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The right blanket for you and your family

Aug 17, 2007
Choosing the right kind of blanket can spell the difference between good or bad sleep. But with the many types and brands around, choosing the right blanket is not as simple as it seems.

Before you buy a blanket keep in mind what it is for: to keep you warm, especially while you're sleeping. The main difference between a blanket and a bed sheet is thickness. Even the thinnest blanket is significantly thicker than the thickest bed sheet you could find.

Another difference is in terms of usage. Blankets are intended to keep people warm while sheets are for hygiene,comfort and aesthetics.
Blankets are subdivided into many types depending on the thickness, construction and/or fill material.

1. Quilt
A quilt is called as such because it is produced through a process called quilting, a method of sewing or tying two layers of cloth with a layer of insulating batting in between. Quilt blankets are usually difficult to make and are usually composed of a quilt top, a layer of batting, and a layer of fabric for backing. Quilts can also be made using a technique called tying, which is significantly easier. Quilts made out of tying are called haps. Quilts can often be found with decorative designs.

2. Duvet
The word duvet (pronounced duvei) is a French word, which means down. It is a type of blanket composed of a soft flat bag traditionally filled with down or feathers, or a combination of both. Duvets can be used as a sheet or as a blanket therefore reducing the complexity of making a bed. Duvets usually come with a duvet cover, a flat or fitted bed sheet that is put on top of the duvet. Nowadays, a duvet is sometimes filled with wool or artificial fibers (such as polyester batting or other artificial material). It is also sometimes referred to as a comforter, although comforters are primarily decorative while duvets are used for their warmth.

3. Comforter
A comforter is a type of blanket that is filled with either an artificial material (such as polyester batting) or a natural material. Since they don't provide much warmth, a comforter's purpose is primarily decorative. In bed making, the comforter usually doesn't cover the pillows or box spring of the bed.

4. Silk Comforter
A silk comforter is a luxurious Chinese bed covering usually filled with shorter cotton fibers. In real silk comforters, the long silk fibers are combed, aligned and stitched together loosely into thin layers. The silk fiber layers are then stacked together and sealed inside silk or cotton fabrics to form comforters of varying thickness. These kinds of blankets are so expensive that only the rich families can afford them.

Silk comforter is an extremely lightweight type of blanket despite its thickness. A silk comforter is warm but moisture passes through its fibers easily. Thin silk comforters can be used even in the summer.

Silk comforters are protected by washable envelopes. The comforter itself is seldom washed, but dried under the sun a few times each year. Silk comforters are mainly imported from China or Taiwan and are priced roughly the same as down comforters.

Indeed, blankets are available in different forms and types. If you are watching your budget, here are many lovely discounted and cheap blanket sets available. You can also buy custom made or designer blankets, which can be adorned with appliqués and personalized with your name.
About the Author
James Monahan is the owner and Senior Editor of
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