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Linen vs Cotton

Updated: Jan 9, 2022

The pros, the cons,....and what is the better option to chose when shopping for your interior decor ?


Where does Linen come from?


Linen is a natural fibre derived from the Flax plant. Inside the stalks are cellulose fibres which are taken, spun into yarn and then made into fabric. This is then used in may types of textiles products we see on store shelfs, things like linen bedding, linen garments and linen kitchenware. Flax is commonly grown and harvested in Europe, however the flax plant can be found all over the world. Flax is very environmentally friendly and this is because very few chemicals are needed in the growing and cultivating process.


Where does Cotton come from?


Cotton comes from the 'Cotton plant' (Gossypium L). This is a type of shrub that is best grown in warmer tropical, and sub tropical conditions. The staple natural fibres found in this plant are taken and used for yarn and then made into varying grades and mixes of cotton textiles. Cotton is very versatile and considered the most widely spread, commonly used fabric in the world.


 

What are the Pros and Cons of Linen??


LINEN PROS:

  • Will stand the test of time! Linen is 12 times as strong as cotton and well known for its quality & durability. It will get softer with washes and won't 'wear out' over time.

  • Flax Linen bedding shouldn't require ironing as it has a natural crinkle look. Wash, line dry and throw it on the bed to create a stylish, relaxed bedroom setting.

  • Hypoallergenic fabric. Great for its natural antibacterial purposes, especially in the kitchen and sleeping on.

  • Breathable. Really good for absorbing moisture and will dry quicker than a lot of other other fabrics.

  • Extremely comfortable to sleep on. Soft pre-washed flax linen sheets are like none other. They are a lightweight and feel lovely and fresh to lie on.

  • Non shiny finish. Linen is very popular for that high quality, natural finish. It has a certain look that will give you that natural look finish and that is why its so popular with duvets and sheets.

  • Won't pill

  • Resistant to stains, so most marks can be washed at lower temperatures than cotton.

  • Very eco-friendly fabric, but still always check for 'OKEO-TEX' certified Linen, as it's tested and a safer option in any fabric.

  • Aspen & Fern Linen sheets are all pre-shrunk, so shouldn't shrink if you follow care label instructions. Do check different brands, as some may not be pre-shrunk.

LINEN CONS:

  • Linen is normally more expensive than cotton.

  • If you don't like a natural crinkle in sheets then it won't be the ideal choice for your bedding.


COTTON PROS:


  • Versatile and can buy in different grades to suit own budget.

  • Soft to sleep on and a very wildly used in bedding.

  • Low maintenance

  • Easy to wash

  • Can purchase cotton bedding from nearly all bedding retailers being such a wildly used fabric.

  • Looks lovely when ironed and can give your bedroom interior a modern classy feel.

COTTON CONS:

  • Creases easily and doesn't look fantastic if it hasn't been ironed.

  • Easily shrinkable.

  • Isn't always as eco-friendly as Linen. Stick to OXEO-TEX certified, as it is tested and free from harmful chemicals.

  • High Thread Count cotton is ok, but cheaper lower grade cotton (anything under 250TC) will wear down over time and become thinner.

  • Take time to break in and some products can feel stiff to sleep on initially.


 

What is the best option to buy ?


Both options can offer high quality solutions for bedding (and other interior homewares), however I personally prefer sleeping on Linen and find it never lets me down! I prefer the natural look, and soft feel of flax, but if you do prefer sleeping on Cotton then sticking to a higher TC (500-1000), OR a good quality Organic Cotton option will give you a great product that will last for ages!


If you tend to sweat in your sleep then I would high recommend Linen, as it just won't hold the moisture like other fabrics can - you should find you get a better nights sleep :)


If you are just wanting a cheap and cheerful solution to just jazz up the bedroom, then Linen won't be the best option for you. Overall the process of producing Linen takes longer, so it normally tends to be higher in cost. As cotton is also more widely produced worldwide you can always expect to find fantastic buys with Cotton - keeping this in mind you can't go too wrong here.


At the end of the day go for what suits your own style and preferences, but always handy to know what you are working with!







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