How to Choose Blankets for the Bedroom

Julien L. Balmer / Stocksy United

When nighttime temperatures take a tumble, reach for a blanket to add an extra layer of cozy warmth to your bed. Blankets tend to go unseen and unsung–it’s your comforter or duvet that takes top billing as the star of the bed, and your sheets that provide the caress of softness your skin craves, but it’s the blanket tucked in between the two that creates an extra pocket of air to keep you warm.

When it comes to buying a blanket, you might think there’s nothing to it–just choose the color you like in the right size for your mattress. Although choosing the right blanket is fairly straightforward, there’s a little more to it than that. Our guide will walk you through some things to consider before buying one, from materials to the type of blanket you just might want to nestle up in.

Before Buying a Blanket for Your Bed

Soft, warm, and cuddly are some words that come to mind when thinking about a blanket. Getting a good night's sleep while snuggling up in your bed with that all-important piece of material comes next. A blanket is personal. It keeps us warm and cozy and comforts us when we're not feeling well.

Blankets come in all different shapes and sizes, and there are a variety of colors and materials that you can choose from. Some have cute patterns or designs, while others are a solid color. There are varying textures and weaves to blankets, too. Whatever you choose, the right blanket that is a perfect fit for you will keep you warm in the colder months and cool in the warmer months.

Buying Considerations for a Blanket for Your Bed

Size

If you’re buying a blanket for your bed, you need one large enough to cover the mattress with a few extra inches to tuck in around the sides and bottom. Though exact sizes vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, typical blanket sizes (length by width) are:

  • Twin: 90” x 66”
  • Full/Queen: 90” x 85”
  • Queen: 90” x 100”
  • King: 100” x 110”

Fabric

Here’s where it gets a bit trickier. There are quite a few common blanket fabrics–each has benefits, so choose the one that best suits your needs.

Cotton: Cotton blankets hold up well to repeated washing, making them a good choice for those who suffer from allergies. Depending on the weave, cotton can be lightweight enough for use as a summer blanket, or heavy enough for winter warmth. There are even organic cotton blankets for those who prefer a green lifestyle.

Wool: Wool is heavy, warm, and provides excellent insulation while allowing moisture to evaporate. It’s a great choice if you want a very heavy, warm blanket, but some people are allergic or sensitive to wool.

Down: Similar to a down comforter, but thinner and lighter, down blankets have a layer of feathery down or a synthetic substitute sandwiched between layers of fabric. These blankets are lightweight but very warm. If you are allergic to feathers, be sure to select a synthetic substitute.

Cashmere: Luxurious and soft, cashmere blankets are warm and silky, but they are also very expensive.

Synthetics: There are many synthetic fabrics used for blankets: acrylic, polyester, and microfiber are common ones. Synthetic blankets are warm, but often attract a good deal of static electricity, and tend to hold onto hair, dust, and loose threads. Inexpensive synthetics are also subject to pilling and wear. On the plus side, these blankets are generally inexpensive.

Fleece: Cozy, extra warm, and yet not too heavy, fleece and microfleece blankets are especially popular with children. Fleece is good at wicking away moisture—another benefit when used on a child’s bed.

Vellux: Sometimes referred to as “hotel blankets,” Vellux blankets contain a thin foam core surrounded by soft nylon plush with a velvety texture. These blankets are hypoallergenic, stand up to repeated washings even at high temperatures, and are warm and soft. A great choice for anyone with allergies.

Weave

Along with different fabrics, blankets have different weaves that provide varying levels of warmth and weight.

Thermal: Generally found in cotton blankets, a thermal weave is loose, letting air circulate easily. These lightweight blankets are good for the summer months.

Knit: Cozy knit blankets are heavy and warm. You’ll usually find these made from wool or synthetic materials.

Quilted: Down blankets are typically quilted to keep the down or down substitute from shifting inside the blanket.

Conventional: The typical blanket weave is very tight and close, creating excellent insulation for body heat.

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This Climate-Controlled Bed Also Makes Itself

Types of Blankets for Your Bed

Standard Blanket

A standard-sized blanket, including twin, full, queen, and king, will fit across the entire bed and hang down over the sides. They come in varying sizes and types of materials. They can be tucked in at the bottom of the bed. Blankets lay nicely between the sheet and the outer layer, whether you choose to use a comforter, quilt, or duvet for an additional outside cover. 

Throw Blanket

A throw blanket is quite a bit smaller than a standard blanket and is perfect to place at the end of the bed for decoration. It is also a great cover for those afternoon naps when you don't want to unmake the bed or if you're feeling a bit chilly at night and just need that extra bit of warmth. They're made out of many types of material from fleece to cotton.

Weighted Blanket

Weighted blankets have become popular for their added weight that puts pressure on the body and is thought to promote a better night's sleep. The weight of these blankets can also provide more heat than other blankets and can be too warm for some people. Although, there are some weighted blankets that promote breathability and cooler sleep than others do, so check the blanket's information if you're a hot sleeper.

Electric Blanket

Made from synthetic materials housing electric heating elements, electric blankets let you adjust the temperature to your personal comfort level. Some have dual controls so two people sharing the bed can program the different sides of the blanket to their preferred temperature. For safety’s sake, never place a comforter or another blanket on top of an electric blanket, and keep them in the primary bedroom, not a child’s room or a baby’s nursery. 

About This Term: Primary Bedroom

Many real estate associations, including the National Association of Home Builders, have classified the term "Master Bedroom" as discriminatory. "Primary Bedroom" is the name now widely used among the real estate community and better reflects the purpose of the room.


Read more about our Diversity and Inclusion Pledge to make The Spruce a site where all feel welcome.

Cost

Blankets have such a wide range of prices and can run anywhere from $5 up to $300 and even higher. The cost of a blanket all depends on the size, material, quality, and type of blanket you choose for your bed. For example, the standard queen-size blanket is 90" by 100" and typically runs between $35 to $200.

If you're looking for a new blanket, the best sales on blankets and bedding are usually in January, when most department stores have their white sales, so this would be a good time to shop for a new one. 

How to Choose a Blanket for Your Bed

How Will You Use Your Blanket?

Are you the type of person that likes to wrap themselves up in a blanket? Or do you like to crawl in between the sheets and have the blanket laying on top of you? Do you want to share it with another person that is sharing the bed with you, or do you want it all to yourself? These questions can help determine the size of the blanket you want to buy for your bed.

Are You Cold or Hot Sleeper?

If you're someone who tends to get cold during the night, then you will want to look for a blanket that is made from warmer material, such as fleece, or wool. A person that gets hot easily will want to look for a blanket that is lighter in weight, such as cotton. Being too cold or too hot when you're trying to get a good night's rest will only have you tossing and turning all night, so buy a blanket that will help you feel comfortable and suits your needs.

Where to Shop

Getting the perfect blanket for your bed that you can snuggle up in and enjoy a restful sleep is important. While you can buy a blanket in many department stores, including supercenters and home goods stores, and online, it's nice to be able to touch it and feel it before purchasing. A blanket should be soft and cozy, not rough and scratchy. While it's a personal choice, and we all are busy, it might be wise to check out the different options in the stores before making a selection online. Good reviews about products online are also helpful when it comes to purchasing items, and a number of people feel comfortable using those to purchase online.

However you decide to buy a blanket for your bedroom, here's to finding the perfect one and snuggling in for a good night's rest.

FAQ
  • How often should you wash a blanket?

    Blankets should be washed at least once per each season of the year. If you eat near them or with them on, they should be washed more frequently. Follow the manufacturer's instructions on how best to wash your blanket.

  • What size is a throw blanket compared to a twin?

    A throw blanket's average size is 50 inches by 36 inches, while a twin-sized blanket runs 90 inches by 65 inches.

  • What materials are the warmest for blankets?

    Heavier and thicker blankets with a tight weave that are made from wool, fleece, or cashmere are the warmest blankets.