I have no idea how I got turned on to linen bedding, probably reading comments in blogs and researching from there. Until finally my house looks like it got TP'd in it. Seriously, it's everywhere.
My very first purchase was Ikea's linen duvet set. I couldn't really afford one of the costlier sets and I saw some very wise advice about trying the Ikea before putting down hundreds, just to make sure linen was for you. Got the Ikea, yes, it was for me. I love it so much. Now I have 6 different brand linens bedding, and no matter where I go, how much I test, feel, try, every one I've touched feels different, and I want to own all of them.
I have a bad habit of trying to go the less expensive route and sometimes after all is said and done spending more than was economical. So my recommendation is to if you are unsure the 2 least expensive pieces of linen that I like are my Restoration Home garment-dyed flat sheet and my Ikea linen duvet cover. Both are fab. Might buy one of those to see if you really love linen before spending $500 or so.
After buying the Ikea line duvet cover I was in love, seriously. Later I noticed H&M had a white linen fitted sheet really inexpensive after code, ended up being $30 each, bought 2, love them. Everywhere else they start at $100. The quality is not as good as the other places, but it was the bottom sheet I need in order to be fully submerged in linen at night without putting down heavy cash and it worked out well. It though is optic white while the Ikea is off-white. Also got the H&M linen duvet cover. Don't care for it, gave it away to my sis. Was sort of soft and mushy.
Then the adventure got a little out of hand. I was finally ready to spend some money on a piece and bought a top sheet from Rough Linen. The sheet was not optic white so I was glad I didn't do the full set. I understand Linoto's is optic white, so if you're looking for a set, there ya go.
Then while visiting a friend in Florida I ended up in a Frette outlet. Well whatya know - went to the 80% off section and ooh la la. Linen duvet covers. There were 3 kinds, 2 were 80% off $2,100, I was too cheap to go through with it for some reason, and the other was 80% off $1,100 retail, got it, love it. Outlet stuff can be not the regular Frette line and I know this is not part of their current line because it's the smother type of linen and not the rougher kind they currently sell, but it is made in Italy and feels amazing. It's very cotton-like actually. A very nice weave, not as bumpy as all the others. $350 for the duvet cover and 2 shams. ; )!!!!! I actually personally prefer the rougher/crisper/artisan kind but this one is high quality and lovely just the same.
But that one was seriously optic white and did not go with my Rough Linen sheet...SO...I went to Restoration Hardware, even though I've heard a number of complaints about their stuff falling apart after 2 years, and got the garment-dyed linen sheet in white is optic white. Was cheap, under $100. Maybe I should have just gone to Linoto, but for some reason it didn't quite cross my mind. Oops.
See how that goes? Maybe I should just done everything in one shot and called it a night. Although I realize now that optic white bottom sheet + optic white duvet cover w/ the winter-white flat sheet from RL looks super cute as a bed.
Wellll, then I went into Muji and to my surprise, linen sheets/duvets, and 30% off, also known as trouble. The Ecru is same color as my Ikea (identical), so thankful that I didn't even go near (although I may pick up the bottom sheet), but they also had a beige, which is a really pretty greige...oops, bought that duvet and shams. Sheet is only 11" deep, so not sure that's actually on option. Looking into it now. The Muji is very textured it's rough. I've washed mine only once so I have a way to go to see in what way it softens. So far I'd say I like the Ikea better and at $100 for the Ikea vs. Muji on sale is $150 for duvet and shams, another point for Ikea. But while I was shopping the person was saying more than once people have come back in saying they loved theirs and they repurchased. I certainly don't regret the purchase and you can't do much better than $110 for a linen duvet cover.
Here's some linen options (there are tons more out there though)
-Ikea Linblomma set $80+ for the queen includes shams. Incredible price. They don't carry linen sheets, wish they did! Love my duvet set. Offwhite and tan.
-H&M (recommend sheet only and with code only) duvet cover, $120 for the queen. I didn't care for mine, gave it away. Bottom fitted sheets under $80 I like mine. Only come in white though. And it's an optic white.
-Muji duvet cover on sale $120, shams $25 each, sheet, $70. Interesting texture won't know for sure if I would recommend until a couple more washings to see how it is when it's softer. Wouldn't go straight for this. Duvet + Shams are almost double the price of Ikea set and I like the Ikea more. But their "beige" color (more like "natural" is gorgeous (to me). Update: I love my Muji set.
Standard commercial brands: About $500-$600 for duvet and 2 sheets.
-Pottery Barn duvet cover $250, sheet set, $250.
-Restoration Home duvet range from $200 , sheets start under $100. I really like my 'garment-dyed' white sheet. We'll see how it wears over time, reviews on the internet say not so much. Great price. (Swatches available)
-Eileen Fischer $275, individual sheets about $150
-Cuddle Down duvet $300+, sheets $130 each. Good feedback around the internet.
Small owned: $700+ for duvet and 2 sheets. I'd go for this before commercial if you can.
-Sophias Linen, duvet $220, sheet set $290
-Linoto, duvet $295, sheet set w/ shams $299. Lots of reviews online. (Swatches available)
-Rough Linen, duvet $375, sheets $160 each. Lot's of reviews online from people praising them. I only have the sheet. Nice and crisp and textured. Love it. (Swatches available)
-Linen Shed. Seen call outs for this place online. Prices seem good.
-Tons of stuff on Etsy too. Dlino, Linen Studio RG (swatches available, $1 iirc?), Mooshop. And I've read recs for all of them online.
There's quite a bit of high end out there. Linoto's Belgian Eco ($900+ for Duvet, sheets, cases) I understand is pretty amazing. I've heard good things about Thomas Furgeson ($550 duvet).
People online keep mentioning that RH and the other large commercial stores, get holes in them, so if you have an option for one of the smaller owned companies it's worth thinking about even though it will usually cost a couple hundred more.
Oh, and I have 2 linen bath towels from Linenme on Amazon, and they are f'g awesome. I got the Britany and the Phillipe. They used to have amazing sales, now they're full price @ $45-$55. :(. Still worth it though. I haven't used another type of towel since I got mine.
If I were to do it all again, I would have gotten the Ikea first, then saved up for an awesome set from one of the smaller names.