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

    10 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.

    FAQ - The Questions You want Answered

    Is fleece warm enough for winter?

    Fleece can be warm enough for winter, depending on the type of fleece and the climate of your region.

    Fleece is a synthetic material that is made from polyester. It is soft, lightweight, and breathable, which makes it a popular choice for outdoor winter activities like hiking, skiing, and camping.

    There are different types of fleece, ranging from lightweight to heavyweight, and the warmth level of fleece depends on its thickness and density.

    Generally, thicker and denser fleece will be warmer than thinner and less dense.

    In milder winter climates, a lightweight or midweight fleece jacket or pullover may be sufficient to keep you warm.

    However, in colder regions with freezing temperatures, you may need to layer fleece with other insulating materials like wool or down to stay warm.

    It's also important to consider other factors like wind, precipitation, and humidity. Fleece is not windproof or waterproof, so it may not provide enough protection in extraordinarily windy or wet conditions.

    Additionally, if you sweat a lot, there may be better choices than fleece, as it can trap moisture and leave you feeling damp and cold.

    Overall, fleece can be warm enough for winter, depending on the conditions and your activity level.

    Still, choosing the correct weight and layer appropriately is essential to stay warm and comfortable.

    Which fleece is warmest?

    The warmth of a fleece depends on various factors, including the material it is made from, the thickness of the fleece, and the way it is constructed.

    When it comes to material, the warmest fleece is typically made from high-quality wool or a synthetic fabric explicitly designed for warmth, such as polyester or polypropylene.

    These materials are excellent at trapping body heat and insulating against cold temperatures.

    In terms of thickness, a thicker fleece will generally provide more warmth than a thinner one.

    However, thicker fleeces may also be heavier and bulkier, which can be a consideration when choosing a fleece for outdoor activities.

    The construction of the fleece can also affect its warmth.

    A well-made fleece will have a tight weave or knit, which helps to trap warmth close to the body.

    Additionally, features such as a high collar or adjustable cuffs can help to keep out cold air and retain heat.

    Is micro fiber better than cotton?

    Whether microfiber or cotton is better depends on the specific use case and personal preference.

    Microfiber is a synthetic material made from ultra-fine fibers thinner than a human hair.

    It is known for its softness, durability, and ability to absorb moisture quickly. Microfiber is often used for cleaning cloths, athletic wear, and bedding.

    Conversely, cotton is a natural material that is soft, breathable, and comfortable to wear.

    It is known for its absorbency, durability, and easy care. Cotton is used for various products, including clothing, bedding, and towels.

    Here are some factors to consider when comparing microfiber and cotton:

    • Softness: Microfiber is generally softer than cotton, especially after multiple washes. However, some people may prefer the natural softness of cotton.
    • Absorbency: Microfiber is more absorbent than cotton, making it ideal for cleaning and drying. However, cotton is still a good choice for towels and other products where absorbency is essential.
    • Durability: Microfiber is more durable than cotton, as it can withstand more wear and tear without breaking down. However, cotton is still a solid and long-lasting material.
    • Environmental impact: Cotton is a natural, biodegradable, and renewable material, making it a more sustainable choice than microfiber. However, organic cotton is better than conventional cotton, as it is grown without harmful pesticides and chemicals.

    Is microfiber good for summer?

    Microfiber can be a good choice for summer because it is lightweight, breathable, and wicks moisture away from the skin quickly, which can help keep you cool and dry.

    Additionally, microfiber is often treated with a moisture-wicking finish, which helps to pull sweat away from the skin and evaporate quickly.

    Microfiber clothing can be found in a variety of styles suitable for summer, such as athletic wear, swimwear, and lightweight shirts and shorts.

    These garments are often designed to be quick-drying and resistant to wrinkles, making them convenient for travel and outdoor activities.

    Some people may prefer natural fibers like cotton for summer clothing, as cotton is also breathable and comfortable in hot weather.

    However, microfiber can be a good choice if you're looking for a synthetic alternative.

    Is microfiber good for the skin?

    Microfiber can be good for the skin because it is soft, gentle, and absorbent.

    It creates a soft and smooth texture that is gentle on the skin. Additionally, microfiber is often treated with a unique finish that helps it absorb moisture quickly, which can benefit people with oily or acne-prone skin.

    Microfiber is often used for facial cleansing cloths because it is effective at removing dirt, oil, and makeup without the need for harsh chemicals or abrasives.

    Microfiber cleansing cloths are gentle enough to use on sensitive skin and can help to exfoliate and improve skin texture.

    It's important to note that not all microfiber is created equal, and some low-quality microfiber fabrics may be less gentle on the skin than others.

    Additionally, it's essential to wash microfiber cloths and towels regularly to prevent the buildup of bacteria and other contaminants that can irritate the skin.

    Microfiber can be a good choice for skin care because of its softness, absorbency, and gentle exfoliating properties.

    However, as with any skincare product or material, it's vital to choose high-quality products and use them properly to avoid irritation or damage to the skin.

    Is microfiber safe to sleep on?

    Yes, microfiber is generally safe to sleep on. Microfiber sheets and bedding are soft, lightweight, and comfortable, which can make them a popular choice for many people.

    Additionally, microfiber is often treated with a unique finish that makes it hypoallergenic and resistant to dust mites, which can benefit people with allergies or respiratory issues.

    However, choosing high-quality microfiber bedding and washing it regularly is essential to ensure it remains clean and free from bacteria and other contaminants.

    Some low-quality microfiber fabrics may be less breathable and cause excessive sweating or discomfort during sleep, so choosing a fabric that is comfortable and suitable for your needs is crucial.

    What are the disadvantages of microfiber?

    While microfiber has many advantages, there are also some disadvantages to consider. Here are some of the main disadvantages of microfiber:

    1. Durability: Although microfiber is generally more durable than some natural fibers, it can still be prone to pilling and snagging over time, especially if it's of lower quality.
    2. Environmental concerns: While some microfibers are made from recycled materials, most are made from synthetic materials like polyester, which are not biodegradable and can contribute to pollution.
    3. Sensitivity: Some people may be sensitive or allergic to microfiber, especially if it is treated with chemicals or additives during manufacturing.
    4. Staining: Microfiber is known to be absorbent, but this can also make it prone to staining, especially from oil-based substances.
    5. Static cling: Microfiber can create static electricity, which can be annoying and uncomfortable for some people.
    6. Breathability: Although microfiber can be lightweight and breathable, some lower-quality fabrics may be less breathable and cause excessive sweating or discomfort during hot weather.

    It's worth noting that many of these disadvantages can be minimized or avoided by choosing high-quality microfiber products, washing them properly, and using them in the proper context.

    Does microfiber make you hot?

    Microfiber is lightweight and breathable, making it a good choice for warm weather or people who tend to overheat during sleep. However, the level of heat retention can vary depending on the quality and composition of the microfiber.

    However, it's worth noting that some lower-quality microfiber fabrics may need to be more breathable and may cause excessive sweating or discomfort during hot weather.

    Additionally, if you tend to sleep very hot, you may find that microfiber bedding or clothing doesn't provide enough ventilation and that you prefer natural fibers like cotton or linen.

    Overall, microfiber can be a good choice for warm weather. Still, choosing high-quality fabrics and considering your preferences and needs when selecting bedding or clothing materials is essential.

    Is microfiber better in summer or winter?

    Microfiber can be a good choice for both summer and winter.

    In summer, microfiber can be a good option because it is lightweight, breathable, and moisture-wicking.

    These properties help to keep you cool and dry, making microfiber clothing and bedding a comfortable option during hot weather.

    The suitability of microfiber for summer or winter will depend on the specific properties of the fabric in question.

    Some microfiber fabrics are designed for year-round use, while others may be better suited to one season over another.

    It's essential to consider microfiber fabrics' weight, thickness, and insulation properties when selecting clothing or bedding for different seasons.

    Is microfiber better than polyester?

    Microfiber is a polyester fabric made from excellent fibers, typically less than one denier (a unit of measurement for fiber thickness).

    So, microfiber is a specialized type of polyester fabric.

    However, there are some differences to consider when comparing microfiber and standard polyester fabrics.

    Thanks to its finer fibers, microfiber is typically softer, smoother, and more lightweight than standard polyester.

    On the other hand, standard polyester fabrics are generally more durable and resistant to wear and tear than microfiber.

    Polyester is also often used in outdoor and sports apparel because of its water-resistance and quick-drying properties.

    Whether microfiber or standard polyester is "better" will ultimately depend on the intended use and personal preferences.

    Microfiber may be a good choice for softness and comfort, while standard polyester may be better for durability and water resistance.

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