Cotton vs. Linen: Which Duvet Cover Fabric Reigns Supreme?

duvet cover

Have you ever found yourself standing in the middle of a bedding store, touching fabric swatches, and wondering: cotton, linen, or a luxurious duvet cover? It’s a familiar predicament for many, especially as all these materials have unique comfort.

The Basics Cotton Vs. Linen

Duvet Cover

1. Cotton

Cotton is a natural fiber harvested from the cotton plant. It’s been used for thousands of years and is renowned for its softness and versatility. It is the foundation for many bedding varieties, ranging from simple percale to luxurious Egyptian cotton.

2. Linen

Derived from the flax plant, linen is another natural fiber. Often associated with luxury, it has been used for centuries and was even considered a currency in ancient Egypt.

Feel and Texture

1. Cotton

Cotton is generally softer to the touch, especially when it has been through processes that increase its softness, like mercerization. Over time and with repeated washing, cotton tends to become even softer.

2. Linen

Linen feels crisper than cotton. It has a distinct textured feel, which some people love, while others might find it coarse. However, just like cotton, linen becomes softer over time, particularly with repeated washings. 

Breathability and Temperature Regulation

1. Cotton

Cotton is known for its breathability. It wicks moisture away from the body, making cotton duvet covers excellent for warm climates or those who tend to sleep hot. The cotton weave, like percale or sateen, can also affect its breathability.

2. Linen

Linen is highly breathable and is even better than cotton at regulating temperature. It can absorb significant moisture without dampness, making it ideal for hot and cold climates. It feels cool to the touch in hot weather and retains warmth in the cooler months.

Durability and Lifespan

1. Cotton

High-quality cotton, like long-staple or extra-long-staple cotton, is quite durable. However, lower-quality cotton might wear out faster, pilling or becoming thin in places of frequent use or friction.

2. Linen

Linen is known for its longevity. It is resistant to damage from abrasion and naturally repels microorganisms, meaning it can last for decades if cared for properly.

Care and Maintenance

1. Cotton

Cotton duvet covers can be machine-washed easily, though checking care labels is always essential. They might wrinkle easily, so you’ll need to iron them if you’re aiming for a crisp look.

2. Linen 

Linen duvet covers can be machine washed but should be handled gently as they can shrink. They wrinkle easily, but for many, these wrinkles add to the rustic charm of linen. If a smooth appearance is desired, linen does require ironing.

Environmental Impact

1. Cotton 

Cotton farming, especially non-organic cotton, can be resource-intensive. It requires a significant amount of water and often uses pesticides. However, organic cotton options have a reduced environmental footprint.

2. Linen 

Linen is considered more environmentally friendly than cotton. Flax plants require less water and fewer pesticides. Moreover, almost every part of the plant is used, minimizing waste.

Cost Difference Between Cotton & Linen

Cotton Vs Silk

1. Cotton

Cotton duvet covers range in price, with premium varieties like Egyptian cotton being more expensive. Generally, cotton is more affordable.

2. Linen

Linen tends to be pricier than cotton. Its production process and luxurious reputation can make linen duvet covers a more significant investment.

Benefits of Cotton vs. Linen – Which Duvet Cover Fabric Reigns Supreme

Choosing between cotton and linen for a duvet cover is a matter of personal preference, but understanding the benefits of each can help inform that decision. Here are the benefits of both:

  • Benefits of Cotton Duvet Covers

With its natural allure, cotton has charmed generations with its innate softness that only grows over time. Each wash enhances its plush texture, making it a sanctuary of comfort against the skin. Beyond its inviting touch, the versatility of cotton is truly remarkable. Duvet covers crafted from this material usually demand no special attention and can be tossed into a regular machine wash. While you can indulge in the luxury of premium varieties like Egyptian cotton, there are ample choices that don’t necessitate a splurge. 

  • Benefits of Linen Duvet Covers

Linen, often synonymous with luxury and timeless appeal, is a master at temperature regulation. When the sweltering heat of summer graces our nights, linen effortlessly imparts a cooling sensation, making it an oasis for those seeking respite from the heat. Yet, its magic doesn’t wane when the temperatures drop; it retains warmth during the brisk, colder months, ensuring consistent comfort year-round. The characteristic wrinkles and textured surface bestow upon it a rustic allure, infusing bedrooms with an earthy, laid-back ambiance.


The choice between cotton and linen ultimately boils down to personal preference. If you prefer a soft and affordable duvet cover that’s easy to care for, cotton might be your pick. If you lean towards a rustic charm, temperature regulation, and durability, linen could be your choice. Whether you choose cotton or linen, both fabrics have stood the test of time and have proven to be worthy contenders in the realm of luxurious sleep.