5 Expert Tips To Choose Blankets & Throws

There are a variety of blankets and throws designed with different functions in mind - everything from providing extra warmth in the bedroom to adding a touch of luxury in the living room.

When chosen correctly, throws and blankets make a great addition to any home. Available in a wide range of colors, styles, and materials, they can easily be blended with the décor of any room.

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What is the difference between a blanket and a throw?

Blankets and throws are both types of coverings used to provide warmth and comfort. In terms of look and function, they are quite similar; however, there are a few minor distinctions between the two:

  • Blankets are bedding while throws are designed more as a decorative element - draped across a chair or couch. So, blankets are often much larger as they are made to fit across a mattress.
  • Blankets are made from a single large piece of fabric, selected for its ability to retain warmth. The edges are usually bound to prevent fraying. Throws tend to be made from luxury fabrics such as chenille, crushed velvet, faux fur, or suede that is in keeping with their decorative function. The edges are often fringed rather than bound.
  • Since blankets are more functional and thus usually much plainer, they are often hidden away beneath bed coverings or stored in cupboards. Throws are chosen with appearance in mind, and so would be clearly displayed.
Gray Polyester Solid Hue Brush Blanket
Navy Polyester Quilted Plush Down Alternative Blanket
Jojoba Yellow Polyester Knitted Woven Knotted Throw
Yellow Gray Acrylic Woven Throw
Fox Gray Faux Mohair Knitted Novelty Throw
Gray Microfiber Woven Bed Blanket

How do I choose a throw blanket that compliments the room?

The throw you choose is very much based on the style of the room it is to be used in. There are some basic rules, however, that can be applied, helping you make the best selection:

  • Pick the right color

Throws are a great way to add a splash of color to an otherwise neutral space, or they can be chosen to blend in nicely with the existing décor.

Warm, fall hues such as burnt orange, mustard yellow, brown, navy, pine green, grey, and burgundy can make a room feel cozier.

On the other hand, soothing earth tones, which are elegant and compliment most designs, can be used to promote feelings of calmness.

  • Avoid patterns

Unlike colors, which can be easily blended in with one another, patterns are a little trickier to work with and can be challenging to get precisely right. Too many of them around a room can make the space feel much too busy.

If you haven’t used any patterns in decoration, and if they don’t feature on any of the furnishings, a patterned blanket can work; otherwise, it’s best to go for block colors instead.

  • Pay attention to the season

While it may seem that throws are more suitable for winter and fall when you are looking to cozy up on the couch, they can actually be used year-round to brighten up a room and to keep you warm when temperatures dip in the evening.

Just be sure to select fabrics and designs that are suitable for the time of year:

  • warm fleeces and knits in neutral colors can keep you toasty in the wintertime,
  • light chenille in warm, bold colors can brighten up a grey, fall day while still keeping you warm,
  • acrylic and polyester in flower-like colors can perk up the room in spring,
  • natural fibers such as cotton in soothing, cool colors are ideal for the summer months.
  • Switch them out

Whichever style, colors, and materials you opt for, keep the room looking fresh by frequently switching the throws around, either by season (as above), for the holidays or simply because it’s nice to change things around from time to time.

Mustard Acrylic Knitted Classic Look Throw
Green Acrylic Woven Luxury Throw
Black White Cotton Knitted Throw
Gray Chunky Knitted Acrylic Yarn Throw
Multi Color Quilted Novelty Cotton Throw
Polyester Woven Perfect Throw Blanket

What is the best material for a throw?

Again, the type of material you select will very much depend on the style you are opting for in the room, but keep in mind that throw blankets are not intended purely for decoration – you will want to select something also designed for warmth and comfort.

The most luxurious throw blankets are often constructed from synthetic materials such as acrylic, nylon, or polyester - this includes both fleece and sherpa blankets. High-quality fleece can be made to feel as soft as plush or faux fur for the ultimate feeling of comfort against your skin.

Which type of blanket is best for winter?

As the temperature drops, you will want to start thinking about changing your bedding to make it more winter-appropriate – the same is true of your blankets.

One of the key considerations for selecting a blanket is the material. Some of the most common options are fleece, cotton, wool, cashmere and down - each of these has benefits.

  • Fleece

Fleece is an affordable choice. The material is warm, sturdy, and wrinkle resistant. In addition, it’s easy to keep clean and dries quickly.

  • Cotton

Cotton is also a cheaper option. It is more breathable than other fabrics and doesn’t shed. Furthermore, it is soft and hypoallergenic.

  • Wool

Wool is a pricier selection, but it is also considered to be the warmest material. Moreover, it is also breathable and naturally fire-resistant.

  • Cashmere

Cashmere is one of the softest and most luxurious fabrics out there, it’s also warm and very cozy. Although a pure blend is likely to set you back quite a bit.

  • Down

Down blankets are made from the light, small feathers of ducks and geese. They are warm, comfortable, fluffy, and thick. However, they also can be quite pricy.

When picking out fabrics, you are also going to want to think about the weave. These provide varying levels of weight and warmth:

  1. Thermal weave is often found in cotton blankets. This type of weave is loose and so allows air to circulate more freely. These lightweight blankets are great for summer months.
  2. Knit weaves are heavy, warm, and cozy. These are often found in wool or synthetic materials.
  3. Quilted weave is used in down blankets to stop the filling from moving around and so creating patches of warm and cold.
  4. Conventional weaves are tight and close, meaning that they provide a good level of insulation to keep you warm.
Blue White Cotton Woven Throw
Alloy Australian Wool Chunky Knit Wool Blanket
Gray Heron Cashmere Rayon Bamboo Throw
Navy Polyester All Season Goose Down Sport Blanket
Ivory Chunky Knitted Acrylic Throw
Pink Polyester Knitted Woven Throw
Red Black Polyester Fleece Quilted Woven Ribbed Ultra Soft Throw
Pink White Polyester Fleece Novelty Throw
Gray Stone Polyester Quilted Wearable Cuddle Blanket
Gray Microfiber Quilted Fluffy Soft Plush Blanket

How do you dress a sofa with throws?

There is a myriad of ways to arrange your throws, to different effects. These will depend on the material of the throw and the desired style. Here are two of the more popular ways:

  • Folded neatly

With small, thin throws, you could fold them up and place them either on the seat or arm of the couch. Here they add a little touch to the room while being close at hand when needed.

For a more relaxed look, you might want to give them a little tousle to stop them looking too neat.

  • Draped casually

Rather than folding it and placing it neatly on the back of the sofa, which can often look a little dull, try simply tossing the throw either over the back or the side of the couch for a more artistic look.

This is better for thicker, chunkier blankets such as wool knit or faux fur. If it lands a little bunched up, simply spread the fabric out until you get the desired effect.

Jessica started out as an interior photographer, but her love of pretty settings took her to the field of interior design, where she can combine two of her greatest passions, creating and then capturing the beauty of homes.