Blankets are one of the best home decor tools because there are so many different varieties and they offer a functionality that other decorations do not, keeping you and your guests comfortable. There are a lot of different types of blankets out there which can make it hard to decide which one to use in your home. We’ve listed information about different blanket materials and types below to help you decide on the perfect blanket to drape over your sofa.
Acrylic: Also known as vellux blankets, these types of blankets are made from synthetic polymer materials. They provide lightweight warmth and are moth resistant. However, this type of material is not very breathable. Acrylic blankets are machine washable and hold up well over time.
Chenille: This type of fabric has a very soft feel and is often used in clothing and home accessories. Usually made of cotton or rayon, these blankets are machine washable and quite easy to care for. Chenille is made in a particular way that results in a somewhat iridescent look in certain lightings due to the angle the fibers are cut at.
Cotton: Cotton blankets are one of the most commonly used blanket materials. They are breathable, soft and easy to clean. Cotton fabric is also naturally hypoallergenic which makes it a great option for those with sensitive skin or allergies.
Fleece: This fabric is made of polyester or a mix of synthetic fibers. Fleece blankets are inexpensive and easy to find which makes them a popular choice among consumers. They are lightweight and warm, though they do not breathe well. Fleece is machine washable and easy to care for.
Linen: Linen fabric is created of fibers from a flax plant. These fibers can be difficult to harvest which results in the higher price of linen fabric. This fabric is easy to keep clean and long lasting, though it does wrinkle easily. Linen adjusts to personal body temperature helping users to stay cooler in summer and warmer in the winter.
Nylon: Nylon fabric is strong and durable which makes it a great choice for outdoor blankets. It can also handle extreme temperatures. Usually used as outdoor blankets. These blankets are machine washable, for best results use cold water.
Wool: Wool is a very warm, naturally fire resistant material sourced from sheep. As such it is a renewable resource and is also biodegradable which makes it a more environmentally friendly option than man made fabrics. Wool also holds antibacterial properties which makes it odor resistant. One of the cons of this material is that it can feel scratchy or rough against skin.
Afghan: Afghans are a type of knitted or crocheted material usually made of wool. They are often used as a throw blanket in a living room area. Though they can be quite beautiful, they are hard to clean.
Coverlet: This is a decorative blanket, not necessarily used specifically for warmth. Coverlets are usually put on top of a more practical blanket at the foot of a bed.
Quilt: Quilts are made from three layers of fabric quilted together. The outside layers are typically made of cotton with a middle layer of insulating fabric like batting. They are more of a decorative style of blanket due to the artistic way they are made with patchwork patterns. Quilts are similar to a coverlet, though they can be warmer due to the inner layer of batting between fabrics.
Down Comforters: Down comforters are classically made from the quill-free feathers of birds like geese and ducks. These feathers create a soft lightweight blanket that is warm yet very breathable. Look for a different “fill power” when shopping for a down comforter. The higher the fill power, the higher quality and warmer the comforter is. Down alternative options are available that do not use real bird feathers.
Emergency: These reflective blankets are sometimes referred to as space or mylar blankets. They are primarily used to reduce heat loss in a person's body. Emergency blankets are very lightweight and compact when folded which makes them a common item in first aid kits. They are also used as shelter from heat as they reflect almost all radiant heat.
Electric Blanket: These blankets contain an internal heating element to keep the user warm. Users can adjust temperature as needed, cooler or warmer. Electric blankets must be plugged into electricity to work, which means they can be hazardous if left plugged in or damaged.
Weighted Blanket: These are sometimes called gravity blankets. Weighted blankets are warm and heavy to help calm and soothe users by replicating the pressure of a hug. They are commonly used by people with anxiety, depression and autism. Different weights are available depending on age, size and need.