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  • Blanket vs comforter - Your Ultimate Guide

    8 min read

    Thula Tula blanket

    The Ultimate Guide to Blanket vs comforter the choice is more important than you think

    Blankets and comforters are primarily used to enhance sleep quality, which should be the principal reason for your choice. 

    Having comforters and blankets in your home can be beneficial as this will add a layer of convenience and warmth to your lifestyle.


    Sadly, in our modern times, many choices are made based on outside influences or smooth-talking salespeople. 


    Your bedding, like your home décor, is personally selected and arranged to compliment your needs which may change from season to season. 


    However, when deciding whether to invest in a blanket or a comforter, you need credible information to make an informed decision.


    For some people, the convenience and price of a comforter might be more appealing than the image in their mind of making a blanket-covered bed. 


    But really, how much more difficult is it? Others might prefer the more traditional route and stick to blankets which is correct if you purchased the wrong type of blankets. 


    Let’s face some basic facts: blankets and comforters are essential in our homes, and choosing which to use is a personal issue. 

    Various factors may influence your decisions, including climate, age, medical conditions, budget, or sleeping alone vs. with a partner. 


    These and other factors could affect your comfort level and the overall quality of your sleep. There is no right and wrong, but there is such a thing as ill-informed and well-informed. 


    Our objective is to be as brutally honest as possible without favoring one.


    We’ll look at blankets and comforters and present facts that will hopefully guide you to making well-informed decisions in the future.


    Let’s get on with it and layer this comparison between comforters and blankets with the bare facts.

    man and woman sleeping on bed with comforter

    What is a comforter?

    The name “Comforter” should explain the purpose of comforting the user by providing soft, lightweight, and warm comfort. A comforter is a thick bedding item with an inner fill and outer cover. 


    Some of the best comforters are made with cotton outer shells, but other fabrics are also available. 


    Comforters are ready-to-use bedding items that are way more convenient than a duvet which requires a separate cover. 


    Comforters are made with a quilted fill that can be natural or synthetic, and the fill type will determine the thermodynamic and other characteristics. 


    The quilted construction helps to maintain its shape, much like a conventional blanket.

    comforter placed on bed

    Properties of a comforter

    Comforters are judged by the insulation level they provide. Compared to blankets, comforters are much warmer due to the materials used and the loft between the upper and the lower fabric. 


    The fill is often natural, like goose or duck feathers, or alternatives like cotton, polyester, wool, or silk. 


    Natural down is incredibly comfortable and warm and has outstanding insulation capabilities, ideal for those cold winter months. 


    The catch is that duck and goose down trap heat and may lead to overheating. This will interrupt your sleep resulting in poor sleep quality.


    Climates with significant temperature changes between the summer and winter may call for a change in bedding. 


    If you’re using a goose-down comforter during winter, storing it for the summer could be challenging as it has significantly more loft than a blanket.


    Down comforters retain warmth but trap dust, which becomes a breeding ground for dust mites. People with allergies might experience irritation, such as sneezing, coughing, or a runny nose after some time under a soft comforter. 


    Caring for your comforter is relatively straightforward, but it’s essential to follow the care instructions printed on the label. Down-filled comforters may require dry cleaning or a gentle wash cycle to protect the soft fill. 


    Ideally, it would help if you hung your comforter in the sun for a few hours a day and at least twice weekly. 


    This will help to control dust mites to a degree, but dry cleaning or washing is still recommended.

    a women is sleeping while wearing the comforter

    Price Range of the blanket or comforter

    The price of a comforter varies significantly, and the most affordable comforters can cost as low as $20. Still, they are made with polyester covers and microfiber fill, which doesn’t have the best insulation properties. 


    Comforters that combine more quality materials, such as outer cotton fabric and natural down fill, are more expensive and usually begin at $100 but are well worth the investment. 


    Comforters are usually more expensive than blankets, but it all boils down to quality.

    Pros


    • Made of layers of fabric and has a greater loft. 
    • Has excellent insulating capacity. 
    • Ideal for colder seasons. 
    • Comfortable, lightweight, and convenient. 

    Cons


    • Hard to store due to the greater loft. 
    • They trap dust and mites, causing allergic reactions. 
    • Quite high maintenance. 
    • Provide little airflow.

    What is a blanket?

    Blankets are typically made with a single layer of specifically selected fabric or a blend of fabrics chosen for their temperature-regulating ability, durability, and comfort level. 


    Wool, cotton, and fleece blankets are popular choices as they can be used for all seasons and weather conditions.


    Wool is typically chosen because it makes the blanket thick and warm, while fleece is an excellent option for people who want a fluffy and huggable blanket.

    a women is on the bed worn blanket and a glass of water in the hand

    Properties of a blanket

    Blankets are available in a wide range of natural and synthetic fabrics. Wool is a natural fabric with a wide range of characteristics that promote sleep quality. 


    A good night’s sleep depends on reaching and maintaining the optimum sleep temperature; there is no better fabric to accomplish this than wool. 


    A wool blanket is ideal for hot sleepers or those who experience hot flushes at night. 


    Wool wicks moisture (sweat) away from your body while you sleep and helps to regulate your sleep temperature throughout the night. 


    Wool is also naturally antimicrobial, antibacterial, and hypoallergenic, meaning wool is ideal for people who suffer from allergies. 


    Wool does not create a micro-climate conducive to dust mites thriving in your wool blanket. 


    Wool does not trap heat like down but regulates heat from the inside while acting as an insulator from the outside. 


    Wool is fire and odor-resistant, making wool blankets ideal for multiple uses, including camping. 


    Wool can absorb up to 30% of its weight in water and keep you dry and warm. 


    Due to its many properties, wool blankets are not cleaned as often as other blanket types or comforters. 


    Cleaning your wool blanket is as simple as hanging it out to air for a few hours every few days. 


    Wool blankets can be washed gently, only using cold water and a minimal amount of mild detergent. Water should be pressed out of the blanket and laid flat to dry. 

    A man and women sleeping on the bed with their kids and wearing blanket

    Price Range

    As with every other bedding item, the price of a blanket depends on the materials from which it’s made.


    A fleece blanket can cost as low as $15, but the price increases relative to the manufacturing process of the fabric.


    Some of the more expensive blankets are made from luxurious fabrics, such as natural fur or cashmere, which can cost up to thousands of dollars.

    Pros


    • Lightweight and made of a single layer of fabric. 
    • Good insulation properties if made of wool. 
    • Breathable, temperature regulating, and hypoallergenic if made from wool.
    • Suitable for all seasons. 
    • Easy to clean, store, and maintain. 
    • Comfortable, lightweight, and convenient. 

    Cons


    • Insulation property is dependent on the material. 
    • Fluffy if it is made of wool, fleece, or some synthetic fabrics.

    Sleep quality and hygiene

    Most people who prefer blankets will usually make their bed using two sheets; one to cover the mattress like a fitted sheet and a flat sheet to serve as a shield between you and the blanket. 


    Old blankets were made with thicker fibers that tended to be scratchy on the skin. A soft cotton sheet was initially used to prevent skin irritation. 


    Sleep studies found that dead skin cells, yeast, and bacteria flake in our beds during sleep. 


    The study also revealed that night sweats and oil secretion from our skin rub off on our bedding. 


    All this, compounded with a heat-generating mini-environment in our beds, promotes bacteria growth, leading to allergies, skin disorders, and foul body odor.


    Cotton sheets help to reduce the transfer of dead skin cells into our blankets, and being hypoallergenic also helps to prevent the growth of allergens in our beds. 


    This sounds ideal, but many people have discarded their top or flat sheets and slept under their blankets or comforters. A poll conducted on a home design website shows that close to 40% of people no longer use top sheets. 


    If your sheets are not changed and washed weekly, the risk of odors, increased dust mite population, and bacteria growth will begin affecting your sleep pattern. 


    Natural fiber blankets are better than synthetic fibers for promoting quality sleep and sustaining a hygienic sleep environment. 


    Comforters are typically filled with goose down, which is breathable, but they tend to trap heat which is not always a good thing.

    Deciding on blankets or comforters is a personal choice. Choosing a comforter over a blanket does not necessarily mean poorer sleep hygiene or quality


    Sleep hygiene is essential, but we must work on our cleaning routine. 


    Reintroduce a top sheet if you’ve given up the habit and change your bedding once a week or fortnight. 


    Air your comforters and blankets at least once or twice a week, and wash them at least once a month. 


    This may seem excessive, but maintaining an ideal sleep environment is the minimum cost. 

    FAQ

    Can you use a comforter as a blanket?

    Yes. Although comforters are usually used as bed covers, lightweight comforters can also be used as blankets. 

    Can you sleep on top of a comforter?

    During warm seasons, sleeping on top of a comforter provides added softness and warmth. 

    Can you use an electric blanket under a comforter?

    Doing this is not recommended. An electric blanket should be placed under your fitted sheet and used to warm your bed an hour or two before you go to bed, at which time you should switch it off and unplug it for safety reasons. 


    Keeping an electric blanket on when using blankets or comforters may result in overheating.

    What is a comforter blanket?

    A comforter blanket is a fluffier, thicker blanket with an alternative filling for insulation. 

    This middle insulation should keep you extra warm without using natural down. 


    Microfiber is an ideal filler as it has high breathability, meaning you shouldn’t overheat, and the material is naturally wrinkle-resistant. 

    What blanket material is best for keeping you warm?

    A wool blanket is your best choice since wool provides the best temperature-regulating properties. 

    Choosing a good quality wool blanket is essential, and Merino wool is considered an excellent quality fabric and is known for its softness and many other qualities.

    What material is the coolest for a comforter?

    The coolest material for a comforter is 100% natural cotton or linen. 


    These woven natural fibers are known for their breathability, which is essential to keep you cool. 


    Silk is also an excellent choice for a summer comforter as it is breathable and, like wool, naturally wicks moisture away from your body.

    Other Blankets related blogs to enjoy


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