When temperatures start to heat up, regular cotton bed sheets can make you sweat. This is where a good set of linen sheets comes in. Quality linens feel light, airy, and soft to the touch. The linen sheets with questionable quality can feel coarse, scratchy, and stiff. Because most linen sheets cost more than other fabrics, we set out to test the most popular options and find some worthy of your slumber.
After weeks of testing, our favorite is the Buffy Linen Sheet Set(available at Buffy), which combines softness and durability for a good value. For a truly luxurious upgrade, the Cultiver linen sheets are worth the splurge.
Here are the best linen sheets we tested, ranked in order:
Buffy Hemp Linen Sheet Set
Cultiver Linen Sheet Set with Pillowcases
Quince European Linen Sheet Set
Sijo French Linen Sheet Set
Avocado Organic Linen Sheet Set
The Citizenry Stonewashed Linen Sheet Set
Morrow Heirloom Linen Sheet Set
Brooklinen Linen Core Sheet Set
Parachute Linen Fitted Sheet
Tuft & Needle Organic Linen Sheets
Buffy Hemp Linen Sheet Set
The sheets from Buffy snagged the Best Overall spot for linen sheets, offering a balance between quality and value. Made from 100% hemp, they feel slick when fresh out of the packaging, not as cotton-like, fuzzy or as coarse as some of the others. This is ideal for someone who’s choosing linen for a smoother, cooler feel.
After five washes, the Buffy linen sheets lost some of the slickness but still felt the smoothest out of all the other sheets we tried. The pomegranate juice stain we applied also came out of the Buffy sheets better than most, with only a faint mark left behind. And while the sheets shrank some in our wash tests, it didn’t affect the fit, as they’re cut amply to suit even extra-thick mattresses.
Buffy, as a brand, also stands out because it offers a seven-day free trial, where it puts a hold on the charge. As long as you return the sheets in that window, the transaction won't post to your credit card.
The linen sheets from Cultiver felt luxurious—lightweight and soft like cotton. They’re slightly translucent and have a gauze-like appearance. They're breathable sheets, yet they had among the heavier weights of the products we tested, an indication of quality. With a relaxed look that’s not overly wrinkly like some others, these sheets lay very nicely on the bed. The edges didn’t curl up or pucker like many of the other sheets we tested, and they shrank less than most sheets, with no discernible change in how well they fit an extra-thick mattress.
This brand allows you to order a product swatch if you can’t decide between colors or would like to feel the fabric before you purchase. This is a nice offer, considering these were the most expensive of the linens we tested. But if you’re after a luxe linen experience, and don’t mind the price tag, you won’t be disappointed.
The least expensive of the bunch, Quince's linen sheets are a comfortable option that measured the lightest weight of all sheets tested, yet they don’t feel particularly thin or flimsy. These sheets are breathable and sweat-wicking, while feeling smooth to the touch—not scratchy or rough like you might expect from “cheaper” linen. What’s more: after washing, these sheets appeared significantly less wrinkly than some of the others that we tested.
There's only a couple of tradeoffs for the lower price point. They did shrink some, though will still fit most mattresses. And the lighter weight of the fabric could indicate they may not same amount of time you can usually expect from linen as a durable fabric.
I researched brands that had been in the business of making linen sheets for a while. I chose brands people were discussing on social media, or are highly rated on websites across the internet. Finally, I used my own expertise in home wares to judge which linen sheets might be worth considering for your home.
Hi, I'm Jamie Ueda. After spending years working for various apparel and textile companies, I pride myself on helping Reviewed readers make smart purchasing decisions for everything fabric-related—whether it be cooling sheets or other bedding, or clothing, shoes, and accessories, like breathable face masks.
I’ve spent a lot of time evaluating fabrics and apparel, which means I’m a stickler for quality materials and good design. This is especially true when it comes to bedding. Though I’m embarrassed to admit it, I spend a lot of time in bed, whether I’m watching TV, relaxing, or actually sleeping—and nothing beats a good night’s rest.
Over four weeks, I slept on each set of linen sheets for two to three nights. I assessed how the sheets felt, and my overall experience. I also examined the quality of the stitching and how well the fitted sheet fit on the bed. I measured each flat sheet before and after I washed and dried them to determine how much they shrank. Finally, I dropped pomegranate juice on the sheet and let the stain sit overnight before washing it and evaluating how well the stain came out.
Afterward, the linen sheets were sent to our lab in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where Reviewed’s team of scientists wrapped up testing. They measured the weight of the sheets and compared their evaluation to the advertised weight. Then, they recreated a simplified version of the Martindale test: A fabric swatch was placed under an orbital sander with a felt pad for 10 minutes to observe pilling.
What You Should Know About Buying Linen Sheets
Historically, linen was the first fabric used for sheets, but in its early days it was also known for feeling scratchy and rough. Other fabrics entered the market that were softer, such as cotton, and later synthetics like rayon and microfiber, all of which took over as the preferred fabrics for sleeping. That said, linen has come a long way since the early days and has a number of great attributes making it worthy of your consideration.
First and foremost, if you sleep hot, you may find linen’s airier weave a more breathable material for wicking away sweat and keeping you comfortable all night long. With today’s advanced fabrications, linen’s scratchy reputation is no longer a concern, at least when it comes to the picks we’ve made here. These all feel smooth and soft on the skin—though some (not our top picks) may take a few washes and uses for linen to get to its full sleek cottony-soft or sleek potential. Of the sheets we tested, the soft and smooth feel right out of the package is a good indicator that high-quality linen was used, and you can expect your sheets to get better over time.
How to Take Care of Linen Sheets
Wash your linen sheets a few times so they’ll soften up. We found a few sets of linen sheets were pretty soft or smooth straight out of the package but some needed a few washes to no longer feel stiff or scratchy.
That said, watch out for lint shedding. Compared to regular cotton sheets, linen sheets shed more and some sets can shed a lot. It’s best to wash them separately from other clothing items otherwise you may end up with lint on your clothing that may be hard to get off.
Other Linen Sheets We Tested
Sijo French Linen Sheet Set
In terms of comfort, Sijo linen sheets landed near the top of the list, feeling smooth and comfortable to sleep on right out of the package. They feel distinctly crisper than the others, so if you like a crisp sheet you’ll want to try these. The fabric has a thin, slightly see-through appearance making them feel breathable. They also shrank less than many sheets on this list.
The only noticeable downside to these sheets is that they tend to wrinkle around the edges after washing—a similar “lived-in” look that we saw in all but our Upgrade and Value picks.
If you are looking for highly breathable linen sheets, these from Avocado are a great option. I found them comfortable to sleep on with their cotton-like and airy feel. They have a relaxed look with some wrinkling around the edges like most other sets.
However, the Avocado linen sheets were one of the thinnest and most see-through sets we tested. If you don’t like seeing the mattress underneath your sheets, you won’t like these. They also shrank a lot, though they still fit my extra-thick mattress.
Initially, we found these sheets were scratchy and not comfortable enough to sleep on, but over time, they became softer. The fitted sheet is pretty loose-fitting, making it easy to get on the mattress, and these sheets shrank less than many others.
However, like most other sets of linen sheets, these sheets are wrinkly around the edges, especially the pillowcases, which gives them a lived-in or messy look, depending on your perspective. The biggest downside: After five washes, these sheets were still noticeably linty, causing me to sneeze.
The Citizenry allows potential customers to order a sample swatch for a few dollars, if you would like to feel the fabric or compare colors, so you don’t have to commit to a whole set blindly.
Brooklinen is one of our favorite bedding brands and makes the best cotton sheets we’ve tested. Unfortunately, its linen sheets were not impressive. They felt rough to touch and didn’t get any softer after sleeping on them or washing them five times. These sheets are breathable like most linen sheets, but if you’re looking for linen sheets that aren’t prickly, you’ll want to try another set.
Unfortunately, the linen sheets from Parachute were one of the roughest sets we tested. Although they were lightweight and airy, it was hard to get past the feel, and washing nor sleeping on them softened them up.
Because I like other Tuft & Needle products (indeed, the brand makes our pick for Best Affordable Mattress), I wanted to l over these sheets. But they just weren’t for me: The Tuft & Needle linen sheets have a thicker, more substantial feel than the other sets I tested, almost like a thin canvas. They felt weighty and stiff, and even after five washes, they were still scratchy. These sheets also shrank the most of all we tested, though because of a roomy cut, it didn’t seem to be a problem fitting them back on the bed.
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