Cotton Versus Linen

Cotton + Linen

Which is the Sheeting for You?

Cotton and linen: two of our favorite natural fibers, cultivated, spun and woven into cloth for millennia. Both are wonderful to sleep in, perfect for year-round use, easy to care for and beautiful. So how do you choose? Like most things having to do with bedding, there's no wrong answer. It all comes down to personal preference.

The Case for Cotton
Cotton – and especially organic cotton – is soft and breathable, absorbent and comfortable. Long-staple varieties, like those we use for our bedding, create smoother, silkier, more durable yarns than other types, so the fabric woven from them has all those qualities, too. There's lots of hype out there about thread count, but experts know that the quality of the fiber is far more important than the number of threads per inch when it comes to fine bedding.

Around the world, cotton is more widely grown than linen, and even though organic cotton only makes up a small percentage of that worldwide crop, it's still readily available, making cotton less expensive than linen in most cases.

Cotton is also highly versatile; the same fiber can be spun into fine or thick yarns, woven or knit, left smooth or brushed, to create everything from smooth, crisp percale to buttery sateen to soft, stretchy jersey to cozy flannel. It takes dye beautifully, as yarn or finished fabric, and is the perfect canvas for prints. With so many choices, it's easy to find cotton sheets with exactly the feel and look you love.

Reasons to Love Linen
The ancient Egyptians considered linen the cloth of the gods. It's even more absorbent than cotton, and incredibly durable. In fact, archeologists have unearthed scraps of linen up to 10,000 years old.

Made from the fibers of the flax plant, linen is as natural as cotton, and can be even more earth friendly when organically grown and field retted (a traditional low-water method of breaking own the flax stalks into fiber by spreading them out on the grass). Organic linen is much harder to find than organic cotton and we've been working diligently to source our first organic linen sheeting and duvet collection which will launch fall of 2017.

When it comes to sheets, linen offers exceptional breathability—wicking moisture away from your skin, which helps to keep you cooler on hot nights and warmer on cold ones. And its long, durable fibers make it lint-free and hypoallergenic, too.  However, what sets linen apart from cotton most dramatically is its "hand" (how it feels to the touch). Thicker than cotton fibers, linen fibers create a stiffer yarns with natural slubs that give the finished fabric a unique texture. It's that natural stiffness that makes linen crease and wrinkle more easily than cotton.  And it also means linen bedding -- even pre-washed, never starched linen bedding like Coyuchi's – will start out crisper than cotton and then become more supple and soft with use and laundering. That gorgeous transformation, from crisp and new to lush and drapey, is part of what linen lovers adore about this enduring fabric. Linen, like fine wine and cheese, just gets better with age.