Mother and Baby

The best baby blankets for every budget

The best baby blankets

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 important; using a blanket can be important to keep them warm, but make sure they’re not overheating.

The best baby blankets:

  • aden + anais 100% Cotton Muslin Swaddle Jungle Jam
  • Mama Designs Cellular Blanket
  • Roots & Wings Organic Merino Blanket
  • Little Green Sheep Organic Knitted Cellular Baby Blanket
  • M&S Organic Cotton Nature Print Shawl
  • Joolz Essentials Honeycomb blanket
  • Fred&Flo Popcorn Blanket White
  • Bundle Bean Go
  • Clair de Lune Cotton Cellular Baby Blanket

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 into sleep wearing 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 hospital. They’re made from 100% 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, M&B 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.

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.”  

Tested by mum Emma Carter for the Mother & Baby Awards 2018: “My little girl was very poorly when she was born, and loves to be swaddled from being in intensive care, so this product will actually be a godsend for me, as it’s very easy to use due to the instructions on the box, and washes very well. The breathable fabric also means that they dry really quickly which, as a mum of two young children, is a must given the amount of washing I do day to day.”

  • Size: 120x120cm
  • 100% cotton muslin

Read our full review of aden + anais swaddles here.

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

Made from 100% 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 M&B 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% cotton
  • Machine washable
  • Tumble dryable

Read our full review of the Mama Designs Cellular Blanket 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.

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% organic cotton

Recommended by mum Fiona Davison-Dundas on Mumtribe: “These ones that M&S do, they change patterns every season and co-ordinate with their clothes range. Also very light, great for summer and easy to throw in wash, come out like new. Good value for money and make a nice gift.”

  • Size: 70x70cm
  • Machine washable
  • Tumble dryable
  • 100% cotton

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 4 colours

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.”

This isn’t a traditional baby blanket, but a waterproof footmuff – but it’s been recommended by one of our mums in our Facebook group so we wanted to share her review.

Recommended by mum Amanda McShane on Mumtribe: “The best baby blanket I've ever had is a Bundle Bean one. Used a number of times with my first baby and throughout her toddler years, and now used for her baby sister. So versatile as can be used while baby carrying and while in a baby seat on a bike.”

  • Waterproof footmuff
  • Can use while baby carrying
  • Lays flat like a picnic blanket

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% of them 5 star. It’s available in two sizes – pram (70x90cm) and cot (100x150cm); it comes in grey, white, cream, pink, and blue.

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

Did our top picks help you make your choice? Let us know on Facebook - we'd love to hear from you 

 
  • Author: Sophie Knight Sophie Knight
  • Job Title: Contributing Editor

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

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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