What Is the Difference Between a Quilt and a Blanket?
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What Is the Difference Between a Quilt and a Blanket?

Recently updated on March 2nd, 2023

Having the wrong covering on your bed can make you sweat or shiver during the night. Even so, there isn’t always a clear distinction between bed coverings, especially when it comes to blankets and quilts. Choosing the correct type of cover for your preference and habits is essential to be warm while you sleep.

Some critical differences exist between quilts and blankets, even though both are designed to keep you warm while you sleep. The fabric of a quilt is usually stitched together in three layers, including the padded middle layer. A blanket, on the other hand, has just one layer of fabric.

The purpose of this article is to continue comparing quilts and blankets, emphasizing the differences between them. These covers will also be discussed regarding their construction, appearance, cost, and material composition.

What is a Quilt?

Quilts are bed coverings used to keep their users warm while sleeping. An absolute blanket of warmth comprises three layers of fabric stacked together. Quilter-grade cotton fabric is usually used for the top and bottom layers, while padded batting is used for the middle layer.

Typically, quilt tops are elaborately designed with various colors and fabric styles stitched together to form a striking design. The tops of some quilts are intended to be symmetrical or geometrically shaped. In addition to plants and animals, some imitations are made to resemble the natural world. There are no limits to the designs you can choose from on a quilt.

Quilting is the process of attaching the layers of a quilt once they have been stacked. In quilting, layers of fabric are stitched together in a decorative pattern, fusing them. In addition, to crisscross patterns, intricate swirls or abstract patterns can also be used.

What is a Blanket?

A blanket is also used to keep warm while sleeping, although it is much simpler than a quilt. In contrast to quilts, which vary from top to bottom, they can be found in various colors and styles. Usually woven, they consist of just one layer of fabric.

It is common to use the term “blanket” inaccurately to describe any bed covering, regardless of whether it truly fits the definition. These bed coverings are commonly mislabeled as blankets, even though they are all unique. This includes quilts, comforters, duvets, and coverlets. To prevent slipping and falling, a blanket should always have only one layer of fabric.

Comparison of Quilts and Blankets

ConstructionThere are three layers of fabric – the decorative top, the padded middle batting, and the solid bottom layer.A single layer of fabric, usually woven
MaterialsTypically, tops and bottoms are made of quilter cotton; flannel, wool, and linen are standard materials.The fabrics can be cotton, fleece, polyester, wool, acrylic, vellum, cashmere, or blends of fibers.
WeightOften thicker and heavierIt is generally lighter and thinner
AppearanceIt is often elaborate; the top and bottom layers have different appearances.From back to front, they are usually simpler; uniform in appearance
CostThe fabric has to be purchased and sewed three times as much to make this product.It is usually less expensive to produce; only one layer of fabric is required.
UseBedroom decoration, wall decor, warmth while sleepingWarmth while sleeping

Quilt vs. Blanket: What’s the Difference?


In terms of construction, quilts and blankets differ significantly from one another. Three layers of fabric make up a quilt, each distinct, unlike blankets, which are made from only one material layer.

There is usually a difference in appearance between a quilt’s top and bottom layers. The bottom layer is made of a solid fabric that complements the top layer in color. To create elaborate designs on the top layer of a quilt, quilters typically sew together different colors and patterns of fabric.

Quilts are made by layering batting between the top and bottom fabrics and stitching them together. The batting or wadding in the middle of a quilt provides warmth and comfort. Since the topstitching is visible across the quilt’s surface, elaborate designs are often used for topstitching.

A blanket, on the other hand, is a relatively short piece of clothing. The fabric used for them is woven in a single layer. Generally, blankets have the same appearance throughout, since they only have one material layer. To keep the fabric intact, blankets do not require elaborate topstitching.


Quilters usually use cotton fabric for the outer layers of their quilts. Despite being washed, this fabric does not lose its shape. It is medium in weight. As an elaborate quilt top requires intricate designs, the fabric must be more robust than cotton fabrics used for apparel.

Other fabric types can be used for the outer layers of a quilt, though they are less common. These layers can use several materials, including flannel, wool, and linen. Even old t-shirts can be used as quilt top fabric by some quilters.

A thick layer of batting makes up the inner layer of the quilt. A quilt’s batting is usually made from polyester, cotton, or a combination. Finding alternatives made of wool, bamboo, or silk is also possible.

A blanket’s color and pattern are generally uniform from back to front, regardless of the fiber type. Quilts, on the other hand, usually have multiple layers, whereas blankets have consistent fibers throughout. Among the fibers commonly found in blankets are fleece, polyester, cotton, wool, acrylic, vellum, cashmere, or blends.


In general, quilts are heavier than blankets when it comes to weight. This is mainly because they have three layers instead of just one. When you add the top stitching and the binding around the perimeter, there is much more weight than the single layer of fabric in a blanket.

Although there are some differences between quilts and blankets, this rule may not always hold. Thick or ‘chunky’ yarns are increasingly used in blankets to add bulk, increasing their weight.

In contrast, some quilts have minimal padding and are made from lightweight cotton. There will be a significant reduction in overall weight. This aims to make quilts that keep you cool in the summer without overheating you.

However, quilts will generally weigh more than blankets.


There is a reason why quilts are so prevalent in their appearance. In most quilts, the top layer is very elaborate and captures most of the attention. Quilters spend a lot of time creating unique fabric arrangements to make their quilt tops stand out.

Quilts usually have two layers, the bottom layer being a solid fabric in a complementary color. Topstitching in equally elaborate patterns finishes the quilt. Random prints, or ‘meanderings,’ and precise repetitions of deliberate designs can be observed.

Some quilters add meaning and detail to their quilts by adding words to their topstitching. Often, topstitching is shaped like swirls, flowers, or paisley patterns. In addition to zigzags, chevrons, and grids, straight-lined designs are also popular.

An outer fabric seam will also be stitched along the edges of quilts and the topstitching. In addition to covering the raw edges of the fabric, this seam is responsible for keeping the entire piece together. Bindings usually have the same fabric as tops and bottoms and will not include fringe or tassels.

The front and back of a blanket are typically the same because blankets are usually woven. There will often be simple woven patterns, such as stripes, chevrons, or plaids. Multiple colors can be used in the weave as well as designs.

It is common to see blankets with fringe or tassels added to the edge. Fibers used in the mantle are usually the same as those used in the blanket.


The cost of making quilts is, on average, higher than that of making blankets. Quilts take much time to topstitch because of the layers involved in their creation.

To make a queen-size quilt by hand, for instance, about 15 yards of fabric for the front, 8 yards for the back, and a queen-size batting cut will be required. Patterns, needles and thread, outer binding, and labor costs are not included. For just these supplies, you’re looking at least $260 if the fabric is $10 a yard and the batting is $30.

A blanket requires only one layer of fabric, usually cotton or polyester, and is much cheaper. As a result, they are generally more affordable to produce and require much less time and labor.

The exception to this rule can be blankets made from custom or rare fibers, such as exotic wools or animal hairs, which are costly to produce. Due to the labor involved in making handwoven blankets, they will also be more expensive.


Sleeping with either a blanket or a quilt keeps you warm. Although quilts have an attractive appearance, many homes use them as decorations. Sometimes, they are even used as wall decor to create a statement.

It is not uncommon for quilts to be cherished as family heirlooms or sentimental gifts because of the time it takes to make them. Most quilts are passed down from generation to generation in a family, whereas blankets are rarely passed down.

Can a Quilt be Used as a Blanket?

Even though quilts and blankets aren’t the same, they share some similarities. While sleeping, you can use a quilt as a blanket to keep warm. In the same way, blankets are used, they can also be used as bed coverings.

What Are the Standard Quilt and Blanket Sizes?

There are standard dimensions for quilts and blankets, which correspond to standard mattress sizes. Across brands and manufacturers, standard sizes have their names and terminology.

Baby crib blankets and quilts are designed for use in nurseries. Most standard cribs will fit these covers, which measure around 27″ by 52″.

In the home, throw blankets and quilts are often draped over the back of chairs or couches for casual use. One person can comfortably be covered by these coverings, usually 50″ by 60″.

Suitable for older children or adults, twin blankets or quilts fit the smallest standard mattress. Usually, these coverings measure 66 inches by 90 inches.

In college dormitories, twin-XL blankets or quilts are slightly larger versions of twin-sized covers. They are usually 66 inches by 95 inches in size.

The next size up from a twin is a full or double blanket or quilt. Typically, these coverings measure 80″ by 90″.

Among the largest sizes available are queen blankets and quilts. The size of these coverings is typically 90″ by 100″.

Generally, king-sized blankets and quilts are available in retail stores. The size of these coverings is typically 108″ by 100″. Additionally, specialty shops sell California king blankets, which measure 104 inches by 108 inches, and are usually narrower and longer than standard kings.

Is a Quilt Thicker Than a Blanket?

It’s generally true. An extra layer of batting gives quilts extra padding, as they have three layers of fabric. To keep you warm while you sleep, this padding is thick.

Due to their single layer of fabric, blankets generally have a much thinner thickness. Blankets woven with thick yarns made from custom fibers are the only exception to this rule. A single layer of extra thick fleece could increase the thickness of a quilt.

In most cases, however, this is not the case. Labeling extra thick blankets will usually indicate that they are more comprehensive than usual.

Are Quilts Warmer Than Blankets?

It is generally warmer to sleep under a quilt than under a blanket. Their construction uses multiple layers – especially the padded middle batting – to provide this warmth. From quilt to quilt, there can be tremendous variations.

Depending on the material and thickness of each, it differs. Using a cotton quilt filled with cotton batting in summer is most appropriate since it is lightweight and comfortable. This type of quilt may not be as warm as a thick wool blanket.

If you’re deciding between a blanket or a quilt, you should consider the fibers in each. There is almost always a difference in temperature between wool and cotton. Hot options are also made from fleece and down, and they are warmer than cotton.

Do You Have to Dry Clean a Quilt?

There is no need to dry-clean a quilt. A quilt, especially an heirloom, could be damaged by the chemicals used in dry cleaning.

Instead, use the gentle cycle on your home washing machine to clean your quilt. Make sure you use cold water and mild detergent. It is best to avoid washing your quilts with anything that could cause the dyes to bleed or cause the fabric to snag and tear.

Let your quilts air dry if you use a machine to dry them. Keep them damp for a short period after in. When drying quilts; always use the lowest heat setting or air dry them—initial drying. The top layer of the quilt can be damaged by too much heat and shrink abnormally.

Handwashing is the best method for cleaning hand-made or heirloom quilts. Even the gentlest cycle on your washing machine may not be enough for these covers. Additionally, these quilts should always be air-dried.

Quilt vs. Comforter

As the name implies, a comforter is a thick bed covering that keeps you warm during the night. In comparison to comforters, quilts are thin and flat. The thicker comforter is usually much more generous than, the lighter quilt.

Three common types of stuffing are used in comforters: down, cotton, and polyester. To help hold the loose fill in place, the comforter is not stitched along its inner edge, but only around the outer rim.

Comforters can have patterns or designs on their outer layers, but the arrangements are not made from stitched-together fabrics like quilt tops. These outer fabrics are generally woven. The front and back of a comforter are often the same, though that is not a requirement.

Quilt vs. Duvet

Duvets are comforters, specifically white ones, usually filled with down. If you’ve ever stayed in a hotel, you’ve probably seen a duvet, since these are common choices for these establishments.

Any decor can be coordinated with the covers in various styles and fabrics. They are often enclosed in duvet covers to protect white duvets from dirt and stains. You can easily remove and wash the surfaces, which is more accessible than washing the entire duvet.

The thickness and fluffiness of quilts aren’t as great as those of comforters or duvets. In most cases, they don’t come with covers and aren’t filled with down.

Quilt vs. Coverlet

Coverlets are thin, lightweight layers that are often placed over the bedding. Since they are not meant to extend past the mattress, these covers are usually smaller than standard quilt sizes. A coverlet alone is probably insufficient to sleep with, since it is more decorative than warm.

A coverlet is usually made from cotton or a blend of cotton and other materials. Unlike quilt tops, they will not be pieced together, but rather woven or printed with patterns or designs. As opposed to quilts and comforters, they do not have any filling or batting.


Blankets and quilts are different bed coverings, and this article clarified their differences. Now that you know all the options for bed coverings, you can decide which will work best in your home. This guide will provide you with all the information you need to choose.

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