Summer bedding: prepare for future heatwaves with linen sheets.
During last year's record-breaking heatwave, few of us could say we were getting anything close to a good night’s sleep. The reality of rising temperatures has scary implications for our slumber - and studies have already shown that these hotter nights are causing our sleep to suffer across the world.
In order to fall asleep, our bodies have to cool. This is why it’s imperative we keep our sleeping areas as chilled as possible. But if you’d rather not keep a fan or air conditioning unit blasting all night, there’s a much more low-tech way to make your bed more hospitable in hot weather: linen bedding.
Linen - a natural fibre made from flax plants - has a whole host of unique properties that can help regulate your temperature on even the hottest of nights. Plus, it’s incredibly strong and long-lasting.
Good sleep is critical to our health. So if you’re looking for ways to safeguard it this summer and in heatwaves to come, read on to see how sleeping in linen can make a difference.
Why your current sheets make you sweaty
Firstly, have you found yourself in the cycle of getting hot and sweaty, kicking the cover off and then getting chilly (repeat every hour, all night)? Sheets that aren’t breathable can get incredibly clammy, which is a death sentence for a good night’s sleep.
We all know that synthetic sheets are sweaty - but cotton actually isn’t great in hot weather either, particularly if you sweat a lot. Although cotton might feel breathable, it has poor moisture management. If you sweat, the cotton fibres will just absorb the moisture and keep it there, so the fabric stays wet. It doesn’t get drawn away from your skin.
Fabrics that don’t wick moisture away are likely to feel clammier quicker, and won’t dry your sweat quickly. On hot nights, you want to stay cool and dry. That’s where linen comes in.
Linen: cool, dry relief
Linen has three main properties that make it perfect for keeping you cool during hot nights:
Linen is ultra breathable
Linen has excellent breathability - in other words, it allows airflow through it. This is because linen fibres are large, and typically have a more open weave than other fabrics. It’s this that gives linen a naturally low thread count (so don’t bother using that as an indicator of quality).
Breathable fabrics allow heat and moisture to escape from your body, and air to circulate. This is why light and breathable fabrics like linen are essential to keeping cool.
Linen is moisture wicking
Moisture wicking is a little different from breathability - for instance, cotton is breathable but doesn’t wick moisture well. This is where linen really shines. Linen is very absorbent, but instead of leaving sweat close to your skin, it dries quickly so that moisture is taken away.
Plus, linen can absorb 20-30% of its weight in water, and still feel dry to the touch. No clamminess here. For sleeping in hot, humid weather, or for those suffering from night sweats, this is a lifesaver.
Linen is cool to touch
As well as being breathable and dry, linen actually feels cooler than other fabrics. This is due to its high conductivity (the same principle that makes metal feel ‘cold’). This helps cool your body more quickly, leading to faster sleep.
A lifetime investment
If you’re thinking about cooling summer bedding sets now, it’s likely you’ve got the future in mind. With global heating causing night-time temperatures to climb faster than in the day, it’s best to get prepared for many more hot nights to come in the coming decades.
Fortunately, a set of linen bedsheets will likely last you for the rest of your life. Linen’s long, thick fibres make it 30% stronger than cotton, and your bedding could even become a family heirloom. As linen ages, it just gets softer and softer too.
And for the cooler months? Linen won’t make you chilly in winter - in fact, it feels exceptionally cosy. Pair your linen sheets with a thicker duvet, and they’ll feel soft and warm year-round.
Piglet in Bed Bed Linen Bundles in 100% French linen
If you’d like to experience the full feeling of linen, we recommend investing in a complete bed linen bundle. It contains two pillowcases and a duvet cover in your chosen colour, plus a white fitted sheet - and buying a bundle saves you money too.
Piglet in Bed source their linen sustainably from France, where it generally needs only rainwater to grow. They prewash their linen for softness - and this also ensures the sheets won't shrink, lose their shape or fade after purchase. Choose from a multitude of rich, restful colours; we love Blueberry, Sage and Burnt Orange.
Piglet in Bed flat sheets
If it’s too hot for a duvet, or if you want an extra layer in your bed linen bundle, we highly recommend Piglet in Bed’s flat sheets. Made from the same pure OEKO-TEX certified stonewashed French linen, they’re beautifully light and breathable. Why not experiment with mix-and-match colours in your bedding set?
Piglet in Bed fitted sheets
If you have your eye on pillowcases and duvet covers, we recommend not skipping out on a fitted sheet - having linen under you as well as over you can make all the difference to your rest. These fitted sheets create fresh breathability, and complete the look of your natural linen bedding ensemble. They’re ideal for deep mattresses up to a depth of 40cm (16 inches).
Shop the full Piglet in Bed collection here for 100% French linen products. Their bedding comes in 15 beautiful colours - and we also have linen pyjamas, robes, tablecloths and napkins.
Wondering what linen is and how it’s made? Read our article here.
Not sure how to care for linen? Read our care guide here.
Discover more about our linen collection here.
You can also shop more durable homeware here too.