Throw vs Blanket: What’s the Difference?

Key Takeaways

  • Throws for Style, Blankets for Warmth: Throws primarily serve as decorative accessories, enhancing the aesthetics of a room, while blankets are designed for warmth and comfort.
  • Material Matters: The choice of material for throws and blankets greatly impacts their feel and care requirements. Consider materials like cotton for versatility, wool for exceptional warmth, and fleece for softness and ease of care.
  • Layering for Comfort: Both throws and blankets can be layered for extra warmth and style, making them versatile additions to your living spaces.

When it comes to staying warm and cozy, two household essentials often come to mind: throws and blankets.

While they may seem similar at first glance, there are distinct differences between the two that can impact your comfort and style.

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In this blog, we’ll unravel the mystery of throws vs. blankets and help you understand when and how to use each of these comforting companions to elevate your home’s comfort and aesthetics.

Whether you’re a seasoned home decor enthusiast or just looking for a little extra warmth, read on to discover which option suits your needs best.


A throw is a small, lightweight piece of fabric, typically measuring around 50×60 inches, although sizes can vary.

Its primary purpose is to serve as a decorative accessory in your home. Throws are designed to add style and personality to a space.

They come in a wide range of colors, patterns, and materials, making them a versatile choice for enhancing your interior decor.

Throws can be draped over sofas, chairs, beds, or even used as wall art. Their main role is to elevate the aesthetic appeal of a room while providing a touch of comfort when needed.


A blanket, on the other hand, is a larger and heavier piece of fabric, available in various sizes, from twin to king-sized.

Its primary purpose is to provide warmth and comfort. Blankets are designed to keep you cozy on chilly nights, whether you’re snuggled up on the couch, in bed, or even outdoors.

While blankets can also feature stylish designs and patterns, their primary function is to offer insulation and protect against the cold.

They serve a functional role in keeping you warm and comfortable during colder seasons.

Pros and Cons of Throws and Blankets:

AspectThrow BlanketRegular Blanket
Size Versatility✔️
Decorative Accent✔️
Easy Maintenance✔️
Lightweight Option✔️
Layering Warmth✔️
Bedding Coverage✔️
Cozy Warmth✔️
Bedding Layering✔️
Versatile Use✔️
Limited Coverage✔️
Not Suitable for Bedding✔️
Less Warmth✔️
May Slip Off✔️
Bulkier Size✔️
Less Decorative✔️
Heavier to Wash✔️
Limited Portability✔️
Takes Up Space✔️

The Difference Between Throws and Blankets

The key distinction between throws and blankets lies in their intended roles.

Throws are primarily decorative, adding visual interest and style to a room, while blankets are primarily functional, offering warmth and comfort.

Throws are like the icing on the cake of your home decor, whereas blankets are the cozy, practical layers that keep you snug and warm.

Understanding this difference will help you choose the right one based on your specific needs, whether it’s to spruce up your living room or stay toasty on a winter night.

1. Size and Dimensions

Throws are known for their compact and standardized sizing, typically measuring around 50×60 inches (127×152 cm).

This size is designed to strike a balance between being large enough to cover your legs or shoulders comfortably and small enough to be draped effortlessly over furniture.

The 50×60 inch dimension is versatile, making throws suitable for various decorative purposes.

Their smaller size allows for easy manipulation, making them ideal for creating stylish folds, drapes, or layering.

Blankets, in contrast, come in a wide range of sizes to accommodate different needs. These sizes often include twin (66×90 inches), full/queen (90×90 to 90×100 inches), and king (108×90 inches) dimensions, among others.

The variety in blanket sizes allows you to choose one that suits your specific requirements.

For instance, twin-sized blankets are great for single beds, while full/queen sizes are versatile for sharing on larger beds or for wrapping up on the couch.

King-sized blankets offer ample coverage for larger beds and more extensive snuggling.

2. Materials for Throws and Blankets:

Throws and blankets can be crafted from a wide array of materials and fabrics, each offering its unique characteristics.

Cotton: Cotton throws and blankets are known for their breathability and versatility. They are suitable for all seasons, keeping you cool in the summer and providing just the right amount of warmth in the winter.

Cotton is easy to care for and can be machine-washed, making it a practical choice.

Wool: Wool throws and blankets are celebrated for their natural insulating properties.

They excel in retaining heat, making them ideal for staying warm during cold winters.

Wool is moisture-wicking, which means it can absorb moisture without feeling damp. However, it requires more delicate care and is often dry-cleaned to maintain its quality.

Fleece: Fleece throws and blankets are super soft and lightweight.

They provide excellent warmth without the bulk of heavier materials like wool.

Fleece is also easy to maintain, as it can be machine-washed, and it dries quickly. This material is a favorite for those seeking warmth and comfort.

Significance of Material Choice:

The choice of material for your throw or blanket significantly impacts both comfort and care.

  1. Comfort: The material determines how warm, soft, and cozy your throw or blanket will feel. Cotton is great for those who want breathability and versatility. Wool is the go-to for cold climates due to its exceptional warmth. Fleece offers plush comfort and is perfect for snuggling up on the couch.
  2. Care: Different materials have varying care requirements. Throws and blankets made of cotton and fleece are often machine-washable, which makes maintenance a breeze. Wool, on the other hand, typically requires more delicate care, such as dry-cleaning, to preserve its quality and prevent shrinkage.

3. Usage of Throws and Blankets

Here are the main usages of each of these:


Throws are not just about staying warm; they’re also a fantastic way to elevate the aesthetics of your living spaces.

One of the primary reasons people choose throws is for their decorative charm.

Throws come in a stunning array of patterns, designs, and colors that can complement or even become a focal point of your room’s decor.

Whether you prefer classic, modern, bohemian, or any other style, you’ll find throws that align with your taste.

Examples of Decorative Patterns and Designs:
  1. Geometric Patterns: Throws with geometric shapes, such as chevrons, stripes, or hexagons, can add a contemporary and structured feel to a room.
  2. Floral Prints: Floral-patterned throws bring a touch of nature and a sense of freshness to your decor.
  3. Tapestry Throws: These often feature intricate, artistic designs that can be hung on walls or used as statement pieces.
  4. Solid Colors: Sometimes, simplicity is key. Solid-colored throws in bold or muted hues can create a clean and sophisticated look.
  5. Layering: Drape throws over couches, chairs, or the foot of your bed to create inviting layers and textures in your space.
  6. Color Coordination: Choose throws that complement or contrast with your existing color scheme to tie the room together.
  7. Mix and Match: Don’t be afraid to mix and match different throws to create a dynamic and eclectic look.
  8. Seasonal Changes: Swap out throws seasonally to refresh the look and feel of your decor.
  9. Functional Accessories: Use throws as decorative accessories for furniture or as wall hangings to add character and warmth to your space.

Warmth and Functionality of Blankets

Blankets are your trusted companions when it comes to staying warm and comfortable. Unlike throws, their primary purpose is to provide insulation and shield you from the cold.

When you wrap yourself in a blanket, you instantly feel a sense of coziness and warmth, making them perfect for chilly nights or simply relaxing on the couch during colder seasons.

One of the great things about blankets is their versatility across seasons.

Here’s how to select the right blanket for different times of the year:

Winter: For the coldest months, opt for heavy, insulating blankets made of materials like wool or fleece. These materials trap body heat and keep you warm even in the harshest winters.

Spring and Fall: During transitional seasons, consider medium-weight blankets made of cotton or blends. They provide the right amount of warmth without causing overheating.

Summer: Lightweight, breathable blankets are ideal for summer. Look for options like linen or lightweight cotton that keep you cool and comfortable on warm nights.

Styles of Blankets:

Blankets come in various styles to cater to different preferences:

Cozy Blankets: These are designed for maximum warmth and comfort, often featuring plush materials like Sherpa or microfiber. Cozy blankets are perfect for snuggling up on the couch or keeping you toasty in bed during the winter.

Plush Blankets: Plush blankets are incredibly soft and velvety to the touch. They offer a luxurious feel and are ideal for adding a touch of opulence to your bedding.

Weighted Blankets: These blankets are filled with small weights or beads, designed to provide a sense of security and comfort. They’re often used to reduce anxiety and promote relaxation.

Electric Blankets: These specialized blankets come with heating elements that allow you to control the level of warmth. They’re perfect for those who like precise temperature control.

5. General Care Instructions for Throws and Blankets:

  1. Regular Cleaning: Both throws and blankets benefit from regular cleaning to maintain their freshness. Shake them out or gently vacuum them to remove dust and debris.
  2. Machine Washing: Many throws and blankets are machine washable. Always check the care label for specific instructions. Use a gentle cycle with cold or lukewarm water to prevent damage to the fabric.
  3. Drying: Whenever possible, line drying or laying flat to air dry is the gentlest method. If you use a dryer, use low heat settings to prevent shrinking, especially for wool and delicate materials.
  4. Avoid Harsh Chemicals: Steer clear of harsh detergents or bleach, as they can damage the fabric and affect colors.

Material-Specific Care Considerations:

  1. Cotton: Cotton throws and blankets are generally easy to care for. Follow the care label, but most can be machine washed with mild detergent. Avoid high heat when drying to prevent shrinkage.
  2. Wool: Wool requires more delicate care. Dry cleaning is often recommended to maintain its quality and prevent felting. Avoid excessive agitation and heat, which can cause wool to shrink.
  3. Fleece: Fleece throws and blankets are low-maintenance. They can be machine washed with cold water and mild detergent. Use a low-heat dryer setting or air dry to preserve their softness.

6. Outdoor Use of Throws and Blankets Outdoors:

Throws and blankets can indeed be used outdoors to enhance your outdoor seating areas, picnics, or campfire nights. However, there are some considerations to keep in mind:

  1. Material Choice: Opt for durable, weather-resistant materials like outdoor blankets made from water-repellent fabric, polyester, or nylon. These materials are designed to withstand exposure to moisture and elements.
  2. Cleaning: Outdoor use can lead to more frequent cleaning due to exposure to dirt, moisture, and insects. Ensure that the blanket or throw you choose is easy to clean and maintain.
  3. Storage: When not in use, store your outdoor throws and blankets in a dry, cool place to prevent mold and mildew growth.
  4. Careful Placement: Be cautious when placing throws or blankets near open flames, such as bonfires, as some materials can be flammable.

7. Layering for Extra Warmth:

One of the wonderful aspects of throws and blankets is their ability to layer, creating additional warmth and comfort. Layering can be particularly useful during the colder months.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Couches and Chairs: Draping a throw over the back of your couch or the arm of a chair adds an extra layer of coziness and style to your living room. It’s also handy for grabbing when you feel a chill.
  2. Bedding: Layering blankets on your bed can provide customizable warmth. Start with a sheet, add a light blanket for mild nights, and top it off with a thicker one for extra warmth during colder nights.
  3. Mix and Match: Experiment with different textures, colors, and patterns to create an eclectic and inviting look. Mixing a textured throw with a solid-colored blanket, for example, can add visual interest.
  4. Fold and Drape: Play with how you fold and drape your throws and blankets. An artfully arranged throw can make a chair or sofa look more inviting, while a neatly layered bed exudes a sense of comfort.
  5. Accessorize: Don’t forget to add matching or contrasting throw pillows to complete the look. These can tie the colors and patterns together, making your space feel cohesive.

8. Using Throws and Blankets as Thoughtful Gifts:

Throws and blankets make excellent presents that offer warmth and comfort along with a personal touch.

Here are some gift-giving ideas:

  1. Housewarming: A cozy throw or blanket is a perfect housewarming gift. It adds warmth and style to a new home.
  2. Birthdays: Consider gifting a throw or blanket in the recipient’s favorite color or pattern, tailored to their personal taste.
  3. Holidays: Throws and blankets make delightful holiday gifts, especially during the winter season when everyone appreciates a bit of extra warmth.
  4. Weddings: A high-quality blanket can be a thoughtful wedding gift, offering the couple comfort and memories for years to come.
  5. Baby Showers: Soft and cozy baby blankets are a popular choice for baby showers, keeping little ones warm and snug.
  6. Anniversaries: Consider giving a personalized throw or blanket as an anniversary gift, commemorating the couple’s journey together.

9. Availability of Eco-Friendly Throws and Blankets:

For those who are environmentally conscious, there are eco-friendly options available in the world of throws and blankets.

These choices prioritize sustainable materials and production methods:

Organic Cotton: Throws and blankets made from organic cotton are produced without harmful pesticides and chemicals, reducing the environmental impact.

Recycled Materials: Some throws and blankets are crafted from recycled fibers, such as recycled polyester, helping to reduce waste and promote recycling.

Sustainable production methods such as: Low-Impact Dyeing. Using dyes that have a lower environmental impact reduces water and chemical usage during the dyeing process.

Fair Trade Practices: Supporting brands that prioritize fair wages and ethical working conditions for their artisans and workers promotes sustainability and social responsibility.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Primary Difference between a Throw and a Blanket?

Throws are typically smaller and designed for decoration and style, while blankets are larger and primarily used for warmth.

Can I use a Throw as a Blanket?

While throws are not as warm as blankets, they can provide some comfort in milder temperatures or as an extra layer.

Are Throws and Blankets made from the same Materials?

Both throws and blankets can be made from various materials, including cotton, wool, fleece, and more.

Can I use a Blanket as a Decorative Piece in my Home?

Absolutely! Many blankets come in stylish designs and colors, making them suitable for both warmth and decor.

What are some Common Sizes for Throws and Blankets?

Throws are typically smaller, around 50x60 inches, while blankets come in various sizes, from twin to king.

How should I care for my Throw or Blanket?

Care instructions depend on the material. Always check the label, but most can be machine-washed and dried.

Can I use a Throw or Blanket Outdoors?

Yes, but it's essential to choose a durable, weather-resistant material for outdoor use.

Are Throws and Blankets Suitable for All Seasons?

Throws are more versatile for different seasons, while blankets are ideal for colder weather.

Can Throws and Blankets be Layered for Extra Warmth?

Yes, layering throws on top of blankets or vice versa can provide extra warmth and style.

Can I use a Throw or Blanket as a Gift?

Yes, throws and blankets make excellent gifts for birthdays, housewarmings, or holidays.

Are there any Specific Styles or Patterns Associated with Throws or Blankets?

Throws often feature decorative patterns and designs, while blankets come in a wide range of styles to suit different preferences.

Are there any Eco-friendly options for Throws and Blankets?

Yes, you can find eco-friendly throws and blankets made from sustainable materials such as organic cotton or recycled fibers.


In conclusion, the choice between a throw and a blanket ultimately comes down to your specific needs and preferences.

Throws offer a touch of style and versatility, making them excellent for decorative purposes and draping over furniture.

On the other hand, blankets excel at providing warmth and functionality, making them your go-to companion for those chilly nights.

Understanding the subtle yet significant differences between throws and blankets empowers you to make informed decisions when it comes to decorating your home or keeping cozy during the cooler months.

Whichever you choose, remember that both throws and blankets have their unique roles to play in enhancing your comfort and style, adding warmth and charm to your living spaces.

So, embrace the warmth and style they bring and enjoy the perfect blend of comfort and aesthetics in your home.

This article is for informational purposes and should not replace advice from your doctor or other medical professional.

Sarah Anderson, Certified Sleep Science Coach Sarah Anderson

Sarah Anderson is a sleep, health, and wellness writer and product reviewer. She has written articles on changing and improving your sleep schedule, choosing the right mattress for chronic pain conditions, and finding the best pillow for you. Sarah Anderson has her Bachelor of Arts degree from Arizona State University in Journalism and Mass Communications. Prior to working for Zoma, she wrote for a variety of news publications. Sarah's work has been featured on Bustle, PureWow, and other publications.

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