10 best baby blankets for 2021
12 February 2021
Baby blankets are a must for keeping your baby cosy and snug, whether you’re at home or on the go. Here’s our pick of the best.
With dozens of different materials, sizes and styles to choose from, deciding which baby blanket to buy can be a little confusing – especially if you’re already being bombarded with well-meaning parenting ‘advice’ left, right and centre.
Baby blankets can act as a security blanket for your bundle of joy, a safe and comfy space for tummy time at home, or to keep them warm and toasty when out in the pushchair.
But there are a few bits of key safety advice from the NHS and The Lullaby Trust to remember to ensure you’re choosing the right baby blanket and are using it in the correct way (more advice in our buyer’s guide below).
To help you find the perfect blanket for your baby, we’ve done the hard work for you. Here are the best baby blankets to buy in 2021.
1. Best cellular baby blanket: Clair de Lune Cellular Baby Blanket
Like Goldilocks, you’ll want to keep your baby not too hot, not too cold, but just right. Cellular blankets are a more traditional option, but a great choice if you’re after a more breathable design.
Mumsnetters love Clair de Lune, rating the brand highly for their “amazingly soft” materials. This 70 × 90cm blanket is 100% cotton and available in a variety of colours.
Ideal for keeping your baby cosy all year round, the ‘cell’ construction traps air to keep your baby warm in the winter and cool during the warmer months.
The Clair de Lune Cellular Baby Blanket is also good for snuggling up or layering with other blankets or sheets – it’s a great size for use with prams, cribs, car seats and Moses baskets. Plus, it’s machine-washable at 40 degrees and, at around £8, pretty good value too.
2. Best baby blanket for newborns: Silver Cross Knitted Baby Blanket for Newborns
Silver Cross is a trusted brand, with lots of parents rating their luxury prams and bedroom furniture as some of the most high-quality products on the market.
This contemporary diagonal striped baby blanket gets top marks for its delicate knit which is soft against a newborn’s skin. It’s machine-washable at 30 degrees and 90 × 70cm in size, making it ideal for cots but also suitable to keep your little one cosy and warm wherever they go.
3. Best cashmere baby blanket: The White Company Cashmere Star Baby Blanket
A pricey option, but if you’re looking to buy cashmere, it's always going to be expensive.
Mumsnetters really like The White Company’s baby blankets with one saying, “They’re lovely and great quality. I used mine for two babies!” And it must be said that this grey marl with white star 100% cashmere baby blanket gets great reviews for its quality and softness.
As you’d expect, it comes in a lovely gift box so, if you’re looking to buy for someone else, it would make an extra special gift for any new arrival.
Price: £125Buy now from The White Company
4. Best swaddle baby blanket: aden + anais Swaddle Jungle Jam
“I have a load of these and love them. I’m on baby number four now and the ones I bought for baby number one are just as lovely now as they were when new.”
Most new mums and dads will admit that swaddling can be hard, but these large, lightweight muslin swaddles from aden + anais make it easier. They come in lots of different patterns and are 100% cotton and breathable, so help to reduce the risk of your baby overheating.
Thanks, in part, to their versatility, they are award-winning and can be used as a buggy shade or for breastfeeding, burping, and mopping up spills and stains. It’s quite a big blanket, measuring 120 × 120cm, with the only negative being that the sparkly design can fade after a machine wash.
5. Best soft baby blanket: Little Seeds Baby Swaddle Newborn Blanket
Every parent wants to wrap their baby in something soft and cosy, and this Little Seeds Baby Swaddle could be the perfect purchase. It’s made from 100% organic cotton, making it kinder to babies’ sensitive skin. They come in a pack of three, which include a star, cloud and stripy design, and are machine-washable to boot.
Rated number one on Amazon’s best seller list for blankets and swaddles, lots of people claim their baby sleeps better with the Little Seeds Blanket and also comment on how easy it is to use due to the Velcro fastening.
Little Seeds is so confident in their blanket that they’ll also give you your money back if not 100% satisfied. Can’t say fairer than that.
Price: £17.99Buy now from Amazon
6. Best luxury baby blanket: Bugaboo Light Cotton Blanket
While nothing short of expensive, the Dutch pushchair brand Bugaboo doesn’t disappoint with this chic blanket, designed to make sure your little one is as cosy as possible.
It oozes luxury and is made from 100% natural cotton making it super soft to the touch and perfect against a baby’s delicate skin. The fine knit is breathable too, making it a good option for warmer days. It’s 80 × 100cm in size and can be popped in the washing machine at 30 degrees.
7. Best baby blanket for winter: Tuppence and Crumble Star Wrap Blanket
“Best thing ever. Trying to shove a baby into a coat or snowsuit is a nightmare – the star wraps make it so easy. Everyone in my baby group bought one after seeing my DS in his while they struggled with zips and poppers.”
Mums and dads go mad for these practical all-in-one fleece-shaped baby wraps with buyers saying that they’re super easy to use. Just pop your dressed baby into the wrap with their arms and legs slotting into each point of the star, put the hood up over their head and you’re ready to go. Your baby can then be put in the baby car seat, transferred to a buggy, travel system or sling with minimum disturbance.
Unlike other wraps, you don’t have to restrict your baby’s arms or cover them with an additional blanket while in a car seat. Your little one just wears it like a suit and, because it doesn’t have any zips, buttons or fasteners, it’s easy to open up if your baby gets too warm or needs a nappy check.
When it’s dirty, just pop this blanket in the washing machine at 30 degrees. One warning though – you can’t tumble dry it, although it should air dry fairly quickly.
8. Best security baby blanket: Snuggle Baby Personalised Baby Comforter Blanket
This adorable elephant comforter can be personalised with your baby’s name using the complimentary embroidery service (up to nine characters).
The little elephant can help to stimulate your baby’s imagination and creativity as well as their motor skills. It measures 26 × 24cm so tucks nicely into a pram or cot and, although made from polyester, reviews say it’s super soft and great quality. Just pop it in the washing machine at 30 degrees when it needs a clean.
Price: £14.95Buy now from Amazon
9. Best organic baby blanket: MORI Baby Swaddle Blanket
“My blanket arrived this morning and it's beautiful. So soft and light – can't wait to use it on DD2.”
The MORI Baby Swaddle Blanket is 30% organic cotton and 70% bamboo, and suitable for babies up to 24 months. Although some Mumsnetters find the MORI brand a little pricey, many say they love this blanket and just how soft it is against their baby’s delicate skin.
The blend of fabric means the 87 × 74cm baby swaddle insulates but is also breathable – so you can have peace of mind that your baby is safe when sound asleep. The blanket is machine-washable at 30 degrees and you can tumble dry on low. But, for best results MORI recommends that you line-dry it naturally.
10. Best muslin baby blanket: John Lewis & Partners Heirloom Collection Dog Print Muslin Quilt
For parenting staples, it’s hard to look past John Lewis & Partners’ and Mumsnetters, in particular, are big fans.
Muslin blankets are a popular choice with many parents as they can do a multitude of things, but this one is a bit different from others as it doubles up as a quilt. Made from pure BCI cotton (so you’ll be doing your bit for the environment and the people who produce it), it gives that extra soft feel against delicate skin.
It’s 120 × 120cm in size, machine-washable at 30 degrees, and has an all-over dog print and quilted diamond pattern. There’s no tumble-drying allowed with this blanket though, you’ll need to reshape while damp and then air dry.
When can my baby use a blanket?
Blankets can be used when your baby is sleeping at home, or in a buggy, to keep them warm and toasty. This makes them especially useful in the colder months, but they are an essential all year round.
The NHS advises that a room temperature between 16 and 20°C is ideal for babies, and you can adjust how warm they are by using lightweight blankets. Blankets are a good alternative if a baby is too small for a baby sleeping bag, as long as they aren’t too thick or doubled over, so there’s no chance of overheating. If using blankets, make sure that they are firmly tucked in and come up no higher than your baby’s shoulders.
Place your baby in the ‘feet-to-foot’ position (baby’s feet against the foot of the cot) to avoid their face becoming covered by loose bedding. Safe sleeping charity The Lullaby Trust provides more advice here.
Is it OK to cover my baby with a blanket?
It’s fine to cover your baby with a blanket, but the NHS says you need to keep their head uncovered. The blanket should be tucked in firmly and sit no higher than their shoulders to ensure your baby doesn’t get too hot or cold.
The Lullaby Trust advises that it’s safe to use a lightweight blanket from birth, as long as you follow the official NHS advice on safe sleeping. They recommend starting with the least amount of bed covers you can and building up from there. Then just remember to check your baby regularly to make sure their chest and back are not too hot, as they cannot control their own temperature.
Duvets, quilts, thick blankets and pillows should not be used for any baby under 12 months old because of the risk of suffocation, according to the NHS and The Lullaby Trust, as it’s been shown to increase the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
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 70 × 90cm, while a blanket to fit a cot or cotbed is around 130 × 160cm, but could be smaller (around 110 × 130cm). Below we’ve listed the different materials so you can choose the best blanket for your baby.
How do you choose a baby blanket?
When choosing a baby blanket, think about the following:
- Breathability: Whether a blanket is breathable or not is easier to confirm than you might expect. Simply hold the blanket up in front of a fan or air vent. If you can feel a breeze, it’s a smart option for warmer temperatures.
- Materials: Keep in mind that you might need differently weighted blankets depending on the season. Most likely, you’ll end up with many baby blankets, so pick a few options in a range of fabric weights.
- Safety: Avoid baby blankets with attachments like tassels, hanging ribbons or buttons. Anything that can potentially fray, fall off, or cause a choking or tangling hazard should be avoided.
- Size and thickness: Baby blankets come in a range of sizes from the traditional receiving blanket to much larger, thicker options. You might want a variety of sizes and thicknesses for different purposes, from swaddling to tummy time.
- Style: This is, of course, dependent on personal taste. Consider what you’d like on display in your baby’s nursery and in your home.
Baby blankets are made in a range of materials and styles, suited to various stages of your baby’s development:
- Cotton cellular blanket – this classic baby blanket is woven from 100% cotton with holes (or cells) for airflow and insulation when layered.
- Acrylic cellular blanket – just like a cotton cellular blanket but woven from man-made fibres.
- Receiving blanket – this is a US phrase which essentially means a baby blanket. They can be made from fleece, flannel, cotton or just about any blanket fabric, whilst muslin-style receiving blankets tend to be larger – they’re usually around 75 × 100cm.
- Baby coverlet and comforter – these covers are often embroidered, decorated or patterned. They usually 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 blanket – generally made from polyester, these easy-care blankets are machine washable and cosy.
- Knitted blanket – 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.
- Muslin – the quintessential baby cloth for burping, mopping up spills, stains and sick. Usually around 60 × 60cm, you can also get extra large sizes measuring around 120 × 120cm.
- Baby sheepskin fleece – 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.
How to swaddle your baby safely
Swaddling is claimed to calm and soothe babies, and there are various 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 100 × 100cm.
The Lullaby Trust offers the following guidelines if you want swaddling to be a part of your baby’s regular day and nighttime sleep routine.
- 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
Which blanket is best for babies?
The Clair de Lune Cellular Baby Blanket is the best blanket for babies. Good value and perfect for keeping a baby cosy all year round, it’s also the ideal size for use with prams, cribs, car seats and Moses baskets.
How we chose our recommendations
Because we know that there’s nothing like a real recommendation, we first headed to the Mumsnet forums to find out which baby blankets parents were recommending and had bought for their little ones.
We then did some research across the wider web, looking at which baby blankets had won accolades or been featured in ‘best buy’ lists across websites, and what customer reviews said about them. Having collated all that information, we then narrowed our list down to the top 10 baby blankets on the market.
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