Flannel fabric has been keeping people warm and cozy since the 1500s, and is still considered a wintertime bedding essential. And though it used to be woven exclusively from wool, flannel bedsheets come in a variety of materials and styles in order to meet different sleep needs. In fact, some flannel sheets are designed for year-round use… even in summer!
So how are you supposed to know which flannel sheet set is the best fit for you? Well keep reading and I’ll show you my top three favorites, as well as provide tips and tricks for picking the perfect flannel bedding.
Stone & Beam Rustic Flannel Sheet Set
Made from 100% cotton and napped on both sides, these flannel sheets are velvety soft to the touch. Additionally, this set features a classic plaid farmhouse pattern that gives it a charmingly rustic aesthetic.
- This flannel bedding is napped on both sides which improves insulation and creates an extra soft feel.
- This sheet set comes in a variety of eye-catching colors, and each one features a classic plaid pattern. Those who prefer a rustic style might be most compatible with this bedding.
- This bedding is Oeko-Tex certified, which guarantees that it was made without harsh chemicals or synthetic pesticides. This is always a good certification to look for!
- This isn’t a con for everybody, but these are mid-weight sheets. This makes them ideal for year-round use, but if you’re looking for a heavyweight set of sheets, you might want to look elsewhere.
- At around $75 for a set, this bedding is a decent value for high-quality flannel. That said, there are more affordable options on the market.
The Stone & Beam Rustic Flannel sheets are made from 100% cotton and napped on both sides, these flannel sheets are velvety soft to the touch.
Mellanni Cotton Flannel Sheet Set
These super soft sheets are made from 100% double-napped cotton flannel, and come in a variety of colors. They’re heavyweight, durable, and surprisingly affordable given their high quality.
- At 170 GSM (grams per square inch), these sheets offer the ultimate warm and cozy sleep experience.
- Not only do these sheets come at a very reasonable price, but Mellani offers a Lifetime Manufacturer Guarantee as well. This means that if you ever decide that you don’t like this bedding, contact the company and you’ll be fully refunded!
- These sheets have been pre-washed to boost softness and prevent shrinkage. Additionally, wash care is pretty simple and can easily be done at home.
- This is a heavier set of flannel sheets and might be too warming to use year-round.
- This sheet set comes in only a few color options, most of which are solid. Those with a specific plaid or farmhouse pattern in mind might want to look elsewhere.
The Mellanni Cotton Flannel sheets are super soft sheets are made from 100% double-napped cotton flannel, and come in a variety of colors.
Best for Cold Sleepers
Pinzon Plaid Flannel Sheet Set
These cotton flannel sheets are heavyweight and double-napped, making them ideal for Winter or those who run cold. Additionally, they come in seven plaid styles for an old-fashioned, rustic aesthetic.
- This flannel sheet set is made from 100% cotton, and is napped on both sides for a warm, velvety feel.
- At 160 GSM, this bedding is ideal for those looking for a heavyweight sheet set that’ll provide extra insulation.
- The fitted sheet has deep pockets capable of accommodating mattresses up to 16 inches tall!
- Those looking for year-round flannel sheets might want to look for bedding with a lower GSM (135-150 GSM).
- It’s important to note that this set only comes in plaid styles.
The Pinzon Plaid Flannel Sheet Set are heavyweight and double-napped, making them ideal for Winter or those who run cold.
How We Picked
Now that we’ve taken a look at my top three favorite flannel sheet sets, let’s dive deeper into the methodology behind my decisions. Yes, shopping for bedding has a lot to do with personal preference, but there are a few guidelines that can help you in your search.
While flannel bedding used to be exclusively woven from wool, the most popular flannel sheets on the market today are made from cotton, polyester, or a blend of both. Of course, shoppers can find woolen flannel if they do a little searching, so let’s go over the advantages of each material.
- Cotton – Every flannel sheet set listed in this roundup is made from cotton. Why? Well, cotton is a natural material and tends to be more breathable as compared to wool and polyester. Additionally, cotton-based flannel bedding tends to fall right in the mid-range price point which is ideal for sleepers who prioritize affordability but aren’t willing to skimp on quality.
- Wool – Wool-based flannel tends to be the most expensive (and the hardest to find). Some bedding brands do offer custom flannel sheets woven from wool, but it may take a little digging to find the perfect set. That said, wool-based flannel offers a uniquely soft texture, and is considered to be one of the warmest materials out there. It’s also one of the most durable! Sleepers looking specifically for warm, ultra-insulating flannel might be best suited to wool.
- Polyester/Synthetic – Some flannel sheets are made from synthetic materials, the most common of which is polyester. Flannel sheets woven from polyester will likely be referred to as “micro flannel,” but rest assured — it’s still flannel. The “micro” just means that the fabric is tightly woven from very fine fibers, which offers a slightly different feel as compared to cotton and wool. Synthetic-based flannel is still very durable and soft, but can produce a thinner, less insulating sheet.
It’s important to note that while cotton and wool are natural materials, polyester is not. If you’re shopping for an all-natural flannel sheet set, be sure to thoroughly read the “materials description” before you make your purchase.
Grams Per Square Meter (GSM)
When it comes to determining the quality of flannel sheets, thread count goes out the window and the focus turns to GSM.
GSM stands for “grams per square meter” and says a lot about the quality, weight, and insulating properties of flannel fabric. For context, a GSM of 130-135 is considered to be lightweight, ideal for those looking for a thinner, more breathable flannel sheet set. But be advised: A lower GSM can sometimes mean decreased durability as well, depending upon the materials used.
Meanwhile, a GSM of 140-150 is considered mid-weight, and might be best for year-round use. Flannel sheets with a GSM of 160 or higher are generally considered to be heavier in weight, and often the most durable. Keep in mind that a GSM of 180 or higher is definitely a heavyweight sheet, and is best suited to sleepers who run cold.
Weaving, Napping, and Double-Napping
Flannel bedsheets are made using either a twill or a plain weave. A plain weave refers to the conventional one-over-one-under method, while a twill weave is known for its diagonal ribbing. Unlike with cotton, however, the weave style doesn’t significantly affect the look and the feel of the finished flannel product… especially if the fabric has been napped.
The term “napped” refers to a textile manufacturing technique used to finish the fabric, and create flannel’s distinctly warm and fuzzy texture. The process involves using a metal brush to raise the surface fibers of the material, and can be applied to one or both sides of the flannel sheet.
The napping process can also increase insulation, which is why double-napped flannel sheets are often the warmest. Personally, I prefer flannel sheets that have been napped on both sides, and every sheet set in this roundup is double-napped. In my opinion, it makes for a more balanced feel, and really boosts the warm and cozy quality of flannel.
However, it’s important to note that not all flannel is brushed, so take some time to determine what you want your flannel sheets to feel like before you make your purchase!
Caring for flannel sheets completely depends upon the materials used. For example, wool-based flannel is much more likely to demand higher maintenance as compared to cotton or polyester (wool usually needs to be dry-cleaned). That said, caring for cotton-based flannel is pretty simple, and I’ve listed the instructions for the sheet sets in this roundup below:
- Wash on a cold or warm cycle with mild detergent
- Tumble dry on low heat, or line dry to increase the shelf life of your sheets
- Don’t use fabric softener, as it can sometimes stiffen the fibers and make the material less soft
Pretty simple, right? Caring for synthetic flannel is usually even easier than that (feel free to use high temperatures). Just remember to always check the specific wash care instructions as detailed by the bedding brand itself. At the end of the day, no one knows how to care for a sheet set better than the folks who made it.
Pricing & Warranty
When it comes to flannel sheets, price ranges quite a bit and typically depends upon the materials used.
As I said, wool-based flannel is tends to come at a higher price point, as costs associated with sourcing and weaving wool are often greater as compared to other materials. Cotton-based flannel is usually less expensive than wool, but synthetic flannel is generally the least expensive of the three.
Regardless of the type of flannel you choose, I always suggest that shoppers keep an eye on the return policy and/or trial period. A generous return policy means that you have some time to get to get to know your new sheets and if they don’t work out, well, you can always have them refunded or exchanged.
What’s even better than a return policy, in my opinion, is a trial period. A trial period gives you the chance to “try before you buy,” and some companies won’t even charge you until after your free trial period is up. This is perfect for us indecisive shoppers, or those who aren’t sure how a sheet set will perform.
Before you begin your quest for the perfect flannel sheets, allow me to leave you with a few tips that’ll make your shopping experience as efficient as possible:
- While double-napped flannel is generally softer in feel, it’s also more warming. If you’re someone who sleeps hot year-round, you might want to opt for sheets that have been napped on one side only.
- If you sleep on a taller mattress (13 inches or deeper), be sure to check the dimensions of the sheet set in question, particularly the fitted sheet. To be on the safe side, I suggest aiming for a fitted sheet with pockets that are 14 inches or deeper.
- While flannel is frequently associated with plaid, there are many other patterns from which to choose. There are also many different colors of plaid! If I were you, I’d take some time to envision what you want your bedding to look like before you start shopping.
Well, we’ve reached the end of my guide and you’re ready to start shopping for the flannel sheets of your dreams. Just remember that the right set of sheets is an investment in good sleep, so take your time and keep a close eye on the details. Good luck and happy snoozing!