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. That's why you can never have enough, so we've shared the best baby blankets you can buy your little one.
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 18°C (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 the 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
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.
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 the baby doesn’t overheat with these.
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).
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.
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.
Car seat blanket
Car seat blankets are a safe option for babies allowing them to stay safely secured in the car seat harness while remaining warm on cold days.
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 UK 2022
Available in an array of trendy yet muted colours, this baby blanket is perfect for newborns. It's
If you're concerned about safe sleep, then this baby tuck sheet is the ideal solution and safe
Gentle on baby's skin, this snuggly blanket will keep your little one warm at all times. Reviewers
Available in a range of neutral tones, this cellular blanket by Little Green Sheep is as soft as
Best for variable sizing
A cotton cellular blanket is a must-have for a new baby, and this blanket comes highly
Best multipurpose blanket
aden + anais swaddles are award-winning muslins, winning Gold in the Best Product for a Newborn
With a knitted honeycomb outer layer and a soft jersey underside, this baby blanket is cosy
This baby blanket was Shortlisted in the 2019 M&B Awards for the Best Product for a Newborn. The
Best for value
Cosy yet lightweight, this wonderfully crafted blanket is made from 100 per cent cotton and will
Best blanket multipack
Every mum knows how useful multi-packs are! This pack contains seven blankets made from soft,
Best for comfort
It doesn't get much cosier than this. Clare de Lune offers a luxuriously plush blanket to wrap
Best fleece blanket
How cosy does our next option look? With a cute elephant design, this soft fleece is perfect for
Part of the new ANYDAY homeware range by John Lewis, this sweet star-patterned blanket will keep
How do you choose a baby blanket?
The most important thing to consider when choosing a baby blanket is the material. It should be gentle on your baby's sensitive skin and easy to wash - all our top picks are machine washable so you can have your little one's favourite blankie cleaned and ready as quickly as possible.
For a breathable blanket - best suited for the summer or naptime - choose cotton. For the winter and strolls in the pram, a polyester fabric may be preferable.
What should you avoid in a baby blanket?
Keeping your little one at the optimum temperature is paramount, so make sure to choose materials that aren't too thick in warmer temperatures.
You should also avoid baby blankets with any attachments that could present a risk of choking or strangulation. Avoid those with attached ribbons, tassels, buttons, or any extra details that could fall off or fray.
How many baby blankets do you need?
Organic clothing company Purebaby recommends at least two to three; one for the cot, the pram, and outdoor adventures.
That being said, you may already have a bunch from baby showers - baby blankets are great for gifting. If this is the case, we've no doubt you'll still be able to put them to good use. Different designs will suit different seasons so having a choice is not a bad thing!