One of the first things that newbie parents do is to find the perfect hand-knitted blanket to cover their precious little bundle of joy with. Now, there are various options of yarn for a baby blanket available, but to find the ideal type, several factors have to be considered.
The baby yarn fiber needs to be smooth and soft for the babies to snuggle in and not affect the little one with any allergies or sensitivities. Given the numerous yarn types in the market, we take a look at the best baby blanket yarn you can use.
In a Hurry…
The best baby blanket after 12hrs of research is the Bernat Baby Blanket Big Ball. It not only the most luxuriously soft yarn you can find, but also Oeko-tex certified, making it safe for your newborn's fragile and sensitive skin.
Top 3 picks
Bernat Baby Blanket
Soft, beautiful colour colour palette, but polyester
Bernat Softee Baby Yarn
Machine wash, Acrylic. For Knit and crochet
Lion Brand Babysoft Yarn
Thin, Soft Acrilyc
What Kind of Baby Yarn Will Do?
To create best-knit projects, you have to use the best fiber available for the job. There are several qualities that you should prioritize for a baby blanket. Ideally, the yarn has to be soft, lightweight, cuddly, and functional.
When knitting a beautiful coverlet for your precious bundle of joy, you also have to consider what babies generally do to their blankets. Normally, there are bound to be diaper disasters, drooling, leakages, just to mention a few!
The best baby blanket should be able to handle all this and maintain its shape even after multiple trips to the washer.
What Factors Should I Consider When Searching for the Best Infant Blanket Yarn?
Asking yourself the following questions will be quite instrumental in finding the ideal product the next time you go shopping for a baby blanket:
Is the Yarn Washable?
Parents do their best to take good care of their newly acquired baby blanket; however, the truth is that not many get the time to or manage the effort to handwash it. This is why it’s important that you get a machine-washable blanket to keep it clean and well-maintained every time it’s messed up (quite frequently).
Although superwash wool can be cleaned in a washing machine, there are still other aspects that need consideration. Go for linen that is not only machine washable but also capable of coping with 40°C of a normal wash.
Generally, cotton yarns, commercial sock yarns, some linens, as well as other superwash wool blends will make a nice deal. The only problem with hot washing is that some animal fibers tend to felt, which messes up all the beautiful stitch work on the blanket.
Meanwhile, man-made fibers may turn scratchy and floppier when exposed to high temperatures. Knitters also contend that cotton and acrylic yarns come out just fine even after being washed multiple times.
Nevertheless, some acrylic blend yarns become softer when a slight fabric softener is used in the washing water. Acrylic can be scratchy to work with; you can try knitting up a swatch then wash it with a fabric softener before checking what the results are.
Red Heart Sper Saver Yarn is a highly preferred acrylic brand among knitters. If you decide to go the cotton way, you’d be wise to get a blend. This is because plain cotton yarns can be quite stiff and this will tire your hands much faster when you start knitting with them.
What Do I Prefer as a Parent?
The general aesthetics of the blanket must also come into play, especially when you consider that babies don’t get to give an opinion on the décor and color schemes of their nursery or clothes they wear. The coverlet you choose has to blend in with the overall décor of the baby’s room.
In most cases, parents will have the color choices of the nursey already figured out before they go searching for a baby blanket. You can use this opportunity to choose a blanket color that will match and compliment the colors that exist in your nursery.
Another option you have is to go for a mix of bright colors that blend well together by choosing a variegated yarn. Clever dyes, in this case, have already decided for you which colors work best for the variegated yarn. This will be a nice way to blend all those colors you love in the nursery.
What is My Budget?
There are numerous types of baby blankets yarns you can find, and these come with varying price tags. Yarns made from bamboo and Alpaca are super soft but come with a very hefty price tag. On the other hand, acrylic and non-wool yarns like cotton are more price-friendly.
Whatever type of baby yarn blanket you decide to buy, you have to ensure that the price will not override your budget.
Is My Baby Sensitive to Wool?
It’s also wise to ensure that the blanket you get for your baby will not cause him any harm. This is true if the baby suffers an allergic reaction when he comes into contact with a specific yarn fiber, and one of the ways to check out whether this is true is to check if you’re sensitive to the yarn.
Generally, cotton/acrylic and cotton/bamboo blends are recommended by knitters as favorable baby blanket yarns. This is because they are soft, washable, stain-resistant, and in this case, allergen-free.
Another great pick you can go for is the luxuriously smooth chenille-style yarn!
Unfortunately! Babies Always Put Stuff in their Mouth…
One of the ways babies explore their environment is by putting whatever they can grasp in their mouths. To be on the safe side, avoid novelty yarns which are usually fluffy and tend to shed.
You don’t want to expose your babies to the risk of choking on a yarn furball!
What Season is the Baby Due?
Babies cannot regulate their body temperatures as well as grown kids or adults can. They also wriggle out of swaddling and kick off the covers naturally, which exposes them to the external temperatures.
Make sure the baby blanket you choose is best suited for the weather. It should be breathable when the conditions are hot and allow for warmth when the temperatures deteriorate.
Remember to match the yarn weight with the size of the cover. You’ll be forced to fold the blanket into half if it’s too large, which may weigh down on the baby. This may not be a good idea, especially in the warmer months of the year.
Instead, go for a lightweight and breathable blanket that will keep your baby comfortable when it’s warm. If your newborn arrives in the colder seasons, you can try a knitted coverlet made from superwash wool like merino (as long as the tot is not sensitive to wool).
What is the Best Yarn for Baby Blankets?
It can be overwhelming to select the ideal yarn type for your baby blanket from a sea of choices. However, most knitters swear by acrylic or cotton blend yarns thanks to their soft feel and washability.
These also come in a range of cute colors and are relatively more affordable than other choices. They may just turn out to be the perfect yarn types for that cute coverlet you’ve always planned to get for your bouncy baby!
How Much Yarn is Needed for a Baby Blanket Pattern?
Generally, a pair of chunky yarns such as Bernat Baby Blanket Yarn will do for a good size blanket. If you are knitting with medium yarn like Lion Brand Cotton yarn, you might want to get around 9 balls.
We recommend the following yarns for parents who want to knit a soft and functional blanket for their little ones:
1. Bernat Baby Blanket Big Ball
This chenille-style yarn is super soft and luxurious, just what you want for your little bundle of joy to snuggle on. It is made of 100% polyester and weighs 10.5oz for 220yards of yarn ball; enough to knit a decent size and chunky baby blanket in no time.
Apart from the snuggly texture, the Bernat Baby yarn is also Oeko-tex certified and has no sensitivity issues. You won’t have to worry about putting your child in harm’s way with this quality option.
It is also machine washable and dryable, which makes it so it easy to care for and maintain. To make a tiny blanket for your tiny tot, you will need two balls of 10.5oz yarns of Bernat Blanket Yarn. This will allow you to knit a blanket measuring 34 wide by 36 inches long.
2. Bernat Softee Baby
This 100% acrylic yarn is soft and lightweight. It is available in a wide range of traditional baby shades like solids and ombres. This makes it a versatile yarn that can be used for knitting all sorts of projects, including baby products and other home décor accessories.
The Bernat Softee Baby yarn is machine washable and dryable for easy maintenance. It has also been tested for more than 300 harmful substances and shown to be safe for your newborn’s sensitive skin.
3. Lion Brand Babysoft
This soft yarn for baby blends 60% acrylic and 40% polyamide. It has a medium sport weight and comes in a range of pastel colors and prints that allow the yarn to produce long-lasting projects.
The yarn is machine washable and dryable; however, make sure that you don’t exceed a water temperature of beyond 40 degrees Celsius when cleaning it.
4. Lion Brand Vanna’s Choice
This is another great yarn made from 100% acrylic. It may not be as soft as some of the yarns we’ve mentioned but it is still a viable choice for your baby.
The yarn is machine washable and dryable, meaning you’ll have an easy time maintaining it.
5. Universal Yarn Bella Chenille
This extra soft and snuggly yarn will be perfect for your baby’s fragile skin. It falls between worsted and bulky yarn weight and enables you to knit a comfortable blanket quite quickly. The Chenille-style yarn is machine washable but not dryable.
Also, do not bleach or tumble dry it.
6. Lion Brand Yarn Jiffy Thick and Quick Yarn
This mohair looking yarn is super fun and quick to knit with. It has a lovely texture that produces extra cuddly blankets for your kid, as well as exciting prints and accessories.
The yarn is machine washable and the water should not exceed a temperature of 40 degrees.
7. Caron Simply Soft
This worsted weight yarn is popular among knitters. It has an incredibly soft texture and can be used to create various projects, including baby accessories and home décor items.
The yarn comes in a variety of colors ranging from pastel to neutral and bright. It will work well for a lustrous look and beautiful drapes. Additionally, you can wash and dry it in a machine, making for easy care.
8. Knit Picks Brava
This is a soft and hardy yarn made of 100% acrylic. It comes in a broad range of colors, making for an all-purpose yarn that can be used to knit anything from baby clothes, cowls, sweaters, and hats to blankets.
This yarn is quite easy to work with and will keep up with all kinds of life’s adventures. It is also machine washable and dryable on low, ensuring that it easy to maintain in the long term.
9. Patons Silk Bamboo Yarn
This natural blend features 70% bamboo and 30% silk. It is a soft, warm, and lightweight yarn category that is perfect for knitting all sorts of garments and accessories for kids.
The bamboo yarn is available in a range of colors that will complement the décor of the baby’s nursery. It is advisable that you wash it by hand and lay it down to dry for maintenance.
10. Bernat Handicrafter Cotton Solids Yarn
This cotton yarn will make the perfect fabrics for your little one. It is soft, smooth, and comes with the versatility to enable you to knit small projects ranging from potholders and dishcloths to home décor staples.
The yarn is available in a variety of shades that include neutral, pastel, and bright. It is also machine washable and dryable for effortless care, leaving with you with one of the best options you can get.
11. Lion Brand 24-7 Cotton Yarn
This natural fiber is smooth and soft to touch. It is made of 100% cotton and mercerized to deliver an incredible color yarn that will maintain its shape after multiple wash cycles.
It is also quite easy to knit with, even for beginners, enabling you to create a wide range of projects, including home décor accessories, fashion garments, as well as baby items like blankets.
What is the softest yarn for baby blankets?
There is no sure way of telling that one brand of yarn is softer than the other. This is especially true when you consider that all these yarns are specifically made soft for baby blankets and other projects. In this case, any kind of yarn will do, as long as it was designed for baby blankets.
What yarn is best for blankets?
The best yarn for blankets should be soft, affordable, and one that washes well. Acrylic yarn will be a great choice; it is inexpensive but its low yardage might require you to get a significant number of skeins to complete your blanket.
Acrylic fiber is also easy to wash and dry. However, remember to dry it on low heat as ironing can melt the acrylic yarn. It is usually the least expensive option, although not always the softest.
Another frugal choice that is soft and washes easily is cotton. This yarn is lighter than acrylic and wool. It is easy to wash and breathable; perfect for the summer months. Some cotton yarn types have little give when working with them but will deliver great results.
Furthermore, some kitchen cotton yarns won’t feel as soft when you use them to knit fabrics, but repeated wash cycles ensure that the blanket becomes soft!
How many skeins of yarn do you need for a baby blanket?
The first rule of thumb when estimating the amount of yarn needed for a project is quite simple; the thicker the yarn, the less you’ll need. Naturally, bigger stitches will take up more space, meaning you will require fewer of them to knit the same size of blanket you would’ve knitted with lace-weight stitches.
If you find a pattern that is maybe written for sport weight but you want to use a light worsted weight yarn, this should tell you that you won’t require as much yardage given that the pattern will call for you to adjust the size downwards. Another thing to note is that yardage estimates for projects tend to be based on knitting Stockinette Stitch at a standard gauge for that yarn weight.
If you want a blanket with a very highly textured stitch pattern, you'll need a lot more yarn. On the other hand, if you’re planning to knit with larger needles than is standard, you might need less yarn.
Ultimately, it can be slightly tricky to estimate the exact amount of yarn needed to knit your blanket because patterns can vary widely. However, some basic guidelines that you can start with are as follows:
Note that these are simply estimates that people generally use. Also keep in mind that you may need to use a different yarn weight if you use something like a sock knitting machine. It would be wise to buy an extra ball of yarn just in case you come up short, although the above yardage requirements should allow you to knit a blanket measuring around 36 inches around.
What yarn is safe for babies?
The best yarn for a baby should be soft enough not to harm his delicate skin whenever he's snuggling against it.
Ideally, go for a yarn that is allergen-free to ensure the safety of your baby. This is especially important if your baby has any sort of sensitivity issues.
Remember also to select a machine washable yarn fiber that does not develop furballs when they are washed. Considering that babies generally put things in their mouths, you don’t want to risk your baby choking on a ball of fur.
Although there is no such thing as the “perfect baby blanket”, finding the right yarn will ensure that you knit the closest thing to it for your precious baby. With a little due diligence, you’ll be able to customize the blanket according to the exact needs of your baby.
The above yarns we’ve reviewed are soft and safe for knitting baby blankets, as well as other wearables for babies. They’ll make a nice place to start from if you and your spouse are preparing for a baby that is due soon.
Remember to take into account the season the baby will arrive before you knit the baby blanket.
Best of luck!