A great blanket should not only make you feel cozy but also keep you from sweating (or feeling too cold), all while looking good on your bed for many years.
Thermal blankets are breathable yet warm, providing just enough coziness to take the chill away without making you sweat. They're perfect on their own during summer or for layering during winter, and are also ideal for transitioning between seasons. And, since they're usually pretty affordable and super lightweight, they're also great for camping, picnics, and the beach.
How to Choose the Best Blanket for a Good Night’s Sleep
When it’s time to cozy up with a new blanket…
You want the best. From soft, fresh and cuddly, your new blanket has many qualities you might not even think about. Your sheets provide softness against your skin and your comforter offers warmth and décor appeal, but what about a cozy blanket? For most people the blanket is tucked in between the two layers and creates a special, extra pocket of comfort.
Who would’ve thought choosing a blanket is more than just picking a color and size? We decided to say goodbye to our old blankets and trade it in for a new, cozy one. But we had a few questions that needed answering first.
Does sleep temperature matter for you and your blanket?
When it comes to sleep temperature, experts recommend following the Goldilocks principle: not too cold, not too hot, but just right. “People seem to sleep best at temperatures between 62 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit,” says Alice Hoagland, PhD, director of Insomnia Services at the Unity Sleep Disorders Center in Rochester, N.Y. When your bedroom temperature falls too low, your sleep will be disrupted.
How do you choose the right blanket size for your bed?
If you’re buying a new blanket for your bed, you’ll need one large enough to cover your mattress with a few extra inches to tuck in around the sides and bottom. Keep in mind, exact sizes vary from manufacturer to manufacturer – be sure to measure your mattress size before buying. Below are typical blanket sizes:
- Twin: 90’’ x 65”
- Full: 90’’ x 85’’
- Queen: 90’’ x 90’’
- King: 90’’ x 110’’
Let’s talk about the best fabric for your blanket
Choosing an appropriate fabric for your new blanket isn’t as simple as you may think. 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. Some people prefer a fuzzy blanket, while others may prefer a smooth texture. We broke down the 6 most common blanket fabrics and their benefits.
- Cotton – Cotton blankets hold up well when repeatedly washed, reducing the build-up of allergens in the bed’s microclimate. Cotton can be lightweight enough to use for summer sleep or heavy enough for winter use. The best qualities of cotton are its breathability and softness, enhancing comfort.
- Wool – Wool can be heavy or lightweight and is often used to warm and insulate, especially when shivering during the winter months. Wool can also be lightweight and used in the summer to keep you cool as it helps dissipate moisture throughout the night. Some wool can be itchy but most modern wool blankets are smooth, lightweight and a good option for year-round comfort.
- Down – A down blanket is similar to a down comforter, but thinner and lighter. Down blankets contain a feathery layer sandwiched between the layers of fabric (usually cotton). There are many types of down blankets such as winter, summer and warmth levels. Be aware that down can be very warm and isn’t a good conductor of moisture, which may cause nighttime sweating.
- Synthetics – There are many synthetic fabrics used for blankets: acrylic and polyester are the most common ones. Synthetic blankets are warm but tend to attract static electricity and they don’t breathe or allow moisture to escape. These blankets hold onto hair, dust and loose threads but on the plus side, synthetic blankets are generally less expensive than wool or down.
- Fleece – Cozy, warm and not too heavy, fleece may be the perfect fit for you if warmth is at the top of your priority list. Fleece is especially popular with children and there are many different types available.
- Vellux – Referred to as hotel blankets, vellux contains a thin foam surrounded by plush nylon. These blankets are hypoallergenic, can withstand multiple washes and are very warm. Vellux is ideal for anyone with allergies.
Along with fabrics, blankets have different weaves that provide varying levels of warmth and weight. Let’s find the weave that right for you:
- Thermal – Typically found in cotton blankets, a thermal weave is loose and allows air to circulate freely.
- Knit – Cozy, heavy and warm are common traits of a knit blanket. You’ll usually find these made from wool or synthetic materials.
- Quilted – Down blankets are quilted to keep the contents from shifting around.