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9 best linen bedding sets that are low maintenance and chic

The Independent
The Independent
 2022-01-25

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Pure linen bedding has never been so popular. With a focus on self-care, more and more of us are coming round to the idea of investing in top quality materials in the sack. It’s where we spend a good third of our lives, after all.

Linen is made from the long fibres of the flax plant – one of the oldest continuously cultivated plants in the world, and a renewable source that’s fully biodegradable. Not only does the fabric score high on sustainability , allowing us to sleep soundly in our eco-friendly sheets, it offers a wealth of other benefits, too.

Pure linen is naturally breathable, durable, hypoallergenic, and cool in the summer months yet toasty warm in the winter, making it the perfect choice for relaxed year-round style.

Ready to shop now? Our current best buy is the Secret Linen Store violet white 100% linen bedding (From £27.20 , Secretlinenstore.com )

If that’s not convincing enough, linen bedding is also pleasingly low maintenance. It boasts an attractive crumpled texture that only looks better wash after wash. You’ll find your linen sheets get increasingly suppler, too, so you can lock up your ironing board and dive straight in.

We tested a range of linen bedding sets from the relatively affordable to the super high-end, with a few exciting new brands thrown into the mix, too.

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The best linen bedding sets for 2022 are:

  • Best overall – Secret Linen Store violet white 100% linen bedding: From £27.20, Secretlinenstore.com
  • Best luxury set – The Linen Works Picardie linen bedding: From £30, Thelinenworks.co.uk
  • Best bundle – Bedfolk linen bedding bundle: From £149, Bedfolk.com
  • Best fuss-free sheets – Soak & Sleep French linen bedding: From £24.74, Soakandsleep.com
  • Best non-iron bedding – Scooms linen bedding, soft pink: From £40, Scooms.com
  • Best bedding that won’t shrink, fade or lose shape – Piglet midnight stripe bedding: From £36, Pigletinbed.com
  • Best for something a bit different – Loom & Last Aegean blue French linen bundle: From £274, Loomandlast.com
  • Best affordable option – Dunelm Rowan 100% linen duvet cover and pillowcase set: From £70, Dunelm.com
  • Best for a cosy feel – Chalk Pink Linen Co. stone blue ticking linen duvet cover set: From £169, Chalkpinklinencompany.co.uk

Secret Linen Store violet white 100% linen bedding

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Best: Overall

  • Sizes: Double, king, super king, emperor
  • Set: Sold separately
  • Machine wash: 40C

This is a beautiful, vintage-inspired bedding set, evocative of a French chateau of yesteryear. In pure snowy white, it’s as soft on the eye as it is to the touch. We loved its understated elegance. The duvet cover and pillowcases are finished with an intricately embroidered border, which holds the bedding in shape nicely with a little bit of stretch – and this really comes into its own with the matching Oxford pillowcases and their pretty, frilly frames.

Impressively, the bedding goes up to an emperor size, which is apt, given its grand design roots. It also washes well but you’ll want to avoid any coffee stains. Prices start from under £30 for pillow cases and up to £200 for an Emperor duvet cover.

Buy now £27.20, Secretlinenstore.com

The Linen Works Picardie linen bedding

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Best: Luxury set

  • Sizes: Single, double, king, super king
  • Set: Sold separately
  • Machine wash: 40C

If, like us, you’re a sucker for packaging, The Linen Works won’t disappoint. Scoring top marks for presentation, this luxury bedding arrived beautifully boxed with ribbon and bows to match – a sure indication there’s something very special inside. The bedding is made from the finest Belgian flax weave, which proved lovely and lightweight. In ecru, linen’s natural pre-dyed hue, these soft sheets are a calming neutral shade. They’re beautifully crafted, high quality and will offer any bedroom chic and timeless style. Pillowcases start at £30 and duvet covers start from £170 ( Thelinenworks.co.uk ).

Buy now £30.00, Thelinenworks.co.uk

Bedfolk linen bedding bundle

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Best: Bundle

  • Sizes: Single, double, king, super king
  • Set: Includes duvet cover, fitted sheet, pair pillowcases
  • Machine wash: 40C

If you’re looking to kit out your whole bed with pure linen, including a sheet, then a bundle is the way forward. Not only can it save some pennies, but it offers an all-in, fuss-free purchase. Bedfolk’s linen bundle comes in a small range of muted earthy tones, as well as a pure snowy white – the brand’s “back to nature” colourways reflecting the organic nature of the material itself. Our set, in ink, proved super soft. It has a charming pre-loved look and feel, while the colour is an attractive, faded, utilitarian blue.

Buy now £149.00, Bedfolk.com

Soak & Sleep French linen bedding

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Best: Fuss-free sheets

  • Sizes: Single, double, king, super king
  • Set: Sold separately
  • Machine wash: 30C

This is a brand that offers a no-frills approach to linen bedding – from its simple packaging to its contemporary, fuss-free product design. Instead, it allows the beauty of the material, and the quality of craftsmanship, to speak for itself. With six shades to choose from, and each piece sold separately, it’s ideal for mixing and matching colours – but we plumped for the modern mono look in a matching duvet cover, fitted sheet and pair of pillowcases. Our set, a dark navy, proved itself to be beautifully soft and lightweight, and its deep pigment stayed that way even after washing. Prices range from around £25 to £200.

Buy now £24.74, Soakandsleep.com

Scooms linen bedding, soft pink

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Best: Non-iron bedding

  • Sizes: Single, double, king, super king
  • Set: Sold separately
  • Machine wash: 40C

Simple and stylish, Scooms’s offering boasts the prettiest baby pink hue – and it had us sleeping like a baby. The double duvet cover can be matched with a pair of standard (housewife) pillowcases and a fitted sheet in a contrasting pure white linen. True to form, the material boasts a beautifully crumpled texture that really comes into its own after a wash – no ironing needed. This one proved a great mid-season buy, although it promises year-round comfort. It is light in look but super cosy and warm once you’re cocooned inside. Finished with large mother of pearl buttons, we loved this little hint of glamour. Prices start from £40 for pillowcases and up to £264 for a super king duvet cover bundle.

Buy now £40.00, Scooms.com

Piglet midnight stripe bedding

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Best: Bedding that won’t shrink, fade or lose shape

  • Sizes: Single, double, king, super king
  • Set: Sold separately or in “basic” or “bedtime” bundles
  • Machine wash: 40C

Another brand with bundle-buying options is Piglet, whose linen bedding collection continues to impress. This is one of Piglet’s best sellers, and it’s not difficult to see why. The midnight stripe linen offers a fresh, nautical look in the bedroom – perfect for spring but it’ll see you year-round. Made from 100 per cent natural French flax, it is wonderfully soft to the touch. The linen comes pre-stonewashed to ensure it won’t shrink, fade, or lose its shape and is finished with little wooden buttons. We loved that we could team our bedding with a matching pyjama set in the same midnight stripe. The height of cosy.

Buy now £36.00, Pigletinbed.com

Loom & Last Aegean blue French linen bundle

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Best: For something a bit different

  • Sizes: Double, king, super king
  • Set: Includes duvet cover, fitted sheet, pair pillowcases
  • Machine wash: 40C

While pure white linen is positively cloudlike, Loom & Last’s latest addition to its linen offering recalls the calming sea. It is an attractive mid-blue hue – bold but not too dark – and it makes the perfect springtime update. This is a brand that knows its stuff when it comes to fine French linen. The bedding is woven from flax plants found in the rolling hills of Normandy, which, Loom & Last says, gives us the best of the best. Indeed, the bedding proved super soft and supple, delicate but durable, and it gave us that inviting crumpled texture when washed – not unlike the ripples in sea water.

Buy now £274.00, Loomandlast.com

Dunelm Rowan 100% linen duvet cover and pillowcase set

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Best: Affordable option

  • Sizes: Single, double, king, super king
  • Set: Includes duvet cover, pair pillowcases
  • Machine wash: 40C

Pure linen bedding isn’t cheap, so we were excited to discover Dunelm’s new and affordable offering. Even in size super king the duvet cover set comes in at a relatively purse-friendly £100. Effortlessly chic, the Rowan bedding boasts a homely, biscuity beige-grey hue, celebrating the material in its natural form. And while this one isn’t the finest, or softest we’ve tested, it certainly behaves the way pure linen should: breathable, durable, and with an inviting texture. We recommend giving it a machine wash before use to bring out its best qualities.

Buy now £70.00, Dunelm.com

Chalk Pink Linen Co. stone blue ticking linen duvet cover set

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Best: For a cosy feel

  • Sizes: Single, double, king, super king
  • Set: Includes duvet cover, two pillowcases
  • Machine wash: 40C

The first thing that hits you about this pre-washed set is its wonderfully homely, spring-fresh scent. Breathe it in and you’re immediately transported to a boutique hotel, or the guest bedroom of a country pile. The gentle blue and white stripe recalls charmingly old fashioned pyjamas, while its supple, bumpy texture is just as alluring. The bedding arrived feeling lived in and loved, complete with its matching draw-string bag. But, as in all the best linen bedding sets, this one came up even softer after a few machine washes. We teamed our stripy set with the brand’s still white fitted sheet – similarly scented, textured and incredibly cosy.

Buy now £169.00, Chalkpinklinencompany.co.uk

The verdict: Linen bedding sets

Secret Linen Store’s violet white bedding won us over for its timeless, vintage look. Its embroidered borders elevate the otherwise plain white set to something really special. It also proved itself to be beautifully soft and supple – and it looked and felt even more lived in after a few washes.

We were also impressed with our stripy sets from Chalk Pink Linen Co. and Piglet , each with a slightly different take on the traditional pyjamas look, while offering a wonderfully homely appeal.

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