Let's talk about linen sheets.
February 5, 2012 9:13 AM   Subscribe

Do I want linen sheets, and where should I get them?

I'm intrigued by what I know of linen sheets. Once you wash them a million times and sleep on them, you'll never go back to cotton, they're cool and strong and last a million years and only get better etc. I've tried percale, I've tried organic, I've tried Pima and sateen and bamboo and modal and lyocell and blends of all of the above. Tell me about why you love your linen sheets and where I can get them (preferably affordably, but I'm assuming that's impossible). I'm not interested in sewing my own, as another poster was. I'm hopelessly intrigued by these but I won't splurge without a solid recommendation.

FWIW, all the reviews on Garnet Hill & The Company Store seem spurious--all grammatically perfect and raving about "competitors" only one review per person, so I don't find them trustworthy.
posted by annabellee to Home & Garden (6 answers total) 21 users marked this as a favorite
There are three kinds of linen sheets at Restoration Hardware. Here's one. They are on sale and cheaper by far than the Garnet Hill ones.

I don't have them, but have been intrigued like you!
posted by cecic at 9:51 AM on February 5, 2012

I'm very interested in answers to this question as well. I've done a bit of research as well but before I invest in linen sheets I would really like to spend a night in those fabled well-washed sheets. Here is a thread that I came across in my research that provided lots of good and strong opinions. In that thread they strongly recommend Thomas Ferguson's Irish Linen. They mention that you can order a sample from that company.
posted by tinamonster at 10:44 AM on February 5, 2012 [1 favorite]

I have Garnet Hill linen sheets & I am a bedding snob. I scored my Garnet Hill linen set at an outlet sale and they were fairly cheap (sub $100 total for the top/bottom sheet). Because they were on crazy sale, they're a funky color (burnt orange) and I like them but they are not my favorite thing on the planet.

High thread count cotton is my favorite (original version Dwell from early 2000s to be specific). Cotton can be cool and "stiff" on a freshly made bed. Linen doesn't really get "stiff" or have the "cool to the touch" feel of cotton despite it's breathability. My linen sheets also tend to wrinkle and bunch fairly fast -- creating kind of a sheet divot where I've been sleeping. On the whole, I think I'd have been disappointed if I paid millions for them. Certainly I like them but I don't know that I would buy another set.

Hope this helps and happy to answer questions.

*Disclaimer (on preview)* I purchased these linen sheets as a replacement for previously mentioned favorite sheets on the planet. It is possible that my feelings about these perfectly adequate sheets might be skewed somewhat because of my adoration for my absolute favorite sheets which died a sad sheet death at a respectable old age.
posted by countrymod at 10:46 AM on February 5, 2012 [1 favorite]

@tinamonster et all -- If you're passing through upstate new york, memail me, I am open to couch surfers -- I have an extra bedroom -- and said set of fabled linen sheets are available for guest use. I mean sure, we're talking sheets here but isn't metafilter all about helping each other out for the common good?
posted by countrymod at 10:49 AM on February 5, 2012 [6 favorites]

After I asked this earlier question about linen sheets, I discovered that I was not quite as ambitious as I thought, and sought a solution which didn't involve any sewing (I also haven't found the right fabric -- yet). I've discovered something that's been working pretty well for me -- old linen tablecloths sold from estate sales on eBay. Throughout the 20th century, almost every married couple got gifts of more linen tablecloths than they could ever use. They may have been used once or twice/year, or not at all. It's not difficult to find beautiful linen tablecloths in virtually new condition, large enough to cover a bed, for CHEAP (~$15 - $50). You want to avoid embroidery or cutwork. The tablecloths I've gotten have been much better quality linen than the linen sheets I've tried from The Company Store.

Using tablecloths as bottom sheets requires a little creativity in keeping the sheet in place, especially if the cloth is not much wider than the bed (mine is twin size, which makes things easier). I'm experimenting with various types of clips, attached to the corners of the cloth and to the bedframe. This actually does a much better job of keeping the bottom sheet smooth and in place than the usual elastic.

It is amazing how COOL linen feels -- the first winter night I tried to sleep on the linen sheets, I had to get up and re-make the bed with good old snuggly cotton flannel.
posted by Corvid at 1:29 PM on February 5, 2012 [4 favorites]

As the owner linen sheets in inherited from my grandfather, I can tell you that it is glorious to sleep on them when they have been freshly pressed. However, understand that this is linen, the wrinkliest fabric known to god and man. Once you sleep on them once, unless you are an unusually immobile sleeper, they will need to be pressed again. And again the next day, and again the next day, and so on. Sleeping on heavily wrinkled linen sheets? Not nearly as glorious as you might think. In fact, not so glorious at all really.
posted by slkinsey at 8:44 PM on February 5, 2012 [2 favorites]

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