Best linen sheets − beautiful, breathable sets, approved by our sleep editor

Ideal for hot sleepers and eco-conscious shoppers, linen sheets combine durable materials with timeless style

Piglet in Bed make some of the best linen sheets. Here's their Dusk Blue Ticking Stripe Linen Sheet Set on a bed against a white wall.
(Image credit: Piglet in Bed)

Linen sheets are breathable, durable, and designed to be wrinkled. That's why linen sheets are a great option for hot sleepers, eco-conscious shoppers, and anyone who hates making the bed. 

A little more about linen: it's woven from the stem of the flax plant, whose fibers are totally hollow (hence the enhanced breathability). It's naturally moisture-wicking and antimicrobial, built to bust the bacteria that breed in hot, damp environments, such as bedrooms. It's even hypoallergenic to suit sleepers with sensitive skin. 

As H&G's resident sleep writer, I've snuggled under some of the world's best bed sheets, and I can't get enough of linen. You'll find linen sheets in all the specialist sleep stores, as well as the major home retailers, in every conceivable color. With so much on the market, it's easy to feel spoiled for choice. 

Best linen sheets 2024: tried and tested

You can trust Homes & Gardens. Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing the latest products, helping you choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

To save you time and money, I've narrowed the search to the nine best linen sheet sets at the fairest prices you'll find online. Whether you're shopping for a lightweight linen set for summer or all-season sheets for year-round use, I've got you covered.

Best linen sheets

How we test linen sheets

Pear Ticking Stripe Linen Pillowcases on a bed.

(Image credit: Piglet in Bed)

We put a lot of thought into how we test linen sheets. It's more than a matter of sleeping on the job. 

Our expert testers sample linen sheets through all four seasons, through heatwaves and cold snaps, to monitor their performance over time and assess that thermoregulation first-hand. We strip our beds, wash the sheets, and make our beds again to determine how well the linen washes and dries, how it lies on the bed, and whether it's gotten any softer in the wash. We also consider the range of color and pattern options to help you make a style statement.

Meet the team

Louise Oliphant headshot.
Louise Oliphant

Louise is one of our former eCommerce Editors at H&G. She covered everything from furniture and decor to small and large appliances, with a concentration is sleep products. Louise tested several of these linen sheet sets for inclusion in this buying guide.

A headshot of eCommerce Editor Emilia Hitching
Emilia Hitching

Emilia is our resident sleep writer at H&G. She spends her days searching for the lowest prices on the best bedding and spends her nights testing sheets, shams, comforters, and mattresses in her own home.

How to choose linen sheets

Mineral Red Ticking Stripe Linen Duvet Cover on a bed.

(Image credit: Piglet in Bed)

So, you're set on linen. Once you've made your choice of material, there are only two more decisions you need to make before you bag your bedding bundle. 

First, set your budget, and stick to it. Linen bedding can get seriously expensive, with some luxury sets retailing for more than $500. That's a lot of money to spend on sheets and shams. It's totally possible to grab a great set of linen sheets for less than $100, but I reckon the sweet spot is somewhere between $200 and $300. Remember, linen sheets are super durable. You're investing now so that you don't need to buy another sheet set for years to come. 

Next, consider style. You'll find a lot of linen in neutral hues to showcase its natural texture. We're talking whites, creams, and beige tones to complement any bedroom color palette. If you're keen to experiment with color, I recommend shopping at Bed Threads or Magic Linen. These specialist sleep stores work with organic dyes to protect the texture of your linen and save you from irritated skin. 

Best linen sheets FAQs

What is GSM?

GSM stands for 'grams per square meter'. It's a measure of textile weight to help you tell the difference between thick and thin sheets. Think of it as the linen equivalent of the best thread count for bed sheets: the lower the GSM, the lighter and more breathable the linen, while a higher GSM rating indicates thicker, more durable material.

Why is linen so expensive?

Long story short: because the materials are harder to source, and the production process is more laborious. Linen is woven from flax, which is native to Europe and Asia. If you want to buy linen sheets in the US, you're paying in part for the flax fibers to be harvested and shipped to an American factory. 

Speaking of: the linen production process is a lot more involved than you might expect. Factory workers need to extract the linen fibers from the flax stalks before looming them across low-speed machines. It takes a long time to produce a comparatively small amount of linen fabric, which increases demand and ups the cost.

Is linen a sustainable bed sheet fabric?

Yes. The linen production process uses the entirety of the flax plant, minimizing waste. Compared to the production of, say, cotton, making linen requires far less water and fewer pesticides. 

The process of making linen should leave animals and insects unharmed. This is in stark contrast to the process of harvesting silk, which endangers the lives of millions of silkworms. Bonus: linen is both recyclable and biodegradable.

Is it better to sleep on linen or cotton?

To the untrained eye, linen and cotton seem pretty similar. Each material is prized for its natural breathability and thermoregulation: I'd happily recommend linen or cotton sheets for hot sleepers. With that said, there are a few key differences in look, feel, and price point. 

Where cotton percale is crisp and smooth, and cotton sateen is soft and silky, linen has more texture. Some people find linen too stiff and scratchy to start, but it should soften up after a few cycles in the washing machine. Unlike cotton, which creases and crumples, linen should lie beautifully on your bed: wrinkles are all part of the charm.

Cotton threads are thin, granted, but flax fibers are hollow. That makes linen highly breathable and an excellent option for hot sleepers in warm climates. If you tend to sleep warm in the summer, but cool in the winter, you might struggle to stay warm under linen sheets all year round. In that case, you could shop a set of linen sheets for summer or invest in an all-season set.

Final thoughts

Once you've invested in a set of linen sheets, it's important to take good care of it. It's worth learning how to wash linen bedding to get the most out of your product. Pay attention: washing linen is a delicate process, and you can't rely on the same old tips and tricks you use to wash cotton.

Emilia Hitching
Sleep Editor

Emilia is our resident sleep writer. She spends her days tracking down the lowest prices on the best bedding and spends her nights testing it out from the comfort of her own home – it's a dream job. Her quest to learn how to sleep better has taken her all around the world, from mattress factories in Arizona to sleep retreats in Scandinavia. Before she joined Homes & Gardens, Emilia studied English at the University of Oxford. She also worked on the other side of the aisle, writing press releases for regional newspapers and crafting copy for Sky.