Is linen cooler than cotton – & Which Is More Breathable?

For making cloth, choosing the suitable fabric is the most important thing. This is because there are so many fabrics available in the market. Some are good for winter, and some are for summer; linen and cotton are trendy.

Because both of these fabrics perform very well in different situations when we close a fabric for our cloth, we should check the detail of the chosen fabric; otherwise, we may regret it.

There is a common question that I face so often; is linen cooler than cotton?

Yes, linen is cooler than cotton because of the fiber.

In this Craft in genius guide you’ll learn the following.

  • Does linen keep you cooler than cotton?
  • Is linen more breathable than cotton?
  • What makes linen more breathable than cotton?
  • What are the disadvantages of linen?
  • Why are linen shirts so expensive?
  • FAQs

Does linen keep you cooler than cotton?

Yes, linen keeps a person cooler and relax than cotton. The key facts that made linen cooler and cozy than cotton are breathability, heat-conductivity, and fantastic absorbency. That means it will make you sweat less and don’t make you feel much heat.

And linen is made with a kind of broad, vast, and lengthy fibers that permit air to cross through it and keep you cool.

Coolness is a vital factor, but it doesn’t make sense to consider it the only element for the ideal summer cloth.

Because I think cotton is not that bad. But linen is famous as the coolest fabric due to its excellent ability to make the wearer feel cool, relax, and fresh.

So, let’s compare both fabrics (cotton & linen) with every detail so that you can understand more clearly why linen is the best.


As I already said before, the main factor that developed linen as cooler than cotton is the breathability. This is because the fibers of linen are extensive, vast, hollow, and thin, which increases its breathability far more than cotton.

In addition, the woven of linen is looser, and the clothing style made with linen is relaxed, comfortable, and flowing. That means the linen fabric doesn’t stick with the body. And as it has high breathability, it will let the air pass easily through the material and provide relief from hot weather.


Another adorable fact about linen is, it is super absorbent. The linen can absorb around 20% of the actual weight in the moisture before it becomes wet.

Although cotton also has a good absorbency because it’s able to absorb around 25% of the weight ­– but considering the overall factors, linen performs the best due to its wicking capacity. When linen clothes begin to feel dampen, most of their moisture will be evaporated already.

As linen immediately wicks away its moisture, it also becomes dry faster. And this creates linen as the ideal wear for a person who usually sweats a lot. And also, if anyone wants to use linen as nightwear, it will make them relax, and they will eventually fall in love with it.


Compering to cotton, linen is a very heat-conductive ability. As a result, it releases a person’s body temper in the environment. And Its weave can also reflect the heat more than cotton.

Due to linen’s adorable heat conductivity, it acts as a mind-blowing self-cooler mechanism. And also, linen’s thermal conductivity is almost five-eight times more than wool or silk.

Is linen more breathable than cotton?

Yes, linen is more breathable than cotton. Want to know why I tell linen is breathable than cotton?.

linen and cotton fabric, Is linen more breathable than cotton?

So let’s see the reason:

The breathability of cotton depends on its weave, which is not the same all the time and is unstable.Linen’s breathability depends on their fiber, which is stable and good.
Cotton’s waves can sometimes become thicker, which can make the fabric less breathable.Flax Fiber always has the same features, which make linen more breathable
Air can face a problem when passing through the cotton fabricFlax fiber lets the air pass through the linen fabric easily.

What makes linen more breathable than cotton?

Linen is thicker, cooler, heavier, more breathable, and comfy than cotton. This is due to their lengthy, thin, and wide fibers. Also, as linen is good at moisture-wicking, that means it will keep you dry, relax, and calm. Although cotton is also very breathable, smooth, and crisp, linen is the best.

Both cotton and linen are breathable, but people count linen as the most breathable one. The key difference between cotton and linen is; linen depends on its fiber for breathability, but cotton depends on its weave, not on the fibers. So when something depends on the fiber, it is far better than the weave because weave can change.

What are the disadvantages of linen?

Every good thing also has some bad side too. So although linen is undoubtedly a good fabric with lots of advantages, it has some disadvantages also. But for disadvantages, you can’t necessarily blame its fiber and fabric rather its production procedures. So let’s detail it for you:


This fabric (linen)  can get wrinkled easily. However, day by day, wearing linen cloth is becoming more common because of this.

Bleaching & dying:

Linen fabric is susceptible; because sometimes bleaching and drying can destroy the biodegradable properties in the material. That’s why this fabric is more sustainable and suitable when untreated.

  • Chemicals:

Although linen fiber and fabric don’t need any chemicals or pesticides, they are already fine without any chemical use. But some companies may use chemicals for speeding up the production process anyway.

But Linen fabric never stopped gaining its grown popularity over thousand years because it has several advantages too. So let me tell you those advantages also:

  • Natural:

Linen is hypoallergenic, super safe, and doesn’t contain heavy chemicals, Unlike some synthetic fabrics.

  • Biodegradable:

linen is the most excellent biodegradable fabric among all the fabrics in the universe (when untreated). But after treatment, they can become hard to degrade.

  • Strong:

linen fabric is super sturdy, strong, moth-resistant, durable, and if you want something soft, then they will also be a fantastic choice.

  • Breathable enough and hygroscopic:

This fabric can withstand a high level of temperatures, can absorb moisture quickly and keep bacteria-free, supper cool in summer, work as an insulator. Linen is super breathable that helps to make a person relax.

Why are linen shirts so expensive?

Linen has always been the best choice amongst the pharaohs, the medieval royalty, and the European society’s upper echelons throughout history.  However, the superior qualities, like durability, sturdy, softness, and comfort, made linen one of the most wanted fabrics over the years.

 linen shirts

Usually, linen shirts are so expensive, but it is worth it.  There are lots of things that make linen more costly than the other fabrics.

So let’s see the reasons that made linen expensive:

1. Harvesting

Starting from sowing seeds to harvest, it takes almost 90 days.  First, flax plants need to pull from the surface intact instead of cut to preserve the fiber’s entire length.  

Next, For spinning a smooth yarn, the tapered ends of the stalk must be preserved. The fibers must be loosened from the stalk after they’ve been harvested. This is accomplished by exposing the plants to dampness, allowing bacteria and fungus to partially decay the woody tissue and remove the fiber. 

Retting is the next and a time-consuming process that takes place in the field or in specially constructed tanks or pools.

The next procedure is scutching, which includes separating the raw components from the flax fibers, such as straw and the broken-down woody section. And the final procedure is hackling and separating the short fibers from long fibers

2. Waving

The fibers of linen are susceptible, so if you don’t be careful when weaving or spinning, it can break down during the production procedures. So, keep the machines at slow speeds is a must when incorporating. 

3. Geography

Flax plant’s fiber is the universe’s only natural and raw fiber that grow and harvest in Western Europe, where climate and ground conditions are optimal.  The primary source of flax production is in Europe, but it produces in France and Netherland too.  In addition, the European production process and labor are very costly.

Hopefully, you already can realize how challenging and costly the production process, labor, and linen materials are, especially in Europe. So for all these things, linen becomes expensive.

Which is better in summer linen or cotton?

Linen is undoubtedly better in summer comparing to cotton. This is because every part of linen is very adorable, and the fabric is cooler. I want to show you the key differences between cotton and linen to understand why linen is better in summer. So let’s see:

Fiber More thick, wide, and longLess thick, comprehensive, and long
Air passing The fiber let the air pass through easilyThe fiber doesn’t let the air pass through easily
Air passing stabilityThe air passing process depends on fiber, which is stableAir passing depends on weave instead of fiber, which is not stable
Stick to the bodyLessMore

Can I wear cotton in winter?

Cloth made with cotton is not suitable for winter. Because when it absorb damp or moisture, it sticks immediately with the body, which is not good. In addition,  cotton cloths are usually very thin. So you better avoid wearing cotton in winter.

Our verdict on Is linen cooler than cotton

Again coming back to the main question, is linen cooler than cotton? I already answered that, undoubtedly linen is cooler than cotton. So if you want to get clothes for summer, linen will be the best. So, wear cloths that comfy you and stay relaxed.

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