Settling on the wrong blanket type that fails on comfort, affordability, or coordinating with your decor can lead to wasted money and an unfinished style. After helping homeowners find the most comforting blankets, I’m listing the different types of blankets so you can compare their features, benefits, and disadvantages.
Different Types of Blankets Explained
There are different types of blankets, including decorative knit afghans, high-performance heated blankets, acrylic, bamboo, duvet covers, and weighted options. Seeking natural, breathable fabrics like cotton or wool yields efficient temperature regulation, while acrylic and poly blends offer easy care and affordability.
Blankets have been around since the beginning of recorded history. Even in warm climates, most people will use a covering when sleeping. This is because a human’s core body temperature almost drops when sleeping.
When a person reaches the stage of sleep called REM, the human body is not able to regulate temperature. Body temperature is at its lowest point a few hours before waking up each morning. This means selecting the right types of blanket, even if just sleeping at home in bed, is extremely important.
|Living rooms, bedrooms
|Hand/machine knit yarn
|Bedrooms, living rooms
|Heavy for calming a restless leg syndrome
|Internal wiring for warmth
|Bedrooms, living rooms
|Plugs into car outlet
|Soft, velvety texture
|Light, fluffy downfill
|Reflective lightweight survival
|Light bed covering
|Synthetic soft fur
|Living rooms, bedrooms
|Outdoors, living rooms
|Natural breathable fabric
|Beds, sofa backs
|Soft faux shearling fleece
|Bedrooms, living rooms
|Small accent blanket
|Short plush napped
|Warm natural fiber
1. Afghan Blankets
Afghans are one of the best types of blankets because they can serve many purposes, from providing warmth to being decorative items. An Afghan blanket is often made of wool and is either crocheted or knitted. It is sometimes made of other materials such as linen, cotton, or various natural fibers.
There are several different types of Afghan blankets, including single-piece and mile-a-minute. The mile-a-minute blankets come from separate strips that are later joined together. There are also motif Afghans created using blocks or granny squares.
- Pros: Handmade style; uses natural fibers
- Cons: Requires handwashing; prone to shedding and pilling
2. Acrylic Blankets
Woven acrylic is a synthetic product that isn’t made of natural materials like wool or cotton. Acrylic is a synthetic polymer formed from petroleum or other types of fossil fuels. They aren’t very breathable, although this is one reason they are good at retaining heat.
The material is usually lightweight yet still warm. These types of blankets are moth-resistant and can be stored for long periods. Acrylic often has a wool-like texture and feel.
- Pros: Retains warmth; resists stains, wrinkling, and moths
- Cons: Can feel scratchy against skin; can be harmed by very cold or very hot water
3. Bamboo Blankets
Bamboo is one of the best blanket material types because it’s a fast-growing grass as tough as the softer end of hardwood tree varieties like oak. Bamboo fibers have the best qualities of many other fibers, including being hypoallergenic, sustainable and breathable.
Bamboo textile blankets can run slightly more expensive than those made from synthetic or more widely used materials, although this hasn’t stopped them from gaining popularity. You may even consider this as a bamboo swaddle blanket.
- Pros: Sustainably made from bamboo; breathable with moisture-wicking properties
- Cons: Often more expensive; loses softness faster than cotton
4. Duvet Blankets
As one of the warmest blankets, duvet covers go over other blankets to protect them from incidental messes and add finishing aesthetic touches to the room. You can use it as a blanket, especially on warmer nights, due to their typically lighter construction.
Since they are intentionally placed on the outer layer, at least partly for decoration, a duvet cover can add beauty to your decor. However, duvet covers are among the most versatile types of blankets since they often come in white lines, providing greater versatility in customization.
- Pros: Purely decorative, stylish top layer; easy to remove and wash cover
- Cons: Need duvet insert for warmth; insert shifts during sleep
5. Knit Blankets
Knit blankets are among the warmest blankets, especially the traditionally knit wool blankets. You can purchase both machine-knitted and hand-knitted blankets these days, and it’s not too expensive or hard to learn how to hand-knit them as baby blankets.
The thickness of the yarn can vary between blankets, changing its feel as much as the material itself. For instance, a knitted swaddle blanket uses polyester as a blanket material to ensure it will not lose shape or have loose threads.
- Pros: Available in a wide color/pattern range; breathable natural material options
- Cons: Takes skill/time to create by hand; cannot be machine-washed
6. Weighted Blankets
As the name indicates, weighted blankets are made from heavier materials that apply more pressure when burrowed underneath them. Also known as gravity blankets, weighted blankets are stuffed with synthetic fibers, including plastic pellets or glass beads.
While it’s not a complete cure, deep pressure stimulation from weighted blankets can help with sleep apnea and restless leg syndrome, leading to better sleep quality. As a rule of thumb, I opt for a weighted blanket around 10% of my body weight to feel the benefits of deep touch pressure.
- Pros: Customizable weights for calming; even distribution of glass beads and plastic pellets
- Cons: Can feel overly warm; more expensive than other blankets
7. Heated Blanket
During the winter, I mainly use heated blankets to get more comfort than piling on multiple heavy layers. This means I rely on internal wiring underneath insulating fleece or microfiber to safely generate customizable warmth powered by any outlet.
A heated blanket contains a layer of insulated wires underneath the outer cover that will heat up when turned on. While not flammable, I use shut-off timers to minimize risk while taking advantage of the cozy relief from the cold. You may also consider using a cordless electric blanket.
- Pros: Custom warming zones; energy efficient to run
- Cons: Can raise fire risk if wires fray; less useful in power outages
8. Car Blankets
These types of blankets are made to either plug into a cigarette lighter or a 12-volt outlet. These warm blankets are similar to electric blankets a person would use at home, although they are specifically for traveling in a vehicle.
They are often made of polyester or fleece and come with a variety of features. Some of the more elaborate ones will have a range of temperature settings, automatic shut-off, and indicator lights. A good car blanket keeps me comfortable and warm even when the car is not turned on.
- Pros: Usable on the go for travel; often includes cigarette lighter plug-in
- Cons: Limited sizes; dependence on car battery
9. Chenille Blankets
When it comes to beauty and comfort, it’s hard to beat chenille. Those looking to decorate their home with the softest, most attractive blankets will want to look into chenille. Unlike comforters, chenille is sometimes made completely from cotton fabric, rayon, or acrylic.
The chenille blanket fabric is then formed by tightly wrapping yarn around a core. In effect, the edges of the fabric stand out at a right angle. This ultimately creates the softness and unique look that is known as chenille.
- Pros: Extremely plush, velvety soft; luxurious look
- Cons: Often expensive; high maintenance, dry clean only
10. Cotton Blanket
Cotton fabric is one of my favorite blanket material types because it’s hypoallergenic, making it a good choice for those with sensitive skin or allergies. Cotton is considered a very breathable material and a good type of blanket for warmer weather. Most types of cotton blankets are easy to clean, especially those used in a throw blanket.
Like this lightweight thermal cotton blanket, Egyptian cotton blankets are breathable, moisture-absorbent, and very long-lasting. However, cotton covering on the outside tends to shrink if they are dried with high or even medium heat.
- Pros: Most popular bedding material with warm materials; natural, breathable, moisture-wicking
- Cons: Wrinkles easily; shrinks if dried improperly
11. Down Comforters
Also known as a down duvet, this is among the top types of blankets that provide both blankets and comforters with a high level of warmth. The more fill power a comforter has, the higher the quality. Down feathers that are real have greater fill power than those with synthetic materials.
The most popular blanket materials for down comforters include a polyester blend or cotton covering on the outside. There are also synthetic materials, although some cannot be machine-washed.
- Pros: Light as air feel; gives a luxurious hotel bed feel
- Cons: Requires cover to protect fill; fills clumps over time
12. Electric Blankets
The top and bottom layers contain electrical heating elements to generate additional warmth. These types of blankets can warm you up more quickly than a similar blanket without heating, although you’ll need a nearby power outlet to use them.
However, the electric blanket won’t be nearly as effective if the power goes out during a winter storm. It won’t be as cozy as cotton blankets, yet its heat generation can soothe the body.
- Pros: Customizable heating zones; energy-efficient heat source
- Cons: Can raise fire risk if wires fray; less useful in power outages
13. Emergency Blankets
Emergency blankets are also known as space or mylar blankets. These blankets are lightweight and have a reflective exterior surface. The outer cover of emergency blankets reduces heat loss in a person’s body.
These types of blankets are often used by campers and are sometimes put in first-aid kits. The most basic emergency blanket is a thin metallic sheet that folds to fit into a small area. These blankets reflect the most radiant heat, not just heat from a person’s body.
- Pros: Ultra compact survival essential; retains body heat efficiently
- Cons: Disposable, less reusable; crinkly noise can be disruptive
14. Coverlet Blanket
Like a throw blanket, coverlets are mainly decorative bedding toppers used between sheets and duvets. They are breathable lightweight coverlets of embroidered cotton, linen or silk with just enough overhang to offer personalized style.
I usually recommend them to hot sleepers who want to avoid bulky blankets in summer. Like other blankets, their customizable coverlet designs provide a layered look without excessive warmth year-round.
- Pros: Lightweight bed top layer; formal decorative style
- Cons: Needs layering; wrinkles easily without duvet
15. Faux Fur Blankets
Faux fur blankets have the aesthetic and feel of real fur blankets. There are vendors who sell ethically sourced fur, although modern faux fur options are close to the real thing.
They are some of the best blankets I’ve owned for years because they are thick and provide warmth regardless of the season. Like a weighted blanket, the pillowy warmth and tufts of fur feel like being cuddled up with a bear that won’t try to eat you.
- Pros: Mimics luxe fur texture; ethical alternative to real fur
- Cons: Prone to shedding, pilling, and matting; purely synthetic
16. Fleece Blankets
Fleece blankets are usually made of some type of polyester or a mix of synthetic fabrics. Compared to gravity blankets, fleece is normally warm, lightweight, and can be washed at home.
These types of blankets are good for people with sensitive skin or allergies who want to avoid dust particles yet still need a weighted blanket that provides a lot of warmth. Depending on the type and how it’s made, fleece can melt near flames or in high enough heat.
- Pros: Available at affordable prices; easy care, machine wash and dry
- Cons: Absorbs odors; fabric piles with frequent use
17. Linen Blankets
In contrast to synthetic fabric, linen is made from fibers that come from a flax plant. Linen is easy to keep clean and is better for the environment than many other types of blankets. While it may not be the softest fabric, the thick material will last longer than a lot of other fabrics.
A linen blanket will easily adjust to your natural body temperature. This will help an individual stay cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter, making them ideal year-round. However, linen wrinkles quite easily and should be allowed to air dry after washing to avoid pilling.
- Pros: Natural fiber, breathable; gets softer over time
- Cons: Wrinkles easily without ironing; lower warmth than other materials
18. Microfiber Blankets
Polyester, rayon, and nylon are among the most popular blanket materials for a microfiber blanket. Like this luxe microfiber blanket, polyester lets a blanket resist wrinkles and stains, making it a long-lasting option for households.
Dust particles cannot penetrate a microfiber blanket because it has a finely woven construction, making it the best blanket if you want to prioritize hygiene. This makes a microfiber blanket a good choice for people who suffer from allergies.
- Pros: Lightweight and good for travel; dries quickly
- Cons: Prone to pilling; some blankets made from synthetic fabric can melt at high temperatures
19. Nylon Blankets
There are different types of blankets, yet blankets made primarily of nylon will be very strong and durable. Despite being a common material used in a light cover or throw blanket, nylon is a type of synthetic fiber used in everything from toothbrushes and stockings to umbrellas and blankets.
This type of blanket can handle extreme temperatures and still holds up well despite warm weather. I use cold water when washing a nylon blanket to maintain the structure of the fibers.
- Pros: Very durable; weather-resistant, ideal for outdoor use
- Cons: Retains odors; can feel slick or scratchy
20. Polyester Blankets
Several of the blankets previously listed have at least some polyester in them, including hotel blankets. One of the primary benefits of a blanket primarily made of polyester is that it can be washed and dried many times and retain its shape and color.
A polyester and cotton blend is popular since the blanket is durable and soft. However, a polyester blanket sticks to the skin when wet and isn’t as breathable as a cotton blanket.
- Pros: Most affordable option; wrinkle- and fade-resistant
- Cons: Retains odors; not breathable for the warm weather
21. Quilted Blanket
A quilted blanket is one of the most popular blankets with warm materials. Most aren’t as large as a fully stuffed-down comforter, although they strike a great balance of warmth and weight for those who overheat at night.
Quilted blankets from panels of fabric are formed by placing two outer layers around a fluffy filler. While the top and bottom layers are made of fabric, the middle layer is usually filled with insulating materials like polyester, wool, or cotton.
- Pros: Unique patched designs; made of insulating blanket materials
- Cons: Takes skill to construct; fill shifts during use
22. Sherpa Blankets
Sherpa is a curly-piled material consisting of synthetic fibers like acrylic or polyester. The lining provides warmth and insulation, making it a great option for baby blankets. The fluffy portions of sherpa blankets can mat over time, so keep a brush blanket nearby to maintain the same level of comfort.
Unlike a throw blanket, a Sherpa blanket is a fluffy fleece cover with amazing heat-trapping potential while not weighing so much that it traps you in place. You’ll also see the same materials and features in Sherpa jackets if you want to take your warmth wherever you go.
- Pros: Extremely soft faux shearling; lightweight warmth
- Cons: Prone to shedding; flattens from pressure over time
23. Throw Blankets
A throw is a small blanket mainly used for decoration while serving as a light cover as you lounge around. Different types of throw blankets are smaller, so they take up less space, whether folded or in use. A couple of throw blankets in comfy places can be helpful for a touch of warmth on a cold day.
Some throw blankets also serve as decorations, similar to a duvet cover. A throw blanket isn’t limited to a specific material, so you can hunt for throw blankets in your preferred fabric.
- Pros: Perfect small couch/chair size; decorative style and colors
- Cons: Too small for primary bedding; limited insulation
24. Vellux Blankets
There are different types of blankets that are incredibly warm and extremely durable. Also known as hotel blankets, vellux blankets are often made from synthetic materials like nylon and foam. They are generally hypoallergenic because they are non-pilling.
One of the biggest advantages of having a vellux blanket is that it will likely last several years. Compared to throw blankets, vellux usually has two layers of foam between fabric made of strong nylon fibers. You can wash them many times without showing much wear and tear.
- Pros: Plush dense napped fabric; long-lasting over time
- Cons: Can feel overly warm; needs to avoid higher heat drying
25. Waffle Weave Blankets
Waffle weaves intentionally add gaps in the fabric to increase the breathability of the blanket. For those who run hot at night yet love blankets, the airy gaps of an organic waffle wave blanket can be a sleep saver.
This is where you can find the softest fabric on young skin, which is why I also recommend this as a security blanket for restless toddlers. The downside is that less heat is trapped when it gets freezing. However, a solid yet light blanket on top of the waffle weave can patch up the comfort level.
- Pros: Highly breathable, better airflow; good for hot sleepers
- Cons: Less insulation for cold; textured feel may not be ideal for some
26. Wool Blankets
Of all natural materials, a wool blanket probably provides the most warmth. Wool is a natural fiber with moisture-wicking properties, making it the best blanket to regulate temperatures regardless of the season.
Wool also has antibacterial properties and doesn’t provide a good environment for germs to breed. Thus, it doesn’t need to be washed very often. It’s also slightly water-repellent, so even if there is a light mist or rain, this type of blanket will do a fairly good job of keeping a person dry.
- Pros: Natural warmth, moisture-wicking properties
- Cons: Can be scratchy next to skin; requires gentle wash cycles
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is a Fluffy Blanket Called?
A fluffy blanket is often referred to as a plush, mink, faux fur, microfleece, sherpa, or chenille blanket due to its thick, soft texture with a high pile for extra warmth and cozy comfort. These materials lend a fluffy, cloud-like feel.
What Kind of Blanket Is Best?
The best type of blanket depends on your priorities, although wool, cotton, linen, bamboo, and microfleece score well for breathability and durability. These types of blankets ensure comfort while providing efficient temperature regulation.
What Type of Material Is a Blanket?
Blankets today are commonly made from natural materials like cotton, wool, and linen or synthetic fabrics like microfleece, acrylic, polyester, and nylon. Each option offers different properties for warmth, breathability, easy care, and cost.
Whether decorative, warming, or protective, selecting the right blanket type impacts your comfort, coordination, and costs. Matching blanket materials and varieties to your climate, sleeping needs, and room aesthetics avoids disappointment. Despite various types of blankets, an informed purchase transforms your personal spaces into stylish sanctuaries of coziness.