During freezing cold weather, regular bed sheets can't compete with the soft, fuzzy feel of flannel. A well-made set also saves you from emptying out the linen closet to pile blankets onto your bed.
We set out to test the most popular flannel sheets and determine which felt cozy but not scratchy, were warm yet not too warm, and didn't pill quickly. (Yes, we broke out an orbital sander!)
After weeks of snuggling, Lands' End Velvet Flannel Sheet Set(available at Lands' End) came out on top. We also recommend the Pinzon Flannel Sheet Set (available at Amazon) as a more budget-friendly option. They were surprisingly much better than the Mellanni set that has thousands of rave reviews on Amazon.
Here are the best flannel sheets we tested, ranked in order:
Lands' End Velvet Flannel Sheets
Pinzon Signature Cotton Heavyweight Velvet Flannel Sheet Set
The Company Store Legends Luxury Velvet Flannel
West Elm Organic Flannel Solid Sheet Set
Slumber Cloud Flannel Sheet Set
L.L. Bean Ultrasoft Comfort Flannel Sheet Set
Casper Flannel Sheet Set
Threshold Printed Flannel Sheet Set
Mellanni Flannel Cotton Sheet Set
Lands' End 5oz Velvet Flannel Sheets
The Lands’ End Velvet Flannel sheets stood out with their smooth sensation and warmth. They were loftier and not as stiff as many of the cheaper sets we tested. And when I slept on them, they felt extra soft and fuzzy, not prickly against my skin.
These sheets are advertised as 5 ounces—a measure of the fabric’s weight that helps indicate the warmth level and how hefty they'll feel. These felt on the lighter side, however, they also felt warmer than comparable sets, likely due to Lands’ End’s brushing process. What’s more, these sheets are brushed on both sides of the sheet instead of just one. Unfortunately, the tradeoff is that they tend to pill more, though they held up fairly well in our tests.
The Lands’ End Velvet flannel sheets are on the pricier side, but were not the most expensive set we tested, either. Factor in the high-quality stitching and range of solid colors and sizes, and we think that the price is worth the experience you get sleeping on them.
Pinzon Signature Cotton Heavyweight Velvet Flannel Sheet Set
I found these Pinzon sheets warm and cozy overnight without overheating. They felt smooth rather than fuzzy, as they didn’t have quite as much brushing as the other high performers from Lands’ End and the Company Store. But they were brushed on both sides, and they’re also Standard 100 Oeko-Tex-certified, which means the fabric has been tested and is free from numerous harmful substances.
Next to higher-end sets, the Pinzon sheets felt slightly thinner and stiffer, but they were still comfortable. Even though these weren’t quite as fuzzy as I would've liked, they were still one of my favorites. And at less than $100 for a queen set, it’s hard to beat the price.
Hi, I'm Jamie Ueda. After spending years working for various apparel and textile companies, I pride myself on helping Reviewed readers make smart purchasing decisions for everything fabric-related—whether it be cooling sheets or other bedding, or clothing, shoes, and accessories, like breathable face masks.
I’ve spent a lot of time evaluating fabrics and apparel, which means I’m a stickler for quality materials and good design. This is especially true when it comes to bedding. Though I’m embarrassed to admit it, I spend a lot of time in bed, whether I’m watching TV, relaxing, or actually sleeping—and nothing beats a good night’s rest.
Over four weeks, I slept on each set of flannel sheets for two to three nights. I assessed how the sheets felt, the warmth level, and my overall experience. I also examined the quality of the stitching and how well the fitted sheet fit on the bed. I measured each flat sheet before and after I washed and dried them to determine how much they shrank. Finally, I dropped pomegranate juice on the sheet and let the stain sit overnight before washing it and evaluating how well the stain came out.
Afterward, the products arrived at our lab in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where Reviewed’s team of scientists wrapped up testing. They measured the weight of the sheets and compared their evaluation to the advertised weight. Then, they recreated a simplified version of the Martindale test: A fabric swatch was placed under an orbital sander with a felt pad for 10 minutes to observe pilling.
What To Know About Buying Flannel Sheets
Weight and Brushing
When shopping for sateen sheets, people often make a big deal about thread count. But when it comes to flannel sheets, you’ll often see the weight called out on packaging or production descriptions. The measure is noted by ounces per square yard, though sometimes you’ll see grams per square meter. The sets we tested ranged from 5 to 6 ounces. As a general rule of thumb, the higher the number, the heavier it is and warmer it will feel.
A higher weight does not necessarily make for better sheets. What will best serve you partially depends on where you live and other preferences. If you live in a more temperate climate, you may want a lighter weight that will keep you cozy without making you overheat. The same goes if you tend to sleep hot. If you’re looking for the warmest flannel sheets, a heavier weight such as 6 ounces may serve you better.
You’ll also want to pay attention to how much brushing the sheets have, i.e. how fuzzy the sheets feel. The fuzzier they feel, the warmer they will be, because the fuzz acts as an insulator, similar to how fur keeps animals warm.
Made in Portugal vs. Others
Portugal is known for making high-quality linens—especially flannel bedding—so you’ll often see sheets advertised as “Made in Portugal.” In our testing, the top sets were, in fact, manufactured in Portugal—and they also came with a heftier price tag.
However, there were some flannel sheet sets that were still nice, but were not made in Portugal. We also came across one set that was woven in Portugal and was not that great, probably because they were less expensive.
The bottom line: Do not rely solely on the “Made in Portugal” claim when you’re hoping to buy a great sheet set.
How to Prevent Pilling
It’s next to impossible to completely prevent pilling, but a higher quality set will not pill as much or as quickly as a lower quality one. To help prevent premature pilling, it’s best to follow the manufacturer’s laundering instructions and wash sheets separately from other items. This reduces friction between the materials and prevents other items from shedding lint, both of which can add to pilling. If your sheets start to pill and you find it unbearable, you can use a fabric shaver to remove pilling.
Other Flannel Sheets We Tested
The Company Store Legends Luxury Velvet Flannel Sheets
These are the heaviest sheets that we tested. The product description says they're 6 ounces, though in our lab they actually clocked in at 6.5 ounces. From the moment I touched them, I could tell they were the heaviest of the bunch. They have a very thick and weighty feel to them.
Out of all the sheets labeled “velvet flannel,” these felt the closest to actual velvet, giving them an air of luxury. According to the Company Store, these are brushed multiple times to make them “ultra-soft.” The difference is obvious as these felt the fuzziest of all the sheets we tested, and they were extremely comfortable to sleep on, feeling soft and plush on my skin without feeling scratchy.
Like the Lands’ End set, these are brushed on both sides—yet the Company Store sheets were the warmest and coziest out of all the flannel sheets. These are great for someone who wants the warmest flannel sheets possible, though they come with a higher price tag as well, which is to be expected for a quality set that's a heavier weight.
These West Elm flannel sheets may be a great choice for shoppers concerned about ethics and the environment. The set is made with organic cotton and meets the GOTS standard—meaning the material is certified organic from the farming process all the way through manufacturing. The certification also has restrictions from using some toxic substances and enforces labor and environmental standards. Like the Pinzon set from Amazon, these also meet Standard 100 by Oeko-Tex, which means they're free from more than 350 harmful substances.
West Elm does not list a weight for these sheets on its website, but they weighed in at 5.5 ounces per yard in our lab. Anecdotally, they seemed more like a 5-ounce flannel sheet than a 6-ounce because they felt slightly thinner.
They’re brushed on both sides for added warmth and a smooth feel. These are a good choice for someone looking for organic cotton though they are one of the most expensive sets we tested. Another drawback is the limited color choices: They’re only available in white or herringbone.
I’ve been impressed with many Slumber Cloud products that I’ve tested, and these flannel sheets were no different. The unique set is made with a blend of cotton and rayon, which is unusual as most flannel sheets are 100% cotton. This fabric blend made the sheets smoother and less fluffy; they almost felt like a thick, worn-in T-shirt with slightly more fuzz, or somewhere between a flannel and sateen sheet. However, because they weren’t quite as lofty, they didn’t keep me as warm, which is the main reason they didn’t rank higher in our tests.
Like other Slumber Cloud products—including the brand's mattress protector—the sheets incorporate Outlast technology, which is supposed to help regulate body temperature. However, I didn’t notice a huge difference. I didn’t overheat during the night, but it’s hard to tell if it’s due to the Outlast or the fact they’re not as fuzzy as others.
If you’re looking for a true flannel sheet that’s uber warm and ultra cozy, I wouldn’t recommend these. However, these would be good for someone who lives in a temperate climate or sleeps on the hotter side but likes a cozy feeling sheet.
I’ve tested many L.L Bean products, and the brand almost always delivers top quality items, so I was surprised when I didn’t love these flannel sheets.
Fresh out of the package, they felt smooth to touch, but they were somewhat itchy when I slept on them. After a few nights, they seemed to get better, so it’s possible over time they may improve. But at more than $100 for a queen set, they were disappointing. I also didn’t love that they felt stiffer than other higher-end sheets, plus they were much more prone to wrinkling.
When I first opened these Casper sheets, I did a double take. I had to check that they were in fact flannel because they felt more like thin percale or sateen—they didn’t feel fuzzy or velvety like you’d expect. Casper describes them as “warm, yet airy.” I agree on the second count because they were thin and see-through, though I didn’t find them all that warm as they were lightweight and there was hardly any brushing.
They were indeed the lightest sheets when we weighed them, coming in at 4.8 ounces per square yard—below the average 5 or 6 ounces you see on most flannel sets. These are a very nice set of sheets and were comfortable to sleep on, but they’re simply not flannel. At more than $200 for a queen size set, you’re better off investing in something else.
I love most things from Target, but this sheet set is a hard pass. To begin, I noticed some loose threads after a few washes, so they may not hold up over time. Only available in prints, the flat sheet is printed on one side, which isn’t ideal for aesthetics.
These are also only brushed on one side, giving a flannel feel on one side, and a rough sensation on the other. When I laid the top sheet on the bed with the printed side up to match the fitted sheet, the rough side touched my skin when I climbed underneath. I tried to sleep with it for a bit, but it was so scratchy that I ended up flipping the sheet, which felt better. However, it bothered me because the plain side was facing up and the sheet looked upside down.
These weren’t as warm as others we tested, either. If you want a higher quality sheet and it’s within your budget, the Pinzon sheets are a much better option.
Even though these Mellanni sheets have rave reviews on Amazon, it was the worst set we tested. Straight out of the packaging these were shedding a lot of lint. It was so bad that I changed out of my black T-shirt so that I wouldn’t be covered in white fuzz by the time I was done opening them. After a few washes, they shed less lint, but it never completely stopped. The dryer vent was also full of lint after one wash, a nuisance that wasn’t a problem with any of the other sets.
Even though these weighed 5.4 ounces in our lab test, they felt thinner and stiffer than comparable sets, and the material didn't feel as fuzzy. They were also slightly see-through, a potential pro if you sleep hot, but a con if you want really warm sheets. After one wash it looked like they were starting to pill, and they indeed fared the worst in our lab tests with the orbital sander. While the price point may be appealing to your wallet, I can’t say I recommend these for anyone.
Our team is here for one purpose: to help you buy the best stuff and love what you own. Our writers, editors, and lab technicians obsess over the products we cover to make sure you're confident and satisfied. Have a different opinion about something we recommend? Email us and we'll compare notes.