The Best Flannel Sheets, Tested by HGTV Editors
Prepare for winter hibernation with a set of cozy flannel sheets we tried and loved.
Our Top Flannel Sheet Picks
When winter temps hit, it’s time to swap those cooling sheets for flannel sheets and settle in for the season. Flannel, a soft, medium-weight fabric, can be made of wool, cotton or synthetic fiber, and it can be brushed or unbrushed. Brushing is a mechanical process where a fine brush rubs over the fabric to create extra softness, creating a napped finish. Although brushing isn’t required to be considered flannel, it does give the fabric that soft, fuzzy appearance that people typically associate with the fabric. Cotton flannel has the tendency to ‘shed’ at first, but good flannel will stop shedding after a few washes. (Don't forget to clean out that lint filter!)
Unlike traditional cotton sheets, the quality of flannel sheets is measured in weight instead of thread count. So, for example, flannel sheets that are five ounces per square yard or more is considered good quality. (For reference, cotton is about three ounces per square yard.) This also translates to meters/grams or GSM (grams per square meter) with a higher quality translating to 170 GSM. Flannel sheets can come in a variety of price ranges based on the quality of the fabric, but you can find more affordable options that resemble the softness of flannel without the price tag, like flannelette, a napped cotton fabric that resembles flannel, and cotton sheets that are only napped on one side. Flannel sheets are great for a few key reasons: they’re soft and cozy for winter; they’re durable and will last several years; and they don’t wrinkle easily. And this may be pretty obvious, but we’ll say it anyway — they’re not a particularly great option if you run hot at night, as they lock in heat. But that's the point, right?
When researching and testing, we’ve considered all of these factors, as well as customer reviews, to share our top flannel sheet picks for various budgets and styles.
L.L.Bean’s Ultrasoft Comfort Flannel Sheets take our Best Overall spot because of their high-quality, five-ounce weight and velvety-smooth finish. To achieve their premium pill-resistant flannel fabric, L.L.Bean developed an exclusive process that carefully removes fibers from the surface to create that notably soft finish. Woven by experts at a mill in Portugal, these sheets resist shrinking, fading and pilling and will get even softer with every wash. Plus, the comfortable weight makes them perfect for year-round use, especially if you’re a cool sleeper. Our tester found these sheets to be noticeably softer than other flannel sheets within this mid-tier price range, and with an almost-five-star rating, it looks like shoppers agree. With nine mostly-neutral colors, like sage, driftwood and white, you can easily round out your existing bedding that can last well into spring.
Our Editor Says: "They're the softest sheets I own and surprisingly breathable."
These 100-percent double-brushed cotton flannel sheets from Bare Home Store offer premium quality at an affordable price. You can choose from nine sizes (including Split King) and 11 classic hues, like navy, gray and taupe. Our one con would be the lack of pattern options. Just like our other top picks, these sheets are machine-washable and get even softer with use. Although this budget-friendly set has a slightly lower GSM (165 after washing), we didn’t notice any initial pilling. A few noteworthy features our tester particularly loved: the “bottom tag” on the fitted sheet, the OEKO-TEX® 100 certification and the large reusable tote the set comes in (as opposed to traditional plastic zip bags). If you’re looking for a more affordable flannel sheet set with long-lasting quality and supreme softness, this is your best bet.
Our Editor Says: "They’re so cozy that I found myself lingering in bed longer in the mornings because I didn’t want to leave the bed’s warmth."
Outdoor brand Eddie Bauer just so happens to make premium flannel sheets in a variety of classic and seasonal patterns. Available in five sizes — twin to King — and 25 different patterns, there’s something for every bed and style. From classic plaid and fair isle to skiers and snowflakes, we especially love the nostalgic, seasonal touch these sheet patterns instantly add to a bedroom. The 100-percent cotton flannel sheets are developed using an eight-stage brushing process that enhances the softness and coziness. And with each wash, the sheets become more plush, soft and comfortable. They’re easy to care for, too, as they’re wrinkle-, shrink- and pill-resistant, all reasons they made our list — and not just for the charming patterns.
Our Editor Says: "There's something about making a seasonal sheet swap from linen to flannel that makes me feel like I've reached peak adulthood, and I love it."