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The Difference Between Linen and Cotton Bedding

Two of the more commonly used fabrics in the bedding industry are cotton and linen. While a simple internet search will tell you that the primary difference between the two comes from the plant of which they are derived, finding your personal preference requires a much deeper look into what makes these fabrics great.



Linen is derived from the flax plant. The flax goes through a lengthy production process to produce linen textiles. This process includes the harvesting of the plant for the longest possible fibers, the drying of the plant, the removing of the seeds, the removing of the fibers from the stalk, and then, finally, the knitting of the fibers into the linen textile.


Linen can typically be identified by its textured look and feel. Unlike the smooth and flat cotton textile, linen feels a bit more granular and can even look patterned in certain colors. It is durable and known for being cool to the touch. While linen is also slightly thicker than cotton, it remains breathable due to the length and width of the fibers. It is naturally hypoallergenic and has a high moisture absorbency.



Cotton is derived from the cotton plant and is typically processed by machine. Once the cotton is picked, the fiber is separated, cleaned, and straightened into thin strands. The strands are then spun into yarn, which is weaved into a cotton textile. Because this process is less intensive than the linen process, cotton textiles tend to be lower priced.


Cotton is smooth to the touch, without a texture or natural pattern. The cotton textile’s tightly woven fabric keeps it strong and durable, while simultaneously giving it the gentle, crisp feeling. Due to the elasticity of cotton, cotton textiles are malleable and flexible from the start, whereas linen typically gets softer with each wash.


Making a Decision

In the end, the choice between the two comes down to personal preference.


Both linen and cotton are known for being durable, with linen coming out as slightly stronger. Still, both are meant to last a long time. Despite their different properties, they are also both breathable, allowing the consumer to feel comfortable regardless of the temperature.


Linen is ideal for those who prefer a more textured look and feel. The texture gives linen a unique look, as well as a thicker feel. Cotton, on the other hand, has a more polished look, and its one-dimensional texture allows it to maintain a lightness that linen doesn’t have. Simultaneously, both materials are known for being soft and 

comfortable, with cotton providing a softness from the start and linen getting softer with each wash.

Something for Everyone!

The average person sleeps approximately seven to nine hours a night. We spend such a large portion of our lives in bed, making our bedding choices ever the more important. Whether you lean towards linen or cotton, Loomstead has the products to fit your needs.

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