What do we Know About Flannel Pajamas? | Lands' End

FAQ: What Do We Know About Flannel Pajamas?

We’re no strangers to the idyllic comfort that flannel pajamas bring along in their stride. They’re charming, they’re a great gift, they’re so soft, and the best flannel pajamas are – without a doubt – an American classic so much so that it has become part of our Christmas tradition. The words flannel pajamas have become synonymous with cozy which explains why a lot of families choose to wear matching flannel pj’s for their Christmas morning while others make it to the annual Christmas card.

Do we know everything we need to know about flannel pajamas? It seems like we all grew up with an understanding that they’re the default option for sleepwear, no questions asked, but what about fleece? What’s the difference and can we easily confuse the two? Let’s take a look at common questions regarding flannel pajamas and see where fleece comes into play.

What are flannel pajamas?

Flannel pajamas are the go-to choice for those who want to get a sound night of rest in comfy pj's without overheating. They’ll keep you warm but they won’t trap heat in. Often confused with plaid, flannel pajamas are made from a breathable fabric such as cotton while others are made from wool fabrics. Most flannel pajamas come as a two-piece set, the top usually is a button-up which is nice to be able to layer a t-shirt underneath for an extra layer (when temperatures really drop and need the extra warmth without being too bundled up).  

What is flannel made of?

Most flannel is made of cotton. You may have guessed “a little slice of heaven” and that seems to be right on the nose too. The best and only flannel is 100% cotton. As a side note, people tend to think of flannel as the plaid pattern, but flannel is the way that cotton is woven into a fabric. Technically you could have flannel pajamas that are a solid color but where’s the fun in that?

What are fleece pajamas?

Fleece pajamas are an excellent alternative to flannel pajamas. When you’re looking for a pair of pajamas that will defy coffee spills and a vengeful drying machine, fleece will be your more durable choice. Fleece got a bad name from all the static electricity it would build up. These days, fleece pajamas are safe to wear for those who are wary of touching doorknobs after crossing a carpet.

What’s the difference between fleece and flannel pajamas?

While the differences between the two are mostly how they’re produced, the main appeal of one over the other is based on what you think is best for you.

  • The difference between fleece and flannel pajamas is the material. While flannel is made of cotton, fleece is made of polyester.
  • Polyester is more water-resistant than cotton.
  • Polyester is also more resistant to wear and tear than cotton-based fabric.
  • While both are durable in their own right, fleece pajamas are popular for their warming properties. You’ll find fleece retains heat better than flannel.
  • In terms of bedding, think of flannel as a top sheet while fleece is more of a comforter.

What is the warmest material for pajamas?

The warmest material for pajamas is fleece. Each person has a preference but if you’re dealing with the chill factor more than you’d like, then you’re more likely to prefer fleece. Whether to wear fleece versus flannel depends on your environment. If temperatures tend to drop drastically low or if your bedroom seems to get cold drafts in the middle of the night, then fleece will be your best bet because of the material being able to trap heat.  

Which is right for me?

Of course, this all comes down to personal preference along with a couple of other factors such as leaving the heat to run at night and the type of bedding you have. If you tend to leave the heater running at night, that means there’s not much of a cold chill in your bedroom. If this is the case, you’ll want to stay away from fleece as it can leave you sweating and overheating. Your bedding also plays a major factor in deciding what to wear to bed. If you’ve got a pretty heavy duvet with some extra blankets such as a top sheet and quilt, this again will make fleece uncomfortable to sleep in since you’ve got layers and layers to wrap yourself in. The best pajamas for a cold room or light bedding would be fleece. And don’t forget to wear a pair of fluffy slouch socks since feet tend to get cold first. Unless you would like to be extra warm then, by all means, stick with fleece. Finding the perfect combination of pajamas to go along with your bedding is the secret to a good night’s rest.

How long can I expect a set to last?   

If made with quality and the wear time is average (meaning these aren’t the only pair of pj’s you wear every night) you can expect both fleece and flannel to last you for about a decade. Another way that you can make your pajamas last longer is by wearing them a few times before washing, especially if you shower before bed. The Clean Living Institute says that you can wear the same pajamas to bed three times. It’s a reasonable amount considering you don’t wear them out and the only time you wear them is to sleep which keeps them clean. Unless you tend to sweat heavily. After three consecutive nights of wearing them to bed, it’s time to throw them in the hamper and grab a new pair to avoid dust mites and other germs that can cling on to your clothing and your bedding while you sleep. Which by the way brings up the subject of washing your bedsheets. If you didn’t know, you should be washing your bed sheets once a week. If you’re a drooler or tend to sweat a little more then you should consider washing your sheets more often than that. 

Since we’re on the topic of bedding, did you know that flannel bed sheets work just as well to keep you warm during the cold months? Check out our collection of flannel sheets to go along with your new pair of flannel pajamas. As a word of caution: The flannel on flannel combination may be too cozy and leaving your bed may be a struggle. 

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