What Is the Difference Between a Blanket and a Throw? | Lands’ End

What Is the Difference Between a Blanket and a Throw?

In the world of blankets, afghans, and throws, the distinction between each one is a bit confusing. On the one hand, they all provide warmth and can add to a room’s decor, but there are a few key differences. Knowing the difference between a throw and a blanket helps you make smarter buying decisions. Get what’s right for your home with this guide to blankets and throws.

Throws and Blankets Are More Similar Than You Think

Are you wondering, what is a throw? Sometimes referred to as throw blankets, throws are just one type of blanket. Blankets can be any type of cover designed to provide warmth, and while throws are technically blankets, not all blankets are throws. There are a few main key elements in the differences between a throw and a blanket, but for the most part, both provide the same function: keeping you warm.

Size Matters

The main distinction between a blanket and a throw is the sizing. Blankets, such as fleece blankets, and other types of bedding typically use bed dimensions. In other words, they come in sizing that matches a twin, queen, or king mattress. Meanwhile, average throw blanket dimensions are a standard size of 50 inches by 36 inches. Afghans come in all kinds of shapes and sizes.

In essence, the size of the throw blanket means that it’s suitable for one person to use, whereas more than one person can cuddle up under a typical blanket. You can also put a blanket on a bed to add extra warmth, but a throw would not be suitable for bedding that’s hosting more than one sleeper. However, throw blankets have their own essential functions.

Material and Design

Although both throws and blankets are made to keep you warm, the material and design have a lot to do with how each item is categorized. Blankets tend to be made from one large piece of fabric. These fabrics are designed to keep you warm, like wool, flannels, or fleece. Sometimes these blankets have a sewn edge, like comforters, which are technically a type of blanket.

Throws, on the other hand, also include knitted components too. They may be made out of luxury fabrics such as chenille, faux fur, satin, or even crushed velvet. Lastly, throws often have a fringe element on the side such as tassels or extra fabric. The fringe adds texture to the overall feel of the blanket, making it more luxurious. The result is that many people love to curl up with throws in common areas, such as living room couches or their favorite chair. They feel cozier than a typical blanket you’d find on your bed. Afghans are similar to throws, but they specifically relate to crocheted or knitted materials. The term afghan originally refers to knitted squares of yarn. These blankets became popular from the local tribes of Afghanistan.

Decor or Not Decor? That’s the Question

Another distinction between throws and blankets is the decor. Blankets serve a more utilitarian purpose: to keep you warm. Sometimes they are buried in your bedsheets, meaning they aren’t on display. On the other hand, throw blankets serve a more decorative purpose when they’re not being used to keep someone warm. Aside from being that one thing you love to snuggle up with while you Netflix and chill, throw blankets are often eye-catching elements in a living space. Many people display them on the backs of couches and chairs. By using throws in combination with other decorative elements, you can add unique style to any room. Afghans are a lot like throws, they also come in smaller sizes that are used for design elements in a room.

What’s Best for You?

The answer depends. Are you looking for something to complement your living room, or do you need a functional blanket for bedding? How many people are you looking to keep warm? What size of blanket do you want in your rooms? A blanket may be best if you want added warmth to your bedding, while a throw is a great accessory for any living room space. Throws and blankets alike make for a great personalized touch to your household.

Overall, throws are usually a luxe item that provides warmth to various rooms in the home. Throws come in a wider range of materials and are ideal for keeping a single person snug. Afghans are throws that include a knitted element, and are also suitable for one person. Blankets are typically found in a bedroom setting and come in many different shapes and sizes to accommodate different bedding. However, both throws and blankets bring a cozy element into your life, enhancing the overall feel of your home.


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