What is a Throw Blanket?

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

A throw blanket is a medium sized-blanket, usually about 3 by 5 feet (0.91 by 1.52 m). They can, however, vary in size. This blanket is distinguishable from other blankets because it is edged with fringe, making it one of the more decorative blankets you can use in home decor.

A throw blanket can serve as an accent color on a couch.
A throw blanket can serve as an accent color on a couch.

The throw blanket can be made of 100% cotton, cotton-poly blend, or rayon. The rayon chenille blanket is quite popular at the moment, but does not exhibit the same durability as a cotton throw through numerous washings. One made of rayon is often most attractive however, and tends to be less expensive than 100% cotton versions.

Throw blankets have fringe along the edges.
Throw blankets have fringe along the edges.

With cotton blankets, observing the washing instructions is important. Some are pre-shrunk and only get softer and better with numerous trips through the washing machine and dryer. Others may shrink, and as well, a brightly colored cotton throw blanket may fade over time.

Throw blankets are often used in a baby's bed due to their size.
Throw blankets are often used in a baby's bed due to their size.

The throw blanket comes in a variety of colors and designs. During the Christmas and Hanukkah holidays, one may find them in holiday-themed designs. Depending upon size, they can decorate the home by being artistically draped over simple chairs or tables, and can also make excellent Christmas tree skirts. One can also find throws year round with varied decorations. Kids may enjoy a book or cartoon-themed blanket, while adults might decorate their rooms with artistically woven lighthouses, trees or forest scenes.

Chenille blankets are popular, but not as durable as cotton throws.
Chenille blankets are popular, but not as durable as cotton throws.

One can get creative with these blankets. They make excellent wall hangings, or they can enliven the dull colors of a couch. One can also use them to protect couch or chair cushions that resist cleaning.

A thick cotton throw blanket is great for outdoor use as well. It is easily portable, and provides the perfect warmth for night sporting events. It also makes an excellent spread for picnics in damp grasses, as it tends to resist dampness, particularly if it is thick. Or one can use a thinner blanket, with a waterproof sheet beneath, to add style to a picnic.

Many enjoy using cotton throws for baby blankets, as they usually are the perfect size for cribs. They also can provide light warmth for any member of the family. As used in living rooms and family rooms, a throw blanket is the perfect covering for an afternoon nap. Its advantage over a regular blanket is that it can quickly be spread out again in whatever arrangement one prefers after serving its purpose of providing warmth.

Afghans are often used as throw blankets.
Afghans are often used as throw blankets.
Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

Tricia has a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and has been a frequent wiseGEEK contributor for many years. She is especially passionate about reading and writing, although her other interests include medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion. Tricia lives in Northern California and is currently working on her first novel.

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Discussion Comments


I have a few embroidered throw blankets that I use for decoration. I throw them across the backs of old rocking chairs, and in addition to making them more attractive, they make leaning back in them more comfortable.

I also have some fuzzy throw blankets that I use for warmth. When my family comes to visit at Christmas, I pass out several of these blankets so that everyone can stay cozy in the living room.

They are also great for adding a little extra warmth to the bed at night. If the warmth provided by my comforter and sheet isn't enough, I put a throw blanket on the bottom half of the bed to keep my feet warm, and I usually get so hot after a few hours that I have to take it off.


I use throw blankets to cover my two sofas. I have four big dogs that sleep in the house, and it's much easier to remove and wash the blankets once a week than to vacuum and scrub the couches.

Also, it's easy to kick the dogs off the couch and pull the blanket off if company is coming, because they will need a place to sit that isn't covered in dog fur. Throw blankets are a pet owner's friend.


@Kristee – I love those plush throw blankets! They are great for keeping your toes warm in winter while just lounging around.

I like to kick back in the recliner and toss a throw blanket over my lap and feet. I really don't need the extra warmth across my stomach and chest area, so I put it where I always feel a draft.

It traps warmth so well that it almost feels like a heated throw blanket! It's just really good at keeping my own body heat underneath.


Most of the throw blankets I own don't have fringe on the edges. They are the super soft kind with smooth edges.

These are the comfiest of the throw blankets. They are also the warmest.


I love blankets and throws. I am always cold so I have to get a blanket or throw every time I sit down and watch TV.

It is almost like a ritual for me. This feels great when I am really y tired. I usually fall asleep and take a little nap.

I sometimes take a throw with me at the movie theater because thiose places are aways so cold.


I usually use a down throw blanket on my couch. It serves a dual purpose it is decorative and it is useful when I am cold.

I really like the fleece throw blankets because they are so warm. I purchased some personalized throw blankets for my kids when they were babies.

This allowed them to always stay warm. I also like the plush throw blankets because they are so cute. I usually buy some at Disney because I love the characters and they are so memorable.

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