Blankets, wool vs outlast acrylic

About 15 years ago, or so, I purchased a king sized 100% merino wool blanket from The Vermont Country Store.  It was on clearance, so the color was a hideous dusty rose, but I used it underneath a bedspread in warmer weather, and underneath a comforter in winter, so it didn’t matter because it was never seen.  It was soft, it was very warm, it wasn’t bulky at all.  I loved it.

I was afraid of washing it, and as it never really touched our skin, and was always covered by either a comforter or a bedspread, it mostly did okay.  I’ve been told that with wool blankets shaking them out on occasion is really the best method of “cleaning” them.  We have three kids who now treat our bed like a jungle gym and don’t always take their shoes off, so I eventually decided it needed to be cleaned.  I was nervous about washing it, so I took it to a dry cleaners.  A55hole put it in a regular washing machine with HOT water, then threw it in a dryer.  He actually admitted he washed it in hot water despite the label saying not to, but he is still refusing to reimburse me.  Im not even sure if going to small claims even worth the time and effort when there is no guarantee I’ll win, so instead I went on Yelp and the local FB page and just warned everyone about the a55hole who admitted he washed it in hot water but won’t reimburse me.  At this point my five year old son now has what is probably the most expensive, and warmest, kid sized blanket ever.  Remember, this blanket was on oversized king, it is now a felted blanket not even large enough to fit on a full sized bed. question  Oh, and if you’re even looking for a dry cleaners in Flemington send me a PM and I’ll warn you who to stay away from.

Which brings me to today... 

I miss having that extra layer for winter, but I’m afraid of buying another wool blanket because it wasn’t cheap and eventually it will probably need to be cleaned, which I’m now very wary of.  I can buy the equivalent blanket from The Vermont County Store for $259 (not on clearance, obviously), and hope it never has to be cleaned, or wash it myself on COLD at a laundromat and drip dry it at home.  But then I noticed they also have the Constant Comfort temperature regulating blanket made with Outlast acrylic which is supposedly better at temperature regulation than regular acrylic.  It is $199.  That seems a lot for an acrylic blanket, so has anyone used one of these and are they better than a regular acrylic blanket?  Or am I better off with the wool one and next time just do a better job vetting the dry cleaners before having it cleaned?



I haven't used the Vermont Country Store acrylic blanket, but I have one of the Washable Wool blankets from LL Bean and love it.  I have washed it successfully numerous times with no noticeable shrinking.  They say to wash it in "large commercial washer" but I've used my own home washer (both the old kind with an agitator, and front load machine without it), cold water, gentle cycle, dry in the dryer on the lowest possible temperature setting.  I've had it at least twelve years, mine is the plaid one but in earth tones, which they don't seem to have anymore.  I got a queen size for a queen mattress and it fit fine; though recent reviews of it say it's too short to tuck in, I didn't have that problem.  They aren't cheap, but they do last and are genuinely washable.  Just a thought!  


---and Bean's lifetime guarantee (if they still offer it.


I also have a Bean wool blanket, now pushing 20 years old.  Like you, i went years and years without washing it because i thought you "couldn't" wash the wool.  Finally my sister told me to go ahead and wash it.  It came out just fine, no shrinking that i know of, no felting, maybe a little softer.  It's a queen and my washer is big, so i've just washed it at home, several times now, gentle cycle, with agitator, and either put in the dryer or hung outdoors to dry.  Definitely go for it.

To me, the wool is somehow so much more comforting than acrylic, it seems less stiff (though i know the acrylic isn't really stiff, just doesn't conform so much?).  But i haven't had an acrylic blanket in some time, so maybe they're different now.

Blankets may go on sale in Jan?  Or is that just an ancient custom?


Formerlyjerseyjack said:

---and Bean's lifetime guarantee (if they still offer it.

 They don't.  I think guarantee is now for purchases made in the last 5 years.


Yeah, too many people abused the lifetime guarantee so they got rid of it.  I read one article where the author bragged about trading in his old shoes for a new pair every few years because of the lifetime guarantee.

Also, I don’t think any guarantee would cover neglect, like washing wool in super hot water.


Here are my 2 cents: Outlast's temperature control refers more to a cooling technology. If you are looking for warmth go with wool. Wool has so many good properties to offer. It doesn't take on odor or dirt easily. Hence, it doesn't need a lot of washing naturally. A good airing best when it's humid outside will do the trick. But you can also wash wool. Always in cold water. Use special wool detergent and also put a little white vinegar in. The "sour climate" helps to keep the connections between fibers stable. Never wring wool. Best to use the wool setting of your washing machine. Otherwise a big enough dishpan will do for a hand wash. Just push it around with your hands under water, no rubbing. Wool will release dirt easily. Let water run off naturally and let it dry flat spread out on a towel. Will look like new. The trick is really cold water.   


I'm super sensitive to wool, and can feel scratched even if it's just an edge that I touch. When I was a kid, I didn't realize I was the only one in my family who felt it, and I would tug at the necks of wool sweaters because it was irritating, etc, and have mild rashes across my neck and ears if I slept with a wool blanket on top of a sheet... and it took a long time to figure out why. I can't use things with lanolin in it either.

I guess my point is: (1) I can't tell you anything about wool since I won't go near it, and (2) even if you're not sensitive to it, check if your kids find it uncomfortable before investing in it.


sprout said:

I'm super sensitive to wool, and can feel scratched even if it's just an edge that I touch. When I was a kid, I didn't realize I was the only one in my family who felt it, and I would tug at the necks of wool sweaters because it was irritating, etc, and have mild rashes across my neck and ears if I slept with a wool blanket on top of a sheet... and it took a long time to figure out why. I can't use things with lanolin in it either.

I guess my point is: (1) I can't tell you anything about wool since I won't go near it, and (2) even if you're not sensitive to it, check if your kids find it uncomfortable before investing in it.

 I used to have that problem, but then I discovered Merino Wool and it doesn't itch or scratch me at all.  YMMV, but if you haven't ever tried Merino Wool, you might want to check it out.


sprout said:

I'm super sensitive to wool, and can feel scratched even if it's just an edge that I touch. When I was a kid, I didn't realize I was the only one in my family who felt it, and I would tug at the necks of wool sweaters because it was irritating, etc, and have mild rashes across my neck and ears if I slept with a wool blanket on top of a sheet... and it took a long time to figure out why. I can't use things with lanolin in it either.

I guess my point is: (1) I can't tell you anything about wool since I won't go near it, and (2) even if you're not sensitive to it, check if your kids find it uncomfortable before investing in it.

 It’s for my bed, not the kids.  If they are sensitive and it keeps them off my bed that would just be a bonus  oh oh




In order to add a comment – you must Join this community – Click here to do so.