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The Best Flannel Sheets – 2022 Reviews and Buyer’s Guide

Written by Keith Cushner

Quick Overview

Shopping for flannel sheets is usually a Fall and Winter activity, but these cozy and soft sheets can be excellent for year-round sleep too, particularly if you run cold at night. This guide will prepare you with all the information you need to make the best flannel sheets selection for you.

We’ll explain what flannel fabric is, why it sleeps differently than other materials, shopping considerations, returns and warranty concerns, as well as care and cleaning tips. Below are our top picks for the best flannel sheets of 2022 with detailed reviews followed by our buying guide.

Best Flannel Sheets of 2022

The Best Flannel Sheets - Reviewed

Best OverallLL Bean Ultrasoft Comfort Flannel Sheet Set

Best Overall – LL Bean Ultrasoft Comfort Flannel Sheet Set

Highlights

  • 100% brushed cotton flannel
  • 8 color options
  • 15-inch pocket depth
  • Luxuriously soft hand-feel
  • Mid-weight construction for year-round use
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Best OverallLL Bean Ultrasoft Comfort Flannel Sheet Set

llbean.com

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The Ultrasoft Comfort Flannel Sheet Set from LL Bean epitomizes the timeless style and year-round comfort of flannel bedding. The sheets and pillowcases in this collection are crafted from brushed cotton, giving each item a smooth, cozy hand-feel. Mid-weight construction also makes the sheets well-suited to a wide range of climates, so owners can use their set throughout the calendar year without overheating in hotter months or feeling too cold when temperatures drop.

Five sizes are available. The twin set includes a flat sheet, fitted sheet, and one pillowcase, while full, queen, king, and California king sets feature all of these items along with an additional pillowcase. Customers can also choose from eight muted neutral color schemes to complement their bedroom decor. All components of the set are machine-washable, and should become softer over time.

The cost of this set is quite reasonable given the high quality and expected longevity of each item. LL Bean also offers a one-year sleep trial for customers to test out the bedding and decide whether it’s right for them. Shipping is free of charge for all orders of $50 or more, which applies to each available size for the Ultrasoft Comfort Flannel Sheet Set.

Best ValueStandard Textile Flannel Sheet Set

Best Value – Standard Textile Flannel Sheet Set

Highlights

  • 100% brushed cotton flannel
  • 8 color options
  • 16-inch pocket depth
  • Sheet ends labeled to make bed-making easier
  • Budget-friendly price
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Best ValueStandard Textile Flannel Sheet Set

standardtextile.com

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Standard Textile is a company best-known for high-quality products at approachable prices. The brand’s Flannel Sheet Set is a prime example. Each item in the collection is composed of pure cotton flannel that’s brushed during production to make the material luxuriously soft and smooth. The fabric is also designed to resist pilling and hold up well over time. Since each size is affordably priced, the sheet set is a high-value option for shoppers on a budget.

The set comes in six sizes ranging from twin to California king. Eight color schemes are also available. All sets include a flat sheet, fitted sheet, and one to two pillowcases depending on the size. The fitted sheet has a pocket depth of 16 inches, making it compatible with most mattresses sold today. Every item can be washed and dried in household machines.

Standard Textile provides free ground shipping throughout the contiguous U.S., and delivery to Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico is priced at a flat rate of $75. Returns and exchanges are permitted within 90 days of delivery, even for customers who have used and laundered their bedding.

Best LuxuryBoll & Branch Solid Flannel Sheet Set

Best Luxury – Boll & Branch Solid Flannel Sheet Set

Highlights

  • 100% GOTS-certified organic cotton flannel
  • Solid white
  • 16- to 18-inch pocket depth
  • Cotton is sustainably grown and cultivated
  • 8 sizes available
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Best LuxuryBoll & Branch Solid Flannel Sheet Set

bollandbranch.com

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Each sheet and pillowcase in the Solid Flannel Sheet Set from Boll & Branch is constructed from organic cotton certified by the Global Organic Textile Standard, a leading authority for this type of material. The certification indicates the cotton has been grown without using chemical pesticides or genetic modifiers. The organic cotton used to produce this collection is also velvety-soft and highly breathable, making the set a luxurious addition to any sleep surface.

Although only a white color is available, customers can choose from eight different sizes. These include six options that correspond with standard mattress dimensions, a king size set with standard pillowcases, and a split king for couples who use adjustable beds. The pocket depth ranges from 16 to 18 inches, depending on the chosen size. All components are fully machine-washable for quick and easy care.

Boll & Branch is a Fair Trade certified company, meaning all employees are ethically treated and fairly compensated at each stage of the supply chain. Ground shipping is free for all domestic U.S. orders, and each purchase includes a 30-day return period. All items in the set must be returned in their original condition with tags intact in order to qualify for a refund.

Best HeavyweightLooma Flannel Sheet Set

Best Heavyweight – Looma Flannel Sheet Set

Highlights

  • 100% organic long-staple cotton flannel
  • 2 color options
  • 18-inch pocket depth
  • Heavyweight construction well-suited to colder weather
  • Charitable donations with each set sold
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Best HeavyweightLooma Flannel Sheet Set

loomahome.com

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The Looma Flannel Sheet Set is composed of organic, long-staple cotton. This material is both sustainably sourced and exceptionally durable, so owners shouldn’t need to worry about the early pilling or deterioration that often affects products made from standard-staple cotton fibers. The sheets and pillowcases in this set are constructed with a heavier weight. This ensures plenty of coziness and insulation from the cold on chilly nights.

Customers choose from black or slate as a color scheme for the set. Full, queen, and king sizes are also available, each of which includes two pillowcases, a flat sheet, and a fitted sheet. The latter has a pocket depth of 18 inches, so the set will be compatible with almost any mattress sold today. All components can be laundered in household washers and dryers.

Looma has partnered with a girls’ school in Rajasthan, India. With each purchase, Looma donates one month of free education to a pupil at that establishment. Worldwide shipping is free of charge and all sheet sets are backed by a lifetime warranty against structural defects.

Flannel Sheets Buying Guide

When cool weather sets in or you want a warmer sleep experience year-round, flannel sheets are a top choice. This flannel sheets buying guide provides all the details you need to make an informed buying decision.

The guide explains what flannel is, how it’s made, and which materials there are to choose from because all flannel isn’t the same. We’ll explain pricing, warranty, returns, and how to care for your flannel sheets. We’ll also look at aesthetic concerns like fabric finishes, color, and pattern options.

What Is Flannel?

Flannel fabric was first made in Scotland and Wales in the 1500s. Back then, smooth, heavy, fine wool was the yarn of choice. The wool was carded (brushed and detangled) to make it smoother. Because of the processing, it was softer and able to be more tightly woven.

The tight weave and carding process resulted in fine, soft, heavy fabric that was very warm, an important concern in an age without central heating. Flannel was first used for clothing and then evolved to common usage for bedding including blankets and sheets.

From its origins in Wales and Scotland, flannel gained popularity during the Industrial Revolution with the advent of carding mills to process wool more efficiently. Flannel production spread to the US where cotton became the flannel fiber of choice.  

From fisherman to soldiers to lumberjacks, flannel was often made in plaid colors and was a hallmark of the working-class “uniform.” The soft fabric went mainstream in the 1950s with the design of the first upscale flannel men’s suit.

Eventually, synthetic yarn became the third choice for flannel manufacture. Flannel sheets are made from wool, cotton, synthetic or a blend of these. Flannel sheet quality is not based on thread count but on weave, texture, and weight measured in GSM (grams per square meter).

Why Buy Flannel Sheets?

If you’re considering flannel sheets, there are many reasons this can be a great choice for a cozy night’s sleep. Here are some benefits:

  • Soft – Most flannel sheets have a one or two-sided brushed nap which makes them soft. Brushing the nap raises surface fibers creating a fine plush feel. If you have sensitive skin or prefer a very soft sleep experience, flannel is an excellent choice.
  • Warm – The same brushed nap process that makes flannel sheets so soft also makes it warm. The brushed surface traps and retains body heat. This creates a warm sleep pocket between the fitted and top sheets, so you stay cozy all night long.
  • Breathable – A big benefit of all-natural flannel sheets is that they keep you warm without overheating or trapping moisture. Natural fibers absorb and wick moisture away from the body so that you get the warmth without excess heat or dampness.
  • Durable – The very tight weave of flannel sheets that creates its warmth also makes these sheets very durable. Well-crafted flannel sheets can last for years if cared for properly according to manufacturer instructions.

How to Find the Right Flannel Sheets for You

Choosing the best flannel sheets is about more than just looking at packages on the shelves of a store. Materials vary widely as does their performance. Some manufacturers produce better products than others, and so reviews from verified buyers are important. Here are some considerations while shopping.

Look Closely at the Material

Not all flannel is created equal. The first thing to look at is the material. Flannel sheets can be wool, cotton, synthetic, or a blend. Knowing how each performs is critical because the materials all sleep differently.

  • Wool – Wool flannel sheets are hard to find, costly, and often bespoke (made to order) as it’s gone out of fashion as a material of choice for sheets. If you like wool and want a wool sleep experience, you’ll more easily find wool flannel in blankets, duvet covers, and mattress pads.
  • Cotton – Cotton is the most common all-natural flannel sheet material. With 100% cotton flannel sheets, shrinkage on initial washing is common. Always follow manufacturer guidelines when cleaning. Cotton flannel is excellent to wick moisture, retain heat, and ensure comfort.
  • Synthetic – Flannel sheets made from synthetics are often labeled “micro flannel” meaning it has very fine fibers. Synthetic flannels are made with tightly woven polyester fibers. These sheets are durable and easy to care for, but don’t feel the same as natural cotton and wool sheets.
  • Blend – Many high-performance flannel sheets are a cotton/polyester blend. Using the two materials together offers the soft and warming experience of cotton flannel while allowing greater durability inherent in synthetic materials plus easier care specification.

If you want an all-natural sheet set, be sure to carefully read product specifications. Also, be aware that all-natural cotton doesn’t mean it’s organic. Natural means it’s from a plant while organic means it was grown and processed without pesticides, herbicides, or other toxic chemicals.

Weight as a Quality Indicator

While the quality of cotton sheets is often judged by thread count, flannel sheets are typically assessed by weight. Flannel weight is often measured in grams per square meter (gsm), with 170 gms (five or six ounces per yard) being considered among the highest quality flannel and thus the most expensive. Heavier fabrics tend to be warmer than lighter ones; for example, a 170 gms flannel weave may be considered warm, while a 135 gms cotton weave is quite lightweight.

Napped on Both Sides

To produce the soft, fuzzy texture associated with the fabric, flannel is “napped” in one direction on one or both sides. Napping refers to the finishing process of using a fine metal brush to gently raising fine fibers on a textible. The nap process gives flannel its unique texture, in addition to trapping air that works as insulation. The best flannels are napped on both sides instead of one.

Fine vs. Bulky Flannel

Generally, the finer the flannel, the more durable and high-quality the fabric is. By contrast, bulky flannels may begin to shed and develop small balls of fluff on its surface — a process known as “pilling”.

Country of Origin

The majority of flannel sheets are produced in England, Germany, and Portugal, though many consider Portuguese to be the best in the world. The Portuguese have been crafting flannel for generations, with artisans designing flannel from superior long-staple cotton and napping the flannel in a way that produces an exceptionally warm, soft product.

Second to Portugal, Germany is also a celebrated, longtime producer of flannel sheets. In contrast to Portuguese fabric, German flannel features a denser, more sturdy weave.

English flannel, while less sought-after than Portuguese and German sheets, is known for its durability and very slight nap.

Brushed Fabric or No?

Brushed flannel is from a mechanical process where a fine metal brush rubs the fabric to raise fibers from the weave to create a fuzzy nap. Flannel sheets may be unbrushed, brushed on one side, or both. Double napped means it’s brushed on both sides. Brushed flannel is softer to the touch than unbrushed.

Cleaning and Care

Care and cleaning of flannel sheets depends on materials. Bespoke wool sheets and bedding usually require dry cleaning unless it’s specially treated wool that is machine washable. Cotton flannel sheets should be laundered according to manufacturer instructions. Synthetic sheets are low-maintenance.

When you wash flannel sheets for the first time, experts recommend adding a half-cup of white vinegar to the wash to protect against future pilling and to set the dye. Don’t use fabric softener with flannel sheets. It reduces softness over time by stiffening fibers.

For cotton, blended, and synthetic flannel sheets, you should wash in warm or cold water only – never hot. Line drying increases durability but if that’s not practical, dry the sheets longer at a lower dryer temperature. Be sure to read the laundry directions before the first wash cycle.

Warranty and Return Policy

Return policies are about satisfaction while warranties relate to defects and product failure rather than your sleep experience. Review the policies of the manufacturer or sales site (Amazon, for instance), to know what your options are before you buy the sheets.

If you’re uncertain what you want or don’t know if flannel will be to your liking, buying from a brand with a sleep trial is advisable. Some reputable makers allow a sleep trial where you can test the flannel sheets in your home and return them if you’re not satisfied.

Other brands will only accept a return if there’s a defect in the workmanship of the materials (snags, runs, hems that come undone). Do your homework before you purchase!

Pattern and Color

When you think flannel, a lumberjack plaid probably springs to mind. And while you can buy flannel sheets in traditional plaid, there are many patterns and solid color options available. However, you won’t find a rainbow of flannel sheet colors as you do with other sheet materials.

Some brands offer solid color flannels only while some feature plaid, stripe, checks, and florals. Comfort and sleep performance should be your priority. Aesthetics matter but we don’t recommend buying your flannel sheets on looks alone.

Check out performance reviews and brand reputation to ensure you’re getting a well-crafted flannel sheet and not just something pretty. Also, remember that dark sheets have heavier dyes, may fade over time, and may not retain their look as well as neutral palette colors.

Other Weaves Commonly Found in Cotton-Based Sheets

While older flannel was woven from heavier materials like wool, modern-day flannel is often made from cotton. We explore some weaves commonly found in cotton-based sheets below.

Percale. Percale, or “plain weave” cotton is a soft, tightly woven material with a matte appearance. Percale fabrics feature a durable criss-cross weave that may resist tearing but wrinkle easily.

Sateen. Compared to percale, sateen follows a loser weave and is often smoother and more resistant to wrinkles. On the other hand, the sateen weave often sees a shorter lifespan and may be more susceptible to pilling.

Twill. While percale and sateen feature straight weaves, twill weaves follow a diagonal pattern. As a result, twill fabrics tend to be bulkier, more durable, and resistant to water and air.

Jersey. Also referred to as “single” or “plain knit”, jersey weaves have flat vertical lines that create a soft, comfy, stretchy feel. However, jersey weaves tend to run once a piece of yarn is broken.

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