As you may have gathered, one of my favorite pastimes is keeping track of the bedsheet wars. A new flock of home brands–from Brooklinen to Parachute–has popped up over the last few years promising hotel-quality sheets at affordable prices. This crowded market is spurring a wave of innovation, as brands compete to create the most comfortable and durable sheets possible. For someone who likes to sleep as much as I do, this is excellent news.
And today, I bring you the latest chapter in this ongoing saga. Snowe, a home startup that launched in 2015, has just launched incredibly soft linen sheets. Over the last few years, linen has spiked in popularity. Google searches for “linen sheets” have been trending since about 2016. The material, made from flax, is very breathable, which makes it a good fabric for the summer months, when you don’t want to get too warm under the sheets. Almost all the bedding startups have their own version of linen sheets for prices as low as $200, and some, like Sea Me, focus exclusively on linen.
Snowe’s founders, Rachel Cohen and Andres Modak, decided to not to jump on the bandwagon because they found the texture of most linen sheets too stiff and hard to the touch. Cohen says she would wake up at night feeling like she’d fallen asleep on cut grass. “It’s funny that Rachel brought up that grass feeling—it’s actually not that far from the truth,” Modak says. “Linen is made of flax, a type of grass.”
It usually takes years of washing for linen to soften. So they set out to see if they could find a way to soften linen before it got to the customer. After years of searching for a solution, they finally landed on a technique with their Italian manufacturing partner called “air whipping,” which basically mimics the way linen naturally softens when you leave it to dry outside. In addition to being very effective, this process is also more eco-friendly than the traditional softening process, which involves washing linen, sometimes with chemicals. I was able to see an early version of Snowe’s air-whipped linen sheets, and mistook them for cotton, which is probably a sign that they achieved what they were trying to do.
So there you have it: You can now have your trendy breezy linen sheets without that cut grass feeling. Aren’t you glad your intrepid bedding reporter is here to stay on top of bedsheet innovations?