In the world of bedding, there are many different terms that might be similar, and this can confuse buyers who are looking for a product to keep them warm. Terms such as the duvet, comforter, blanket, or quilt are often used interchangeably, but they mean different things.
You may be on the market looking to buy something that will keep you warm in the winter, or maybe a product that’s more suitable for colder summer nights. If you’ve narrowed down your choices to a comforter or a blanket, here are the main characteristics that you should know about each of them.
A Closer Look
Both comforters and blankets are available in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Their constructions often share the same fabrics, such as organic cotton or wool, and they are available in a variety of colors and patterns. However, they usually serve two different purposes, so their target markets don’t generally overlap.
Comforters are thick bedding items, which has an outer cover, and an insulating fill. This fill can be either natural down, or down alternative (which can be another material such as cotton, wool, silk, or polyester fill).
The outer fabric of a comforter also varies from one model to another. Some of the best and most appreciated comforters are made with cotton outer shells, but the fabric can also range from polyester to silk, depending on what each sleeper prefers.
The reputation of comforters is based on the insulation level they provide. Compared to blankets, comforters are way warmer, because of their construction which includes loft in between the upper and the lower fabric.
What’s more, there are certain types of comforters out there that will grant the sleeper access to the loft (typically through a zipper located on the edges of the product), which gives them the freedom to add/remove the fill as needed.
This, of course, depends on the type of construction of the comforter, because the one that has a baffle box stitching (with the entire surface divided into squares created by sewing the top and bottom layer of the outer shell) will never grant access to the fill itself.
The price of a comforter varies significantly depending on the construction. The most affordable comforters can cost as low as $20, but they are made with polyester covers and microfiber fill (which is synthetic and doesn’t have the best insulation properties).
Comforters that combine more quality materials, such as cotton outer fabric and natural down fill, are also more expensive (some of the best ones start off at $100). On a general note, more affordable comforters are made with materials that don’t have the best insulation properties, making them more suitable for summer use. Expensive comforters, made with natural down, are better at trapping warmth underneath, making them much more suitable for winter use.
You may want to read: The Best Comforters for Summer
Blankets are made with a single layer of fabric and are typically rectangular-shaped. They are made with different kinds of fabric, and some of the most popular ones are made with wool or fleece.
Wool is typically chosen because it makes the blanket thick and warm, while the fleece is a great option for people who want a fluffy and huggable blanket. Some more luxurious blankets are made with exotic craftings, like those that feature silk covering.
You may want to read: The Best Magic Weighted Blankets
In order to achieve the same level of warmth as the most lightweight comforter, the blanket would have to be made with a fabric that’s known for retaining warmth, like wool. While blankets can be warm, they will never achieve the same insulation properties as a comforter.
Blankets are, after all, made with a single layer of fabric, whereas comforters have two layers that create the cover of the comforter, plus the fill, which has great insulation properties.
There are also electrical blankets available on the market, which have an internal wiring and heating system that, once plugged into a power outlet and turned on, will heat up the entire surface of the fabric, and your body along with
While these electrical blankets are generally safe, people are reluctant about the safety hazard of falling asleep with a heating device lying on top of them. That’s why it’s best to choose an electrical blanket that’s made by a trusted manufacturer, with experience in the field.
As with every other bedding item, the price of a blanket depends on the materials from which it’s made. A fleece blanket can cost as low as $15, but the price goes up as the fabric is better at keeping you warm, or as the material in itself is more expensive.
Some of the most expensive blankets on the market are made from truly luxurious fabrics, such as natural fur or cashmere. These can cost up to thousands of dollars.
You may want to read: Duvet vs Quilt: How to Choose
Comforters and blankets can’t really be compared since they generally serve for different purposes. A blanket is a much better choice for those who like to snuggle on the couch and stay warm and toasty while watching a movie, but they’re also good for keeping people warm on colder spring/summer/fall evenings.
For winter use, comforters are perfect, because they are constructed in such a way as to provide the sleeper with plenty of insulation, particularly when choosing a comforter filled with natural down.