Percale vs Linen: What is the Difference and Which is Better?

Percale vs Linen: What's the Difference and Which Is Better?

It’s sleep o’clock, and we all want comfort. Every one of you knows which position to sleep in. But what about the sheets? Are those the right companions for your nights, or are you making a rookie mistake like everyone?

Welcome to the world of sheets and duvets – where you surround yourself with comfort and options. Among a range of varieties presented today, getting flabbergasted is pretty easy for anyone. But fret not, as there are some clear winners in this endeavour. Linen, cotton, percale, silk, these are some top picks for all your luxury dreams. But amongst these, the debate between percale vs linen forever continues. There is no right or wrong here, it all dials down to your sleep style, preference, and budget.

In this blog, we will take you through the world of sheets, where every thread counts.

Percale vs linen: before we decide who wins, let us understand each of the fabrics better.

Understanding Percale Sheets

Percale is a standard weave style with one thread under and one thread over another. Typically made of cotton, a percale sheet feels soft against the skin and is cool to the touch. You will feel a kind of crisp every time you take a turn or stretch your muscles. If you are searching for exceptional breathability and long-lasting performance, get yourself a percale sheet made from 100% Egyptian Cotton.

Benefits of percale cotton sheets

  • Sleeping Comfort: If you are a hot sleeper, the battle of percale vs linen sheets will be won by the former. They are comfy and ideal for individuals living in tropical climate conditions. Their softness and cool sensation against your body make a percale duvet the preferred choice for many. 
  • Easy Care: Taking care of your percale cotton duvets will never be a chore. You can easily machine wash them in cold water and air dry. Their texture and quality will remain the same for years, just like your favourite summer T-shirt. This makes the sheets preferable for individuals with a busy lifestyle.
  • Breathability: The duvets made from percale promote continuous airflow, regulating your body temperature. This not only prevents you from feeling hot but also promises a restful night. So, if you sweat during your sleep or live in a warmer climate, these sheets will be a boon for you.
  • Matte Finish: Percale duvets are breathable and soft, but don’t forget the matte texture they exude. Most sleepers don’t prefer shiny sheets or duvets and look for crisp and sophisticated options. This bedding option gives you a refreshing and relaxing experience every time you go to sleep.

Drawbacks of Percale Cotton Sheets

  • Easily Wrinkles: Wrinkles: nobody likes them, whether they are on someone’s face or bedding. While percale sheets come with several advantages, they do wrinkle easily. If you always want a smooth and evened-out look on your bed, you might have to steam your duvet frequently.
  • Not as Durable: Percale is durable but not as much as you’d like them to be. When compared to fabrics like linen, this material can loosen up or weaken with continuous washing. In fact, this trait can actually end up spoiling your duvet collection in a few months.
  • Price Point: Luxury comes at a cost, and that’s exactly what happens with a percale sheet. As compared to its synthetic counterparts, this fabric is expensive. If you are on a budget-shopping spree, this duvet might not be an economical choice for you.
  • Temperature: Percale is soft, but it might feel too light at times. For those living in colder regions, you would a heavy layering to protect yourself from the chilly air. You will either have to layer up this duvet with more sheets or pick an alternative.
  • Limited Options: This fabric is sophisticated and evergreen. However, these qualities also limit the design options available in the market. Unlike polyester and microfibre, you would not find a lot of colours and prints in these duvets. If you are someone who likes to switch duvets every season, you might not find a lot of choices here.

Linen vs percale is a debate that needs hearing from both sides. It’s time to throw some light on linen sheets.

Understanding Linen Sheets

Linen is a natural fibre, known for its lightness and airy texture. It has a timeless aesthetic which is seldom found in other fabrics. Made from flax plants instead of cotton, linen is well-suited for every season. Its moisture absorption and sweat-resistant properties make the material extremely suitable for duvets and sheets.

Benefits of Linen Fabric

  • Breathability: Linen is known for its breathability and superior comfort. Duvets made from this fabric wick away moisture and promote air circulation. This ensures that your sleep is not disturbed, regardless of the room temperature.
  • Hypoallergenic: Linen is made from natural material and is completely hypoallergenic. It is resistant to bacteria, dust, and dirt. So, if you opt for this fabric in the fight of linen vs percale sheets, you will not have to worry about any kind of discomfort. This is especially recommended for people with sensitive skin.
  • Natural Texture: The natural texture of linen adds to its charm and comfort. You might feel a slight roughness on the first use, but as you consistently wash your duvet, it will feel softer. This fabric promises a comfortable and cosy sleeping experience.
  • Sustainable Choice: Linen is derived from flax plant which doesn’t require pesticides or a lot of water for growth. That is what makes the fabric eco-friendly and biodegradable. This is why the fabric is a favourable choice for environmentally conscious consumers.

Drawbacks of Linen Sheets

  • Wrinkling: Linen wrinkle easily due to its natural tendency to crease. Some people are attracted towards this as it gives a “lived-in” look to the bedding while for others, it can be a complete turn-off. They look for ironed and polished bedsheets. But worry not, as we have prepared a detailed guide on how to iron linen that will come in handy in such cases. 
  • Stiffness: When you buy a linen sheet, it will feel stiff initially. You might have to go through a few wash cycles to soften it and achieve a comfortable feeling. This is a problematic thing for individuals who are used to soft bedding.
  • Price: Linens are expensive, especially when compared to fabrics like cotton and polyester. They are ideal for users searching for premium bedding. However, for someone who is looking for comfort on a budget, linen duvets might not cut the deal.

Weighing the pros and cons, it is evident that in the discussion of linen sheets vs percale sheets, it all depends on your personal preference.

To make this decision simpler, here is a comparison.

Detailed Comparison: Percale Vs Linen

Weave Percale is closely woven and features a plain weaving pattern.Linen has a plain weaving pattern but has a relaxed texture.
MaterialPercale is commonly extracted from cotton.Linen is derived naturally from the flax fibre plant.
BreathabilityPercale is cotton-based and provides a good degree of breathability.Linen is more relaxed and excels when it comes to the breathability level.
Wrinkle ResistancePercale cotton can start wrinkling after continuous washing.Linen creases and wrinkles easily.
SoftnessPercale has a crisp and smooth texture.Linen can be initially scratchy and stiff but softens over time.
DurabilityPercale is durable but with continuous washing, it can start loosening up.Linen is highly durable and doesn’t succumb to washing easily.
Temperature RegulationPercale cotton has a fair temperature regulation.Linen has excellent temperature regulation.
CostPercale is moderately priced and depends on the quality of cotton used.Linen is comparatively at a higher price point.

Key Factors to Keep in Mind for Percale Vs Linen

Still deciding on percale vs linen, which duvet to choose? Here are some key factors to keep in mind:

Sleep Preferences

  • Linen: These sheets are ideal for hot sleepers, owing to their moisture-wicking properties and breathability.
  • Percale: The sheets are suitable for cold sleepers as they promote continuous airflow and a cosy sleeping experience.


  • Linen: Linen is suitable for premium buyers. It is expensive compared to Percale, but it is worth the splurge.
  • Percale: For sleepers searching for budget-friendly options, percale is a preferred choice. It is made from cotton and is a cost-effective solution.

Personal Preference

  • Linen: Linen is known for its natural texture and premium look. It has a slightly rough feeling if that’s what you are looking for.
  • Percale: If you love a crisp and smooth texture, percale is a great option. They are also aesthetically pleasing compared to linen.

Read More: Cooling Sheets Guide: Which is Best Sheet Material For Hot Sleepers

Selecting your Ideal Bedding/Sheet 

Time to finally decide: percale vs linen – who is the winner for you? Let us help you further break it down: 

  • Solutions For Hot Sleepers: Linen bedsheets are highly breathable and moisture-wicking, making them ideal for hot sleepers. They allow for excellent airflow, helping to regulate body temperature. These sheets keep you cool and comfortable throughout the night.
  • Options for those who love a Crisp Texture: Percale cotton sheets have a smooth and crisp feel, providing a luxurious yet slightly textured surface. If you enjoy the sensation of crisp bedding against your skin, percale cotton sheets are the perfect choice.
  • Best choices for Allergy Sufferers: Linen and percale cotton sheets are hypoallergenic and naturally resistant to dust mites and allergens. They provide a clean and allergen-free sleep environment.
  • Maintenance and Care Tips: Both linen and percale cotton sheets typically have similar care instructions. They are machine washable and can be tumble dried on low heat. However, linen wrinkles easily and may require a bit more attention to prevent excessive wrinkling. Percale cotton sheets are generally easier to care for and tend to wrinkle less.
  • Assessing Environmental Impact: Linen is considered more environmentally friendly than cotton. Linen is made from the flax plant, which requires less water and pesticides to grow compared to cotton. Additionally, linen is biodegradable and has a smaller environmental footprint. This makes it a more sustainable choice for eco-conscious consumers.

Now that you have all the details, embark on the expedition to finding the best: Linen vs percale sheets.

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