The Best Linen Bedsheets 2024

The Best Linen Bedsheets 2024

A bed made with linen sheets — the Strategist reviews the best linen bedsheets.

Excellent sheets, by Cultiver.
Photo: Retailer

Six years after linen came roaring back onto the scene, linen bedding is as popular as ever, with just about every major home and bedding company offering its own take on flax-derived sheets. Brands like New York–based Hawkins and Linoto exclusively sell linen bedding, to give you an idea of its staying power. While the fiber is known to be breathable and quick-drying, its biggest draw has to be its inherently laid-back look and feel. Linen is textural, rumpled, and breezy, reminiscent of a sunny European locale, where, in fact, the best versions of the fabric originate. Hand-feel aside, I personally love the way linen takes on color. While linen sheets are typically more expensive than standard cotton sets, they come in a larger spectrum of (often more saturated) tones that are a dream to mix and match. (Hawkins, for example, offers 18 shades, from black to lilac.) Over the years, I’ve also come to appreciate how nuanced the material can be. Some iterations stand out for their softness and others for their heirloom-quality heft. I’ve tested many of these at home and have also spoken to experts and Strategist staffers about what they look for when it comes to this old-world bedding. And here I’ve narrowed down some of my favorites to help you decide which set might be right for you.

As mentioned above, linen sheets are traditionally made from flax and are more textured and rougher to the touch than cotton. And unlike cotton and other common sheets, the standards of thread count don’t apply, so you’re really judging based on handfeel. The flax lends linen sheets that signature rumpled, lived-in look, though some can be crisper or coarser, depending on their weave and where the raw material originated. (The highest-quality linen comes from western Europe, specifically from the Flanders region of Belgium, making Belgian linen the gold standard. But in order for a product to be considered authentic “Belgian linen,” the flax not only has to be grown in Europe but woven there, too, and not sent elsewhere for processing.) They’re also much sturdier than your typical cotton sheets and can withstand more weathering, and they typically get softer over time. And while they’re known to be temperature regulating and fast-drying, certain linen sheets can feel more cozy than crisp, as several of our reviewers have noted, making them a great option for yearlong use.

Depending on how they’re manufactured, some linen sheets can feel airy and crisp, while others feel more hefty and substantial.

Part of the allure of linen sheets is the fact that many of them come in a gorgeous array of colors, from subtle neutrals to jewel tones that make them stand out from the rest of the bedding market. While you can never go wrong with white sheets, linen lets you experiment with unusual colors in a way that most cotton sheets don’t. And even if you prefer to stay within the grays and ivories, there are plenty of choice therein.

As far as cost goes, you’ll see that most prices listed are for a queen-size set that includes a fitted sheet, a flat sheet, and two pillowcases, with most bundles falling in the $250-to-$300 range. A few brands only sell by the piece, while others will give you the option to add a top sheet (or not) to a basic starter set. But if buying à la carte seems strange when it comes to sheets, I think it has its own merits. Not only does it allow you to mix and match colors by component, it lets you experiment with one piece — a fitted sheet, for example — before committing to swathing your entire bed in the stuff, because sometimes just a single layer of linen atop or below your body is all you need to transform your night.

Quince European Linen Sheet Set, Queen

Feel: Textured | Weight: Lightweight | Color: 21 colors | Price: $$

Direct-to-consumer brand Quince makes really nice, made-from-European-flax linen sheets at a very competitive price point, making this the best option overall. Its queen-size linen sheet set — which includes a fitted and a flat sheet along with two pillowcases — costs $170, the most affordable set on this list. I was sent the brand’s linen duvet cover to test, and it felt so soft straight out of the box and only got better with each subsequent wash, and I imagine the sheets would be the same. Strategist writer Dominique Pariso confirms this to be the case. After having slept on both Quince’s and Parachute’s linen sheets, she says that while the latter are definitely more substantial, Quince’s are “superlight with a slightly textured weave.” As she describes them: “Imagine a worn-in, gauzy linen button-down you’d throw on in the height of July heat.” Pariso sleeps hot — “like window-open-in-the-middle-of-January hot” — but they’ve kept her cool and cozy even when the heat (in winter) is cranked up to what she considers “a balmy” 72 degrees. And you can’t beat the value of a four-piece queen set for under $200.

The Company Store Legends Hotel Relaxed Linen Fitted Sheet, Queen
Very Good Deal

Feel: Soft | Weight: Hefty | Colors: 7 colors | Price: $$ | Sold separately

As mentioned above, some brands, like the Company Store, known for its long-lasting bedding basics, sell their linen sheets by the piece. That means you can start with a fitted sheet, as Pariso did, and go from there. She discovered that they were heftier than any of the other brands she tried, including Quince and Parachute. “The Company Store’s sheets feel significantly more substantial (and are more cozy than crisp),” she writes. And after several washes, they felt “even more lived-in, and I have yet to notice any pilling or loose threads.” While they’re soft (they’re made of European linen), “they’re not baggy, as some other brands tend to be, which was another plus for my own personal taste — I ordered a queen size and they fit snug on my 16-inch mattress.” Of the several linen sheet sets she owns, the Company Store’s are the ones she reaches for the most. If you like your bed to be colorful (but still muted), you’ll want to check out the six other colors the brand offers in addition to white, including teal, moss green, and clay, which you can mix and match because, again, these sheets are sold by the piece rather than in sets.

Brooklinen Linen Core Sheet Set
Best Seller

Feel: Soft | Weight: Lightweight | Colors: 7 colors | Price: $$$

If you’re ready to go all in on a set of linen sheets, consider Brooklinen’s linen sheets. Former Strategist senior writer Lauren Levy says the soft and airy set made her “fall in love” with linen bedding. As she describes them, “They’re so light, it’s almost like you don’t feel them. They just brush against you when you sleep. If you’ve only used cotton, you can’t even compare it to the feel of these linen sheets; it’s like an angel’s kiss.” Strategist senior editor Jen Trolio, who also owns these sheets, agrees that Brooklinen’s weave feels a little crisper with a more “prominent weave” compared to other linen sheets she’s tried. These are made in Portugal of European flax and come in a range of neutrals and earth tones including a charcoal stripe and indigo.

Pottery Barn Belgian Flax Linen Sheet Set, Queen

Feel: Soft | Weight: Medium | Color: 29 colors | Price: $$

These sheets from Pottery Barn are made from Belgian flax, which, as mentioned above, is considered the best raw material for the fabric. (Saatva’s and Linoto’s sheets are made from Belgian flax as well, though Linoto sources from both Italian and Belgian mills. These are also slightly cheaper than Saatva’s sheets.) I’ve been sleeping on these sheets on and off for about year and I find them to be of a nice medium weight that feels quite soft and smooth. They wash well and get softer each time, and I think they’re actually the softest of the linen sets I’ve tested. They also keep me perfectly comfortable in both cooler and warmer months. One detail I love about them is the hemstitch on the flat sheet and pillowcases, which makes them feel slightly more classic in look. I have the sheets in white, but Pottery Barn offers 28 additional muted colors like toffee, smoky quartz, and mineral blue if you’re looking for something more subdued.

Piglet in Bed Linen Flat Sheet, Queen

Feel: Soft | Weight: Hefty | Colors: 34 colors | Price: $$

For two Strategist editors, Maxine Builder and Ailbhe Malone, what stands out about U.K.-based Piglet’s sheets are their durability. Senior editor Malone has had the same set of sheets since 2017 when the brand launched (and bought a new set two years ago) and says that it has held up well over the years and has yet to pill. Builder agrees: “It’s remarkable how well my Piglet sheets have held up — gauzier than ever but not at all worn down.” Malone washes the sheets according to the instructions — warm wash and tumble dry — and hasn’t had any issues with them. In addition to its sheets’ longevity, Piglet is also known for its exceptional colors and patterns — 34 of them, in fact, including solids like raspberry and fuchsia, rustic ginghams and plaids, and a variety of stripes, so if you’re looking for linen bedding that can help create a certain mood for you, Piglet is it. (I was sent a gingham fitted sheet in botanical green that made me feel as if I were living in a cottage in the British countryside.) The price shown here is for a flat sheet (here’s the fitted sheet), but Piglet gives you the option to mix and match colors and add extra pillowcases and a duvet cover through its bundler should you want to get everything in one go. (Pariso also has Piglet’s linen sheets in rotation and notes that they’re quite soft, too.)

West Elm European Flax Linen Sheet Set, Queen

Feel: Crisp | Weight: Lightweight | Colors: 25 colors | Price: $$

For former Strategist senior editor Margaret Rhodes, these European flax sheets from West Elm “felt a little crisper than the other linen sheets I tried — just enough that they had a bit more of that just-washed-sheets effect.” She says that they were even softer than the regular cotton-percale sheets she’d been sleeping on “but definitely had a cleaner feeling as far as linen goes.” In other words, “this is dip-your-toe-in linen,” especially if you’re looking for something closer to cotton. She also notes that the elastic on the fitted sheet was a lot tighter than other linen sheets she tried, “so it snapped under my mattress in this very satisfying, at-attention way.” If you’re interested in getting the matching duvet cover, Trolio has had one in navy for over five years and says it still feels smooth to the touch and the color has not faded.

Saatva Linen Sheet Set, Queen

Feel: Medium soft | Weight: Hefty | Colors: 4 colors | Price: $$$

Saatva’s linen sheets are also made with Belgian flax, putting them on the higher end of the price spectrum. And while these are about $100 more expensive than Pottery Barn’s Belgian flax linen sheets, they’re incredibly durable. Strategist senior editor Crystal Martin has owned Saatva’s sheets for close to three years and loves them so much that she wants to buy another set. “I’m just so impressed with how long lasting they are,” she says, especially considering that she washes them twice a month. “They’re still in great shape and I don’t hang them to dry. They’ve held up beautifully” and only get airier and softer over time, according to Martin. She uses them all year long, noting that they’re especially comfortable during hot and humid New York City summers. “In the heat, they’re light enough and feel cool to my body,” she says, adding that in the winter, “they still feel cozy. I couldn’t be happier.”

The Citizenry Stonewashed Linen Sheet Set, Queen

Feel: Crisp | Weight: Medium | Colors: 15 colors | Price: $$

Citizenry’s sheets are made from stonewashed French flax linen and woven at an old family-run mill in Portugal. “They’re soft but lean more on the sturdy side,” says Strategist associate editor Jenna Milliner-Waddell. “They also have that classic baggy look — the fitted sheet is designed for an up-to-15-inch-deep mattress, which mine is not.” The first few nights she tried them, they didn’t feel particularly luxurious to her, but her appreciation built over time. “They are the coolest sheets I’ve ever slept on,” says Milliner-Waddell. “This was made even more clear when I went back to my old sweat-inducing sheets while these were in the wash.” Speaking of which: The description warns that they might shed after the first few launderings, which is expected with natural fibers, but she hasn’t experienced that. Neither has there been any pilling, she notes, and the eyelet stitching around the top sheet and pillowcase “have remained perfectly intact, as has the color (a rich olive).” There are 14 other hues to choose from, if olive is not your preference.

Cultiver Linen Sheet Set

Feel: Soft | Weight: Lightweight | Colors: 13 colors | Price: $$$

While these Cultiver sheets are on the pricier end, several Strategist staffers found them to be quite soft. Writer Erin Schwartz notes that in addition to their handfeel, the Oeko-Tex-certified European flax sheets “feel more lightweight than the percale sheets I was using before.” Rhodes calls out the fact that they’re on the smoother side, without the textured feel of other linen bedding, while Malone notes that, compared to her Piglet sheets, Cultiver’s feels slightly softer.

Hawkins New York Simple Linen Flat Sheet, Queen

Feel: Medium soft | Weight: Medium weight | Colors: 18 colors | Price: $$$ | Sold separately

Strategist writer Tembe Denton-Hurst hadn’t considered linen sheets until she saw ones from Hawkins on interior designer Tiffany Thompson’s Instagram story. “Made from European linen and then stonewashed in Portugal, they have this automatically lived-in look, soft and rumpled and ultraluxurious (this shows up in the price; $225 for the flat sheet alone). They got even softer once washed,” Denton-Hurst says. But what she likes best about this set is that there’s so much material to work with. “I have a 12-inch-thick Allswell Luxe mattress, which means I normally spend a lot of time making and remaking my bed to keep from naked bits of mattress getting exposed, but not here; the generous amounts of fabric are easily tucked in.” Denton-Hurst got the sheets in basic white, but they also come in a range of 17 other rich color options. “They still managed to elevate the look of my existing, mostly white bedding, which was somewhat sterile before, but not anymore.”

Bella Notte Linen Flat Sheet, Queen

Feel: Soft | Weight: Medium weight | Colors: 18 colors | Price: $$$ | Sold separately

Bella Notte’s sheets have been sewn and hand-dyed to order by local makers in Northern California since 1996, which makes them quite pricey. Each piece is sold separately, and a queen flat sheet will run you over $300, but for good reason. “I knew that linen sheets were supposed to be breathable and durable, but I did not expect them to feel so sumptuous. These were like dozing off in silk but not at all flimsy,” says Casey Lewis, former Strategist senior editor. They’re really dyed to order, too, as Lewis learned. “My first pair of sheets were delivered to our abruptly closed office back in March 2020 and trapped in our mailroom. Before the company could send another set to my apartment, where I was sheltering in place, they first had to dye them for me.” While they’re expensive, Lewis “expects them to, as the brand claims, ‘stand the test of time.’”

Linoto 100 Percent Linen Sheet Set, 14 Inch Standard Depth

Feel: Rough | Weight: Hefty | Colors: 29 Colors | Price: $$$

For sheets you’ll want to pass down to the next generation, Linoto’s bedding is made without chemicals in upstate New York out of Italian and Belgian linen. Strategist senior editor Winnie Yang just got a flat sheet, and while she says it’s too soon to say anything about longevity, “the quality is remarkable: There are lots of nice details in the sewing, and it seems like a heavier weight textile than the linen sheets I’ve owned.” Rhodes agrees: “Upon unboxing these, they immediately felt heavier and more like the idea of an heirloom sheet than any other I’ve encountered.” Plus, Rhodes actually got to talk to the founder about the best ways to break in the sheets. Besides just regular washing and time, he recommends adding a little hair conditioner to the wash in lieu of fabric softener. They’re available in 29 vibrant colors, but you’ll have to wait a few weeks for them to arrive. As Rhodes concludes, “These have the right ratio of soothing to crisp qualities, and the sheets hold their shape. It’s hard to imagine they won’t last for ages.”

• Maxine Builder, Strategist editor
• Tembe Denton-Hurst, Strategist writer
• Lauren Levy, former Strategist senior writer
• Casey Lewis, former Strategist senior editor
• Ailbhe Malone, Strategist senior editor
• Crystal Martin, Strategist senior editor
• Jenna Milliner-Waddell, Strategist associate editor
• Dominique Pariso, Strategist writer
• Margaret Rhodes, former Strategist senior editor
• Jen Trolio, Strategist senior editor
• Winnie Yang, Strategist senior editor

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