The 9 Best Linen Sheet Sets To Keep You Cool Through Sweaty Summer Nights

Photo: Getty Images/ Louise Beaumont
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The summer season brings more sunshine, shorter shorts, and, unfortunately, the onset of night sweats. If you’re a hot sleeper or the summer heat has you waking up in a pool of perspiration, swapping out your bedding for linen sheets may be as welcome as a refreshing breeze on a muggy day in July. Made from flax, linen is an ideal summer fabric, thanks to its breathability and temperature-regulating properties. While most linen fabrics can keep you cool through sweaty summer nights, the best linen sheet sets will also be soft (whether right at the get-go or after a few washes) and comfortable enough to promise a full night’s rest every night of the year. In other words, scratchy sheets are out of the question.


Experts In This Article

To determine which linen sheets are worth the purchase, the Well+Good staffers dressed their beds with and slept on the most popular linen sheet sets on the market, and reviewed each in terms of texture, quality, and overall value. We also spoke to Preeti Gopinath, associate professor of textiles at Parsons School of Design in New York, who offered up information on what to look for when selecting a linen sheet set.

Best linen sheet sets, at a glance

What are the benefits of using a linen sheet set?

Linen has been a popular summer fabric for years, thanks to its loosely-woven breathability and temperature and sweat-wicking properties—benefits that you can enjoy if you sleep on it, too. While great for the warm months, you can also use linen sheets year round. According to Gopinath: “[Linen] keeps you cool in the summer and doesn’t get cold in the wintertime.” What’s more? It is hypoallergenic and resistant to dirt and debris, and because flax requires very little irrigation and processing, is environmentally friendly to boot.

What to look for in linen sheets

“When shopping for linen, I think the consideration is usually softness,” says Gopinath. While linen sheets are known to have a coarse texture that usually softens with washing, you’ll likely want an option that is pre-washed for softness or becomes softer after just a few, rather than many, washes. As you shop, keep in mind that a manufacturer may make bedding feel smoother by adding softeners, which can mask the true texture of the fabric—and it’s only until you wash the fabric that its texture will be revealed.

You’ll also want to consider the overall quality and durability as you shop for linen sheets—after all, they don’t usually come cheap. The materials and construction are often good indicators of a linen sheet set’s quality and durability. “Belgian flax is considered primo,” says Gopinath, adding that France and Germany are known to grow beautiful flax, too. She also points to Italy, Northern Ireland, and Lithuania, which she says all make linen fabrics that are high quality. If you’re shopping online, it may also be worth reading reviews from customers for insights on how a particular product stacks up to other best-selling options on the market.

With all these in mind, below are the nine best linen sheets the Well+Good team tested and loved.

Best linen sheet sets

Pottery Barn Belgian Flax Linen Sheet Set
Best Belgian flax: Pottery Barn Belgian Flax Linen Sheet Set — $289.00

Pottery Barn’s sheets are made from 100 Belgian flax linen, which as Gopinath mentioned is considered “primo.” What’s more, they were manufactured in a Fair Trade-certified factory, which means they were produced with environmental and social responsibility in mind. Our reviewer attested to their quality, which she says, was revealed after a wash in the washing machine. After just one wash, she reports that the sheets felt soft and looked less wrinkled—and Pottery Barn claims that they will only get softer after every wash. In addition, our reviewer notes that the sheets feel durable, which might indicate that it could last you for years to come.

Material: 100% Belgian flax linen
Weight: None listed
Certifications: OEKO-TEX Standard 100, Fair Trade Certified Factory
Comes with: Two pillowcases, fitted sheet, flat sheet
Available sizes: Full, queen, king, California king
Available colors: 37
Machine washable? Yes

What our testers say: “The sheets were firm and a bit rough at first use. The pillowcase was really large even though I ordered a queen size pillowcase. After washing, the sheets became less wrinkled and looked better, and also felt better to the touch. The overall feel of these sheets is that they are expensive, durable and sturdy to survive many washes.” — Lana Volkov, former senior manager, growth & SEO

Pros:

  • Made with 100% Belgian flax linen
  • Manufactured in a Fair Trade-certified factory
  • Over 30 color options

Cons:

  • Limited sizing options
  • Pillowcases were too large, according to our reviewer
Brooklinen Linen Core Sheet Set
Best lightweight: Brooklinen Linen Core Sheet Set — $259.00

Brooklinen has earned itself the title of trendiest, most Instagram-worthy, luxury bedding brand. From bath towels to blankets and loungewear, the brand has become a staple in every apartment tour video. Their 100 percent European-flax sheet set offers an understated elegance that is equal parts cozy. Multiple reviewers reported that the sheets are incredibly lightweight, making them perfect for staving off the night sweats—and our own reviewer at team Well+Good agrees. The sheets come in a total of 15 colors and five sizes, and the core set includes two pillowcases, a fitted sheet, and a flat sheet.

Material: 100% European flax linen
Weight: 145 GSM
Certifications: OEKO-TEX Standard 100
Comes with: Two pillowcases, fitted sheet, flat sheet
Available sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, California king
Available colors: 16
Machine washable? Yes

What our testers say: “I was impressed with the Brooklinen pieces out of the box and appreciated that they came together in a storage bag. I got the cream color and loved the pale yellow hue, it reminded me of really softly beaten egg yolks; the color was rich and hasn’t faded. When I took the box apart, I was surprised at how rough the sheets felt, but they softened up immediately in the wash and more over the course of the time I’ve tested them. I keep my room quite cool when I sleep and these sheets definitely felt like they helped with this and they feel nice and soft against my skin. I liked everything about these sheets; they do get quite wrinkly but I don’t mind. The fabric is quite thin so I am worried about future rips, but I haven’t encountered that so far.” — Helen Carefoot, former lifestyle writer

Pros:

  • Lightweight
  • Ideal for hot sleepers
  • Softens after wash

Cons:

  • Cons:
  • May be too lightweight for year-round use
  • The sheets are too coarse for some reviewers
Quince European Linen Sheet Set
Best budget: Quince European Linen Sheet Set — $130.00

The Well+Good team loves Quince for its high-quality, low-priced clothing and home goods—and the European flax linen sheet set is no exception. In fact, our reviewer compares it to linen sheets that you would typically find at a five-star hotel. If anything, she mentions it was scratchy at first, though it softened significantly after a wash. She also loves that it was breathable, but notes that it was heavier and thicker than Egyptian cotton sheets she has tried—which might appeal to those who want heftier sheets that they can use even in cold weather. Included in the set are two pillowcases, a fitted sheet, and a flat sheet, and it comes in a range of color options to choose from.

Material: 100% European flax linen
Weight: None listed
Certifications: OEKO-TEX Standard 100
Comes with: Two pillowcases, fitted sheet, flat sheet
Available sizes: Twin, full, queen, king, California king
Available colors: 21
Machine washable? Yes

What our testers say: “If you’re looking for bedding that screams opulence, you’ve met your match—although I’ll caveat the packaging might make you think otherwise. Quince’s European linen sheets arrive at your door in a modest shrink-wrapped linen drawstring bag, but don’t let that deter you. Indeed, the packaging doesn’t leave much to admire, but it’s what’s on the inside that counts, right? Eyes on the prize, folks. Upon first touch, you’ll instantly know you’ve made the right purchase. The linen sheets offer that old-money look and feel of luxury (at a very economical price point) with a touch of the coastal grandmother aesthetic.

It’s made from ethically-woven 100 percent European flax, giving it a breathable, five-star hotel linens feel that only gets softer with time (it’s a bit scratchy at first). Overall, the quality is superior—just keep in mind that European linen is much heavier and thicker than your usual Egyptian cotton sets. That said, this bedding is ideal for a guest bedroom where you’ll want to grace your friends and family with the dreamiest (and potentially finest) sleep ever. Best part? You can purchase the sheets in a “fitted sheet set” or a “sheet set” option—hot sleepers, IYKYK. And, in case you were wondering, there’s a matching European Linen Duvet Cover Set that’s definitely going into my shopping cart next. It’s simply b-e-a-utiful.” — Maki Yazawa, senior food writer

Pros:

  • Most budget-friendly option on the list
  • Breathable material
  • Over 10 color options

Cons:

  • Prone to wrinkling
  • Medium-weight fabric might not be ideal for hot sleepers
Cultiver Linen Sheet Set with Pillowcases
Best soft: Cultiver Linen Sheet Set with Pillowcases — $390.00

Cultiver linen sheets are well-loved—and one thing many loved most is how soft the sheets are, with some adding there was no break-in period. Another thing that impressed our reviewer is the range of colors available (there are 15 options, to be exact), even proclaiming that they looked better in person.

“Cultiver linen sheets look and feel expensive, but the best thing about them is the weight,” says our reviewer. “I’m the kind of person who likes substantial bedding.”

The sheets themselves are made of 100 percent flax linen sourced from Portugal, and with the set comes two pillowcases, a fitted sheet, and a flat sheet. If there was one downside to the sheet set, it would be the lack of sizing options, which is limited to queen and king sizes.

Material: 100% European flax
Weight: 165 GSM
Certifications: OEKO-TEX Standard 100
Comes with: Two pillowcases, fitted sheet, flat sheet
Available sizes: Queen, king
Available colors: 15
Machine washable? Yes

What our testers say: “Cultiver linen sheets look and feel expensive, but the best thing about them is the weight. I’m the kind of person who likes substantial bedding.” — Jamie Thilman, former senior editor, growth

Pros:

  • Pre-washed for softness
  • Mid-weight yet breathable material
  • Available in 16 color options

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Limited sizing options
Bed Threads Flax Linen Sheet Set
Best colorful: Bed Threads Flax Linen Sheet Set — $240.00

Australian brand Bed Threads makes its sheets with 100 percent French flax linen, which come in a wide range of pleasing colors, from classic neutrals to pastels and stripes, and sizes. As a bonus, the sheets are pre-washed for smoothness, and our reviewer reports they were soft, airy, and cool, making them perfect for summer months. The set includes a fitted sheet, a flat sheet, and two pillowcases, but you can buy these pieces separately from Bed Threads for the same price as the sheet set.

Material: 100% French flax linen
Weight: 170 GSM
Certifications: OEKO-TEX Standard 100
Comes with: Two pillowcases, fitted sheet, flat sheet
Available sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, queen special, king, California king
Available colors: 21
Machine washable? Yes

What our testers say: “The shipment presentation of these sheets is next-level. Included in my welcome package were sample cutouts of other bed linen products that Bed Threads sells, as well as information about the new sheets we were about to try. These sheets are made from 100 percent flax linen, a super-sturdy but breathable material that gets softer and softer after every use, so it didn’t surprise me that they weren’t silky-smooth like Egyptian cotton or satin. Rather, their texture mimics an expensive, flowy sundress: soft, airy, and cool. My boyfriend and I are very hot sleepers, and these sheets kept us cool all night long.” — Amelia McBride, associate editor

Pros:

  • Over 20 solid color and patterned options
  • Offers seven size options
  • Sturdy construction

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Not silky-smooth, unlike other fabric materials
Piglet in Bed Berry Gingham Linen Sheet Set
Best patterned: Piglet in Bed Linen Sheet Set — $167.00

For linen sheets with a plethora of patterns to choose from, UK-based Piglet in Bed is your best bet. Our reviewer chose a gingham check pattern, which is appropriately suited for this time of year. If you aren’t keen on patterns, though, Piglet in Bed offers options in a wide array of solid colors, too. The sheets are made from 100 percent French flax linen, and they are pre-washed so they will be soft right out of the box. A set includes a pair of pillowcases, a fitted sheet, and a flat sheet, and Piglet in Bed also allows you to mix and match your bedding as you please.

Material: 100% French flax linen
Weight: None listed
Certifications: OEKO-TEX Standard 100
Comes with: Two pillowcases, fitted sheet, flat sheet
Available sizes: Twin, full, queen, king, California king
Available colors: 5
Machine washable? Yes

What our testers say: “Extremely cute patterns and rich colors that held up throughout several washes. Out of the box, it felt weighty and substantial and kind of delightfully rough but not uncomfortable and it got softer with several washes. The actual full size set felt snug and almost didn’t fit on my full-size mattress even though the dimensions of my mattress aligned with the ones listed for the full size on the website. Also it took a little longer to make the bed because the top and bottom parts of the sheet weren’t labeled. I don’t mind this a ton, but these pretty much always look wrinkled.” — Carefoot

Pros:

  • Fun patterned options available
  • Pre-washed for softness
  • Option to mix and match bedding with Linen Bedtime Bundle

Cons:

  • Prone to wrinkling
  • Size dimensions are inconsistent, according to our reviewer
Buffy Linen Sheet Set
Best hemp: Buffy Linen Sheet Set — $279.00

Originally $279, now $223

Unlike most linen which is made from flax, Buffy uses hemp, which the brand claims is more sustainable, breathable, and long-lasting. Our reviewer attests that they are breathable, and the fabric was neither too thick or too thin but just right. Knowing that the sheets are made without chemical-free dyes might also offer you peace of mind. Included in the set are a fitted sheet, a flat sheet, and two pillowcases, and it’s available in nine colors and four sizes.

Material: 100% hemp linen
Weight: None listed
Certifications: N/A
Comes with: Two pillowcases, fitted sheet, flat sheet
Available sizes: Full, queen, king, California king
Available colors: 9
Machine washable? Yes

What our testers say: “Out of the box, the sheets felt firm and cool to the touch. The pillow case was very soft, and the fabric was not too thick and not too thin. The overall quality was very good and the material is breathable. The size was a bit too large. I have a king size bed, but the sheet was still too big and I had to push the edges underneath the bed frame to make it fit. In terms of looks, it looked a bit rumpled at first. After washing it though, it became less wrinkled.” — Volkov

Pros:

  • Breathable material
  • Soft and substantial texture
  • Medium-weight fabric for year-round use

Cons:

  • Limited sizing options
  • The fit was too large, according to our reviewer
Saatva Linen Sheet Set
Best for year-round use: Saatva Linen Sheet Set — $395.00

The Saatva sheet set is on the higher end of the price spectrum, but it might be worth the splurge if you’re looking for sheets made of the finest linen materials. It’s made from Belgian flax linen, and our reviewer reports that they were “perfectly plush” (after a few nights of breaking them in). She adds that the fabric itself is thick, though not so much that it was stifling, offering just enough heft that left her sleeping like a baby coddled in a swaddle. The sheet set includes two pillowcases, a fitted sheet, and a flat sheet, and though only available in four colors—white, ivory, and gray—the neutral hues would look right at home in most bedrooms.

Material: 100% Belgian flax linen
Weight: None listed
Certifications: OEKO-TEX Standard 100
Comes with: Two pillowcases, fitted sheet, flat sheet (twin and twin XL only come with one pillowcase)
Available sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, California king
Available colors: 4
Machine washable? Yes

What our testers say: “Directly out of Saatva’s stunning wrapping, the sheets felt a little rough and stiff. They’re quite structured compared to other linen sheets I’ve slept in, however, after sleeping in them, they prove to quickly break in. By night two, they were perfectly plush and made me feel like I was sleeping like a baby. I will note that they’re quite thick and that the organic Belgian flax holds a wrinkle longer than other sheets. If you’re worried about achieving an idyllic ~bedscape~, throw ‘em in the dryer with some wool dryer balls and put them on your bed before the crinkles set in.” — Francesca Krempa, commerce editor

Pros:

  • Made from 100% Belgian flax linen
  • Short break-in period
  • Softens post-wash

Cons:

  • Prone to wrinkling
  • Limited color options
Best splurge: Parachute Linen Venice Set — $499.00

With a price of over $400 for a twin size set (exclusive of a flat sheet), the Parachute linen sheet set is the most expensive option featured on the list. Despite its high price, our reviewer attested that they are worth the investment, noting that the Portugal-made flax linen fabric was incredibly soft and airy. “It felt like sleeping inside a cloud,” she proclaimed. They also come in a wide array of and in a number of handsome colors. A basic set includes two pillowcases, a duvet cover, and a fitted sheet, but you can also opt to include a flat sheet with your purchase.

Material: 100% European flax linen
Weight: None listed
Certifications: OEKO-TEX Standard 100
Comes with: Two pillowcases, duvet cover, fitted sheet, with optional flat sheet
Available sizes: Twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, California king
Available colors: 6
Machine washable? Yes

What our testers say: “The sheets felt extremely soft and nice to the touch, but they looked pretty wrinkled once I put them on. The fabric is thin and breathable. In terms of sizing, everything fit well besides the duvet cover. The duvet cover was extremely large and it slightly ruined the experience of having a luxurious set of linen. After washing the set, the sheets became even softer than before.” — Volkov

Pros:

  • Soft texture
  • Wide size range
  • Comes with a duvet cover

Cons:

  • Priciest option on the list
  • The fit of the duvet cover was too large, according to our reviewer

Frequently asked questions

Who makes the best-quality linen?

According to Gopinath, the best-quality flax for making linen is grown in Belgium, France, and Germany, while the best-quality linen comes also from Belgium, as well as Italy, Northern Ireland, and Lithuania.

Is linen the best for sheets?

Linen is an ideal bedding material if you’re looking for an option that is lightweight and breathable, which is why many people like using linen sheets if they live in a warm environment or when temperatures rise in the spring and summer months. Linen sheets aren’t for everyone, though—they often have a texture that is coarser than other fabrics, such as cotton and sateen, and they are prone to wrinkling. If any of these things don’t appeal to you, you may want to choose bedding made from another material.

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