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Last updated: July 08, 2021
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Blankets were originally made from wool because the material is naturally warm, allows air circulation, and is even fire retardant. While modern blankets consist of different materials, we still look for the same properties in addition to some extra benefits as well – but with so many options out there, how do you choose?
Potential buyers can tell if the blanket they’re looking at can fulfill the needs mentioned above and more by looking at the features. Examples include the cover material, filling, sizes available, and even colors. Having reviewed the best blankets available according to the features, we’ve listed and ranked the top-tier options on our list of favorites below.
The Layla Weighted Blanket is an excellent example of what the best weighted blankets in the market have to offer. You get a mink-like fur surface on one side, while the opposite side features 100% cotton. Both sides feature a hexagon quilting design. As for the filling inside the blanket, you find glass beads sewn between poly-fill batting. The blanket is available in three sizes, namely Twin, Queen, and King. That said, in our opinion, it’s pretty disappointing that the product is only available in one color.
This blanket is for those who have trouble relaxing in bed which can make sleeping impossible.
Why is it special?
We liked the plush and soft mink-like fur surface as it’s very comfortable to touch. The cotton side of the blanket is soft due to the high thread count. We also liked that the blanket helps users relax, allowing them to experience deeper, longer, and more relaxing sleep. Additionally, despite having glass beads in its construction, the fact that they are sewn into poly-fill batting ensures the blanket remains quiet throughout the night. Lastly, the blanket is evenly weighted, and part of the reason is the hexagonal quilting.
What are the flaws?
One downside we noticed is that pet hair is prone to sticking on the surface of the blanket, and this could be a problem for those with puppies and cats as well as allergies. Additionally, while the weight is an asset, it can prove to be a problem since it makes it harder to clean. Lastly, repositioning it after it falls off the bed will definitely be a hassle, especially if you’re half asleep.
The Luxome Cooling Weighted Blanket, as the name suggests, is another weighted blanket to feature on the list. It is available either with an integrated cover or a removable one depending on your preference. Also, it features 1mm glass beads well distributed to ensure there is no weight bunching during use. Notably, the manufacturer uses less filling to keep the beads in one place compared to most other competitors hence the thin size. The blanket is also machine washable.
This blanket is for those who have trouble sleeping cool as the 300TC bamboo lyocell cover has thermo-regulating properties. Furthermore, it comes with other beneficial properties, including being hypoallergenic, eco-friendly, and moisture-wicking.
Why did it make our list?
Buyers get to choose between an integrated cover and a removable one. Also, we noticed the luxury 300TC bamboo cover is very soft and has even been likened to 1000 thread count Egyptian cotton. Notably, this cover has additional positive attributes such as being moisture-wicking, hypoallergenic, and even eco-friendly. Another feature we liked is that the blanket is slightly thinner than most other weighted blankets due to reduced filling and the fact that it uses 1mm glass beads. Lastly, the blanket is machine washable.
What is not ideal about it?
In our opinion, the blanket might be too heavy for some users. This is especially true when you pick the extra-large option for Queen and King size beds. Consequently, the 30 lbs option makes it harder for users to toss and turn in bed. Additionally, the weight of the blanket can lead to some discomfort and pain by the time they wake up. Lastly, if it falls off the bed or you have to readjust it at night, the weight can make it a hassle.
Another alternative is the eLuxury Cotton Blanket which is available for Twin/Twin XL, Full/Queen, and King bed sizes. Additionally, potential buyers have their choice of six colors to choose from. The blanket is made entirely of cotton with no extra components. As such, it’s lightweight, and besides bed use, it could make an excellent picnic blanket.
This option is for buyers who want a lightweight, breathable blanket available in various colors.
Why is it special?
In our opinion, the color options provided give potential buyers the option to mix and match the blanket color with the décor in the bedroom. After all, there are up to six colors to choose from. Additionally, the blanket is lightweight. As such, adjusting it at night should prove a cakewalk. Furthermore, the weight also allows the product to be used as a picnic blanket. Lastly, the material is easier to wash compared to weighted alternatives.
What are the flaws?
One problem we noticed is that the weave of the blanket can easily snag onto objects and surfaces. This includes things like toenails, fingernails, and other protrusions you may encounter in bed. Additionally, the 100% cotton construction may be a problem when washed since it tends to shrink. Consequently, buyers may need to avoid cleaning it often. Another potential problem is that cotton construction is not flame retardant. As such, in case of an accident, the blanket would burn up fairly fast.
A contender for one of the best-heated blankets in the market is the Carolina Rustica Heated Blanket, although it’s a throw blanket rather than a full-size bed alternative. Like the eLuxury Cotton Blanket, you can get it in six colors. However, this option is made from microlight plush fabric. It also has three built-in heat settings to pick from. That said, the heating function shuts off automatically after 2 hours of use. Lastly, despite having electrical components, the blanket is machine washable.
The Carolina Rustica Heated throw blanket is a perfect purchase for the winter as it has a heating function. Also, it’s an excellent option for staying warm on the couch as you watch TV.
What are its best features?
First, we liked that potential buyers can pick from six colors to match the different home decors and their preferences. Next, the blanket comes with a heating function and a remote for the varying heat settings. Notably, the system can also adjust the heating temperature to match spot temperature and even overall temperature in the user’s vicinity. Furthermore, the heating function shuts off automatically after two hours for safety. However, despite the obvious electronic components, the blanket is still machine washable, and keeping it clean should be a cinch.
What could be improved?
In our opinion, one of the downsides is the risk it poses to kids and pets. This is especially true for pets that might try to scratch or bite into the blanket while it’s working. Additionally, since it’s an electric appliance of sorts, it poses a fire risk, especially in case of an electrical malfunction. This also makes putting the blanket in a laundry machine somewhat risky despite the okay by the manufacturer.
Next is the Bear Weighted Blanket, which holds some similarities to other weighted blankets listed. One example is in the glass beads used in construction. Furthermore, it has a quilted design that’s pleasing to look at and helps keep the weight of the beads well distributed. The blanket is available in one size and even has a hypoallergenic polyester microfiber cover.
This blanket is for people with anxiety as the deep pressure stimulation from the weight of the product helps people relax by prompting the release of serotonin and melatonin.
What stands out?
We felt the blanket is a good fit for minimizing anxiety and helping users relax, which allows them to sleep better. This is because it gives them the feeling of being hugged. Additionally, the weight is evenly distributed across the blanket, with the quilting added to ensure the beads don’t move around. Speaking of the quilting, it gives the blanket a pleasing outlook that will look good on any bed.
What cons did we manage to find?
One of the first downsides we noticed is that the blanket is only available in one size. As such, it won’t work for a lot of people, given their different bed sizes. Also, there are no varying weight options to fit the needs of different users. Furthermore, the blanket is not machine washable. As such, you can only hand wash or spot clean the blanket, which makes cleaning it more of a hassle.
The PlushBeds Down Filled Blanket is also a worthy feature on this list. Instead of using beads, it comes with down filling, making it lighter than most weighted alternatives. Also, the down filling is kept stationary by the box quilt stitch that lines the entire blanket. This is in addition to the 3-inch satin binding. That said, the exterior is made from 230 thread count cambric cotton. The blanket is also available in four sizes, including King, Queen, Full, and Twin.
The option is for people who want a lightweight but warm and soft blanket.
What are our favorite features?
The size options are great and will fit a variety of bed sizes. Also, while it is filled with down, the blanket still manages to be pretty thin. The exterior is made of cambric cotton, which is soft to touch and breathable. Another thing we liked is the box quilt stitch that gives the blanket a pleasing outlook, all while ensuring the down filling doesn’t shift inside the blanket. Lastly, the material construction allows for machine washing which makes cleaning the blanket a lot easier.
What could be better?
One somewhat disappointing aspect of the blanket is the cost. It’s fairly expensive since the materials used in construction are natural. This includes the down on the inside of the blanket as well as the cotton on the outside. Additionally, some individuals are naturally allergic to down, which means they can’t use the blanket. Lastly, the blanket takes too long to dry since you have to use the lowest dryer setting.
The Allswell Organic Kantha Blanket features 100% organic cotton construction and is made in Portugal. Notably, the product is made using generations-old quilt techniques with origins in India and Bangladesh. These result in attractive and easy to look at tonal-grey hues on the surface of the blanket. However, the singular color option may not work for everyone. Also, being a cotton product means there should be no issues with occasionally putting it in a washing machine. As for the sizes, there are three options.
This blanket is for those who want an organic option that easily fits their bed size.
Why did it make our list?
The blanket comes with beautiful patterns on the surface that are the result of the quilting technique used. Since the quilting techniques are from India and Bangladesh, the blanket is seemingly unique, especially in the US market. We also noticed the cotton construction is soft and breathable. Furthermore, it seems there should be no issues with cleaning the blanket in a washing machine. Lastly, it features 100% organic cotton construction and thus is a better pick for the environment.
What is not ideal about it?
Notably, the singular grey color available may not be a good match for the décor in some bedrooms. Also, the raw edges are not everybody’s cup of tea. Furthermore, it’s not the warmest option in the market and thus may not work well for the chilly months of winter. However, it should work just fine as a summer blanket. We also mentioned that it features 100% cotton construction which tends to shrink when washed. Lastly, cotton is not a fire retardant material.
Things to Consider
As you’ve probably learned over years of experience, not all blankets are the same. The variances in the filling, outer covers, sizes, extra features, and more lead to considerable differences in the experience. One blanket may be too warm, while another may be too cold. Additionally, you can get one that feels great to you but is not available in a size that matches your bed. Due to these disparities, getting a blanket that’s perfect for you may seem like an uphill task, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the features. However, we demystify the selection process and provide a few tips and pointers in the buying guide below. As such, you won’t need to struggle with choosing a blanket purchase.
Features to consider before you buy a blanket
For any blanket you come across, the features should tell you about its capabilities, whether it’s available in your bed size, as well as whether it caters to your present needs. Understandably, the jargon used to describe these features can leave you with more questions than answers. As such, we simplify matters in the section below therefore allowing you an easier time sifting through your options.
One thing you must consider before you pick out a blanket purchase is the reason why you’re buying one in the first place. It could be because the one you own isn’t warm enough. Alternatively, you could be having trouble sleeping with your current set of beddings. Other possible reasons include allergies, you want a blanket for use on your couch, you have difficulty relaxing while in bed, and more.
As such, each blanket you buy should be able to fulfill its intended mandate. For instance, if you have allergies, your next blanket purchase should be hypoallergenic so you sleep more peacefully. Additionally, if you can’t seem to relax, weighted blankets like the Bear Weighted Blanket offer deep pressure stimulation that allows users to relax more easily.
There are also other considerations, such as when your blanket is meant for couch use rather than bed use. Ultimately, you should think carefully about how you intend to use the product, and that should provide some insight into your purchase.
Also, consider the type of blanket you’d like to purchase as they come with different upsides and downsides. Some of the blanket types included in the list above are weighted, throw blankets, and electric blankets. Weighted blankets are among the most popular on the market today. They do not only look gorgeous, but they also feel very different – additional weight helps to reduce anxiety and fall asleep faster. Learn more about this type of blanket in our other posts and reviews:
Some other examples of blanket types that you may encounter include comforters, quilts, Sherpa blankets, chenilles, vellux, shearling, and more. Comforters are made by incorporating a warm fill material in between two large pieces of fabric. These blankets also retain heat despite being fairly lightweight.
Quilts feature three different components. One is a top layer made from various fabric pieces sewn together, which allows for endless design capabilities. Typically, the middle layer is a thin fill material that’s either cotton or wool. Finally, there’s the bottom layer that’s likely just a large woven fabric.
Sherpa blankets are made from synthetic materials and typically feature two different sides. One is fleece, while the other is often a flannel fabric. Notably, the flannel surface is smooth, while the fleece alternative is warm and fuzzy.
A unique aspect of Chenille blankets is they feature complex designs on the fabric. Also, you get your choice of three materials to pick from, including cotton, rayon, and acrylic. These blankets are warm despite their highly decorative surfaces.
Vellux blankets consist mainly of two layers of polyurethane foam. These are then bonded together using soft nylon fibers. One of the benefits of such a blanket is it washes easily and doesn’t pill or shrink.
On the other hand, shearling blankets are made of antibacterial sheepskin processed without removing the wool. These tend to become softer the longer you use them. However, this is also dependent on proper care and maintenance.
As for throw blankets, they’re typically smaller than other blankets and are used mainly for decoration. However, since it’s often already on the couch, you can use it for extra comfort as you watch TV or a movie.
Lastly, there are electric blankets like the Carolina Rustica Heated Blanket. Typically they feature some synthetic material construction. Inside this material, they include some electric heating elements, allowing you to adjust the temperature by pressing a button.
There are also a few other types depending on the materials used in construction, such as cotton, wool, down, bamboo, and fleece blankets.
The materials used to make the blanket will also affect your experience. Some of the more common blanket materials are as mentioned below:
Although there is some minimal shrinkage, cotton generally tends to hold up well to frequent washing. Depending on the cotton blend used, the blanket could be 100% organic. Also, there are heavy and lightweight cotton blankets; hence you can pick one depending on the season.
Woolen blankets are still popular today, and as we mentioned before, they’re warm since they provide excellent insulation to the user. That said, some people are allergic to wool, and it irritates their skin.
Blankets that are made of down typically have a layer of down in between two fabric layers. However, the down used could be natural and feathery or a synthetic variant. Like wool, some people are allergic to natural down, in which case it makes more sense to get the synthetic option. One example of a down blanket is the PlushBeds Down Filled Blanket listed above.
Synthetic blankets are some of the most affordable options available, depending on the synthetic fabric used. Some examples include polyester, acrylic, and microfiber. While these blankets are warm, they tend to hoard loose threads, dust, hair, and even static electricity. Also, the cheapest ones don’t last long due to pilling and wear.
As for fleece blankets, they are some of the highest-rated in terms of being soft and cozy. Additionally, they’re relatively warm without being too heavy. Lastly, they have natural moisture-wicking properties and are a favorite for children’s beds.
Cashmere is a superior blend of wool, and thus blankets made from this material are some of the most expensive in the market. However, they compensate for the cost by being lighter, softer, finer, and even stronger than other wool blends.
Also, there may be some other components incorporated, such as the glass beads in weighted blankets.
Another consideration is the sizes available for each blanket. Usually, people buy a blanket that matches their bed size. For instance, if you have a Queen size bed, you can get a Queen size blanket.
There are blanket options for Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, and Cal King size beds. That said, some options like the Carolina Rustica Heated Blanket are only available in one size. Depending on the intended uses, you can pick a blanket that matches your needs.
Learn all the nuances with the help of our guide to Blanket Sizes.
The colors available should also help you determine if the blanket is for you or not. Ideally, the blanket should be a good match for the décor in your bedroom. For instance, a maroon blanket makes an excellent pick if your bedroom is themed a similar color. However, a yellow blanket may not work for such a setup and will only make your bedroom look ugly.
While some options like the eLuxury Cotton Blanket are available in multiple colors, there are also those like the Allswell Organic Kantha Blanket that you can only find in one color. Consequently, it’s advisable to look at each blanket and the color options available before picking a purchase.
If it’s machine washable
Additionally, one blanket feature that could make your life easier or harder is if the product is machine washable. If it is, cleaning it is an easy matter, and you only need to leave it in a washing machine for a few minutes. If it isn’t, you’ll have to settle for hand washing or spot cleaning.
Also, for options that aren’t hypoallergenic, the allergens build up and increase over time. However, cleaning the blanket helps to remove them. That said, it becomes that much harder to eliminate allergens if you’re only allowed to spot clean the product.
Lastly, you should look at how the blanket is put together as that can affect the weight, feel, and a few other attributes. Knitted blankets, for instance, are heavy, warm, and more often than not made from either synthetic materials or wool.
Quilted blankets are quilted so they can keep the filling material from moving. That is why options like the Layla Weighted Blanket that have glass beads as filling are quilted. Quilting is also present in some down blankets.
On the other hand, some blankets are put together using thermal weaves. Consequently, they are suitable for circulating air, and they also tend to be lightweight.
As you can see, the attributes of each blanket are affected by whether it’s stitched, bound, or quilted and, as such, should be a critical factor in your selection process.
Tips to prolong your blanket’s lifespan
Notably, how you take care of your blanket will affect how long it lasts. To ensure it lasts as long as possible, here are a few tips:
You should use the gentle cycle any time you put the blanket in the washing machine. Furthermore, you should only use cold water for the process. Please note that you might need to wash the blanket at a commercial laundry machine since most residential options are too small.
Additionally, if you can help it, reduce the detergents and cleaning agents you use or opt for milder options. Some of the cleaning agents available lessen the lifespan of the fabrics in your blanket. Also, avoid using a tumble dryer as they are also bad for the fibers in the mattress fabric. Instead, you should hang the blankets out to dry.
Lastly, you can use a duvet cover to protect the blanket from damage. The fact that you can remove the cover and clean it as often as you want to will also help reduce the wear on your blanket caused by laundering.
One of the biggest advantages of weighted blankets is they provide deep pressure stimulation. As a result, your body increases serotonin and melatonin while at the same time reducing cortisol. Serotonin is a mood-boosting hormone, while melatonin helps you sleep better. As for cortisol, it’s a stress hormone, and reducing it will allow you to relax more in bed.
Notably, a weighted blanket will also help calm anxiety, reduce your heart rate, and allow you to relax enough to get some shuteye. Lastly, such a blanket tends to feel snug like a hug, and consequently, people feel a heightened sense of security when they use it.
Summer tends to be reasonably hot, and as such, you’ll need to consider this when choosing a blanket. Consequently, you’ll have to pick a blanket with good thermo-regulation properties. This includes breathability and airflow, as well as the ability to absorb moisture.
Cotton blankets like the Allswell Organic Kantha Blanket are the most preferred since they are light, breathable, and moisture-wicking. As such, the air will circulate in the blanket and allow you to sleep cool. Furthermore, with its moisture-wicking properties, it’s unlikely that you’ll wake up in a cold sweat.
Washing an electric blanket is relatively easy, and here is the process. Start by removing loose debris by shaking the blanket. Also, make sure you remove all detachable electrical components as well. Next, add the blanket to a washing machine. If it’s not a high-efficiency machine, you should spread the blanket out in the drum as much as possible.
After that, select a cool washing temperature and add some mild detergent. Fabric softener and bleach should be avoided as they might damage some electrical components. Also, always choose the gentle washer cycle.
Keep the wash cycles as short as possible. Two to three minutes should be enough, after which you skip to rinsing. After that, you remove and dry the blanket. Air drying is preferred since high heat can shrink the blanket and, in the process, damage the wires. Lastly, ensure the blanket is fully dry before plugging it in for use because water conducts electricity.
Notably, we were pretty impressed by the options on our list. In our editor’s pick, the Layla Weighted Blanket, for instance, the quality of the cover is very impressive. It also has additional features that we liked, such as being weighted and even incorporating poly-fill batting.
Additionally, some other top contenders for the title of “the best blanket” are the Carolina Rustica Heated Blanket, Bear Weighted Blanket, and our sixth option, the PlushBeds Down Filled Blanket, which all feature some impressive attributes. That said, the final decision on the purchase remains your responsibility, although we hope the write-up above can provide some assistance on the same.