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Choosing the Best Travel Blanket for Airplane Travel

Women on the Road
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Are you a snuggler? Do you like to burrow into your blanket the moment you're settled on the plane but don't like the scratch or smell or the blanket you've been given?

Your doubts are well placed. Unless you're traveling in Business or First Class, there's a chance that cool blanket has already been used by someone before getting to you.

Yes, if it it's wrapped in plastic, it's probably clean, but if not, there's every chance it was calmly folded by a flight attendant after the last flight.

That's not for me - and that's when I started searching to find the best travel blanket for airplane travel.

best travel blanket for plane travelThe right travel blanket will make that long-haul flight bearable

Having a travel size blanket on hand is useful in a variety of scenarios, but especially on those budget flights where blankets and pillows are reserved for people "up front".

If you're considering one of these travel blankets for airplanes (I'll tell you about the best below), this guide will help you choose. I'll take you through everything you need to know, highlight the most important characteristics, and look at some of the most popular packable travel blanket options now on the market.

why you should bring your own travel blanket for plane travel

You might be surprised at just how handy a small, lightweight travel blanket can be. Of course you can use your air travel blanket in flight, but a small travel blanket is good for plenty of other things, too. Like these:

  • As mentioned above, budget airlines don't tend to hand them out, so the compact travel blanket you've slipped into your carryon will be ideal.
  • Even when an airline does provide one, it might not be as comfortable as you'd like. It's nice to cuddle up to a soft travel blanket, one that's familiar and that will provide comfort in the air.
  • And what about those times when air conditioning makes you so cold the airline blanket just isn't enough? You'll appreciate having an extra warm blanket with you.
  • A blanket will also be useful if you have delays or find yourself waiting around a drafty airport.
  • If you're traveling overland by bus or train, a portable blanket will be great for those overnight journeys or if the air conditioning is too high.

the best compact travel blanket 2019 comparison chart

Name

Image

Size

Weight

Fabric

Carry Bag

55 x 70 in / 140 x 178 cm

0.7 lb / 300g

Polyester knit

Built-in carry case

77 x 50 in / 195 x 127 cm

1.1 lb / 500g

Down

Carry pouch

50 x 60 in / 127 x 152 cm

1.2 lb / 500g

Fleece

Carry pouch

50 x 60 in / 127 x 152 cm

0.14 lb / 63g

Microfleece

n/a

38 x 72 in / 96 x 183 cm

1.25 lb / 567g

Fleece

Built-in carry case

50 x 60 in / 127 x 152 cm

0.55 lb / 249g

Polyester

Carry straps

85 x 26 in / 216 x 66 cm

0.53 lb / 240g

Cashmere

n/a

60 x 43 in / 152 x 109 cm

1.15 lb / 522g

Fleece

Carry pouch

67 x 43 in / 170 x 109 cm

1.19 lb / 540g

Cotton / bamboo

Carry pouch

61 x 49 in / 155 x 124 cm 

1.85 lb / 839g

Polar Fleece

Carry pouch

Various sizes

Various weights

100% cashmere

n/a

Image

Size

55 x 70 in / 140 x 178 cm

Weight

0.7 lb / 300g

Fabric

Polyester knit

Carry Bag

Built-in carry case

Image

Size

77 x 50 in / 195 x 127 cm

Weight

1.1 lb / 500g

Fabric

Down

Carry Bag

Carry pouch

Name

Image

Size

50 x 60 in / 127 x 152 cm

Weight

1.2 lb / 500g

Fabric

Fleece

Carry Bag

Carry pouch

Image

Size

50 x 60 in / 127 x 152 cm

Weight

0.14 lb / 63g

Fabric

Microfleece

Carry Bag

n/a

Name

Image

Size

38 x 72 in / 96 x 183 cm

Weight

1.25 lb / 567g

Fabric

Fleece

Carry Bag

Built-in carry case

Name

Image

Size

50 x 60 in / 127 x 152 cm

Weight

0.55 lb / 249g

Fabric

Polyester

Carry Bag

Carry straps

Image

Size

85 x 26 in / 216 x 66 cm

Weight

0.53 lb / 240g

Fabric

Cashmere

Carry Bag

n/a

Name

Image

Size

60 x 43 in / 152 x 109 cm

Weight

1.15 lb / 522g

Fabric

Fleece

Carry Bag

Carry pouch

Image

Size

67 x 43 in / 170 x 109 cm

Weight

1.19 lb / 540g

Fabric

Cotton / bamboo

Carry Bag

Carry pouch

Name

Image

Size

61 x 49 in / 155 x 124 cm 

Weight

1.85 lb / 839g

Fabric

Polar Fleece

Carry Bag

Carry pouch

Image

Size

Various sizes

Weight

Various weights

Fabric

100% cashmere

Carry Bag

n/a

how to choose the best travel blanket for airplane travel

If you're actually going to the trouble of lugging your own blanket with you, you might as well do some research and make sure it is the absolute best airplane blanket for you. (No, it doesn't have to be the world's best travel blanket for plane travel - it just needs to be perfect for YOUR needs.) So spending a bit of time thinking about your needs is time well spent.

Before you rush out and buy your travel throw blanket, consider these factors:

  • Size: Make sure your blanket isn't cut too small. There's nothing more unpleasant than constantly having to pull it up over your cold toes or your freezing shoulders. While you don't want a mini travel blanket, you don't need a super large travel blanket either. A good-sized blanket should cover both ends of your body comfortably, with a little extra to tuck under your feet.

  • Weight: You want a light travel blanket that won't take up too much of your precious baggage allowance. These days that allowance is so slim you'll even prevaricate about taking a toothbrush. The good news is that the new-generation blankets take weight into account, although the thinnest and lightest may not warm you as much.

  • Space: How much space does it occupy? The best compact travel blanket will only take up the tiniest portion of your packing space. If you open your carryon and half of it is a blanket, you're not thinking this through. Your best bet if you're traveling light is to have a blanket so slim it barely coats the bottom of your suitcase. Of course if you're driving, just grab a big one and throw it in the trunk!

  • Packing: Do you roll or fold? Depending on how you pack, you may prefer a blanket you can do either with. All it takes is for a blanket to be just a smidge too large and you won't be able to roll it up and take it with you without leaving most of your clothes at home... Look for a foldable travel blanket with pouch for easy packing.

  • Texture: What does it feel like? Is it incredibly soft and silky? Do you find yourself wanting to touch it all the time or is it so scratchy you can't wait to fling it off? Some airplane blankets feel as though they were dragged through sand before being packed. On the other hand a soft and furry luxury travel blanket will help you fall asleep and carry you away.

  • Washing: If you're traveling with it you need to be able to wash it - and dry it - easily. You won't always have a washer or dryer at hand. Some blankets dry so slowly you'd have to lay them fully in the sun for at least a day before the water evaporates. If you've rented a house or an apartment with a balcony, you're fine, but if you're in a dorm or sharing a hotel room, think again.

  • Practical: Yes, blankets can be useful for other things too. They can have pockets, hoods, bags or matching pillows. You can wrap them around you like a sarong, or even use them as a towel in a pinch.

  • Style: Oh yes, of course it matters! An ugly blanket will do just fine but wouldn't you rather have something sleek and elegant? Perhaps something that doesn't look as though your dog just ran around the garden with it?

Ultimately, taking a travel blanket on your travels isn't for everyone. I take one along if I'm taking a long-haul flight and plan to stay put for a week or two. It's like a crocheted throw in your living room: not essential, but it sure is comforting.

best airplane blanket options 2019 

Here are some of the best travel blankets - and most popular - on the market.

cocoon CoolMax blanket

The Cocoon CoolMax blanket is ultra-light, compact and moisture-wicking. An absolute favorite!

The Cocoon CoolMax travel blanket measures 55 x 70 in (140 x 178 cm), making it one of the largest blankets in this guide. However, despite its size, the CoolMax blanket folds down nicely and compactly into a mere 5.9 x 3.5 in (15 x 8.8 cm), so it won’t take up too much space in your bag. 

Made from a mid-weight knit, the CoolMax travel blanket will keep you nice and warm while its four-channel fibers wick moisture away from your body. This lightweight warm travel blanket is also machine-washable and fast drying, so it's easy to keep clean. 

The Cocoon travel blanket comes in a range of great colors and is the perfect lightweight, warm travel blanket for plane, bus and car travel. It also comes with its own stuff sack, making it easy to pack.

Click here for more information or to buy now from Amazon

Horizon Hound Packable Down Travel Blanket

If you’re after a packable down travel blanket, consider this one from Horizon Down.

Weighing only 1.1 lb (0.5 kg), this travel down blanket is lightweight and provides great coverage - measuring 77 x 50 in (195 x 127 cm) when completely opened. The blanket compresses down into its own stuff sack, making it easy to pop in your carryon luggage or backpack.

Like a sleeping bag, these machine washable blankets have an exterior made from durable, water-resistant 20D ripstop nylon. For insulation, these blankets feature Responsibly Sourced Down (RDS) feathers.

While this may be one of the more expensive travel blankets in this guide, a down blanket will keep you warm, comfortable and relaxed.

Click here for more information or to buy now from Amazon

zideli travel blanket and pillow set

If you’re in the market for both a travel blanket and a travel pillow, this travel blanket and pillow set by ZIDELI may be what you’re after.

The ZIDELI travel blanket set includes not only a blanket but also an inflatable neck pillow, earbuds and an eye mask - everything you need to maximize your chances of sleeping while flying.

Weighing in at a combined weight of 1.2 lb (0.5 kg), this travel pillow and blanket combo is lightweight as well as super compact and won’t take up a lot of room in your luggage. The machine washable blanket is made from soft fleece and is a medium size, measuring 50 x 60 in (127 x 152 cm) when open. 

The travel pillow blanket set comes in a pouch that can double as a pillow if you don’t need to use the blanket. One side of the pouch is fleece, making it a nice soft place to lay your head. The carry bag also features an adjustable strap so it can be attached to your luggage for easy carrying.

If you’re after a lightweight and compact travel pillow and blanket set, be sure to consider this one from ZIDELI.

Click here for more information or to buy now from Amazon

world's best microfleece travel blanket

If microfleece is what you're looking for, this one is designed to keep you warm in drafty air.

Made from 100% polyester, this blanket is super lightweight and compact and won’t take up too much of that precious baggage allowance. The blanket only weighs 14.2 oz (400g), and when opened measures 50 x 60 in (127 x 152 cm), so a good size to keep your body nice and warm.   

You’ll also love how this blanket can be both machine washed and placed in the dryer. This is perfect for traveling as you’ll have your blanket cleaned and dried in no time.

This microfleece travel blanket comes in a range of great colors and is also quite inexpensive, perfect if what you're looking for is one of the cheap travel blankets.

Click here for more information or to buy now from Amazon

travelrest 4-in-1 premier class blanket

The Travelrest 4-in-1 Premier Class has a different approach - you wear it over your shoulders, so it won't slip off.

This 4 in 1 travel blanket is made of soft coral fleece, giving it a lovely comfortable feel.  You’ll also love the poncho style of this fleece travel blanket, as it won’t slip off during the night. No need to be worried about waking up at night with your teeth chattering. 

This machine-washable blanket is a great size, measuring 38 x 72 in (96 x 183 cm) and when it is folded up into its integrated pouch it measures a tiny 10 x 13 in (25 x 33 cm). When it’s all folded up, you can also use it as a travel pillow. The pouch also doubles as a pocket that can zip closed to keep valuable items safe inside, and has a strap that gives you the option of clipping it onto your suitcase or backpack.

The Travelrest blanket is the perfect solution for those people who tend to find their blankets don’t slip off and don't stay put while they sleep on the plane.

Click here for more information or to buy now from Amazon

cloudz travel blanket

The Cloudz travel blanket is great – it’s not only lightweight, but it's cheap too!

This thin warm travel blanket is made from polyester and when opened measures 50 x 60 in (127 x 152 cm).  Despite being a reasonably large travel blanket, when rolled up it only measures 9 x 5 in (23 x 12.7 cm), so it’s super easy to pack it away in your carry-on baggage.  It’s lightweight too, weighing only 8.8 oz (250g).

Coming in a range of great colors, this machine-washable blanket is a great option for anyone after a cheap travel blanket that's easy to carry.

Click here for more information or to buy now from Amazon

cashmere travel blanket

A cashmere travel blanket is great if you don’t mind spending the money. This luxurious item can double not only as a travel blanket but also as a wrap to keep you warm during your sightseeing.

This 100% cashmere wrap by Cashmere 4 U is a large size, measuring 85 x 26 in (216 x 66 cm), so it provides great coverage. It’s lightweight too, so great for carryon baggage and it makes the most compact travel blanket as it doesn’t take up much space. If you really don’t have to space to spare in your bags, just wear it as a scarf on the plane.

The wrap is lovely and soft, featuring ribbed edges for added durability as well as being wrinkle resistant - so, perfect for travel. While it will keep you warm on the plane, it also looks great with a range of clothing.

Given that this wrap is made from cashmere, you will need to take care when washing it.  It’s recommended to hand wash it, but it can be machine washed provided you place it in a laundry bag while doing so. If you do use the washing machine, just make sure you don't place it in the dryer afterwards!

If you’re after something to keep you warm both on the plane, during sightseeing or to ward off the chill of air conditioning, this cashmere wrap will do a wonderful job.

Click here for more information or to buy now from Amazon

bluehills premium soft travel blanket

This travel blanket by BlueHIlls is a great all-rounder. It’s inexpensive, lightweight and a great size – plus it comes in a stack of great colors.

The BlueHills blanket is made from a soft micro plush material, which is machine washable. It’s lightweight, weighing in at 1.15 lbs and a great size measuring 60 x 43 in (152 x 109 cm).

This thin blanket for travel comes with its own carry bag, making it super easy to pack the blanket away when not in use. The bag is only 11.5 x 10 in (29 x 25 cm), so it hardly takes up any room in your luggage. Plus, this blanket in a bag for travel comes with a clip allowing you to easily attach it to your backpack; it also has a hand luggage belt so you can easily slip it onto your suitcase.

Click here for more information or to buy now from Amazon

gox cozy-soft bamboo cotton travel blanket

This bamboo and cotton travel blanket by GOX is super soft and cozy and is the perfect size for taking on the plane with you.

Made from 30% cotton and 70% natural bamboo, this travel blanket will have you feeling all snuggly when it’s time for some shut eye on the plane. Measuring 67 x 43 in (170 x 109 cm), it’s a great size, and it folds down compactly in the included carry pouch, which is 6 x 8.6 in (15 x 22 cm).

The cozy soft blanket is machine washable and comes in three great colors.

Click here for more information or to buy now from Amazon

chillensio travel pillow and blanket combo

Another good option for those of you in search of the best travel blanket and pillow combination is this Chillensio set. This airplane blanket and pillow set includes every you need to give yourself the best chance of a good night’s sleep on the plane and includes a blanket, pillow, eye mask and earplugs.

The blanket is made from soft polar fleece and measures 49 x 61 in (124 x 155 cm).  These airplane travel pillow and blanket sets also include a premium foam memory ergonomic neck pillow (with removable and washable cover), noise-reducing earplugs and a 100% light blocking 3D adjustable eye mask. 

Together the entire airplane pillow and blanket set weighs less than 2 pounds (0.9kg), making it perfect for carry on luggage.  It also comes in a great little carry case too which is a compact size at 18 x 14 in (45 x 35 cm).

Click here for more information or to buy now from Amazon

100% cashmere from the travelwrap company

This is the only item on this list that isn't a travel blanket - but acts like one. This collection of luxurious travel wraps is handmade in Scotland by a traditional traditional mill that also supplies tweeds to the royal household. The cashmere wool is sustainably sourced from Inner Mongolia, where extreme cold stimulates the growth of the goats' hair from which it is made. Only the best fibers are used so of course they cost more (unlike the paler imitations which are often treated with softeners and come in flat colors).

These shawls come in a variety of sizes and weaves and you'll have plenty of choice. One thing they have in common is that with proper care, these shawls will last many years, only getting better with time. The initial financial investment will pay for itself - think of it as the gift of a lifetime. And yes, they can be used as travel blankets...

Click here for more information or to buy now from The Travelwrap Company

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