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5 Types of Household Linens (and Where to Store Them)

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Linens are part of what makes a house a home, although there is plenty of variation in what they are. For the most part, linens are any fabrics used for the daily function of a home.

There are 5 types of household linens:

  • Bedroom linens
  • Kitchen linens
  • Bathroom linens
  • Table linens
  • Miscellaneous linens

These fabrics vary from room to room, and you may discover there are more articles than you originally thought. Continue reading to identify the different types of household linens and discover where and how you should store them.

Type of Household Linens by Room

Linen cloths on gray background

Linens are typically identified by the room they are used in, and the most common areas are:

  • The bedroom
  • The kitchen
  • The bathroom

There are a few other linens that can be used throughout the house, categorizing them as miscellaneous.

While you can have other types of fabric, linens are defined by their daily use in these areas. They provide comfort and serve a purpose to the home, whether that is with a specific use, aesthetic appeal, or a combination of both.


The bedroom requires the most effort for comfort, so you can expect plenty of linens here, including:

Pile of dirty linen on bed in bedroom with modern interior in neutral colors
  • Bedsheets (flat and fitted)
  • Bed skirts
  • Bedspreads
  • Blankets
  • Curtains
  • Comforters
  • Dresser scarves
  • Duvet covers
  • Mattress pads and covers
  • Pillowcases
  • Pillow covers
  • Quilts

Here you will find anything and everything needed to make the perfect sleeping environment.

If your bed is too firm you can add cushioning with mattress pads. Mattress and pillows can be protected with covers from dust and liquids, and sheets can be the perfect match for your sense of style.


The kitchen may not seem like the ideal place for fabric, but you might be surprised. Kitchen linens typically include:

  • Aprons
  • Dishcloths and dish towels
  • Kitchen curtains
  • Napkins
  • Oven gloves
  • Placemats
  • Tablecloths
  • Table runners
  • Tea towels

While you can find cloths and towels in other rooms, kitchens tend to have specific sets designed to hang well off appropriate rods and fit certain room aesthetics. Kitchens generally have several linens specifically for cleaning up.

Depending on where your dining area is situated you may also keep dining linens, like placemats and table runners, with kitchen linens.


Bathroom linens are more straightforward, and most people have a good idea of their focus. These include:

Stack of Linen Towels with a Soap Dispenser in a Bathroom
  • Hand towels
  • Reusable cotton rounds or pads
  • Shower curtains and shower curtain liners
  • Towels
  • Washcloths

The cloths in the bathroom can serve visual appeal, but most of the items in this room expect heavier use. Even decorative shower curtains are subjected to daily use, and you should keep an eye on them for stains, wear, and tear.


There are other linens that you can use sparingly or throughout the whole home. These include:

  • Curtains
  • Doilies
  • Gloves and handkerchiefs
  • Pillowcases for accent pillows
  • Throw blankets

Miscellaneous linens are those fabric items that you use regularly for function and comfort, and they vary from person to person. You may prefer light, gauzy curtains in the whole home while your neighbor uses blackout curtains in every window.

Because each home is a different safe space, the linens used, the way they are stored, and the considerations that take place are different.

How to Store Household Linens

When it comes to storing household linens you have two options.

Many choose to store the linens in the room they are used, keeping them close so they are not running across the house to retrieve them.

Those with linen closets also have the choice to keep all the linens in the same area, reducing the overall space they take up and leaving more storage space in those specific rooms.

Regardless of where you choose to store linens, taking the time to make sure you are storing the fabric properly is essential to preserve its longevity and protect it from dust and stains.

Storing in the Room

If you want to store fabric in the rooms then look for available cabinets, dressers, and shelves that can accommodate your linens. This might look like:

  • Storing sheets in the top of bedroom closets
  • Keeping extra towels in a bathroom cabinet
  • Stashing away kitchen towels in a drawer

You want to make sure that the linens are easy for you to access without putting them in a situation where they are hastily stashed away. Ensuring you have a specific space for the linens reduces your chance of misplacing them or storing them haphazardly.

When storing them in a room, be on the lookout for appropriate baskets, bins, and bags to keep everything in its place.

Storing in a Linen Closet

Organized closet

A linen closet makes a lot of sense for storing linen (for obvious reasons), but this can easily become a catch-all. Make sure you have a system in place to keep everything in order.

Try to limit the number of linens you have for each room. A good number to maintain is:

  • Three sets of sheets per bed
  • Three sets of towels per person
  • One extra set of anything to be used by guests

Keep similar items together, and separate the items by room or by person. If you are the type to label things, then you can label baskets or even shelves to make sure everything ends up back in its spot after washing.

Storing Fabric Safely

Storing linen is one thing, but taking the time to make sure it is safe is an additional level to be explored. You want to make sure the linens you invest in will last as long as possible, preserving the color, design, and integrity of the fabric.

You also want to keep linen smelling fresh, especially if they are seasonal or used less frequently. It is always disappointing to pull something out, expecting it to be clean, only to be greeted by dust and mustiness. Consider white sachets or scented drawer liners to enhance the smell of linens.

Make sure your storage area avoids sunlight and has little humidity. The most common spaces that come to mind are closets or trunks, but you can also use drawers in a pinch.

Woman hands neatly folded linens and towels

Try to keep linens as contained as possible. This will help protect from dust. You can also use white fabric bags to add an extra layer of protection, but make sure you are washing the fabric bags as well.

Using acid-free paper  on shelves will help you protect or separate fabrics without inhibiting circulation, especially if you are storing multiple items in the same area.

Avoid material like plastic, cedar, or cardboard when storing linen. Over time these are prone to yellow the fabric stored in them. Bed sets can be stored in a larger pillowcase, and other linens can be kept in fabric-lined baskets.

Final Thoughts

Identifying and storing linens is essential to keeping a streamlined home. Once you can identify the fabric that you use for comfort and function, you can decide where it should be stored for ease of access.

Taking the time to keep everything organized and safe can help preserve your linens for years of routine use.