Flannel sheets have long been used to keep people warm during cooler seasons or in cooler regions. Consequently, it’s common to buy flannel when winter is near.
Flannel, however, is a different kind of bedsheet that needs a great deal of consideration before buying.
This guide is meant to help you choose the best flannel sheets by describing what flannel is, what to look for when buying flannel, and by examining this material’s advantages. In the end, the guide also compares flannel with its closest counterparts, cotton, and fleece.
Best Flannel Sheets 2019
#1 MALOUF Portuguese Flannel Sheet Set
# 2 Pinzon Cotton Heavyweight Velvet Flannel Sheet Set
#3 Great Bay Home 100% Turkish Cotton Flannel Sheet Set
# 4 Stone & Beam Rustic Solid 100% Cotton Flannel Sheet
#5 Pinzon Plaid Flannel Bed Sheet Set
MALOUF Portuguese Flannel Sheet Set
For our best overall we picked the Malouf Portuguese Flannel Sheet because of how nice and warm they feel. This flannel sheet set is heavy and simply feels luxurious. However, its excellent quality is matched by its price.
- Made in mills of Portugal, the place known for making the best flannel in the world.
- 100% brushed cotton gives it a nice soft and warm feel.
- Extra deep pockets made for mattresses 6 to 18 inches tall.
- Malouf gives 5-years warranty and 30 days money back guarantee on their flannel sheets.
Pinzon Cotton Heavyweight Velvet Flannel Sheet Set
These 100% cotton flannel sheets are quite heavy and warm and best used for people in cooler weathers and or winters. In spite of their great quality, the price tag they come with is very generous which is why we picked them as the best heavyweight flannel sheets.
- Double-napped 100% cotton velvet finish on both sides makes these sheets very soft to the touch.
- 190-Gram heavyweight velvet flannel perfect for extra warmth.
- Because of its combed design, this flannel sheet set lasts longer than the average sheets.
- The Pinzon Cotton Heavyweight Velvet Flannel Sheets come with a 1-year warranty and 30 day return policy by Amazon.
Great Bay Home 100% Turkish Cotton Flannel Sheet Set.
(Best Lightweight )
Best Lightweight :
The Great Bay Home flannel sheets are made in Turkey which is another place known for its amazing sheets quality. At 150-Gram these sheets made it to our best lightweight flannel sheets and can easily be used in both summer and winter.
- One of the best flannel sheets for all-year around for being both cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
- Being made in Turkey and using 100% cotton means that these sheet will endure for a long time.
- The Great Bay flannel sheets comes with a 3-year manufacturers warranty and the same 30-day return policy.
Stone & Beam Rustic Solid 100% Cotton Flannel Sheet
(Best Solid Colors )
Best Solid Colors
Another great Portuguese flannel choice that wowed us by its amazing comfort and soft feel, the Stone & Beam Rustic Solid Cotton Flannel Sheet made it to our list as the best solid color flannel sheet. Its seldom to find flannel sheets in solid colors.
- Great quality sheets accompanied by great natural solid color choices.
- 100% cotton flannel sheets made in Portugal.
- Standard 100 by Okeo-Tex certified as being safe and made from non-harmful materials.
- Great reviews and overall customer satisfaction. Also has 30 day return policy.
Pinzon Plaid Flannel Bed Sheet Set
160-gram Portuguese flannel sheet set by Pinzon Plaid. The quality of this flannel sheet set and the fact that it is 100% cotton and made in Portugal made us choose it as our best budget choice.
- Soft feel, warm comfort and long lifespan in one budget friendly package.
- Made in Portugal with 100% cotton and double napped finish for a nice luxury feel.
- This budget friendly flannel sheet set comes with a 1-year warranty and 30 sleep trial.
Flannel Sheets Buying Guide
What is Flannel?
Flannel is a soft fluffy fabric that is thicker than regular sheets. It’s often brushed to provide that extra fluffy finish. Though, it is possible to find unbrushed flannel.
How it’s made
The process of brushing flannel involves feeding a thick piece of material into a fine-toothed metallic combing machine. The fine metallic brush combs the fabric.
Combing the fabric allows it to raise the fine fibers from yarn that is loosely spun. This forms a nap, which is the characteristic that gives flannel its unique appeal.
Flannel is often made from cotton, wool, or synthetic fiber. It first originated from Europe where they used to card wool to provide a softer warmer fabric. This was especially important because of the limited heating abilities back then.
Flannel is woven in two types of weaves, twill or plain weave. It’s difficult to tell a flannel’s weave if it’s napped on both sides, but you can check its tag for more information. Weave construction is important in determining a material’s breathability and durability. The plain weave pattern is the most common and gives off a strong finish. While the twill weave allows for more breathability.
The color of flannel was originally achieved through mixing brown, blue, white and black wools in specific proportions. Currently, however, the color is obtained through the use of dyes. In cases where lighter shades of flannel were required, then, Sulphur dioxide was used to bleach the fabric.
There are different types of flannels, such as;
Flannel is most commonly made out of cotton. Cotton allows this fabric to be warm but also comfortable without the roughness experienced from wool. Cotton’s breathability and ability to wick moisture away, allows flannel to remain dry and warm throughout the night.
there are flannels made out of the synthetic fiber. Man-made Microfiber is very soft and durable. This makes it a very good flannel sheet. The only drawback is that it traps heat and causes sweating.
Wool is no longer a common flannel material and can only be found on Duvets and Blanket flannels. Wool is very prickly, the reason why it’s not widely used to make flannel.
How to Find the Best Flannel Sheets for you?
When buying flannel sheets there are different factors that you need to consider. Without full knowledge of these factors, it’s easy to buy the wrong sheets.
To help you avoid this, this guide lets you know what to look for when buying Flannel sheets and their importance.
1- Weight Dictates Quality
Unlike most materials where quality is indicated by the thread count, Flannel’s quality is indicated by its weight. The weight is measured by grams per square meter or GSM.
This means that the higher the GSM, the higher the quality. In this case, 170 grams to 190 grams is recommended. Remember a flannel is a thicker material than normal sheeting material. A lighter flannel is not quality because the napping process strains the overall fabric and causes premature wear and tear.
Flannel’s weight is also calculated by ounces. If so, a fabric of about 5 ounces is equally good and high quality.
Be wary, however, of heavier flannel. Flannels indicating higher weight are also not quality. They are made from heavy yarns which pill a lot and can prickle the skin as well.
2-Where is the Flannel Sheet Made?
The best flannel is made in Portugal. The Northern region of Portugal has perfected the art of making flannel over the centuries. When you compare flannels made from Portugal to those made in the US and China, you will realize that Portuguese flannel is consistently softer than the rest.
Unlike other manufacturers, Portuguese flannel is woven with reasonably longer staple cotton. They also use a different and advanced brushing technique.
Since the Portuguese have access to the sea, they receive premium long-staple cotton with ease. This aids them in making the best flannel from the beginning.
Flannels that are made from short-staple cotton are usually weaker. On the other hand, flannels made of long-staple cotton are stronger and more superior. This is the main reason as to why people prefer flannel from Portugal.
3-How Fine is Fabric Construction?
The fineness of a flannel affects its quality in the long-run. The finer it is, the higher the quality and durability. Conversely, bulky flannels easily shed creating small fluff balls on the fabric’s surface. This is commonly known as pilling.
Fine flannel can only be produced from quality fibers and a meticulous manufacturing method. This produces a softer flannel sheet, which is great especially for people who have sensitive skin.
Bulky flannels are commonly produced from heavy yarn. Heavy yarn tends to fray more when napped. This will cause the flannel sheet to pill and can also create a rough surface which is uncomfortable if you have sensitive skin.
Always look out for the fineness of the flannel before making any purchase.
4-Are the Flannel Sheets Brushed?
The most important reason to brush flannel is to make it soft and warm. The brushed fibers of the flannel are used to trap heat while you sleep. Helping you sleep warmer. They also create a soft plush feel which is comfortable and soothing to the skin.
The process of brushing the fabric is done through a mechanical process using a fine metal brush. The brush rubs on the fabric raising the yarn from the weave, hence creating a fuzzy nap. Sometimes, flannel is brushed on one or both sides.
When you come across terms like double-napped during your shopping, don’t be alarmed, it simply means that the product has been brushed on both sides.
The difference between brushed and unbrushed flannel is that brushed flannel feels soft to touch than the unbrushed one.
5-How easy is it to Clean and Maintain?
The maintenance and care of flannel sheets depend entirely on the material. The best thing is to do is to follow the manufacture’s washing instructions.
It is recommended to use half a cup of white vinegar while washing flannel for the very first time as this prevents it from pilling. The use of fabric softeners is highly discouraged as it causes the fabric to stiffen and reduces its original softness.
Avoid washing flannel in hot water. Always wash flannel in warm or cold water. It is better to line-dry the sheets but if you find that difficult. You can machine dry for a long period under a very low temperature. This increases the durability of this particular fabric.
Again, ensure that you read the wash instructions from the manufacturer.
6-What are the Available Colors and Patterns?
Most people tend to visualize a lumberjack or the Scottish plaid when they hear the word flannel. Well, in the earlier days, it was correct to imagine so. But, in modern times flannel comes in different colors and patterns.
When buying your flannel sheets, you shouldn’t focus more on the color or even patterns, rather your focus should be on the comfort. Flannels come in different patterns like striped, checked, and floral.
It is almost impossible to get rainbow colors on flannels. Even though it is easy to be attracted by beauty, always check on the brand reputation and its reviews.
Keep in mind that darker shades of color fade with almost every wash. Therefore, a natural color palette works better.
7- How Good Are the Reviews?
When buying flannel, you should first look at the customer reviews. This is always the number one indicator of whether the product is any good before you purchase it.
Reviews are mostly written by people who have already used the product you are about to buy. Remember where there is smoke, there is fire. If something keeps being repeated in the reviews, chances are it’s true.
Even though people have different opinions, those of a few previous customers should not lie.
Positive reviews tell you that other customers are satisfied with the flannel sheet.
However, if you tend to take people’s opinions with a pinch of salt, then you can ask for the opinion of those you trust. In this case, asking around your inner circle helps.
8- What are the Warranties and Return Policy?
When buying any product leave alone flannel, it’s very important to know it’s return policy and warranty. Warranties protect you against a default product. While Return policies focus more on satisfaction.
When buying flannel, check to see whether the company offers a return period. A minimum of 30 days’ free trial is ideal to help you decide whether the sheets are for you.
A good warranty shows that the company takes pride in its products and is willing to back them up. Some companies state that once goods are sold they cannot be returned; these are the ones to keep off.
In cases where you find that your fabric has a run, is torn, or has come undone, you should be able to return it and get it repaired or get a new one.
Flannel Advantages and why you should Consider Flannel Sheets?
There is a reason flannel sheets are so popular. Not only are they soft, comfy, and warm but they have other numerous benefits. In this guide, we list the advantages of flannel. These advantages will truly help you make up your mind if you had any doubts about flannel.
Warm yet Breathable
As mentioned earlier, flannel sheets have a brushed surface. This surface helps the sheet trap heated air which creates a warm surface to lie on. Fun fact, flannel sheets don’t lose this heat even during the day. That’s why sleeping on flannel sheets instantly warms you up.
Unlike many other sheeting materials, flannel isn’t cold at the time you slip into bed. It’s usually warm and comfortable, helping you fall asleep faster.
Another fun fact, natural cotton flannel is breathable and great at wicking moisture. So, while flannel sleeps warm, it doesn’t get too hot to the point of being unbearable. It wicks away moisture and allows you to stay dry throughout the night.
Micro flannel, however, is a man-made material. Being a synthetic material causes this type of flannel to trap excess heat. This leads to you waking up sweaty. Only use this type of flannel during winter or if you tend to feel cold easily.
Soft and Comfortable
Flannel has brushed napping, on either or both sides. This napping gives it that extra soft feel. Making it comfortable on the skin.
Finer napping creates thin hairs and a fluffier Flannel. This type of flannel is great for children since it’s extra smooth on sensitive skin and doesn’t prickle.
Flannel is one of the coziest fabrics. As such it makes sleep more enjoyable.
Long Lasting and Durable
Flannel is made out of a tight weave. This weave makes flannel sheets perfectly warm, and also durable.
As mentioned before, flannel sheets come with the manufacturer’s instructions. If proper care is taken according to these instructions, then, these sheets can last for several years.
The napping on both sides helps the sheets not to tear and wear with every wash. This is because the outer hairs prevent abrasion to the sheet caused by friction when the sheet rubs together.
Being a thicker material, flannel doesn’t rip easily. This also helps the sheet stay intact longer. When made with a finer yarn, flannel is the most long-lasting sheet out there.
Flannel sheets are also valued for money. Given the value derived from these sheets and their durability, they are worth every coin spent. They are also much cheaper compared to premium sheets found in the market.
Besides, the price of these sheets is determined by their weight. The higher the weight the higher the price and vice versa. This helps everyone afford what’s within their budget range.
Flannel VS Fleece Sheets?
No-one wants to get into cold bed-sheets on a cold winter night right? Flannel sheets have for a long time been the solution to this problem. But, there has arisen a new solution recently. Some are even referring to it as the “new flannel”.
Fleece is the newest entrant into the warm sheets arena. And it comes with its benefits. But, can fleece beat flannel? Let’s find out:
We have already seen that Flannel is mostly made out of natural materials such as cotton. Fleece, on the other hand, is made from polyester microfibers.
Flannel is thick enough to last many years and can withstand many washes without shrinking or ripping.
Fleece is also a very strong material. The fact that it is made from thin polyester fiber, makes it a rather tough material. This makes fleece very easy to care for and long-lasting. However, some fleece sheets are very thin which can cause them to tear or rip with several washes.
Flannel’s main purpose is warmth. By trapping air in its outer fibers, it keeps you warm while you sleep. Flannel made from natural materials such as cotton has thermoregulation properties which makes it a good sheet to use all year round. This means it warms during winter and cools during summer.
Fleece is also a warm material. Its fluffier nature makes it even warmer than flannel. However, the fact that it’s made from polyester, makes it trap excess heat. This causes the sleeper to sleep hot and wake up sweaty. That’s why it’s probably not the best if you tend to sleep hot.
Flannel is rather affordable when compared to other premium sheets. It also has good value for money given its benefits.
Fleece, on the other hand, is cheaper than flannel. This is because it’s made from synthetic materials that are more readily available and cheaper to produce than natural materials such as cotton.
Flannel wrinkles as it is made out of cotton. This happens only when washed, but once pulled and stretched when making your bed, it goes back to normal.
Since Fleece is made out of polyester, it barely wrinkles. Flannel can be washed in warm or cold water but fleece can only be washed in cold water to avoid damaging it.
For most consumers, the wrinkling that happens on cotton isn’t a bother as it does not affect its durability.
When it comes to eco-friendliness, Flannel is the definite winner. Flannel is made from natural materials such as cotton. This material has low to no impact on the environment. Besides, cotton is a sustainable material and readily available. It does not off-gas or pollutes the environment in and out of your house, making it the greener option.
Fleece, on the other hand, is made from a petrochemical fiber. It often off-gasses and research shows these chemicals are toxic when inhaled. This makes fleece a poor choice when it comes to keeping the environment clean.
Flannel VS Cotton Sheets?
Flannel is undoubtedly a durable fabric, even more, durable when it comes to bed-sheets.
Real Egyptian cotton has always been a durable material until companies started labeling poor quality cotton fabrics as “Egyptian Cotton”.
Nonetheless, cotton is a strong and durable material.
Flannel is soft and very strong, it feels heavier than Egyptian cotton because its quality is determined by its weight.
Egyptian cotton is also soft and strong but, a little less heavy as its quality is determined by the thread count. Both Flannel and cotton are soft and strong. But flannel feels softer because of the brushed nature.
Flannel is much warmer because of the raised outer fibers that trap heat and keep you warm. It’s cotton nature also makes it breathable and moisture-wicking. Making it a great bedding material all year round. But it’s better suited for colder seasons.
Egyptian Cotton sheets are highly breathable and sleep cooler than most sheets. They are highly absorbent as well which helps you stay dry and cool during the night.
As such, Flannel is the best for warmth as opposed to Egyptian cotton sheets.
Flannel is quite affordable for its derived benefits. It’s much cheaper than premium sheets such as Egyptian cotton.
Egyptian Cotton is one of the most expensive bed sheets out there. It’s a luxury fabric that’s made from premium long-staple cotton.
All cotton fabrics wrinkle. Flannel wrinkles but the wrinkles do not cause any damage on the sheets. Cotton sheets also wrinkle. The positive aspect is that the two do not degrade in quality as they wrinkle. With proper care and maintenance, wrinkles should be the least of your concern.
Both Cotton Flannel and Egyptian Cotton sheets are equally eco-friendly. They are made from natural materials that are safe to use in your home. However, if you want something eco-friendlier look for 100% organic cotton. This type of cotton is planted and harvested organically, without the use of harsh chemicals.
Care and Maintenance
Flannel is a bit cumbersome to maintain when compared to Egyptian cotton. Most manufacturers advise against washing flannel with hot water or in the washing machine.
Hot water weakens this fabric and causes pilling. The tumbling nature of washing machines also causes excessive abrasion which leads to premature wear and tears.
Washing sheets in hot water is good for killing allergy causing germs. Egyptian cotton is machine washable and not as affected by heat as flannel is. Besides, cotton grows softer with every wash.
Buying flannel sheets might have been difficult before, but now that you know what to look for in these types of sheets. You must be a bit more confident to go out there and get the best sheets to keep you warm and toasty this winter.
The flannel’s benefits listed in this guide are not only good for helping you make up your mind about flannel but also lets you discover newer ways that flannel can promote your sleep health.
And if you were confused between flannel and fleece. You are now better equipped to tell what’s the difference and which fabric is more beneficial to you. The same with Egyptian cotton and flannel.