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What is micro fleece? The Difference Between Fleece and Microfiber Blankets

March 08, 2022 5 min read

A women is sleeping on the bed with her kids in the blanket

What is micro fleece and Micro fiber

Microfiber and fleece blankets are similar in more ways than they are different. Microfiber is made from a blend of polyester, acrylic, or nylon, while fleece can be made from cotton but is generally made from 100% polyester.

If it's warmth and comfort you want most from your blankets or throws with the added benefit of easy cleaning and durability, then you can't go wrong with either one of these gems. 

Weighing up the characteristics - fleece Vs. Microfiber.

Fleece and microfiber blankets are made from synthetic fibers, with polyester being the dominant fiber.

The general difference between these two fabrics lies in their characteristics related to the manufacturing process. Here are a few shared and unique characteristics: 

  • Fleece is predominantly made from brushed polyester to increase its volume. Microfiber is made from a blend of polyester and other polymers that include acrylic and nylon.
  • Fleece is moisture-resistant but microfiber to a degree, yet it also absorbs moisture. This depends on whether it's a split weave or a flat weave. A split weave absorbs more moisture than a flat weave. The split weave is commonly used as a cleaning cloth.
  • Fleece and microfiber wick moisture away from your body, but microfiber absorbs moisture and allows it to evaporate, much the same as cotton does quickly.
  • Both fleece and microfiber are breathable, but microfiber is more so due to the thin fibers used, but care must be taken to prevent the fibers from clogging.
  • Both fleece and microfiber are warm. Again, this varies from type to type with both fabrics.
  • Both are durable; however, this depends on the manufacturing process and the final stage to limit pilling, among other standards.
  • Both are lightweight.
  • Both are wrinkle-resistant.
  • The build-up of static electricity is an issue in both, but steps have been taken to reduce this.
  • Both are super easy to clean and mostly machine washable. Heat is a problem for both fabrics.
  • Soft to super-soft. Polar fleece is brushed on both sides, giving it a plush feel. Tumble drying with a heat setting tends to singe the tips of the fibers making the blanket lose its softness.
  • Both are affordable compared to natural fabrics like cotton and wool.
  • Fleece is made from fine fibers, but microfiber fibers must be thinner than one denier thinner than a strand of silk. 
  • The warmth factor is measured in GSM (grams per square meter).

AS you can see from the characteristics expected in both fabrics, there is very little difference between them. Each fabric type has different blankets that range in weight and warmth. An additional factor that widens the variables is blended blankets. You can get a cotton- polyester blend that offers the best and worst of both worlds. Fleece and microfiber blended blankets are designed to showcase specific characteristics while keeping the product affordable. 

Get the best from your fleece or microfiber blanket.

Microfiber and fleece blankets are considered hypoallergenic when new, but without the proper care, this essential characteristic will systematically diminish over time.

Cotton fleece will get softer with every wash, and some may use this as a comparison test to promote natural fabrics but stop and think for a moment. You purchased a fleece or microfiber blanket because it ticked all the boxes; you know, light and soft suggest only one thing – Ultra comfortable. And it lived up to the standard, but months without the proper care have taken their toll. Your soft fleece blanket now has an odd odor and feels a lot stiffer than when you first purchased it. Why?

Our skin's moisture and oil mix with dry skin flakes, dust, and dirt. This creates a paste that clogs up the tiny gaps between the fibers that affect the fabric's breathability. This clogging also creates a microclimate for bacteria to grow, hence the sour odor that can only be remedied with a good wash without using a fabric softener as this too contributes to clogging.

Fleece and microfiber blankets are durable enough to be washed regularly, and they should be washed as often as other bedding items. The washing frequency will depend on how close skin contact with your blanket. Using a top sheet prevents long hours of direct contact, and you can get away with washing your blanket every fortnight instead of weekly. Once you've learned how to wash fleece and microfiber blankets, you will forever enjoy the same softness and luxury feels you experienced with your first use.

a baby is lying on the blanket

Checking the quality of a fleece or microfiber blanket.

Check the seams around the edges before you purchase a fleece or microfiber blanket.

The more study the stitching, the more durable the blanket will be. It's not often that a fleece or microfiber blanket will deteriorate from everyday use with regular care. Both fibers may be fragile, but there is strength in numbers, and the first signs of weakness usually show up with an unraveling seam. It's almost like a divide and conquer scenario playing out. Quality artistry is important, and purchasing from a reputable company will give you peace of mind.

A women sitting in the home wearing blue and red throw

A summary of the difference between fleece and microfiber blankets.

Comparing these two blanket types can be tricky because, although classified as different fabrics, both function is identical. Heck, you even get microfiber polar fleece, and the different fiber blends all come together to create a large grey area of confusion, more so about names than function and purpose.  

Both fleece and microfiber blankets offer an affordable luxury that may only vary with your personal preference. The climate in your region will play an essential role in the blanket type you select; fortunately, there are hot winter polyester-based blankets as well as thin summer throws to keep the evening chill at bay. I think you ultimately decide on the difference, but one is certain, the many preferences have all been covered about what is micro fleece in actual. You have to decide on what's best for you.

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