The choices you’ll see in this guide are a result of over 4,000 work hours.
We started the work about 18 months ago by consulting 3 material technology engineers and combined their expertise on wool quality with statistical analysis of user satisfaction.
We made an effort to include different types, designs & sizes (merino, washable, heavy, alpaca, camping, military/army surplus, etc).
Bottom line – no matter what kind of reccomendation you’re looking for, you’ll find it among our top picks.
Last updated: March 2019
Best wool blanket – Top 14 by type, use, design and size
Our top pick among classic designs
Poyet Motte Premium (100 % wool)
I f you’re looking for a classic design for your bed, the search begins and ends with Poyet Motte.
It is company with tradition dating back to 1839 and it’s the leading European manufacturer of premium blankets, including wool.
If you don’t know much about interpreting the label, it’s easy for company to engage in imprecise advertising (at best) and misleading at worst.
Typically, the more precise the fact sheet is, the higher the quality. Finally, the quality consistency is definitely there since this Poyet Motte has been the top-rated wool blanket for 7 updates now.
There are 4 key aspects to look at:
- how fine the wool fibers are
- what’s the density (GSM – grams per square meter)
- whether the wool is virgin or recycled
- tightness of the weave – you can judge it by comparing the GSM and the thickness of the fibers
- Fine fibers – 33 micron
- Weight and density – 500 GSM
- Virgin wool
All the reputable companies will typically list the latter two, but it’s rare to see a precise listing of how fine the wool fibers are.
In that aspect, Poyet Motte is an exception the most positive sense of the word.
Loft of Poyet Motte compared to classic wool
The one downside that we can think of here is the scarcity of Poyet Motte – we’ve seen them go out of stock a few times while compiling this guide.
It goes without saying that this kind of work quality is more expensive than competing products but, in our opinion, if you end up being a proud owner of a Poyet Motte, it won’t take long to forget the few extra dollars invested.
You can see whether your preferred color and size is currently available and read what owners are saying about Poyet Motte by following the links below.
Woolly Mammoth French Country
- Wool quality 96%
- Finish / Softness 95%
- Durability / longevity / shape retention 96%
- User satisfaction 94%
- Value for money 97%
Pendleton Glacier Striped
- Wool quality 96%
- Finish / Softness 98%
- Durability / longevity / shape retention 95%
- User satisfaction 97%
- Value for money 97%
- Wool quality 95%
- Finish / Softness 96%
- Durability / longevity / shape retention 95%
- User satisfaction 97%
- Value for money 96%
Merino wool blanket for camping & outdoors
Woolly Mammoth Stargazer
Woolly Mammoth is a company specializing in wool-products and the Stargazer is one of the most popular items.
We rarely see user satisfaction this high and we’ve been reviewing and testing sleep-related products and blankets for over a decade now.
The Stargazer is a 80% Merino wool (virgin), meaning that the wool used is not recycled.
This is an important point to make any to see a company not explicitly listing that the wool is a virgin, it probably means that it’s been recycled.
The fact that it’s not 100% Merino wool blanket is not a minus in this case, because the small amount of weft and acrylic added is there so that the blanket can better retain shape and be easier to clean.
The Stargazer belongs to the Farmhouse collection, which is a premium series of Woolly Mammoth products.
Each of the blankets from the series is brushed which adds a soft, lofty finish.
As mentioned above, blankets with user satisfaction this high (currently 93%) are scarce, and when you do find one, the cost much more than the Stargazer.
That’s why the blanket is rated at 95/100 in the value for money category and 94/100 overall.
It measures 66 x 90 “and it’s available in six colors / plaid designs..
EKTOS 100 % military wool blanket
(for camping, emergency preparedness & survival – big)
The runner-up in the category of outdoor use is EKTOS.
The main difference between the Ektos and the Company Explorer we talked about above is that Ektos is 100% wool and the finish is a bit more rugged. It’s large, thick and heavy, but to with a soft finish (66 x 90 “, 5.5 pounds).
Finally, this heavy military wool blanket is washable (hand or machine).
Along with the Company Explorer, Ektos is one of the most popular blankets for outdoor use.
Military wool blanket (surplus) – Arcturus
When we labeled the Company Explorer as “military”, we also explained that it doesn’t come from the surplus and promised to recommend one that does.
Our top pick here is the Arcturus. Being a surplus means that the price point of this military wool blanket is lower compared to similar products.
Military grade wool quality
It goes without saying that surplus grade wool is second to none in terms of wool quality (550 GSM density), but what stands out about the Arcturus is the appearance and the soft finish.
This is what makes it a great choice for both home and camping use. It’s 88 inches long , 64 inches wide and weighs slightly over 4 pounds.
Wool throw blanket
The Highland Tartar (Scottish style)
Our top pick among wool throw blankets is the premium Highland Tartar (100% sheep wool).
The company making it (Prince of Scots) advertises the Highland Tartar as a blanket made to be a family heirloom. It’s made and imported from England.
All the designs currently available are checkered (plaid), ranging from vibrant color combos of red, yellow and green to calming grays and browns.
If you’re looking for a picnic blanket or an accent throw for your sofa, your search probably ends here. We found no better quality to price ratio.
Alpaca wool blanket and throw recommendations
– Putuco & AndeanSun
If you’re looking for genuine alpaca wool blanket, you should be especially careful because there are many counterfeits out there.
A company may advertise their blanket as “alpaca wool” but include other (cheaper) fabrics. That’s why you should read the fine print.
It’s also the reason why we had a hard time in this category and found very few products that we can recommend with a straight face. Among them, the AndeanSun stands out both in price to quality ratio and user satisfaction.
Our top pick among full-size alpaca wool blankets (Twin, Queen and King) is that the genuine Peru-made Putuco, while our recommendation among alpaca throws is the AndeanSun.
You can see the designs below, followed by links to the original products.
Swiss Army and Italian – NOS surplus military wool blanket
T he category of Italian wool gave us a bit of a hard time since the weren’t many high-quality products available.
There were blankets with the words “Italian” in the name, but as soon as you did a bit deeper you’d find that the products are not the real deal.
Out the blankets that turned out to be genuine Italian wool, our top pick is a product coming from a company counter-intuitively named “Swiss Link”. It might sound odd while it’s anything but. Swiss Link specializes in products of this type (army-related).
For us, it doesn’t come as a surprise since we know the company from the time we researched ghillie pants and jackets. They only sell a handful of products and their staples are a few Swiss Army wool blankets and this Italian military surplus.
This blanket is imported, it’s super heavy and 100% wool. The current user satisfaction percentage is 88, and our overall rating is 89/100.
You shouldn’t take our word for it, but do your own rereading on it.
You can do so by clicking on one of two links below and reading more about what the owners are saying (we’re also providing doing to their Swiss army style blanket).
ICEWEAR Astros blanket & LakeMono throw
In the category of Icelandic wool, two products stand out.
One of them is 100% Icelandic wool (manufactured and shipped from Iceland) – ICEWEAR Astros, and the other one is a stylish throw knit t from acrylic microfiber Iceland wool – the LakeMono.
The latter comes in two styles (chenille and corrugated).
It’s only natural that the ICEWEAR Astros costs more since it’s a premium product. You can read more about the two below.
This category was straightforward because there was one product that obviously stood out from the get-go.
It’s the John Hanly Irish wool blanket.
We say “obvious” because none of the other Irish wool products we looked at were even close in terms of the user satisfaction percentage – 97 %. The John Hanly plaid is Ireland-made and it’s as genuine as they come.
The five color combos are designed to fit any color scheme that you might have going in your space.
Chunky & heavy wool blanket
Our top pick among chunky designs is the Acarpo HandWoven.
The competition here was pretty stiff with a few products being praised by the owners. What gave Acarpo an edge is selection of colors and sizes and, most importantly, the value for money.
Big and heavy wool blankets and throws from chunky yarn, have been all the rage in the interior design arena for the past couple of years.
When a frenzy like that happens, the market becomes confusing, primarily in terms of prices.
In those circumstances, you can easily find yourself paying for the label or a brand.
That’s why we decided to ignore brands and look for the best balance between quality and price. We found it in the Acarpo.
Types of wool and quality aspects
In the rest of the guide, we’ll go over some reference infor on types of wool and ways to judge the quality of blankets and the fabric in general.
This section is intended for people who want to truly understand the “knowledge” behind the choices above.
It’s the quality aspects that we’ll go over that contributed to the overall ratings of the products.
As you know, there are many breeds of sheep and ways to classify wool fibers (fine, down, medium, long, double-coated).
In general, this is a traditional fiber, made from wool of any sheep, and on clothes labels marked simply as wool. It is more available and less expensive than other types. It goes without saying that merino wool blankets are by far the most popular.
The main characteristics are:
- Great resilience. It can last longer than synthetic materials.
- Ability to absorb dye without using chemicals.
- Works as a great thermal insulator, perfect for the winter. It absorbs the moisture, but repels liquid.
- Wide range of usage (anything from clothes to decorative fabrics).
- Unless we are talking about huge flame, the wool naturally resists fire and self-extinguishes.
- It can cause itchiness, depending on the thickness of the fibers, but that can be solved using chemicals to treat the wool or mixing it with other fibers.
- It can shrink and pill, so it needs to be taken care of properly.
- Manufacturing process can be adjusted to make either a heavy or lightweight blanket
More about sheep wool properties here.
More about the production process here.
Type of sheep wool fibers
Due to its softness, it’s used to make clothes that will be in a direct contact with our skin. If you are into knitting, this is the yarn you will probably use.
Fleece is very refined, elastic and consistent, and has a great felting ability and memory. The downside is that is not as strong as other ones, so not much stress is needed to tear a fabric.
Matte to appearance, this type of wool is very resilient and elastic. Used to make fine knitted or woven fabrics.
It stands on a halfway between finer and stronger types of wool. The memory and elasticity are average, which makes it perfect for producing a wide range of woolen things. It is used for everything, from scarves to tweeds.
The fibers of this type of wool are long, draped, strong and often silky to touch. They are very easy to dye, although sheep breeds with this type of wool have exceptional range of natural colors.
Long wool is not as elastic as the previous types we mentioned, but it has a nice memory which translates to longevity.
Primitive or Double-coated
The strongest type of fleece, used to make outerwear, rugs, carpets… Usually, these breed of sheep have this bulky, strong outer part of wool to protect themselves from the weather, and underneath a finer undercoat.
It’s often blended with other types of wool for better texture.
This is the wool obtained from the first shearing of sheep, usually around the age of 7 months. The length of this virgin hair fleece is around 50mm.
This wool is one of the softest and finest, very resilient and silky to touch.
The price for it is higher than for the regular sheep wool, since you can only once shear a lamb’s baby hair.
More about the wool quality grading system.
Merino wool blanket
Originating from Spain, now mainly produced in Australia and New Zealand, this is the most popular type of sheep wool in the world.
Since the wool of Merino sheep contains lanolin (which is used in cosmetics industry), it needs to be washed and rinsed in cycles to get rid of it. At the end of that long process, end result is a half of the initial fleece, which makes this wool expensive.
Nevertheless, the 4.5 inches staples of wool are so fine (superfine Merino wool goes even down to 17 microns) and soft to touch, that this wool is used for making some of the most luxurious pieces of clothing and bedding, which always has their buyers. More merino wool facts here.
It is an excellent thermo-regulator, so you can wear garments made from this wool when it’s hot or cold, even in the gym, due to its moisture-repellent properties. It is known to be fire-resistant and anti-static. Today, most of the 100 % merino wool blankets are imported (the same goes for alpaca).
Alpaca wool blanket
This fabric comes from Alpaca, animal originating from South America, although it can be made from similar wool, like mohair. Fibers can range from 15 to 40 microns and that effect the levels of softness and itchiness.
The finer, silky fibers (like baby alpaca wool) are used to make clothes. Alpaca wool is often mixed with Merino, to get more draping quality, due to its stiffness.
Naturally, the Alpacas exist in very wide range of beautiful colors and shades, although the wool can be dyed. This wool is lightweight & hypoallergenic, because it contains no lanolin, and it’s soft enough to be baby and kids-friendly.
Other wool types
This luxurious, super-fine material (around 18 microns in diameter) owes its high price to the painstaking process of obtaining the wool from cashmere goats. The cashmere used comes from the undercoat in the neck region of the goat and it has to be combed over regularly.
The wool itself has lightness and resilience and the fibers are very delicate and soft. It provides amazing insulation, so you can wear cashmere cardigans in the spring, and you won’t get overheated.
Mohair is obtained from Angora goat (not to be confused with angora wool) and it’s stronger and smoother than sheep wool, but not as soft and delicate like cashmere, for example. It’s easy to wash, which is a huge plus, of course.
This wool has a specific sheen to it, and it’s considered to be a luxurious material. Although it absorbs dye really well, the natural shades can be extremely beautiful. It’s often blended with sheep or other types of wool to make light-weight but warm pieces of clothes.
As mentioned, it’s not the softest of the wool fabrics, but it is one of the warmest, so mixing it with other materials can balance the flaws.
It’s used in producing anything from scarves and hats to carpets and decorative things for homes.
The finest (10-15 microns) and softest of the wool fibers comes from the Angora rabbit, to be precise, his undercoat. The most popular types of Angora rabbits come from Europe, but they are domesticated and grown all over the world.
The production of angora is small and very demanding in terms of time and money. There are, also, ethical questions raised around it, since sometimes the rabbits have to be kept alone, in darkness, to protect their undercoat.
The rabbits have to be combed regularly, and the hair is obtained by plucking or shearing. Plucking takes more time and energy, but the end result is finer wool. Angora rabbits grow hair quickly, but due to their small size they can’t produce much wool (around 400 grams and below, a year)
The yarn itself is soft, fluffy and silky. The fibers are hollow, which makes the wool lighter and warmer, but with a low resilience.
To get more stability to the fabric, angora wool is usually blended with other materials (cashmere or nylon). The 100% angora garment would be too warm to wear, so blending it is a great option, and it also lowers the price of the angora wool products.
Adjusting your choice to the space & use
It’s a cliche but ultimately, your final choice should be adjusted to your circumstances, use, taste and range of other factors.
What we tried to do here is separate the wheat from the chaff and recommend products that are woth your money. When we say that, we don’t mean cheap, because cheap means low-quality fabric 99% of the time. We focused on value.
The blankets that we talked about can be great additions to either tie the room colors or make a focal point that will liven it up.
If the color scheme of your space is calm and you don’t want to “disturb” that, earth colors will work great.
Wool blanket colors for minimal effect: green, grey, brown, beige & black.
Colors that work well as accent pieces: red, yellow, blue, navy blue, orange, pink.
Country of origin
Here, we want to address some of the less talked about choices and skip the obvious (Australia and New Zealand).
There a few countries less known for their wool that still make great products – some of them are listed above as our top picks. These wool blankets include: English, German, Peruvian, Indian, Italian, Irish, Scottish, Scandinavian (especially Icelandic), Polish, Welsh, Russian, Bulgarian, Mexican, Morrocan, Dutch.
Updates to the guide on best wool blankets
It’s our policy to regularly update all our guide that recommend products. To stay on top of things, we do it quarterly, unless we see a “red light” that can trigger an unscheduled update (typically a significant change in ratings of a specific product).
Finally, feel free to reach out with any questions you might have – you can do it by commenting below or dropping us an email. You can expect a response within a day.
The Sleep Studies team