Choosing the right blanket includes more than just the colour or size. Other factors are involved in this, which will determine how satisfied you will be with the blanket after buying it. The factors you should consider when buying a blanket are:
- Thread Count
- Care and Maintenance
- Return Policy
BetterBed will walk you through each of these things to consider when buying a blanket so that you can buy one that lives up to your expectations.
Blankets are made of various types of fabrics, and each of them has its benefits. So, you can choose the one that best fits your needs.
Blankets are available in various sizes, from small baby blankets to large blankets for Australian beds and in between are the throws meant to be artistically draped over the sofa. Your intention behind buying the blanket determines the size you need to buy. So, think about how you will use the blanket before buying it.
If you’re buying a blanket for a bed, you should ensure that the blanket is big enough to be tucked on all sides of the mattress. Also, blanket sizes vary according to the manufacturer, so measure the dimensions of your bed to be sure of the size of the blanket you need to buy.
- Cashmere: Cashmere is a type of wool obtained from specially bred goats, mostly in the India, Pakistan and Tibet regions. Made of strong and light threads of wool, it is one of the most luxurious fabrics. Cashmere blankets are very soft and provide high-quality insulation. But all these benefits also make cashmere blankets very expensive and high maintenance.
- Cotton: Cotton blankets are breathable, lightweight, affordable, and perform well even after multiple washes. Though on its own, cotton may be too light for a winter blanket, when combined with an insulating material and depending on its weave, it can be used during winter. Cotton is a natural fibre, which makes this blanket a good choice for eco-conscious buyers.
- Down: Down blankets have a layer of duck or goose feathers sandwiched between fabric layers. They are lightweight but provide a high level of insulation. If you are allergic to feathers or want a vegan option, down alternatives are available. These are similar to down blankets but are made of synthetic fibres.
- Fleece: Cosy fleece blankets are actually made of synthetic fibres to resemble animal fur. They are soft and velvety to the touch, which makes this material popular among children. Fleece is easy to care for and has moisture-wicking properties, which again makes them a great choice for children’s blankets. They are lightweight and extra warm.
- Wool: Wool is a traditional blanket material, and wool blankets have been around for ages. Wool blankets continue to be popular because of the high-quality insulation and warmth they provide, making them a perfect choice for winters. They are heavy and have moisture-wicking properties. But, poor quality wool can feel scratchy, so you should check the quality of wool before you buy.
- Polyester: If you are looking for an affordable, durable, and low-maintenance blanket and do not mind synthetic material, then polyester blankets are the best choice for you. They stand up well to multiple washes and drawings through many years and do not lose their shape. You can choose a cotton and polyester blend for both high breathability and durability.
- Acrylic: Acrylic is a synthetic material constructed similarly to polyester. These blankets are not as popular as they used to be, but many people still use them. Most of these blankets come with a satin trim. They are a more affordable alternative to cashmere and wool, with the benefit of easy care and stain resistance, but they are more prone to pilling.
While weighted blankets are characterized by their comforting weight, meant for therapeutic purposes, all other blankets also have their own weight. Some blankets are lightweight, while others are heavier. You can choose the one that matches your preference. Also, the weight of a blanket is not an indication of warmth, as lightweight polyester blankets can provide as much warmth as a heavy wool blanket.
4. Thread Count:
In Australia, thread count is the number of threads per 10cm2 of fabric. So a blanket with a 600 thread count has 600 threads woven horizontally and 600 threads woven vertically per 10cm2. The general misconception is that the higher the thread count, the better the quality.
This is not always true as threads can be split to create a higher count, which weakens the fabric and affects the quality. Therefore, you should also check for the quality of the material and the manufacturer’s reputation before you commit to a blanket with a thread count higher than 600.
Loft is the measure of the height of a blanket. This makes your choice of loft more of a personal preference and a design consideration than a functional point. A blanket with a higher loft will look more fluffy and luxurious than one with a lower loft. But, it is also important to remember that a higher loft means more warmth. So, you need to consider this if you want an all-season blanket.
Blankets have different warmth ratings. Some are made for summer, while others are specifically made to get you through heavy winters. There is also another category – all-season blankets. You can use these blankets throughout the year if you layer them with another blanket during winter. So, be sure which season you will use the blanket in before buying it.
The weave of a blanket impacts its appearance and warmth. Four common types of weaves are given below.
- Conventional: This is a traditional weave – close and tight, and creates a high level of insulation.
- Thermal: This is a loose weave that makes the blanket more breathable. Typically used for cotton blankets.
- Quilted: Blankets with fills, like down blankets, are quilted to keep the blanket fill in place.
- Knit: Typically found in blankets made of wool or synthetic fibers, the knit weave makes the blanket cozy, heavy, and warm.
Apart from these, waffle weave blankets have a textured appearance like their name suggests, and they are warmer than they appear.
8. Care and Maintenance:
A blanket’s care and maintenance requirements vary according to the material used and the type of blanket. For example, a cashmere blanket requires more care than a fleece blanket. So, before you buy a blanket, be sure of how the blanket will be used and who will be using it. If you are buying a blanket for a child, you should choose one that is stain resistant and durable.
The materials used and the design of a blanket determine its price. While there are some obviously expensive ones like cashmere blankets and obviously affordable options like polyester blankets, there are still various high-quality blanket options available for all budgets. So, research the blanket designs carefully before buying the blanket.
Most blankets do not come with a warranty unless they fall under a special category like weighted blankets or electric blankets that are more susceptible to manufacturing defects. If your blanket manufacturer does provide a warranty, be sure to read all the terms and conditions to make sure you use the blanket in a way that keeps it eligible to claim the warranty.
11. Return Policy:
While a majority of blanket retailers offer returns on their products, a very small number of them will accept a used blanket or one that has been removed from its original packaging. So, read the retailer’s return policy carefully before purchasing the blanket so that you are not faced with any unpleasant surprises if you want to return the blanket you bought.
We all want a blanket that is perfect for snuggling in after a long day or comfortable to lounge under on the sofa. But, it is important to consider factors like size, fabric, weight, thread count, warmth, loft, and maintenance requirements, among others, before you buy the blanket to ensure you buy the right one for your needs and preferences. If you want to know the best blankets for winter in Australia, read our review.