Flannel VS Cotton Sheets: Which One is Best?

Do you ever wonder if something could change the level of rest you are getting each night? Do you tend to sleep too hot or maybe you are always chilled throughout the night? Could it be the fact that the set of sheets you currently have on your bed is not suiting your basic needs?

The average human being spends approximately one-third of their life sleeping, so shouldn’t it be in comfort? Sleep is truly the fuel that the both the mind and body not only desires, but absolutely needs to complete even the most basic of daily tasks.

If you find yourself sleep deprived, you will notice that your body will no longer respond to distractions within an acceptable time frame, your short-term memory will be worse than ever, and your mood swings will rival that of Mother Nature herself.

What if a set of sheets that suit your needs can help you rest longer and better throughout the night, enabling you to live your life to the fullest? The top-selling sheets on today’s market is flannel and cotton. Each with its own distinctive feel and material, there are many advantages to each style. Let’s find out what they are!

Flannel Sheets

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Flannel sheets have long been a favorite for winter months, due to the soft texture and sturdiness of the material. So, what is it about flannel sheets that make people rush to take them out of the linen closet once the temperature drops? Well, some of the reasons could be:

  • Soft and warm woven fabric that does not irritate skin
  • Breathable fabric that allows for air circulation and moisture wicking
  • Affordable as it is measured in weight rather than thread count
  • Easily maintained

Soft and Warm

Flannel sheets are made from a blend of wool and other synthetic fibers that are brushed with a fine wire to increase the softness that is felt by you. A fine-tooth wire comb is brushed over the fabric to raise minuscule fibers to the surface of the sheet, allowing for a soft, warm span of material. Those who suffer from skin conditions such as eczema can benefit from a set of flannel sheets, as the softness does not irritate skin but instead soothe it.

If you tend to sleep warm, or suffer from night sweats, you might want to avoid using flannel sheets, as night sweats can increase the symptoms of some skin conditions to unbearable levels. Check with your healthcare provider to see if flannel sheets can benefit or harm your skin.

Breathable Fabric

Although flannel sheets are thicker in material than cotton sheets, the process in which the blends of fabric are woven together still allow for air circulation. Flannel sheets also possess moisture-wicking properties, which can stop sheets from becoming damp from normal bodily fluids, as they sleep warmer than cotton sheets.


In a society where the price of everything is on a constant rise but wages are not, it is essential to a person’s lifestyle to maintain a budget and avoid spending big money on minor purchases. Flannel sheets are an affordable option to many that would prefer to warm their bed during colder winter months and are made from a fabric that not only encourages body heat, but traps it into the sheets, leaving you toasty warm all-night long. The reason these sheets are considered among the most affordable is because they are priced based on a weight count, rather than a thread count.

Easily Maintained

Flannel sheets can be washed in your washing machine in any temperature, from ice-cold to hot without any damage done to the sheets. The blend of fabrics that make up a flannel sheet allows them to dry either on a clothesline or with the use of a dryer, to an unwrinkled span of material. Wrinkles are next to impossible to get when folding flannel sheets, but after time, they can become puckered with little raises of material. If your flannel sheets have this issue, it may be time to replace them!

Cotton Sheets

Regardless of the month or season, cotton sheets are the top-selling sheets for a reason. With the soft, smooth texture on your skin and the lack of annoying fuzz balls poking you throughout the night, it is no wonder why cotton sheets continue to rule the roost when it comes to making your bed. But why are cotton sheets so popular? Some of the following could be why:

  • Soft but strong fabric that keeps you cool throughout the night
  • Allows for maximum air circulation
  • Variety of thread counts available
  • Easy cleaning

Soft Fabric

Cotton is a material that is used in everything from sheets to curtains to clothing, largely due to the versatility and softness that the fabric offers. Cotton sleeps cooler than flannel sheets, making them extremely popular for those who suffer from existing health conditions. Not only will cotton soothe the skin, they can provide relief to those suffering from chronic pain.

High Air Circulation

The finely-spun material that is cotton has one of the highest air circulation ratios for a set of sheets. Cotton is one of the most breathable fabrics available, which means that not only will dust and parasites not have the chance to settle into your skin but will also allow the sheets to dry while you are still under them!

Variety of Thread Counts

Cotton sheets are unique in the fact that they offer differing styles within a single type. The higher the thread count used in the making of a set of cotton sheets, the softer and sturdier they will be. If you are a student on a budget, a single set of generic cotton sheets can run only $20 – $30, whereas the higher-end brands, such as Egyptian cotton, can run up to the hundreds of dollars depending on the thread count. While serving the same purpose, cotton sheets can offer more variety on fabric, softness, longevity than that of its counterparts.

Easy Cleaning

Cotton sheets are easily cleaned and maintained, needing just a simple wash cycle in your washing machine to remove stains or debris. While cotton sheets can be washed at any temperature, hot or warm cycles tend to deep-clean the sheets better than a cold. These sheets can be dried via a clothesline or with the use of a dryer, but it is recommended that they are packed up as soon as they are dried to avoid wrinkling of the material.

Flannel VS Cotton Sheets Comparison

Flannel Sheets Cotton Sheets
Soft and warm woven fabric that does not irritate skin Soft but strong fabric that keeps you cool throughout the night
Breathable fabric that allows for air circulation and moisture wicking Allows for maximum air circulation
Affordable as it is measured in weight rather than thread count Variety of thread counts available
Easily maintained Easy cleaning


With our bodies and minds dependent on the amount of sleep we receive on a nightly basis, the need to have a solid night of rest is a driving force. If you find yourself sleeping chilled, even during the hot summer months, perhaps a sturdy set of flannel sheets could help you trap your body heat within your bed, allowing you to stay warm and just rest.

If you find yourself sleeping hot, or suffering from nasty night sweats, why not throw a set of cool cotton sheets on your bed? Not only do they sleep cooler than most sheets, the soft material does not irritate your skin, allowing yourself to truly rest throughout the night.

With many benefits to each style of bed sheets, it is important to compare both flannel and cotton when determining what style would suit your personal preferences the best. Check with your healthcare provider to see if a certain style of sheets would aid or hinder your progress with current ailments. Ask a home décor expert what would be the best style of sheets to deck out your bed with.

So regardless of the style of sheets you prefer or decide to change to, make sure they are benefiting you, because without sleep – your quality of life can drastically change into something that even a set of sheets can’t help!

If you have a particular favorite style of sheets, or even brand, please let us know in the comment section below. If you have any further questions or would like to know where to find out more information, just drop a line in the comment box!