Your bed just isn't complete with sheets alone. You'll need blankets to make it truly cozy, but which ones are going to help you get the best night's sleep? And which ones will suit your climate and fit into your budget? This buying guide has the information you need to choose the blankets and throws that you'll love.
Comforters: They're the bedding that adds the most style to your bedroom, and they may be the only blanket you need if you live in a warmer climate. Some comforters have a decorative shell, and other require that you use a duvet cover. Comforters are filled with down or with down alternatives. Each fill type has its advantages.
Down comforters: Down feathers are the perfect filling for a blanket that is warm without being too heavy. Pay attention to the fill power -- a measurement of down density and warmth -- and make sure it meets your temperature preferences. If you want a down blanket for year-round use, find something with a fill power of at least 550.
Down alternative comforters: If you are sensitive to feathers, you can still get the feeling of down bedding with down alternative blankets. Constructed of man-made materials, like polyester, these blankets are easy to wash, and they come in different weights for various climates and seasons.
Quilts: If you want a cozy, traditional look on your bed, a quilt may be the perfect top blanket for you. Usually thinner than a comforter, a quilt will keep you warm, but you may want to layer more blankets with it during the colder months.
Bedspreads: If you want the lightest top blanket possible, a bedspread will be right for you. Bedspreads have a decorative look but a very thin fill or no fill at all, so they add very little weight. They're great for warm climates, and they can be layered with more blankets in the winter.
Electric blankets: If you need a serious dose of warmth in wintertime, layer an electric blanket under a quilt or bedspread. Modern electric blankets contain small, insulated wires sewn throughout the fabric. Many electric blankets designed for two sleepers have digital controllers for each side. Most modern electric blankets are machine-washable; be sure to follow the manufacturer's care and safety instructions.
Cotton blankets: The most popular choice for year-round use is a cotton blanket. They're easy to care for, affordable, and available in a wide variety of colors. They add a cozy amount of weight to your bedding, but they're light enough to be the only blanket you sleep with during summer months.
Fleece blankets: Another good option for layering blankets is fleece, which is made from polyester or other man-made materials, so it's affordable and easy to wash. A fleece blanket adds a fluffy layer of warmth to your bed, and the material can be dyed or printed with bold colors and designs.
Faux fur throw blankets: Whether you want a little something extra over your feet on cold nights, or you simply want something that adds a bit of style to your bed, a faux fur throw is an elegant choice. Depending on how you dress the rest of the bed, faux fur blankets can have an old world look or a Hollywood glam style.
Luxury throws: While faux fur is certainly luxurious, you have other options for beautiful blankets. Knit blankets are one of the most popular styles, and you can choose from a variety of luxe wools, like cashmere, merino wool, or mohair. Choose a cable knot throw for a clean, contemporary look.
Fleece throws: Fleece throws vary widely, ranging from inexpensive novelty blankets, which are fun for kids' bedrooms, to stylish Sherpa-backed flannel throws, which have a rustic lodge feeling.
Published April 29, 2010
Updated January 27, 2015