The Best Flannel SheetsUpdated on May 25, 2020 While all product recommendations are chosen independently, we may receive compensation for purchases made through our site. Learn more about our affiliate program here.
While sleep experts recommend we keep our beds nice and cool for a good night’s rest, sometimes it just gets too cold to sleep. That’s where piled-on comforters and heated mattress pads come in, especially during the winter and in chillier climates. In cases where thick down layers and electric blankets would be overkill, though, many sleepers opt for flannel sheets instead. Soft, fuzzy, and warm, this woven fabric serves as an excellent insulator without all the bulk of a comforter or blanket.
Flannel can be woven out of a number of different materials, most commonly cotton, wool, a synthetic fabric like polyester, or a combination thereof. The weaving is then brushed out for the fabric’s signature fuzz, which plays the biggest part in its heat retention properties. In this guide, we’ll break down the benefits of flannel, give an overview of things to look out for when shopping for a set that suits your needs, and review our top three choices for the best flannel sheets available in 2019.
Our Top Picks
|Linens and Hutch Essential Flannel Sheet Set||Double-brushed Wrinkle-free Hypoallergenic/antimicrobial/antibacterial Fade-resistant||$96|
|Mellanni 100% Cotton Flannel Sheet Set||100% cotton Double-napped Fade/stain/shed/wrinkle-resistant Lifetime guarantee||See Best Price|
|ELuxury 100% Cotton Flannel Sheet Set||100% cotton Shrink-resistant Quick-drying Veteran-owned and operated||$39.99|
Linens and Hutch Essential Flannel Sheet Set
Why we like it:
- Double-brushing makes the fabric fuzzy on both sides
- Wrinkle-free properties keep the sheet smooth without ironing
- Hypoallergenic, antimicrobial, and antibacterial properties make it suitable for sensitive skin
- Fade-resistance keeps colors bright despite regular washing
This flannel sheet set by Linens and Hutch is fuzzy on both sides, thanks to the double-brushed microfiber. This makes it softer and warmer than flannel napped only on one side, and thus ideal for colder months. Despite the warmth and fuzziness, the set has a smooth, soft texture due to its weave. This also makes it durable, while the 70% cotton and 30% polyester microfiber blend is hypoallergenic, antimicrobial, antibacterial, and wrinkle-free. The set comes in Twin, Full, Queen King, and Cal King sizes, and is available in four solid colors that won’t fade with regular washing.
As far as flannel sheets go, this set is definitely on the expensive side, ranging from $86 (Twin) to $106 (California King). This includes a 60-night trial, during which you can return the sheets for a refund if they don’t work out.
Mellanni Flannel Sheet Set
Why we like it:
- 100% cotton flannel is natural, soft, and durable
- Double-napping keeps the flannel soft and fuzzy on both sides
- Has fade, stain, shed, and wrinkle resistance properties
- Comes with a lifetime guarantee
Mellani’s flannel sheets are double-napped, which makes them fuzzy on both sides, and thus warmer and softer than flannel sheets that only have napping on one side. Because the sheets are 100% cotton, they’re natural, soft, and durable. This also keeps them light and breathable, especially compared to synthetic flannel, which makes them suitable for year-round use. Additionally, they’re fade-, stain-, shed-, and wrinkle-resistant, which makes them easy to care for. These sheets are available in Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, and California King, and available in six solid colors and two patterns.
As far as flannel sheets go, they’re on the more affordable side, ranging from $37 (twin) to $42.97 (California King) for a set that includes 1 fitted sheet, 1 flat sheet, and two pillowcases. This includes a lifetime guarantee, as well as free shipping for Amazon Prime members, and free returns.
Eluxury 100% Cotton Flannel Sheet Set
Why we like it:
- 100% cotton flannel is natural, soft, and durable
- Shrink-resistance keeps the flannel the same size with repeated washes
- Fast-washing and quick-drying properties make it easily cleaned
These 100% cotton sheets by eLuxury are another excellent choice for people who want flannel that can be used year-round. Silkier and smoother than the average set of flannel sheets, they keep the sleeper warm without being oppressively thick or scratchy. Additionally, they’re shrink-resistant, fast-washing, and quick-drying, which makes them durable and easily cared for. They come in Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, and Cal King, and are available in six solid colors, including purple and light blue.
As far as flannel sheets go, these are on the more affordable side, ranging from $39.99 (twin) to $62.99 (king), for a set that includes 1 fitted sheet, 1 flat sheet, and two pillowcases. This includes free shipping, as well as a 30-day return/trial period.
Flannel Sheets Buyer’s Guide
Because there are so many variables that come into the making of flannel, the fabric can look quite different from set to set, which also means there’s a lot of variety to choose from. While this makes it more likely for you to find a set of flannel sheets that fits your needs and preferences, it also means you’ll have to take time researching all your options before making your final choice. The type of fiber your flannel is woven from, how brushed it is, and the weave’s fineness are just a few of the important details that will ultimately affect how your sheets feel.
What Is Flannel?
Flannel is actually a type of weave, not a fiber. This means it can be made out of cotton, polyester, microfiber, and many other types of natural and synthetic fibers. What differentiates it from other weaves, such as twill, sateen, and percale, is the loose weave and the fuzz. After weaving, the loose fibers on one or both sides of the fabric are brushed or napped. This creates a layer of fuzz, which is what gives flannel its softness and heat-trapping qualities and makes it a cozy, comfy fabric that’s great for winter months, colder climates, and people who get chilly at night.
Flannel isn’t only for winter use. Because it’s loosely woven and can be made in either heavyweight or lightweight variations, plenty of flannel sheets are breathable enough for use all year round.
What Are the Benefits of Flannel Sheets?
Loosely knit but fuzzy, flannel sheets are most famous for being warm but lightweight. That’s not their only selling point. Brushing the weave not only keeps flannel sheets warm, but soft and comfortable as well, and they stay nice and breathable despite their insulating properties. Here are the top three benefits when it comes to flannel sheets.
- Warm: Flannel is a popular fabric during the winter and in colder climates because of its insulation properties. The functional reason for this is because the brushed loose fibers (the flannel’s signature fuzz) keep heat and air trapped.
- Lightweight: Although flannel sheets can keep someone just as warm as a comforter, they’re nowhere near as bulky and dense. There are both heavyweight and lightweight flannels, and the latter makes sure sleepers don’t overheat or wake up drenched in sweat throughout the night.
- Soft: Despite its heavy, woolen look and rough texture, flannel is actually quite soft. Flannel can be woven out of all sorts of soft fibers, like microfiber and cotton, and the brushed fuzz results in lots of comfort, as well as warmth.
Other Types of Sheets
The same fibers used in a set of flannel sheets can be woven completely differently to make other types of sheet-appropriate fabric, like percale and jersey. Here are four other types of sheets, and how they compare to flannel.
Flannel Sheets Considerations
Weave isn’t the only thing that determines the feel of your sheets. When it comes to flannel, the fineness of the fibers, as well as how much brushing and napping they receive, are just as if not more important to the feel and warmth of your sheets. While ultimately your final choice should depend on your preferences, here’s a list of things you should consider before buying your flannel sheets.
- Cleaning and Care: The fine brushing of flannel is both the fabric’s blessing and its curse. Although this fuzz keeps sleepers warm and comfortable, it can also pill very easily, which makes it less soft. This means flannel comes with a bunch of maintenance instructions, like using vinegar and low heat, so make sure you buy a set that you can regularly clean without ruining the texture.
- Napping and Brushing: How fuzzy your flannel is depends on how, and how much, its loose fibers are napped and brushed. Some flannels are napped and fuzzy on both sides, while others are one-sided. Some have long naps, while others have short. What you end up getting will depend entirely on your preferences and affect the feel and warmth of your sheets, so make sure you research this thoroughly.
- Fineness: The fineness of a set of flannel sheets also affect its feel. Like with other fabrics, generally speaking, the finer the flannel, the softer the sheets.
- Design, Color, Pattern: One of the greatest advantages of flannel is the sheer amount of available designs. Flannel comes in solid colors, tartan patterns, florals, and virtually any design you can think of.
- Warranty and Returns: As with other types of sheets, you should make sure that your flannels come with a good warranty and return policies, just in case something goes wrong. This is doubly important because flannel is more easily ruined than many other types of sheets.