Get Cosy! Cotton vs. Linen: Which Would You Choose?
Sheets, whether at home or in hotels, are what make any bed inviting.
When looking for sheets, the first thing we think of is if they are affordable and long-lasting. There are other factors to consider as well, like if they are hypoallergenic, how easy they are to clean and the type of material.
You can choose from various materials available on the market today. Examples include linen, cotton, silk, synthetics, bamboo, blends and many others.
The big question here is: cotton or linen?
In this article, we will look at all aspects of cotton and linen and determine which is the best option.
But first, here are some questions to consider when choosing bedsheets:
- Other than the material, what varieties are available to choose from?
- Are the sheets easy to clean and care for?
- Are they long-lasting and affordable?
Cotton has a history dating back to Mexico from the year 5000 BC and in Pakistan dating as far back to 3500 BC.
In Europe, the traditional spinning wheel was greatly improved around the 1350s. This meant that cotton was being processed for more uses.
The boll is the main part used in cotton and is known to grow best in the Americas, India and Africa.
The linters, which are the little cotton pieces left on the seeds, make everyday items like beauty cotton balls, banknotes, plastic, bandages, and cotton buds. The cottonseed is sometimes fed to cattle and also used for making oil.
Why Go for Cotton Sheets?
- When buying sheets, you want something gentle on the skin. Cotton is soft and durable.
- Cotton breathes well and doesn’t hold onto odour.
- Cotton is one of the more expensive fabrics on the market. However, it is durable and saves you money in the long-run.
- If you are looking for material that holds on to dye, cotton is the best option. This is good news for those who love colour in their lives.
- Cotton is hypoallergenic, which makes it great for people who suffer from allergies.
- Cotton is perfect for hot and humid weather because it is absorbent.
- Cotton is easy to clean, which makes it perfect for hotels and Airbnbs.
- Cotton blends well with other fabrics.
With advantages comes the downside of cotton:
- It easily wrinkles after use. You will have to spend some extra time ironing your sheets after washing and before use if they have been in storage.
- Cotton usually shrinks after it’s washed. Luckily, there is an option to buy pre-shrunk cotton sheets.
- Cotton absorbs stains and sweat, which can be harder to clean and maintain over time.
- Cotton can accumulate mildew, which is a health risk if not properly dried.
Linen mostly comes from Europe and is made from natural fibre from the flax plant. It is one of the oldest fabrics known to man and can be traced back to Switzerland in 8000 BC as well as in Egyptian tombs. The flax plant needs constant care in order to produce the best material for linen.
After harvesting the flax plant, its seeds are removed and the stalk rolled between a presser, which exposes its fibres. These fibres are long and are what is woven to create the finished linen fabric. The wax coating seen on these pressed fibres gives linen an attractive shine.
Benefits of Linen
- Linen is self-cooling because the perspiration is absorbed by the linen fabric. Who doesn’t like sleeping on cool sheets?
- Linen is perfect for hot weather or high temperatures. Along with a faux fur blanket, linen sheets can keep you cosy during the cold seasons.
- Linen is used for making table linen, curtains, clothing and towels.
- Linen is hypoallergenic and lint-free, the perfect fit for people with allergies.
- Linen sheets are easy to store, especially in a cool, well-ventilated area. Try not to store linen in boxes or bags.
- When looking for a decorative type of bedding, linen is great because it holds colour dye well.
- It can begin to show signs of wear and tear after five years of use, but can last decades with proper care and storage.
The downside to linen sheets includes:
- Linen is prone to wrinkling. If you are in the hospitality industry and choose linen, prepare to constantly iron this type of sheet. However, there are now wrinkle-free linen sheets available today.
- Decorative linen is perfect for rarely used upholstery because of its type of weave.
Simple Tips for Choosing The Best Sheets
- Go for a well-known brand of sheets. You can check out ALS for quality sheets, towels, bath linen and many more products. Register a new account, check out the available collections and request for a quote. It’s as simple as that!
- Make sure you have some flexible measurement of your beds so you can buy well-fitting sheets. This is also so you can cater for any shrinkage after the first wash.
- If you are regularly cleaning your sheets, choose options that are easy to clean and maintain. For the best results, follow the washing instructions that come with your sheets.
- Choose hypoallergenic, antifungal and antibacterial sheets. These will cater for people with allergies.
- Weather conditions help you to buy the best bed sheets. Select sheets which suit the climate. In such a case, look for cooling sheets or those that absorb sweat.
- Thread count is what is used to measure how coarse or fine sheets are. A higher thread count (usually around 180 and above) is considered to be higher quality. However, this is not always the case. It only means that it’s finer than those of a lower count. Focus instead on the quality of the sheets and not only thread count.
- Choose sheets which are both functional and look good on your beds.
- When buying sheets, you can choose affordable options which won’t need to be replaced often. This is a plus for those in the hospitality business.
Feature Image: John Hickey-Fry