4 places to buy affordable linen sheets, and how to care for them
Linen is having a bit of a moment. All over Instagram there are shots of dishevelled beds covered in well-loved, homely linen sheets, inviting you in with a promise of an incredible night’s sleep. Linen looks simply beautiful, particularly in a rustic, farmhouse style home. But did you know it also has a whole host of benefits?
There’s a growing amount of evidence (albeit some anecdotal!) that linen is better for your skin than cotton. A beauty sleep on linen bed sheets lives up to the name! What’s more, linen is much less prone to give you the dreaded bedhead, saving you time with the hairbrush later in the morning.
It’s marginally more sustainable than cotton. Linen is made from flax, which tends not to require as much chemical spraying.
It actually looks better unironed. I mean, realistically, who is able to spend time ironing their bed sheets in between all the other 1,000 things they have to do? This way I can make my bed and get immediate satisfaction, rather than feeling it looks unfinished.
It’ll keep you cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Choosing the right weight of linen will enhance this effect, with heavier weight linens feeling warmer than lighter ones. Plus the absorbent fibres will wick moisture away, keeping the bed dry and comfortable.
It’s long lasting. Linen is surprisingly strong for a natural fabric, around two to three times stronger than cotton, making it perfect for sleeping against night after night.
However, all of this joy does come at a cost. Linen is harder to grow and trickier to weave than cotton, making it a pricier fabric choice. There are some wonderful companies like Linoto, Brooklinen and Parachute who make incredible quality linen sheets, but for many (including me!) £300 is too much to spend on one set. Thankfully, there are some places that offer linen sheets that are excellent value for money.
H&M is top of my list for affordable linen products. They manage to offer the softest linen at a price which falls within a normal person’s range. Their washed linen duvet cover set /link comes in three neutral colours and the double will only set you back £79.99.
H&M Washed Linen Duvet Cover Set (2 pillowcases and a duvet cover), double, £79.99
While not as affordable as some other options, La Redoute offer excellent quality under £150. What’s more, the French company have regular promotions offering up to 40% off everything, so you could pick these up for as little as £90. The range of colours spans beyond the classic neutral colours and includes a few lovely rich darks.
At the most affordable end of the scale, these IKEA sheets were never going to be top quality, but for the price they really are excellent. They tend to be a bit scratchy out of the packet, but the wonderful thing about linen is that it softens with washing and wear. And at £55 for the set, you can’t go wrong!
IKEA Puderviva Quilt Cover and two pillowcases, double, £55
i love the little tie details on the ikea sheets
Soak & Sleep
While I can’t personally vouch for the quality of Soak & Sleep’s linen, there are a number of online reviews that rave about this brand. It’s touted as one of the best quality options out there, so worth a look.
Soak & Sleep 100% Pure French Linen Bedding, 2 pillowcases and a duvet cover, double, £151
Caring for linen sheets
Linen is hardy, but over laundering can wear the fabric and shorten its life, so making sure you care for it correctly is important. One thing that linen can’t stand is bleach - as well as ruining the colour of your sheets, it will damage the fibres - so make sure you check that any products you use don’t contain bleach.
For softer bed sheets, wash cool with fabric softener, at 40C or ideally even 30C. Tumble dry on low - this will give you a more wrinkled look than line drying - though be careful not to leave the sheets in there too long when they’re done, or you may end up with permanent creases. Once in a while, it’s also worth washing on a higher temperature to kill nasties. If you prefer crisper sheets, wash on a higher temperature without softener, followed by a line dry.
One of the great benefits of linen is that it looks great when it’s wrinkly (farmhouse style, if you like!), so there’s no need to iron. But if you’d like to, the iron will have an easier time if the linen is slightly damp. Just be aware that as linen is very prone to wrinkles, your hard work might be undone quickly!
All images courtesy of the respective retailers.
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