The Best Editor-Tested Flannel Sheets That Will Keep You Cozy All Winter Long

updated Dec 14, 2023
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Blue bedroom with bed with flannel sheets and pillowcases. Seal in upper left that reads "Apartment Therapy the Best List 2023 Flannel Sheets"
Credit: James Tiffany

With cold weather already at our doorstep, it’s time to think about plans for a successful winter hibernation. Aside from the usual suspects like blankets, candles, and sleep masks, a surefire way to turn your bedroom into a cozy den is to invest in flannel sheets. They’re typically heavier, definitely warmer, and much softer than your average cotton bedding. They’re also available in a variety of styles and fabrics that are often exclusively tailored for the fall and winter months. But which ones are worth buying?

To answer this question, I’ve enlisted the help of our pro-shopping editors and writers at Apartment Therapy to do the hard work of sleeping on all these flannel sheets and determining which are the best of the best. Read on to see our tried-and-true picks for flannel sheets, and get ready to bundle up (and stay that way until at least March).

The Best Flannel Sheets

What to Consider Before Buying Flannel Sheets

If you’re researching flannel sheets, there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind, from who flannel is best for to what makes flannel great versus just good.

What Is Flannel?

First of all, let’s talk about what exactly flannel is. Flannel is a fabric that has a napped finish due to either a special brushing technique or from its loosely spun weave. While older versions of flannel were made with wool, nowadays pretty much all flannel is made from cotton, although there are less expensive options made from polyester (also known as micro flannel). Flannel is known for its plush softness and heavier weight, making it an ideal choice for colder weather. It also tends to come in patterns, particularly nostalgic plaid.

Hot vs. Cold Sleepers

If you’re a hot sleeper, you might be inclined to avoid flannel altogether — but thanks to manufacturing technology and modern textile design, you don’t have to. While cotton flannel is more breathable than micro flannel, the fuzzy surface is designed to trap heat, so “cooling” and flannel don’t really exist in tandem. That said, some flannel sheets come thinner or even more loosely woven and are actually breathable.

If you tend to get chilly or really want to embrace that cozy life, make sure your flannel sheets are made of 100% cotton and have a lighter weight or are between 120 to 170 GSM (grams per square meter). Unless you’re in a cabin or without sufficient heating, ditch your comforter and opt for a light quilt. You could, alternatively, invest in just a flannel duvet cover or blanket to achieve the flannel effect without going all in. Most of our flannel sheet winners also come in duvet covers.


Flannel is easy to take care of, but you do have to follow a few rules. Historically, pilling has been just a fact of life with flannel bedding, but there are now modern processes brands use to prevent it, and there are steps you can take at home to minimize the issue further. Make sure you wash your sheets in cold or warm water on a gentle setting, and dry on low heat (you’ll want to avoid high heat on all accounts). Also note that flannel is prone to some initial shrinking, so many brands will purposely add extra fabric to their sizes to account for it.


There are a number of material and textile certifications to consider when shopping for flannel bedding.

  • OEKO-TEX Standard 100 certified: Ensures every component of a product has been tested and is free of harmful chemicals, synthetics, and dyes
  • OEKO-TEX Made In Green certified: Ensures textiles and leather products have been manufactured in environmentally friendly facilities under safe and socially responsible working conditions and tested for harmful substances.
  • GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) certified: Confirms the ecological and social responsibility with which textile products are made.
  • Fair Trade certifiedMeets rigorous standards of environmental protection, sustainability, safe working conditions, and social and economic betterment.
  • Made Safe certified: Ensures everyday products are non-toxic, made with safe ingredients and materials, and are family safe.
  • GREENGUARD certified: Ensures the materials have low chemical emissions.

What We Look For in Flannel Sheets

We tested a wide range of cotton flannel sheets, judging them on the following criteria:

  • Feel: How do the sheets feel out of the box? What’s their weight? Are they soft? Are they comfortable to sleep on?
  • Warmth: Do the sheets feel warm right when you get into bed? Are they warm and cozy? Do they cause overheating?
  • Durability: Do the sheets pill? Do they get softer with time and washing?

The Best Flannel Sheets

If you’re in the market for soft and cozy sheets to keep you warm through winter, it doesn’t get much better than Pottery Barn’s brushed cotton flannel sheets. Responsibly made with sustainably sourced cotton, these sheets scored highly for warmth, comfort, and size as they fit mattresses up to 16 inches high. Available in two neutral shades, the flannel sheets are reversible and durable while still being breathable enough to prevent sleepers from overheating. They also went through rigorous testing against harmful substances to earn an OEKO-TEX Standard 100 certification that ensures they’re safe for the whole family to use.

“I’m so grateful to have tested Pottery Barn’s cotton flannel sheet set before the winter season,” says home associate editor Cullen. “These sheets have kept me warm without being too heavy.” She adds that having the sheets in white is also a plus since they can be used year-round without looking out of place. If you live somewhere with a long cold-weather season, this set will help you stay nice and toasty through the chilly nights.


  • 100% cotton
  • Reversible
  • Available in 2 colors and 4 sizes
  • Includes flat sheet, fitted sheet, and 2 pillowcases (1 pillowcase with Twin sets)
  • Machine wash cold on gentle cycle; tumble dry low
  • OEKO-TEX Standard 100-certified
  • 30-night trial period

Who It’s Best For: Those who want a soft and subtle flannel sheet set; those who want versatile flannel sheets.

Good to Know: The Twin XL has a longer fitted sheet to accommodate both Twin and Twin XL dorm mattresses.

Best Budget-Friendly: Home Reflections Flannel Sheets

Our top pick for budget-friendly flannel sheets also happens to be a popular find on QVC. The Home Reflections Flannel Sheet Set comes in four colors, including denim blue and raspberry, that can brighten your bedding in an instant. They’re made from 100% cotton and are available in sizes ranging from Twin to California King. The fitted sheet fits mattresses up to 16.5 inches. “I loved the color and size of these sheets!” says AT associate email editor Carolyn. “I have a Casper mattress, which is larger than most standard mattresses, and often the sheets struggle to stay on.”

“These sheets have a very stretchable base, which makes them perfect for my larger mattress. They’re also labeled with ‘top,’ ‘bottom,’ and ‘side,’ so there’s much less frustration putting them on after they are washed,” Carolyn adds. “I noticed moderate pilling and shedding, but after the first wash, it has returned to normal. They work in my space due to my mattress size and the deep blue color, and make it easy to sleep through a snowy winter night!”


  • 100% cotton
  • Available in 4 colors and 6 sizes
  • Includes top sheet, fitted sheet, and 4 pillowcases (2 pillowcases with Twin sets)
  • Machine wash; tumble dry low

Who It’s Best For: Those who want affordable and effective flannel sheets; those who want flannel sheets with more vibrant colors.

Good to Know: Wash these flannel sheets at least twice before you use them to decrease the amount of lint on laundry day.

*Honorable Mention: The Bare Home Organic Flannel Sheets came in a close second for its color options, comfort, and durability. “The sheets are thick and of a nice quality,” says senior project manager Rachelle. “They shed a ton when you first wash, so I’d recommend even cleaning out the vent halfway through because of all the lint and fabric that comes off. They’re super soft and comfortable though, just warmer, so I’d recommend using them in colder weather.”

Luxury sheets do the most without cutting any corners for the sake of price point. If you’re in the market (or even just in the mood) for the ultimate investment in cold-weather self-care, Brooklinen’s cozy Flannel Core Sheets are your best choice. Available in a range of plaid and speckled patterns that work year-round, but are especially charming during the winter time, Brooklinen’s sheets pay homage to the tradition of flannel.

“When I heard ‘flannel sheets,’ I immediately assumed it would be sweat city,” says senior commerce editor Ian. But after putting Brooklinen’s Core Flannel Sheet set to the test, he discovered this was not the case. “These are the perfect winter sheets,” he says. But, he adds, “the classic, pared-down look that matches any and every aesthetic” really drove the win home for him. “And,” Ian says, “they get softer each time you wash them, so there’s an incentive to actually do laundry!” I feel you on that, Ian.

Read our full review of the Brooklinen Flannel Core Sheet Set.


  • 100% cotton
  • 140 GSM
  • Available in 6 patterns and 5 sizes
  • Includes flat sheet, fitted sheet, and 2 pillowcases
  • Machine wash cold; tumble dry low
  • OEKO-TEX Standard 100-certified
  • 1-year limited warranty

Who It’s Best For: Those who love the look of plaid flannel; those who want something grown-up but festive for winter use.

Good to Know: Like most bedding, Brooklinen’s flannel doesn’t respond well to harsh chemicals or bleaching, so avoid both if you want to keep the patterns fresh and the sheets soft and pill-free.

*Honorable Mention: Described by AT ad operations director Valerie as “softer than any other flannel sheets I’ve purchased,” the Charter Club Sleep Luxe Solid Cotton Flannel Sheets are some of the coziest flannel sheets you can buy. They come in a range of calming solid colors and are made from heavyweight 100% cotton flannel that ensures a warm night under the covers.

When the cold sneaks up on us and we need to grab a good set of cozy sheets ASAP without spending over $100 on a set (or even $50, if they’re on sale), the Eddie Bauer Novelty Prints Flannel Sheet Set is our hero. Available in a range of festive patterns from plaid to penguin, these sheets are perfectly weighted, 100% cotton, and easily machine washable. “Having tested them a number of times over the years, I love going back to them again and again, especially during the holidays,” says AT contributor Kendall.

She adds, “These sheets are soft (and get softer over time) and heavyweight, which I absolutely love. The adorable look, quality feel, and durable construction of these Eddie Bauer sheets have made them a go-to in my bedding arsenal for winter (and a great, budget-friendly holiday gift as well!).”


  • 100% cotton
  • 160 GSM
  • Available in 37 styles and 4 sizes
  • Includes a fitted sheet, flat sheet, and two pillowcases (1 pillowcase for Twin set)
  • Machine washable; tumble dry low
  • OEKO-TEX Standard 100-certified

Who It’s Best For: Those who don’t want to spend too much for a solid set of cozy sheets; those who want sheets as holiday season decor; those with kids.

Good to Know: These are an especially solid pick for kids since they’re an affordable option that can be replaced as needed but stand up to frequent washes (and come in the cutest prints!).

Now is the time to shop for winter bedding, especially if you want to score it for a steal. Also, if you sleep cold year-round or enjoy sheets with an extra touch of thickness, these Under the Canopy Organic Flannel Sheets are for you. The fluffy brushed flannel makes them extra soft and cozy for cool spring nights, and they achieve everything a flannel lover could want while also being affordable, sustainable, and certified organic. “They’re the softest sheets I’ve ever slept on and have kept me warm during cooler nights.” says shopping writer Nikol. “The moss green color is also a nice departure from my other bedding, which is all beige.”

Under the Canopy’s Organic Flannel Sheet Set is available in both solids and patterns, from a charming windowpane style to a regal spiced apple. We love these for warmth, softness, and staying cozy all year round, but especially for their skin- and environment-friendly production. They’re the definition of a “feel good” product.


  • 100% organic cotton
  • 160 GSM flannel
  • Available in up to 6 sizes and 7 colors
  • Includes fitted sheet, flat sheet, and 2 pillowcases
  • Machine wash warm; tumble dry low
  • OEKO-TEX Made In Green and GOTS-certified

Who It’s Best For: Those who sleep cold; those who live in cooler climates; those who like softness and plush texture.

Good to Know: If you tend to toss and turn in your sleep, you may experience some pilling with these sheets. Fortunately, a fabric shaver should take care of that in a heartbeat.

“I’ve been skeptical of flannel sheets because my tiny studio apartment feels like a furnace in the winter and I can’t control the radiator,” says commerce managing editor Tamara. “But these silky-soft sheets don’t overheat me as much as other cozy sheets I’ve tried.” The Company Store’s Velvet Flannel sheet set “strikes the perfect balance of feeling warm without being too thick.”

Many NYC-based AT staffers are in a similar situation to Tamara, unable to control or predict our heating or cooling, so it behooves us to plan for the season ahead — bedding included. Having a lightweight set of flannel sheets like these year-round helps to keep us cozy through unexpectedly chilly nights and well-ventilated when winter evenings turn toasty. But Tamara offers a fair warning about The Company Store’s velvet flannels: “They are so comfortable that you just might not want to get out of bed on a chilly winter morning.”


  • 100% cotton
  • Available in 12 colors and 5 sizes
  • Includes top sheet, fitted sheet, and 2 pillowcases
  • Machine wash gentle; tumble dry low
  • OEKO-TEX Standard 100-certified
  • 90-day trial

Who It’s Best For: Those who want a flannel set for all seasons; those with unpredictable heating and cooling (in your building or body!).

Good to Know: The fitted sheet in this set has all-around elastic, so it’s less likely to pop off or come loose on even the most active sleepers.