When it comes to your bedding, you probably want to get the most comfortable sheets. They sometimes get held close to your face all night and certainly wrap up the rest of your body. When it comes to comparing the sheets of cotton versus those of linen, some interesting facts emerge. Today we will explore exactly how cotton and linen are different and also which sheet material is superior to the other.
Cotton has a lot going for it. It is first spun into yarn and then made into the fabric from that yarn. The result is a universally used fabric. Cotton is soft, absorbent, and is a good insulator.
One of the main reasons that cotton has universal appeal is because it is cheap to manufacture. However, one of the misconceptions is that the higher the thread count, the better the quality of the fabric. The thread count actually only contributes to around 10% of the final quality. There are other factors that determine the quality of the cotton fabric such as the originating region, the technique used in yarn, and the final finishing supplies.
You probably know what’s coming here, but linen is actually even better than cotton for sheets. It is made from flax and is the strongest fiber in the world. The best regions to get it from are France and Belgium. Europeans already are in on the fact that it is the best material for sleeping in.
The fibers have the unique ability to keep you warm in the winter but to let out heat in the summer. They also get softer over time. This makes them more desirable as the fabric ages.
A Break Down of the Key Features of Linen Versus Cotton
Which One Lasts Longer?
Linen is around 30% stronger than cotton. This means that it will be more hearty over time. Additionally, due to linen’s softening properties, most European families will pass these sheets down through generations. The stonewashed linens by Scotties have been known to soften the most as the process removes excess fibers.
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Which One is Warmer?
Cotton can be warm, there is no doubt. However, the linen fibers are hollow. This means that they can circulate air better. The fabric will attract heat in the winter but cool you down in the summer. It is a fabric that is reactive to the seasons.
Which One is More Environmentally Friendly?
Flax actually takes less energy to manufacture than cotton. It requires less water to grow and less pesticides to stay bug-free. In fact, they say that linen requires a fifth of what cotton does in pesticides to grow healthy.
Which One is More Allergy Sensitive?
Linen is a fiber that is natural so it is very easy on the skin. Cotton has these same properties. One of the advantages of linen though is that it traps in less dust due to the loose weave. This can make it a preferable fabric for those suffering from allergies.
Which One Absorbs Moisture Better?
Cotton is more absorbent, but this can also mean that it breaks down faster than linen. You might like the fact that you don’t get as much of your morning coffee on your linen sheets if you towel it up right away.