Why does Flannel feel Warmer?

With the recent cold here we pulled out the flannel sheets last night and as I crawled into bed I started thinking about why flannel sheets feel so much warmer next to my skin than regular sheets. I mean they are at the exact same room temperature as regular sheets but they feel warmer the moment I get in…

Mrs. Spudbucket suggestion was, “They’re warm because they’re fuzzy…”, an explanation I originally scoffed at but wonder if there’s a truth here…

I can see an argument here for capturing pockets of air that retain body heat but why does it feel warm from the moment your skin touches it.

any thoughts? I’ve not seen anything posted here.


They’re warm because they’re fuzzy.

Without the fuzz you’d get more of the flat surface of the cold sheet in contact with your skin; this would feel colder. The fuzz separates your skin from the sheet with a little layer of air pockets.

Anything at room temperature is cooler than you are, and will rob you of warmth. The greater the surface area of the contact, the faster the warmth will flow from you. Given two items made of cotton, the item which is smooth and lies flush against the skin will have better contact, and suck out more warmth, than an item with an irregular surface that only contacts the skin off-and-on.

In other words, they’re warm because they’re fuzzy.

I think lissener and Nametag are onto something, although those explanations imply that the only relevant heat loss is to the sheets themselves. I don’t think that’s true. I think the fuzz and air pockets are the key, but because the fuzziness simply creates better insulation against heat transfer into the bed and through the blankets.

I love flannel sheets. They’re just so much comfier than cotton, unless one can afford those ridiculously expensive high thread count things.

I just had to share that. Thank you. Carry on.

…so they’re warm because they’re fuzzy…hmmm

Looks like I owe a dinner to my bed buddy…

thanks for all the thoughts…the less surface contact idea makes the most sense to me…but what do I know?