Mother and Baby

The best baby blankets for every budget

Section: Nursery
baby in blanket

One thing we all end up with drawers full of is baby blankets. They’re wonderful things – not only are they good at bedtime, but they’re also fun for playing peek-a-boo, hiding toys, and tucking in for snuggles.

Safety is a major concern when it comes to correctly using a baby blanket, though. When your baby sleeps, keeping them at an optimum temperature is essential; using a blanket can be important to keep them warm, but make sure they’re not overheating.

What temperature should my baby’s room be?

It can be easy to think a baby needs a warm room, but that’s not the case – just like adults, a cooler room is better for sleeping in.

The NHS advises, “Babies don't need hot rooms. All-night heating is rarely necessary. Keep the room at a temperature that's comfortable for you at night – about 18C (65F) is ideal.”

The Lullaby Trust states, “To reduce the chance of SIDS the ideal temperature of a baby’s room should be 16-20° C.”

You can tuck your baby in at night while they wear a babygrow and a sheet or blanket on top; alternatively, you can use a baby sleeping bag or sleepsuit.

A cellular baby blanket is a popular option, as they’re not just soft and cosy, but also lightweight and breathable, meaning they’re good for layering up too.

How to use a baby blanket safely

If you’re going to tuck your baby into their crib, cot or Moses basket using a blanket, there are some safety aspects to think about.

  • Tuck your baby’s blanket in no higher than their shoulders – their head should always be uncovered.
  • Place your baby in the 'feet to foot' position, with their feet at the end of the cot or Moses basket. The NHS recommends this sleeping position in order to reduce the risk of SIDS – read more here.
  • Don’t let your baby get too hot or too cold. Layers of lightweight blankets are the easiest way to help control their temperature – but remember that a blanket folded over counts as two layers.
  • Tuck the blanket in tightly and safely, so baby can’t wriggle loose or pull the blanket over their head.
  • Don’t use duvets or quilts until about 12 months old.

Advice from The Lullaby Trust is: “Firmly tucked in sheets and blankets (not above shoulder height) or a baby sleep bag are safe for a baby to sleep in. Be sure to remove any soft toys from the cot before each sleep period.

“Sleep your baby in the feet-to-foot position and avoid using soft or bulky bedding such as quilts, pillows and duvets.”

The different types of baby blanket

What types of baby blankets are there?

  • Cotton cellular blankets: A traditional blanket – you’ll probably use these if you give birth in a hospital. They’re made from 100 per cent cotton with holes (or cells) to aid airflow, and insulation when layered up.
  • Baby comforters: Often embroidered and patterned, these blankets are essentially a sheet and blanket combined. Only use these if your baby needs a lot of warmth and be careful baby doesn’t overheat with these.
  • Swaddles: Swaddling is a traditional technique, designed to help newborns sleep and prevent the ‘startle reflex’ – when they wake themselves with a jump in their sleep. Swaddling has become popular again in recent years and there are lots of specific swaddling blankets available to buy (rather than just using a normal blanket).
  • Fleece blankets: Usually made from polyester, they’re easy to wash and clean, and are super cosy and soft.
  • Knitted baby blankets: Often a popular gift for newborns or at baby showers; knitted blankets aren’t just practical and warm, but look adorable too.
  • Muslins: There’s no such thing as too many muslins, and a nice large muslin can double up as a blanket. Look for sizes around 120cm square.
  • Baby sheepskin fleeces: Not technically a blanket, but used in prams and pushchairs. The natural fibres are thermostatic, keeping baby cool in summer and warm in winter.

How did we choose the best baby blankets?

With several mums on the team, Mother&Baby is best placed to find the best baby blankets as used and tested in real life by our own babies. Plus, we have a huge panel of real mums who test products every year for the annual Mother&Baby Awards, meaning we get to find out the best award-winning products that have been put through their paces thoroughly and independently by our readers.

We have also spoken to mums on our Facebook group Mumtribe, as well as researching the best brands with high-rated products and top reviews from customers.

The best baby blankets 2021

It doesn't get much cosier than this. Clare de Lune offers a luxuriously plush blanket to wrap your bundle of joy up and keep them cosy. It's made of super soft fabric, perfect for covering the baby in the pram or during naptime. It's machine washable and available in four beautiful colours.

Review: "Bought this blanket in white for my daughter who is due her baby in September, lovely and soft, fleece on both sides. Will be buying it in blue now that we know it's a boy!!!💙 Update - baby is now 6 months, and these blankets are still like new, wash beautifully, would 100 per cent buy again!!!! Thank you Claire de Lyne!!!! 👍"

• Size: 70 x 90cm

• 100 per cent polyester 

• Available in four colours

This cellular baby blanket was Shortlisted in the 2019 M&B Awards in the Best Product for a Newborn category.

Made from 100 per cent cotton, it’ll keep baby warm and cosy whether sleeping or around the house, and the cellular knit means it stays breathable whatever the weather. The colourful trim makes it stand out from a bog-standard plain cellular blanket.

Tested by mum Hanna for the 2019 Mother&Baby Awards: “Cellular blankets are infinitely useful with newborns. With the changing weather, it is important to keep your baby cool in the summer and warm in the winter. It is lightweight and large enough to double-fold as needed. I don't have to worry about my baby overheating which can be a worry. They come in lovely different colours and they brighten up the nursery.”

 • Size: 100x120cm
 • 100 per cent cotton
 • Machine washable
 • Tumble dryable

Read our full review of the Mama Designs Cellular Blanket here.

Every mum knows how useful multi-packs are! This pack contains seven blankets made from soft, breathable material. They come in a range of beautiful designs, from stripes to polka dot, and are perfect for swaddling, burping or simply getting cosy. They last after multiple washes and dry super quickly. 

Review: "Bought this set for my sister’s baby, loved the unisex colours & designs. Nice quality, knew they would be very useful. My sister loves them, using them for everything, asked me to get another set. This time I knew I had a niece so got a pink set, both sets already used & washed multiple times, like good quality flannel gets softer the more it’s washed."

• Size: 76 x 76cm

• 100 per cent cotton

• Available in five colours

A cotton cellular blanket is a must-have for a new baby, and this blanket comes highly recommended with more than 1,600 ratings on Amazon – and 75 per cent of them are five stars. It’s available in two sizes – pram and cot and comes in grey, white, cream, pink, and blue.

Review: "Our daughter is extremely happy with these blankets for her newly born baby. Warm, soft and lightweight."

  • Size: pram (70x90cm) and cot (100x150cm)
  • 100 per cent cotton
  • Available in five colours
  • Machine washable

How cosy does our next option look? With a cute elephant design, this soft fleece is perfect for newborns. It's adorable, fluffy, but still lightweight enough to keep your baby from overheating. 

Review: "Perfect little blanket for our little boy when he arrives. Can we just talk about the softness omg it's to die for? The perfect size and it's lightweight too, so perfect for our baby who is due in March just when the weather starts to change over. Highly recommend, beautifully made and high quality."

• Size: 75 x 100cm

• Fleece

• Machine washable

Part of the new ANYDAY homeware range by John Lewis, this sweet star-patterned blanket will keep your little one snug as a bug. Not too big or small, lightweight and unbelievably soft, this is a mama must-have.

Review: "Beautiful soft blanket I got this for my granddaughter to come home from the hospital! The quality is AMAZING, and I would recommend it."

• Size: 100 x 75cm

• 100 per cent polyester

• Machine washable

Gentle on baby's skin, this snuggly blanket will keep your little one warm at all times. Reviewers rave about the softness and quality of the blanket, and at that price, it's safe to say it's a bargain. 

Recommended by mum Fiona Davison-Dundas on Mumtribe: “This one was great, nice and light but warm. I liked to put it on the bottom of the Moses basket or pram to lie on. It’s brilliant value for money, looks a lot more expensive than it is.”

• Size: 90 x 70cm

• 100 per cent polyester 

• Machine washable 

Cosy yet lightweight, this wonderfully crafted blanket is made from 100 per cent cotton and will keep your little one snug. The cellular design means your baby will stay cool through summer and warm in winter. It's easy to wash, dries quickly and is made from sustainable materials. 

Review: "These blankets are a lovely quality item. They are perfect as they can be folded to create a warmer blanket or left loose to create a lighter cover. They are a lovely big size so will last a while. They are soft and they bare well in the wash. I have washed these loads and they still look as good as new."

Size: 75 x 95cm

• 100 per cotton

• Available in five colours

Available in a range of neutral tones, this cellular blanket by Little Green Sheep is as soft as they come. It’s made from 100% organic cotton and can be machine washed at 30C.

Sophie Knight, mum to Eli, says: “This was one of my favourite baby blankets Eli had from birth. I couldn’t believe how soft it was and I loved wrapping him up in this, both during the day after feeding and also in his cot at night time. He still uses it now (he’s three) when we cuddle up watching telly together. The colours are neutral so go with any décor. It’s not the biggest blanket so it’s best suited for when baby is little. It washed really well, too, and kept its softness.”

  • Size: 75x75cm
  • Machine washable
  • 100 per cent organic cotton

No matter the season, this woven blanket will keep your baby at their optimum temperature. We love the woven look and the high-quality finish. 

Review: "Lovely blanket, perfect for any age, nice size. Bought as a present, came in a nice gift box."

• Size: 90 x 70cm

• 100 per cent cotton

aden + anais swaddles are award-winning muslins, winning Gold in the Best Product for a Newborn category in both 2018 and 2017 in the M&B Awards – and for good reason. They are soft, practical, and multi-purpose. You can use a big muslin as a baby blanket on warmer days, or layer up by folding it over.

Sophie Knight, mum to Eli, says: “I couldn’t do without my aden + anais muslins when Eli was a little baby. They’re so versatile and I still use one as a blanket now (Eli is three) when it’s a hot day and he just needs a thin covering at nap time. The designs change every year but are always cute as a button. I received one as a baby shower gift but also bought a couple myself as they were just invaluable.”  

  • Size: 120x120cm
  • 100% cotton muslin

Read our full review of aden + anais swaddles here.

This baby blanket was Shortlisted in the 2019 M&B Awards for the Best Product for a Newborn.

The merino material gives this baby blanket a natural stretch and softness, plus it’s lightweight to swaddle or use as a blanket overnight. It is beautifully soft, however our mum testers think it’s a bit expensive for a baby blanket, however soft it is.         

Tested by mum Sophie for the 2019 M&B Awards: “I would recommend this baby blanket but some may think it is overpriced for a blanket. It has washed really really well since we have had it and it has not bobbled or lost its shape. My daughter loves to snuggle into the soft material. It's lightweight and easy to pack in a nappy bag for going out. Above all, it has always kept her warm.”

  • Size: 80x80cm
  • 100% organic New Zealand merino
  • Available in six colours
  • Features a corner pocket so you can hang it up 

Read our full review of the Roots & Wings Organic Merino Blanket here.

For a luxurious blanket, look no further. This new blanket from Marmalade Lion is thick, super soft, and edged with a bit of sparkle to make it extra special. The brand is Australian so the animals are different to those we normally find on baby blankets - we love the duck-billed platypus. The front is made from textured Tencel knitted fabric, with soft cotton jersey on the reverse. It's not the cheapest on our list by far, so it might be one to put on a wishlist as a gift from your friends and family. 

Tested by Sophie Knight, mum to Eli: "I love this blanket; it's really luxurious and wonderful for snuggles on the sofa - either during the day, or during the night feed when a comfy blanket might cheer you up a bit. A beautiful option as a 'welcome baby' present or for baby showers, as it's not the cheapest but is totally gorgeous. It's lovely to see a different range of animal characters too - I have a cousin in Australia about to have her second baby, so this would make a wonderful gift for them." 

This item is currently out of stock, but check back again soon!

With a knitted honeycomb outer layer and a soft jersey underside, this baby blanket is cosy whether baby is inside their matching Joolz pram, snoozing in the cot, or curled up on the sofa with you.

Sophie Knight, mum to Eli, says: “I received this blanket as a gift to match his Joolz pram, but we used it everywhere, not just on the go. It’s heavier than some of his baby blankets so it was great on cold days; he still loves to cuddle up with it now – he calls it his ‘turtle blanket’ as the honeycomb design looks like the shape of a turtle shell.”

  • Size: 75x100cm
  • 100% organic cotton
  • Available in four colours
  • Author: Sophie Knight Sophie Knight
  • Job Title: Contributing Editor

Sophie is a journalist and mum of one, and previously edited before moving on to write about family cars for - now Sophie is Commercial Content Editor for M&B, Closer, Heat, Empire, Yours, Garden News, and 

She is passionate about raising awareness around postnatal depression and is a Mental Health First Aider.

Sophie studied History at the University of Sheffield and has been in journalism for 16 years. 

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