Homedit is supported by our readers. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

Understanding the Different Types of Blankets

Blankets can be reduced to the simple definition of being a piece of cloth that covers a large part of a person’s body. However, blankets have turned from mere bedding items to trinkets with plenty of significance.

Types of Blankets

Some children have their own comfort blankets, which soothe them and help them feel secure. Adults have their favorite blankets too, most of the time, but that’s usually because they prefer one material over some of the other options. Whatever the case, blankets are a must-have, so let’s talk about all the different types of blankets.

Top 3 Blanket picks for warmth and comfort

Best Wool Blanket: Skelly Wool Blanket

“This might be the best money I have ever spent. I wish we had them years ago instead of 2 or 3 blankets on the bed in order to be warm in the winter.” (Customer review)

Best Weighted Blanket: YnM Weighted Blanket

With a lot of new weighted blankets popping out, YnM is one of the brands you can trust, excelling through proper construction, quality materials, and plenty of product design, size, and weight options.

Best Electric Blanket: Beautyrest Blanket

With 20 different temperature settings, 10 shut-off settings, a delicate cover, and the ability to be cleaned in the washing machine, everything seems to recommend the Beautyrest electric blanket.

Types of Blankets

While there are plenty of different ways to label the blankets that currently exist on the market, here are the most common categories that are currently raving amongst sleepers:

Throw

A throw blanket usually describes an item that’s used around the house and not necessarily in the bed. It’s mostly seen as a decorative item rather than serving the purpose of keeping you warm. Throw blankets usually measure 50 x 70 inches and they are lighter compared to the average sleeping blanket. You can usually see throw blankets draped over the couch or an accent chair.

Duvet

A duvet is a soft, plush quilt made with different fillings. It originated in Europe and is usually stuffed with down. A great choice for bedrooms, these are available in a variety of colors and designs. Duvets are typically made to fit over the sheets. Most duvets are easy to clean with a conventional household washing machine. However, some require special care and cleaning.

Comforter

The American duvet is known as a comforter, and it features similar construction to its European counterpart, with layers of down, feathers, and synthetic fibers. Also, comforters tend to be less heavy than duvets. This means that they may feel less fluffy and may not be as flat as a duvet. A comforter is typically used without a duvet cover. Although the absence of a cover requirement will make it seem like the comforter is the obvious choice, it doesn’t guarantee that they will be easier to clean because of that. However, it can also be used to protect the comforter against additional stains and damage.

Quilt

Quilts are a specific type of blanket that’s characterized by an inner layer plus some extra material, with the two of these being stitched together. They are available with plenty of decorative designs. Quilts are usually easier to tell apart from other types of blankets because of their multi-layered construction.

Wool

Wool is the most widely used material for blankets. They are often manufactured to be used daily and are not intended for decorative purposes. While many fabrics are used to make blankets, wool is one of the most appreciated ones because it can trap warmth underneath, but also allows the skin to breathe and has moisture-wicking properties. However, it is also more expensive compared to, let’s say, a cotton blanket.

Weighted

This is a very specific type of blanket and one that’s different from all the others we’ve talked about so far. Weighted blankets fulfill a different role compared to that of a decorative blanket or one that’s designed to keep you warm and are usually considered to be a rather controversial item. These blankets are also made of multiple layers and have added weight, with a single blanket weighing between five and 30 pounds. These blankets were designed to put added pressure on the human body for a bunch of different therapeutic reasons. It is believed that the weight from these blankets will stimulate the release of certain positive hormones, while inhibiting negative stimuli that lead to anxiety, stress, ADHD, PTSD episodes, and more.

Electric

A bed blanket is a type of electrical device that’s used to heat a bed. It can be made up of an under blanket, an over-blanket, or a duvet. In the UK and Canada, both types are referred to as electric blankets. A good electric blanket has a control unit that can vary the amount of heat it produces. It can also be used to keep the bed warm while the user is sleeping.

How to Wash Different Types of Blanket

Cleaning a blanket can sometimes be as easy as throwing it in the washing machine, yet it’s not always that easy. The most important thing is to always read the manufacturer’s instructions to see what they recommend as the best cleaning practices. Let’s review the types of blankets we listed earlier and see how they can be cleaned:

Throw

Cleaning a throw blanket is going to depend on what type of material it’s made from. It is best if you wash your throw blanket alone and use a cold-water delicate cycle. Use a moderate amount of liquid detergent, as adding too much might make rinsing the blanket more difficult. It’s usually not recommended to use a fabric softener for a throw blanket.

Duvet

It’s a good idea to treat stains before washing to help make their appearance look new. This is a good time to check for rips and tears since the goal is to clean your bedding, NOT to clean the duvet fill out of the washer. To avoid getting stuck in the machine, remove the duvet cover. It will help spread the bedding out as much of an area as possible. Put the tennis balls in a clean sock and tie it to prevent them from coming out. Then, wash them with warm water to remove the sweat and oils. Use about half a normal load of soap and place it into the machine’s detergent dispenser. Use a gentle cleaning cycle with warm water. You might also want to throw in an extra spin and rinse cycle.

Comforter

Before washing, spot-treat any stains with a cleaning product such as Woolite or a mixture of baking soda and water. For a white comforter, mix half a cup of bleach and two gallons of cool water. Let the solution sit for five minutes before washing. Make sure that the comforter fits properly in the washer. If it doesn’t, the filling may get compressed and the garment may not get completely clean. Use a gentle or natural detergent. If possible, add an extra rinse after each cycle. After washing, transfer your comforter to the dryer. Use the tennis balls or down fluffer rings to evenly distribute the filling. To evenly distribute the filling, remove the comforter from the dryer and fluff it.

Quilt

Before washing a quilt, you need to check for color fastening. Moist a white cloth with cold water and rub it against the different colors you notice on the quilt. If there is a transfer of color between the white cloth and the quilt, don’t wash it at all. Instead, use a professional dry cleaner. Before you wash your quilt, try a stain remover or solution that’s made for use on fabrics. Follow the package’s instructions to remove the stain without damaging the quilt. To avoid staining your quilt, avoid placing it in a deep sink or tub.

Also, be sure that the water in the tub or sink is clean and has no residue. Place the quilt in the water, completely submerged. By moving the quilt around in water using your hand, you will loosen any dirt. Use a liquid detergent that doesn’t have any perfume. After the quilt has been allowed to soak in water for about 10 minutes, drain the tub and add more fresh water on top. Add half a cup of distilled white vinegar to rinse any detergent residue and make the colors more vivid. Repeat the rinsing process until all the detergent is completely gone. Use a white sheet to make a loop around the quilt. Roll the quilt around the loop, and then let the water drip over the tub. Place the quilt on the floor covered in towels, and place some more towels on top of it. Roll to make sure excess water is absorbed. To avoid damaging the quilt, move it to another bed of dry towels. This method will help minimize the amount of water that gets into the quilt. A fan can help with faster drying of the quilt.

Wool

Hang the wool blanket in a well-ventilated place to make it feel fresh again. Grab a soft-bristled brush to clean the blanket making sure all strokes are made in the same direction. For stains, use a solution made with vinegar, club soda, or mild detergent. Soak the stain and use a clean cloth to blot it. Use wool-safe detergent and fill the washing machine with cold water, letting the blanket soak inside for about 15 minutes. Wash the blanket using a gentle cycle for a couple of minutes. Then, switch to the rinse cycle and allow it to run until the end. If you notice any suds on the fabric, rinse it again. Roll up the blanket in a clean bath towel to absorb excess water. Use more than one towel to completely remove the water. Hang the blanket outside to allow the blanket to dry, but avoid direct sunlight. This will help the blanket retain its softness.

Weighted

There are three ways to clean a weighted blanket, and the first one is to dry on low heat. This method is very safe and effective for most weighted blankets. When using a regular dryer, make sure that the machine has enough room to dry your weighted blanket. Air drying is a safer and more effective method to use when cleaning weighted blankets. If your blanket has metal beads, chains, and other filler, it should be fine to use. Air drying helps prevent pilling on certain fabrics, such as fleece. Some materials will require dry cleaning, but the majority of weighted blankets can be washed at home.

Electric

Remove all controls and cords from an electric blanket before cleaning it. If you have a standard washing machine, spread the blanket evenly inside the drum. If it’s too lightweight, throw in a few lint-free towels to help balance the load. Use cool-to-warm water and regular detergent, picking a short or a gentle cycle. Don’t use a high spinning speed to prevent damage to the inner wires of the blanket. Wash the blanket for about two minutes and quickly switch to the rinse cycle. Set the dryer to an air-only setting and remove the blanket while it’s still damp. Allow it to fully dry on a drying rack.

Types of Blankets

Materials to Consider

Naturally, not all blankets are created the same, and the materials that are used to make them will determine a lot of blanket-related properties, from breathability to heat retention. The most common materials that are used to manufacture blankets include:

  • Soft and plush, cotton is used in various bedding products due to its properties. It is generally smooth and has a pleasant feel.
  • Wool is a material that is known for its antibacterial and lightweight properties. It is very versatile and can be used all year-round.
  • Cashmere is a type of soft and lightweight material that is similar to wool. Its soft feel pairs well with many of the properties of wool.
  • Down is produced by the underside of the feathers of geese and ducks. It is very soft and has a great insulating effect.
  • Polyester is a low-cost alternative to cotton for blankets. It has properties that can give it various textures and properties.
  • Fleece is a type of synthetic material that has similar properties to wool. It is often used as an alternative to wool for people with respiratory conditions.
  • Acrylic is a synthetic material that is warm and hypoallergenic. It is easily washed and is cheaper than wool and cashmere.

What to Look for in a Blanket

When you’re out shopping for a new blanket, it’s important to note that some features are more useful for your needs, while others may not be as important. Knowing what to look for will narrow down your choices and help you pick the blanket that’s perfect for your individual needs and those of your family members. When shopping for a blanket, be on the lookout for:

  • First of all, determine what type of blanket you need. This involved knowing the different blanket types listed above, but also the properties of the different materials that are used to make these blankets. If you want something lightweight for summer use, a thin cotton blanket might do the trick. For cold winters, a down comforter is a much better choice. Weighted blankets are worth trying if you have certain problems and conditions that prevent you from resting, while throw blankets are more decorative than anything else.
  • Then, make sure you take a look at the weave. A loose weave can make a blanket less effective at keeping heat in. A tighter weave is generally more durable and provides more heat, but it can also cause issues with breathability and sweating.
  • Durability is another important aspect when choosing a blanket. The weave and material of a blanket will also affect the longevity of the product. Usually, materials like down and wool are durable but require more maintenance and cleaning. How often you use it will affect its longevity. It’ll also need to be washed regularly to prevent it from getting damaged.
  • The size of the blanket plays a huge part in the shopping decision, especially if you need a product that’s big enough to cover at least two people. Most standard blankets are made in accordance with the mattress size. However, there are exceptions such as throw blankets that are smaller.
  • With some blanket types, you have a wide array of colors and patterns to choose from. A blanket can be used to complement or contrast the other bedding in your bedroom. It can also serve as an accent color.

Best Types of Blankets

Smyrna Original Turkish Throw Blanket

Smyrna Original Turkish Throw BlanketView in gallery

The Smyrna is one of our favorite throw blankets, available in a bunch of different colors that look amazing because the product itself has a very neat design. It’s made entirely out of organic cotton and OEKO-TEX certified Anatolian yarn, having a soft and lightweight feel. It measures 50 x 60 inches and has a Boho design that could make it blend right into multiple decor settings.

Utopia Bedding Comforter Duvet Insert

Utopia Bedding Comforter Duvet InsertView in gallery

One of the most popular and cost-friendly duvets that you’ll find online is the Utopia Bedding one. It’s a duvet insert made with microfiber that features a 350 gsm filling. The piped edges provide elegant details, while the box stitching is present to prevent the fill from shifting and creating cold spots while you’re sleeping. It’s a machine-washable product that’s available in a lot of standard mattress sizes and eight beautiful colors.

All Season Down & Feather Blend Comforter

All Season Down & Feather Blend ComforterView in gallery

When you want an affordable comforter with natural down fill, this Elle Decor option is totally worth checking out. It’s covered entirely in cotton, offering a soft and breathable surface that feels really pleasant against the skin. It has a sewn-through box-stitch construction and a fill level that makes it great for year-round use. As for the fill, we’re talking 90 percent white goose feathers and 10 percent white goose down.

Skelly Wool Blanket

Skelly Wool BlanketView in gallery

Wool blankets are perfect for chilly nights and, while some people don’t particularly like the way wool feels against the skin, one can’t contest the value of this type of material. The Skelly wool blanket is one of the best products in this category. It feels soft even on sensitive skin and is entirely hypoallergenic. It has a moisture-wicking design that prevents you from feeling discomfort as heat is trapped underneath the blanket. It comes with double-stitched satin binding and is available in multiple sizes and color options.

YnM Weighted Blanket

YnM Weighted BlanketView in gallery

When it comes to weighted blankets, YnM has made quite a name for itself, offering one of the best and most affordable products on the market. It can be used together with a duvet cover to keep the exterior layer protected. Speaking of layering, there are seven of them in total, designed to provide enough cushioning and protection for the glass beads in the middle, so that the blanket can do its job without you feeling the shape of the beads inside. There are tons of colors and patterns to choose from, as well as multiple sizes and weight options.

Beautyrest Blanket

Beautyrest BlanketView in gallery

As far as electric blankets go, this Beautyrest product is one of our favorite options. Your comfort is ensured by the soft flexible wires and ultra-soft microlight plush fabric. It has a sherpa lining that matches the comforter’s color and gives extra warmth and loft. The heated blanket has a 10-auto shut-off feature and 20 temperature options, allowing you to create the exact temperature you want. It can also be machine washed for convenience.

FAQ

What are different types of blankets called?

Blankets usually have different names based on the materials they’re made from or what purpose they serve. You have throw blankets, comforters, bedspreads, quilts, weighted blankets, electric blankets, cotton blankets, wool blankets, and more.

Which type of blanket is best?

There is no such thing as the best blanket because every shopping decision is subjective and depends on your needs. Some people find that cotton blankets are best for them because other materials make them itchy or trigger allergies. Others love natural down comforters but can’t use them because they are allergic to natural down. So don’t let anyone tell you that one blanket is the absolute best, as it depends on what you need.

What are the thick blankets called?

Duvet and comforters are usually called thick blankets because they are considerably thicker compared to some of the other options on the market.

What are those small blankets called?

They are called throw blankets because they have a standard small size, are made from a single layer of fabric, and are created mostly for decorative purposes.

Conclusion

Finding the right blanket can be a challenging task. This guide will help narrow it down to the best options in several categories. With so many different types available, it can be really easy to get lost in the market offer, but once you know what different materials stand for and what the features that characterize different blanket types represent, it will be easier for you to target the blankets that pose the highest interest for you.