Because of its breathability, linen usually gets relegated to the warmer months. When it's spring and summer, you'll find people rocking linen shirts and linen pants because they'll keep you from overheating. The same applies to linen in the bedroom. Except if you're only using linen bed sheets in the summer, you're missing out on the amazing abilities of linen for the other nine months of the year. Obviously, linen is breathable, making them a great fabric for those who tend to sleep hot (which is apparently affects up to 41 percent of people, according to one study). But the material is quite possibly one of the most comfortable on the skin, and laying yourself down in sheets of linen might be the best thing you do for your sleep.
Not all linen — and especially not all sheets — is created equally. We tested a number of linen sheet sets from various brands and found the best ones for practically every person and every type of sleeper. From linen sheets with the best color options to the set we think everyone should get, here are the best linen sheet sets of 2022.
- Best Overall Linen Sheet Set: Brooklinen Linen Core Sheet Set
- Best Upgrade Linen Sheet Set: Cultiver Linen Sheet Set
- Best Budget Linen Sheet Set: Quince European Linen Sheet Set
- Best Linen Sheet Set in a Variety of Colors: The Citizenry Stonewashed Linen Sheet Set
- Best Eco-Friendly Linen Sheet Set: Sijo French Linen Sheet Set
- Best Linen Sheets for Hot Sleepers: Parachute Linen Sheet Set
What is linen?
Linen is a naturally derived fiber that comes from flax plants. Linen is actually thicker than cotton, which makes linen sheets equally as good for staying warm in cool months, but linen is more breathable, which is why it has a reputation for being a summer-only fabric. Linen can wick away moisture, another reason it's a top choice of fabric for people who sleep hot, and it's naturally antibacterial because its weave inhibits the growth of bacteria.
Why is linen scratchy at first?
Out of the package, linen will feel coarse or rough to the touch. (More expensive linens might have some bit of softness at first.) Linen requires a break-in period, during which the fabric will soften and become more pleasant to touch — and sleep on. As with any bed sheets, throw your linens into the wash to kickstart its break-in period, and you'll have the best sleep of your life in no time.
How do you take care of linen sheets?
Linen bed sheets require similar care to bed sheets made of other materials. Wash them in cold water, and make sure you don't wash anything else in the same load, as other materials and fabrics can increase the likelihood of wrinkles. When you're drying your linen sheets, set your dryer to the lowest heat setting. Linen sheet sets will essentially last you forever if you take care of them.
The Best Linen Sheets of 2022
Like we tested our original run of bed sheets, we did a lot of sleeping. Well, our testing was a little more involved than that. Each of our testers was sent a different brand of linen sheet sets, which were then evaluated by their out-0f-packaging softness and then how soft they felt after they were after going through a wash-and-dry cycle. Testers were asked to evaluate how well their sleep improved — if at all — after sleeping on these sheets. Because linen is known for being a good summer fabric due to its breathability and moisture-wicking abilities, we also judged the sheets on how well they kept us cool at night. As brands continue to put out new linen sheet sets, we'll be sure to test them and evaluate their potential inclusion in this list.
- Soft from the get-go
- Oeko-Tex certified to be free of harmful chhemicals
- Some might find the sheets to be too thin
- Has a tendency to shed
Brooklinen is known for its direct-to-consumer approach to bedding (and now bath linens), so although $289 (for a queen-sized set) is a lot to spend on bedding, it's still drastically cheaper than luxury brands that don't offer half the quality as Brooklinen. The sheets have a shorter break-in period than other linen sheets, and even after the first wash they were as soft and dreamy as we could possibly want. The sheets come in five core colors, but Brooklinen is known for putting out limited-edition colors that help bring some flair to the bedroom.
What's more, the sheets are Oeko-Tex certified to be free of harmful and dangerous chemicals, so you'll sleep soundly in more ways than one.
- Soft out of the package, and softer with each wash
- Prevents sleepers from sweating in their sleep
- Available in a number of beautiful colors
- Can't buy the set without pillowcases
- Extremely expensive
- Fitted sheet fits better with loftier mattresses; otherwise it feels a bit oversized
When it comes to linen sheets, Cultiver's are the best of the best — but at a very steep price. Out of the package, the sheets were already soft, but as one should, the initial washing process helped them break in even more, resulting in some of the finest linen sheets we could find and test.
Our tester, who tends to sleep hot, called these linen sheets a "revelation" because they helped him stay cool and comfortable through the night. So much so that he found the steep price to be worthy of their cooling ability, especially since they're relatively cheaper — and arguably better — than some fancy sleep tech designed to help people sleep cool.
As an added bonus, Cultiver offers its sheets in a huge selection of muted and understated colors, so everyone can find a set that suits them.
- Naturally cooling
- Soft and comfortable
- Have a tendency to pill
- Oversized fitted sheet is better suited to thicker mattresses
For those who want the look, feel and comfort of linen but don't want to drop too much cash, Quince makes an amazing set of linen sheets. Made from European flax, these sheets are soft and breathable. They're so breathable, in fact, that our tester found them to be much better at regulating his nighttime temperature than so-called "crisp, cooling" sheets. And as someone who describes himself as a hot sleeper, our tester noticed he has yet to sweat in his sleep since putting on Quince's linen sheets.
- Comes in over a dozen luxurious colors
- Super soft against the skin
- Breathable and lightweight
- Not available in a twin size
- Fitted sheet slips off the bed
The Citizenry teams up with artisans around the world to create high-quality wares from furniture to bed sheets. Its linen sheets are made in partnership with the Portugal-based Machado Linen Mill, where the sheets are made in a fair-trade working environment. Additionally, the brand sources its French flax sustainability, and it's Oeko-Tex certified.
The sheets themselves are soft straight from the package, mostly owing to the stone-washing process they undergo, which not only makes them soft but creates a beautifully muted color. Our tester found these sheets don't wrinkle as badly as other linen sheets, though wrinkles come with the territory. After their initial wash, they became even softer, a feat we expected but couldn't imagine considering how great they were from the get-go.
- Short break-in period
- Soft and comfortable
- Perfectly lightweight
- Rougher out of the package, but break in after the first wash
From Sijo's material sourcing to construction, its linen sheet set is one of the most environmentally friendly set around. According to the brand, French flax doesn't require as much water to produce, making it a more eco-friendly material. Plus, it's Oeko-Tex certified so it's free of nasty chemicals.
Out of the package, our tester noticed they were scratchy, which made her hesitant about how much she would enjoy sleeping on them. But after the initial wash, the sheets broke in nicely and made for an enjoyable sleep. Our tester enjoyed the texture of the fabric, and gave bonus points to Sijo's sheets for helping her stay cool while she slept.
"I feel like I'm sleeping better and more deeply. probably because I'm not shifting around as much or having to take off a layer in the middle of the night," she says. Combine the comfort levels with the sheet's eco-friendly qualities, and you have a worthwhile bedding purchase.
- Good at expelling heat
- Lightweight but still substantial enough to keep you warm in the winter
- Shrank in the wash
- Coarser than more-expensive linen sheets
Parachute's linen sheets tick every box. They're soft and breathable, and they're Oeko-Tex certified. Linen has a reputation for being cooling, as we can attest to with the other options on this list, but Parachute's sheets feel like they've turned an air conditioner into a sheet set (OK, not exactly). Our tester does appreciate how well the sheets feel like they're turning down the heat, staying cool throughout the night. These sheets will last you basically forever, so get ready for an excellent night's sleep every night of your life.
Looking for a mattress online but feel like you’re drowning in options? We got you covered.