Different Types of Blankets | Comparison of Blanket Sorts

Throughout the world, people use different types of blankets for both comfort and practical uses. A large piece of fabric often plays a part in cultural rituals as well as being a worldwide way to feel safe and protected.

Whether you want an unusual blanket for your home or seek the right answers in a Word Whizzle quiz, the variety of blankets will surprise you.

For the Bedroom

Whether hotels, hospitals or homes, the most common use for a blanket is as a covering for people sleeping in their beds. Even in places that can be quite warm like India, many people prefer to have a light blanket as they rest.

There is something about covering up your body that makes you feel safe and secure. Due to differing climates, there are many different types and thicknesses of blankets.

Standard Coverings

A plain blanket is the simplest type. These coverings are knitted from basic materials like cotton or wool. They range in thickness based on the local climate. In northern countries with frigid winters, you will find thicker blankets.

Standard blankets vary in size from very small baby blankets to full-size coverings.

Quilts and Comforters

Quilts and comforters are used more often in cold regions. These types of coverings are filled with padding like down or cotton. Normally a bed’s top cover, they are made to decorate as well as to provide comfortable sleep.

Some family quilts include designs that represent family history, and families pass them from generation to generation. Older blankets can be subject to erosion over time and should be carefully stored.

Weighted Blankets

Weighted blankets were first designed to help people on the autism spectrum sleep better. Now, more people know about the soothing nature of these heavy coverings.

While they look like comforters, they are filled with a weighted material like glass beads in addition to soft insulation. The extra pressure helps people feel safe and fall asleep sooner.

Electric Blankets

An electric blanket allows the user to turn up the heat on the coldest nights. Manufacturers make these bed coverings with sewn-in heating elements.

The blanket plugs into a wall socket and has a control attached. Users can adjust the heat level until they find the perfect comfort setting. For fire safety, you must turn off the blanket when not in use.

For Decoration

Not all blankets are meant for practical use. Some can act as home decorations. A colorful piece of fabric can be the perfect accent for the living room. With new techniques in textiles, the possibilities for design are endless.


People who crochet love making afghans. A basic afghan pattern involves connecting a series of crocheted squares. These squares may vary in appearance to create a quilt-like pattern. Another common technique is working through several yarn spools to make a striped pattern.


In recent years, personalized blankets have become a popular gift. Computer-driven sewing machines can be programmed to produce coverings that incorporate different types of designs from fantasy to family pictures. Many people appreciate having a one-of-a-kind product that is both practical and comfortable.

For Practical Use

Because fabric is easily foldable, it makes it easy to transport. These coverings are also flat which means you can move a large volume in a small space. This makes a blanket a practical tool for outdoor adventure and an essential part in an emergency kit.

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More Information

Picnic Ground Cloths

It is always nice to have something between your food and the ground when you go on a picnic. A picnic blanket is easy to throw into a basket and spread at the right location.

Modern versions often have a water-resistant bottom that prevents moisture from seeping up from the ground. You will see these at state parks and outdoor concert venues.

Racing Blankets

After a difficult race, both horses and humans need help maintaining their body temperature. Horse owners always carry specially-designed blankets to keep their animals calm and properly heated. Marathon runners often receive a Mylar blanket at the finish line to prevent cramping.

Emergency Blankets

An emergency blanket may be made of Mylar or cotton. A simple blanket can be a comforting wrap or part of a temporary shelter depending on the situation. You can even use it to put out fires.

Disaster relief organizations bring truckloads of these coverings when they respond to an incident. Safety experts suggest that everyone should keep a blanket or two in their car in case they have an unexpected breakdown.

From Different Cultures

When you travel around the world, you will find blankets in different shapes, sizes and colors. The patterns you see depend on the fabrics available in the region, the local climate and the intended use of the textile.

Remember that these patterns can have significant cultural meaning, and these cloths should not be treated as common household items.

Mexican Serape Blanket

In South and Central America, the climate can vary widely from desert to mountain. Serape blankets were an easy way to add an extra layer when shepherds had to stay out with their animals into the night. Local people make these brightly-colored items from sheep’s wool, but they can also be made of llama or alpaca fleece depending on the region.

In Mexico, serapes often wrap around the wearer. Another form is the poncho where a slit for the wearer’s head has been sewn into the center of the blanket.

Basotho Blanket

Basotho blankets come from the kingdom of Lesotho; a small country surrounded by South Africa. The Sotho people wear them for ceremonies and as signs of status. They represent the animal-skin capes worn in previous generations.

As a young man becomes an adult, he receives a new blanket to mark the transition. Special kinds of blankets also mark wedding days and the birth of children.

Covering the World

As you wrap yourself up in your favorite blanket at bedtime, remember all the people in the world who perform the same action. No matter what kind, the desire for comfort and security this simple textile represents is universal.

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