Home > Home & Garden > Bed Sheets > Best Flannel Sheets

Best Flannel Sheets

By: Angela Stringfellow on July 26, 2017

The best flannel bed sheets are warm, soft and durable

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 L.L.Bean Ultrasoft Comfort Flannel Sheets (Est. $90 and up) are a solid bet, reviewers say. They're warm, but just warm enough to allow you to maintain a consistent temperature through the night without getting cold or overheating, and they're just the right thickness for year-round use. Testers at TheSweethome.com say these sheets never made them sweat or feel constricted. Users say they're thick and heavy, comfortable and ultra-soft – so soft, in fact, that some users say they don't even use fabric softener, and editors at TheSweethome.com say they're fuzzier, softer, and less expensive compared to some high-end luxury brand flannel sheets.

L.L.Bean Ultrasoft Comfort Flannel Sheet Sets come in seven colors, including lighter neutrals and darker colors such as blue and green, and in four sizes: twin, full, queen and king, all of which have a 15-inch pocket depth. Patterns are also available for those who prefer a more decorative look, and you can purchase individual pieces as well as complete sheet sets.

The biggest caveat with the L.L.Bean Ultrasoft Comfort Flannel Sheets, users say, is that they tend to produce a lot of lint and some pilling throughout the first few washes, although most say this problem subsides after the first few cycles. Editors at TheSweethome.com explain that L.L.Bean's flannel is made in Portugal with long-staple cotton, which means they're less prone to pilling at the surface compared to flannel made from lower-quality cotton. Some users say their sheets are still in perfect shape even after years of heavy use.

If budget is not an obstacle, L.L.Bean also makes a premium flannel sheet, the L.L.Bean Premium Supima Flannel Sheet (Est. $150 and up). They're pricier than the L.L.Bean Ultrasoft Comfort Flannel Sheets, but editors at TheSweethome.com say they were the softest flannel sheets they tested. Reviewers agree and also say they only get softer with a few washings, yet they resist pilling. Users also say they feel thick and extremely durable.

The sheets come in two subtle patterns and 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.  Both the Ultrasoft Comfort Flannel Sheets and the Premium Supima Flannel Sheets are backed by L.L.Bean's lifetime guarantee.

If you don't plan to use flannel sheets year-round, Pinzon Heavyweight Cotton Flannel Sheet Set (Est. $65 and up) is a less-expensive option. The double-napped, combed cotton sheets are thick, warm and reasonably soft, users say, but testers at TheSweethome.com say they never really fully warm up like most flannel sheets do. Most owners find them comfortable and attractive, and many say they resist wrinkling and shrinking after multiple washings. However, we read numerous complaints about shedding and pilling, as well as some concerns surrounding quality – specifically, some users say the sheets are thin in some places, which leads to quicker wear-and-tear and may develop into holes after a few washes.

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 in dark shades such as brown, gray and blue, 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.

Threshold Flannel Sheets (Est. $20 and up), sold at Target, earn props from testers at TheSweethome.com who say they're "an outstanding choice if you're on a budget." While they didn't prove to be quite as soft or warm as the top-rated L.L.Bean Ultrasoft Comfort Flannel Sheets in tests, Threshold Flannel Sheets were a clear standout among the five budget flannel sheets tested. They did experience the most shrinkage among flannel sheets, however.

Threshold Flannel Sheets are available in five sizes: twin, full, queen, king and California king, and in seven colors and a handful of patterns such as plaid and chevron. Some of the patterns, however, aren't available in all sizes. Overall, most users are pleased, although some express disappointment that they're not the same texture on both sides. Editors at TheSweethome.com explain that they're actually made of flannelette, meaning that they're only brushed, or napped, on one side of the fabric. That said, editors say they're softer than other flannelette sheets they tested. A few users report some durability issues, such as deterioration after several washes and tears. Finally, these sheets are only sold as a set, which is a problem for some reviewers who wish there was an option to purchase extra pillowcases.

Elsewhere In This Report
Recently Updated
Bed Sheets buying guide

What every best Bed Sheets has:

  • The proper pocket depth.
  • Breathable fabric that works for most seasons.
  • Sturdy, durable construction.

Read More »

Learn More »