Choosing the right material to sleep on is a final step in making your bed really comfortable. Even once you’ve decided to go for natural fabrics you still have an important decision to make – to choose among two of the most common natural bedding materials: linen and cotton.
Both of these fibers have their own distinctive feel and benefits, so how to choose one over the other? Here are some of their key differences that will help you make the right decision.
Linen VS Cotton. What’s the difference?
Linen is the world’s strongest natural fiber and is often regarded as the best quality material to sleep in. It is derived from the flax plant that goes through a lengthy production process to become an end-product for your bed.
Linen has a lot of benefits and is famous for its balance between its strength and the ability to become softer after each wash. Linen is one of the best breathable fabrics, it can keep you cool in summer and won’t let you get cold in winter.
The top flax growing countries in the world are France, Belgium, Italy, and Lithuania. They have the perfect climate conditions to grow it and produce the highest quality natural fibers that will be then turned into cozy linen sheets for your bedroom.
Cotton is the other kind of natural material that is commonly used for bedding. Cotton is a soft natural fiber that gets its strength from spinning the fiber into yarn and then weaving the yarn into fabric. Cotton is breathable and moisture-wicking fabric, also because of the softness it’s really comfortable material to sleep in.
The process of producing cotton is relatively easy compared to the linen process so that cotton textiles tend to be lower priced.
The most common delusion about cotton is that the higher the thread count is, the higher the quality is. But what is actually the best thread count? In fact, the thread count itself only contributes up to 10% of a finished bedding product. Other factors that are much more important to measure the quality of the fabric include the species and quality of the source cotton, the country of origin, the yarning technique and finishing materials.
We will get to these factors in our upcoming posts.
Why choose Linen?
Durable and strong
Linen is known to be the world’s strongest natural fiber. Not only is linen thicker than cotton, but it is also 30% stronger than cotton, that makes the linen bed sheets being more durable and lasts a lot longer.
Able to soften after each wash
High-quality cotton is inevitably softer than linen, especially within the first six months of purchase. However, high-quality linen becomes softer and more absorbent after each wash without losing its durability. Most linens that are used for bedding products (like Scottie’s) are high quality and are also ‘stonewashed’, which makes linen look more elegant and be even softer than usual.
Linen is a natural insulator. It has natural heat and moisture-wicking properties that make linen a good conductor of warmth and a popular fabric to use for clothing or bedding in the summer.
More environmentally friendly
The cultivation and manufacturing of flax are environmentally friendly and require less irrigation, pesticides, and energy than most other fibers, including cotton. For example, the flax plant, from which linen is derived, requires only 1/5 of the pesticides and fertilizers that cotton requires.
Because linen is a natural fiber (so is cotton too) it is hypoallergenic, meaning that it is great for people who suffer from allergies or have sensitive skin, so they won’t need to worry about having an allergic reaction when touching the fabric or sleeping on it.
Linen has an incredible ability of moisture absorption and can absorb up to 20% of its weight before beginning to feel damp or wet.