The best thermal blankets for your winter walks

Whether it’s a hike, walk or a car breakdown, make sure you have one of these thermal blankets to hand.

The best thermal blankets

by Ellen Kinsey |
Updated on

Thermal blankets have long been recognised as an essential for outdoor enthusiasts, emergency responders, and anyone braving the cold - indoors or out. Whether it’s winter and you’re heading outdoors with your fire pit, or you’re going out for a summer evening stroll and the temperature is dropping, having some of the best bedding and blankets for your needs can be extremely useful.

Unlike a standard blanket, thermal blankets are lightweight and compact and are often made of heat-reflective, thin plastic sheeting, which helps reduce body heat loss. You’ve most likely seen them used by people working in the emergency services, but if you’re someone who regularly spends time outdoors or on the road, then a thermal blanket is a pretty handy thing to have on hand. Most of them are very portable, too and fold up small enough to fit inside the smallest of rucksacks or even your pocket.

Thermal blankets are mostly used for outdoor use, but there are also blankets made to keep you warm at home too. Although electric blankets have become a staple for those who want warmth without the bulk. These blankets come equipped with heating elements that can be adjusted to your desired temperature, ensuring a cosy sleep environment during colder nights. Also, weighted blankets offer a unique sensation of being hugged or swaddled, keeping you cosy and warm.

Best weighted blankets at a glance

• Best fleece thermal blanket: Milestone Camping 24680 Thermal Polar Fleece Blanket - View now on Amazon UK
• Best thermal sleeping bag: EEEKit Emergency Sleeping Bag - View now on Amazon UK
Best cotton thermal blanket: The Towel Shop Cotton Thermal Blankets - View on the Towel Shop

On this list, we have featured fleece, cotton and foil thermal blankets so you can make a choice that best suits your needs, ensuring comfort, warmth, and peace of mind during those chilly walks or cold nights at home.

Best thermal blanket

Best fleece thermal blanket

Milestone Camping 24680 Thermal Polar Fleece BlanketAmazon
Price: $39.75

If you fancy something a little snugglier, then opt for this thermal fleece blanket instead. The structure of the fleece contains air pockets which assist in trapping body heat, helping to keep you warmer than a normal wool blanket. It is lightweight and portable, too, perfect for keeping in your car for roadside emergencies or taking on camping trips.

Customer review: “This blanket is compact because it is not too thick, it's very cosy. It's exactly what I wanted to take with me when I met a friend for a drink/coffee outside. I would love another one in a different colour.”

Pros

  • A thermal fleece blanket
  • Contains air pockets to trap body heat
  • Plush 200gsm fleece material
  • Compact travel essential

Cons

  • Not large enough for some

Best thermal sleeping bag

EEEKit Emergency Sleeping BagAmazon
Price: £12.99

As well as coming in a handy little drawstring bag, this thermal blanket also comes with a whistle to attract attention during emergencies. Whether your car has broken down or you are out camping, this thermal sleeping bag will keep you warm and safe and is small enough to fit in your pocket.

Customer review: “I bought this item for a young man sleeping in a tent. He said it keeps him warm at night and couldn’t thank me enough.”

Pros

  • The sleeping bag comes with a handy drawstring bag
  • Doubles as a blanket
  • Includes a whistle for emergencies.
  • Extremely lightweight

Cons

  • Only one in the pack

Best thermal blanket for emergencies

These pocket-sized thermals may not be the prettiest, but they're great for if you are out and about on the go. The dual-sided aluminized mylar blankets come in a pack of four and are waterproof and wind-resistant. If you are popping out for a walk, bike ride or maybe even some wild water swimming, having a pack of these for after will be greatly appreciated.

Pros

  • Heavy-duty puncture and tear-resistant aluminized PE material
  • Pocket-sized thermals
  • Dual-sided
  • Pack of four

Cons

  • Single blanket
  • More for emergencies

Best cotton thermal blanket

The Towel Shop Cotton Thermal Blankets
Price: £9.54 (was £20.28)

www.thetowelshop.co.uk

Experience year-round comfort with our 100% cotton thermal blanket. Its unique weave offers warmth during winter and a cool touch in summer. Unlike synthetic fabrics, this blanket promotes breathability and moisture absorption, ensuring a comfortable sleep regardless of the season. Whether you're seeking warmth or a cool reprieve, this blanket adjusts to your needs.

**Customer review: "**Good products, prompt delivery 100% satisfied can't fault a thing"

Pros

  • 100 per cent cotton
  • Three colours
  • Machine Washable

Cons

  • Only one size (single)

Best foil thermal blanket

Primacare CB-6841 Emergency Foil Mylar Thermal BlanketsAmazon
Price: $9.99

Made of durable insulated Mylar material, this blanket is perfect for any emergencies or loss of heat from shock by reflecting your body's heat. It is reusable, waterproof, windproof and weatherproof.

Customer review: “This tiny pack is perfect for the glove box, pocket or backpack. If you like hiking, take a couple.”

Pros

  • Made of durable insulated Mylar material
  • Reusable
  • Waterproof and windproof

Cons

  • Mainly used for emergencies

Best fluffy thermal blanket

If you love Heat Holders' socks then you will love this thermal oversized blanket. Crafted from a plush faux fur fleece named HeatWeaver®, this blanket is designed for optimal heat retention, boasting a tog rating of 1.7. Measuring a generous 180cm x 200cm, it's perfect for snuggling during cold nights. Not only is it sumptuously soft, but it's also machine-washable too.

**Customer review: "**Bought this blanket to go over the top of a lightweight summer duvet as Autumn approached and it was just the right amount of added warmth. It washes very well and takes no time to dry as comes out of the machine fairly dry so that is an added bonus. Will buy a few more in different colours as very pleased with the quality, price and warmth."

Pros

  • Super soft
  • Super warm and cosy
  • Large size
  • Five colours

Cons

  • Best for indoor use

Best fleece blanket

Ok, so technically, it's not a thermal blanket but we could not include this fleece blanket from Trespass, which has been listed as one of the best thermal blankets to buy for camping by BestReviews.Guide. Available in four different colours, the fleece material keeps you insulated in colder weather conditions, making it the perfect accessory for camping or keeping it in your car.

Customer review: “Love these blankets. I bought three in different colours for me, my husband and our daughter. They're handy for camping (as a throw round your shoulders in the evening or an extra layer over your sleeping bag), cooler evenings in the garden, snuggling up in the living room, to keep in the car 'just incase'....very versatile.”

Pros

  • A fleece blanket from Trespass
  • Thermal blankets
  • Comes with a bonus 120 dB whistle

Cons

  • Not strictly a thermal blanket

FAQs: Best thermal blanket

What is a thermal blanket?

A thermal blanket is a special type of blanket designed to retain heat and prevent body heat loss. It's often made of heat-reflective materials, such as thin plastic sheeting, to provide warmth in cold conditions.

How do thermal blankets work?

Just like thermal socks, thermal blankets work by reflecting back the body's own heat, preventing it from escaping. The heat-reflective material acts as a barrier, trapping warmth and keeping the user warm.

Are thermal blankets the same as emergency blankets?

Yes, thermal blankets are often referred to as emergency blankets, especially when used in survival or emergency situations. They are commonly used by emergency responders and are included in many first-aid kits.

Can I use a thermal blanket as a regular blanket at home?

While thermal blankets are primarily designed for outdoor use or emergencies, they can be used at home, especially in situations where extra warmth is needed. However, they might not provide the same comfort as traditional blankets depending on what type of thermal blanket you have.

Ellen Kinsey is a senior health and wellness product writer for Yours, specialising in natural health and beauty. She lives and breathes all things food, travel and wellness.

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