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6 Different Types of Travel Blankets

Grand daughter pulling a blanket from her mother and grandmother.

Traveling blankets come in many forms, including weighted blankets, camping & picnic blankets, insulated blankets, blankets with pillows, thermal blankets, rolling/folding blankets, and down travel blankets.

When flying overnight, or if you frequently find the cabin climate to be lower than you’d prefer, you may wish to invest in a travel blanket to keep you warm. As long as you’re mindful of the added hassle of lugging a blanket on and off planes. 

Bringing your blanket will rapidly pay for itself by saving you money over purchasing disposable airline blankets and enhancing your overall travel experience. Blankets are also great for long road trips, camping, and picnics.

As you keep reading, you’ll find that the information in this article will assist you in making an informed decision.

Types of Travel Blankets

1. Weighted Blanket

Adult Weighted Blanket Queen Size(15lbs 60"x80") Heavy Blanket with Premium Glass Beads, (Dark Grey) Waowoo

This is a unique blanket in comparison to the others we’ve discussed thus far. When it comes to weighted blankets, they serve a different purpose than an ornamental blanket than one that is meant to keep you warm.

A single blanket can weigh anything from five to thirty pounds, thanks to the additional weight from the various layers of these blankets. For a variety of therapeutic purposes, these blankets were developed to apply added strain on the body.

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The density of weighted blankets is thought to boost the production of beneficial hormones. It also reduces the negative inputs that might cause anxiety, stress, ADHD, PTSD, and other mental health issues, such as depression.

2. Rolling/Folding Blanket

Cocoon Coolmax Travel Blanket - Eggplant

This sort of travel blanket is popular because it folds or rolls up into a small size that is easy to carry on a plane or in a car. Because of their modest size when not being used, they can be conveniently stored until needed as an emergency blanket by some people. 

Because they can be swiftly and easily removed and used to cover up while relaxing or through temperature swings, fold-up blankets are popular among travelers on airplanes and those taking long automobile drives. When folded or rolled up, this style of travel blanket can be utilized as a pillow as well.

3. Thermal Travel Blanket

Lewis N. Clark USB Warm and Go Blanket, Black

It’s common for travelers to use heated blankets on cold-weather vacations since they can generate their heat, making them more comfortable. 

Since autos frequently have power outlets, heated travel blankets must be plugged in to operate. Passengers on planes can also use blankets, as long as there is sufficient power. 

Battery-operated heated blankets can also be found for people who want to sleep outside or in other settings when they are unable to utilize electricity. It is common for heated blankets to have a timer to ensure that you do not overheat while you sleep.

A thermal travel blanket may be useful if you’re traveling somewhere cold. Thicker or heated blankets can be extremely helpful when camping in the winter months. 

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The usage of a thermal blanket may also be advantageous when staying in low-cost accommodations, where extra blankets are frequently charged and only thin ones are provided for guests.

4. Camping and Picnic Blanket

Camping and Picnic Blanket on a flower field.

Polyester, nylon, and fleece are the most frequent fabrics used to make picnic blankets. In terms of warmth and comfort, fleece is best for autumn and winter camping, as well as athletic events like football games. 

Fleece picnic blankets are often produced with a water-resistant backing to keep them dry while being used outdoors. While nylon and polyester are known for their stain resistance, fleece is notorious for its tendency to cling to dust and dirt.

If you’re planning a summer picnic, camping vacation, or beach outing, a picnic blanket made of polyester or nylon is the best option. As a bonus, these fabrics are less inclined to collect dirt and other debris from their surroundings.

5. Pillow Blankets

BlueHills 2-Pack Premium Soft Travel Blanket Pillow Airplane Blanket for Two in Soft Bag Pillowcase with Hand Luggage Belt and Backpack Clip, Compact Pack Large Blankets for Travel (Black T014)

To find a blanket that was more adaptable, durable, and comfy, we came up with the idea of the Pillow Blanket.

Having a blanket that can be used both indoors and outside has made our lives easier. With your help, we can finally put our first manufacturing run into motion.

With its lightweight, warm, sturdy and versatile design, this blanket is sure to become your go-to accessory. Inflate the blanket to use as a throw pillow. You can also fold it over to sleep in it, link it to another to make a double pillow, and connect numerous blankets to build a huge cool zone in your home. 

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It can be used at your house, in the vehicle while traveling, in an RV, on a trail, or at the seaside. There are no harmful chemicals in the manufacturing of this product, and it’s stain and water-resistant.

6. Normal blankets

KULULU Travel Blanket , Soft and Cozy Fleece Poncho with Pocket, Portable with Luggage Strap, Perfect for Airplane Train Camping Car or Office (Smoky Skies)

Choosing the ideal travel blanket for you sometimes doesn’t require purchasing a blanket made especially for travel. While on the road, many people have discovered that a regular blanket would provide for their needs. 

A tough voyage may be made more bearable if you have a cozy blanket, such as one made of fleece. Children, on the other hand, may prefer a regular blanket they use at home over a blanket acquired expressly for a vacation.

Factors to Consider When Buying a Travel Blanket

A person on her blanket inside the RV.

As more is better than less, it comes with a price: higher weight and bulk, which are important considerations for travelers, especially those with space and weight restrictions on their carry-on luggage. 

However, in general, ‘narrow and long’ is preferable to ‘broad and short’. For a 40′′ × 60′′ fleece blanket constructed of reasonably lightweight fleece, it would weigh 12 ounces. 

While it’s obvious that you don’t want a blanket that is heavier than necessary, you also don’t want to end up with one that is lightweight but ineffective. Almost every type of travel blanket will weigh at least this much. The increased weight of a blanket and its carry bag should be factored into your budget.

Travel Blanket Materials

1. Spun Polyester/Fleece

Spun fleece rolled in a wood.

Spun polyester fabric, commonly referred to as fleece, is the least expensive material used to make blankets. Due to the inventors’ conscious choice not to patent this fabric back in 1979, it has become widely used. Cheap (or at least, it should be) and often manufactured from recycled plastic, if that’s important to you.

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There are a few drawbacks to using fleece, including the fact that it is difficult to wash and may be susceptible to pilling. Additionally, in the dry air of a plane, it may induce electric shocks because of the attraction of static electricity. We don’t like fleece, but we can’t deny its versatility and affordability.

2. Acrylic Blankets

Acrylic blankets are less frequent, and if we did more study, we’d probably find a dozen additional sorts of synthetic fibers utilized in blanket production as well.

For both synthetic and natural fabrics, there is a wide variety to choose from, with the most common metric being gsm – the weight of the material per square meter. As a comparison, a standard copier sheet of paper weighs roughly 75 gsm, which is nearly the same weight as fleece.

We don’t think it’s necessary to bring the thickest blankets on an aircraft.

3. Rayon Blanket

‘Bamboo’ fiber is a step up from fleece, yet it’s commonly referred to as something else. You might think of bamboo as a hard, wooden chopping board, but it’s supple. Quite a bit can happen between when a tree is cut down and when the wood is in your blanket. 

It has been transformed into rayon, a cellulose fiber-based ‘artificial silk,’ as another euphemism puts it. A blanket can be made out of wood just as easily as a sheet of paper.

Not all rayon material is created from bamboo, and there has been a tendency for companies to advertise their products as ‘bamboo’ when the fabric of the rayon also isn’t bamboo at all. Rayon is pricier than fleece but less costly than cotton, silk, and wool.

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4. Wool Blanket

A woman holding a cup of coffee and a Wool Blanket.

To that end, we now turn to these other fibers. New Zealanders are naturally drawn to merino sheep’s wool, but other types of wool, such as alpaca and goat, are also popular. Even possum/wool blends have been used in some products. 

Wool is typically blended with cotton, other natural fibers, or synthetic fibers to square the circle and produce something that hopefully has the most desirable features of each element, with their less desired traits masked by the other elements. I’ve seen blankets made from Yak hair.

There are several advantages and disadvantages to using natural fiber blankets over fleece and bamboo/rayon blankets.

Storing Your Travel Blankets and Other Factors

To get the most out of a blanket, it’s important to think about how you’ll use it before and after you do so. How does it get from point A to point B? Some blankets come with a carrier pack, which helps keep the blanket clean, but it’s not too difficult to acquire a zip-lock style plastic container and merely stuff the blanket in that when it isn’t in use.

Some blankets come with a self-making bag,’ which is a pouch in which the blanket can be folded or collapsed. That means you won’t lose your carry bag if it’s truly a part of the blanket component itself.

In some cases, you can get blankets that come with a compression strap (usually two) that you can loop around the blanket and tighten to crush the blanket into a smaller area. That’s a great way of saving space, but it does nothing to keep the blanket clean.

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Get Blankets With Hemlines

Another factor to consider is the edge of the blanket. Some of the cheapest goods have nothing but a blanket stitch across the edges. Having a folded-over hemline is preferable to having a separate piece of cloth used to construct a wrap-around hem, although both are acceptable.

Choose a Bright Blanket for Flights

The shade of the blanket is also an important consideration. While it may seem obvious, choosing a blanket hue that stands out and is difficult to miss is an important element to keep in mind. 

While we’ve had long flights, we’ve left books and other belongings in the seatback pockets in front of us, which we then forget about when we’re racing to get ready to depart after the journey.

A neon blanket could seem like the perfect choice for a travel blanket from this perspective, as it is the most difficult color to miss in the dim cabin lights when you finally get to your destination. That may be a bit excessive, but it does suggest that a colorful blanket would be more noticeable than a standard blanket that fits in with the airline seats and flooring.

To make it simpler for you to put the blanket across your arms and shoulders, there are certain special-shaped blankets. It’s an excellent idea to do this.

Checking Blanket Sizes and Weight

A woman wrap with a blanket on pink background.

A travel blanket’s volume and the open area must be taken into consideration when placing it into the carry-on suitcase, which for many of us lacks much room for additional items. Its mass is also an important factor to consider.

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It is typical for travel blankets to be rectangular in design. They can be as short as 30 inches or as long as 72 inches on the short side and 48 inches or as long as 50 inches on the long side. There are a few outliers that are larger or smaller than the others.

For comparison, a typical twin-sized blanket or sheet measures 60′′ x 90′′ and can go up to 84′′ x 110′′. Because travel blankets do not have to be tucked in around mattresses, or ‘wrapped around’, they are substantially smaller in both length and width.

We don’t always need a blanket that wraps across our legs and then upward to our necks, but it’s always better to have a longer blanket than a shorter one. A person’s entire height is just a foot less than the distance from their ankles to their shoulders. 

You’d need at least another foot of blanket to drape around your ankles, as well as a wrap across your shoulders would likely add another nine inches to the total length required. Additionally, a longer blanket is required than you might expect due to the blanket bunching up, especially at the top.

So, overall, provided you know that “full-body coverage” is not required for your planned purpose, we advise shopping for longer lengths.

Seats that would be less than 18 inches wide neglect the fact that most people’s shoulders measure a minimum of 18 inches apart. By adding 6-9 inches of wrap-around on each side, you can get away with blanket widths as small as 36 inches, but again, more is always preferable to less.

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How Often Are Flight Blankets Sanitized

As a general rule, airline blankets are hardly laundered between flights, which means you may be inhaling the germs of someone else. Sara Keagle, a current flight attendant, disclosed to HuffPost that the coverings are only cleaned once per day, typically once the airplane remains overnight. Including the ones that are nicely folded in plastic wrapping, of course. Gulp.

For those who don’t like the idea of bringing along a disposable blanket, we have a suggestion for you: bring your portable blanket with you and launder it as many times as you choose!

Travel blankets come in different shapes and sizes, so you can buy any of them on Amazon.com.