What are Hospital Blankets?  The Different Kinds

What are Hospital Blankets? The Different Kinds

6 minute read

What Blankets do Hospitals Use?

Many patients or guests of hospitals or healthcare settings want to take the hospital blankets home with them, as they are typically made from durable, easy-to-clean materials such as cotton, polyester, or a blend of both. Hospital blankets are often lightweight yet warm, providing comfort to patients without overheating. They may feature a simple, functional design with a solid color or subtle pattern. Some hospitals also offer specialized blankets, such as thermal blankets for regulating body temperature or weighted blankets for promoting relaxation. Direct Textile Store offers a variety of bulk hospital blankets to bring with you during your stay, or even to keep at your home. Below we will discuss the different types of blankets you will find in hospitals and the best blankets for what you’re looking for. 

What Blankets do Hospitals Use?

Hospitals prioritize blankets that are not only comfortable for patients but also durable, hygienic, and easy to maintain. Below are the most popular fabrics of blankets you will find when staying at a hospital.

1. Cotton Blankets: Cotton blankets are a popular choice in hospitals due to their natural breathability, softness, and versatility. They provide warmth without causing overheating, making them suitable for patients in various healthcare settings. Cotton blankets are easy to launder and withstand repeated washing, ensuring optimal hygiene and durability. Hospitals often like blankets made from 100% cotton or cotton blends for their comfort and practicality.

2. Polyester Blankets: Polyester blankets are used in hospitals for their durability, quick drying properties, and resistance to wrinkles and shrinking. These blankets are often lightweight yet warm, making them ideal for use in healthcare environments. Polyester blankets are easy to clean and maintain, making them a practical choice for hospitals where frequent laundering is necessary. Direct Textile Store offers them in a wide range of colors and styles.

3. Fleece Blankets: Fleece blankets are known for their softness, warmth, and coziness, making them a popular choice for hospitals seeking to provide extra comfort to patients. Made from synthetic materials such as polyester, fleece blankets offer excellent insulation while remaining lightweight and breathable. They are hypoallergenic and resistant to moisture, making them suitable for patients with sensitive skin or allergies. Fleece blankets are easy to care for and dry quickly, making them a practical option for busy hospital environments.

4. Thermal Blankets: Thermal blankets are made from a metallic material that reflects body heat back to the wearer, helping to regulate body temperature. These blankets are commonly used in hospitals for emergency situations, such as treating hypothermia or shock. Thermal blankets are lightweight, compact, and disposable, making them convenient for use in ambulances, emergency rooms, and trauma centers. While not as soft or comfortable as traditional blankets, thermal blankets play a critical role in patient care, especially in life-threatening situations.

5. Weighted Blankets: Weighted blankets are gaining popularity in hospitals for their potential therapeutic benefits, particularly for patients with anxiety, insomnia, or sensory processing disorders. These blankets contain evenly distributed weights, typically made from glass beads or plastic pellets, which provide gentle pressure across the body, promoting relaxation and a sense of security. Weighted blankets are available in various sizes and weights to accommodate different patient needs and preferences. While not a standard option in all hospitals, weighted blankets are increasingly recognized for their role in improving patient comfort and well-being.

6. Disposable Blankets: Disposable blankets are commonly used in hospitals for infection control and hygiene purposes. Made from non-woven materials such as polypropylene or spunbonded fabric, disposable blankets are designed for single-use and are discarded after each patient encounter. These blankets help reduce the risk of cross-contamination and healthcare-associated infections, particularly in high-risk areas such as operating rooms and isolation units. While not as soft or luxurious as reusable blankets, disposable blankets offer convenience and peace of mind for healthcare providers and patients alike.

How to Swaddle with Hospital Blanket?

Hospital blankets, often made of soft and lightweight materials, can be versatile tools for swaddling babies. Swaddling is a technique where a baby is snugly wrapped in a blanket to help them feel secure and calm. If you're interested in using a hospital blanket for swaddling, follow these steps:

1. Lay the Blanket: Lay the blanket on a flat surface, creating a diamond shape with one corner pointing toward you.

2. Fold the Top Corner: Fold down the top corner of the blanket slightly, placing the baby's head above the fold.

3. Place the Baby: Lay the baby on their back with their head above the folded corner.

4. Wrap One Side: Take the right corner of the blanket and gently wrap it across the baby's body, tucking it under their left side.

5. Wrap the Other Side: Fold the bottom corner of the blanket up over the baby's feet, then take the left corner and wrap it across the baby's body, tucking it under their right side.

6. Secure the Swaddle: Make sure the swaddle is snug but not too tight. The baby's hips should still be able to move freely.

Remember, safety is paramount when swaddling. Make sure the blanket isn't too tight around the baby's hips and that their face remains uncovered.

Can You Take the Blankets from the Hospital?

White hospital blankets are typically considered hospital property and are not meant to be taken home. Hospitals provide these blankets to ensure patient comfort and maintain hygiene standards within their facilities. Reusing hospital blankets outside of the medical environment could potentially introduce contaminants or infections.

Direct Textile Store offers a variety of hospital blankets in bulk for those looking to bring their own for their hospital stay, or to keep at home. 

Hospital blankets in bulk are made to provide comfort to patients during their stay, it's generally not appropriate to take them home. If you're interested in using similar blankets for swaddling or personal use, explore options here at Direct Textile Store. Remember that safety and hygiene are paramount when considering hospital-related items outside of healthcare settings.

Kelsi Kleven


Merchandising Specialist

If you need assistance, contact Direct Textile Store Customer Service at 800-615-5822

« Back to Blog