Hiking and camping can not only help you get exercise, but it can also clear your mind. While you may be warm and sweaty walking up and down hills, nights in the woods can get chilly, even during the summer months. It’s easier to sleep on the ground when you’re cozy and warm.
Whether hiking, camping, or snuggling up by the fire, the best wool blankets keep you warm on those cold winter nights. However, many kinds of wool blankets are on the market, and scrolling through the options can quickly become overwhelming. This guide dives into the features to consider while shopping to ensure you make the best purchase.
- BEST OVERALL: The Tartan Blanket Co. Recycled Wool Knee Blanket
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: EverOne Grey Wool Fire Retardant Blanket
- BEST LUXURY: Biddy Murphy Cashmere Merino Wool Blend Throw Blanket
- BEST SOFT: QISU Alpaca Wool Blanket Throw | Large
- BEST FOR WARMTH: Woolly Mammoth Woolen Co. | Extra Large Merino Wool
- BEST FOR HOME: spencer & whitney Wool Blanket Beige Herringbone
- BEST FOR CAMPING: Ever Ready First Aid Warm Wool Fire Retardant Blanket
- BEST HEAVY-DUTY: Arcturus Military Wool Blanket – 4.5 lbs
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Wool Blanket
When choosing a wool blanket, consider features such as the type of blanket, the kind of wool used, the blanket’s comfort and feel, and its size and weight. Explore the various features to help narrow the options.
Deciding which type of blanket to choose is easier after identifying how the blanket will be used, such as when camping, reading, or sleeping.
- A throw blanket is used on a chair or couch or as extra decoration on a bed. These blankets are smaller, an ideal size to throw across the lap while watching TV.
- Blankets are not bedspreads or duvets, but they’re often used as a coverlet, an extra layer between the sheets, or as a decorative piece at the foot of the bed.
- Knee blankets are similar to throws because they can be spread across the knees while the user is snuggling into the couch or wrapped across the shoulders to keep off the chill.
- A bedspread is designed specifically to fit over a bed. These blankets come in all the standard bed sizes and are usually thicker and heavier than a throw, knee blanket, or coverlet.
- While camping blankets are just like any other blanket, they typically come in larger sizes. They help keep campers warm or serve as a pad under a sleeping bag.
Ten different types of wool are used in blankets and clothing. However, four are most commonly used to make blankets, including merino, alpaca, cashmere, and angora wool.
- Merino wool, which comes from merino sheep, is praised for its delicate fibers and super-soft texture. Unlike some types of wool, merino wool is not itchy.
- Alpaca wool is hollow, which makes the wool lightweight but even warmer than other wools. It’s also hypoallergenic.
- Cashmere wool, made from the undercoat of cashmere goats, is as soft as merino wool but significantly higher in price.
- Angora wool comes from angora rabbits. Susceptible to matting and felting, angora is almost always mixed with other fibers.
As are throws and coverlets, blankets are designed for different needs. For example, blankets for traveling or camping are sometimes treated with fire retardant to protect the user. Similarly, some blankets are designed specifically to complement a living room or library.
Comfort and Feel
Wool has a reputation for being itchy; however, many types of wool are soft and comfortable. Cashmere, merino, and angora wool have very fine fibers that make the yarn soft.
Besides wool type, the weave or pattern used to craft the blanket also affects its softness and comfort. Loosely woven wool, for example, is sometimes itchy or scratchy. Similarly, a bumpy or decorative pattern in the weave can irritate the skin.
Size and Weight
Woolen blankets are often measured by weight as well as size. For camping or hiking, it’s important to know how much weight the blanket will add to camping gear. The size also determines if it can fold to use as a sleeping pad under a sleeping bag.
Size also is a key feature when purchasing a blanket for the bed. Or, if it’s to be used as a throw blanket, make sure to find one that’s not too bulky.
Aesthetics are especially relevant when shopping for a blanket for the bedroom or to drape over the couch. Be sure to look for blankets with colors that will match or complement the existing color palette in the home.
Some of the best wool blankets, especially those designed for camping or hiking, come with cases that have straps to attach them to the side or bottom of a hiking bag.
If the blanket will be used around campfires or even a fireplace at home, look for one treated with a flame-resistant solution to prevent the blanket from catching fire if a rogue spark pops out of the fire.
Our Top Picks
A warm blanket helps users feel cozy and relaxed. Keep reading to learn more about some of the best wool blankets available in today’s marketplace.
These wool blankets from Scotland’s The Tartan Blanket Co. come in 17 tartan patterns. Each blanket measures 28 by 65 inches, including 3 inches of fringe. They are made with 70 percent wool and 30 percent mixed fibers.
Like most wool, these blankets are dust, stain, and odor resistant. They need only the occasional airing out to stay fresh and clean.
This blanket by EverOne measures 62 inches by 80 inches and folds to fit in the car or a backpack. It’s affordable, warm, and weighs only a little over a pound. Made with 52 percent wool, it’s naturally fire resistant, keeps users safe and warm, and comes in a neutral grey.
John Hanly & Co., founded in 1893, crafts authentic Irish products, including this Biddy Murphy Cashmere Merino Wool Blend Throw Blanket. The merino wool is really soft and won’t itch skin.
Not including the 3-inch fringe, the blanket measures 54 inches by 71 inches. Choose from six patterns, including a grey and cream herringbone, black and white plaid, blue and cream plaid, and more.
QISU uses high-quality alpaca wool to craft this soft, warm blanket. Alpaca is a naturally hypoallergenic material and gentle even for those with sensitive skin. It measures 85 inches by 65 inches and weighs approximately 1.6 pounds. Choose from six striped patterns and colors ranging from yellow and green to purple and blue. The blankets are made with 50 percent alpaca wool and 50 percent acrylic.
This blanket by Woolly Mammoth Woolen Company is 80 percent pure merino wool in a twill weave. It’s available in five colors, including burgundy, olive green, tan, grey, and navy blue.
This extra-large blanket weighs about 4 pounds and measures 66 inches by 90 inches. Roll it to attach to a backpack or fold it to keep in the car. Woolly Mammoth added a double-stitch edging to ensure the blanket holds up over time.
This large wool blanket by spencer & whitney is made with 100 percent wool sourced from Australia. It comes in three sizes to fit twin-, full-, and king-size beds. Choose from four color options, including beige, blue, brown, and gray.
Although the 100 percent wool will keep users warm and is naturally resistant to dust mites, it may be itchy to the skin. To avoid discomfort during sleep, use a soft silk or cotton sheet as a barrier.
Made with 80 percent wool, this outdoor blanket from Ever Ready First Aid traps body heat and keeps users warm even in extreme weather conditions. Whether camping or sitting around a firepit, don’t worry about this blanket catching fire; it’s made with fire-retardant fabric.
The blanket measures 66 inches by 90 inches and weighs less than 4 pounds. It’s ideal for car emergency kits, hiking, and camping.
This survival blanket by Arcturus is the best option for those looking for a wool blanket to help survive extreme conditions. Whether it’s used for a hiking trip or in an emergency kit, it keeps users warm and dry. It’s made with 80 percent wool and 20 percent hypoallergenic fibers, weighs 4.5 pounds, and measures 64 inches by 88 inches. Available in two color options, navy blue and military gray, the wool is washed three times during production, making it soft and less likely to shed.
The Advantages of Wool Blankets
Wool has been used to make blankets since approximately 1500 BCE. The fiber has many advantages over other textiles, including health benefits. One of its benefits is that it can be sourced from a variety of animals, including goats, sheep, alpacas, and rabbits. Moreover, it’s a sustainable and ethical source of yarn.
In addition to its historical importance and variety, wool is:
- Naturally moisture-wicking
- Water- and flame-resistant
- Rarely needs cleaning
FAQs About Wool Blankets
After learning about the benefits of wool and what to look for in a wool blanket, you might still have some questions. Check out some of the most frequently asked questions and their corresponding answers here.
Q. Are wool blankets itchy?
Yes and no. Some wool blankets are itchy; however, blankets made with angora, merino, or cashmere are not.
Q. Are wool blankets fire resistant?
Wool is naturally fire resistant. However, if the blanket will be around campfires or a fireplace, look for options treated with a flame retardant.
Q. Can wool blankets be washed and dried?
Although some washing machines have wool cycles, take a wool blanket to an experienced dry cleaner.
Q. How do you brush a wool blanket?
To clean small amounts of dirt from a wool blanket, lay the blanket flat on the floor and use a soft-bristle brush. Brush down the long axis of the weave gently. Use long and slow strokes to avoid ripping or weakening the fibers of the wool.
Q. How do you protect wool blankets from moths?
To keep moths from ruining your wool items, store them in a cedar chest or an air-tight container. Wear or use those items often and keep closets and drawers clean.