Cosy nights: flannel bedding
Cosy nights: flannel bedding

There was a bit of a twitterstorm a couple of weeks ago when it first emerged that flannel bedding has made a comeback.

A press release from Debenhams said that sales of the traditional sheets, probably last popular in WWII, are soaring.

They put it down to the rising cost of heating bills and said that flannel sheets are outselling many silk varieties.

Of course a flannel sheet will always divide opinion. The reason they are so warm is that the texture of the flannel holds tiny pockets of air between the bed and  the sleeper which traps the heat, regardless of the freezing weather outside.

Flannel sheets were last popular around 60 years ago when central heating was basically unheard of and the only source of heat was from the fire in the sitting room or the range in the kitchen. But the rise of man made fibres and the spread of central heating, led to a decline in sales of flannel bedlinen in the 1970s.

It was briefly superseded by nylon (which didn’t need ironing, although the pay off was those bright flashes of static it produced) until in the 1980s, cotton became, and has remained, the most popular choice.

But, the store said:  “The rising popularity of flannel sheets has matched, almost precisely, the never ending list of price hikes which have made electricity and gas almost 80 per cent more expensive than they were five years ago.”

So there you have it. And that set in the picture above is rather splendid.

Debenhams cotton flannel bed linen is available in all stores nationwide and online. Prices start from £12.


Tags : beddingbedroomfinishing toucheskeeping cosynesting instinctsobjects of designperfect guest bedrooms
Kate Watson-Smyth

The author Kate Watson-Smyth

I’m a journalist who writes about interiors mainly for The Financial Times but I have also written regularly for The Independent and The Daily Mail. My house has been in Living Etc, HeartHome and featured in The Wall Street Journal & Corriere della Sera. I also run an interior styling consultancy Mad About Your House. Welcome to my Mad House.


  1. Well crafted. Can’t claim I agree with what’s described,
    but that’s just my very own viewpoint. All round I enjoyed it!

  2. I must say we’ve never been without some flannel sheets and blankets. For one we live in Cumbria and need the warmth and comfort but also, unlike their poor bedmate satin, they are unbothered and unchaffed by a man’s beard. We like our bedroom cool so sheets in our house are pulled up high hence the stubble factor.

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