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  • 5 Types Of Blankets Every Homeowner Should Own

    11 min read

    5 Types Of Blankets Every Homeowner Should Know about mali mudcloth on bed

    I am a Blanket but Not just any blanket

    Here is a blanket statement to get the ball rolling (no pun intend; "A blanket is just a blanket".

    The problem with this statement is that there are many different types of blankets, and each one is perfectly made for its intended purpose.

    A blanket is not just a blanket. Each type of blanket serves a different purpose, and some even play multi-purpose roles in our lives. The primary function of a blanket is to keep us warm, but blankets also form a big part of home décor, both in the bedroom and in other living areas of the home. Besides being a bed covering, they are draped over couches and chairs, hung on walls, used as seating mats, worn as garments, and even used over windows to keep the cold out.

    Different types of blankets with their intricate, colourful designs and combinations of fabrics are woven in cultures worldwide and in some cultures are considered prized possessions. Every household will have a range of blankets that are interchanged between summers and winters. They are essential items that bring warmth and comfort to us all.

    There is nothing more rewarding than a roof over your, food on your plate and a warm bed to sleep in.

    basotho heritage blanket with young girl sitting on blanket at the beach

    Why are blankets important?

    Blankets are mostly used to cover ourselves when we sleep.

     Have you ever noticed that if you take a nap on the sofa without covering yourself, you will wake up feeling a little cold? This is because your circadian rhythm that regulates your core body temperature has switched to sleep mode. Body heat generation is reduced to conserve energy and to put you into a state of rest.

    We have been using some form of covering (blanket) when we sleep from the beginning of our existence. Other mammals that are unable to cover themselves build dens, dig holes, and curl up as a means to retain body heat during sleep.

    Blankets are a means to help regulate a comfortable sleeping temperature. If we get too cold or too hot, your sleep will be interrupted. The room we sleep in, as well as our bed, should maintain this sleep "goldilocks" temperature so we can get the maximum benefit of a good night's sleep. For this reason, it is important to know about the characteristics of the different types of blankets on the market.

    The right type of blanket will moderate your sleep temperature, and you will be well-rested, thanks to your wise choices that meet the ever-changing dynamics of your sleep environment.

    Basotho blanket with kid on it in Carolyn beach

    5 Types of blankets you'll want to know about

    01. Wool Blankets

    Wool blankets offer the most warmth out of all the natural materials that blankets are made of.

    Besides the fact that wool is fire-resistant, it is also biodegradable and has antibacterial properties. Being antibacterial means that you do not have to wash wool blankets as often as other types of blankets.

    Although wool is considered soft, wool blankets tend to feel rough and, at times, will feel scratchy against your skin. Wool naturally repels water but only slightly, and the blankets can be pricey depending on where you are in the world. Wool retains heat, but it is also porous, meaning it can breathe and doesn't retain odors. All around, if warmth is your main need, wool blankets are the perfect choice for you.

    Basotho blanket with kid on it in california beach

    02. Cotton blankets

    Many people suffer from allergies, and others have sensitive skin that can be very uncomfortable.

    Cotton blankets are hypoallergenic and will reduce skin irritation and lessen the effect of allergies. They are great for warmer climates, but flammability raises concern, so using them in situations where there is an open fire should be done with caution. Cotton is easy to clean, but they retain water and take a long time to dry. The lightweight fabric regulates heat and prevents overheating, giving you uninterrupted sleep.

    Flannel cotton is used in clothing as well as blankets. It is a combination of fabrics that include cotton, wool and synthetic fibres. Cotton tends to wrinkle and will also shrink when heat dried, so care must be taken to air dry cotton in minimum heat conditions.

    Satin/cotton is a popular fabric combination because of its comfort, softness, and luxurious feel and appearance. Satin is a type of weave that is made from silk, but it is also made from synthetic fibres like polyester. Blankets made with silk are more expensive, whereas cotton/polyester blankets, which feel the same, are much more affordable.

    Egyptian/cotton is used to manufacture weighted blankets and are long-lasting. Unfortunately, like all expensive commodities, there are knockoffs of Egyptian blankets and care should be taken to make sure that the blanket is authentic Egyptian cotton. These blankets are breathable, and they also absorb moisture but are not prone to the degree of shrinking as regular cotton.

    Thula Tula Gey Cotton Blanket lying across the chair

    03. Afghan blankets

    Afghan blankets are not really used as blankets, but more as décor pieces

    This has created some controversy about whether Afghans are actually blankets. They are mostly made from wool and are either knitted or crocheted, which would explain why they are not often used as blankets, yet they provide sufficient warmth and are comfortable as well. Other fabrics are also used in combinations to make Afghan blankets.

    There is a lot of creativity that goes into making Afghan blankets, with the mile-a-minute blanket being made up of several strips joined together in the last stage of manufacture. You may recall patchwork quilts where a quilt or blanket is made from piecing knitted/crocheted blocks together; well, it's all part of the colourful and creative designs that make up Afghan blankets.

    The one issue with Afghans is that they are not easy to clean and to preserve the look, it is best to hand wash, and air dry them. As a decorative item in your home, the use is minimized, extending the lifespan of the blanket.

    A women in Thula Tula Afghan Blanket wrapped around her

    04. Acrylic blankets

    Acrylic or microfiber is a synthetic fiber that looks and feels like wool

    Acrylic blankets are warm, soft, lightweight, durable, and affordable, making them a popular blanket choice in most homes. The beauty of Acrylic is that it is moth resistant and can be stored for long periods without worry. The downside is that they are not very breathable, but on the flip side, they are great at heat retention.

    Mink fur is also used to make blankets, and Acrylic can mimic the feel and texture of mink. Many mink blankets are actually acrylic blankets that offer the softness and feel of mink.

    Child under acrylic blanket

    Acrylic blankets are perfect for kids soft, warm and hypoallergenic

    05. Weighted blankets

    Weighted blankets are exactly what the name suggests.

    These blankets are heavier than normal blankets and are recommended by Occupational therapists as a therapy for sensory issues like anxiety, stress, and ADHD. The blanket puts pressure on the body, which creates a sense of calm and is very effective as a therapy.

    The blanket's added weight helps children to self-soothe and or self-regulate as it gives them a sense of security. However, there are risks to babies and toddlers, so consult your doctor or paediatrician before a weighted blanket is used for young children.

    Weighted blankets are filled with glass beads or plastic pellets, and some have extra layers of fabric to increase the weight. This added weight releases serotonin in your brain which creates a feeling of calmness and helps children to wind down as they go to sleep. These blankets have become very popular among adults to alleviate stress from everyday life.

    Care should be taken with weighted blankets because if a seam opens up and the glass beads or plastic pellets escape, they can cause a choking hazard for small children.

    The added weight does not necessarily mean added warmth or heat because they must be able to be used in all climate conditions. The blankets are made from different fabrics and come in different weights as well. If you feel you could benefit from a weighted blanket, it will be advisable to discuss your needs with an occupational therapist or your doctor.

    mali mudcloth blanket with faily underneath

    While not a traditional weighted blanket the Mali Mudcloth Blanket is perfect weight for someone looking for a heavy soft and beautiful blanket.

    Blankets are caregivers

    As people, we will all get to experience the wonders provided by blankets throughout our lives. Blankets are often taken for granted, and people don't realize just how important their function is in our lives.

    I see blankets as primary caregivers. We use them to comfort ourselves, contain and subdue our emotions, and keep warm when we sleep.

    The Mexicans who enjoy their siesta cut a hole in a blanket and called it a poncho. This was ingenious because wearing a blanket meant protection from the hot sun and warmth in the cold winter.

    Whichever way we look at blankets, we have to recognize that they are designed and made to care for us, especially when we are at our most vulnerable. Doing research on types of blankets is always a good idea because you will know exactly which type of blanket will cater for your specific needs.

    family wearing all types of blankets on a california beah

    FAQ - The Questions You want Answered

    Is acrylic good for a blanket?

    Acrylic can be a good choice of material for a blanket, as it has some properties that make it desirable for this purpose.

    Acrylic is a synthetic fiber that is lightweight, soft, and warm, making it ideal for blankets meant to provide warmth and comfort.

    Acrylic is also durable, easy to care for, and resistant to mildew, meaning it can last long with proper care.

    Additionally, acrylic can be dyed in various colors and patterns, so you can find a blanket that fits your aesthetic preferences.

    However, one drawback of acrylic is that it can sometimes be itchy or uncomfortable for people with sensitive skin. In this case, consider a different material, such as cotton or wool.

    Overall, whether acrylic is a good choice for a blanket will depend on your preferences and needs. Acrylic may be a good option if you prioritize warmth, durability, and easy care.

    Can 100% acrylic blanket wash?

    Whether cotton or acrylic is better for a blanket depends on what you are looking for in a blanket.

    Both materials have advantages and disadvantages, and the best choice will depend on your needs and preferences.

    Cotton is a natural fiber that is soft, breathable, and absorbent.

    It is a good choice for people with sensitive skin, as it is hypoallergenic and does not irritate the skin.

    Cotton blankets are also easy to care for and can be machine washed and dried.

    Acrylic, conversely, is a synthetic fiber that is lightweight, warm, and durable.

     It is easy to care for and resistant to mildew, making it a good choice for outdoor use or in damp environments.

     Acrylic blankets are also less expensive than cotton blankets and can be found in various colors and patterns.

    In general, if you prioritize softness and breathability, cotton may be the better choice for you.

     If you prioritize warmth, durability, and easy care, acrylic may be better.

    However, both materials can make excellent blankets, and the choice ultimately depends on your preferences and needs.

    Why are acrylic blankets preferred over wool blankets?

    Acrylic blankets are often preferred over wool blankets for a few reasons:

    1. Cost: Acrylic blankets are generally less expensive than wool blankets, which can make them a more affordable option for many people.
    2. Durability: Acrylic blankets are more durable than wool blankets and can last longer with proper care. They are less likely to shrink, stretch, or pill, making them a good choice for everyday use.
    3. Care: Acrylic blankets are easy to care for and can be machine washed and dried, while wool blankets often require more careful washing and drying to avoid damage.
    4. Allergies: Some people are allergic to wool, while acrylic is hypoallergenic and does not cause allergic reactions in most people.
    5. Weight: Acrylic blankets are generally lighter than wool blankets, making them a more comfortable option for use in warmer weather or for those who prefer a lighter blanket.

    While wool blankets have their advantages, such as their natural warmth and softness, acrylic blankets offer many benefits that make them a popular choice for many people.

    Ultimately, choosing acrylic and wool blankets will depend on your preferences and needs.

    Will an acrylic blanket keep you warm?

    Yes, an acrylic blanket can keep you warm as it is a synthetic fiber with insulating properties.

    Acrylic fibers are designed to trap air, which helps to keep you warm by retaining body heat.

    Acrylic blankets are often used as a lightweight alternative to wool blankets.

    They can be warm and cozy without being heavy or bulky, making them a good choice for all seasons.

    Additionally, acrylic blankets are often designed with a brushed or napped finish, making them feel soft and fuzzy, adding to their warmth and comfort.

    Overall, whether an acrylic blanket will keep you warm depends on the quality and thickness of the blanket and the conditions in which you use it.

    But acrylic blankets can be an excellent choice for providing warmth and comfort.

    Which is warmer wool or acrylic?

    Wool is generally considered to be warmer than acrylic. Wool is a natural fiber with excellent insulating properties, which means it can trap air and retain body heat.

    Wool fibers are also naturally crimped, creating air pockets that provide additional insulation.

    On the other hand, acrylic is a synthetic fiber that is not as warm as wool.

    While acrylic does have some insulating properties, it is not as effective at trapping air or retaining body heat as wool.

    That being said, the warmth of a wool or acrylic blanket will depend on various factors, including the quality and thickness of the material and the conditions in which it is used.

    Additionally, some people may prefer the feel of acrylic over wool, even if wool is generally considered to be warmer.

    Ultimately, choosing between wool and acrylic will depend on your preferences and needs.

    If warmth is your primary concern, the wool may be the better choice. If you are looking for a more affordable or easy-to-care-for option, acrylic may be your better choice.

    Is acrylic warm enough for winter?

    Acrylic is a synthetic fiber that can provide warmth during the winter, but its warmth will depend on the thickness and quality of the acrylic yarn used.

    Acrylic fibers can be designed to mimic natural fibers like wool, but they are generally not as warm as wool.

    However, many winter garments such as hats, scarves, and gloves are made from acrylic yarn because it is less expensive than wool and other natural fibers and easier to care for.

    Acrylic fibers can be machine-washed and dried, convenient for winter wear that may need to be washed frequently.

    Overall, acrylic can provide warmth for winter wear. Still, if you live in a frigid climate, consider other materials, such as wool or synthetic fibers designed specifically for extreme cold.

    Is acrylic fabric good for summer?

    Acrylic fabric is not the best choice for summer wear as it is a synthetic fiber that is not breathable.

    Acrylic fibers do not absorb moisture readily and can trap heat and sweat against the skin, making the wearer feel hot and uncomfortable.

    In contrast, natural fibers such as cotton, linen, and rayon are fantastic for summer wear.

    They are lightweight and breathable, allowing air to circulate the body and wick away moisture, keeping the wearer cool and comfortable.

    If you are looking for summer clothing, it's best to choose lightweight, breathable, and moisture-wicking fabrics to help you stay relaxed and comfortable in hot weather.

    Is acrylic itchy like wool?

    Acrylic fibers are generally not as itchy as wool fibers.

    Wool fibers have natural scales on their surface that can cause irritation and itchiness when they come into contact with the skin.

    In contrast, acrylic fibers are smooth and do not have scales, making them less likely to cause itching or irritation.

    However, the texture and quality of acrylic yarn can vary depending on how it was manufactured and processed.

    Some acrylic yarns may feel rough or scratchy, while others may be soft and smooth.

    If you have sensitive skin or are prone to itchiness, it's always best to check the label and choose acrylic garments that are labeled as "soft" or "non-itch" to minimize the risk of irritation.

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