Versatile throw blankets provide comfort and warmth while adding a design element to home decor. Between offering added coziness while sitting on the patio, an extra layer on the bed, or a pop of color in the living room, throw blankets are for function as well as design. This guide describes the different types, materials, and features to consider when shopping for a throw blanket and showcases our top picks, which represent some of the best in each category.
- BEST OVERALL: The Connecticut Home Company Faux Fur Throw Blanket
- AFFORDABLE FAVORITE: Bedsure Flannel Fleece Blanket Throw Size
- BEST HEATED THROW: Sunbeam Heated Throw Blanket
- BEST COTTON THROW: DII Rustic Farmhouse Cotton Chevron Blanket Throw
- BEST BAMBOO THROW: WONAP Bamboo Weighted Blanket
- BEST FLEECE THROW: Kingole Flannel Fleece Microfiber Throw Blanket
- BEST KNITTED THROW: BOURINA Decorative Knitted Blanket
- ALSO CONSIDER: GREEN ORANGE Fleece Throw Blanket
- ALSO CONSIDER: LOMAO Sherpa Fleece Blanket
Popular Types of Throw Blankets
Throw blankets come in many different styles and fabrics from cotton and faux fur to even bamboo. There are also heated versions available. Read on to learn about the look and texture of various materials to zero in on the best throw blankets for your home.
Heated throw blankets, also referred to as electric blankets, contain insulated wires throughout the entire blanket that heat up quickly when plugged into an electrical outlet and turned on. The best heated throw blankets include a control unit to adjust the heat settings and an automatic shutoff function for added safety in case you fall asleep with the blanket on.
These soft, plush blankets, typically made out of polyester microfiber, are designed to keep you toasty, even in cold winter temperatures. Many heated throw blankets are machine washable, but make sure to carefully follow manufacturers’ instructions.
Sherpa throw blankets, sometimes referred to as faux shearling, are designed to look and feel like sheep wool, without using any actual animal products. They’re usually a blend of such materials as polyester, acrylic, and/or cotton, with faux sheepskin on one side and fleece on the other—a double-layered construction that makes sherpa blankets especially warm.
Although sherpa is considered to be a lightweight material, the dense construction provides optimal insulation without being overly bulky. Sherpa throw blankets also have moisture-wicking capabilities and are machine washable.
Thick and ultra-soft, plush throw blankets offer warmth plus a luxurious look and feel. They’re made out of velvet-like synthetic fibers and have a long, soft nap (the term for a blanket’s raised surface). A long nap creates a layer of air between you and the blanket, which helps retain body temperature. Most plush throw blankets are easily machine washable.
With their open-weave surface, knit throw blankets add interesting texture to a room, whether draped over the back of a sofa or laid across the foot of the bed. Knit throw blankets may be made out of a variety of materials, including cotton, wool, or acrylic; the yarn used can be chunky or fine to create different looks.
Keep in mind that the tighter the weave, the warmer the knit blanket, as a tight weave allows less space for heat to escape from. Many woven throw blankets are machine washable, but those made of wool should be dry-cleaned or hand washed, as they are more delicate and can be prone to pilling. Wool knitted throws should also be air-dried.
An animal-friendly alternative to real fur, faux fur throw blankets are made of synthetic materials. They are soft and warm, with thick fibers that trap heat and offer good insulation, though the softness level varies depending on the material used. Faux fur throw blankets have a luxe look that makes a bold style statement, and they can layer with other blankets in appealing combinations.
Faux fur throw blankets are machine washable in cold water on a gentle cycle, but a second spin cycle may be required because they absorb a lot of water. Since the material is delicate, faux fur throws should be air-dried.
The benefits of cotton throw blankets include breathability, softness, and hassle-free maintenance. Cotton is a natural material that’s well-ventilated and moisture-wicking, which adds to the comfort level when woven into a throw blanket.
Since cotton doesn’t trap air, these lightweight blankets can regulate body temperature, keeping you cool in summer and warm in winter. Cotton throw blankets are machine washable and durable, and cotton becomes softer after each wash—another appealing asset.
As a cool and comfortable throw blanket, linen is a fine fabric choice. It’s a natural material woven from the fibers of the flax plant and can keep you cool in summer by absorbing sweat. The loose weave of linen allows air to circulate throughout the blanket and regulate body temperature, so it’s suitable for use during colder months, too.
Similar to cotton, linen becomes softer with repeated machine washings, but it tends to wrinkle easily—keep it neatly folded when not in use to encourage a smoother surface.
Fibers from the bamboo plant can be woven into naturally breathable material that’s great for blankets, as it allows for ample air circulation that’s especially pleasant in warm environments. Bamboo blankets are soft and smooth, producing a feeling similar to cotton. These eco-friendly blankets are ultra-absorbent with moisture-wicking properties, pulling moisture away from the skin to keep you dry and comfortable.
Bamboo throws are odor-resistant and antibacterial, which helps keep them fresh and clean longer, but they’re also machine washable, wrinkle-resistant, and durable enough to withstand prolonged use.
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Throw Blanket
When shopping for a new throw blanket, focus on features such as softness, size, style, and ease of care.
Throw blankets made of synthetic materials like polyester, nylon, or acrylic tend to be softer than those made out of natural materials. Plush, faux fur, and sherpa are all ultra-soft options. If you want to stick with natural materials, cotton is one of the softest choices. Keep in mind, however, that throw blankets have other “feel” qualities in addition to softness, such as silky, fluffy, and chunky.
When shopping for a new throw blanket, consider the ideal thickness level based on the time of year and desired warmth. Thickness also correlates to the weight of a blanket, measured by GSM (grams per square meter). The higher the GSM, the heavier the blanket will be. Heavier GSM materials also tend to be thicker and more plush.
You may want to opt for a thinner throw blanket with a lower GSM (like cotton or linen) to keep you warm yet comfortable on a summer night. Conversely, look for a thicker throw blanket with a higher GSM (such as a double-layered sherpa) to stay extra toasty on a cold winter night.
Throw blankets come in various sizes, but the average size is 50 inches wide by 60 inches long. This is large enough to use as an accent piece on an average-size sofa yet not so big that you’d be overwhelmed when wrapping it around your shoulders. If you wish to cuddle on the couch and share your blanket with someone else, a throw blanket of 90 inches wide by 100 inches long may be more suitable.
Since throw blankets are used for both comfort and decor, style is a key factor. Fortunately, throw blankets come in a wide variety of colors, patterns, and textures, with some including other features, such as fringed borders.
Choose a throw blanket that complements your home’s decor and reflects your personality. Colors and textures can coordinate with other design elements in your room, or you can select a patterned throw blanket, such as striped or plaid, for contrast.
Heated throw blankets (electric blankets) come with an optional heating feature for additional warmth. The heating element is plugged into an electrical outlet, and insulated wires spread heat throughout the blanket, similar to the function of a heating pad. These blankets include a control unit to adjust the temperature and can be used as regular blankets when not plugged in.
Washing and Required Care
Maintenance and care are important factors to consider when shopping for a new throw blanket. Routine cleaning is recommended to keep your throw looking, smelling, and feeling fresh. For quick and easy cleaning, go with a machine washable and dryable version.
Delicate items such as a luxury silk or cashmere throw may require hand washing or dry-cleaning for best results. Check a blanket’s specific care and maintenance information for the recommended cleaning method before purchase.
Our Top Picks
Throw blankets run the gamut from ultra-soft and luxurious to lightweight and breathable. The throw blankets listed are among the best in their respective categories.
Boasting thick, luxurious faux fur on one side and fleece on the other, this warm and cozy throw blanket from The Connecticut Home Company adds comfort and sophistication to any space. Adding to its luxury appeal is that, at 50 inches by 65 inches, this blanket is longer than most. That doesn’t mean it requires special care or maintenance, though. Conveniently, this shedding- and pilling-resistant blanket can be washed and dried in standard laundry appliances.
If you’re looking for a throw blanket but don’t want to spend a lot of money—and particularly if you are sensitive to natural fabrics—consider this option from Bedsure. Made of microfiber fleece, it is breathable and lightweight while still being warm and comfortable. Bedsure’s blanket is also quite versatile, being suitable for a variety of different settings and purposes. Last but not least, this is a low-maintenance throw, not only because it resists wrinkles, but also because it can be laundered at home.
This 50-inch by 60-inch reversible electric throw blanket is made from a combination of soft flannel and fleece for extra warmth and coziness. Both of these materials retain heat, and on top of that, Sunbeam’s blanket boasts electric heating capabilities for convenient and customizable comfort. Importantly, for reasons of safety, Sunbeam has built in multiple overheating protections. Best of all, unlike some other heated blankets, this one is easy to care for. Just remove the controller before throwing it into the washing machine on a cold, gentle cycle. Then tumble-dry the blanket on low for about 10 minutes before hanging it to dry the rest of the way.
If you favor natural fabrics and farmhouse style, check out this 100 percent cotton throw, which offers rustic yet refined appeal in its classic chevron pattern and decorative fringed border. Whether tossed casually over a sofa or draped across your shoulders while you sit on the patio, this durable throw blanket stands out for delivering breathable warmth. Also, as it is cotton, DII’s 50-inch by 60-inch throw is laundry machine-friendly for easy care.
Made out of 100 percent natural bamboo fabric, WONAP’s throw blanket features breathable construction and a cool-to-the-touch surface that helps regulate body temperature. This is also a weighted blanket. Compartments evenly distributed throughout the blanket contain hypoallergenic, nontoxic, odorless glass beads that apply mild pressure to the body. Covering yourself in a blanket like this feels akin to being hugged! In all, the WONAP weighs 15 pounds, and though it is machine-washable, it can’t go in the dryer and must be hung out to dry.
Looking for a throw blanket with uncommon durability? This option from Kingole may fit the bill for you. Resistant to shrinking, wrinkling, fading, and pilling, Kingole’s throw blanket requires very little in the way of special care. At the same time, this is a blanket that provides uncommon comfort, as it is made of ultra-soft microfiber fleece that’s warm but not too warm. For cleaning, just throw the blanket in the washing machine on its own, then toss it in the dryer on low.
BOURINA’s soft, silky throw blanket draws the eye with its geometric pattern, fringed border, and deep color. This isn’t the warmest throw. Rather, being knit from relatively lightweight 500-gram acrylic, BOURINA’s throw is suitable for use all year-round, and from one room to the next, for comfort as well as decoration.
Made of microfiber polyester fleece and sporting a uniqued ribbed design, this affordable throw blanket offers the warmth of wool, while still being 100 percent hypoallergenic. For that reason, GREEN ORANGE’s throw may be an appealing alternative to those with sensitive skin. Use it as an additional layer for your bed, bring it with you on your next camping trip, or throw it across your sofa for decoration. Besides being designed and manufactured to resist shedding and pilling, this GREEN ORANGE blanket can be machine-washed on a cold, gentle cycle. It cannot be machine-dried, however.
This 51-inch by 63-inch throw blanket has a dual-sided fleece design, with each side providing its own unique feeling of softness. The blanket is created using ring-spun yarn technology, yielding a super-soft, high-density fiber that’s both luxurious and lightweight. LOMOA’s throw blanket is also pretty easy to clean and care for. It’s machine washable (on a gentle cycle), but air-drying is recommended to keep the blanket in the best condition.
FAQs About Throw Blankets
Here are answers to some commonly asked questions about throw blankets, including helpful tips and reminders to help in your search for the best products for your home.
Q. What are throw blankets used for?
Throw blankets can be used as both a decorative accent and as a cozy covering to help keep you warm. As an interior design accent piece, they can also protect your furniture from pet fur, spills, and other mishaps.
Q. How big should a throw blanket be?
Throw blankets are typically a standard size of 50 inches wide by 60 inches long, but some larger throws are as big as 90 inches wide by 100 inches long.
Q. Can you sleep with a throw blanket?
Yes, you can use a throw blanket as an extra layer of warmth and comfort while you sleep.