Flannel sheets are hard to beat for warmth on cold winter nights. The best flannel sheets should be soft and comfortable, but also hold up well to repeated washings. In general, unless you always like to be warm, flannel sheets are most suitable for wintertime. If you need sheets for the other three seasons of the year, or are looking for a good set of any-season sheets, see our discussions of percale sheets and sateen sheets elsewhere in this report.
For warmth and softness at a reasonable price, the Pinzon Heavyweight Cotton Flannel Sheet Set (Est. $65 to $90) is a good bet, reviewers say. The double-napped, combed cotton sheets are substantial enough to keep the chill away without adding bulk, according to experts, and owners find them comfortable and attractive. Most say the sheets resist wrinkling, fading and shrinking after multiple washings. However, a few users say the sheets shed too much in the wash, and there are scattered reports of pilling.
Pinzon flannel sheets are sold as a set, with two pillowcases, a flat sheet and a fitted sheet. The fitted sheet has a 15-inch pocket, which the manufacturer says will fit up to an 18-inch mattress. However, on Amazon.com, the exclusive retailer for Pinzon, there are quite a few questions as to whether this is the case. A couple of reviewers say they will fit a 17-inch mattress; most doubt they would fit an 18-inch mattress. These flannel sheets come in several muted colors and are available in queen, king and California king only. Owners say the colors are true to what is seen in the photos on Amazon.com.
JCPenney's Micro Flannel Sheet Set (Est. $130 to $200) is a winner for softness and warmth, according to reviewers. The polyester sheets resist wrinkling, pilling and fading, and the deep-pocket fitted sheet can accommodate thicker mattresses. However, some users say the polyester simply doesn't breathe like cotton, making sleeping on the sheets a sweaty situation when it warms up even a bit. However, most say that they're very soft and they like that they don't need time to warm up before you can fall asleep.
The JCPenney flannel sheets come in both muted and bright colors, like orange, red and teal. A variety of prints are also available. Each size has different pocket depths: 14 inches for twin and twin XL, 16 inches for full, and 18 inches for queen and king. These sheets are sold as a set and include a flat sheet, fitted sheet and one or two pillowcases, depending upon the size.
As with our percale and sateen categories, L.L.Bean has a standout flannel sheet, the L.L. Bean Premium Supima Flannel Sheet (Est. $50 to $80). They are sold by the piece and aren't on sale as often as JCPenney's comparably priced flannel sheets, but they get stellar reviews from dozens of owners who say they are extremely cozy and soft. They also say they only get softer with a few washings, yet they resist pilling. Users also say they feel thick and extremely durable.
Owners say these L.L.Bean flannel sheets are a great fit even for larger mattresses. The fitted sheet features a 15-inch pocket, and the flat sheet is reportedly long enough to tuck in securely. We saw no reports of shrinkage even after frequent washings, and users say the elastic on the fitted sheet holds up very well, without any undue stretching. The sheets come in five muted colors, and most reviewers say they are true to the colors represented on the website. They're available in twin, full, queen and king, and L.L.Bean has a lifetime satisfaction guarantee.