Best Blankets: What to Look for in a Blanket? Update 04/2024

One of life’s greatest luxuries is retiring to a bed that has recently been made up with clean sheets and a cozy comforter. A good blanket keeps you warm, but an excellent one is also breathable, comfortable, and fashionable; it also looks well and lasts for many years. We have spent over 500 hours testing 44 different blankets over all four seasons, and we have narrowed it down to 7 that we think you’ll be excited to cuddle up in when it’s time for bed.
Here are some suggestions for blankets that can be used year-round, either on top of a comforter in the summer or as an additional layer underneath it in the winter. There is a plush-cotton hybrid that is a household favorite in addition to a lightweight cotton coverlet, a chunky cotton waffle knit, a heavyweight cotton twill, a washable wool of heirloom quality, a quilt made from organic cotton with hand embroidery, a velvety, warm fleece, and a hand-embroidered organic cotton coverlet. When feasible, we shopped for blankets produced from all-natural materials. Several of the blankets we recommend are more expensive than others on the market, but we believe they are well worth the cost because they will be used nightly for years to come.

Garnet Hill Plush-Loft Blanket

Ideal Seasons: Late Autumn and Winter

Texture-wise, it’s thick and fluffy. similar to a cool quilt with a plush synthetic fur on the reverse.

Here are a few reasons why it’s fantastic:

If you want the coziest, sturdiest, and most reliable blanket, listen to what the tests and employees have to say: the Garnet Hill Plush-Loft is your best bet. It’s sewn together like a quilt, but instead of using thin batting, it’s packed with soft, lofty filling. In comparison to L.L.Bean’s velvety Wicked Cozy Blanket, the Garnet Hill’s top is comprised of quilted sateen, the thin middle layer consists of polyester fill, and the back is a super-soft polyester plush. My daughter and my dog, who both helped me test blankets for this guide, quickly settled on the Plush-Loft as their favorite. It has the polished look of a quilt, yet is surprisingly lightweight when used as a comforter (which is how we tested it). It’s great that it comes in a wide variety of sizes, for example. Additionally, it is the only option that comes in a throw size, which is ideal for lounging about the house. (The Wicked Cozy is also available in a throw size from L.L.Bean; however, the throw is crafted from a slightly different fabric than the blanket.) Products purchased from Garnet Hill can be returned or exchanged at any time.
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The Plush-Loft is unquestionably the best loft blanket among the five we tested. Throughout testing, it maintained its shape without losing its smoothness or becoming pilled. After a wash, it felt even fluffier, and the seams looked brand new. Only a few owners have mentioned that this blanket slides off the bed during the night, but overall the evaluations have been very positive. Two winters in, we’ve both come to the conclusion that the Plush-bulk Loft’s makes it too easy to fall asleep with your feet on the floor. It’s so reassuring to pull up every once in a while that we don’t mind. In spite of the fact that I’ve cleaned it dozens of times and that there are no obvious signs of wear or pilling, the plush seems to have seen more action than the shirt has. You can still feel the softness. At least three of our employees have acquired Plush-Loft blankets and found them to be both warm and comfortable; they are especially popular for usage on their children’s beds (one uses them under comforters for Maine winters). One common criticism is that darker hues attract more lint. In addition, one employee mentioned that the blankets might require a trip to the laundromat because their size makes them unsuitable for use in standard washing machines.

Downsides but not dealbreakers include the fact that this is the smallest of our top picks, with a queen size that is between 4 and 10 inches shorter than other queen-size blankets we tried. The king size we tested shrank a little in the wash, so it didn’t quite reach the floor around a king bed, and it also didn’t have much extra material to tuck under the mattress. Get a bigger one if you can. This blanket is the noisiest on our list due to the sateen fabric, which is slightly crinkly. However, it was the slowest to dry (about four hours on low) of the blankets we considered for the dryer.

Various sizes available, including: toss, twin/double/queen/king

Mix of cotton and polyester fleece

In eight distinct hues,

L.L.Bean Wicked Cozy Blanket

Ideal Seasons: Late Autumn and Winter

It has a velvety feel and a texture closer to plush than polar fleece.

The L.L.Bean Wicked Cozy Blanket was the clear winner when we compared 17 different fleece blankets and put them through rigorous testing. It was softer, more breathable, and less staticky than the other polyester fleece options we examined, and it had a much higher-end, deluxe feel than the cheap fleece options we encountered at big-box stores. (The plushiness of it made it a hit with our kids and pets.) If you tend to get cold easily, this blanket is a good alternative; it warmed my feet up more quickly than the others we tried. The lightweight variant was just as toasty but not quite as cumbersome, and we also tried it out.

Although the cotton fleece we tried from Garnet Hill pilled and matted after just one wash, the Wicked Cozy fared much better in our durability test. Some previous owners said that the Wicked Cozy shreds badly in the dryer, but we didn’t find this to be an issue. When compared to the other blankets we considered, this one dried faster (about two hours on low). Additionally, it did not shrink at all in our wash testing, unlike the other fleece blankets we tried. It had the best ratings out of all the fleece blankets we looked at, and it had been in stock each winter for the prior three years. We’ve had one of our employees wear her Wicked Cozy all through a New England winter, and she reports that it keeps her toasty and holds up nicely. L.L.Bean allows returns within a year of purchase.

Cons but not dealbreakers: during our sleep trials, I overheated under this blanket while my husband found it to be quite airy. To my surprise, I didn’t get too hot while using the mild variety. The original was not as clingy as our other cotton and wool choices, so it did some bed hopping while we slept. Tumble drying on the lowest heat setting worked just fine, despite the blanket’s care instructions recommending “tumble dry with no heat.” Static electricity can zap you if you don’t use a dryer sheet.

Twin, Full/Queen, King, and Super King sizes available.

Fabrication: polyester fleece

Hues: six primary hues

Coyuchi Pebbled Handstitched Organic Quilt

In the fall, winter, and spring, you’ll get the best results.

Texture-wise, it’s soft and lightly brushed, with a rippling pattern that comes out even more after a wash. It’s bigger and thicker than a standard cotton blanket, but it’s not necessarily heavier.

Here are a few reasons why it’s fantastic:

After 15 years of quilting, I can confidently say that the Coyuchi Pebbled Handstitched Organic Quilt is the most stunning quilt I’ve seen made on a large scale. The product comes from a conscientious business that took inspiration from the quilting culture and added some nice touches. Also, it’s the most adaptable blanket option we provide. Quilts are typically more expensive than other types of blankets, bedspreads, and coverlets since they are considered an investment piece that can be used to enhance the aesthetic value of the bedroom. As with the rest of our top choices, the Coyuchi is not cheap. When compared to the hundreds of dollars that a handmade quilt would cost, this one is a steal.

The Coyuchi is a type of quilt called a “whole cloth quilt” because it is pieced together from large, continuous pieces of fabric. A common type of American quilt is the patchwork quilt, in which scraps of fabric in a wide range of colors and designs are pieced together to form a whole. Subtle solid colors (the Coyuchi comes in white, gray, dark blue, and light blue) are frequently used for making quilts like the whole cloth Coychi, which serves to highlight the intricate surface stitching. Both patchwork and traditional quilts feature a layer of batting in the centre for extra warmth and texture; batting can be composed of cotton, wool, or polyester.

The Coyuchi’s embroidery is its shining moment. It is hand-embroidered in India and is influenced by traditional kantha quilts from Bangladesh and India, which have dense needlework all over the surface (for hundreds of years, Americans have been influenced by kanthas). Its design features contrasting thread that stands out against the gently brushed fabric of the quilt, creating a beautiful, uneven pattern that is almost meditative to trace with your fingers. The fabric retains its softness and charming appearance after being washed and dried, while developing lovely puckers and bunches. This quilt meets the requirements of the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), however it is not a Fair Trade Certified product because it was not made by Coyuchi.

If you don’t reside in an extremely cold or hot area, the Coyuchi quilt is the most versatile option on our list. You can use it as an extra layer of warmth in the winter by draping it over your blanket, or as an extra layer of coolness over your bedding in the summer. You could also use a blanket instead of a comforter. The binding around the blanket’s edges is sturdy and did not stretch or shrink in the wash, giving the quilt a finished look that is worthy of display on your bed. The Coyuchi is only available in two sizes, and its sides are probably too short to tuck in, but I rather preferred the sight of it just hanging on the bed, where its intricate pattern could be appreciated in all its glory. Coyuchi has a 60-day return policy. Inconsistencies but not dealbreakers: Surfaces with thick embroidery thread are a magnet for snagging toenails and pet claws. But the stitching caught during the wear testing and didn’t tear or break, and after pulling the quilt taut, the threads went back to where they belonged. Though pets can be rough on bedding, we plan to put the Coyuchi through extensive durability testing to see how it holds up over time.

Available in Full/Queen and King.

Material: cotton

The palette consists of three primary colors.

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