When looking for the perfect blanket, buyers more often end up grabbing what looks good off the shelf before proceeding to the checkout line. This is a mistake! There are other features to consider in addition to whether or not you like the color No two blankets are the same. Type, size, material, weave, even durability vary from brand to brand. If not properly educated, you could end up with a blanket that’s the wrong size, one that runs too hot or too cold, or one that falls apart after the first wash. Before buying a blanket, ask yourself these questions:
- How will the blanket be used? In the bedroom as a layer between layers or in place of the comforter?
- Is it to be used as a throw in the house?
- Is the blanket intended for seasonal purposes or year-round use?
- Does it add to the decor?
Knowing the answers to these questions can save a potential buyer a lot of stress. With so many options, it helps if you have a narrowed-down list of requirements. Consider what your blanket is for and go from there. If it’s meant as a cover or layer for the bed, measure your mattress to have the appropriate dimensions. If you’re looking for a throw, decide on a rough color scheme based on your house or room and look into a specific size, though most throws are 70”x50”. When looking for a seasonal blanket or one meant for regular use during the year, look at the types of materials and weaves. Close-knit weaves and materials like polyester are ideal for warm blankets in cooler seasons, while looser weaves and fleece are perfect summer blankets when temperatures start to rise. There are also materials like wool and cotton that are excellent for year-round use. Considering all of these elements, we chose the top 6 that we felt offer customers the best comfort.
Top 6 Blankets of 2020
1. Balichun Luxury Fleece Blanket
|Throw (Travel), Twin, Queen, King||Fleece||Grey, Dark Grey, Ivory, lake Blue, Royal Blue, Brown, Green, Silver Grey|
- Throw (Travel) – $29.99
- Twin – $39.99
- Queen – $26.99
- King – $39.99
2. Faribault Wollen Mill Co. Pure & Simple Altitude Wool Blanket
|Twin, Queen, King||Wool||Light Heather Grey, Olive, Bone White, Navy, Indian Ink|
- Twin – $200
- Queen – $250
- King – $300
3. Boll & Branch Waffle Blanket
|Twin, Full/Queen, King/Cal King||Cotton||White, Natural, Shore, Pewter|
- Twin – $160
- Full/Queen – $180
- King/Cal King – $200
4. Madison Park Windom Microfiber Down Alternative Blanket
|Twin, Full/Queen, King||Down Alternative||White, Blue, Charcoal, Blush, Grey, Brown, Seafoam, Ivory|
- Twin – $34.99
- Full/Queen – $45.07
King – $49.99
Sunbeam Microplush Heated Blanket
|Twin, Full, Queen, King||Polyester||Walnut, Slate, Royal Blue, Mushroom, Ivy Gren, Beige, Ruby Red, Azure|
- Twin – $44.99
- Full – $69.95
- Queen – $66.81
- King – $84.96
Quility Premium Weighted Blanket
|36"x48", 41"x60", 48"x72", 60"x80"||Cotton-Flannel/Polyester||Grey + Grey, Grey + Navy Blue, Grey+ Grey Pattern, Grey + Pink, Grey + Aqua, Grey + Ivory|
- 15lbs for 110-140lb individuals
- 20lbs for 120-190lb individuals
- 25lbs for 190-240lb individuals
- 30lbs for 240-280lb individuals
- 36”x48”, 5lbs – $59.70
- 41”x60”, 7lbs – $64.70
- 41”x60”, 10lbs – $69.70
- 48”x72”, 12lbs – $89.70
- 48”x72”, 15lbs – $99.70
- 60”x80”, 15lbs – $114.70
- 60”x80”, 20lbs – $119.70
- 60”x80”, 25lbs – $124.70
What to Look for in Your Next Blanket
Many make the mistake of grabbing any type of blanket off the shelf and placing it into their cart with no other consideration other than “I like how it looks.” Looks aren’t everything, and focusing only on appearance could make your next blanket purchase a mistake. Size, weight, material, weave, and durability are factors to look out for before making a purchase.
If it’s meant for the bed, make sure to measure your mattress first. The right blanket size will have overlapping fabric that can be tucked under the bottom and sides of the mattress. Also, if looking for a throw, it’s good to have an idea on size, since throws typically are not standard and vary. Be sure to take into account what room the throw will be in and where. For example, if the throw is to be draped over the back of a couch or folded up in a basket in a corner.
Weight plays a significant role in determining the warmth of a blanket. The weight of a blanket is measured in grams per square meter (GSM). GSM refers to the density of the fibers; how much 1 square meter of fabric weighs. The higher the GSM, the warmer the blanket. Winter blankets will have a GSM of 300 or higher. Most standard sizes are at 250 GSM. Typically, the heavier the weight the thicker the fabric, though the weight will not tell you the thickness of the fabric. This is because fabrics will have different fibers or weaves but have the same weight just not the same thickness.
Blankets are made from a variety of different materials. Be sure to pick the right one if it’s for a specific season. Summer blankets are usually made from cotton because of their airflow and moisture-wicking abilities. When the weather turns cooler and warm blankets are needed, many turn to down and polyester for their close-knit and thicker materials. Cotton and wool are great options for year-round, offering the best of both worlds in maintaining comfortable body heat.
- Wool – warm but incredibly breathable, wool is perfect for all seasons with its natural antibacterial and moisture-wicking properties.
- Down – despite being soft and light, it offers powerful insulation which is perfect for colder seasons.
- Cashmere – similar to wool, cashmere has the same properties, but can be more expensive.
- Cotton – plush and smooth, cotton is perfect for all seasons with its ability to absorb moisture.
- Polyester – warmer and less breathable than cotton, polyester is ideal for cooler months.
- Fleece – a synthetic version of wool, fleece offers similar warmth and density.
- Acrylic – a synthetic version of wool and cashmere, acrylic is lighter and less expensive while still offering comfort and warmth.
There are two types of weaves: loose weaves and tight weaves. Loose weaves will have less warmth because fibers are woven loosely together, allowing larger air passages. However, this can be ideal for layering or adding a decorative element to a room, like an afghan. In contrast, tight weaves offer more warmth but less breathability, great for colder seasons or for those who sleep cold. For example, a down blanket with a percale weave produces a thick, soft surface. Knowing the different weaves can help you choose the right type of blanket. Weaving styles include the following:
- Flat – tight or loose, but results in an even, flat surface. This type of weave results in a heavier, durable material; also used for carpets and rugs.
- Thermal – looser weave consisting of a honeycomb or waffle texture. Used in producing cotton throws, and also warm shirts, pants, and undergarments.
- Sateen – looser weave that produces cooler material. The completed weave gives off a slight shine making it perfect for silk.
- Jacquard – tight weave consisting of patterns in the fabric without printing or embroidery. Patterns can be simple or complex. This type of weave is used in creating blouses and dress shirts.
- Percale – tightly woven and soft. Percale weave is commonly used in creating high-quality sheets.
Before buying a blanket, consider its durability. The type of weave used can help determine how strong a blanket will be. Also, take into account how often it will be used. Will it be added to the bedding for nightly use? Is it a throw that will have regular use or occasional use? Also, consider it’s care. Always check the washing instructions, because while many are machine washable, some need to be dry cleaned. They should be cleaned based on how often they’re used. If draped over a couch or folded in a basket with minimal use, washing should be every few months. However, if used regularly (a.k.a. slept in nightly or dragged around the house) then they should be washed weekly.
Other factors to know regarding durability are children and pets. Some may stand the test of time, but fall apart in the face of scrambling limbs and kneading paws. To reduce the risk of fraying and tears, it’s best to avoid a looser weave. Also, consider the material. While some fabrics might be plusher it might be best to stick with a material, like wool, that can handle pulling, biting, and clawing. This will save you money in the long run and help your blanket to last.
When discussing durability, pilling needs to be mentioned. Pilling can be the direct result of washing or wear and tear. Small balls of loose fibers or pills are formed over the surface of the blanket. While this may happen to many after the first wash, it doesn’t mean that the blanket is of poor quality. First washes usually produce little to some type of pilling. In order to prevent further damage, avoid harsh detergents and fabric softeners. Run the washing machine on delicate and either tumble dry on low or no heat, or air dry. Some require dry cleaning.
Types of Blankets
As previously stated, no two blankets are the same. They come in a variety of different sizes, materials, weaves, and levels of durability. Choosing a type is one of the most important blanket-making decisions. Types include standard, weighted, heated, afghan, quilt, and throw. Each has its own features that ultimately lead to promoting the best comfort. Keep the type that you want in mind when browsing for a blanket.
Many will argue that there is no such thing as a “standard” blanket, but in order to roughly label the basic blanket, the term “standard” works perfectly. Standard blankets correlate with standard mattress sizes. These include Twin, Full, Queen, and King. These types are notably bigger in size so that the ends hang over the sides and can be tucked under the mattress. They can come in a variety of materials and colors and are usually machine-washable. Most come in standard size, except throws and afghans which have more extensive sizing.
One of the newer options, weighted blankets offer relief from anxiety and stress. It’s also ideal for those who suffer from ASD, ADHD, and PTSD. According to Web MD, they are also known to help improve sleep in those who suffer from depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, Alzheimer’s, and restless leg syndrome. In choosing a weighted blanket, sizing is based on your individual weight. They can weigh between 5 to 30 pounds. Adults should choose one that contains 5% to 10% of their body weight. For children over the age of 8, it is recommended that a weighted blanket contain 10% of their body weight. For safety reasons, they should be kept away from children younger than 8. The weights of the blanket consist of beads that can be made of glass, plastic, or steel. Some are filled with glass sand.
For those who sleep cold, heated blankets are a great choice. They provide a constant level of heat with the option to adjust the temperature. Some offer preheat and auto-off options. Further, they can provide health benefits to their sleepers. Through consistent thermoregulation, this helps to maintain circadian rhythm and promote better sleep. They can ease symptoms of some medical conditions like arthritis and fibromyalgia, in addition to soothing aches and pains from workouts and menstrual cycles.
Traditionally crocheted, this type of blanket is purposely created with large holes in the stitching. Afghans are constructed from squares of knit or crocheted material, creating a large pattern. They can also be knit into one piece or with one color. What makes them stand out is their textured form. Because of their large stitching, afghans are mostly used as decor pieces, accentuating a room or bedroom, rather than as a form of warmth. They’re closer in relation to throws, especially since they come in a variety of sizes outside of the standard.
Quilting consists of three layers; quilt top, batting, and backing. The quilt top is created through piecing techniques in order to create a design or pattern. The batting is the inner layer. It consists of cotton, wool, or synthetic fibers. The last piece, the backing is usually a plain material, but some quilters have been known to create something more elaborate. “Quilting” refers to the stitching that holds all three layers together and keeps the batting in place. Stitching can be simplistic or complex. Quilts can be used for warmth or as an interior design element.
Throws are typically used more around the house than in the bedroom. They range in sizes outside of standard sizes (twin, full, queen, king), but are usually smaller; roughly 70”x50”. With the purpose of providing temporary warmth versus long-term warmth at night, throws are traditionally lighter. Used both as a showpiece and as a means of comfort, throws are more decorative in nature, with bright colors and patterns and added tassels and decorative fringe. Some can be two-sided, providing the added benefit of two types of textures in one blanket.
Before buying a blanket, focus on how it will be used and where at where. Be sure to take measurements of your mattress and have a color scheme in mind before shopping. Also, have a thought for the type of blanket you’re looking for. Different types of blankets offer unique appearances and provide different levels of comfort in a living space. Some types, like throws and afghans, have a wider range of sizes outside of the standard size. Other types, like heated and weighted blankets, provide health benefits that help soothe discomforts and reduce symptoms of mental health disorders. Above all, keep in mind the material used in the blanket itself. This will determine the level of warmth it will provide, an important considering temperature and sleep are closely related, and whether it’s seasonal or year-round. In considering the type, size, material, weave, and durability, you’ll be able to purchase a great blanket that can be enjoyed. The perfect blanket will provide great comfort and promote better sleep.