The Benefits of Flannel Sheets & Bedding

When cool weather blows in, reach for flannel sheets and bedding to create the softest, coziest bed imaginable. The familiar fuzzy feel isn’t the only benefit: flannel sheets and duvet covers are insulating and breathable to keep you warmer and more comfortable, even as the temperature drops.

Fall and winter are the best seasons to snuggle up under ultra-cozy flannel, and we offer sheets, duvet covers, pillowcases, and shams designed to keep you comfortably warm through the chilliest nights. Our flannel sheets and bedding buying guide explains the benefits of flannel, what to look for in flannel sheets, and how to choose the best quality flannel.

Colorful flannel sheets

Why Choose Flannel Sheets?

Flannel offers plenty of benefits that make it a fantastic choice for sheets. Flannel is a substantial material that keeps you warm without overheating. It’s brushed for softness, which creates that favorite fuzzy texture. The brushed finish is also part of the secret to flannel’s warmth: flannel holds air to insulate, and the raised yarns (nap) created by brushing also trap heat close to the body for more warmth.

Are Flannel Sheets Hot?

One of the best features of flannel is that it keeps you warm, but breathes and wicks away moisture so you don’t overheat. To take advantage of flannel’s cozy and comforting benefits without feeling too warm, try layering your bedding.

Use these tips to combine flannel and non-flannel materials to create a bed as warm as you wish.

  • For the ideal warmth for cool sleepers, top flannel sheets with a duvet insert in your preferred weight paired with a flannel duvet cover.
  • Or, opt instead for flannel sheets paired with a crisp percale duvet cover for a less-insulating top layer.
  • If you’re a hot sleeper, a duvet or comforter may be too warm. Instead, layer a quilt over your flannel sheets—and keep an extra blanket nearby in case you wake up chilly.

What to Look for When Buying Flannel Sheets and Bedding

When looking for the best flannel sheets and bedding, choose options made from pure cotton flannel. The natural fiber offers incredible insulation and breathability and lasts longer than synthetic flannels. In addition to material, consider flannel weight and finish.

What Does Flannel Weight Mean?

Unlike percale or sateen cotton sheets, which are measured by thread count, flannel sheets are measured by weight. Flannel weight is displayed in grams per square meter (GSM) or ounces. The higher the number, the better quality—and warmer the flannel.

Flannel Weight Warmth Level
3 Ounce or Less Flannel in the 3 ounce or less range is thinner and offers little warmth. This weight will not insulate as well as—or last as long as—heavier options designed for bedding. This lightweight flannel is better suited for fashion use rather than for bedding..
4 to 5 Ounces Flannel in 4 to 5 ounces is common for bedding. This mid-range weight offers warmth and a soft hand, and layers easily for tailored warmth.
6 Ounces or More The warmest flannel options weigh in at 6 ounces—or more—and are the heaviest, coziest options for bedding. Our opulent Velvet Flannel tips the scale at 5 to 6 ounces.

What Is Portuguese Flannel?

Portuguese flannel is considered by many to be the highest quality flannel available. It's soft and durable, due in part to the long-staple cotton it’s made with—as well as the techniques used by master weavers to produce the fabric. We offer bedding crafted with flannel carefully woven and brushed to incredible softness by experts in Portugal.

What Is Velvet Flannel?

Velvet flannel is a heavier, high-quality option made of combed cotton that is extra-brushed and garment-washed for an exceptionally opulent hand. Sumptuous velvet flannel bedding is one of the warmest options for chilly nights and comes in 5 or 6 ounce options.

Fun penguin flannel sheets in blue and white

How to Wash Flannel Sheets

While it’s one of the easiest fabrics to care for, pure cotton flannel may shrink if not laundered properly. High water and dryer temperatures and over-drying can contribute to shrinkage or diminished flannel quality, so always wash on cold and tumble dry on low.

Does Flannel Pill?

Flannel bedding gets softer with each wash, but may pill (shed or produce lint) during the first few washes. This is natural—the new fibers shed with friction. A gentle washing cycle reduces how much the sheets rub together while in the laundry, which can help reduce pilling and lint.

Flannel doesn’t just dress up the mattress. Pull out your flannel pajamas at the first hint of frost. With PJs and bedding made from the warmest flannels, you can sleep cozy no matter how much snow is falling outside. For more bedding tips and tricks, explore our other Guides.