Statistics show that blankets are essential for a good night’s sleep. So, besides providing us with the necessary warmth, good-quality blankets can improve our overall well-being.
Also, blankets can have wide usage, and they’ve found their way into advertising, the camping industry, and so on.
But do you know which types of blankets are the most popular? Which type should you buy? Should you go for a weighted blanket or maybe an electric one? If you are unsure, our comprehensive guide will provide you with all the information you will ever need.
So, sit tight while we go through the most important categories of blankets out there.
Blanket material types
The most common method for classifying the blankets is by the type of material they are made of. Over the years, humans have experimented with all sorts of materials that could keep them warm during long winter nights.
As a result, we now have different types of blankets at our disposal. Here is a quick breakdown of the categories based on the material that was used.
Cotton is a widely used material and ancient civilizations have perfected the methods for making this type of fabric. When it comes to cotton blankets, they offer a range of benefits.
For example, cotton blankets are long-lasting and easy to clean. Likewise, their softness is incredible! What’s more, your cotton blankets will get softer and softer as the years go by. On top of that, cotton blankets are hypoallergenic. Plus, you can use these fluffy blankets with all types of weather, even during the summer.
Even though cotton blankets do not have many downsides, one of the drawbacks of these blankets is the fact that they are flammable. Yet, if you are careful – cotton blankets will keep you warm for decades.
One of the most popular blanket types is a wool blanket. As we all know, wool is a material derived from sheep. Much like cotton, wool was used for centuries. Of course, the process is now industrialized, and certain types of wool are expensive as well.
Even so, wool blankets remain popular worldwide. Some of the reasons for their usage are softness, breathability, and warmth. As a matter of fact, wool blankets provide the most warmth out of all types of blankets out there. With that said, the breathable nature of the material will allow you to use wool blankets during summer months as well.
Wool blankets are biodegradable and antibacterial. Also, they are fire-resistant, up to a certain point. Likewise, wool can act as water-repellent, which means that drops of liquid will not soak into the blanket immediately. However, all those exquisite features come at a cost, and wool blankets tend to be a bit pricey.
Unlike wool and cotton, some types of blanket material are not ‘natural’. Meaning, they cannot be derived from materials found in nature. Well, fleece is one of those synthetic materials. And, fleece blankets are one of the categories of blankets that are a product of the industrial revolution.
Either way, fleece blankets are popular all across the globe. Why? First of all, fleece blankets are affordable and versatile. For that reason, they have a range of purposes. (Think of promotional blankets used in advertising or the ones you carry with you on a camping trip).
Also, there are many other reasons why fleece may be the best material for blankets. For instance, the fleece is hydrophobic, which means that this material can repel water. In general, fleece blankets are super-soft and extremely comfortable. Some types of fleece are warmer than cotton, which makes them ideal for the colder climate.
In recent years, synthetic blanket materials have exploded in popularity. For example, blankets made out of polyester are used worldwide.
Polyester blankets are one of the cheapest types of blankets for the bed. Because of their durability, they can be machine-washed without any problems. In most cases, polyester is blended with natural fabric, resulting in a smooth and soft surface.
The benefits of polyester blankets are longevity and affordability. Yet, these blankets are not the best out there when it comes to keeping users warm during the cold nights. These blankets are light and not as breathable as the ones made of natural blanket materials.
When it comes to mass production, vellux blankets seem to be taking over the world. If you are thinking about types of blankets for beds in a hotel – vellux is the obvious choice. In fact, the nickname for vellux blankets is “hotel blankets”.
Vellux is also a man-made material, and it consists of two layers of foam trapped between two layers of plush nylon. As a result, vellux is super-easy to clean. So, the maintenance of these blankets is as easy as it gets. Plus, vellux blankets are among the most durable types of blankets in today’s market. According to some testimonials, these blankets could stay with you for up to 30 years!
On top of all that, vellux blankets are hypoallergenic and non-pilling. However, they do not offer the best possible heat insulation, and you may need to use two or three of them if the temperatures drop way below zero.
As we said, polyester and vellux blankets are the cheaper options. Well, now it’s time for the opposite side of the spectrum. The next entry on our list is the most expensive type, and cashmere blankets are well-known for being a high-end product.
Cashmere belongs to the natural types of blanket material. It comes from Asia, typically India or Pakistan. Similar to wool and cotton, the use of cashmere can be traced all the way back to ancient times. Since cashmere is all-natural, the blankets from this material are Eco-friendly and biodegradable.
Also, cashmere blankets are lightweight and soft. Even though they are super-thin, they provide top-notch insulation. In other words, they can keep you warm during the night. Yet, the price of cashmere blankets is often steep and they are not easily affordable.
If we take a look at the history books, we can see that humans have first used animal fur to protect themselves from the elements. Thus, different types of fur were used as the first blanket material types. Nowadays, most people do not rely on actual fur to keep them warm. Instead, they go with the so-called Mink fur, which acts as a replacement.
At first glance, some people could be fooled to believe that Mink fur is actually coming from the animals. But the truth is that this fur-like material also comes from our factories and industrial facilities. In other words, blanket manufacturers are using synthetic material that resembles animal fur.
Of course, Mink fur is much cheaper than actual animal fur. That is why these types of blankets are popular worldwide. Among other things, they are cozy and warm. After all, what could be better than cuddle with a fuzzy blanket?
Additional blanket types
Besides being made out of different materials, modern blankets can have different shapes and purposes. For example, some of them are heated while others have therapeutic effects. So, here are two examples of such categories.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that electric blankets were not a part of daily life in ancient times. People in the caves did not leave any paintings on the walls that depict electric blankets. On the contrary, these types of blankets are a product of technological advancements that took place within the last century.
As their name implies, electric blankets have a heating element inside. In most cases, the wiring is connected to a control unit which allows users to adjust the temperature. Newer models can be equipped with thermostats and similar gimmicks.
All in all, the purpose of electric blankets is to provide users with added warmth during super-cold nights.
Last but not least, an honorable mention goes to a special class of blankets – the weighted ones. When we talk about what are blankets made of, it is hard to categorize weighted blankets because they can be made out of so many different materials. Yet, these blankets offer a wide array of important benefits.
Weighted blankets are filled with glass beads or poly pellets. These so-called fillers make the blankets heavier than the ‘standard’ ones, which provides users with a soothing feeling. For that reason, weighted blankets are a great choice for people suffering from PTSD, anxiety, or even autism.
Even though they are bulky and heavy, these blankets are easy to care for. Admittedly, the type of filler has a say in this, too. But in general, you will not go wrong with buying a weighted blanket. In fact, you might be pleasantly surprised by a significant reduction in the number of sleepless nights.
The bottom line
As you can see, different types of blankets can offer different benefits. Some materials are more durable than others while others offer better insulation. In a way, your personal preferences and needs will be the overriding factor. Make sure to analyze your sleeping habits and choose a blanket type that best suits your lifestyle.