As we well and truly say goodbye to the short-sleeve season, it’s time again to don our coats and woollen accessories, and bedeck the sofa and bed with blankets. Blankets are perhaps the most comforting of wintertime accessories – but not every blanket is created equal. Just like your coat, you don’t want it to be too warm or too cool… you aim for the Goldilocks effect. Here’s a blanket guide to help you get your warmth level just right.
Lightweight blankets for mild nights
Cotton is a popular choice for lightweight blankets because the yarns are smooth and have very little in the way of fuzz or pile. Because it isn’t fluffy like wool, cotton blankets are perfect for those looking for a light cover when it’s not too cold, since it won’t trap heat in the same way that a wool pile will.
Cotton too is very breathable, its smooth finish making it hard to trap dust, and so a smart option for allergy sufferers. Since cotton is one of the only fibres that isn’t derived from animals, cotton blankets are vegan-friendly – so make good gifts for people who like their products strictly animal-fibre free.
FALESIA COTTON BLANKET
CAMBRA COTTON QUILT
MARCHENA COTTON QUILT
FUNCHAL COTTON BLANKET
VEIROS COTTON QUILT
Wool blankets for year-long comfort
Wool – derived from sheep and lambs – is a very durable fibre that is effective at retaining heat. Wool yarns are generally thicker than cotton yarns and have more of a fuzzy finish, which trap the warm air around your body and help to keep you warm. Wool blankets make wonderful extra layers on the bed in colder months when you require a little more weight.
Most wool is characterised by a rough, rugged quality, in contrast to cotton and fine wool fibres (like alpaca and cashmere). While it can sometimes feel scratchy, sheep and lambswool fibres are incredibly robust and have a natural elasticity, meaning it will keep its shape while resisting wear and tear. Because of this, it’s easy to care for (it is machine washable) and can be used for sitting on outdoors.
ARPINA WOOL BLANKET
WINCHESTER WOOL QUILT
GOTLAND WOOL BLANKET
MIRAMAR WOOL BLANKET
VISBY WOOL BLANKET
Mohair & silk Blankets for when winter beings to set in
Mohair is characterised by a very fluffy, lustrous pile that is extremely effective at trapping heat. The advantage of mohair is that it is very lightweight and soft, and so is comfortable to have against your skin; this makes it suitable for those who are sensitive to wool but who like a fluffy blanket. Because mohair takes dyes well, they are often available in a range of warming colours that will brighten grey days.
Silk is also a surprisingly effective insulator, despite it being extremely lightweight - but because of this, a 100% silk blanket is rare, lacking weight and quickly becoming costly. Instead, a silk is often blended with wool, providing the warming properties of the latter with the insulating properties of silk.
CARLET MOHAIR BLANKET
Extra-warm blankets for cold days
When it gets really cold, blankets made of high-insulating fibres are a welcome accessory, and alpaca and cashmere are especially strong contenders.
Alpaca wool is warmer than sheep and lambswool thanks to its hollow fibres which are effective at trapping heat. This fibre is shorn from the alpacas native to the Peruvian highlands, where temperatures drop to below zero. Very fine and soft, alpaca wool has a lustrous quality that feels silky against the skin, while still remaining durable and lightweight – making this a hard-working fibre for the home.
Cashmere wool is shorn from the very light, downy fur underneath the chins of cashmere goats native to Mongolia. Super smooth, incredibly fine and with a velvety finish, it’s the ultimate luxury material. Cashmere is very lightweight, but around eight times warmer than other wools: for complete warmth and comfort, there is nothing better than cashmere wool.