- Quility Brand Team
When the weather outside is cold, there is no better feeling than snuggling up beneath a warm and cozy blanket! It’s just a wonderfully simple means to fearlessly welcome whatever winter sends your way. However, if you end up wrapping yourself within a blanket that is not properly equipped to handle chilly temperatures, the results could be disastrous!
Have you ever given thought to the warmth factor of a blanket before you purchased one? Usually, whenever we hear the word ‘blanket’, we automatically associate it with being warm. Rarely do we ever stop and think about the different heat levels that a winter blanket could possibly provide. Well, those days are now over! The time has come for us to be fully aware of how well a soft and snuggly cover brings warmth BEFORE we actually buy it!
GSM: The Unit of Measurement for Blanket Warmth
I never knew there was really a method of measuring how warm a blanket is. Then, I learned about GSM, which stands for Grams per Square Meter. This unit of measurement refers to a blanket’s thickness. The higher the GSM, the thicker a blanket is. The numbers range from 150 to 450+. Any blanket with a GSM of 450 or more is considered best for winter. All you have to do is look for the number when shopping for your blanket. You don’t have to do any calculations!
On the subject of measurements, make sure you also know your desired blanket’s dimensions to be certain you get full coverage when wrapping yourself up in it.
What Material is Best for Winter Warmth?
Yes, the type of fabric does play a factor in the amount of warmth you get out of your winter blanket. Each material has varying degrees of benefits for those cold winter nights. It’s just a matter of sorting through which one is right for you.
The material itself isn’t very thick, but the microscopic spaces between its fibers trap air to keep you cozy. Cotton also wicks away moisture for better breathability.
This type of synthetic material features a high thread count, which makes it a great insulator to lock in heat. However, microfiber blankets are usually on the thinner side and may not deliver the calibre of warmth that heavier material can.
This is also a synthetic material made from blended polyester. It’s a bit heavier than microfiber so the warmth factor is a bit higher. It also is very breathable and does a great job at wicking away moisture.
Cashmere wool, usually just called cashmere, is an extremely soft and durable fabric. It’s lightweight, yet breathable, and provides a very high insulation capacity for outstanding warmth.
This material is one of the heaviest and warmest available. It offers excellent thermal regulation and, because it is a natural fiber, breathes easily.
A down blanket is similar to that of down comforters, only thinner and lighter. It is constructed with a feathery layer that is sandwiched in between two other layers of cotton-like fabric. Just be aware that down may bring great warmth, but it is not a good conductor of moisture which could lead to nighttime sweating.
Lots of synthetic fabrics can be used for winter blankets such as acrylic and polyester. These types of materials do provide warmth, however they also attract static electricity and don’t conduct moisture very well.
What About a Weave’s Warmth?
In addition to the material, blankets come in a bunch of different weaves that offer varying levels of warmth and weight.
A knit weave offers a heavier feel for extra cozy warmth. It is usually made from wool or synthetic materials.
A thermal weave is more loose, which allows air to circulate easily. Despite the term “thermal” normally being associated with heat, it is actually lightweight and provides less warmth than other weaves.
The conventional is a very tight and close weave, which provides outstanding insulation for your body’s heat.
A quilted weave packs in plushy down or down substitute inside a blanket that acts as a warm extra layer of insulation.
The Weighted Blanket Option
Have you ever heard of a weighted blanket? No, it is not a blanket that you work out with. Rather, weighted blankets are therapeutic blankets weighing somewhere between 5 and 30 pounds. The extra weight provides therapeutic pressure that helps people relax and fall asleep better.
I know that lowering your stress level through relaxation pressure is a wonderful benefit, but do weighted blankets ALSO keep you warm during winter? While you may not feel extreme heat while under one, the weight of the blanket will actually hold in your body heat. Also, weighted blankets are usually just thick enough to not overheat your body, so you won’t wake up all sweaty.
The Electric Blanket Option
You can always customize how your heat is generated with an electric blanket. They are made from synthetic materials that house electrical heating elements. These blankets usually let you adjust the temperature to your desired warmth level. Just make sure the blanket you choose is equipped with overheat protection that switches the blanket off if it senses abnormal temperature changes. Also, do not leave an electric blanket on all night. Many newer electric blankets come with timers so that you can generate heat until you fall asleep, but not make yourself too hot during the night.
Hopefully you now have a good understanding of how to go about selecting a winter blanket that is best for you. As long as you keep the following factors in mind, you should be well on your way to wonderful warmth:
- Look for the GSM number when running through your blanket options. Anything above 450 is ideal for winter.
- Know the warming properties of the many different fabrics that a winter blanket can be made out of. Thickness, breathability, and weight are all important aspects to analyze.
- Be aware of your blanket’s type of weave when considering how much heated insulation you need.
Contributing Writer: Michael Catalano