Flax Linen vs Cotton Sheets: Which One Is Best For You?

Flax Linen vs Cotton Sheets: Which One Is Best For You?

Linen and cotton are two of the most popular natural fibres used in manufacturing bed sheets, duvets, blankets, pillows, and other bedding materials. They are also used for making garments and other textiles.

Both of these fabrics are excellent choices for luxury sheets because they are the most comfortable. They're also available in a range of colours and designs. For these reasons, there's an ongoing debate as to which one is more superior.

Flax linen vs cotton sheets, which is best for you? While it all boils down to your personal preference, here's an in-depth comparison of linen sheets and cotton sheets to help you decide.

What Are Linen Sheets?

Linen flat sheets are made from all-natural fibres from the flax plant. They are touted for their smooth, soft, and luxurious feel, along with their exceptional durability and optimal breathability. The intricate woven structure of the fabric makes linen bedding sheets the go-to choice for upscale bedding.

What Are Cotton Sheets?

Cotton bedding has been used for centuries and is still quite popular today. Cotton makes some of the warmest sheets that pack good insulation and moisture absorption properties.

Like linen thread, cotton thread is also very durable because it involves weaving multiple cotton fibres into yarn. The soft and inviting texture of cotton makes them one of the most comfortable sheets.

Flax Linen vs Cotton Sheets

Flax linen fabric and cotton fabric are both wonderful choices for bedding. However, there are several key differences between cotton and linen fibers that every buyer should learn. Let's see how each of these types of sheets performs better in terms of durability, breathability, comfort, price, care instructions, and more.


Both linen and cotton are top choices in manufacturing luxury sheets and high-quality fabrics as they are both very durable. Even though cotton offers more flexibility and stretchability, linen is more durable.

The flax thread is more rigid because the cellulose fibres in linen yarn are slightly longer than cotton yarn. They are also wrapped tighter, which increases their strength and longevity. With all things considered, linen sheets will typically outlive cotton sheets.

Nonetheless, there are types of cotton sheets touted for their strength, such as Egyptian cotton sheets. They are made of long-staple cotton fibers, so they're sturdier and softer than standard cotton.


Both cotton fabric and linen fabric are breathable. However, since flax cellulose fibres are naturally hollow, air and water can easily circulate.

Meanwhile, the breathability of cotton is dependent on the type of weave and not the plant fibres themselves. If you're after breathability, go for cotton sheets made of a looser weave.


Cotton is warmer than flax linen fibres. Cotton has strong insulating properties similar to that of fiberglass used to insulate homes. That means it can make you feel warm on cold days. Since it doesn't conduct heat, though, you may end up getting a little too warm using cotton sheets.

On the other hand, linen flax fibres are hollow, so they are ideal for hot sleepers. In the winter months, it should be layered to keep you warmer. If you prefer cotton, choose Percale cotton sheets as they are still highly breathable even if the weave is tight.

Appearance and Texture

Both cotton and linen bedding wrinkle easily as they are made from natural fibres. However, linen tends to have more creases due to the stiffness of the fabric. In terms of texture, cotton feels smoother, while linen feels a little rougher or more slubby because of the loose weave.

Linen looks stunning whether you choose bright colour options or muted ones like neutral Scandi-inspired hues.


While cotton is preferable to synthetic fabrics, linen bedding leads the game in terms of comfort. Aside from being soft, linen has temperature-regulating qualities that make it cool in the summer months and cosy in the cool weather.

Add the fact that linen is moisture-wicking, which means it draws water or sweat out of the skin, so you don't feel too warm and the water dries quickly. Cotton also has good moisture absorption quality, although not as good as that of linen.

Hypoallergenic Quality

Experts recommend choosing natural fabrics for people who have sensitive skin or chronic skin conditions. Both cotton and linen sheets are hypoallergenic because they are both breathable fabrics.

That said, linen is slightly better for allergy sufferers because the loose weave is less likely to trap dust and mites. In addition, linen has natural properties that prevent bacterial growth, so it's less irritating to the skin.


Flax linen is extremely sustainable because farmers don't use irrigation or fertilisation during the growing process. Additionally, all parts of the plant are used, so there's zero waste produced.

Meanwhile, cotton farmers utilize pesticides and fertilizers. Thankfully, organic cotton farming is becoming a trend these days. It eliminates the need for toxic chemicals and uses far less water.


There's a reason linen sheets are considered luxurious. Linen is way more expensive than cotton, mainly because it has a more expensive and intensive production process. Add the geographical limitations of where the flax plant is grown and cultivated.

Among the most expensive linen varieties are Irish linen and Belgian flax linen. Premium sets can cause hundreds of dollars.

Meanwhile, budget cotton sheets are widely available because they are easier to manufacture. You can find durable sheets made of cotton without breaking your bank.

Proper Care and Maintenance

In terms of care, quality sheets made of cotton can be a little easier than linen sheets. They can withstand a slightly more rigorous washing, although gentle washing using mild detergent is recommended to ensure a longer life.

Both types of fabric can be washed in warm or cold water, but never hot water as it can cause them to shrink.

Which One Is Better for You?

Choosing between cotton and linen can be pretty overwhelming as they are two great bedding materials. It's important to consider the look and texture, comfort level, breathability, and other qualities when shopping for bed sheets. You should also consider your budget, your skin sensitivity to fabrics, and the climate where you live.

Both styles of sheets have benefits and downsides, as discussed above, but we hope the information is enough to narrow down your choices and make a decision you will not regret.

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