Blanket Guide: Don’t Get the Wrong Blanket

Whether you want to snuggle up and watch a movie or just stay warm on a cold night, blankets keep you cozy and comfortable. Blankets come in all shapes and sizes and are used for numerous reasons. As you figure out how to buy a blanket, keep a few considerations in mind:

• How do you intend to use the blanket?
• Who will be using the blanket?
• What kind of blanket qualities are you looking for?
• What are some different types of blankets?
• What about blanket sizes?
• How will you care for your blanket?

>> How do you intend to use the blanket?

When figuring out how to buy a blanket, the first thing you need to do is determine is whether the blanket will be used in your home, outdoors or for travel. This information will help you determine the type of blanket you need. When buying a blanket for your home, think about who will be using it and whether it will be used for warmth or for comfort. For outdoor use, remember that the weather can get chilly. Consider sleeping bag blankets that you can roll up for easy storage. For travel, consider getting a lightweight blanket that doesn't take up too much luggage space.

>> Who will be using the blanket?

As you figure out how to buy a blanket, consider the person who will be using the blanket and what blanket styles and designs might be best for that person. Baby blankets are often themed; for example, you can choose from boy or girl baby blankets that feature characters from popular cartoons and movies. Children and teens may like a theme blanket such as a sports team, super heroes or animals. If you are buying a blanket for an adult, consider the person's likes, interests, hobbies and style; favorite sports teams, blankets matching decor or favorite theme blankets make great gifts.

>> What qualities are you looking for in a blanket?

As you figure out how to buy a blanket, consider what you want to get out of your blanket, including warmth, softness, coziness, comfort, style and design. The practical use of a blanket is for warmth, but blankets have other uses as well. Sometimes, you might want to cuddle up in a cozy blanket to watch a movie or read a book. Blanket designs add style and creativity to a room and can enhance your decor. Throws add style and color to a plain couch or room.

>> What type of blanket you are looking for?

Different types of blankets are made from different fabrics and constructed in different ways. Think about the fabric and the construction when choosing among different types of blankets.

FabricsBlankets come in a variety of different fabrics and materials. If you want a blanket made from natural fibers, consider cotton, linen, wool, silk and cashmere. Synthetic fibers include materials such as polyester, nylon, microfiber and acrylic. Wool, cotton and cashmere blankets are typically used for warmth. Silk, linen, down and nylon blankets are best as throws or light blankets for warm months. If you want soft blankets, consider chenille or cashmere for a fluffy, cozy feel.

ConstructionAnother factor in comparing different types of blankets is the construction of the blanket. Different blanket designs are created with different construction techniques. How a blanket is constructed can tell you whether a blanket is created for style, practicality or both.

• Quilted: Quilted blankets are constructed with pieces of fabric sewn together in a pattern. They are created for both practicality and style. While adding warmth and weight to your bedding, quilts can also add a country feel to a room.
• Knitted: Knitted blankets are constructed by knitting yarn, typically by hand. Knitted blankets have small holes throughout the blanket, making them best for light use or as decoration.
• Woven: Woven blankets are the pinnacle of a decorative blanket. With intricate blanket designs, woven blankets make great throws for a couch, chair or even a wall. They can also be used as light blankets.
• Electric: Blankets constructed with electric warming components are not designed to "look pretty," but rather to keep you warm. The electrical components of insulated wires are sewn throughout the blanket, giving you warmth all night long. Some king size electric blankets have heating adjustments on both sides of the blanket for two people.

>> Consider the size of blanket

Blankets come in all different shapes and sizes; the most common sizes include twin, queen, full/queen, throw and king blankets. Use the following comparison chart to determine the best blanket size to buy.

Blanket size Size (approximate) Twin 90 inches long x 65 inches wide Full/queen 90 inches long x 85 inches wide Queen 90 inches long x 90 inches wide Throw 70 inches long x 50 inches wide King 110 inches long x 90 inches wide Blanket sizes may vary depending on the brand you buy. The above sizes are approximate and can be used for comparison purposes; be sure to check your blanket size before purchasing.

>> Consider cleaning and care of your blanket

Once you have figured out how to buy a blanket, consider whether your blanket will need to be dry cleaned or washed and cared for a certain way based on its fabric. Most blankets can be washed in a washing machine with cold water, but should be hung to dry; fabrics such as cashmere and silk require dry cleaning. Textured blankets with blanket designs like embroidery and intricate sewing may require dry cleaning. Gentle fabrics require gentle care, and more durable fabrics may do fine in the washing machine
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