Best Cotton Flannel Sheets

By Laura Mohammad

May 24th, 2022

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Looking for some of the best sheets? Cotton flannel sheets could be the ones for you. Flannel material is a Welsh textile dating back to the 16th century and was originally made from wool and strictly featured tartan patterns. Flannel has evolved greatly over time and is now universally known, widely used, and extremely varietal. 

Flannel sheets have been a home staple for hundreds of years because of their unparalleled warmth. An inexpensive path to a cozier sleep, cotton flannel sheets will quickly become a go-to item in your home, especially come colder months. Read on to learn more about our top picks for the best cotton flannel sheets.

The Best Cotton Flannel Sheets


Great Bay Home

Best Budget Cotton Flannel Sheets

The Flannel Sheet Set from Great Bay Home offers high quality at a low price, making it a great start for someone new to the world of flannel sheets. Made of 100-percent Turkish cotton and sitting at 170 GSM, this option is more lightweight than others on the list. Warm enough to stand up against winter’s chill, it is also versatile enough to be used in-between seasons. 

With a choice of ten solid colors, you’ll find options to match any decor. The fitted sheet also features a deeper pocket design and can fit mattresses up to 17 inches in depth. Sizes include twin, twin XL, full, queen, and king. Full return offered within 30 days of purchase.


  • Soft, cozy, warm, gentle and breathable. 
  • Easy care and easy wash.


  • Potential pilling.
  • May shrink enough to have fitting issues.


Best Feel

The Pinzon Signature Cotton Heavyweight Flannel Sheet Set offers superior craftsmanship and superb comfort. This product is made up of 100-percent combed cotton. What this type of cotton does is line up fibers in a parallel fashion so that it’s more compact and durable. Short fibers and debris are shed through this process as well, creating an incredibly smooth surface. 

These sheets fall in the heavyweight category, weighing in at 190 GSM. If you live in a cold-weather climate and are looking for the most warmth possible, this set will deliver. A double-napped finish ensures that softness and quality of weave are consistent on both sides. The Pinzon Signature Cotton Heavyweight Flannel sheets are available in eight shades of neutral colors and in three floral pattern hues. Available in sizes queen, king, and California king.


  • Becomes even softer and more comfortable with every wash.
  • Right for both winter and summer.


  • Color may fade through washing.
  • Top sheet and fitted sheet are not cut generously.


Best Look

The Flannel Sheet Set by Mellanni lands a spot on this list for comfort, quality, and variety.

With its offering of rich neutrals, bright pastels, and vibrant patterns, this set’s stylistic choices keep the whole family in mind and can help achieve the desired look for any room. This line offers seven bold hues and three fun patterns. 

This 100-percent cotton set by Mellanni features a lighter weight, double-napped finish, and luxurious feel. It also guarantees to be long-lasting; this product boasts easy care and has been pre-washed to prevent shrinking. Its deep pockets will accommodate mattresses of all depths. Available in twin, twin XL, full, queen, and king. Lifetime manufacturer guarantee.


  • Fade, stain, and wrinkle resistant. 
  • Gets softer with every wash.


  • Potential pilling.
  • Top sheet and fitted sheet are not cut generously.
flannel also great

Bare Home

Best Quality Cotton Flannel Sheets

The Bare Home Flannel Sheet Set is a high-quality option for anyone looking to add an item of this category to their home collection. The 100-percent cotton is double-brushed, reaching an ultimate level of blanket-like coziness. Another fun feature includes the envelope enclosure on its pillowcases. 

The Bare Home Flannel sheets come in 11 hues, ranging from neutral to bold. This set’s stylistic choices look more sophisticated than flannel’s usual rustic reputation. Available in twin, twin XL, full, full XL, queen, king, and split king size. The quality, comfort, innovation, and style together make this flannel best overall.


  • Dries quickly on tumble dry low.
  • Great for sensitive skin.


  • Potential wear and tear after several washes.
  • The color can come out in the wash.

How to Find the Best Cotton Flannel Sheet Set

If you’re looking for a cotton flannel sheet set, you’re either trying to warm up or prepare for cold weather. Instead of reaching for the first cozy option you find, consider all important factors that deal with warmth and beyond. 

Type of Flannel

Cotton flannel sheets can be made of many different weaves that vary in strength and softness. The quality of weave will also determine a sheet’s ability to trap in heat, its level of durability, and how well it works to prevent pilling and tearing.

  • Wool flannel – Most European flannel is wool.
  • Cotton flannel – Valued for soft, rich flannel garments or bedsheets with napping on both sides.
  • Synthetic or mixed flannel – these are more flammable and harder on the environment.
  • Ceylon flannel – 50/50 blend of cotton and wool
  • Baby flannel – Known for its fineness, usually made out of wool or cotton to protect baby’s sensitive skin.


It doesn’t matter how comfortable your sheets are if they won’t stay on your bed. Pay attention to pocket depth if you’re outfitting a mattress that has a little more height than its peers. Flannel is known to tear, so if you’re stretching your sheets farther than they want to go, damage is to be expected. 

Related: Best deep pocketed sheets

If your fitted sheet doesn’t have deep enough pockets for your mattress, your fitted sheet is not likely to stay put on your mattress. A deep pocketed fitted sheet will fit any mattress between 6” and 15” deep. That range should cover almost any conventional mattress. Measure the depth of the mattress if you have to, in order to buy the right sheets that will fit your particular mattress.

Weight or GSM

Thread count is not relevant when it comes to flannel. Look for GSM instead—a term standing for “grams per square meter” or “ounces per square yard.” The higher the GSM, the heavier the weight. A heavyweight flannel sheet set will provide denser fabrics that give off and trap in more warmth. GSM also indicates how soft and comfortable the flannel will be.

The average GSM is 170. Flannel sheets with this level rating or higher are long lasting and warm. Quality in flannel is best measured by weight of the fabric, where the heavier the fabric, the tighter the weave, meaning durability and softness. But remember, heavier does not always mean better. Too much weight could be a sign that the flannel is of poor quality. If you see individual yarns, then the flannel is not well napped, meaning it will not feel soft or keep you warm.

Finishing Technique

The two basic types of finishes for flannel are napped and double-napped. Napped are flannels woven with “napped” (fuzzy) yarns. Double napped is higher quality and is associated with the heavier weights. Double napped is when the flannel is brushed again on the other side to make it softer and fluffier.


Flannel often comes in a variety of plaids. Understand the different plaid styles to know what’s right for you.

  • Tartan – known as the Scottish plaid, is the typical plaid that comes to your mind. The pattern is defined by intersecting horizontal and vertical lines, creating different sizes of squares or checks.
  • Gingham – is like checkered but has lighter squares which comes from the way the yarns are weaved.
  • Checkered – another type of plaid with more solid squares than gingham.
  • Madras – unique for the vibrant array of colors used and comes from India.
  • Windowpane – a variety of plaid popular in men’s clothing that looks like window panes.
  • Houndstooth – ancient pattern known for its sharp and pointy edges.
  • Glen – Popular in clothes fashion for men and women and originated in Scotland.
  • Tattersall – a variation of checkered plaids originating from London that became big in clothes fashion

Flannel typically comes in plaid, but that doesn’t mean there are no other options! Flannel sheets can have prints like snowflakes, holiday-inspired graphics, florals, and more. Flannel comes in a variety of colors and patterns for any time of the year.


Flannel has the potential to shrink easily, so choosing a set that’s pre-washed is never a bad idea. Always be sure to check the instructions on your label before washing. In general though, use cold or warm water on a delicate cycle, avoiding bleach.

Another issue for flannel is pilling. A pill is a tiny knot or ball of broken fibers of flannel that collect on the surface of flannel sheets. These tangles can be unsightly and are difficult to get rid of. Using white vinegar in the wash helps brighten the fabric and also helps with pilling. To avoid pilling, use a gentle detergent and a gentle cycle, and remember to add a liquid fabric softener to the rinse.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best weight for flannel sheets? 

The average weight is 170GSM, and this weight or higher is the mark of quality sheets that are heavy, durable, and soft.

Are flannel sheets warmer than cotton? 

Flannel started out just as wool, but eventually was combined with cotton. Modern flannel sheets are still warmer than cotton sheets alone.

Why are my flannel sheets pilling?

Pilling is caused by friction, most likely from a vigorous wash cycle using hot water.

How do you wash flannel so it doesn’t pill?

Use warm or cold water but never hot. Use gentle washing and drying cycles. Apply a cup of white vinegar instead of laundry detergent and also a half cup of white vinegar to the rinse cycle to prevent pills from forming.


Here’s a recap of the best cotton flannel sheets we’ve reviewed: 

Sheets Thread Count Best for  Rating
Great Bay Home 170GSM Budget  4/5
Pinzon 190GSM Feel  4.7/5
Mellanni 160 gram flannel weight Best Look 4.1/5
Bare Home Doesn’t say Best Quality 4.6/5

When choosing a set of cotton flannel sheets that’s right for you, you’ll want to pay close attention to the actual treatment of the material itself. How much it weighs and how it is woven can greatly change your sleep experience. Heed this advice and you’ll find a cozy cotton flannel sheet set that you’ll treasure for years.