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What the Hell Is a Throw Blanket?

Illustration for article titled What the Hell Is a Throw Blanket?
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Top Product: Sherpa Weighted Throw Blanket | $65 | Amazon

Remember that time in college you bought what you thought was a full-size blanket, only to find out it’s this tiny thing that doesn’t even reach your feet? Yeah, me neither. But if you have a friend who doesn’t know the difference between a blanket and a throw—and at this point they’re too embarrassed to ask—here’s the difference.

To put it very simply, a throw is a smaller blanket—usually around 50" x 60"—that you can drape over a couch or chair. It’s not designed to be the kind of thing that you cover your whole body with, but rather something to cover your legs, or cozy up with while in the living room. A room might even have two or three throws, depending on the size of the room and how you want to decorate, which raises another crucial distinction between a throw and a regular blanket: a throw can be used just as much as decoration as for warmth. You’ve probably seen photos of IKEA living rooms with a blanket lazily draped over the arm of a couch, like it’s had a hard day at the business factory and now it just wants to chill and watch The Office reruns.

This is the interior design equivalent of styling your hair to make it look like you just rolled out of bed. Rather than a pristine living room that seems like no one’s ever sat in it, a nice throw can make a couch seem more inviting. Like the kind of room someone, you know, lives in. And picking one that goes well with the rest of your home’s aesthetic can tie the whole room together. If you’re not sure what kind of throw works best for your room, you have a few options.

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Basic throws often come in some form of fleece. You can find throws that lean more towards a faux fur look, or a more modern microfiber. You can pick a throw based on how much it matches your room’s design just as much as how comfortable you find it.

Then there are weighted throws. Much like typical weighted blankets, a weighted throw contains extra material like plastic beads in order to add extra weight. It can make for a much cozier and calmer feeling than a typical throw.

Finally, there are heated throws that plug into an outlet and provide extra heat (on top of your own trapped body heat). These can be a bit more expensive than your typical throws, so you might only want to go this route for the throw you plan to use every day.

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However, you can also get cheap throws just to decorate your furniture, or even hang one on the wall. Take a look at the space in your home, see what might complement your existing decor. Or, you know, just get something snuggly.

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Eric creates video essays as Lord Ravenscraft on YouTube. He's also a freelance writer with bylines in The Inventory, Wired, The New York Times, and a former Senior Writer for Lifehacker.

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