Types of Blankets: It’s Time to Cozy up (2023)

This article describes everything you need to know about blankets, including throw blankets, electric blankets, safety blankets, and bedspreads.
Romeo Vitelli
Romeo Vitelli
Expert Writer
Received his doctorate in Psychology in 1987, spent fifteen years as a staff psychologist in Millbrook Correctional Centre. In 2003 went into full-time private practice. read more
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Last updated: August 22, 2023
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Nowadays, you can choose from an amazing selection of blankets as they have evolved over centuries along with fabric types and technology. Keeping warm was and always will be a priority for humankind; in prehistoric times, the blankets of choice might have been made of animal hides and plant material, whereas nowadays, they could be a by-product of petrochemicals. Today the selection of blankets is quite impressive and includes everything from baby blankets to afghan blankets to fleece blankets. There are electric blankets to keep you cozy in the winter, fire blankets to keep your body temperature up in emergencies (mostly keep in a car in case of a crisis), and weighted blankets that contain metal or glass balls to make you feel like you are being hugged. In this guide to types of blankets, you can decide which one suits your purpose and style sense the best.

Types of blankets by style

In this guide to the types of blankets available, we hope to assist you in making the best and most informed choice of covers so that you or your baby or your pet can be as comfortable and cozy at night as possible. We also discuss throws that are more for decorative and daytime use as well as bedspreads that are available in luxurious and rarer fabrics such as polyester-rayon, silk, and even Ultra-Suede.

However, before buying, it helps to decide what you need the blanket for, where and how it is going to be used, and what size of blanket you need. This informative article that we found online can help you decide what size of blanket is required for your purpose. Size is important as it also helps determine the style of blanket that you should choose. For instance, if you are looking for a bedspread, you want to get a blanket that will fit your single, double, queen, or king bed. The same goes for any over blankets or under blankets that you may use for a practical or decorative effect. Buying the right size of duvet matters as well, as it should at least fall to the corners of the mattress. However, don’t think that all bedspreads, comforters, or other bed coverings must drape to the floor of the bed. If your bedspread or cover falls short and only reaches the bottom edge of the mattress, you can add a decorative sham to the box spring to make up for the deficit. Other blankets, such as baby security or swaddling blankets, might be purposefully very small, not much larger than a lady’s square scarf.


Types of Blankets: It's Time to Cozy up (2023)
Comforters are usually sold in bedding sets that have coordinating separates and make decorating easy.

A comforter is a thin bedspread or quilt that is stitched to contain pockets of insulation filled with polyester insulation or duck down. It is usually thinner than a duvet, which often has the bulk of a thick sleeping bag. A quilt is technically a comforter as well and the thickness of a thin summer sleeping bag. Most comforters are machine washable and easily thrown in the dryer or dried out on a clothesline. The most difficult types of comforters to care for and clean are the ones stuffed with duck down. In this informative article, you will find tips for keeping your down comforter clean Trusted Source How to Clean a Down Comforter at Home: 12 Steps (with Pictures) To keep your down comforter fluffy and clean, you’ll want to wash it from time-to-time. www.wikihow.life , fresh, and in good repair.


A duvet is a very thick but light blanket that is very puffy but still substantial. A thick layer of down or packed polyester materials inside the duvet gives it insulating warmth in the winter. Duvets also allow your skin to breathe, offering coolness in the summer. Duvet covers are slipped on the duvet to prevent them from getting dirty. Depending on what it is made of, you might only be able to air out or dry clean some duvets. Here is a good article with proper advice on how to clean a duvet. Trusted Source How to wash a duvet? The best tips to clean your duvet - TODAY Can you wash your duvet? Learn the best tips for how to wash a duvet, how often you should be cleaning it, and more. www.today.com   


Quilts come in all kinds of sizes and styles. There are thick quilts, thin quilts, those with elaborate stitching or patchwork, and those stuffed with many different types of materials, from cotton batten to synthetic foam to duck down. Sometimes a thin decorative quilt such as a. patchwork quilt is used as a decorative coverlet. The major difference between a quilt and a coverlet is that a quilt is a bit thicker than a coverlet


A bedspread is a thin, elegant swath of fabric, often decorated with tassels or trim that covers the entire bed, including the sides. They are thinner than most bed covering and decorative in nature. Popular fabrics for bedspreads include silk, satin, rayon, velvet, chenille, and cotton. Some styles graze the floor, and some styles boast tassels on the hem.


Afghans are knitted or crocheted throw blankets. The yarn can be made of any fiber, including cotton or acrylic, but wool is the most popular medium. Often, they are decorative and boast knots, crocheted flowers, or rows of tassels. Afghans are not usually sized bigger than adult body-size. Toss them over a couch or chair for a casual look.

Electric blanket

Types of Blankets: It's Time to Cozy up (2023)
Electric blankets are designed to create a warm and cozy bed, but are not recommended for overnight use.

An electric blanket has thin wires inside of it that conduct heat throughout the fabric. The blanket plugs into an electrical outlet and comes with temperature controls in either a click style or dial style so you can adjust the temperature level.

Under blanket

An under blanket can be any type of blanket, acrylic, wool, or even a light quilt covered by a full bedspread. Sometimes the bedspread is folded over with the under blanket peeping out or folded over the main bedspread.

Over blanket

An over blanket can be any kind of blanket that is drawn over a bedspread to add extra warmth. These are usually cozier blankets or even electric blankets.

Throw blanket

A throw blanket is technically a blanket but not quite the same thing. It refers to a slightly smaller blanket, and they are often decorative and meant to be tossed over a chair or couch. Throw blankets are used as a fashionable accent in the country, French, rustic, or shabby chic styles of décor. There are many types of throw blankets, including afghans, patchwork quilts, wool throws, acrylic throws, woven cotton throws, and patchwork quilt throws.

Decorative throw blanket

A decorative blanket is sometimes called a coverlet. It’s not meant to be a practical item and is usually smaller than your actual bed cover. It is usually placed on top of the bed and is meant to be for show. A coverlet can give a theme to a bedspread that matches your room’s colors or other design elements. It can have patches or quilt work, boast a crocheted pattern or be cotton dyed batik

Fleece throw blanket

According to this informative article about fabrics Trusted Source What Is Fleece? And Is It Sustainable? - Good On You Have you ever wondered what impact our fleece jackets might have on the planet? goodonyou.eco , fleece is a synthetic insulating fabric made from polyester that is breathable, fast-drying, and very warm. You can buy fleece throw blankets in all kinds of interesting colors and designs as the throw blanket size takes prints well.

Electric throw blanket

An electric throw blanket usually has a plug with a cord and a dial or push-button temperature controls. It is exactly like a larger electric blanket except maybe meant more to cover just the knees or shoulders on a cold day

Weighted blanket

Types of Blankets: It's Time to Cozy up (2023)
Since stress and anxiety often interfere with sleep, the benefits of a weighted blanket may translate to better sleep for those suffering from stressful thoughts.

A weighted blanket is a physically comforting blanket that has square pockets filled with light weights. There are many weighted blankets, including those made of chenille, silk, cotton, polyester, and waterproof material. The fillers include plastic poly pellets, steel balls or beads, micro-glass beads, grains, beans, and sand. As the blanket drapes around the person, it makes them feel calm, secure, and like they are getting a hug. They are similar to a duvet, only quite heavy. Nectar offers a selection of quality weighted blankets.

However therapeutic, they can be a bit high maintenance. Know how to care for your weighted blanket properly; it is important to know what kind of filler is used as weights and whether or not your weighted blanket has removable weights or must be dry cleaned. This informative article talks about how to wash your weighted blanket.  

Emergency blanket

Emergency blankets are also known as survival blankets or heat sheets and are made of lightweight foil that keeps you warm by reflecting 90% of your own body heat. These blankets are also waterproof and windproof and good to keep in a vehicle or a boat in case of emergency or at your home in case of a power or heat outage.

Car blanket

Car blankets technically throw blankets made of acrylic, fleece, chenille, or wool. They are meant to use in emergencies or during long cold trips. They also come in 12-volt versions of electric blanket types that can be plugged into a car.

Wearable blanket

Wearable blankets come in many interesting designs. These blankets come with neck holes, armholes, hoods, and waist ties, allowing the person to fasten them to their body. A popular fabric for wearable blankets is cozy polar fleece.

Pet blanket

Pet blankets usually throw blankets and may be quite large, depending on the size of the dog. Pet blankets are offered in Microfibers, polar fleece, twill, and tufted cotton

Fire blanket

Fire blankets are made of fire-resistant fiberglass materials and are useful for smothering pan fires or wrapping around a person whose clothing is on fire. They work by smothering the entire surface that is flaming and cutting the oxygen that feeds the flames.

Travel blanket

A travel blanket can vary in size from up to 30″ to 50″. Technically they are a lightweight cotton blend, polyester, fleece, or wool and are meant to take in a car, boat, or airplane to protect your body from chills. Travel blankets are also used as covers for seats and cars and also used as blankets for dogs.

Swaddle blanket

A swaddle blanket is a square or triangle of cozy fabric, a polyester blend, or ribbed cotton weave that is used to wrap a newborn baby tightly to give them a sense of security. The simplest swaddle blanket is a triangle or square of fabric that can be folded to secure the baby. Modern versions have zippers and hoods that are more like sleep sacks than the true old-fashioned swaddling. Crocheted swaddling blankets are also popular and make great gifts.

Crocheted blanket

Crocheted blankets can be made out of any kind of yarn and can be made of loosely stitched together designs or a continuous row of knitted stitches. They range from being swaddling blankets to throw blankets to full-blown bedspreads.

Types of blankets by material

Blankets are often defined by the materials they are made of. For instance, an afghan throw is almost always made of yarn, either crocheted or knitted. A polar fleece pet blanket will be made of fleece. A silk bedspread will be made of silk or sometimes a silk-cotton blend. 

Natural material

Types of Blankets: It's Time to Cozy up (2023)
Melatonin and serotonin are both essential, natural products of the body to aid sleep.

Natural materials such as cotton wool and silk are considered organic and are often lighter and more breathable than artificial materials. Some drawbacks of natural materials are that they stain easily, and some people are allergic to natural fibers. However, they are usually easier to maintain and wash and become softer with each wash.


Cotton can be a softer, fluffy material, spun into yarn to make blankets or woven to make a soft, durable fabric. For a cool, soft, and comfortable sleep, try cotton sheets. They can stain easily but, in general, are easy to clean. Cotton is one of the best materials to sleep under in hot weather, according to this article about the best summer blankets.  Chenille is a woven fabric that is made from cotton or a cotton and silk blend that makes a very cozy, yet elegant blanket


Wool is a classic blanket material that is made from the woven fibers of fleece gathered from sheep. It is naturally fire and moisture resistant and also quite warm. However, many people are allergic to wool, making for a restless night, and wool can also attract moths. Wool can also feel quite rough on some people’s skin, in which case blankets made out of Merino wool gathered from the coats of Merino sheep are the softest and most tolerable for sensitive skins. The most comfortable is cashmere, but as it is so expensive, cashmere wool is usually only marketed as smaller throw blankets, shawls that are almost as big as throw blankets, or as a baby blanket.


Silk is a natural fiber produced by the silkworm to make their cocoons. It is then collected and woven into a soft, shiny material. Silk drapes beautifully, so it is often used for bedspreads. Silk pillows help keep long hair from tangling while you are asleep because the fabric is so slippery that it keeps your strands from knotting.

Synthetic material

Types of Blankets: It's Time to Cozy up (2023)
Blankets made of synthetic materials are warm but tend to attract static electricity, and they don’t breathe or allow moisture to escape.

Synthetic material refers to any fabric made out of artificial fibers, including polyester, acrylic, fleece, vellus, and microfiber. Mostly these fabrics do not encourage allergies. They are also easy to clean and wash, especially if the fabric is a bit water-resistant, as with polyester-rayon.


Polyester is an artificial synthetic fiber made from chemicals like petroleum. Bedding of all kinds, including polyester blankets, is often made out of a combination of both natural and organic fibers, such as a polyester-cotton blend. Polyester is very durable so it can offer strength to other organic fabrics. A drawback of polyester is that it is not very breathable and does not absorb moisture, like sweat. Environmentally sensitive people would probably do better with blankets not made out of polyester. A silkier polyester is viscose that is made from wood pulp, and it is sometimes used for bedspreads and duvet covers.


Acrylic is a popular alternative for those who are allergic to natural materials like wool. It is an entirely synthetic material made from petroleum or coal-based compounds that is very soft and easy to clean, but it does stain quite easily. The more it is machine washed, the softer it gets. Acrylic blankets with polyester-rayon faux satin edging have been a popular style of blanket for decades.


Fleece is a synthetic insulating fabric from a type of polyester called polyethylene terephthalate (PET). It is lightweight and allows moisture to evaporate. It is also very breathable and fast-drying, making it a popular choice for bedspreads, throw blankets, car blankets, and pet blankets.


Vellux is a fabric that is a unique hybrid fabric that is known for its durability. Polyurethane foam is layered between nylon fibers to create a light insulating blanket. Vellux blankets come in a variety of styles and textures, including sheared mink, plush, fleece, and microfleece. Vellux is used to make every type of blanket, from over blankets to throw blankets to pet blankets. Thicker nylon vellux blankets can take the place of a comforter and have a comforting soft velvety feel. These blankets are light as a feather, so if you like a heavier feel, this is not the blanket for you.


Microfiber cloth is made from a combination of polyester polyamide and polypropylene that is knitted, compressed, or woven into threads. Microfibre fabrics have many attributes, including water repellence, electrostatic, and softness. It is ideal for situations where heavy-duty blankets are needed, as would be the case with baby bedding, bedding for the incontinent, or camping blankets. Microfibre is often used as insulation for duvets and also in duvet covers and blankets that are Ultrasuede.

Which type of blanket is better for you

Types of Blankets: It's Time to Cozy up (2023)
The fabric should be based on individual preferences from how you sleep to any allergy concerns – there’s a blanket to suit your unique needs.

As blankets are generally meant to keep you warm and cozy at night, your choice of blanket is clearly going to be very personal. The first thing you need to assess is whether or not you are allergic to any type of fiber. Many people are allergic to wool, and therefore should avoid blankets made of that material. Some people cannot tolerate polyester-based microfibres because they have an environmental sensitivity to petroleum. A duvet made of duck down is a great choice for most people unless you are allergic to feathers. You can get great down comforters and duvets at Plushdown.

You might be thinking of purchasing a baby blanket. Most people are familiar with swaddling blankets that wrap the baby very tightly. When buying a baby blanket, it is better to get one that is smooth and light to prevent the baby from inhaling fibers or from smothering from a coverlet that is too heavy. There are also other types of baby blankets, many of them throw blankets that are quite small. Security blankets come with stuffed animals that are attached. The receiving blanket is decorative but cozy used when the baby is presented to friends and family. Sleep sacks are tightly sewn blankets and zipped up the baby’s body, and they were developed to help prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). New Born Baby Stimulation blankets are for the slightly older baby, and these blankets have numbers, alphabet, or animal designs on them to help stimulate the baby’s brain and help them to learn faster.

The style of your bedroom may also impact your choice of the blanket. For instance, contemporary modular or modern minimalist bedroom furnishings very much suit a duvet or comforter on the bed or a plain chenille cover and not much else, usually in a basic color. Shabby Chic styles fit the big fluffy duvet and cotton printed or batik duvet covers. Country or rustic styles will suit Afghans, crocheted throws, and patchwork quilts. More formal looks require velvet, satin, or silk bedcovers with crocheted over blankets. If your bedroom is more of a romantic sanctuary, then polyester rayon, satin, or silk bedspreads might be your choice.

Final thoughts 

Choosing the right blanket also has a lot to do with how you sleep the most comfortably. Some individuals prefer the lightness and breathability of a cotton blanket, while others might like the insulation and furrier texture of a fleece bed covering. Most beds have layers of blankets, including one stowed away or on top of the bed as an over blanket, a bedspread, and an under blanket. It is quite classic to have a comforter or bedspread and an under blanket made of Vellux, acrylic or cotton weave just beneath it.

If you are just a person who feels chilly, a throw blanket of afghan that resembles a shawl might work very well for you. If you are buying a blanket for the car, camping or for a pet, you might want to choose a blanket made out of acrylic or a microfibre. 

Finally, if you might be purchasing a blanket that has a practical purpose, like a fleece throw to keep your small pet warm on long car rides or a fire blanket, which is used to smother the flames on a person who has caught fire and that should be an item in your car or First Aid Kit. In that case, fashion may not matter as much as the pragmatism of your purchase. In any case, most households have several types of blankets in their home and more in their vehicles, campers, and boats.


How to Clean a Down Comforter at Home: 12 Steps (with Pictures)
To keep your down comforter fluffy and clean, you’ll want to wash it from time-to-time.
How to wash a duvet? The best tips to clean your duvet - TODAY
Can you wash your duvet? Learn the best tips for how to wash a duvet, how often you should be cleaning it, and more.
What Is Fleece? And Is It Sustainable? - Good On You
Have you ever wondered what impact our fleece jackets might have on the planet?
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