September 04, 2020 8 min read

What Is The Difference Between Throw And Blanket?

You’ve just bought a new piece of furniture - a couch, sofa, or a bed. One of the most important things you have to think about is what fabric covering you’re getting for the new furniture. The covering is not only intended for your comfort and decor but also to make the piece of furniture hypoallergenic. Which fabric covering should you go for? A throw or a blanket? The two terms are often thrown around so much most people find them confusing.


 difference between throw and blanket


What is a throw blanket? And what is a blanket? A throw is usually defined as a small-sized blanket (mostly in one size) used primarily for decoration and comfort. They can be draped over couches, chairs, hung on a wall or blanket racks, or at the edge of a bed. The most common type of throw blankets is the fleece throws. They are made out of lightweight synthetic fiber materials which make them comfortable and quite affordable too. Fleece throws are great for people who suffer from allergies.

A blanket, on the other hand, is a large piece of fabric primarily used on a bed for added warmth. Blankets are practical for physical and mental comfort needed to get a good night’s sleep. Or snuggle in on a cold winter day.

It is not uncommon to find someone buying what they think is a blanket only to find it too small for their bed. Or pay for what they thought is a throw only to end up with a piece of fabric that keeps dragging on the floor. The distinction between them can be quite confusing. Knowing the difference between a throw and a blanket will help you to make smart purchasing decisions. That is what we are going to look at in this article.

 But first, let us look at their similarities. What do throws and blankets have in common

Similarities Between Throws and Blankets

Basically, from the definitions given above, all throws are blankets while all blankets are not necessarily throws. They do not have many similarities. The most common similarity between a throw and a blanket comes in their functions. They are both intended to provide one function - provide you with warmth and comfort.

Beyond that, their differences begin.

Differences Between Throw and Blanket

While the definitions of throws and blankets are often overlapping, telling the differences between them isn’t that quite difficult. You can tell the difference between a throw and a blanket by looking at three key components - the size, materials, design and construction, and other functions.

Size Difference

The key difference you need to pay attention to when shopping for a throw or a blanket is the size of the fabric.


what is a fleece throw


Blankets usually come in the standard bed sizes - twin, full, queen, and king size. Some manufacturers combine the “full” and “queen” to read as "full/queen" size. This means that the blanket can comfortably fit in both full and queen size beds.

See below for standard measurements for the various blanket sizes:

  • Twin size: 66 inches in width and 96 inches in length
  • Full/ queen size: 90 inches in width and 96 inches in length
  • King-size: 108 inches in width and 96 inches in length

Blanket sizes are usually larger than the corresponding mattress to drape over the sides and enable tucking the foot of the mattress.

For a throw, the size is usually smaller, as we have mentioned above. It does not cover the same size as a blanket would. Here is the range of size dimensions for a throw:

  • Width of between 48 and 54 inches and a length of between 64 and 74 inches.

But the typical size for a throw is usually 50 by 60 inches. This is the ideal size so that it can entirely cover the legs while sitting down or wrap around the shoulders without dragging down on the floor. It is also possible to get custom-made throws if you need a larger one.

Materials, design, and construction

You cannot rely on size alone to tell the difference between a throw and a blanket. Their materials and designs also play a part in differentiating them. For blankets, they tend to be made from a single piece of large fabric that can retain warmth such as fleece, wool, or flannels. Blankets also have their edges tightly sewn in to prevent fraying.

Throws can also be made from the same materials (fleece, wool, or flannels) as blankets. You can find other throws made out of luxury fabric such as crushed velvet, satin, faux fur, or chenille. But the major difference with blankets is that throws tend to have knitted components included too.  Unlike blankets, the edges of a throw are not sewn in. Instead, the sides of a throw have fringed-edge elements such as extra fabric or tassels for added luxurious feeling. Throws can also be knitted or crocheted - these are referred to as afghans.

Throws also have bolder patterns that you will rarely find on a blanket. You will find both plain throws and plaid or striped ones. There are even more daring throws that incorporate artistic expressions.

Other functions

Blankets are intended to serve a single purpose - keep you as warm as possible. We’ve already said that it is the only function it shares with a throw. Even when it comes to warmth, throws are used as a secondary source of warmth while blankets are seen as a primary source of warmth. You won’t be snuggling on a sofa with nothing else underneath your throw, will you?


what is a throw blanket


This means that a blanket is often limited to the bedroom and is sometimes folded over the sheets or buried under them when not in use. Blankets are therefore not as decorative as throws are.

Throws, on the other hand, are often used as decorative elements besides the warmth they bring. They can be used to add to the aesthetics of your living space by draping them over a piece of furniture such as a couch. They can also be draped on the edge of the bed to give it a touch of style. This means that throws can come in a wide variety of colors and designs that accent the decor of a room.

Besides the versatile decor and warmth, throws can also serve the following purposes:

  • Protect a piece of furniture from kids and pets and keep it clean. Throws are a more attractive and comfortable alternative to cushion covers.
  • Lay them down on the grass or a table when out for a picnic.
  • Roll them up and wrap around a picnic basket to protect fragile containers against impact.
  •  As a car accessory when on a road trip or other outdoor adventures.

These are the major differences between a throw and a blanket. Now that you know the throw blanket definition and can tell it apart from a regular blanket, it is time to get to the ultimate battle - throw vs blanket. Which one should you go for? In what situation should you prefer one over the other?

Throw vs Blanket: What’s Best for You?

Well, there is no definite answer to the throw vs blanket question. It depends on a number of factors. For starters, are you looking for a piece of fabric that will complement your living space or you just need a functional blanket for added warmth in bed? Even if it is just to watch a movie in your living room, how many people are you looking to keep warm? Once you answer these questions, it will be easier to settle on which one to go for.

For instance, a blanket is a better buy if all you need is a little warmth while sleeping. Or if the kids will be lying on the carpet in the living room during movie time and you need to keep them covered. A throw would be more suitable if you are looking to accessorize and style your space. Or you enjoy watching movies by yourself. Throws are more versatile and you can easily customize them for a personal touch.

Overall, blankets are more of a necessity for every bedroom while throws lean more on the luxury side. You will always need the blanket’s protection from the cold nights, and sometimes, the freezing winters. On the other hand, throws are often used as an element of style. When they are used for warmth, they are just draped over the shoulders or cover only the legs. They can’t keep the whole body warm as a blanket would. Throws are also great for outdoor adventures such as picnics.

However, they both bring a cozy element into your living space and life. So if you can get both a fleece throw and a blanket, why not? They complement each other after all.

What are some of the factors you should consider when buying a blanket? Here are a few considerations you should have at the back of your mind:

  • The size of your bed. The different sizes are explained above.
  • The type of fabric used. Wool is more suitable for colder climates while cotton is a good choice for warmer areas. The other materials available include fleece, cashmere, synthetics, velour, and down.
  • The type of weaving. A blanket’s weaving also contributes to its level of warmth and weight. There are thermal weaved blankets, knit blankets, quilted blankets, and conventional blankets.

Advancement in technology is also seeing the rise of electric blankets. Electric blankets allow you to adjust the temperatures to your comfort. If you decide to go for an electric blanket, it is advisable to avoid using another blanket on top of the electric one. This is for safety purposes. Children should also not use electric blankets.

When shopping for a throw, you should consider the following factors:

  • The material, especially if you are going to use it as a wraparound on your body. You want something you will be comfortable in.
  • The size of the couch or sofa if the throw is going to be draped over it.
  • You should also factor in the design of the room if you intend to use the throw as an accessory in your space.
  • The weight of the throw. You don’t want a wrap-around that is too heavy on your shoulders.
  • The texture. Most throws combine different types of weaving. The most common types of weaving for throws include embroidery, quilted stitching, and loose cable knits.

You might also want to pay attention to the price of the throw. Throws come in a wide range of prices depending on the material used, the stitching, and the brand name. Cashmere and faux fur throws are more expensive than cotton and wool ones as they are considered luxury fabrics.

Remember we mentioned that throws can be customized to your taste and preferences? If you can go for it, don’t let anything stop you. Throws can be draped on a corner, rumpled, folded, or rolled. You can give it a life of your own as it fits you so there’s no need to hold back.


For a long time, throws and blankets have been confused for each other and the terms used interchangeably. For the common person, it is understandable. But you now know how different a throw blanket is from a bed blanket. You will no longer fumble when you are asked “what is a fleece throw,” will you? A throw is more unique and versatile than a regular blanket. A throw will not only add warmth and comfort to your space but also style. It is an accessory to your home.

Understanding what makes a throw more distinct and different from a blanket will help you spend your money wisely. You will be able to enjoy the full benefits whichever option you go for provides. There is no shortage of ways you can put a throw into use. The possibilities are endless.