On a cold night, after a long day, there is nothing better than getting into a warm, cozy bed with clean, comfortable sheets. Now, imagine in your bed on this chilly evening were not just regular sheets, but flannel sheets! Tucking yourself into a bed with flannel sheets on a cool evening is one of the great, simple pleasures of life. You don’t have to live in the North Pole though to enjoy a great set of flannel sheets. Flannel sheets are versatile, comfortable, durable, and stylish as well as being warm and cozy. Here is everything you need to know about flannel sheets.
What are Flannel Bed Sheets?
Flannel is a soft woven fabric, that comes in different weights. Traditionally, flannel was made from either carded wool or worsted yarn only. Nowadays though, you can find flannel that is made from wool, cotton, or synthetic fiber. Flannel is valued for its softness, warmth, and affordability. This is why it is commonly used to make many items such as shirts, sleepwear, blankets, and of course, sheets.
Why are Flannel Sheets Popular?
Flannel is a very soft and warm material. These sheets are known to be warmer to sleep in when the weather is cold. Cotton flannel sheets specifically are the best flannel sheets because, while they are warm, they are also breathable which means they will not get too hot while you sleep in them.
Flannel sheets are also durable and long-lasting. All flannel sheets are prone to developing “pills” (balled-up fibers) but with the proper care, this can be reduced and the life of the sheets can be extended. See below for some common care tips and tricks.
Another reason flannel sheets are so popular is that they are stylish. They come in a number of colors and patterns to fit any room décor or personal taste. You can get flannel sheets in solid colors or in several patterns. Plaid is a very traditional pattern for flannel. You can find dark plaid patterns, light plaid patterns, or in seasonal colors.
How to Determine the Quality of Flannel Sheets
To determine the best flannel sheets, you want to look at the weight indicator as opposed to thread count which is used to determine the quality of regular microfiber sheets. The weight of flannel sheets will either be shown in ounces or grams. The best flannel sheets will have a fabric rating of 170 GSM (grams per square meter) or higher or be at least 5 ounces. The higher these weights are, the warmer, softer and higher quality the flannel sheets are.
Cotton Flannel Sheets vs Cotton Sateen Sheets
If you are looking for sheets that go above and beyond normal cotton sheets, many people consider either flannel sheets or sateen sheets. Sateen sheets are cotton sheets that have been treated with a process called mercerization. This means that the cotton sheets are dipped in lye to make them softer and give them the appearance of being satin.
Flannel sheets and sateen sheets are similar in softness although the feel is unique to each. Flannel is heavier and warmer while sateen is lighter and almost slippery. The care for each is very similar. Many people have both types of sheets and use the flannel ones in colder weather and the sateen in warmer weather. It generally comes down to preference.
How to Care for Flannel Sheets
One of the best things about flannel sheets is that they are easy to care for. Flannel is also a strong material. This means that buying a set of flannel sheets is a worthwhile investment. When cared for properly they will stand up to many washes over time and only get more comfortable. A good set of flannel sheets will be with you for years! Here are some tips and tricks to get the best flannel sheets.
1. Vinegar and Tennis Balls
Pills on your flannel sheets are a common problem. To avoid this, you can do two things. The first time you wash your sheets, wash them with ½ cup of white vinegar. This will help stop pills and while also setting the colors to stop your sheets from fading over time. Putting a few clean tennis balls in the dryer with your sheets will also help stop pills from forming.
2. Wash in Warm or Cold Water and DO NOT Use Fabric Softener
Using hot water can shrink your flannel sheets and fade the colors. Using fabric softener can also fade colors as well as stiffen the fabric and increase pills. Using warm or cold water and avoiding fabric softener all together will alleviate these issues.
3. Don’t Scrub Your Stains
Roughly scrubbing to get a stain out of your flannel sheets can cause the stain to set in, the colors to fade, or even cause holes to form. The best way to treat a stain on flannel sheets is to wet the stained area and blot dry.
4. Skip the Dryer All Together
The tennis ball trick works great to keep the integrity of your flannel sheets and reduce pilling but nothing works better than air drying. Avoiding the high heat of the dryer when possible and hanging outside or at room temperature will make your flannel sheets last even longer.
5. Easy on the Lotion
The oils that are in lotions can damage flannel sheets. They can increase pills on the sheets and cause staining or discoloration. If you use a heavy, oily lotion, consider applying it in the morning after you get out of your flannel sheets instead of before bed.
6. Rotate Between Multiple Sets of Flannel Sheets
Rotating between a few sets of sheets will extend the life for all of your sheets. You can rotate between as many as you like and with the wide range of colors and patterns flannel sheets come in, the possibilities are endless! Most people agree though that having at least 3 sets of sheets is ideal. That way you can have one set on the bed, one in the laundry, and one in the closet ready to go.
Investing in a few sets of great flannel sheets is a great idea. Flannel sheets are comfortable, stylish, and durable. To get the best flannel sheets as well as all of your other towel and bedding needs, check out Goza Towels.