Travel blankets are a great addition to any trip, even if it’s just a day at the beach, offering portable comfort, warmth, and coziness. On a bus, train, or airplane there may be a fan or an AC system, but the temperature is largely out of your control—unless you have a travel blanket. A good one is compact enough to ride along in a carry-on so you can retrieve it before you start shivering.
These blankets can also double as a pillow to support your neck, head, or back, and some have built-in pockets that provide extra storage for your phone, snacks, and other items. For more information on how to find the best travel blanket for your next trip, take a look at the products below, then continue reading to learn about some important shopping considerations to keep in mind before deciding on the best travel blanket for you.
- BEST OVERALL: Travelrest 4-in-1 Premier Class Travel Blanket
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: World’s Best Cozy-Soft Microfleece Travel Blanket
- BEST FOR AIRPLANES: BlueHills 2-Pack Premium Soft Travel Blanket Pillow
- BEST FOR THE BEACH: Matador Pocket Blanket 2.0 New Version
- BEST FOR CAR TRIPS: MAXSA 20013 Large Heated Travel Blanket
- BEST TRAVEL SET: Proglobe Travel Blanket Luxury Travel Set
- BEST WEARABLE: Tirrinia Portable Wearable Blanket Airplane
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Travel Blanket
Choosing the right travel blanket for your needs can mean the difference between an enjoyable vacation and one you spend fighting with an itchy, uncomfortable blanket. Before deciding on the best travel blanket for your next trip, take a few minutes to educate yourself on these important product considerations, including size, style, material, texture, and portability.
The size of a travel blanket can determine how the blanket will be used, how comfortable it will be, and whether it will be easy to pack. Smaller blankets fit into a carry-on or sometimes even a pocket-sized package that’s easy to store when it’s not in use. However, these blankets may not provide full-body coverage, leaving arms or feet hanging out in the cold.
It’s important to not only find a blanket that’s easy to pack but also one that will live up to its purpose: providing warmth. The typical travel blanket measures 40 inches by 60 inches, which is intended to cover up one average-size person. Couples who want to share a travel blanket should look for a product that is about 60 inches by 80 inches, while a single tall individual may want a 40-inch by 70-inch blanket that extends down long enough to keep their legs warm.
Typical travel blanket styles that fall outside of the standard rectangular cut include heated blankets, wearable blankets, multipurpose blankets, and outdoor blankets.
- Heated blankets have a heating element inside the blanket powered with a battery or a power cable that can quickly heat it up. This is a good option to keep in a car because the power cord has easy access to the car adapter, making long trips a little cozier.
- Wearable blankets go on over the head and the shoulders like a sweater, but they hang down to cover the entire body. This style works well for use on a plane.
- Multipurpose blankets can be used as a blanket, pillow, or even a travel case. They unfold to cover the user or fold up into a variety of shapes and sizes for head, neck, and lumbar support. Due to their variety of uses and compact size, these blankets make a smart addition to almost any trip.
- Outdoor blankets are designed to cover the rough ground for a camping trip, day at the beach, or picnic at the park. They repel water and provide a comfortable place to sit or lie down. This style of travel blanket isn’t necessarily a great option if warmth is the goal, though.
Travel blankets are made with soft materials that are stitched or woven together to provide warmth and comfort to the user. Their most common materials include micro plush and fleece. Both are typically made from polyester but are processed differently to create a unique feel to each.
- Micro plush has velvet-like fibers that are incredibly soft to the touch. It’s made with knitted fabric of fine fibers that create a pile effect, resulting in the feeling of faux fur.
- Fleece mimics the feeling of wool, creating a fuzzy, soft barrier that keeps the user toasty warm.
The texture of a travel blanket simply refers to whether it’s fluffy, fuzzy, smooth, or slippery, or if it has raised patterns, like those sometimes found on micro-plush blankets.
- Fluffy and fuzzy travel blankets are the best for retaining warmth because the spaces between the fibers trap warm air. They also tend to be thicker, so there is more blanket material to contain body heat.
- Smooth or slippery travel blankets are usually made for high durability, water resistance, and wind-breaking, making them a great choice for outdoor activities like attending a football game, hiking, or going camping.
- Raised patterns don’t really add or remove from the blanket, but some people may find this type of texture annoying. However, these blankets often use very soft micro plush that feels similar to velvet, and younger children often enjoy tracing the raised texture, which they may find comforting.
Portability is key for any product that has “travel” right in the name. While any blanket might seem relatively portable to begin with, there are several different features that improve the portability and versatility of a travel blanket, including a carrying case, built-in pockets, and a compact size that’s easy to roll and fold.
Some travel blankets come with a carrying case where the folded or rolled-up blanket can be stored, while others may actually serve as their own case. Built-in pockets don’t help with the blanket’s portability, but they do help to carry other items, like a phone or snacks. Regardless of the features, the main consideration for portability is whether the blanket is small and thin or large and bulky. The smaller the blanket, the easier it is to pack and carry.
It’s always nice to find a product that does everything that’s expected from it. However, extra features such as pockets, safety timers, carrying cases, hoods, neck pillows, straps, or handles can make a travel blanket go from nice to exceptionally useful.
- Built-in pockets provide quick access to items when the blanket is being worn, allowing a phone to be used freely without removing the blanket.
- Safety timers are specific to heated blankets. These timers will turn off the blanket automatically after a specified time period, This way, for example, a car battery won’t run out should the blanket be left plugged in unintentionally.
- Carrying cases are great for packing up the blanket and any accessories that come with it. Their compact size makes them easier to hold, carry, and put away.
- Hooded blankets take full-body comfort to a new level, ensuring that the user’s head and face are also covered—a great option to block the wind outdoors.
- Neck pillows may be included with a travel blanket. Some blankets are made to be folded up and used as a neck pillow to help achieve a high degree of comfort and relaxation.
- Straps and handles can be included on a travel blanket to make them easier to pack away and carry. The straps will often tighten around a rolled or folded blanket so that it doesn’t come undone.
Ease of Cleaning
After the trip is over and everyone is back home, travel blankets should be washed to ensure that all the typical dirt and other unpleasantries are washed away before the next outing. However, some travel blankets can’t just be tossed into a washer and put through the dryer, so it’s important to pay attention to the manufacturer’s directions for washing or cleaning.
Sensitive travel blankets that prioritize softness and a plush feeling may have to be hand washed and hung up to dry, whereas other blankets only need a little special attention, like a cold-water wash instead of hot or warm water. A dryer can destroy a travel blanket that isn’t designed for a tumble-dry cycle, so always verify how to wash and dry a blanket before tossing it in with the laundry.
Our Top Picks
These recommendations were selected for their outstanding quality and overall value, with a heavy emphasis placed on the major considerations mentioned above in order to find the best travel blanket for staying cozy on the go.
The Travelrest travel blanket makes long plane or car rides more comfortable. The soft, plush, coral fleece blanket has a wide neck opening so that the entire blanket can be worn over the head, allowing it to cover the entire body without obstructing the user’s movement or access to their mobile device. It offers the standard 40-inch by 60-inch size, or taller travelers can get the extra-long 38-inch by 72-inch blanket.
There is a large, zippered pocket built into the front of the blanket for convenient access to snacks, a smartphone, personal identification, or any other items that should be kept close during a trip. When the blanket isn’t being used as a warm covering, it can be folded up and used as support for the head, neck, or back. The built-in carrying case ensures that it stays folded up. This travel blanket is machine washable and can be tumble dried, but avoid any high heat settings while washing and drying to prevent damaging it.
Comfort doesn’t need to be complicated, and with this inexpensive travel blanket from World’s Best, it isn’t. Its basic design and shape is neatly hemmed on all sides, and it comes in seven different color options including black, blue, navy, pink, charcoal, zebra print, and leopard print. Go with a favorite color, or choose one of the more eccentric styles so that the blanket is easy to find and keep track of while on vacation.
At 50 inches by 60 inches, this travel blanket is wider than usual, so the user will have no problem getting wrapped up nice and tight inside the soft microfleece. Despite the larger size, it is lightweight and easy to fold down into a compact size that can be packed into a suitcase or a carry-on. This travel blanket is machine washable in warm water and can be tumble dried on low heat.
Air travel isn’t easy at the best of times, but traveling with a friend or partner can make it much more enjoyable. With this two-pack of travel blankets, no one needs to share. Each blanket measures 60 inches by 43 inches and folds up into a compact 11.5-inch by 10-inch carrying bag that’s easy to pack. The carrying bag has a hand luggage belt and a carabiner so it can be clipped to the side of a suitcase or backpack if it doesn’t fit in the carry-on.
These blankets are made of incredibly soft micro plush that is designed for comfort and warmth, but when it gets too hot, the blanket can be packed away in the carrying bag and used as a pillow to support the head, neck, or lumbar region. The blankets and the carrying cases can be machine washed in cold water and tumble dried on cool.
Take the Matador Pocket Blanket to the beach and it can provide a large, 63-inch by 44-inch surface for people, food, towels, drinks, and anything else that shouldn’t be covered in sand. The ripstop nylon material is water-resistant and durable. It protects the bottom of the blanket, while the top has a satin finish that’s soft to the touch.
Sand pocket corners on the bottom of the blanket gather and hold sand to weigh down the corners, but the blanket also comes with built-in stakes so that it can be secured to the ground. It folds down small enough to fit into a pocket, and the blanket has the fold pattern stitched into it so it’s easy to put away. But take note: This blanket should only be hand-washed and air-dried.
Coming out to a frozen windshield and a slow-to-warm car heater is never fun, but this heated travel blanket can help make winter driving more comfortable. The blanket is available in navy blue or red plaid, measures 41 inches by 57 inches, and has a 7-foot power cord. The control turns the heat on or off, and the built-in safety timer automatically turns the heat off after either 30 or 45 minutes, depending on the setting selected.
This heated travel blanket can be used in a car, truck, or van without a problem because the long 7-foot power cord can stretch the length of most vehicles with room to spare. It plugs into any 12-volt adapter, drawing power from the car battery to provide warmth throughout the soft fleece fabric. It isn’t advisable to use the blanket for a long period of time when the engine isn’t running because it will drain the car battery. This blanket can be spot-cleaned by hand.
Settle in for a long, cross-country drive or block out noise from other passengers on a plane with this travel set designed for comfort and tranquility. The first piece of the set to get in place is the memory-foam neck pillow that supports the head during a quick nap. Once the neck is properly supported, the lightweight foam earplugs can be used to mute the surrounding people.
Add to the experience with a contoured eye mask that blocks out light without touching the eye, and napping just became significantly easier. The last piece is the soft polar-fleece blanket that is designed to retain heat. The travel blanket can also fold up into a carrying bag that holds all of the other components of this set. The cover of the neck pillow is machine washable, but the memory foam can only be spot-cleaned.
One of the best places to have a wearable blanket is on a train, where the floor is covered in who knows what and a dropped blanket could be disastrous. This wearable blanket has a large neck hole that lets it be worn over the head and shoulders. Its 40-inch by 60-inch size settles just slightly down the back and falls mostly over the body and legs.
This travel blanket is made of soft microfleece, and while it won’t do the job of a heavy coat, it does add convenient warmth and comfort while traveling. The front of the blanket has a zippered pocket that’s good for keeping smaller items secure, like a smartphone or headphones. The blanket is machine washable, and it folds into a carrying bag that has a handle and can be used as a pillow.
FAQs About Travel Blankets
The best travel blankets offer warmth and comfort during trips so that you can enjoy the trip instead of shivering in your seat on the bus, train, or plane. Here are some answers to common questions about travel blankets.
Q. What types of blankets are the warmest?
The warmth of a blanket is typically determined by its thickness and the material. Taking these two factors into consideration, the warmest types of blankets are usually wool or fleece.
Q. What is the softest material for a blanket?
It’s difficult to determine what would be the softest material for everyone. Polyester, nylon, and acrylic are commonly used to make very soft fleece and plush blankets. The processing of these fabrics, rather than the materials, has more to do with the blanket’s softness.
Q. How do I roll a blanket for travel?
Follow these simple steps to roll a blanket for travel.
- Spread the blanket out and lay it on a clean, flat surface.
- Tuck about 1 foot of the blanket underneath the rest to create a pocket that will be used to secure the blanket when it’s rolled up.
- Fold the blanket lengthwise into thirds, with the pocket at one end.
- Fold over about 1 foot of the blanket at the end opposite the pocket.
- Once you make the fold, pinch the edge of the blanket and roll it up tightly.
- When the blanket is fully rolled, pull the pocket over the rolled edge to secure the blanket and prevent it from unrolling.
Q. How do I pack a travel blanket in a suitcase?
A travel blanket can either be rolled up or folded to make it more compact. It should then be placed either at the bottom of the suitcase (if it won’t be needed until you arrive at your destination) or at the top (if you may need it during the trip). Keep in mind that travel blankets can be squeezed and compressed without damaging them, so having the blanket at the bottom of the suitcase is a great way to use your other belongings to compress the travel blanket down to a more manageable size for packing.