Can you recommend a warm, breathable blanket?
April 18, 2012 4:23 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for a (1) warm, (2) breathable, and if possible (3) heavy-as-in-weight blanket. What kind of blanket do I want, and do you have specific recommendations?

My old blanket wasn't keeping me warm enough at night, so I started using a new, all-polyester one. It's much warmer, but now I'm waking up sweating. This is true even when I'm not overly-hot. I think it's just the natural accumulation of moisture over the course of the night that has nowhere to go. Also, I like sleeping with my head under the blanket, which I'm sure doesn't help, because water from my breath is trapped too.

So I'm looking for something that will both be warm and breathable. Optionally, if possible, I'm used to having heavier blankets (as in weight), so if there's something that fits all three criteria I'll take it.

So what kind of blanket do I want? Wool? Cotton? Bamboo/Rayon? (These are various types of blankets I've found on amazon.) Some other kind I don't know about?

Even better, do you have specific recommendations for a blanket I can buy that would fit my needs?
posted by kingjoeshmoe to Shopping (17 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
You might prefer a down or down-alternative comforter instead of a blanket. They are warm and breathable and I don't think too heavy.
posted by elizeh at 4:37 PM on April 18, 2012

Best answer: 1. Try the cheap solution first: wash the blanket without any fabric softener. (Polyester relies on it's hydrophobic nature to move moisture, but the material has to be woven with multiple differing layers to do this well. Maybe you have a cheap blanket and it won't help, but it's easy to try.)
2. Wool is probably your best bet for something that will handle the moisture of your breathing without feeling cold/clammy. Wool blankets come in hugely varying qualities, and price is almost always proportional to build quality. Cotton and down both feel wet when damp, but they can be had cheaply and you can put a thin non-wet-feeling layer (wool, good polyester, etc.) between you and it.
posted by introp at 4:39 PM on April 18, 2012

Best answer: Wool is warm, heavy, and breathable. I grew up with a wonderful woollen blanket. Sleeping underneath it felt like being hugged by the bed.
posted by d. z. wang at 5:20 PM on April 18, 2012 [2 favorites]

I also love heavy blankets. You may want to look at weighted blankets. They're made for weight and I think you can probably get them in any number of fabrics and warmths. Here's one, here's another and one more.
posted by triggerfinger at 5:45 PM on April 18, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Wool. I've found a couple of pure wool blankets at secondhand stores in the past few years and they are wonderful. Warm and heavy.

These are the kind of blankets I had as a child before the fashion for down appeared, and I much prefer them. The weave is quite tight, but you can get woolen blankets in looser, more open stitches if you prefer.
posted by sarahw at 5:48 PM on April 18, 2012

I just went through something like this at Christmas for my Mom and had a devil of a time finding anything that wasn't down, fleece, microfleece or whatever. Everything was either warm and light (down, microfleece) or heavy and thin (those cotton crochet-texture ones).

The classic in our family is a Royal Velvet acrylic blanket, who wasn't distributing in the Winter, but is supposed to be available at JCPenney by now. In lieu of this, I got her a 100% wool blanket from Macy's, which was $180 and AFACT heirloom-durable. It was the only actual wool blanket sold there, so you shouldn't have trouble finding it if it's in-store, but memail me if you have trouble and I'll get the brand name.
posted by rhizome at 5:59 PM on April 18, 2012

Came in to say wool as well. I got one of these two years ago (and wish I'd gotten more - they were $10!) that I use all winter in Colorado. Heavy, warm, and breathable.
posted by faineant at 6:02 PM on April 18, 2012

Best answer: I have this blanket in this size. It's heavy, breathable and is organic cotton. Once you wash it, it becomes heavier as it shrinks (I now wash in cold and hang dry). I included both links since the Queen size didn't have any reviews.

A family member purchased several to give as gifts a couple of years ago, (she had a deal). We all love them, and were surprised at how warm they are and how heavy they feel when on, and I like to feel my covers.
posted by 6:1 at 6:43 PM on April 18, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Also came to say pure felted or woven wool blankets! I'm so happy wool is not a secret, it's great! Naturally breathable and heavy, the only thing about a nice wool blanket that bothers me slightly is that thick ones are often a bit stiff and not as easy to tuck in tightly around you, but they tend too loosen up with use (and love.)

Awesome wool blankets I have known:

-Army surplus blankets: come in a variety of sizes, limited color selection (do you like drab green?), used ones will already be soft and broken in for you!
-A classic Pendleton. These blankets are beautiful heirlooms yet totally comfy and usable, won't wear out. I imagine used ones are available with some looking (ebay? swapmeets?).
posted by dahliachewswell at 7:39 PM on April 18, 2012 [1 favorite]

Wool makes me itch like crazy, but I love my down-alternative comforter. It's everything you mentioned, washable, easy to fold, and a great soft-smooth texture. Alternatively, a good quilt is an excellent option.
posted by notashroom at 7:46 PM on April 18, 2012

Quilts do tend to run pretty heavy and they're more breathable than polyester. We have a denim quilt that weighs more than all our other blankets combined. Denim does have a certain look, thought, which doesn't go with everyone's decor.
posted by fiercekitten at 8:43 PM on April 18, 2012

Best answer: Warm + breathe-through-able + heavy = wool. My heaviest blanket is cotton, which is similar to this one, which they say in the description is "satisfyingly weighty". It's my summer blanket, though, so I haven't tried to sleep with it over my head.
posted by mgar at 8:47 PM on April 18, 2012

I love wool blankets, but they take some time to get really warm, so I preheat the bed with an electric blanket.
posted by theora55 at 9:21 PM on April 18, 2012

By the way, if you really want weight, quilting two blankets together with a chain in between produces a really satisfying feel. As long as you overstitch densely to secure the links in place, there won't be any clinking noises.
posted by d. z. wang at 9:40 PM on April 18, 2012

the actual blankets tend to be warmer than the blakets
posted by islander at 9:55 PM on April 18, 2012 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks all! Looks like I'm going to be getting a wool blanket, though I'm also considering the cotton one recommended by 6:1.
posted by kingjoeshmoe at 1:08 PM on April 19, 2012

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