April 24, 2024 7 min read

If you’re looking for some extremely warm and soft bedding to keep you toasty, you can’t go wrong with flannelette sheets. This bedding is made of brushed cotton fabric that keeps you snug and warm all night long. Many people prefer flannelette material as the ideal sheet choice for their winter bedding. So, what makes this form of brushed cotton so unique, and what are the details of cotton flannelette? Read on to learn more about flannel vs cotton sheets, the different types of flannel, and what makes flannelette fabric so unique.

What is Flannelette?

So, what is flannelette fabric? Let’s start our guide by answering: what are flannelette sheets and what are they made of?

Definitions and origins of flannelette

How do we define flannelette and what is flannelette fabric exactly? These cozy bed sheets are made of a soft, brushed cotton fabric that is best suited for use in the colder months of winter. While most good quality flannelette sheets are made of 100% cotton, some may be made using a blend of cotton and synthetic materials and fibers. If you want extra softness, look for double-brushed flannelette fabric for an extremely fuzzy texture. Double-brushed cotton bedding has been brushed on both sides, creating a nice, velvety feel. When the fabric is brushed, it creates fine fibers on the surface that make it fluffy and warm.

Distinction between flannelette and other types of bedding materials

What is flannelette sheets when compared to other types of bedding materials? First, most cotton sheets and other types of sheets are not brushed, so they tend to have a smoother surface. Because flannelette is made from brushed cotton, its fluffy fibers make it thicker and softer than most other sheet styles. Some flannel sheets have a heavier weight, which makes them thicker and a good insulator for chilly winter nights. They also come in different weaves just like most other bedding materials. Each weave type presents its own unique texture and feel, and the option you choose is based on your personal preference.

So, what is flannel made of, and is flannel cotton? Not all flannel sheets are made of cotton fabric only. Some may also be made of wool or synthetic fabric, while other sheets may be made of linen, bamboo, microfiber, and others. When comparing flannelette vs flannel, flannelette always contains cotton, while regular cotton or “regular” flannel might not.

Sand Linen sheets Linen bedding

Composition of Flannelette Sheets

Navy Blue Linen bed Sheets Light Grey Linen bed Sheets

It’s important to note that all authentic flannelette sheets start with the base material, which always comes from the cotton plant. Here’s how these amazingly soft sheets are made:

  • The cotton is spun into yarn, then it is woven into fabric. Twill or plain weaves are the two main types of flannel weaves used to make flannelette sheets.
  • After the yarn is woven, the cotton goes through the brushing process. This can be done on one side or both sides, depending on the manufacturer.
  • The mechanical process of brushing the fabric raises the fibers upward from the surface using a fine metal brush to create air pockets or naps.
  • The air pockets add a layer of insulation to help trap body heat, making the sheets extremely warm and comfortable.
  • Brushing the flannelette enhances durability and gives the sheets a distressed look.
Linen bed sheets

Advantages of Flannelette Sheets

When it comes to cotton vs flannel and brushed cotton vs flannel sheets, there are several great advantages to choosing flannelette.

Softness and comfort

One thing is for sure: flannelette or brushed cotton bedding is incredibly soft and cozy. Think of this bed sheet material as sleeping under a dense, fluffy cloud that keeps you nice and warm all year round.


These sheets are softer and thicker than most regular cotton fabrics. That means they keep you warm and cozy for extra insulation whenever you need it most.


Although flannelette keeps you warm, it’s also surprisingly breathable, too. The sheets trap tiny pockets of warm air while still allowing the right level of ventilation to create a perfect balance that prevents you from overheating as it regulates your body temperature.

Durability and Longevity

Now that you know how warm and soft flannelette sheets are, what about their durability? Flannelette is thicker and denser than your average cotton sheets, which means they’re quite durable.

Tips for maintaining and extending the lifespan of flannelette bedding

Here are some tips to help you maintain and extend the lifespan of your flannelette sheets.

  • Always choose the highest quality flannelette possible.
  • To keep your extra soft flannelette sheets from pilling, turn them inside out occasionally to ensure less friction.
  • Always follow the care instructions on your sheets based on the manufacturer's tag.
  • The air pockets add a layer of insulation to help trap body heat, making the sheets extremely warm and comfortable.
  • Never wash the sheets in hot water to prevent the fibers from breaking.

Buying Guide for Flannelette Sheets

Before you run out to buy a new set of flannelette sheets, check out our simple buying guide.

Factors to consider when purchasing flannelette sheets

If you prefer extremely soft sheets, choose double-brushed cotton flannelette. Look carefully at the thread count, because the higher this number is, the tighter the weave and the more durable the sheets will be. Check the material content to ensure that your sheets are made from 100% cotton. If possible, try to feel the sheets in person to determine the overall quality. Make sure you purchase your new sheets from a reputable retailer. When possible, choose flannelette made from organic cotton.

How to Care for Flannelette Sheets

Flannelette can be machine washed, so here are some easy instructions to ensure proper care that’ll preserve the softness and texture of your flannelette sheets over the long run:

  • Turn your pillowcases and sheets inside out before you wash and dry them to help reduce friction and prevent pilling.
  • Always wash your flannelette sheets separately to prevent tangling and abrasion.
  • Machine wash your sheets in cool or cold water and avoid washing fibers on high heat to prevent shrinkage.
  • Use a mild detergent and put the sheets on the gentle cycle.
  • Don’t use fabric softeners or dryer sheets as they can leave a residue behind that can cause pilling.

Common Misconceptions About Flannelette Sheets

One common misconception about flannelette sheets is that they’re too hot for most people. While they’re certainly warmer than many other fabrics, they’re still breathable and comfortable to sleep under. The brushed fabric creates air pockets to keep you warm while allowing air to escape so you don’t overheat. If you sleep cool, cotton flannelette is an ideal choice.

Another common misconception about this material is that it’s not easy to care for. However, cotton flannelette can be washed in your washer and dried in your dryer, making for easy care. Even though it’s not exactly lightweight bedding, you can easily wash and dry your flannelette sheets at home whenever you need to.

Flannelette Sheets vs. Other Bedding Options

Let’s compare flannelette sheets with other bedding options to help you decide which one is right for you.

  • Cotton vs flannel: Remember that all flannelette material is made from brushed cotton, while flannel can be made of cotton, wool, or synthetic materials. Both cotton and flannelette sheets are soft and warm, but flannelette is thicker and warmer than most forms of traditional cotton bedding. When you define flannelette, it’s a form of cotton bedding that features brushed fibers to make it somewhat softer, thicker, denser, and warmer.
  • Jersey sheets vs flannel: Jersey is a knit fabric that resembles a soft t-shirt. In fact, most jersey sheets are made of the very same material. This fabric is very soft, but it’s definitely nowhere near as warm as flannel or flannelette. Jersey also tends to pill much more than flannelette, so it’s more difficult to care for.
  • Linen vs flannelette: Linen is an organic material that is sustainable and eco-friendly. Not all flannelette sheets are made of organic cotton, so that’s a very important distinction, especially if you want bedding that’s sustainable. Cozy linen gets softer with every wash, while flannelette is naturally soft right out of the package. In terms of cost, linen sheets usually cost much more than flannelette, but they’re also a bit more luxurious and beautiful.
  • Polyester vs flannelette: Most flannelette sheets are breathable, but polyester sheets are not. If you prefer materials that keep you cooler while you sleep, stick to flannelette. And, since flannelette is made of cotton, it’s also a natural material that won’t bother you if you have sensitive skin, unlike polyester which may cause irritation since it’s purely synthetic. Although polyester is easy to clean, it traps heat between your skin and the fabric, which can make you overheat in the middle of the night.
Stonewashed linen sheet set

Final Thoughts on what are flannelette sheets

If you’re looking for warm bedding that’s exceptionally soft and easy to clean, you can’t go wrong with flannelette sheets. These sheets are extremely comfortable, warm, and durable which makes them a wise long-term investment. However, there are some differences between flannelette and other materials, so it’s important to explore the pros and cons to ensure you choose the type of bedding that’s right for you. At Or & Zon, we offer a myriad of organic bedding options to keep you comfortable while supporting a healthy body and environment.