15 Types of Blankets For Your Home: A Quick Buying Guide

types of blanket

Curling up under a cozy blanket is perfect for beating the winter chill. Come to think of it, it’s not just the winters - a blanket is a must-have accessory to feel comfy, protected, and secure any time of the year, including sweltering summers.

With so many different types of blankets out there, zeroing in on the best one for you can get tricky.

Don’t worry. You’ve always got this guide to turn to.

We’ve rounded up 15 of the most common types of blankets and a quick buying guide to help you pick the right one for you and your home.

Table of Contents

Different Types of Blankets for Your Home

Comforters, duvets, and quilts - we often use these terms interchangeably, but they are quite different from each other.

Different combinations of styles, materials, weaves, and degrees of warmth have given rise to a wide array of blankets. Here are 15 of the most widely used options.

1. Comforters

Comforters are soft and lightweight, typically containing a filling of cotton, down, feather, or polyfill. Although its warming potential depends on the filling it has, a comforter alone might not be enough to keep you warm during peak winters. It’s more of an all-weather kind of blanket.

Because they’re so light and fluffy, a comforter makes a great top layer, adding warmth to the bed without the weight. Thanks to its evenly distributed filler and patterns - a comforter gives off a well-finished look and can do without a cover.

That’s not to say you can’t stuff it in a duvet cover if your bedroom decor demands it.

Storing comforters can be a hassle when they refuse to fit neatly into their designated spaces. However, you can use a comforter storage bag which is an excellent option to keep your bedding organized and protected from dust and pests.

We have a wide dust bags collection which can be used to store comforters, purses, shoes and handbags. Also, we created a guide mentioning 20 unique and creative storage ideas to keep your purses and comforters safe from dust, mildew, color transfer, and general wear and tear.

2. Throw Blankets

As the name hints, a throw is a small, lightweight blanket that you can fling over a chair or couch. While it’s not big enough or warm enough to insulate a bed, a throw’s size makes it incredibly versatile.

You can carry it around in the car, on outdoor adventures, or move it from room to room hassle-free. It’s also super easy to fold and store.

A cotton throw for the couch comes in a vast range of materials and weaves, bringing texture, color, and warmth to a space, like this waffle weave throw made from 100% organic cotton threads.

3. Quilts

Quilting traditions across North America, Europe, and Asia have resulted in an amazing array of utility and decorative blankets, including Amish quilts, African-American story quilts, Indian Ralli quilts, French Provençal quilts, and Japanese Sashiko.

These blankets are made up of multiple layers of fabric or fiber hand-stitched or sewn together. A three-layered quilt will typically have top and bottom layers of woven fabric with a filling sandwiched between them.

How warm a quilt is depends on the filler or the middle layer, but it’s generally better suited for warmer weather. A quilt’s filling can be made up of all kinds of textile materials, including cotton, polyester, and lightweight wool.

Muslin baby quilt blankets are perfect for soothing your little one to sleep in soft, breathable layers.

4. Duvets

Unlike a comforter, a duvet requires a cover, making it a dream blanket for those who love to match the bedding with their mood. A duvet is also easier to clean - simply remove the cover and wash both the insert and the cover separately in the washer.

As far as softness, warmth, and thickness go, this blanket fares better than comforters, making them ideal for bone-chilling winters.

A common complaint with these blankets is the tedious removal of covers. You might also find yourself waking up to a lumpy or bunched-up insert. If that happens, consider adding some stitches around the borders to keep the duvet in its place.

Related Article: What are shams, comforters and duvets in bedding?

5. Afghan Blankets

An Afghan is a type of throw or shawl made up of natural fibers like wool and cotton. Their compact dimensions and colorful knitted patterns have found wide-ranging uses, including as bedspreads, baby blankets, and decorative throws.

Of the different styles of Afghans, mile-a-minute crochet is perhaps the most popular. It involves taking separate strips and working them into fascinating patterns.

6. Organic Cotton Blankets

Cotton is hailed as the kingpin in the bedding world for good reason. It’s a plant-based textile with excellent breathability and durability. However, it’s certainly not the most sustainable fabric around, cultivated using methods with a high water and energy footprint. Traditional cotton production also relies heavily on fertilizers and pesticides.

Organic blankets like Herringbone cotton blanket is a far more greener option, produced without harsh chemicals and significantly less water. Blankets made from this fabric are soft, breathable, and hypoallergenic, making it perfect for babies, hot sleepers, and those with sensitive skin.

7. Waffle Weave Cotton Blanket

The word ‘cotton’ carries a summery, breezy vibe, but a thick, thermal knit cotton blanket can hold up well to the harshness of winters. Like our cotton waffle weave blankets.

Made of 100% GOTS-certified organic cotton, our soft waffle weave blanket is designed for all-season bliss. Its lightweight, breathable, and moisture-wicking qualities bring comfort during warmer months and lower the risk of overheating for those who sleep hot.

And when the temperatures tumble, this beautifully woven blanket makes an excellent top layer, adding textured softness to your bedding ensemble.

8. Weighted Blankets

These blankets feel like a giant bear hug thanks to fillers like plastic pellets or glass beads that weigh them down.

These blankets help alleviate anxiety, stress, and restlessness, so much so that occupational therapists recommend them to their patients.

When used correctly, these blankets can help those who struggle with sleep apnea and chronic sleep disorders. Their filling, however, makes them troublesome to clean or lug around.

9. Electric Blankets

These blankets contain high resistance or carbon fiber wires that heat up using electricity, transferring the warmth to the bed using fire-safe elements. They come with straps or elastic skirting, allowing you to fix them onto the mattress and make your bed over it. Toggling between various heat settings happens via temperature control pads.

Electric blankets might not be enough on their own to keep you toasty, and you’ll still need duvets and comforters to keep the heat from escaping. Plus, their lack of natural insulation makes them useless during blackouts.

10. Muslin Baby Blankets

Muslin blankies have the strange ability to bring comfort even when you’re well past the childhood phase. It’s often the first piece of cloth that you wrap a newborn in - soft, skin-friendly, and breathable - perfect for their brand-new skin.

muslin swaddle blanket made using organic cotton fibers isn’t just gentle on the baby’s skin but also the planet.

11. Knitted Woolen Blankets

When it comes to warm potential, nothing can beat a chunky knitted woolen blanket. Not only is it insulating, but a pure woolen blanket is also excellent at regulating body temperature. However, being made from a natural, animal-derived fiber, wool may irritate the skin or feel itchy to some.

If you’re looking for something soft, you’re better off choosing something made from alpaca wool or cashmere, which, of course, comes with a steeper price tag than typical wool blankets.

12. Sherpa Blankets

Sherpa blankets can be identified by their contrasting textured sides, with fluffy fleece on one side and buttery smooth flannel on the other. These blankets are lightweight and great at trapping heat, keeping you toasty even in the dead of winter.

However, unlike cotton or wool, a sherpa blanket is made from synthetic fibers and also wears down quickly. Therefore, it is not exactly an eco-friendly option.

13. Fleece Blankets

Fluffy fleece blankets are quite popular for being cozy, affordable, and low maintenance. They are also pretty lightweight, not to mention anti-allergic, and softer in comparison to wool.

As a fabric, fleece is fuzzy and napped but tends to pill with frequent use. It also has polyester-based origins. So, if you’re on the lookout for something sustainable, fleece might not be for you.

14. Survival Blankets

Survival blankets are single or limited-use blankets and an essential part of outdoor safety gear. They do what the name says - provide in life-threatening situations like a person suffering from hypothermia.

These incredibly thin and lightweight blankets are made from BoPET - a reflective polyester film with exceptional ability to retain body heat.

15. Microfiber Blankets

Microfiber blankets are incredibly soft, made from tightly woven polyester fabric blended with nylon and rayon. Their fine weave makes them highly durable as well as wrinkle and stain-resistant.

That’s not all.

Microfiber’s tight weave makes it hard for dust to settle in, which is great for people with sensitive skin or allergies.

Like fleece, microfiber blankets are prone to pilling and shedding, which only worsens their environmental footprint. Plastic-based microfibers released during laundry are too small to be filtered completely during wastewater treatment. They often make their way into the aquatic environment, contaminating it and threatening marine life.

Factors to Consider When Shopping for a Blanket

As you’ve noticed, there are tons of options to choose from. But what makes a good blanket stand out is its comfort and compatibility with your lifestyle, climate, and sleeping habits.

Here are some factors worth considering when you’re investing in a blanket.

  • Size: Check the size of your bed and mattress to buy a blanket that covers it well. Your aesthetic preferences matter, too, whether you want to tuck it neatly under the mattress or would like it to spill over from the sides.

    If you want it to hang over the sides, you might want to pick a size bigger than your bed. You can skip measurements if you’re buying a decorative and versatile blanket like a throw or an Afghan.
  • Season: Thermally insulated options like knitted woolen blankets, feather or down duvets, microfiber blankets, and electric blankets are most ideally suited for colder months.

    Meanwhile, a lightweight cotton blanket is perfect for summer and autumn or as a versatile cover when you’re out and about. Come winter, you can use it as a top or under the comforter/duvet layer.
  • Sleeping Habits: Are you a hot sleeper looking for a blanket that doesn’t leave you in a puddle of sweat?

    Then, a breathable and moisture-wicking cotton quit or woolen blanket is just what you need.

    If you’re a cold sleeper and don’t mind the synthetic textiles, then options like a Sherpa quilt, fleece, or a microfiber blanket will keep you warm and toasty.
  • Weave: In the case of a natural fabric like cotton, a thermal weave like a waffle or herringbone can help trap the heat while also making room for the air to pass through.

    Meanwhile, thicker blankets made from wool or synthetic yarns require knitting for a chunkier feel. Although not a weaving technique, quilting helps keep the filling material from shifting under the fabric layers, offering warmth while being aesthetically pleasing.
  • Sustainability: There’s no shortage of blanket fabrics, some with excellent warming potential but fare poorly in sustainability, like microfiber, fleece, and weighted blankets. Blankets made from these fabrics may be cheap, but they’re produced at a high cost to the environment. Even regular cotton, while being a natural fabric, is made using water, energy, and chemical-intensive methods.

Organic cotton, on the other hand, is an excellent blanket material that strikes a good balance between comfort and sustainability. It’s got all the great qualities of conventional cotton, like breathability and durability, minus all the red flags.

Final Thoughts

There are many reasons to buy a new blanket, from seeking a good night’s sleep to elevating living room or bedroom decor. The right blanket, however, should be able to deliver both.

Organic Cotton Mart’s blanket catalog is home to many such options. Our collection includes an array of super soft and beautiful all-season blankets.

Choose from waffle weave blankets, herringbone cotton blankets, muslin baby quilts, muslin swaddle blankets and many more - all of which are made from 100% GOTS-certified organic cotton threads and crafted to perfection.

Author: Karen Lamar

Karen is the Chief Content Officer at Organic Cotton Mart. She has a Master's Degree in Environmental Science from NC State with a special focus in Energy Conservation and Renewable Energy. Since her High School days, she has been an Environmentalist and was the President of her High School's Environmental Club for 3 years before starting her freshman year at NC State. She has a deep knowledge and understanding of various environment-friendly movements like zero waste, minimalistic living, recycling, and upcycling.

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