What’s the Difference Between a Throw and a Blanket?

With cooler weather on the way it’s time to break out your favorite blankets! Whether it’s warming up your bed on chilly nights or curling up in a cozy throw by the fire, Autumn is most definitely “blanket season.”

And at Fine Linen and Bath, we are here for it!

But a bit of confusion can still linger regarding the difference between a throw (or “throw blanket”) and a regular blanket. The short answer is that the difference between throws and blankets is quite simple: size and intended use. Fine Linen and Bath is here to offer some clarity along with advice on styling and caring for your luxury throws and blankets.

Blankets: An Important Layer of Luxury Bedding

In terms of home linen, a blanket is an extra layer of bedding meant to be placed between your sheets and the next layer: the quilt, coverlet, comforter, or duvet cover. (Learn more about bedding essentials here). Blankets come in a variety of weights, fabrics and styles including cotton, wool, cashmere and acrylic. A cotton blanket is a wonderful warm weather option, while a wool blanket, as you would expect, provides added warmth in cool seasons. While blankets are intended as a bed layer, some luxury blankets are absolutely beautiful; this is why some popular bed blankets are also available in smaller throw sizing. In general, blankets are designed to provide a warm layer on the bed and blanket size typically ranges from Twin to King.

Here are some of our favorite luxury bed blanket styles:

Matouk Sintra blanket, Egyptian cotton

The Matouk Sintra blanket is a cozy and ultrasoft layer to any bed. This sumptuous blanket is made in Portugal from brushed Egyptian cotton and is generously oversized to allow for shrinkage. The plain edge hem on the blanket features a tight woven binding. Sintra is perfect as a lightweight summer blanket or an additional layer for year-round warmth. Available in White, Silver, and Ivory in Twin, Full/Queen and King sizes. $248 and up.

Matouk Sintra blanket

Peacock Alley All Seasons blanket, Egyptian cotton

Peacock Alley's All Seasons Blanket is 100% Egyptian Cotton. This blanket features brushed cotton with a textured binding, and is remarkably plush and super soft. The All Seasons blanket is made to be as natural and comfortable as possible, and even comes in throw and crib blanket sizes. Available in White, Natural, Linen and Flint in Throw, Twin, Queen, King, Super King and Crib sizes. $65 and up.

Peacock Alley's All Seasons Blanket

SFERRA Nerino blanket, wool

The SFERRA Nerino blanket, in Superfine Merino wool, offers lightweight warmth and versatility. Tailored with a woven wool binding and mitered corners that hearkens back to classic, bespoke wool styles. It’s pretty enough to use as an “above the duvet”layer at the foot of the bed when not needed for warmth. Nerino comes in three stylish color combinations: Grey/Walnut, Grey/Light Grey, and Cashew/Ivory in Full/Queen and King sizes. $710 and up.

SFERRA Nerino blanket

SFERRA Savoy blanket, cashmere

The SFERRA Savoy blanket is the ultimate extravagance with a lush, 2-ply construction that yields a thermal 330-gram weight blanket. Savoy is heirloom bed linen, made for luxury, warmth, and enduring beauty. Available in Queen and King sizes in Ivory and comes packaged in a SFERRA embroidered linen bag with zipper closure, perfect for storing when not in use. $2,056 and up.

SFERRA Savoy blanket

Throw Blankets: A Stylish and Versatile Accessory

A throw is a type of blanket that is made to provide warmth and decorative beauty! Throw measurements can vary—the standard luxury ranges around 50” x 70”—but they are smaller in size than blankets. When it comes to fabric and design, throws offer truly limitless options. Throws are available in organic cotton, microfiber, and heavy wool; luxury fabrics from cashmere to faux fur; and solid colors along with every pattern, design, and texture you can imagine. Along with providing extra warmth to whomever is using it, a throw is a versatile design element that provides a pop of color, texture, and visual interest to any room’s décor.

Here are a few of our favorite throw blankets.

Alashan Adirondack Throw

Alashan's Adirondack Throw makes you feel like you're relaxing in nature while adding a beautiful dash of color to your décor. The cotton/acrylic blend is super soft, machine washable and lightweight enough to be used all year-round. Herringbone weave, available in a range of 21 eye-catching colors. With so many color options and an affordable price point, we suggest picking up more than one! It Made of blended cotton and acrylic (50/50). Size: 50" x 70," $79

Alashan Adirondack Throw

Alashan 100% Cashmere Double Faced Essential Throw

Alashan’s Cashmere Double Faced Essential Throw blankets are 100% cashmere woven blankets for the ultimate indulgence in beauty and comfort. This blanket is woven with two solid colors, one on each face of the blanket, and weighs 675 grams. Available in five breathtaking color combinations including Ash/Evening Sky, Ash/Bisque, Charcoal/Ash, Camel/Apricot and Mushroom/Bisque. Size: 50” x 70” " $625

Alashan’s Cashmere Double Faced Essential Throw blankets

Matouk Orla

Matouk's Orla Throw is the ultimate chunky knit blanket. Orla is woven from a fine yarn that has been plied together again and again for a large-scale effect. With a homespun yet luxurious appeal, this hearty knit throw is an investment that brings a welcome layer of texture to any room's decor. Available in Ivory, Walnut, Sea, Pewter, and Champagne. Made in Portugal of 85% cotton/15% wool. Size: 50" x 70," $295

Matouk Orla throw blanket

SFERRA Celine

The Celine is SFERRA’s best-selling throw, and it is easy to understand why! It blends a great palette of subdued, relaxing colors with cream in a plush cotton herringbone weave (our favorite is the subtle Charcoal grey). Celine takes the chill off in style and looks stunning draped across a chair or sofa. The Celine throw blanket is made in Portugal from 100% cotton and finished with a natural twisted fringe. Twelve color choices. Size: 51" x 71," $92.

 SFERRA Celine throw blanket

How to Style Your Favorite Throw: Tips from the Fine Linen and Bath Design Team

  1. Embrace the fringe element. Many high-end throw blankets have a lush fringe that works as a great design element in a room.
  2. Experiment with angles. Move beyond laying your throw blanket evenly across the back of your sofa and try placing it on the diagonal or artfully draped across one arm.
  3. Learn to layer. A throw blanket can be layered with decorative pillows and other blankets to create visual interest. Contrast is wonderful.
  4. Switch it up. Your throw blankets can be moved from room to room either seasonally or as the mood strikes.
  5. Find new and unexpected spots to show off your beautiful throw blankets (the back of a chair, a bench in a hall, folded and stacked as a display on a side table between uses)

Cleaning and Caring Your Luxury Blankets and Throws

We cannot emphasize this strongly enough: with proper care, your luxury blankets and throws should last a very long time. It is imperative that you read and follow all manufacturer directions for caring for and storing these heirloom quality linens. You will find that many cotton blankets and throws can be machine washed, but proceed with caution; a “washable” cotton bed blanket may exceed the capacity of your standard household washing machine. In that case, consider professional cleaning or use commercial-sized equipment. Washable throw blankets can easily be cared for at home following these directions.

In all cases, Fine Linen and Bath recommends using a luxury laundry detergent specially formulated to clean and protect your washable home linen. We suggest Luxury All-Purpose Detergent from Heritage Park for cotton and cotton/acrylic blends, and Luxury Silk and Wool Detergent for washable wool, cashmere, and other protein-based fibers. Also, it's best to wash your throw inside a fine mesh laundry bag like these from Heritage Park; this will protect your blanket from snags and tears during the machine wash cycle. A large size mesh bag will easily accommodate a throw blanket.

Finally, when not using your blankets or throws, store them in a clean, dry, space away from direct sunlight. Consider using storage bags or cedar to protect them from damage by moths.

An in-store shopping experience delivered to you online

At Fine Linen and Bath, our mission is to deliver a concierge luxury linen shopping experience with online convenience. When you need answers, consultation, or help to narrow your choices, our team of expert design consultants is here to assist. Whether it’s blankets, throws, or any type of home linen and décor, we offer individualized recommendations, personal consultation, and even complimentary swatch samples for your review. We will help you make the right buying decisions for your style, budget, and design goals. Please connect with us online or -- even better -- give us a call at (866) 352-4522. We would love to get to know you!