Sugars play an important role in the desiccation tolerance of most anhydrobiotic organisms. It has been shown in previous studies that different structural families of oligosaccharides have different efficacies to interact with phospholipid headgroups and protect membranes from solute leakage during drying. Here, we have compared three families of linear oligosaccharides (fructans (inulins), malto-oligosaccharides, manno-oligosaccharides) for their chain-length dependent protection of egg phosphatidylcholine liposomes against membrane fusion. We found increased protection with chain length up to a degree of polymerization (DP) of 5 for malto-oligosaccharides, and a decrease for inulins and manno-oligosaccharides. Differential scanning calorimetry measurements showed that for all sugars the glass transition temperature (T-g) increased with DP, although to different degrees for the different oligosaccharide families. Higher T-g values resulted in reduced membrane fusion only for malto-oligosaccharides below DP5. Contrary to expectation, for inulins, manno-oligosaccharides and malto-oligosaccharides of a DP above five, fusion increased with increasing T-g, indicating that other physical parameters are more important in determining the ability of different sugars to protect membranes against fusion during drying. Further research will be necessary to experimentally define such parameters.