Buying Guide to Blankets


Buying Guide to Blankets

7 Things to Know Before You Buy

Shopping for a blanket? You may be simply looking for something that's soft and warm, but you'll quickly discover there is a huge selection of blankets that fit those basic criteria. Narrow down your choices with this list of seven must know facts.

Fact #1: Blankets and Throws Are Not the Same Thing

A blanket is a piece of bedding. A throw, on the other hand, is considered a home decor item. Can't tell the difference between the two? Check the sizing. Throws are sized by length and width; blankets typically come in twin, full/queen or king size (although they may also have specific measurements listed on their tags).

The two also tend to differ when it comes to design. Throws are made with a few more bells and whistles (tassels, patterns) to give your decor a pop. While blankets, which spend most of their time hidden under your comforter, are crafted with function and simplicity in mind.

Fact #2: Size Matters

Just like most of your other bedding, blankets come in basic bedding sizes. You don't want to select one that is either too small or too big. So before you go shopping, know whether your bed is a twin, twin XL, full/queen, king or California king-sized bed. While queen size blankets typically run 90" by 90", depending on the manufacturer, you may find versions that run slightly larger or smaller.

Fact #3: Not All Blankets Provide the Same Amount of Warmth

This is a good thing. You don't want to slip under a fleece blanket (too warm) in the middle of summer and conversely an Egyptian cotton blanket (too light) in the dead of winter. Choose seasonally appropriate blankets -- lightweight cotton and cotton/polyester blends in warmer months and fleece, wool, knit, or down blankets for when it's cold.

Fact #4: Not All Blankets Are Machine Washable

Strange but true, some blankets are dry clean only. If you prefer not to make a trip to the dry cleaners, make sure the tag states you can toss it in the wash.

Fact #5: Electric Blankets Are Safe and Low Maintenance

If you like a warm, toasty bed, consider an electric blanket. Most of the current options have an auto shut-off for safety and are conveniently machine washable. Some remote controls have 10 settings, a pre-heat setting, and auto shut-off feature after a specified period of time.

Fact #6: Moisture-wicking Fabrics Keep You Warm and Dry

Blankets made from natural fibers like cotton, wool and silk wick moisture away from the body better than their synthetic counterparts. So you stay warm and cozy, not overheated.

Fact #7: There Are Options for Those with Allergies

If you are prone to sniffles, sneezes and watery eyes, choose a blanket that can be washed in hot water (130 degrees Fahrenheit). This is the quickest, most effective way to eliminate allergens.