Mon. Apr 22nd, 2024

Photo: Courtesy of retailer

A good throw blanket should be cozy, durable, and nice to look at, too, since it’s usually on display, flung across the back of the couch or placed at the foot of the bed. And because it takes a beating, whether you’re burrowing under one nightly while bingeing reality television or using it to build a fort for your kids, it should also be easy to maintain (or at least camouflage stains). To bring you the best throw blankets in every style and price point, I tested a few myself and polled the Strategist team as well as experts with exceptional taste about their favorites. Below, the 11 very best throw blankets to cocoon yourself in, including classic wool coverlets, a luxurious mohair throw, and the softest faux-fur blankets out there.

Throw blankets come in just about every material you could want, but I prefer to stick to ones made of natural fibers like cotton, wool, linen, and cashmere. They’ll be softer, snugglier, and a touch more elevated than ones made from synthetic fibers. But if you’re looking for the smooth, silky, velvety handfeel of animal fur, there are some exceptionally soft faux-fur throws, and those will be made from acrylic and polyester. Throw blankets can also be an easy way to add a bit of color and texture to a room, so you might want to consider them in relation to your furniture.

Depending on their material and construction, throw blankets can run the gamut in weight, from lightweight linens appropriate for summer to heavy, cozy blankets meant to keep you warm. Some are great for all-season use, and I’ve listed their weights where applicable.

A well-loved throw blanket will inevitably get dirty, so it should be easy to wash and take care of. I’ve included care instructions or otherwise noted the best way to keep them clean.

Coyuchi Pismo Organic Throw

Material: GOTS-certified organic cotton | Weight: Light- to mid-weight | Maintenance: Machine washable

Two Strategist staffers — New York deputy editor Alexis Swerdloff and deals editor Sam Daly — swear by this fringed throw from Coyuchi, maker of some my favorite bedding, including linen sheets and duvet covers. Available in two colors, hazel and cypress, it’s made of organic cotton grown in Portugal and has a simple geometric pattern of triangles and polygons that’s visually interesting without appearing too busy. Says Swerdloff, who has owned it for four years, “It’s very soft and elegant and a good price for what it is.” When it’s not on the couch, the kids use it to make tents. It’s also gotten a lot of food spilled on it over the years, but Swerdloff says she throws it in the wash and it comes out “as good as new.” Daly, who has owned the Pismo (in the bed-size version) for four years, calls it “amazing”: “It’s got a few snags because of the cats, but other than that it’s still in pristine condition. It’s very soft and lightweight, almost silky.” I’ve seen this throw in person and can attest to how nice it looks and feels, with a light to medium weight that isn’t cumbersome. It’s also one of the least expensive throw blankets on this list, making it my overall choice for best throw blanket considering style, comfort, durability, and value.

West Elm Chunky Cotton Knit Throw

Material: Cotton | Weight: Light- to mid-weight | Maintenance: Machine washable

This cotton-knit throw is recommended by Strategist newsletter editor Ashley Wolfgang, who’s had it since the winter of 2022. While it’s knit, she notes that it’s lightweight and “doesn’t look too bulky when it’s folded up,” and because of its construction, it’s breathable as well, making it “the perfect all-seasons blanket.” As for how it feels, “It’s quite soft and feels like a nice layer to cozy up while watching TV,” she says. Available in seven colors, it’s easy to wash and is also great for pets: “Our small dog loves burrowing underneath it, and it’s held up amazingly well from daily dog claws and pet use.”

Morrow Ramona Throw Blanket

Material: Cotton | Weight: Light- to mid-weight | Maintenance: Machine washable

Here’s another cotton-knit throw, but this time with a textured, striped pattern and fringed ends, from Morrow, a brand known for its linens that come in a range of sophisticated, muted colors. Strategist senior editor Simone Kitchens loves it for its versatility, as she uses it both inside her home and outdoors, and with her baby. “We use it a lot in the yard when it’s warm, but now it lives in the throw-blanket basket behind the couch,” she says. Despite being so versatile — and hardy — it’s surprisingly soft. “It’s sturdy but cleans up so well,” she says.

Annie Selke Anatolia Linen Throw

Material: Linen | Weight: Lightweight | Maintenance: Machine washable

Even more lightweight is a throw made out of linen. Strategist senior editor Hilary Reid uses this linen throw from Annie Selke in warmer months, and though it’s lightweight, “it still has a heft that makes it feel substantial when you drape it across yourself, especially when the air conditioning is on,” she tells me. It’s patterned with two different oriental-inspired designs on either side in rosy, brown neutral colors, and “the two patterns don’t look overwhelming on the same blanket,” according to Reid. She says it’s a great addition of texture and color to her mostly cream and white apartment “without feeling too bright or poppy.” She’s had it for five years now, and it washes well and still looks very nice.

Pendleton Washable Wool Blanket

Material: Wool | Weight: Mid-weight | Maintenance: Machine washable

A wool throw, especially one from a heritage brand with a legacy of quality like Pendleton, is a classic choice. Stylist Emily Henderson recommends one, saying, “Their plaid patterns are timeless and will never go out of style.” Strategist senior writer Liza Corsillo, who owns this fringed version, also treasures her Pendleton. “I love classic plaid wool camp-style blankets because they are durable and thick, but this one isn’t scratchy at all,” says Corsillo. “It’s really soft and warm and looks nice as a couch accent.” The brand’s ecofriendly wool is also machine washable — a very nice plus for something timeless that you’ll always want out on display.

McNutt of Donegal 100% Pure New Wool Irish Herringbone Throw

Material: Irish wool | Weight: Medium-weight | Maintenance: Dry cleaning recommended, but can be machine washed on wool setting

For another kind of heritage wool blanket, consider this one from McNutt of Donegal, an Irish heritage weaving mill founded in 1953. Strategist senior editor Ailbhe Malone has owned hers for six years, “and it is the snuggliest thing,” she says. “It’s only gotten better looking as it has aged — it bobbles, but the herringbone pattern covers it.” To keep it looking fresh, Malone has used a fabric shaver on it, but she doesn’t mind leaving it as it is, as it’s made of pure Irish wool and is meant to be well loved. Otherwise, she spot cleans it. (While the brand recommends dry cleaning, it can be machine washed, then line-dried, on the wool setting.) As for how it feels, Malone says it’s like a heavy wool scarf. She bought the extra-large size, which is big enough to cover two people on the couch, but in the winter she uses it on her bed. It also makes a lovely wedding gift because it’s so versatile. “People in the Republic of Ireland (where I’m from) give an Avoca blanket as a wedding gift,” says Malone. “I would imagine people in the North give this.”

Pottery Barn Faux-Fur Ruched Throws

Material: Acrylic, polyester, spandex | Weight: Heavy | Maintenance: Machine washable but dry clean recommended

As much as I love my cashmere throw (see below), when I want to feel truly ensconced in warmth and luxury, I reach for this faux-fur throw from Pottery Barn. I had been on the hunt for the softest, nicest-looking faux-fur blanket for a while, one that actually looked like the real thing, and I landed on this. It’s hefty and feels almost like a weighted blanket without being too unwieldy, and it’s just extremely silky, smooth, and comforting. I love the cascading rippling effect on the front, which truly makes it look like a mink coat. The underside has a velvety finish that lays flat on your body. It looks much more expensive than it is. I’ve used it constantly for the past couple of years, and it still looks new, even though I’ve never washed it. (When it’s time to, the brand recommends dry cleaning it, though you could also machine wash it on cold.) The cat loves it, too, and even though he likes to lay on top of it, the faux-fur effect never looks crushed. It’s become one of my go-to gifts for the holidays.

Anthropologie Sophie Faux Fur Throw Blanket

Material: Polyester | Weight: Heavy | Maintenance: Dry clean only

Here’s a much less expensive faux-fur throw that feels just as luxurious. Strategist writer Ambar Pardilla has owned at least three since her time working at Anthropologie and says it was such a popular item that employees would fight over certain colors when special employee discounts were in effect. “This one is truly supersoft,” she says. “Even when I’m not wearing much to bed, like a tank top and shorts, it’s not itchy on the skin.” It’s also made to last. “The oldest I’ve had now is half a decade old, and none of the fuzzy bits have come off,” Pardilla says. And though it’s dry-clean only, she says it always comes back feeling just as soft. It comes in seven vibrant colors including hot pink and mint. “In the winter, it’s great to just wrap yourself up like a cocoon in it,” she adds.

ABC Home Mohair Throw

Material: Mohair, wool | Weight: Medium-weight | Maintenance: Dry clean only

For a fuzzier wool throw, check out this blanket that’s made of a mohair blend (mohair comes from the Angora goat, not to be confused with Angora wool, which comes from Angora rabbits) from ABC Home. Reid received it four years ago and says that the mohair is still “very soft and doesn’t shed at all, even after I’ve had it dry cleaned.” It’s also incredibly warm — so much so that she uses it as a top blanket on her bed over the comforter “when the heat in my building is less than ideal.” It comes in 15 colors, but the one Reid has is a sage green that she says “blends very easily with the other colors in my apartment (creams, light blue, a little red).” And even though the throw has a shaggy look, Reid says it still looks “very neat folded up on the arm of my couch or at the foot of my bed.”

Frontgate Cashmere Fringe Throw

Material: Mongolian cashmere | Weight: Light-weight | Maintenance: Dry clean only

For something truly luxurious to throw over yourself or your furniture, cashmere blankets are hard to beat. I’ve had this cashmere throw from Frontgate draped over my sofa for several years, and it still feels and looks amazing, even though I’ve never washed it. It’s incredibly warm and cozy for how thin and lightweight it is. It’s also very durable. It’s been abused by every member of the family, including two small children and a cat, but there’s hardly any pilling. To clean it, all I do is shake it off outside or use a pet hair remover if it gets too furry. Available in five colors, it’s monogrammable, too, and would make a luxurious gift.

Bearaby Napper Cotton Weighted Blanket, 10 Pounds

Material: Cotton | Weight: Heavy | Maintenance: Machine washable

If you want more heft out of a throw blanket, consider a weighted blanket in the lowest weight. The Strategist best-in-class pick for weighted blankets is from Bearaby, and if you get the smallest one of 10 pounds, the dimensions of 40 by 64 inches make it perfectly throw-sized, for either the couch or the bed. Made of jumbo chunky knit yarn that gives it an exaggerated look, the weighted blanket is made entirely from cotton. The large weave gives it an inherently breathable feel, so you could even layer it on top of a regular throw blanket for extra warmth.

• Liza Corsillo, Strategist senior writer
• Sam Daly, Strategist deals editor
• Simone Kitchens, Strategist senior editor
• Emily Henderson, stylist
• Ailbhe Malone, Strategist senior editor
• Ambar Pardilla, Strategist writer
•Hilary Reid, Strategist senior writer
• Alexis Swerdloff, New York Magazine deputy editor
• Ashley Wolfgang, Strategist newsletter editor

Additional reporting by Karen Iorio Adelson and Dominique Pariso.

The Strategist is designed to surface the most useful, expert recommendations for things to buy across the vast e-commerce landscape. Some of our latest conquests include the best acne treatments, rolling luggage, pillows for side sleepers, natural anxiety remedies, and bath towels. We update links when possible, but note that deals can expire and all prices are subject to change.

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