The Best Throw Blankets Come Down to One Feature, According to This Textile Designer
Eleven options to take to the park for a picnic or the couch for a nap.
Published Jul 22, 2021 1:05 AM
The best throw blankets are like the emotional support animals of the interior design world: Your troubles instantly recede when you wrap yourself in cozy fleece, whether you’re in front of a campfire or on the sofa with Netflix streaming. But how do you choose the right one to snuggle up with when there are endless options—from plant to animal fibers in brightly dyed or subdued palettes—and just as many ways to use them?
For Hana Getachew, it all comes down to one feature: touch. “The feel is my number-one priority,” says the New York–based designer and owner of Bolé Road Textiles. “Is it soft? Do you enjoy the sensation on your skin?” The difficult part, she admits, is deciding what design to go for. To help narrow down the choices, we found 11 throws—all as comforting as they are beautiful—that are begging to be folded just so on an armchair or casually strewn across the foot of your bed.
- Best versatility: Poppy Moons Throw, Caroline Z. Hurley
- Best mohair: Aimee Mohair Throw, Lulu and Georgia
- Best camp: Yakima Camp Wool Throw Blanket, Pendleton
- Best chunky knit: Sequoia Cotton Throw, Serena & Lily
- Best value: Rustic Farmhouse Chevron Throw, DII
- Best linen: Simple Linen Throw, Hawkins New York
- Best merino: Merino Wool Throw, Harlow Henry
- Best pattern: Intangible Land II Throw Blanket, Society6
- Best alpaca: La Calle Alpaca Throw, The Citizenry
- Best cotton: Dusty Rose Throw, Bolé Road Textiles
- Best indigo: Santa Monica Indigo Throw, Pine Cone Hill
A Few Things to Keep in Mind
Material: Are you willing to send your throw to the dry cleaner’s on a monthly basis, or would you rather machine wash it without worry? Consider the material. Plant fibers like cotton and linen are typically easier to maintain than those from animals, including sheep, goat, and alpaca wool; synthetic fibers (sherpa and fleece) are more affordable but susceptible to matting and pilling.
Size: The most popular dimensions are between 48 and 50 inches wide, according to Getachew, who sells 4-by-6-feet throws. But you can find them in a range of sizes, from as small as 3 feet wide to as large as 10.
Warmth: The denser (fiber construction) and heavier (total weight) a throw is, the warmer it will be. Wool, for example, is so tightly knit that it’s difficult for heat to escape, whereas a thinner material like linen won’t offer much in terms of insulation, making it ideal for summer.
Our Top Picks
Best Versatility: Poppy Moons Throw, Caroline Z. Hurley
You can take this linen throw anywhere: to the park for a picnic, to the beach for sunbathing, or to your sofa for an afternoon nap. Designer Caroline Z. Hurley told Domino she even uses it as a tablecloth. Light, soft, and easy to clean, it’s also extremely versatile: At 57-by-72 inches, it’s tall enough to use as a blanket but small enough to bring with you on all your travels. We love the Poppy Moons pattern, which comes in a desertlike palette of sand and succulents inspired by California’s Joshua Tree.
Best Mohair: Aimee Mohair Throw, Lulu and Georgia
Wrapping yourself in this mohair blanket is the design equivalent of cozying up in your favorite sweater with a good book. It’s dyed and spun in Yorkshire, England, at one of the last vertical mills in the country, and long enough to be draped at the foot of your bed or folded up into the nook of a chair. Plus it comes in five tranquil colors (subdued mustard, light blush, sea-green blue, dark merlot, and neutral greige) to add depth and serenity to any bedroom or living space.
Best Camp: Yakima Camp Wool Throw Blanket, Pendleton
Whether your definition of camping is pitching a tent in the woods and gathering kindling for a fire or renting a rustic cabin and cozying up in front of a brick fireplace, the Yakima blanket is guaranteed to keep you toasty both indoors and out. The rough-hewn cotton-wool blend emulates blankets used by sheepherders to keep warm in cold, damp Pacific Northwest environs, but the earthy Pendleton stripes look stylish no matter where you are.
Best Chunky Knit: Sequoia Cotton Throw, Serena & Lily
It’s easy to be winter ready with this chunky handwoven throw—a welcome sight on even the coldest snowy nights—but its ribbed-knit cotton design is equally at home in crisp, clean beach houses. Keep it close on the arm of your sofa to grab whenever the mood strikes, and don’t plan on getting up for a while: The hefty 9-pound blanket envelops you in cocoonlike warmth that makes it impossible to resist dozing off.
Best Value: Rustic Farmhouse Chevron Throw, DII
Draped on the reading chair in an English Tudor or neatly folded in the wicker basket of a shiplap-walled living room, this timeless throw was designed to fit any rustic decor scheme. The classic chevron pattern and fringed hem (which DII claims shouldn’t unravel, even in the wash) adds a modern twist to the traditional cotton weave, and with 11 colors to choose from—everything from marigold to barn red—and a budget-friendly $14 price tag, it’s a real steal.
Best Linen: Simple Linen Throw, Hawkins New York
Is there anything chicer than a simple linen throw? Designed in Portugal, Hawkins New York’s version comes in 15 colorful options and an airy weave that offers the perfect touch of European effortlessness. The lightness of linen makes it a good choice for any time of year, whether you use it as an extra layer of coziness when lounging at home or messily toss it across a contrasting sofa. It’s also as natural as you can get, backed by an Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certification.
Best Merino: Merino Wool Throw, Harlow Henry
Woven in Ireland from ultrasoft merino lambswool—making it thinner and less irritating to skin for a luxurious look and feel—Harlow Henry’s throw is the epitome of stylish warmth. It features a herringbone pattern in understated hues like sepia, heather gray, and indigo that work in any space, but the biggest draw may be its large size; at 57-by-78 inches, it’s a borderline blanket, so you don’t have to choose between keeping your toes and shoulders covered.
Best Pattern: Intangible Land II Throw Blanket, Society6
The aesthetic possibilities are endless with Society6, where you can choose from more than 100 designs by small-scale artists. Like all of the brand’s printed throws, the back of this mountain landscape by Cascino Lab is lined in a neutral white sherpa fleece that promises to get cozier with each wash. Choose from three sizes, including a massive nearly 10-foot-long option, then sit back and let the cuddle-fest ensue.
Best Alpaca: La Calle Alpaca Throw, The Citizenry
Handwoven in a remote village in Peru’s Andes Mountains, each of these alpaca throws takes roughly seven days to complete and looks like a traditional piece of art. The benefits of alpaca wool are endless: Durable enough to withstand typical matting and pilling yet surprisingly hypoallergenic, it’s an ideal choice for those with sensitive skin. It’s also incredibly insulating but airy enough for hot sleepers. And if you like catnapping on the couch, this fiber wicks away moisture so you’ll never sweat while you snooze.
Best Cotton: Dusty Rose Throw, Bolé Road Textiles
Getachew loves this cotton throw, with good reason. It’s luxuriously low-maintenance enough to toss into the washing machine without its lush colors bleeding together. Handwoven in Ethiopia—like all of the studio’s textiles, from pillows to curtains to bath mats—the blanket has an unexpected bonus feature: Its expert detailing and lightweight construction allows it to double as a shawl for extra warmth on cool summer nights.
Best Indigo: Santa Monica Indigo Throw, Pine Cone Hill
As comforting as your favorite pair of jeans, this striated blue throw mimics the look of dark, distressed denim through a meticulous wash-and-dye process done by hand—plus its perfectly worn-in feel thanks to the cozy, soothing touch of cotton. The faded indigo hue lends rustic texture to sumptuous linens when placed at the foot of a bed and adds a hint of contrast in neutral living rooms, warming up white or gray sofas.
What’s the warmest material for a throw blanket?
Every textile expert we talked to agrees: Wool is the warmest material for a throw. Traditional wool can be a bit irritating to the touch and easily snags and pulls, but there are a variety of natural alternatives, blends, and man-made options to choose from today—like satin, flannel, and alpaca—though Hurley prefers merino, especially when swaddling her youngest.
How do I clean my throw blanket?
If you’re looking to throw something in the wash, choose natural plant fibers like linen and cotton. The only downside? They patina over time, so be sure to avoid harsh detergents and heavy-duty cycles. Animal-based fibers often require extra care. Wool, for example, shrinks easily and should be sent to the dry cleaner if used regularly.
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