To knit a baby blanket, whether for your own infant or for a cherished loved on, is a truly special thing. Care and craftsmanship is poured into the hours spent knitting, and in the end, you will have created a treasured keepsake that may very well never leave that child’s side for the first five years of their life! Blankets provide warmth and comfort, plus they are simply adorable. But to do it right, you need to choose the best yarn for the purpose. We have surveyed the opinions of many knitters with experience, and can reveal the best yarn for baby blanket patterns as well as 10 great yarns available for purchase immediately.
The first thing to consider when choosing your yarn is the intended use for the blanket. Babies are messy. They put everything in their mouths. And they also have trouble regulating their own body temperature. Therefore, you need a yarn material that is washable, shed-free, and ideal for the climate. Florida babies require much lighter blankets than Alaska babies, for example.
But then you must also consider the look and feel of your finished blanket. In the end, you want it to be soft and cuddly, light enough for baby to grasp and eventually drag around. Following are all of the questions to ask yourself before choosing a yarn for your baby blanket.
How Can it Be Washed?
Your finished baby blanket will be a work of art, but it also needs to be functional. As much as the child’s parents want to take proper care of your gift, they might not have the time or energy to hand wash it. That could relegate your blanket to display but never use.
For this reason, we recommend cotton yarns, some linens, commercial sock yarns, and some superwash wool blends. Remember, however, that while superwash wool is machine washable, it still needs to be handled precisely. Wool and other animal fibers tend to felt when exposed to higher heats, which can all but destroy the appearance of your careful stitching.
For real ease of use, choose a yarn that can withstand hot water and a tumble dry. Many knitters report that cotton and acrylic yarns are best for standing up to repeated washings. If you have found an acrylic yarn that you absolutely love but that’s a bit scratchy, knit up a swatch of it and wash it with fabric softener. Sometimes that can do the trick and turn a not-for-babies yarn into an infant’s dream.
What Yarn Will Appeal to the Parents?
While many babies certainly seem to come with distinct opinions, the look of their blanket usually isn’t one of them. It’s the parents who design their baby’s first room and fill it will the sorts of décor that they hope will inspire their baby’s learning. If you don’t know the theme of the nursery, or have a strong sense of the parents’ personal style, don’t hesitate to ask them before purchasing yarn. After all, you want this blanket to be as well-loved as the recipients.
How Much Can I Spend?
As you’ll see as we dig into our product reviews, there are many different types of yarn suitable for baby blankets. Some are more costly than others, such as alpaca or bamboo yarns. These are super soft and cuddly but may be cost prohibitive, considering that children can be rough on blankets and will eventually outgrow them.
Acrylic and cotton yarns are typically more affordable, and they are often more durable and easy to wash, as well.
Is Anyone in the Family Sensitive to Wool?
While it’s not possible to know if a baby will be sensitive to wool while it is still inside its mother, this type of sensitivity tends to run in families. If either the mother or father find that wool irritates their skin, chances are good that it will do the same for the baby. And even if it doesn’t, the blanket will still touch the parents frequently as they cuddle their child and do the laundry.
What Climate or Time of Year Marks the Baby’s Arrival?
As babies grow and develop in their mother’s womb, they enjoy a perfectly climate controlled environment. Once they are born, however, it takes some time for their bodies to adjust to changing temperatures. That’s just one of the reasons that the right baby blanket is such a big deal.
If you would like your gift to be used right away, tailor it to the time of year and climate that can be expected where the baby lives. Winter babies may benefit more from a wool blanket, while summer babies likely only need a light cotton blend blanket.
How Much Yarn is Necessary?
The answer to this question is unfortunately vague: it depends. Different patterns require varying amounts of yarn. Generally speaking, however, if the yarn is chunky, just two balls should do it. A thinner yarn may require up to nine balls to make the same sized blanket.
The Bottom Line
You have a lot of choices when it comes to yarn for baby blanket patterns, but most knitters recommend a cotton/bamboo or cotton/acrylic blend. These yarns are easily washable, stain resistant, soft and cuddly, and allergen-free. Let’s not forget that they are also very nice to knit with – you should enjoy making this blanket as much as you do gifting it.
Still, wool can be a nice, upscale choice. All-cotton yarn is also a great option, but remember that it will shrink significantly upon the first washing. All-acrylic yarns come in a huge range of eye-popping colors, but may need a prewash to reduce some of the scratchiness. Whatever you choose is sure to be great as long as you have considered the needs of the family.
Ready to look at some yarn? Let’s dive in!
Best Yarn for Baby Blanket on the Market Review
To get a fuller picture of each product, check out our in-depth product reviews.
1 100% Baby Alpaca Yarn Skeins
If warmth and luxury are important to your project, you may want to consider alpaca yarn, which offers incredible warmth and softness. This particular product is also environmentally friendly and sustainable, being made from alpaca fibers that are shorn from the animals just once a year to maintain their good health.
This convenient 3-pack of yarn comes in 32 beautiful colors and is easy to use because the skeins are untangled from start to finish. Your satisfaction is guaranteed with a 90 day no-questions-asked return policy.
One potential challenge is that this yarn must be hand washed or dry cleaned. If you wash it at home, use cool water and do not twist or wring the fibers. Simply press to remove excess water and lay flat to dry. Do not use bleach to avoid fading the vibrant color.
2 5 Ball La Mia%100 Merino Wool Total 8.8 Oz
Wool lovers will tell you that the merino variety is a premium product. Merino wool is quite fine with more bend and higher elasticity than other wool types. This can help your finished baby blanket retain its shape, even after washing. However, like most animal-based fibers, you will need to hand wash or dry clean your wool blanket.
This 100% merino wool yarn is from Turkey and comes in 19 lovely shades. The La Mia company uses a combination of factory manufacturing and hand workmanship to create a high-end finished product. The yarn is very soft, slightly stretchy, and won’t fray, split, or give you torque problems.
Make your purchase in confidence with La Mia’s 100% money back guarantee.
3 Red Heart E400.1401 Love Yarn, Solid
For ease of care, it’s hard to beat 100% acrylic yarns. Red Heart offers an ultra-soft acrylic yarn that is ideal for baby blankets – and it comes in 42 astonishing colors. It is a durable, worsted-weight yarn that can be machine washed over and over again without losing its shape or color.
Some users have noted that it can be difficult to work with because the individual threads can gap while being knitted or crocheted. However, with attention to this issue, the results are stellar. Your finished baby blanket will be sturdy and stay soft wash after wash.
Proud to be an American company, this yarn is made with love in Albany, Georgia by Darice. Providing top notch crafting products for over 60 years, the company aims to earn your trust and repeat business by providing reliable and responsive customer service.
4 Lion Brand Yarn 920-218 Babysoft Yarn
Lion Brand Yarn makes a Babysoft version that is made of 60% acrylic and 40% polyamide materials. It is ideal for projects that will see a lot of rough use, much like a baby blanket. This yarn is machine washable and can be dried at high heat in the dryer. However, it is not recommended that you use bleach or iron this product.
The yarn is soft and light with a nice bounce and elasticity to it. There is a pearly thread running through the yarn, which means that it will finish with a bit of a sheen. Consider whether that is the look you are going for before purchasing.
Purchase a generously sized ball of Babysoft yarn in any of 25 colors, including both patterned and plain varieties. It is a medium sport weight yarn ideal for baby blankets and clothes.
5 Caron Jumbo Ombre Yarn, 12 Oz., 1 Ball
Caron Jumbo offers an easy care 100% acrylic yarn that comes in 8 variegated colors. From rainbow hues to shades of chocolate and a nod to peacock plumage, you can make a beautiful blanket with an entrancing pattern from this yarn.
This is a worsted weight 4 product, great for all sorts of projects beyond baby blankets. It has a soft, slightly fuzzy texture that truly anyone will enjoy cuddling with. The Caron Jumbo comes in a large 595 yard ball and is machine washable for truly easy care.
Users describe this yarn as slightly springy, and love the large amount of yarn in one skein as well as the interesting color variations available. But just in case it doesn’t work for you, the seller offers free returns.
6 Bernat Baby Blanket Big Ball Funny Prints
Bernat is a huge name in yarn, especially for baby products. This line features 14 fun variegated color schemes, all with baby décor in mind. Choose from Dinosaur, Chicks & Bunnies, Jelly Beans, or Little Cosmos, among others.
It is a beautifully soft yet bulky chenille-style yarn that’s machine washable. It has a large gauge so your projects go quickly. This yarn is also especially good for babies because it is safety certified and tested to verify that it is free of over 300 harmful substances.
The Bernat Baby Blanket line is made in China of 100% polyester. Choose between 100g and 300g ball sizes. Because dye lots may vary, it’s best to purchase enough for any given project at one time.
7 Baby Soft Bamboo Cotton Yarn - Jubileeyarn - 4 Skeins
For a breathable lightweight baby blanket, consider a cotton blend yarn like JubileeYarn. It is a super fine weight yarn that makes for a perfect spring or summer blanket. It is made of cotton and bamboo, comes in 13 vibrant solid colors, and is super smooth and soft.
One of the great things about yarn fiber made from bamboo is that it is silky-soft and easy to care for. The fibers also contain natural antibacterial properties that can help stop odors and keep mildew and fungal growth at bay. That’s perfect when your blanket will be put in little mouths or spilled on repeatedly!
Because it is thin, you will need a fair amount to complete your project. Smaller needles or crochet hook will also be required to work with this yarn. The product is machine washable but it is best done on a cool setting.
8 3 Ball Kartopu Amigurumi Total 10.5 Oz Each 1.76 Oz
Kartopu Amigurumi yarns are made with 49% cotton and 51% premium acrylic. This particular blend creates a lightweight and soft baby blanket that is easy to clean. Available in 22 vivid solid colors, you will love working with this product.
It doesn’t split and has an ample #3 worsted weight. Beyond baby blankets, a lot of people use it to make the shell of stuffed toys. You could make a complementary toy with your blanket for a truly special baby gift.
This yarn is made by the Kartopu Textile Products Marketing Trade and Industrial Co., which was established in 1952 and has been excelling in the hand knitting yarn industry ever since. It is one of the leading companies selling yarn material both domestically and overseas. You get a 100% money-back guarantee with any purchase from Kartopu Textiles.
9 Charmkey Baby Cotton Yarn
To get year-round comfort from your baby blanket, try this yarn from Charmkey. It is a cotton/acrylic blend that’s ideal for all sorts of baby products, including garments, socks, slippers, and toys. It is easy to work with and ideal for beginners. The finished product made from this yarn is cuddly and squishy to please any baby.
It comes in 19 gorgeous colors, both solid and variegated. The company tries to avoid knots or tangles, but some users have noted that it takes a long time to unravel.
You can machine wash this yarn but only on the gentle cycle, finishing in the dryer on low. Hand washing is also appropriate, but don’t dry clean or iron anything made with it.
10 Patons Grace Yarn, 1.75 Oz, 1 Ball
And finally, here is a 100% cotton yarn ideal for premium quality baby blankets. It is made of fine mercerized cotton, which simply means that the cotton has been treated with a substance to increase luster. Mercerizing also allows cotton to better absorb dyes, which is how Patons can offer such a bright and vibrant color selection.
Choose from among 16 shades in a fresh and modern color palette of coordinating colors. This is a gauge 3 light yarn, so it is not as chunky as Bernat nor as thin as Caron. It’s a great middle-of-the-road choice that’s easy to work with.
Though natural yarn like cotton is mostly machine washable, the manufacturer recommends hand washing this product to preserve the bright color. Air dry it flat rather than put it in the dryer. Don’t bleach, dry clean, or iron items made with this yard.
Whether you are looking to make a heavy warm winter blanket or a light summer cover, you’ll find the best yarn for baby blanket here to do the job beautifully. From natural to synthetic fibers in all shades of solid and variegated colors, there is an incredible selection available. Follow your creativity and passion to create a baby blanket that will be cherished by child and parents alike.