At the first sign of cool weather, almost nothing promises endless coziness and warmth more than flannel comforters. Thick and plush, flannel is a fall and winter staple in many households.
Flannel is considered one of the softest and warmest materials in the world. Lightly woven and available in a variety of weights, flannel is extremely smooth. Thus, designers favor it for constructing cozy items like jackets, shirts, pajamas, and bedding. The fabric is made using a time-honored process that involves dragging woven worsted wool through hot water and across log rollers until the material begins to appear felted and smooth.
Choosing Flannel Comforters
Choosing a flannel comforter is a great idea when warm weather begins to cool down. In some parts of the country, even as early as September, when only a light breeze nips the air, flannel can feel quite comforting. When it gets truly cold, though, flannel is perfect for layering over bed sheets, using it as a bed cover or simply wrapping it around you while relaxing on the couch.
What to Look For When Shopping
When it comes to shopping for comforters, keep one important detail in mind, longevity. Ideally, the piece you select should last through years of use, hold up well through multiple cleanings and maintain its integrity over time. These elements ensure that your flannel comforter will be a worthwhile investment.
As with any piece of bedding, the most important detail of all is size. Comforters made of flannel are readily available in twin, full, queen, and king sizes, so once you've found a good selection in the size you need, you can begin focusing on appearance.
It's helpful to choose a comforter that corresponds well with your bedroom's existing setup. You might choose something that matches your pillowcases and other bedding, or you may want the comforter to contrast with your furniture. A blue comforter, for example, can look right at home against an oak wood bed. By contrast, dark cherry wood, already an elegant finish, can look even more glamorous with a rich floral print on the bed.
Types of Flannel
In addition to the aesthetics, it's important to focus on the type of flannel used to make the comforter. Many flannels are made using cotton or wool. In comforters specifically, this can translate to a soft, warmer weight product that promises endless comfort throughout the colder months. Additionally, look for comforters that are double-napped, a process that means that the product has been brushed on both sides. This ensures that the comforter is extra soft and plush.
Bedding can pose quite an inconvenience if it is difficult to clean. Fortunately, many flannel comforters are machine washable and easy to handle, but be aware that you may come across comforters that require dry cleaning. Keeping the flannel soft is also important. Using a traditional fabric softener works well at first, but over time it may corrode the napping and leave a slightly thinned out texture. A natural alternative involves adding one cup of vinegar to the rinse cycle and using less detergent.
If you're shopping for more than just a comforter, consider a complete bedding set. This includes everything you need for a coordinated look, including a bedskirt, pillow shams, sheets, and, occasionally, a few accent pillows.
Although you'll likely use your comforter often throughout the coldest periods of the year, chances are you won't even want to touch such a warm comforter when temperatures rise! Keep it clean and free of wrinkles by folding it into a neat square and place a sheet of tissue paper in between each layer. You might even store the comforter in a vacuum-sealed garment bag to keep it fresh.
Few fabrics are cushier and more indulgent than flannel. With proper care, a flannel comforter will keep you cozy and comfortable for years while also brightening up your room.