10 of the best baby blankets

These baby blankets will keep your little one cosy at home or in their buggy, with options starting from just £7

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best baby blankets

Blankets can be used when your baby is sleeping at home, or in a buggy, to keep them warm and toasty. They’re therefore especially useful in the colder months, but are an essential all year round.

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The NHS advises that a room temperature between 16-20°C is ideal for babies, and you can adjust how warm they are by using layers of lightweight blankets.

At this temperature, your baby will only need 1 or 2 cellular blankets – the kind they use in hospitals with interspersed holes. Remember, if the blanket is folded then that will count for two blankets.

To help you understand which type of blanket you’ll need, we’ve put together a detailed guide below taking you through all of the essential information. We’ve also put together a list of 10 different blankets you might want to consider for your baby.

If you’re looking for other essential sleeping products, we’ve also found some of the best co-sleeping cots and best baby sleeping pods, as well as some handy baby sleep aids.

See our pick of the best baby blankets

How to choose the best baby blanket

There are lots of different baby blankets on the market made of a range of fabrics and in styles suited to various ages. The below guide explains everything you need to know so you can choose the best blanket for your baby.

When can my baby use a blanket?

We spoke to safe sleeping charity The Lullaby Trust and they reassured us that it is safe to use a lightweight blanket from birth, as long as you follow the official advice on safe sleeping.

This means making sure your baby is placed on their back and ‘feet to foot’ in the crib or cot, with their feet at the bottom of the crib/cot.

Blankets should be tucked in firmly and should not come above your baby’s shoulders.

“Use the least amount of bedcovers you can and then build up,” explained a representative from The Lullaby Trust.

“And check your baby regularly to make sure their chest and back are not too hot, as they cannot control their own temperature.”

Can I use a baby pillow or duvet for a newborn?

No, not from birth. The really important thing to remember is that duvets, quilts, thick blankets and pillows should not be used for any baby under 12 months old because of the risk of suffocation, says the NHS and The Lullaby Trust. We have more on baby pillow safety here.

How big should a baby blanket be?

Depending on the type of blanket, baby blankets can range in size. Generally, a blanket to fit a pram, crib or Moses basket is around 70cm x 90cm, while a blanket to fit a cot or cotbed is around 130cm x 160cm, but could be smaller, around 110cm x 130cm.

What’s the safest way to use a baby blanket?

  • First, to prevent your baby wriggling down under the covers, place them in the “feet to foot” position. This means their feet are at the end of the crib, cot, Moses basket or pushchair carrycot.
  • The baby mattress you use should be firm, flat, well-fitting and clean, and waterproof on the outside, and covered with a single sheet.
  • Tuck the covers in securely under your baby’s arms so they can’t slip over their head.
  • Use one or more layers of lightweight blankets, and remember a folded blanket counts as two layers.
  • Check that the blanket is firmly tucked in so it cannot become loose or slip over your little one’s head.
  • Don’t use duvets, quilts, cot bumpers, wedges, bedding rolls or pillows in a crib or cot.

It’s also important to use a new mattress for each baby you have, too – read more on what not to buy secondhand for your baby.

What types of baby blankets are there?

  • Cotton cellular blankets – this classic baby blanket is woven from 100% cotton with holes (or cells) for airflow and insulation when layered.
  • Acrylic cellular blankets – just like a cotton cellular blanket, but woven from man made fibres.
  • Receiving blanket – this is a US phrase which essentially simply means a baby blanket, they can be made from fleece, flannel, cotton or just about any blanket fabric. Muslin-style receiving blankets tend to be larger than regular muslins at around 75cm x 100cm.
  • Baby coverlets and comforters – these covers are often embroidered, decorated or patterned and offer the thickness and warmth of a sheet and blanket combined, so should be used only when your baby needs that much warmth.
  • Swaddling blanket – a blanket used for wrapping your baby, to help prevent the ‘startle reflex’ when they involuntarily jerk as they sleep.
  • Fleece blankets – generally made from polyester, these easy care blankets are machine washable and cosy.
  • Knitted blankets – whether in cotton or cashmere, a knitted blanket can look super cute for a baby and be useful as a throw long after your little one is all grown up!
  • Muslins – the quintessential baby cloth for burping, mopping up spills and stains, and other baby goop! Usually around 60cm x 60cm, you can also get extra large sizes measuring around 120cm x 120cm.
  • Stadium blanket – not technically a baby blanket, this US-inspired throw was originally designed for covering up at the side of a chilly sports pitch, but could be just the thing for an impromptu picnic with your baby.
  • Baby sheepskin fleeces – a liner rather than a cover, a baby sheepskin fleece can be used in the buggy or cot and is thermostatic, meaning it cools in summer and provides warmth in winter.

What can I use instead of a baby blanket?

An alternative to blankets are baby sleeping bags, which are essentially wearable blankets with neck and armholes in different sizes and togs depending on the age they are for and what warmth you need.

They keep your little one at the right temperature without worrying about blankets getting kicked off or tangled up.

Should I swaddle my baby?

Swaddling is claimed to calm and soothe babies and there are online guides and books to show you how to wrap your little bundle.

The swaddle needs to be lightweight yet large enough to wrap, normally at least 100cm x 100cm.

The Lullaby Trust says that while it does not advise for or against swaddling, it should be done for each day and night time sleep as part of a regular routine, using the following guidelines:

  • Use thin materials
  • Do not swaddle above the shoulders
  • Never put a swaddled baby to sleep on their front
  • Do not swaddle too tight
  • Check the baby’s temperature to ensure they do not get too hot

Here’s our pick of the best baby blankets…

1. George Baby chevron cellular shawl, £7 for a pack of 2

Size: 70cm x 90cm | Fabric: Cotton | Washable: Machine washable

A twist on the classic cellular blanket, George Baby has created these chevron cellular blankets, which have been woven in a zig zag pattern, rather than the traditional grid design.

They come in either pink or blue, and measure 70cm x 90cm, plus can be machine washed and tumble dried. And at this price, they won’t break the bank either!

The value for money was a key part of the praise for these blankets, with one parent on the Asda website who had bought them for her newborn saying, “considering the price, these blankets are brilliant and wash really well.” Another Asda customer described them as “nice and soft and good size.”

Available from: George at Asda

2. Turtle Doves cashmere baby blanket, £45 each

Size: 70cm x 95cm | Fabric: Cashmere | Washable: Machine wash on cold setting

The pure cashmere baby blankets from British company Turtle Doves are designed and made in Shrewsbury and come in a range of colours, from neutral pastels to bold brights.

We love the unisex Jolly Bright design, which comes in a colourful mix of red, orange, blue, green, yellow, purple and pink, and the fact the business has won awards for its eco credentials.

The single cashmere layer is soft and warm and the best bit is that it can be machine washed on a cold setting and laid out to dry.

Parents on Trustpilot who’d bought the blankets described them as “attractive, soft and well made” as well as “soft, pretty, practical and recycled.”

Available from: Turtle Doves

3. Silver Cross Knitted Baby Blanket , £34.20

Size: 90cm x 70cm | Fabric: 100% cotton | Washable: Machine wash at 30°C

Silver Cross, a brand known for its luxury pushchairs, also has a lovely nursery range with a whole range of furniture and bedding including this 100% knitted cotton blanket.

Choose between neutral designs (grey or white) or more traditional colours (blue or pink) in the simple striped design. And once your baby has outgrown their knitted blanket, we’d say this would be perfect to use a throw!

Available from: Amazon

4. Clair de Lune cellular blanket, from £7.99 each

Size: 70cm x 90cm | Fabric: Cotton | Washable: Machine wash at 40°C

This great value cellular blanket comes in a range of colours, and sizes to fit either small cribs and Moses baskets, or larger cots and cot beds. The blankets are made from 100% cotton so they should be nice and soft as well as comfortable, as they also have the ventilated cellular construction.

They’re super easy to machine wash at 40°C but still retain their quality as one Amazon reviewer found when using them with her daughter: “She carries them everywhere and they go through the mill of a lot of play, dragging around and generally roughness from a 2 year old. After daily washes since we bought it, is still looking pristine.”

Choose from classic white, cream, grey, blue or pink blankets to complement your nursery.

Available from: Uber Kids and Amazon

5. Aden + Anais Dream blanket, £44.95 – £58 each

Size: 120cm x 120cm | Fabric: Cotton | Washable: Machine wash on cold setting

With their beautiful design and large size, these Aden + Anais blankets are versatile and can be used in a cot, crib or pushchair.

They are machine washable too – and made of four layers of breathable, 100% cotton muslin, that reduces overheating.

Parents who bought this blanket in the past praised the quality and feel of it. “I have washed it a couple of times and it has just got softer with use. It has also maintained its shape brilliantly,” said one Amazon customer, while another added that it is, “nice and cosy, feels amazing.”

Available from: Aden + Anais and Amazon

6. Cheeky Chompers baby blanket, £29.99 each

Size: 75cm x 85cm | Fabric: Cotton, polyester, elastane | Washable: Machine wash at 40°C

This blanket is designed for using out and about, whether on your buggy, or keeping your baby cosy in their carrier.

With a cuddly fleece side and a cotton side that comes in 6 different patterns, as well as cosy foot and hand pouches, there’s more to this blanket than meets the eye.

It also has sensory tags to keep your baby’s hands busy, and can be attached to your baby sling or carrier, car seat or buggy, so no more running over a stray blanket with dirty pushchair wheels!

“My son does play with the sensory tags,” said one reviewer on Amazon, who also praised the “super soft and snuggly” feel and the fact that it “washes well.”

Available from: Cheeky Chompers and Amazon

7. John Lewis dinosaur pram blanket, £25 each

Size: 75cm x 100cm | Fabric: Cotton | Washable: Machine wash

This Jurassic-themed blanket is knitted from 100% cotton for a soft and cosy feel for your mini explorer.

The cotton used by the brand is from the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI), which works with organisations and producers to ensure better conditions for those who produce it, as well as limiting the environmental impact of the material, too.

The size is just right for a pram or crib, and the green and white dinosaur print is reversible, so you can pick your look for the day.

Available from: John Lewis

8. Bugaboo soft wool blanket, £89.99 each

Size: 80cm x 100cm | Fabric: Merino wool | Washable: Machine washable at 30°C

As you might expect from Dutch pushchair brand Bugaboo, this soft blanket is chic, well-made and designed to make sure your little one is as cosy as possible.

It’s high price tag comes from the fact that it’s made from pure Merino wool, which naturally repels dirt (hooray!) but can also be machine washed at 30C and even tumble dried, so no need to worry about any little spills.

The wool is also temperature regulating, so it’s suitable throughout the seasons, and it comes in 3 colours: light grey mélange, off-white mélange, and petrol blue mélange. A pricey purchase but one that’d make a lovely gift for any expectant parents.

Available from: Harrods

9. Abeille cellular blanket, £20 each

Size: 75cm x 100cm | Fabric: Cotton | Washable: Machine wash at 40°C

Abeille was set up by two mums who were determined to create a cellular blanket that would feel extra soft and cosy on their babies’ skin.

Slightly larger than the usual crib-size cellular blankets, the Abeille version also comes in six different colours that include a gorgeous deep red and a practical and stylish navy, as well as white, cream, pink and grey.

Previous buyers on Amazon remarked that the blanket washed well and was “very soft”.

“It isn’t stiff at all, and keeps the colour well after washing,” said one parent, although one Amazon reviewer mentioned it was heavier than some other similar style blankets, which may be worth keeping in mind.

Available from:  Amazon

10. Personalised Patterned Cotton Baby Blanket, £42

Size: 70cm x 95cm, 65cm x 90cm, 60cm x 78cm, 68cm x 88cm (depending on design chosen) | Fabric: 100% cotton | Machine washable: machine wash and tumble dry

This personalised baby blanket is made from 100% combed cotton for a soft finish. The small cot blankets are double thickness and knitted in Scotland before being hand embroidered with a chosen name, date of birth or message to make it truly personal.

The quality blankets would make ideal gifts as they arrive wrapped in tissue paper and a gift box. There are a range of colours and animal designs to choose from, including birds, bears and elephants.

Available from: Not on the High Street

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