When the temperature rises, the layers lighten up — and bedding is no different! Linen sheets are ideal for warm-weather sleeping, because the fabric itself is lighter and more porous than other weaves. It’s woven of sustainably sourced fibers derived from the flax plant, which is a fast-growing crop that requires far less water to grow and harvest than cotton.
If you’re used to sleeping on silky-soft sheets made of cotton, microfiber, or bamboo, you may notice that linen sheets tend to feel a little grainier to the touch upon first use. Linen usually softens up after a few washes (though there are ways that you can expedite the process), and in fact, this softness can feel even cozier than other materials. Plus, linen is well known for its durability and resilience, even after years of wear, so they’re likely to last much longer than your standard cotton set.
Linen does tend to wrinkle very easily, especially when the material is brand-new. But embracing its casual, rumpled look, and knowing that the creases will flatten out over the course of a few nights, we think, is far more favorable to ironing your bed sheets. But that’s totally up to you!
We think that preferences for linen textures range widely across the board, as rough sheets do not necessarily denote a lesser quality, but they may not be everyone’s first preference.
The directive for our testers was to sleep on their sheet set for 2 weeks, and to wash them once before the trial, and once midway through. Testers were asked to rate on a five-point scale how dramatically the material softened, as well as the overall feeling of softness and breathability. Though 2 weeks is by no means an exhaustive testing period, it gave us a clear idea of which sheets are super-soft right from the start, and which take a little bit longer to break in.
Learn more about how we test products, from the questions we ask our testing team, to the types of products we feel are actually worth testing, to the overall time we put in to our testing process.