- Best weighted blanket fabrics
- Warmer fabrics
- Cooler fabrics
- Additional thoughts to consider
Hugs have been a hot topic in the world of mental health, and it’s often talked about how they make us happier humans. However, would you rather receive a hug from a muscly, stiff individual or one from someone with a bit more cushion?
We want to be hugged, but we want it to be a comfortable, soft hug, right? Luckily weighted blankets can provide these warm and fluffy embraces on-demand, but picking the right fabric to encompass the weight is essential. It all boils down to personal preference, but let’s take a look at the different fabric options for you.
A few main components to think about as we peruse the fabrics:
- Temperature – Do you live in warm or cooler climates? Blast the A/C or heat?
- Texture – Do you like fuzzy, soft, neutral?
- Breathability – Do you run hot or cold when you sleep?
Best Weighted Blanket Fabrics:
Weighted blankets come in a variety of options. Some popular materials include minky, cotton, bamboo, flannel, linen, and microfiber.
There seem to be two types of sleepers out there: sweaty and freezing night timers.
Because of this, we broke up materials based on warmth, or breathability, and elaborated on their unique qualities below.
When you envision the plush feeling of blankets or pillows, you’re probably thinking of minky. Minky’s softness is deceiving because it is actually quite durable, and because it’s made of synthetic polyester, the fabric traps heat well.
Sleepers who get cold feet rejoice! Conversely, if you get hot easily or sweat in your sleep, this material will trap it, so it’s suggested you opt for a more breathable option.
Best for: kids (or adults) who need a long-lasting, stain-resistant, and soft blanket.
- Pros – warm and soft, tangibly plush
- Cons – can be too hot, traps sweat, can get mangled in the wash
Polyester comes up a lot in this article as it is a common material used in blankets and many fabrics in general. The polyester in fleece is woven and brushed to create a cozy, lightweight fabric. Even though it’s light, fleece has a rep for keeping sleepers warm while removing moisture throughout the night.
The material is insulated and recommended for cold weather. Suffice it to say there is little breathability. But we may want to trap the heat on those chilly evenings and if so, opt for fleece for a warm and fuzzy sleep.
Best for: cold weather nights where you want to feel hugged by your childhood teddy bear.
- Pros – retains heat well, moisture-wicking, very soft and cozy
- Cons – Can feel rough after washing, not breathable
Chenille or caterpillar? The texture speaks for its nickname as a raised furry material often found in living room throws and pillows.
People often confuse this fabric with fleece, but there is a distinct difference. Chenille has the raised fuzzy feel (hence the caterpillar vibes) and often needs to be dry cleaned or air-dried to maintain its texture.
Because of its polyester origins, chenille dries more quickly than cotton but is not as breathable. Overall, this fabric has an exceptional ability to keep its owner(s) warm.
Best for: cold sleepers that enjoy the texture.
- Pros – keeps warmth in, cool air out, tactile texture
- Cons – cleaning maintenance, not very breathable
Silk is known for its luxurious look and texture in the bedding realm. This fabric may be suitable for you if you opt for a soft, smooth feel that is sleek and attractive. Not only is silk sexy, but it’s also 100% hypoallergenic. Need we say more?
The fabric is dust mite proof, mold and mildew resistant, and basically fireproof (you never know).
In regards to fire safety – if silk can resist fire, it can withstand the heat under the sheets, meaning it’s not breathable. However, if you’re looking to keep warm while sleeping fashionably, silk may be the right choice for you.
Best for: a warm, smooth, and luxurious look and feel.
- Pros – hypoallergenic, sleek, claimed to be good for skin and hair
- Cons – expensive, tough to clean, not breathable
Flannel shirts are having a moment, and while not as common in the weighted blanket world, this fabric is an excellent option for cold weather climates and those who just want fuzzy snuggles.
Soft and loosely woven, flannel gives all the components we crave from wool while also having cotton as a base.
As a brushed fabric, the raised fibers mean increased softness. Flannel captures air throughout the material, keeping the body warm as it repels cold air. Because the fabric holds so much heat, it’s not as widely available but is an option.
So keep flannel blankets in mind for the winter months. But if you’re looking for a light, airy option, please move along.
Best for: cold-weather comfort with a woven wool feel.
- Pros – excellent winter option, unique brushed texture
- Cons – can feel scratchy to some, may hold too much moisture
Often a cheaper option, acrylic is an artificial fabric used for durable sheets and blanket covers. This material will last a long time but keep in mind that it could become less soft as it endures more and more washes.
If you’re willing to compromise softness for strength, acrylic’s wrinkle-free material looks nice and crisp. However, crisp doesn’t exactly mean breathable. This guy doesn’t breathe.
But if you’re looking for something affordable the somewhat mimics cotton, this fabric could be for you.
Best for: those who want a cotton-like feel for the cheap.
- Pros – affordable, wrinkle-free, and highly durable
- Cons – potential risk for sensitive skin or allergy irritation, the feel toughens over time, not breathable
We see polyester all the time, especially in clothing and bedding. This is mostly because it’s a budget-friendly fabric. It’s synthetic and is basically a form of plastic.
With this in mind, know that polyester will not be the softest material you come across. Further, it’s not very breathable.
Think of polyester as acrylic’s slightly nicer cousin. But even though it’s nicer, it’s still made of chemicals, so those with skin sensitivities or allergies towards synthetic materials should steer clear.
However, for those of you that want something slightly better or softer than acrylic material for your weighted blanket, polyester could be a good option.
Best for: those who are looking for a cheap blanket cover that is in between cotton and acrylic quality-wise.
- Pros – cheap, wrinkle-free, and sturdy
- Cons – can cause skin or allergy irritability, only semi-breathable, attracts static
Cotton is king when it comes to weighted blanket fabrics. Cotton is one of the most common materials used for breathability and comfort.
This material is an option for those that find furry/fuzzy blanket fabrics to be too textured or too warm. There are sometimes organic options for those who want fewer chemicals in their products or are sensitive to them.
Keep in mind that it is popular amongst manufacturers to add polyester, which is less breathable so double-check the label or description. However, this is the most widely available and is a great starter option.
Best for: those who like to sleep at a specific temperature.
- Pros – natural fibers that are cool and breathable, easy to wash, natural fabric
- Cons – may not hold enough heat for some, can lose softness over time
Another breathable fabric, bamboo, will cool you down if the fan/AC is on full blast and you’re still feeling toasty. Weighted blankets already offer pressure, so we don’t want you to toss it off and miss out on the benefits.
Bamboo has the opposite effect of Minky, repelling sweat or moisture. Bamboo offers a lot of the same effects as organic cotton, like being breathable and hypoallergenic. On top of that, the material naturally fights bacteria and fungus while absorbing a lot of moisture.
For my ladies out there – this may be an excellent option for those who are going through menopause or are experiencing hot flashes. If you happen to get sweaty, bamboo is machine washable, plus it’s is odor resistant. A bonus – the material is very eco-friendly and is almost a renewable resource. You’ll be able to sleep well knowing you’re doing the planet a solid.
Best for: enjoying the weighted blanket pressure without overheating.
- Pros – super soft cooling material for warmer sleepers or climates
- Cons – may not retain enough heat and can shrink in the wash
A fabric known for its beachy look, linen is a breathable fabric popular in warmer climates. Its water-wicking capabilities combat sweaty sheets for our warm-bodied sleepers.
Linen’s looser weave takes credit for its breathability and happens to be durable as well. This material may seem a bit tough at first but softens with every wash. Linen is made from flax plants; thus, it’s a naturally hypo-allergenic and environmentally friendly bedding option.
Best for: long-lasting, breathable comfort, especially in warmer environments.
- Pros – can last decades, hypo-allergenic, breathable
- Cons – more expensive, often wrinkles, less widely available
Microfiber is the finest thread in the game, remaining true to its name. It’s threading is thinner than a strand of silk and even that of human hair.
It’s often used in athletic clothing because it wicks moisture, has exceptional elasticity, and evaporates sweat for the athlete. The same laws apply to those using microfiber in blanket form. Microfiber blankets tend to hold their shape and are typically lower on the price scale. Check out this fabric for summertime comfort.
Best for: sweaty sleepers that are looking for an affordable fabric.
- Pros – durable, shape-retaining, typically inexpensive
- Cons – can pill after washing, tends to attract static, can be hard to remove stains
Additional Thoughts to Consider
Afterthoughts, or things to look into if they are of importance to you:
- Check blanket care. Is it machine-washable?
- Is it a cover/removable or sewn on?
- Any allergies or sensitivities?
With these thoughts in mind, think about what you really want from your future weighted blanket’s fabric before you purchase. We know you’ll do great.