Wash warm with mild detergent, line dry or tumble-dry on low | Warranty/return policy: 1 year
Brooklinen’s sheets are notoriously soft, thanks to the fabric going through stonewashing before it’s sent to consumers. They’re also super light and airy, another reason fans love them.
Made in Portugal from European flax, their soft and lightweight qualities have created converts, winning over cotton sheet lovers to linen (including our editors, who've featured them in our previous bedsheet roundups). We think this one reviewer summed it up perfectly: “Amazing and comfortable! Soft and regulates you. I’m a blanket sleeper even in the heat of summer, [and] this keeps me cool and cozy.”
Brooklinen sheets come in a range of colors and neutrals that are individually dyed in small batches and have a charmingly relaxed, rumpled texture. Bonus: The linen is OEKO-TEX Certified so you can rest easy knowing your sheets are chemical-free. Shopping for a starter set? The price for the entire set is also really reasonable for linen sheets.
Most sustainable linen sheet set
Material: Organic French linen | Sizes available: Full, queen, king, Cal king | Colors available: 7 | Care: Wash warm with mild detergent, line dry or tumble-dry on low | Warranty/return policy: 30 days
Sijo’s flax comes from Normandy, France, and makes some of the highest-quality linen in the world. Made with minimal water, the material is not only OEKO-TEX Certified but is also GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) Certified, which holds manufacturers to a standard with criteria that include harvesting raw materials, socially and environmentally responsible production practices, and more. In other words, it’s a purchase you can feel good about all the way around.
Sijo’s sheets is more affordable than other brands, and even though they have some heft, they're stonewashed for softness and have a breathable quality that’s classic linen.
Sijo’s website gives the buyer dropdown menus to choose size, color and even whether or not to get a top sheet. The company has even gotten shout-outs from the likes of Vogue and Fast Company; plus, its reviews speak for themselves — hundreds of buyers say they’re the best sheets they’ve ever slept in, in terms of softness, comfort and breathability.
Most cooling linen sheet set
Material: European flax linen | Sizes available: Full, queen, king, Cal king | Colors available: 22 | Care: Wash warm with mild detergent, line dry or tumble-dry on low | Warranty/return policy: 30 days
Hot sleepers, rejoice: West Elm’s bestselling European Flax Linen sheets are breathable, moisture-wicking perfection. The brand's sheets are made from European flax and feel durable right out of the box, though they already have that lived-in feel from being garment-washed — and of course, they soften even more within a few washes. Even though they’re on the hefty side, these linens are also breathable and temperature-regulating. Another thing we love is that the sheets are both OEKO-TEX Certified and made in a Fair Trade Certified facility.
The fitted sheet can accommodate a 16-inch deep mattress. In true West Elm fashion, there’s a wide range of chic but calming options, including stripes, to give your bed an effortlessly laid-back style. (Of the 22 colors to choose from, some are made to order.)
Best French linen sheet set
Material: French flax linen | Sizes available: Single, super single, queen, European queen, king, super/American king | Colors available: 9 | Care: Wash warm with mild detergent, line dry or tumble-dry on low | Warranty/return policy: 30 days
Sunday Bedding founders Alex Fan and Clara Teo found that there were virtually no bedding options on the market that were reasonably priced, high-quality and sustainable. Plus, understanding what to look for when buying was confusing — so they started their own bedding company to demystify it for consumers, built on the idea that every day you sleep in your bed should be “easy like a Sunday morning.”
Their French linen sheet set comes in a range of sizes, and in nine soft pastel and classic colors, with a fitted sheet depth of 16 inches. Designed to soften with time, Sunday Bedding’s linen sheets are air-washed for a more consistent hand-feel than stonewashed linen sheets. Also note that instead of a top sheet, the set comes with a fitted sheet, two pillowcases and a duvet cover with twill ties, making it ideal for the “no top sheet” camp.
One could argue this linen sheet set could tie for the top spot in our Best Sustainable category: Sunday Bedding only works with OEKO-TEX Certified, sustainable fabrics and partners who are transparent about sustainability and ethical practices, and all their packaging is upcycled, too.
Most vibrant linen sheet set
Material: European flax linen | Sizes available: Twin, full, queen, king, Cal king | Colors available: 24 | Care: Wash warm with mild detergent, line dry or tumble-dry on low | Warranty/return policy: 90 days
The Piglet in Bed company began in a garden shed in the English countryside, creating linen sheets made from sustainably sourced materials that are made for long-lasting enjoyment. Their sheets are made in Portugal using European flax linen.
Piglet in Bed’s "lewk" is taken straight from the modern country cottage aesthetic, where you’d cozy up in bed with a good book, a mug of tea and take a nap. Unlike many linen options that rely on solid, more "natural" colors only, PIB has stripes and gingham patterns in the mix, plus a range of more than a dozen bright, solid colors to choose from.
While Piglet in Bed’s headquarters are in the UK, they also have an outpost in the U.S. for North American orders. The sheets are OEKO-TEX Standard 100 Certified and pre-washed, so they aren’t only softer, but they also won’t shrink. The fitted sheets have elastic all the way around the edge, and the pillowcases use envelope closure to keep pillows out of sight.
Best linen sheet set for newbies
Material: French linen | Sizes available: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, Cal king | Colors available: 10 | Care: Wash warm with mild detergent, line dry or tumble-dry on low | Warranty/return policy: 90 days
Bokser Home’s linen sheet set is available online at Target and has garnered rave reviews from purchasers who love its luxurious feel. Made of French linen from the Normandy region, the sheets come in a range of sizes (they even come in twin XL, so you can use them in the dorm) and you can choose from 10 colors. Garment-washed for softness and “a lived in look and feel” before manufacturing, these linen sheets are also OEKO-TEX Certified.
This is a great starter set for people new to linen because it’s a middle-of-the-road choice in price and weight (you’ll be cozy in winter and cool in summer). We love the envelope closure on the pillowcases and that the fitted sheets can fit mattresses up to 16 inches deep. They also have a full elastic hem.
Something we also love: The fitted sheet has Top/Bottom directional tags, because let’s face it, sometimes finding which end goes onto the mattress is a challenge.
Best linen sheet set for all seasons
Material: Belgian linen | Sizes available: Twin, full, queen, king, Cal king | Colors available: 3 | Care: Wash warm with mild detergent, line dry or tumble-dry on low | Warranty/return policy: 45 days return/1 year warranty
Saatva’s Belgian linen sheets are heftier and thicker than other sheets, making them ideal for year-round use. These sheets keep sleepers cool in the summer and cozy in the colder months — embodying two of linen fabric's most unique qualities. Though the hand-feel on these sheets is coarse at first, they soften with a few wash cycles.
Those who are looking for bright and colorful sheet sets may want to look elsewhere, however — Saatva’s set only has three options to choose from. Still, they’re also OEKO-TEX Certified, putting your mind at ease while giving you a healthier night’s rest. The fitted sheet is deep enough to accommodate mattresses 16 inches high, and the set includes a flat sheet, a fitted sheet, and one or two pillowcases, depending on which set you get.
Best linen blend sheet set
Material: Linen and tencel | Sizes available: Standard, twin, full, queen, king | Colors available: 1 | Care: Machine wash and dry | Warranty/return policy: 30 days
There are a variety of linen-blend sheet sets on the market: some made with linen and cotton, some with linen and bamboo rayon (which is not sustainable to produce). We like this blend of linen and tencel from Pine Cone Hill. Designed by Marie Flanigan in collaboration with the Annie Selke brand, the lightweight yet naturally textured fabric allows for breathability and softness. This set comes with an unfinished edge that will add texture and whimsy to your bedding.
Tencel’s breathability and durability add to linen’s existing positive qualities. Plus, they’re easy to wash and dry. The pillowcases have an envelope closure, the flat sheets have a 5-inch hem, and the fitted sheet fits a 15-inch mattress. The fabric was stonewashed for softness and is eco-friendly, while the manufacturer says they're committed to fair labor practices.
Best organic linen sheet set
Material: Organic French linen | Sizes available: Full, queen, king, Cal king | Colors available: 7 | Care: Wash warm with mild detergent, line dry or tumble-dry on low | Warranty/return policy: 30-day full refund, 1-year store credit
Coyuchi has been creating sustainable products since 1991, and their linen sheets are considered some of the best on the market. Made from organic French linen that’s woven in Portugal, the sheets are heavyweight, soft right out of the box, and wash well — with no wear, only softening, over several washes. They'll also hold up for generations, according to their website.
While linen sheets are already sustainable, organic linen can only be planted on the same plot of land once every seven years, so Coyuchi supports the farmers in the off year — owing to the sheets’ steep price tag. But, you can order the pieces separately, so top sheets are optional, and you can also order additional pillowcases. We like that the top sheets have pretty pick stitching along the hem and that the fitted sheets have elastic all the way around.
One unique thing about Coyuchi is that when you decide you want a new set of sheets, you can return the old set and get 15% off your next purchase. The brand then upcycles the sheet and refreshes the fabric, selling the new "old" sheets at a deep discount on its sister site, 2nd Home Renewed. So pro tip: If you want to try Coyuchi products for a lower price, that’s a great place to start.
How is linen made?
Linen is made from fibers from the flax plant, which won’t thrive in hot climates and can take more than three months to grow. When mature, the stalks of the plant are harvested and retted, removing all leaves and seeds and separating the fiber from the stalk. The exterior fibers are then separated in a process called breaking, then combed into short and long fibers.
Short fibers are used for coarser fabrics, and long strands are sent to be spun. Longer fibers are spun together, put on a spool, given a hot water bath and dried — all before they are woven into fabric.
Linen is produced by China (the world’s largest linen manufacturer), Ireland, Italy, Belgium and the United States.
Questions about linen sheets, answered by experts
How we chose the best linen sheet sets
The Shop TODAY team knows that the uniqueness of linen sheets needs some explanation, so we’re here to demystify the process for you. With the goal of passing along the best night's sleep to our readers, we sifted through online reviews for the best performers, investigated which linen sheets have a reputation for quality, and created an explainer so you can be just as informed as us when purchasing your linen sheets.
To curate our list of the best sheet sets, we combed through ratings, interviewed textile experts, and personally tested sheets ourselves, pooling our experiences to share our favorites. Even if you don’t find the sheets of your dreams on this list, our guide is a great jumping-off point so you know what to look for and what to avoid.
Meet our experts
- Sarah Keneally is a merchant for the home department at Garnet Hill, a lifestyle retailer specializing in natural fibers. The company is based in Franconia, New Hampshire.
- Katerina Rothman is the founder of Beflax Linen, a natural linen bedding company based in Denver, Colorado.
- Rebecca Stone is a technical designer at Garnet Hill.