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Linen is a contentious textile. It wrinkles very easily, feels a bit rough, and is notoriously expensive. On the other hand, some prefer the casual, lived-in look, and it does get softer with time and use. Most importantly, because it's made from hollow flax fibers, which absorb moisture and let air pass through, linen is breathable and stays dry even on the warmest, stuffiest nights.
We became believers from the first night we tried linen sheets. We felt their cooling benefits instantly and didn't wake up sweaty or uncomfortable. If you sleep hot, you should try introducing linen to your rotation of bed sheets.
Product care can vary by brand, but you'll typically want to hand wash or machine wash your linen sheets on a gentle cycle, without bleach. Then, tumble dry or line dry them.
Best linen sheets overall: Sijo, $188 on Amazon The cool, airy, and beautiful linen sheets from Sijo will be your summer favorite, or if you regularly sleep hot, a durable yearlong standby.
Best linen sheets for variety: MagicLinen, from $238 on MagicLinen MagicLinen's comfortable linen sets include a deep option for thick mattresses and wear beautifully over time. You'll also get the most color choice here.
Best organic linen sheets: Coyuchi, from $118 on Coyuchi Truly organic linen is hard to come by, which is why we appreciate Coyuchi's thoughtful and careful approach to the fabric.
Updated on 04/06/2021: Following testing for our guide to the best sheets, we've replaced MagicLinen with Sijo as our best overall pick. However, we still recommend MagicLinen because it's durable, comfortable, and has an impressive variety of colors and sizes. We've also removed our best budget category for now because Sijo is more affordable than the previous pick, Brooklinen. We're continuing to search for a worthy linen sheet set under $200.
Pros: Stays dry and cool, casually wrinkled style, flexible flat sheet option
Cons: Doesn't come in as many colors and sizes as competitors, may experience some shedding
Sijo sheets are the best linen sheets I've tried because they strike the right balance of comfort, coolness, durability, and price. After a couple months of testing, they knock out our former best pick, MagicLinen, because of how downright soft and comfortable they are, even while having the signature grainy texture of linen. And, they get softer and better after multiple washes. If your preconception of linen is that it's too scratchy to enjoy, Sijo's sheets will change your mind. They're also airy and light, keeping me cool on California spring-nights-that-already-feel-like-summer (we recently had temps in the high 80s in late March).
I personally loved the wrinkled look, especially combined with the soothing Blush color. I'm also a fan of Sky, a dusky blue. The color and overall construction have held up well so far, and the fabric continues to feel both substantial and lightweight. You should expect some shedding in the first few washes — it's a natural part of the process but a little annoying to pick off your bed.
Unlike with MagicLinen, I didn't have any sizing issues with Sijo's sheets. All the sets have a 15-inch depth. You can also opt in or out of a flat sheet, which provides great flexibility and can bring the price of your purchase down.
Pros: Looks and feels better over time, comes in many colors, suitable for thick mattresses, OEKO-Tex certified
Cons: Takes some time to become softer and more comfortable
Linen is the only thing you can buy from MagicLinen, which is precisely the reason it's been able to edge out other brands that have only treated the material as one more piece of their larger bedding puzzles.
All of its products are handcrafted in Vilnius, Lithuania. The linen is stonewashed — a softening process that's completely natural and non-toxic — and OEKO-Tex certified, meaning it meets chemical safety standards and is free from harmful substances.
One reason these sheets stand out so much to senior editor Sally Kaplan is that they come in deep options for mattresses up to 18 inches tall, a sizing that's usually difficult to find for linen. That means you can use mattress toppers or pads and still enjoy the comfort and feel of linen.
According to Sally, MagicLinen's sheets aren't the softest out of the bag, but after two years of use, they've aged well, getting softer and cozier with every wash.
If you're not sure yet about committing, you can get fabric samples. A set of all the colors only costs $5, plus you'll get a $5 discount off your next purchase.
Pros: Organic and eco-friendly, durable weave
Cons: Pricey, not available in twin and full sizes
Coyuchi, a brand that's always been committed to organic products, transparent and ethical practices, and nature-inspired designs, is one of the few makers of organic linen.
As it turns out, if you're buying linen, you're already being somewhat of an environmentalist. Flax is an eco-friendly plant that doesn't require much fertilizer or irrigation in order to thrive. However, Coyuchi goes one step further by only working with farmers in France who grow other organic crops (e.g. wheat, legumes) in the soil that the flax rotates through. This process ensures that the flax is 100% organic.
In addition, the linen is Global Organic Textile Standard certified, Made Safe certified, and colored with organic dyes.
Expect to pay a premium if you care about shopping organic. Coyuchi's durable and heavyweight Linen Set, which comes with one flat sheet, one fitted sheet, and two pillowcases and is available in seven colors, costs twice as much as other options in this guide.
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