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When the temperature drops, wool blankets are the first thing we reach for. Other blankets just can’t match the authentic coziness of the best wool blankets, and It doesn’t matter where you might be — on the couch, at a campsite or in bed.
Are Wool Blankets Good?
That added comfort you get with wool comes from real, naturally occurring powers. Wool has “crimps” in the fibers, or curls, that create air pockets (this is why sheep coats look wavy). Instead of simply trapping body heat, these air pockets regulate heat for a consistently pleasant temperature while bundled up (i.e. less sweat and clamminess).
Durability is another key benefit of wool — hence its popularity for outdoor adventures. The material naturally resists dust, stains, mold and, most importantly, water. Wool fibers not only repel water droplets but can absorb substantial amounts of water and still keep you warm. Plus, these benefits will stick around: wool fibers can bend far more than synthetics before breaking, meaning the best wool blankets will keep you cozy for years.
We should also do away with a common misconception: good wool is extremely soft, not scratchy. If wool is processed too much or made of thin, cheap fibers, it will feel scratchy, but high-quality wool blankets are silky smooth to the touch.
What Are the Best Wool Blankets?
Before getting into the details of different wool blankets, consider how you’ll be using them. Wool blankets for camping need to be extra durable and ideally darker colored, while throw blankets for the house can be more thin and stylish. Here are a few things to consider while shopping for the best wool blankets online.
Material: Not all wool is made equal. Alpaca is warmer than sheep wool, while cashmere is (famously) softer than normal wool. Even within the realm of traditional sheep wool, some is better: virgin and merino wool are higher-quality, and some brands source better, less processed sheep wool. Also, some blankets incorporate cotton or blend different kinds of wool, which can be a good thing when done right.
Size: Some wool blankets come with multiple options for different bed sizes while others are sized as throw blankets. Make sure to check the dimensions of a blanket before buying, or, if it’s destined for your bed, choose one that’s sized accordingly.
Weight: The heaviness of wool blankets is one of the reasons why people love them. For reference, a high-quality queen-sized wool blanket should weigh at least five pounds.
Washability: Although most wool blankets require dry cleaning every three months or so, a select few can be tossed in the washing machine at home. This is a big plus, especially for camping wool blankets that are bound to get dirty.
If you’re in need of a great wool blanket — be it for camping, sleeping at home or watching TV on the couch — read on. We’ve found some of the best wool blankets with premium materials (i.e. soft, not scratchy) for every blanket-wrapped activity.
1. L.L. Bean Washable Wool Blanket
This pick from L.L. Bean epitomizes the rustic charm of a great wool blanket. Made of 100% heirloom-quality wool that’s woven at the Pendleton Woolen Mills, the feel is as authentic as the look. But, despite its classic look and texture, the blanket has the modern benefit of machine washability, making it great for camping and outdoor use. You also get three color options, plus choices for all bed sizes.
2. Pendleton Jacquard Unnapped Blanket
Portland brand Pendleton is widely considered one of the best wool suppliers in the world, making this blanket a great choice for any household or camping trip. The blanket is instantly recognizable as a Pendleton thanks to its Jacquard, Native American-inspired design. It also feels great with a pure virgin wool construction and comes in three size options — queen, king and robe — with the robe option being the size of a small throw that’s ideal for wearing like a shawl around the house.
3. Desert Breeze Alpaca and Sheep Wool Blanket
For some extra warmth, check out this Desert Breeze wool blanket. It’s a fifty-fifty blend of sheep and alpaca wool, the latter of which makes the blanket slightly warmer than 100% sheep wool. And both types of wool are the real deal: the sheep wool is pure virgin while the alpaca is sourced from Peruvian animals in the Andes. It’s also woven at an authentic, family-owned mill in Huancayo, Peru. You get four size options, including twin, queen, king and toddler (for comfortably wrapping the little ones).
4. Filson Mackinaw Wool Blanket
Filson is famous for marrying classic, upscale looks with true outdoor usability. This Mackinaw blanket is a great example of the brand’s talent, made of tough, 35-ounce Mackinaw wool with serged edges to prevent fraying. Combine that durability with a versatile 90 by 72-inch size (roughly equal to a twin bed) and you’ve got an excellent choice for camping or just hanging out in the backyard. Of course, the blanket’s warm plaid pattern means it can also be used as a throw blanket at home.
5. Woolrich Hudson Bay Blanket
If you want a heavyweight wool blanket for especially chilly weather, go for this Hudson Bay blanket from Woolrich. Weighing in at 8.35-pounds, the blanket is made of 100% high-quality wool from England, Wales, New Zealand, and India. Thanks to yarn-dying (dying before it’s woven) and air-drying techniques, the blanket’s colors are vibrant and long-lasting. We also like that the pattern is classic yet subdued, making it a good addition to modern interiors. The blanket measures 90 by 100 inches, which is somewhere between queen and king size.
6. Missoni Perseo Zigzag Wool & Cashmere Throw Blanket
Boasting Missoni’s iconic, eye-catching zigzag pattern work, this Perseo blanket is ideal for adding some color to your living room, bedroom or den. Instead of 100% sheep wool, the Italian designer uses a touch of cashmere for extra softness — a luxurious addition that makes the blanket even harder to take off your shoulders or legs. It measures 51 by 75 inches, which we think is just right for using on the couch or in a chair.