If you are furnishing or just trying to make your bedroom or living room look cozier, you are probably considering buying some blankets. However, there are so many different blanket styles and fabrics that it can be a little overwhelming to decide which one will suit your home the most.
For this reason, we have prepared a guide that will show you the basic characteristics of 22 common types of blankets. Moreover, we will discuss their pros and cons and give you some recommendations.
Types of Blankets You Should Consider Buying
Blankets are great items that improve the look of your space and have practical use. But you can’t use every blanket in the same way because they are made of different materials and serve various purposes.
The most common type of blanket is arguably the comforter. Comforters are very popular among those who live in colder areas or at least face colder winters.
These blankets provide plenty of warmth, more so than many of their counterparts. In fact, comforters consist of three parts: top, middle, and bottom layer. The top and bottom layers can be made of various natural or synthetic fabrics and are usually brushed to make them softer. The middle layer consists of some insulating material such as wool, cotton, down, feathers, or polyfill.
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How warm your comforter is, depends on how thick those three layers are and the type of the insulating material.
Comforters look fluffy and cloud-like. Therefore, they can look pretty decorative in your bedroom. Furthermore, they are available in different attractive patterns and colors.
- soft and warm
- elegant and decorative
- good for use right after unpacking
- some are not suitable for machine washing, only for dry cleaning
- not fit for warmer weather
Duvets are a type of thick, warm blanket, similar to comforters. For example, these blankets also have the same insulating material as comforters.
However, what makes them different is that you have to use them with duvet covers. So, a duvet comes as a two-piece item — a duvet insert and a duvet cover. We use covers to protect the inserts from dirt and damage and can easily remove them when needed.
This feature comes in handy when you want to wash your duvet — just remove the cover and machine wash it. Also, if you are bored with the current colors and design, you can change the covers and get a new, fresh look for your bedroom.
On the other hand, if you do not fit the duvet cover and insert properly, the insert becomes loose and looks bumpy.
- thick and soft
- available in all bed sizes
- versatile — multiple colors, patterns, and designs
- easy to clean
- the filling can clump together
- can only be used with a cover
Throws are not your ordinary blankets. They are usually smaller than an average blanket, and people mostly use them as decoration. Throws consist of one layer and can be woven, knit, or made of fleece.
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So, because of their size and the fact they provide little warmth, throws are not usually used as beddings. In most cases, you will see them thrown over the back of the couch or strewn across the foot of the bed. And, since they come in various colors and styles, people use them as a decoration to spruce up the space.
- available in various colors and designs
- good for covering legs and feet when lounging
- not very warm
Quilts have been around for centuries, and their most distinctive feature is a beautiful patchwork design. This type of blanket is both decorative and practical. Here’s why.
They consist of three layers. The top layer is made of many pieces of fabric sewn together to form a specific pattern, which makes them colorful and beautiful. The middle layer is a thin filling material such as wool, cotton, or polyester. And finally, the back piece is a woven fabric.
Furthermore, when placed on a bed, quilts create a smooth, even look.
Quilts are perfect for warm climates and the spring and summer seasons. Or, they can serve as an additional layer of warmth.
On the other hand, quilts have fragile layers, so they are not suitable for a washing machine. So, you have to take them to the dry cleaners.
- Dry cleaning only
Weighted blankets, also known as gravity blankets, are a relatively new trend. These blankets are big and heavy and are usually filled with glass beads, plastic pallets, or extra fabric layers to increase weight.
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Interestingly enough, doctors recommend weighted blankets for people who struggle with restless leg syndrome, anxiety, depression, stress, autism, sleep apnea, and other sleep issues. So, people use them for at-home deep pressure therapy.
- Heavy and comforting
- Can help with some health issues
- Washing can be a bit challenging
- Not easy to transport
Electric or heated blankets are perfect for extreme winter nights. These blankets are filled with heating coils that heat up when an electric current runs through them. Furthermore, you can regulate temperature using a control unit.
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There are two main types of electric blankets.
- Under blankets — heated mattress pads or fitted sheets that go over your mattress and under your body
- Over blankets — placed over your body
However, heated blankets pose a certain risk. So, if you decide to buy one, make sure to plug it out when you don’t use it and check the wiring often.
- Temperature regulation feature
- Risk of fire and burns
Wearable blankets are basically big blankets with sleeves designed to be worn like a large sleepsuit. They look like hoodies — only made of blanket fabrics.
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Most commonly, people use them for toddlers since they are safer than regular blankets. However, older kids and adults can enjoy them, too.
Chenille means caterpillar in French, and when you see this beautiful blanket, you can understand why it got such a name. These blankets are usually made of cotton, nylon, or acrylic, and have a dense texture. You can buy a chenille blanket in many different colors, patterns, and designs.
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Since they were so popular in the 1940s and 1950s, people today use them to give their room a vintage/retro look. Moreover, they are incredibly warm and soft, maybe the softest blanket on this list.
On the other hand, chenille blankets are very delicate and require dry cleaning. Furthermore, if you don’t take care of them properly, they can easily get damaged.
- Very soft
- Dry cleaning only
- Too delicate, require special care
Waffle weave blankets consist of one layer of fabric, most often cotton. The name comes from their specific texture that reminds us of waffles. However, this texture provides more than just an interesting look. The small pockets trap air, making the blanket feel light but warm.
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It would be best if you used waffle weave during the summer months, but it can also serve as an extra layer of warmth during cold weather.
- lightweight and breathable
- good for warm weather
- Not warm enough for winter
An afghan is another type of blanket that is both warm and beautiful. These blankets are made of wool, cotton, linen, or other natural materials. Furthermore, afghans can be knitted or crocheted.
There are many kinds of afghan blankets, such as mile-a-minute or motif afghans. Although afghans are warm, they are often used as a decoration, like throw blankets. But you will most likely see them thrown over a chair or a couch rather than on a bed.
Afghan blankets can be a bit difficult to clean, so we recommend dry cleaning. However, if you are up for it, you can also hand wash them and leave them to air dry.
- Dry clean or hand wash only
Not all blankets have a practical purpose — some just look pretty. And that’s exactly the case with coverlets. Coverlets are very thin blankets used only as decoration. So, you place them over the bed, careful for the edges not to reach the floor and not to cover the pillows.
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Coverlet does not provide any warmth, so you can use it over another, more practical blanket.
- Looks nice
- Only for decorative purposes
Bedspreads are very similar to coverlets but are bigger. So, they are designed to reach the floor and cover the entire bed and pillows.
But just like coverlets, bedspreads are too thin to provide any kind of warmth. Therefore, you should use them only as decoration.
- Cover the whole bed
- Thin and only used as decoration
Sherpa is a special kind of blanket that is both lightweight and very warm. It is made of synthetic material, and its two sides have a different feel to them. One side is a smooth flannel, while the other is a fuzzy fleece. The fuzzy side is for those of us who like to snuggle.
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- Fur-like fleece side
- Can wear down after some time
If you are in the market for blankets, it’s good to know the names of different materials and some pros and cons of each fabric.
Wool is probably one of the most well-known blanket materials and definitely the warmest. Therefore, wool blankets are preferred by those who like to feel extra warm during cold winter nights. These blankets are usually woven or knit and have a fringe.
The thing that makes wool blankets so great are tiny pockets of air that are a part of the fiber itself. These pockets keep cold air out and warm air in, similar to waffle blankets. So, not only are wool blankets warm, but breathable as well.
And wool blankets have a few more benefits. For example, these blankets are naturally fire-resistant, so you can safely keep them near heating devices. Moreover, wool is biodegradable. Hence, wool blankets are eco-friendly and sustainable.
Furthermore, wool is naturally antibacterial, which means it is difficult for the microbes to multiply. So, there’s no need to wash these blankets as often. And the fact that you can wash it only occasionally comes in handy because wool, when soaked, takes ages to dry.
Moreover, if you are into outdoor activities, like camping, you should know that wool blankets are slightly water repellent. Hence, if there’s rain, you won’t get wet.
That being said, some people don’t like wool blankets because they can feel rough and itchy against the skin.
- Great for outdoor activities
- Good bedcover, you can easily layer it
- Take a long time to dry
- Itchy and rough against skin
Another great blanket material is cotton. Cotton blankets are very soft and breathable but not as warm as wool. However, what makes cotton so popular is that these blankets are hypoallergenic, making them a perfect choice for babies, kids, and anyone with sensitive skin or allergies.
Cotton blankets are easy to clean, but they can get heavy when wet and take a long time to dry. Furthermore, they are soft and the best option for summer nights and warm weather since they provide a cool feel. However, they won’t feel warm enough during cold winter nights.
Moreover, cotton blankets are flammable, so they are not a good choice for camping and outdoor activities.
- Not very warm
Silk is the softest natural material. Moreover, it looks and feels luxurious. This type of blanket is recommended for those living in a warm climate since it is breathable and lightweight.
- Not very warm
Down comforters are those filled with soft duck or goose feathers. These blankets are thinner than comforters and provide less warmth. Still, they are great at keeping the heat close to the body. So, they are an ideal choice for those who feel that comforters are too much.
However, people who are allergic to feathers might want to steer clear of down blankets.
- Might cause an allergic reaction
Fleece blankets are not very expensive, so you can easily find them everywhere. These blankets usually consist of some form of polyester or different synthetic materials.
Another great thing about fleece blankets is that they are hypoallergenic. Moreover, they are as warm as wool but lightweight.
- Synthetic material
Many blankets on the market today have some percentage of polyester. For example, polyester and cotton blends are extremely popular because you get both soft and durable blankets.
Polyester blankets can last a long time without losing color or shape, no matter how much you wash and dry them. On the other hand, this material is not very breathable and will stick to your skin when wet.
- Easy to clean
- Not breathable
Acrylic blankets consist of synthetic polymer. These blankets were wildly popular at one point because they have many similarities to wool. For example, they provide a wool-like feel and texture as well as plenty of warmth. Moreover, they are moth resistant, so you can store them for a long time.
On the other hand, they are not very breathable and are extremely bad for the environment.
- Wool-like feel
- Moth resistant
- Not breathable
- Not environmentally-friendly
You will find vellux blankets in most hotel rooms, and they are usually made of nylon and foam. Vellux blankets are durable and warm, and you can use them for a long time before they show any signs of wear and tear. Also, they are hypoallergenic.
- Very durable
- Synthetic material
These blankets are a mix of different fibers, such as nylon, rayon, and polyester. Microfiber blankets are tightly woven, which means they won’t wrinkle easily or trap dirt. So, they might be a good choice for people suffering from allergies.
Microfiber blankets are long-lasting but will melt if you expose them to heat. So, it would be best to keep them away from heating devices.
- Don’t collect dirt
- Can melt under high temperatures
We’ve been seeking comfort and warmth under blankets since the beginning of human history.
Of course, the first blankets were made of animal skin, leaves, and plants, and later on, weaved using some natural materials such as cotton or wool. Today, we have various types of blankets, and some of them even serve a specific purpose.
Basically, human beings love blankets. Not only do they keep us warm, but they also make every space look cozier. Even those who live in warmer areas need a blanket at some point during the night. When we hit the REM stage, we lose the ability to regulate the core body temperature, and we become cold.
In addition, many studies have confirmed that certain types of blankets can help reduce some mental health issues like anxiety and insomnia. The truth is, we feel safe and protected when we are under the blanket, which increases serotonin levels, and decreases stress hormones at the same time.
So, since blankets are so handy and beneficial, everyone should have at least one at home.
The main purpose of your blanket is to provide warmth and comfort in bed or a decorative touch to your room. We hope that this list will make it easier for you to understand different types of blankets, and help you choose a perfect one for your home.