Buy French Linen Sheets ((BETTER))
In preparing this guide we spoke with Shannon Maher, a former product designer for The Company Store and currently an assistant professor in the Home Products Development at the Fashion Institute of Technology. For insider perspective on what makes great linen, we spoke with Hank Patterson, owner of the luxury linen towel company Deck Towel. After testing and deciding on our top sets, we learned how they were made and how to care for them by speaking to a representative from each brand: Tricia Rose, owner of Rough Linen; Taylor Batlin, brand director at Bella Notte; and Shannon Bean, a customer service representative at Cultiver.
buy french linen sheets
While cotton sheets can feel either crisp and cool (in the case of percale) or silky and warm (as with sateen), linen has an airy feel but the fabric also has some weight to it (like a very light blanket). The texture grabs onto your body and keeps it in place.
Relatively affordable: Linen sheets are a luxury item, so you should expect to pay more for them. Many of the best-rated sets range from $250 to roughly $450 for a queen. We focused on sets in the $250 range for our original 2016 review. We considered sets that cost up to $800 for our 2018 update. We wanted to see if more expensive sheets were more durable.
Available by the piece: Because of the durability issues with linen sheets, we think purchasing by the piece is best. This allows you to easily replace pieces or to slowly build a set, depending on your budget. You can also mix and match your sheets, as several Wirecutter staffers do, using a linen top sheet and pillowcases paired with a more durable, less expensive percale bottom sheet (such as our favorite from L.L.Bean).
We ordered fabric samples or pillowcases of the 21 sets we were interested in trying. We washed and dried these five times to get rid of softeners or other treatments that might mask the true texture of the fabrics. We rubbed the samples between our hands and against our cheeks (a common test for determining fabric softness), eliminating samples we thought were too rough or heavy to make comfortable sheets, or those that showed signs of thinning. Based on these initial tests, we brought in five sets for sleep testing.
We washed these sets five times and slept on each for a minimum of two nights, paying close attention to how the sheets felt against our skin and the edge finishes on the sheets. Because each brand sent us a different size, we tried the sheets for fit on double-, queen-, and king-size beds (all with foam mattresses ranging from seven to roughly 10 inches thick).
Like Cultiver, Rough Linen does not offer a warranty, and it offers only a 30-day return window for unused, unwashed items. (As mentioned above, this 30-day window has been extended to 60 days during the Covid-19 pandemic.) If you want to inspect the fabric before purchasing sheets, order a free sample card. (You will be charged a shipping fee.)
If your sheets are really wrinkled out of the dryer, Rose recommends dampening them slightly and letting them air dry. In our experience, air-dried linen feels rougher and stiff. We prefer the more supple feel of linen dried in a dryer.
Libeco Santiago Sheets: The sample we tried felt cool, crisp, and sturdy, but more textured than the full sets we opted to test. We think some people may find these sheets too rough. This brand has a very good reputation among linen lovers, so if you want sheets with more texture these may be a good match for you.
L.L.Bean Sunwashed Linen Sheet Collection: The pillowcase we tested felt very thin, the weave felt loose, and after five washes we could start to see through the pillowcase in sections. We found these sheets were in the middle of the pack for softness.
Matteo Vintage Linen: We were hoping to like this set, given the lovely color selection and that you can purchase by the piece. But we found the fabric very scratchy, and it was one of the least pleasant of the linen samples we tried.
Hawkins New York Stonewashed Linen Bedding: We were drawn to these sheets when we saw them on Food52, but the pillowcase we tried felt very rough and after five washes it wrinkled a lot. This was our least favorite of the samples we tried for 2018.
Restoration Hardware Stonewashed Belgian Linen Sheet Set: We liked this set when we tested it in 2016, but we were concerned about its durability. We read complaints on Apartment Therapy and in one Reddit thread about the sheets quickly wearing thin. Two Wirecutter staffers owned this set and experienced the same issue, one within a year and the other within four years after purchase.
Our linen is machine washable. Wash on the gentle cycle with like colors and using a mild, liquid laundry detergent. Do not bleach. Tumble dry on low heat, and remove promptly. Avoid bleaching agents and personal care products that contain benzoyl peroxide or alpha hydroxy acids.
Some shedding does occur in the natural life cycle of linen, especially as it softens with age. We recommend using Wool Dryer Balls to help increase fluffiness, or a few extra washes on cold and tumble dries to speed up the process.
Elevate your bedroom with our pure linen flat sheet. Made from 100% French flax linen, it's pre-washed for softness and breathability and features a 10cm border for added elegance. Our OEKO-TEX-certified sheet is machine-washable and hypoallergenic. Use it alone for a lightweight alternative to blankets or quilts, or pair it with our fitted sheets and pillowcases for a complete bedding set.
The fabric is breathable, gentle against the skin, and cool to touch, which make these linen sheets perfect for the warmer nights, and a luxury to sleep on. The best part is that linen is known to age gracefully and only get softer and better over time with use.
One of my biggest thrills is if I find a whole collection of linens from one family, piles of napkins, towels and sheets neatly bundled together in packets tied with faded ribbons. Carefully labeled, many never used, for whatever reason.
The linens were made for each of the young ladies in 1900-1908, when they became of marriageable age. The best families and theirs certainly was! had their own live-in seamstress who created the trousseau with incredible skill and patience. Each napkin, each towel, each tablecloth and linen nightdress was embroidered by hand with the initials of the bride-to-be to use when she got married.
No matter how beautiful they are, I love to use my antique tablecloths for my special dinners. The napkins look perfection on a plate and the cloths just fall perfectly. These linens were meant to be used, and enjoyed. If you have or buy antique linens like this, I hope that you use them every day, or once in a while at least, to relish in their quality and beauty!
The old houses in Europe are still being emptied out, and the contents sold off, but the supply of linens of this quality and history is not endless, it is coming to an end. Sooner rather than later the supply will run out, so if you get the chance to add even just one exceptional linen like these to your collection, do it!
Wow, wow oh wow Lidy. These linens are fabulous! The one with the young women is breathtaking. I use many of my vintage linens often . My favourite is a white cutwork tablecloth that my mother made. She even crocheted the lace edging with 12 napkins to match. I love the fact it was something she held and created with her own hands. The embroideries on your finds are exquisite. I am always drawn to the linens in an antique shop first.
What a wonderful post! I always learn so much from you. We are just back from a month in France and I did a little antique linen shopping myself, including a few of what you describe as everyday towels and some embroidered, heavy damask napkins that may never have been used. (They are truly special!) Like you I find it very hard to pass up cloth or handwork like these. I have done enough sewing and stitching myself to understand the time and artistry that goes into each piece. The quality of the antique materials is so wonderful, though.Have a wonderful weekend Lidy!
Joy, I think that, because the sisters shared a home, a home that probably already CAME with a billion gorgeous linens,they may have used very little of the linens made especially for them, when they got married. Because that time,when they got married and had their own individual homes, never came.
I certainly did not come from a grand family so we just had ordinary linens but my mother did have some damask tablecloths.Not the quality of these but they were nice all the same. So lovely to see these ones from France.
What do you get when you combine heirloom-quality fabric with a timeless color? A set of sheets worthy of displaying in every bedroom of the house. These elevated basics are anything but boring, and are sure help you build the bedding set of your dreams.
As for most products made from natural material, our fabrics are not guaranteed against natural wear, abrasion, stretch, shrinkage, fading, or dye-lot variations. The customer must accept a size discrepancy between the finished product up to 2" (5 cm) for bedding items as the linen is washed after processing.
Are you using various types of weight, thread count or linen quality in your collection?All our bedding and clothing items are made from the same highest quality French linen featuring the same weight, thread count and feel.
How should I care for my linens?All our linen products are machine washable and come with a care label with washing instructions. Please visit our page for full care instructions.
Not only was the ordering and delivery process seamless, the curtains are lovely. The quality of the linen is gorgeous, thick but soft. The Stone grey is a subtle neutral grey, exactly what I was looking for.
The Pearl District's purveyor of Portland style for over 20 years, French Quarter Linens offers a classic and ever-changing collection of European bedding and bath linens, distinctive goods and lavish gifts. From grand estate to small sanctuary, we provide expert design advice to adorn your home with luxury. 041b061a72