Is Linen Soft Enough for You?

When it comes to bedding and linen, there are plenty of options out there. From cotton to silk, the variety can be overwhelming, and it can be hard to know what to choose. One option that is often overlooked is linen. Linen has been around for centuries and has stood the test of time. Some people swear by it, while others are unsure. One of the biggest questions people have about linen is whether it is soft enough for them. In this article, we will explore the ins and outs of linen to help you decide if it is right for you.

What is Linen?

Linen is a natural fabric that is made from the fibers of the flax plant. The fibers are harvested and then spun into thread, which is woven into fabric. Linen has been a popular choice for clothing and bedding for centuries due to its durability and cooling properties. It is lightweight, breathable, and has the ability to absorb moisture, making it a great choice for hot climates and summer months.

How is Linen Made?

As mentioned, linen is made from the fibers of the flax plant. The process of making linen involves several steps:

  • Retting: the flax stems are soaked in water to soften the fibers.
  • Breaking: the softened stems are crushed to separate the fibers from the inner woody core.
  • Scutching: the fibers are combed to remove any remaining woody bits.
  • Spinning: the fibers are spun into thread.
  • Weaving: the thread is woven into fabric.

Is Linen Soft?

This is the million-dollar question when it comes to linen. The answer is yes, linen can be incredibly soft. However, the softness of linen can vary based on several factors:

Thread Count

Just like with cotton sheets, linen sheets’ softness can be impacted by the thread count. Linen sheets with a higher thread count tend to be softer than those with a lower thread count. This is because the higher thread count creates a smoother, more tightly woven fabric.

Washing and Drying

The way you wash and dry your linen sheets can also impact their softness. Over time, linen tends to get softer with each wash, so don’t be discouraged if your new linen sheets don’t feel as soft as you’d like. Additionally, drying your linen sheets on a low to medium heat can help soften them up even more.

Quality of the Linen

The quality of the linen also plays a role in how soft it is. Higher quality linen tends to be softer, smoother, and more luxurious. This is due to the length and thickness of the linen fibers. Longer, finer fibers produce a smoother and softer fabric, while shorter, coarser fibers produce a rougher and more textured fabric.

Benefits of Linen

So aside from its softness, why should you consider linen as a bedding option? Here are just a few of the benefits:


Linen is one of the strongest natural fibers out there, making it incredibly durable. Linen sheets can last for decades when properly cared for.

Temperature Regulation

Linen is incredibly breathable and has the ability to absorb moisture. This makes it a great option for hot sleepers or those who live in warm climates.


Linen is hypoallergenic, meaning it is less likely to cause an allergic reaction than other fabrics. Additionally, it is naturally resistant to bacteria and fungus, making it a cleaner and more hygienic option.


Unlike synthetic fabrics, linen is biodegradable and eco-friendly. It is also produced using fewer resources than cotton, making it a more sustainable option.

Caring for Linen

To ensure your linen sheets stay soft and last for years to come, it’s essential to care for them properly. Here are a few tips:

Wash Regularly

Linen sheets can be washed in the washing machine on a gentle cycle with mild detergent. Be sure to wash them regularly to keep them fresh and clean.

Avoid Bleach and Fabric Softeners

Bleach and fabric softeners can damage linen fibers, causing them to break down over time. Instead, opt for mild detergent and vinegar, which can help soften the fabric naturally.

Air Dry

Avoid drying your linen sheets on high heat, as this can damage the fibers. Instead, hang them up to air dry or use a low to medium heat in the dryer.

Common Questions About Linen

Here are some common questions people have about linen:

  • Q: Is linen scratchy?
    • A: Linen can be scratchy if it is of poor quality or if it has not been properly cared for. However, high-quality linen should not be scratchy.
  • Q: Is linen expensive?
    • A: Linen can be more expensive than other fabrics due to its durability and production process. However, it is possible to find affordable linen options.
  • Q: Does linen wrinkle easily?
    • A: Yes, linen is prone to wrinkling. However, this is part of its charm and can be easily smoothed out with a steam iron or by hanging it up to air out.


So, is linen soft enough for you? Hopefully, after reading this article, you have a better understanding of what linen is, how it’s made, and its benefits. While linen may not be the softest fabric out there, it certainly has its perks. From its durability to its temperature regulating properties, it’s definitely worth considering as a bedding option. Just be sure to care for it properly, and you’ll enjoy your linen sheets for years to come.


1. The Case for Linen Sheets

2. An Introduction to Linen

3. How to Choose the Best Linen Bedding

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