Fall is approaching, which means that soon getting from zero to toasty as quickly as possible when you jump in bed will be top priority. And we've found that the best way to get and stay warm is by swapping out our lightweight warm-weather percale or linen for a set of flannel sheets. Flannel sheets are usually cotton or synthetic fibers that have a soft texture and fuzzy finish called "nap" that is cuddly and traps your body heat, making a warm cocoon. Before all you hot sleepers roll your eyes and close this tab, we implore you to see how the latest crop of flannel sheets has expanded to include luxurious sheet sets and a wide range of designs—that won't leave you waking up in a pool of sweat.

A Word About Lint and Pilling

Don't be alarmed if you wash your new set of flannel sheets for the first time and notice a lot of lint in the trap of your dryer. Or when you've run them through a few washes and you see those tiny balls of fluff called "pills" dotting the surface. That is a result of the friction of flannel fabric rubbing against itself in the washer and dryer, when short fibers become unwoven and ball up on the surface of the fabric. It's a natural part of flannel's life cycle, but higher-quality flannel takes longer to pill. To forestall fuzziness as long as possible, use an enzyme detergent such as Seventh Generation to wash your sheets (it will dissolve some of the pills), use a fabric softener in the rinse cycle and wash your sheets using the gentle cycle, to avoid too much friction.

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Home Depot

1. Legacy Velvet Flannel by The Company Store

Best Overall

Pros:

• Comes in nine pastels including alabaster, dusty rose and platinum

• Duvet covers have corner ties to hold the duvet in place

Con:

• Twin size fitted sheet in collection doesn't come in deep mattress size

Super softness combined with design flexibility is possible with this collection at The Home Depot: Top and fitted sheets are sold separately, as are coordinating duvet covers and pillow cases. "Not only is it such a lovely color, but it washes easily and is so nice and soft," says one reviewer. The fabric is brushed on both sides for softness and minimal pilling.

Buy It ($49)

Amazon

2. Stone & Beam Rustic Buffalo Check Flannel Bed Sheet Set

Most Rustic

Pros

• Double napped finish is cuddly

• Wide checked pattern is cabin chic

• Comes with its own storage bag

Con

• 12 inch fitted sheet may not fit extra-deep mattresses

These ultra-cozy, double-sided flannel sheets are exactly what comes to mind when we hear the word “rustic.” They’re made from 100-percent cotton flannel for a soft, breathable feel and have a double-napped finish to keep you warm and toasty all night long. Pair these with a crisp white duvet and hang some string lights nearby for a whimsical rustic look (that won’t feel too log cabinish).

$69 at Amazon

The Home Depot

3. The Company Store 3-Piece Solid Organic Flannel Sheet Set

Best Organic

Pro:

• Eco-friendly

Con:

• At 5 oz., the weight won't measure up to hardcore flannel lovers' expectations

The soft material is not only organic, the density of it is the sweet spot between heavy and super lightweight, so this set is ideal for southern climates. Soft blue, grey and white options will make a cuddly-yet-unobtrusive addition to your bedroom for winter.

Buy It ($97)

Wayfair

4. Laundry by SHELLI SEGAL® Ultra Soft 160 Thread Count 100% Cotton Flannel Sheet Set

Best Value

Pros:

• Brushed finish

• Euro closure pillowcases

• Side pockets for phone, e-reader

Con:

• 160 GSM (grams per square meter) weight won't satisfy chilly sleepers

"The sheets have pockets on either side," says one reviewer, so you can stash your glasses or phone and not have to fumble through your blankets for them in the morning. "Very handy." That's the kind of design innovation we expect from fashion brand Laundry by Shelli Segal, along with the girly-but-sophisticated white dotted dusty rose pattern. The look as well as the lightweight feel and sale price makes this set ideal for flannel newbies.

Buy It ($70; $66)

Amazon

5. Nate & NAT Bedding 3 Piece Twin Size Bed Flannel Cotton Sheet Set

Best for Kids

Pros:

• Original, ultra-cute designs

• 100 percent cotton

Con:

• On the pricier side

Kids of all ages will adore the ice-skating moose and squirrels on these sheets from luxury bedding maker Nate & Nat. Other designs include dachsunds wearing Christmas sweaters and bulldogs wearing deer antlers. So these cartoons are going to give your little one warm fuzzies in addition to the brushed cotton warmth of the sheets themselves.

$60 at Amazon

Boll & Branch

6. Boll & Branch Flannel Solid Sheet Set

Best Classic White

Pros:

• Fair Trade Certified Organic Cotton

• Versatile white fabric

• Tags marking direction to put onto bed

Con:

• Price

"I run hot but my pregnant wife is always cold, and it is winter time so I bought her these sheets for our bed," one reviewer reports. "WOW, these are great. Super soft and comfortable but they do not cause me to overheat. Not sure what sorcery B&B is employing to manufacture these gems." Another user describes the softness and warmth of the sheets as "decadence," presumably since this sheet set is so pricey, yet so seductive. Our personal favorite feature? You can minimize the minutes spent putting these sheets on the bed, since helpful tags help you avoid the eternal directional confusion between the long and short sides.

Buy It ($280)

Home Depot

7. Micro Flannel 4-Piece Pinecone Botanical Queen Sheet Set

Best Lightweight

Pros:

• Polyester fabric is less heavy and bulky

• Wrinkle-resistant

Con:

• Cotton purists will miss that fabric's fuzziness

"These become soft without pilling after several launderings," says a happy buyer about these printed sheets, adding that they feel cozy and warm but don't cause overheating in the middle of the night. Since these are all-polyester, the more than a dozen prints (which include trees, leopard spots and dachshunds) won't fade and the fabric won't pill as readily as cotton blends.

Home Depot

8. Marie Clarie 3-Piece Wallpaper Floral Cotton Flannel Twin Sheet Set

Best Floral

Pros:

• Available in both Twin and Twin XL

• All-around elastic on fitted sheet

Con:

• No option to purchase additional pillowcases without buying another set

The sweet mini-floral of these light sheets will become family heirlooms as they get softer and softer with each generation. The 16-inch depth of the fitted sheet ensures it doesn't come untucked, and the soft colorway blends well with other pastel sheet sets.

Buy It ($36)

Coyuchi

9. Coyuchi Cloud Brushed™ Organic Flannel Sheets

Best Splurge

Pros:

• Ultra-soft brushed texture

• Produced without environmental toxins

• Jewel tones

• Additional pillowcases available for purchase

Con:

• Pricey (King sets cost, ahem, $298)

The brushed, velvety finish of these sheets is more than just soft, because Coyuchi engineered it (without toxic chemicals, per the brand's ethos) to keep wear and pilling under control. "These are our first flannel sheets and now we wonder how we ever winter-ed without!" says one happy couple. "As soft as advertised and feel both cozy and warm but still light, which we had wondered about as first-timers."

Buy It ($198)

Amazon

10. Bare Home Flannel Sheet Set

Most Durable

Pros:

• Made with non-toxic dyes and chemicals

• Comes in twin XL and split king sizes

• Comes with matching tote bag

Con:

• May be too warm for hot sleepers

This breathable, 100-percent double-brushed cotton flannel sheets set is a must if you, or your recent high school grad, are attending a cold-weather school. Its strong, densely woven cotton construction ensures to keep you warm all night long—and you won’t have to worry about these pilling or shredding in the wash. Plus, it comes with a portable tote bag, which is perfect for students who might want to store their sheets in them after use (since the twin XL size is a common dorm room bed measurement). Oh, and did we mention that it comes in 11 vivid and neutral shades?

$37 at Amazon

Amazon

11. Stone & Beam Rustic Solid 100% Cotton Flannel Bed Sheet Set

Best Feel

Pro:

• Comes in four tasteful neutrals

Con:

• Reports of uneven fading, so wash in cold water with mild detergent

The velvety texture and thick warmth of these are suitable for subzero and mild winter temps, and its soft, breathable cotton ensures that you won’t be too hot (here’s lookin’ at you, sweaty sleepers). They’re perfect for keeping you warm doing colder seasons, without making you feel like you’re suffocating under a pile of fabric, and their 100-percent cotton flannel material is easy on the skin and soft to the touch.

$56 at Amazon

Wayfair

12. Dietrich Striped 100% Cotton Sheet Set

Best Stripe

Pros:

• Tailored pattern

• Hypoallergenic

Con:

• 14-inch pocket depth may not fit thicker mattresses

"I love the black-and-white striping on them and the big king-size cases will be perfect for our oversized pillows," enthuses one reviewer. This sheet set is distinctive because it has a tailored appearance, which is rare in the aesthetic universe of flowered or woodsy flannel sheets. The all-cotton fabrication gets softer with every washing, and the wrinkles only add to the expensive look of these.

Buy It ($150; $53)

Riley Home

13. Riley Home Reversible Flannel Sheet Set

Best Reversible

Pros:

• Two-tone colorways have a lighter and darker tone on each side, to vary styling

• Side-envelope pillow closures look tidy

Cons:

• 100 percent cotton might need light ironing

"These are of extremely excellent quality," one reviewer said. "We use the flat sheet as a light-weight summer cover. And they stay soft after repeated washings." And the tone-on-tone colorways mean you're getting two interior design looks in one.

Buy It ($199)

L.L. Bean

14. L.L. Bean Heritage Chamois Flannel Sheet Collection, Plaid

Best Traditional

Pros:

• Rich classic colors

• 6.2 oz. weight warmth

Cons:

• Thickest flannel might be too heavy for hot sleepers

• Flat sheet not long enough for a deep tuck at the bottom

"They wash and wear like a dream (no shrinking or piling, through multiple seasons)," says one review, who ordered multiple sizes of these L.L. Bean sheets for all the beds in their home. Though the 15-inch fitted pocket may not stay tucked on an extra-deep mattress without an elastic fitted sheet clasp, that's a small concession for these classic winter bed dressings.

Buy It ($149)

15. Mellanni Flannel Sheet Set

Best Plush

Pros:

• Ultra-soft to the touch

• Durable and wrinkle-resistant

• Comfortable

Con:

• Might be linty

• This sheet set is not suitable for thick mattresses.

Soft, comfortable and warm, these sheets are as easy on the skin as they are on the eyes. They’re made from 100-percent cotton with a 160-gram flannel weight for a luxurious, velvety feel that’s equal parts lightweight and cozy. What's more, is that they’re easy to care for, pill-resistant and guaranteed to become even softer with every wash.

$46 at Amazon

16. Great Bay Home Sheet Set

Best Fit

Pros:

• Soft

• Nice for any weather

Cons:

• Covered in lint after drying

• Too thin

These sheets fit every mattress perfectly, they’re easy to wash (with them being wrinkle-fade-resistant) AND the variety of colors is immense. We love that this set is made from 100% Turkish cotton flannel for a breathable and lightweight feel and that it has deep pockets to ensure they won’t slide off the bed. Talk about keeping us warm and cozy ~all night long~.

$50 at Amazon


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