Linen sheets are synonymous with luxury, but are there any downsides to flax linen for bedding? As part of the Leaf Score Guide to Non-Toxic Bedding we take a look at the pros and cons of linen sheets.
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Pros and Cons of Linen Sheets – A Quick Overview
- Beautiful textile for a casual, relaxed aesthetic
- Breathable and can reduce sweatiness
- Softens with washing
- More absorbent and insulating than cotton
- Sustainably grown crop
- More durable than cotton
- Can be expensive
- Requires more care than cotton or hemp
- Can be very wrinkly, which isn’t to everyone’s taste
Already know you love flax? Check out our top choices for linen sheets here.
Like hemp, flax linen is a great choice for sheets for everyday use but especially during puberty, menopause, chronic illness, or the postpartum period.
This material is non-allergenic, absorbent, and can help reduce sweating by supporting healthy sebaceous (sweat) gland function (I wrote a whole paper on flax!). As such, flax sheets can help you stay cool in hot and sweaty conditions.
Flax linen also gets softer with every wash but is more durable than cotton. You may find sheets made with a blend of flax, cotton, or bamboo. This can be a good choice to improve the durability of the sheets while reducing the weight of flax and making things a bit less wrinkly.
One of the biggest draws of flax linen sheets, though, is the casual, relaxed look to the fabric. Linen has a naturally rumpled texture that isn’t to everyone’s taste but which works very well for layering.
Linen is great for keeping you cool and dry but can also feel very cozy and is more insulating than cotton.
Linen also has more weight than cotton and hemp, which could help you sleep better if you prefer heavier bedding in generally.
You might also want to check out our top choices for weighted blankets.
Flax linen sustainability
Like hemp, flax grows easily without any pesticide or fertilizer applications, which is why most flax is grown to organic standards even if it’s not certified as such. It’s also a useful plant for bioremediation, though, so it’s a good idea to check where the flax comes from, just in case it sucked up any heavy metals while growing.
For the most part, flax linen sheets are made using flax grown as part of a farmer’s overall crop rotation. Flax is a great crop to grow in years when a farmer needs to give the soil a break from growing vegetables. In some cases, this means that while the flax itself may not be certified organic, the farm it comes from might be certified organic for the veggies it grows.
Final thoughts on flax linen sheets – pros and cons
I’m a huge fan of flax, both as a crop and as a textile material. Many years back, I learned how to harvest flax from an urban weaving superstar in Vancouver, and I even attempted to weave flax into something resembling a textile. The result was definitely not something I’d have wanted to sleep on, but it was so great to connect with the material and appreciate the effort that goes into making everyday items like bed sheets.
Note that flax linen sheets need different kinds of care and maintenance than organic cotton sheets. Keep your flax linen sheets looking and feeling good for years to come with our top tips for sheet care and maintenance.