Has long been a teacher of English Literature, after the retirement focused on freelance copywriting. She’s now our full-time writer since our website allows her to know more about the hobby of her lifetime – sewing.
A professional fashion designer and seamstress. Isabel has her own video blog where she shares her experience about all the aspects of sewing – from choosing suitable materials to step-by-step instructions on how to sew a summer skirt.
Last updated: March 12, 2021
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A cozy blanket for your baby may be all you need to keep her/him warm and snuggly. But not all kinds of yarn are good enough to make baby clothing items. If your baby blanket’s yarn is rough and prickly, it will irritate your little one, making him/her cranky and causing endless cries. Avoid all this by choosing from the best baby blanket yarn list, made for yours and little one’s comfort.
We choose our baby blanket yarn for, among other things, its material. It has to be soft with good drape, easy to wash and care for, and durable so your baby can grow with it. It also needs to be heavy enough to keep the baby warm, and yet light enough for you to carry around and wrap around the baby with ease. And it’s long enough to ensure you can complete your blanket knitting or crocheting project without denting your pocket. Read through to find the right yarn for that baby blanket you’ve been planning to make.
Easily the best yarn for baby blankets, Bernat Softee Baby Yarn is made from 100% acrylic and comes in a 4.8 oz skein that is light worsted weight. This means it is thick enough to produce a warm blanket without you having to double the strands.
It is designed to give the best results when paired with a 4mm knitting needle or crochet hook. It measures 362 yards (331 meters), so you only need 2-3 skeins to make a large baby blanket. Caring for your baby blanket will be a breeze because this yarn is machine washable and dryable, meaning you won’t have to follow an involving, special care routine to keep it in good shape. You can use Bernat Softee even if your baby is allergy prone because it is allergen-tested and found to be hypoallergenic.
One thing we didn’t like is that it had knots in various places, forcing us to be ultra-careful to hide the knots when working our pattern. This is certainly unenjoyable, yet later we realized that we’ve unraveled the skein incorrectly, thus creating said knots.
What we liked: The texture is soft and perfect for use on a baby. And the color is bright and attractive.
What could be better: It would make for a more pleasant knitting/crocheting experience if they made the skein in one continuous strand that is free of knots.
Soft and easy to work with, Lion Brand Yarn 920-218 Babysoft makes for excellent baby crochet yarn. And because it drapes perfectly, your baby blanket will hold its shape no matter how you twist and fold it or how often you wash it. It’s made from 60% acrylic and 40% polyamide, a durable blend that is easy to clean, machine-washable, and dryer friendly. To ensure that the blanket retains its shape, ensure that the initial water temperature does not exceed 105 °F (40°C) when putting it in the washing machine.
It measures 367 yards, so one ball will give you a decent-sized patch of knit work. The ball weighs 4 oz, with the yarn weight being #3 light, which is DK or light worsted weight and the perfect weight for blankets. The color combination is bright and bubbly, and includes a mix of pastel colors, namely blue, pink, yellow, purple, and green, which should yield a colorful and attractive baby blanket. There is also a solid color option which weighs 5 oz and measures 459 yards if you wish to make a unicolor blanket.
What we liked: The vibrant color combination; it’s colorful, playful, and eye-catching, just how a baby blanket should be.
What could be better: the labeled crotchet and hook sizes tend to be false for many users. Experienced knitters and crochetiers can guess what the ideal needle size may be going by projects they’ve undertaken before, but newbies will struggle.
Bernat Baby Blanket is a soft, chenille-style, 100% polyester yarn that is specially made for baby blankets. It can be used both for knitting and crocheting, and is recommended for use with 8 mm knitting needles (US 11) or a 6.5 mm hook (US K) for a gauge of 8 sts and 13 rows, and 8 sc and 8 rows respectively. Each ball weighs 10.5 oz (300g) and measures 220 yards (201 m). And because this is a chunky yarn, you’ll finish your blanket faster and use less yarn than you would if you opted for thinner yarn.
This yarn is made from color-fast, non-shedding fibers, and the same translates to the finished blanket. As such, you end up with a superior quality product that you can use in all seasons.
It feels super soft in your hands, which is exactly how the blanket feels once you’ve finished making it. And it is durable, so the baby will outgrow it and leave it in untattered. Plus, it doesn’t stretch or unravel, so it retains its shape over the years.
This Bernat baby yarn is easy to care for, and you can clean it in the washing machine and dry it in the dryer. Use the cool water setting to ensure that it preserves its quality.
It is Oeko-Tex certified, meaning it’s chemical-free and 100% safe for baby’s skin.
What we liked: Its soft texture, which is comfortable against the baby’s skin, and chunky thickness, which enables you to knit/crochet fast.
What could be better: There were a few knots, which forced us to find a way to hide them so they wouldn’t be conspicuous.
Lion Brand Yarn 550-158 Pound of Love Yarn is a #4 worsted yarn. Each skein weighs 16 oz (454g) and measures 1,020 yards (932 m), and is big enough to complete your baby blanket project and leave you with plenty of extra yarn. This yarn is versatile enough for both lightweight baby blankets and medium weight ones. You have to adjust your hook size or knitting needle size appropriately to get a lighter or heavier blanket. You can attain an even heavier blanket by using double strands instead of a single strand.
It’s made from 100% premium acrylic, which is easy to work with, and durable. It’s also easy to maintain, and you can wash it in the washing machine and dry it in the dryer. To preserve the yarn’s quality, use an initial water temperature of 40°C (105°F) or less when washing the blanket, do not use bleach, and in the dryer, use the hottest temperature setting. You shouldn’t iron it either, but this won’t be a problem because it holds its shape quite well and doesn’t shrink or crease.
We have to say that although this Lion Brand baby yarn is labeled as a #4 worsted weight yarn, it is actually smaller than regular worsted yarn. If you’ve been knitting for a while you’ll notice this difference. So be ready to adjust your pattern accordingly to attain the desired results.
What we liked: Its big size; one skein will take you through your project.
What could be better: They could increase the yarn thickness; it’s too small as it is.
The first thing we want to mention about Bernat Baby Sport BB Yarn is that it has great definition, which arguably makes it the best yarn for knitting baby blankets; the blanket will take shape beautifully and holds its shape regardless of how often you use and wash it. However, it’s not as soft as baby yarn should be, so you’ll want to make sure that your baby is covered with a soft fabric underneath the blanket. Otherwise, the scratchy stiffness will be uncomfortable for the baby.
It weighs 12.3 oz (350g), with a length of 1256 yards (1148 meters), and is light enough for 4 mm (US 6) knitting needles and 4 mm (US G/6) crochet hook, which gives you a gauge of 22 sts and 30 rows when knitting and 16 sc and 19 rows when crocheting.
This yarn is Oeko-Tex certified, has been tested for more than 300 harmful substances, and found to be safe for the baby’s skin. It has also been allergen-tested and found to be allergen-free, so it’s 100% safe for use against the baby’s skin.
You can wash it in the washing machine and dry it in the dryer.
What we liked: That it’s easy to work with and has excellent definition, meaning you can use it to stitch the most complex of patterns and they will come out great.
What could be better: It’s a little too scratchy for making baby products. While the result is perfect, the texture isn’t.
Red Heart Soft Baby Steps Yarn is a medium worsted yarn that is made from 100% acrylic. It’s quite soft for acrylic and is actually one of the better quality acrylic yarns on the market. It weighs 5 oz and measures 256 yards. The manufacturer recommends that you use it with 5 mm knitting needles and a 5.5 mm crochet hook. This yarn is a delight to work with, but it does not pull from the center, so don’t attempt to do so or you’ll end up with a tangled mess that you spend hours detangling. You can use it for any baby project, but for blankets, it produces warm, medium heavy creations.
This specific Red Heart baby hugs yarn comes in lavender and is no dye lot, so you’re assured of getting the exact same lavender shade if you buy the yarn at different times or from different sellers.
It cleans well, and you can wash it in the washing machine and put it in the tumble dryer. You can also dry clean it. However, do not use bleach on it or iron it as that could damage it.
What we liked: Its soft texture and versatility, and how easy it is to work with. We also like that it’s no dye lot, so all balls are the same shade.
What could be better: Our only gripe is that it tends to separate when pulling it through the hook.
JubileeYarn Baby Soft Bamboo Cotton Yarn is the best cotton yarn for a baby blanket that you can lay your hands on. It’s made from 50% cotton and 50% bamboo rayon, and with a weight category of #1 (super fine, baby weight, fingering), it is the softest baby yarn you can use to make a baby blanket. It comes in a pack of 4 skeins, with each skein weighing 1.7 oz and measuring 306 yards (280 meters). The manufacturer recommends that you use it with knitting needles sizes 1-3 US (2.25-3.25 mm) or crochet hook size C-2 (2.75 mm).
This is a superior quality product that has been carefully checked for quality and color consistency. As a result, it has no knots (which would be a big problem given how fine the yarn is) and the rich color is even throughout. It also doesn’t fray, split, or separate, and is therefore, easy to work with.
This is an all-natural product that is hypoallergenic and is safe to use on all babies, even those with sensitive skin.
You can wash it in the washing machine (warm water, gentle cycle) and tumble dry it on the delicate/gentle cycle. You may also dry it flat under shade. Do not use bleach or fabric softener on it. To further extend the life of the yarn/blanket, avoid wringing and do not iron.
What we liked: The soft texture and rich color, which make it perfect for knitting or crocheting a cozy baby blanket.
What could be better: The yarn tends to tangle at the last few yards and detangling such fine yarn is no mean feat.
Himalaya Dolphin Baby Yarn is a chenille-style yarn that is made from 100% micropolyester. One of the things that stood out for us was how strong yet soft the yarn is, a pointer to just how durable it is. We have no doubt that your baby will use the blanket you make from this yarn well into their childhood, so you better make a big one. Talking of big baby blankets, you’ll breeze through your stitches because the Himalaya Dolphin Baby yarn is thick and chunky. It is recommended that you use 6.5 mm knitting needles (US 10.5, UK 3) or crochet hook 4.5 mm (US 7) to attain a 10 x 10 cm gauge (10 sts x 14 rows, knitting).
It comes in 2 skeins, with each skein weighing 3.5 oz and measuring 132 yards (120 meters). The color selection is wide and apt (read bright and colorful) for baby wear.
It is Oeko-Tex certified, so it’s chemical-free, and classified under Oeko-Tex Class 1, meaning it’s safe for use on the baby’s skin.
You can hand-wash it at 30°C (86°F) or machine-wash it on the sensitive/wool cycle, with wool detergent and the water temperature under 30°C. To ensure that the yarn/blanket retains its shape and color, do not bleach and do not iron.
It comes with a 100% money-back guarantee.
What we liked: The soft texture and durability of the fibers.
What could be better: Compared to similar yarns, the balls are quite small.
If looking for luxurious baby yarn for knitting, you can’t go wrong with Sublime – Baby Cashmere Merino Silk DK Knitting Yarn. It’s made from 75% Merino wool, 25% silk, and 5% cashmere. Each ball weighs 50g, with a length of 126 yards. Granted, it’s not the largest ball of yarn, so you will need to buy several of them to attain your desired blanket size. The advantage is that the yarn (and the results it gives) is so soft and luxurious that you won’t remember this little inconvenience. It comes in DK worsted yarn, so you’ll be able to get a blanket of a decent weight. It’s a blend that gives sufficient warmth, and you can comfortably use it in all seasons.
The manufacturer recommends that you use it with US 6 knitting needles, where you’ll knit 22 sts by 28 rows to attain a 10 x 10 cm sq. It’s easy to work with and gives excellent results for both knitting and crocheting.
One of the disappointing things about this yarn is that it comes with a recommendation to machine wash on the gentle cycle, but putting it in the washing machine turns it into a felted mess. Just don’t do it. We like to think that the printed instructions were an error, and we hope the manufacturer can rectify it as soon as possible.
What we liked: Its luxurious, soft texture, perfect for babies.
What could be better: It’s not washing machine friendly, despite what the manufacturer says.
Caron Simply Soft Solids Yarn comes in a wide array of beautiful colors that are perfect for baby items. It is made from 100% acrylic and comes in 6-ounce (170g) balls. Each ball measures 315 yards (288 m) and will go a long way in advancing your knitting project. It is listed as #4 worsted yarn, so you’ll be able to make a medium heavy blanket out of it. However, it is thinner than comparable worsted yarn, so your end product will probably be smaller than you anticipated. You can avoid this by casting on a higher number of stitches. Make a swatch beforehand so you can know the correct number or stitches to use. It is recommended that you use 5 mm knitting needles (US 8) and crochet hook (US H/8) with the yarn, where you’ll need to knit 18 stitches and 24 rows or crochet 13 sc and 14 rows to attain the gauge. If using needles or a hook of a different size, adjust your stitches as needed to attain the gauge. Although this yarn is soft, it stretches quite a bit and so it doesn’t retain its shape well. Taking care of this yarn is easy since you can machine-wash and machine-dry it.
What we liked: Its soft texture and the rainbow of beautiful colors it comes in.
What could be better: It doesn’t retain its shape well, and requires careful washing.
Things to Consider
When knitting or crocheting a baby blanket, the quality of the finished product depends, to a large extent, on the quality of yarn used. When you know how to choose your yarn, you’re half-way along on the way to creating the perfect blanket. If you’re wondering how you can sieve through the many yarns on the market, worry not; we show you the exact qualities to look for in the buying guide below. But first:
Why you need special yarn for baby blankets
The blanket needs to be soft against the baby’s skin, so the yarn should be soft and smooth. If it’s rough and crinkly, it will be uncomfortable, and you’ll notice this by how the baby behaves, which means they will be fussier than you would want them to be.
It also needs to be allergen-free. The last thing you want to have your baby nestled against is an allergy-triggering material. It will not only make the baby uncomfortable, but it could also cause a set off allergy flare-up that could send you to the ER.
Baby blankets should be easy to clean and maintain. It’s best if you choose yarn that is washing machine friendly, as this will be very easy to wash. Some yarns are also dryer friendly, so choose these if you can; they’ll save you time and energy.
In addition, it’s easy to get rid of stains that stick on the yarn, which is always a good thing in a fiber, given that stains are inescapable when dealing with babies.
Baby blanket yarns are durable and wear well, even with regular use and frequent washing. This is an important quality to look for when choosing yarn for baby blankets, but if you buy yarn that is specifically made for baby blankets, you’ll have nothing to worry about.
How to knit baby blanket
The first thing you have to do is choose a pattern. This will be determined by the type of stitch or stitches you choose. If you’ve never made a baby blanket before, watch this video to learn a simple yet beautiful stitch that you can use to make a baby blanket:
Some key things to bear in mind:
Decide the size of blanket you wish to make. You can make a small baby blanket that’s only big enough to lightly cover the baby. Or you can make a medium-sized one that gives sufficient coverage. Or you can make a large one that is luxurious and can go around the baby one or two times.
Make a small swatch with your chosen pattern, made using the knitting needles you will use to make the blanket. Doing this allows you to gauge how many stitches it takes to make the sample size using the specific needle/hook size you’re using, and with this, you can estimate how many stitches you should cast on. It also helps you approximate how much yarn you need for the project, so you can plan for it appropriately and order enough balls or skeins.
How to prolong your DIY blanket’s life
Always follow the care instructions given for each specific yarn. Natural and synthetic fibers require different care routines, so stick with the care routine for each fiber. This will often mean washing your natural and synthetic blankets separately, and if you’re washing 2 blankets made from 2 different yarns or yarn blends, for example, then you must wash each separately.
Manufacturers often specify the recommended detergents to use with each yarn, so follow this. They also tell you whether you should hand-wash the yarn or machine wash it. Similarly, stick to the recommended method of washing. For most natural fiber yarns, it is recommended that you hand-wash them, but some fibers like cotton are safe to clean in the washing machine. Yarns made from synthetic fibers like acrylic and polyester can generally be machine washed, and you can also hand-wash them.
When cleaning your blankets in the washing machine, use the gentle cycle and just enough detergent – not too much.
Handle your blanket gently and with care. Do not rub it roughly when washing, and do not wring it. Instead, squeeze it between your hands to remove excess water.
Lay the blanket flat on a garment (such as a towel or other suitable garment) and allow it to air-dry away from direct sunlight. Allow up to 24 hours or more for it to dry completely. Some yarns (mostly synthetic ones) can be put in the tumble dryer, so check if this is an option you can use.
Do not hang your blanket (on a hanger or otherwise) as this will cause it to stretch and lose shape. Instead, store them folded in a storage box or shelf.
Features to consider while buying the best baby blanket yarn
Here now are the specific features to consider when choosing baby blanket yarn.
Yarn prices are determined by the type of fiber used to make the yarn, the length of the yarn, and the weight, among other things. When buying yarn, a larger ball or skein will be more economical than buying several smaller balls. Bear in mind that natural fiber yarns, such as those made from wool, silk, bamboo, hemp, and cotton are more expensive than synthetic fibers like polyester, acrylic, and rayon. And with the quality of the yarn determining whether the yarn is luxurious or basic, prices can vary great between luxury yarns and regular yarns.
The softness of the yarn, alluding to how it feels in your hands and how creamy and smooth it is, often dictates what projects you can use it for. Soft, delicate, ornate yarns are best used for simple stitches and patterns, while yarns with a bit of grit are great for complex stitches, patterns, and shapes. Attempting a complex pattern or shape using very soft yarn may not give you the results you want, whereas a less delicate yarn will produce the exact results you want for that pattern.
Yarn is broadly categorized into natural and synthetic varieties. Natural fiber yarn, while popular, presents some unique challenges in that, in most cases, it calls for special care. Synthetic fiber yarn, on the other, is easier to care for, but it is not as soft as natural yarn.
Wool – One of the most popular natural fiber varieties, it is loved for its warmth and durability. It’s divided into numerous subtypes, some softer than others and others allergen-free. For people who are allergic to wool, regular wool and mohair cause itchiness, and this can be unbearable for babies. If you suspect that your baby might be allergic to wool, or simply to be on the safe side, opt for cashmere, Merino, or Alpaca wool instead, like Sublime – Baby Cashmere Merino Silk DK Knitting Yarn.
Cotton – Durable and easy to work with, cotton is another favorite for different knitting projects. However, it tends to lose shape with continued use and is therefore not a top option for baby blankets.
Silk – Extremely soft and strong, silk is easy to work with and makes some luxurious baby blankets. But it’s also slippery, so you have to be keen when using it. You can also opt for silk blends, which are less slippery and just as soft.
Bamboo – Another popular natural variety, bamboo can be as soft, even softer, than silk when processed into yarn. It’s easy to work with and drapes well, so it will hold its shape when made into a blanket. JubileeYarn Baby Soft Bamboo Cotton Yarn is a great example of such yarn
Polyester – It’s warm, easy to work with, and wears well, making it a great choice for frequently used and washed items. We recommend Bernat Baby Blanket yarn for such projects.
We also have wool, silk, and cotton blends, which can be blended with other natural fibers or blended with synthetic fibers, combining the best qualities of the fibers used in the blend. As a result, blends are often very easy to work with and produce good quality products, like Lion Brand Yarn 920-218 Babysoft.
Count the length
The length of the yarn is measured in yards. The longer the yarn, the bigger the projects you can undertake. It helps to know what the yarn length is before buying any yarn, because this allows you to know how much yarn you should buy for each project. If making a large baby blanket, choose a yarn that is long enough to cover a good chunk of the project.
Yarn manufacturers produce yarns in a wide range of solid colors, and just as many ombres, multi-color, and variegated yarns. It’s easy to pick the color when the yarn is made in a solid color, but it gets trickier when choosing variegated yarn because you cannot tell where the color changes occur and how your finished product will look. If possible, look at pictures of what any finished item made using the yarn looks like to determine if it’s a look you’d want for your blanket. Most manufacturers have pictures showing this.
One more thing: if you suspect you’ll need several skeins of yarn for your baby blanket, buy them all at once so that you’re ordering from the same lot. Sometimes, the color can vary slightly, even when you’re buying the same brand of yarn. And while it may not look like it is drastically different, the difference shows in the finished product. It’s best to note the dye lot so you can request for yarn from the same lot if you buy additional yarn later.
The thickness of the yarn is determined by the thickness of the individual strands making up the yarn, and not the ply number. The ply number indicates the number of strands that have been twisted together to create the string that is the yarn and is measured in wraps per inch; the lower the ply number, the finer the yarn is. The Standard Yarn Weight System ranges from 1-7 in the US, and from 1-14 internationally. If the strands of the yarn are thin, the yarn will be thin, even if it 6 or more strands have been spun and twisted together to make the yarn. By contrast, if the individual strands of the yarn are thick, the resulting ball or skein will be thick, even if only 2 strings (2 ply) have been twisted together. Overall, heavier yarns produce the best blankets.
It’s best to use allergen-free yarn when making a baby blanket. Many of the natural and synthetic fibers used to make baby blanket yarn are free of allergens, with the exception of some types of wool, notably mohair and regular wool. Since chemicals are used to process synthetic fibers, it’s possible that some of them could cause allergies. To be on the safe side, always confirm that the yarn is hypoallergenic. For example, Bernat Softee Baby Yarn has been tested for allergens, so when you’re buying it, you know it won’t have any negative effects on the baby.
Pay close attention to the washing instructions on the wrapper when buying yarn. They tell you whether you can machine wash the yarn or you can only hand-wash it. They also tell you whether the yarn is tumble dryer-friendly or not, and if it’s not, they tell you how to dry it after washing. The washing instructions also list any other special care and maintenance steps you need to follow when handling the yarn and the resulting product. Following these instructions to the letter will preserve and often extend the life of your blanket.
For a light baby blanket, use fine yarn, denoted as #2 in the US and 5 ply in the UK, Australia, and New Zealand yarn weight charts. It’s also referred to as sport and baby weight, and is lighter than the average yarn you’ll come across. Light worsted DK yarn, which is #3 in the US and 8 ply in Australia and New Zealand, is also a good option. It’s thicker than fine yarn but still light enough for baby products.
This will depend on a few things, including the size of blanket you’re making, the length of the yarn, and the thickness of the yarn. If you’re making a small blanket, even one skein is enough. For bigger blankets you may need 2 or more skeins. Again, the number of balls of yarns you need will depend on the length of each ball. If the ball has high yardage, you’ll use fewer balls than and vice versa for balls with low yardage. Lastly, if you’re using chunky yarn, it will take less yarn to finish the blanket. If using thin/fine yarn, you’ll end up using more balls.
You can never go wrong with wool for baby blankets. It stays warm in all kinds of weather and is durable. It can also be electronically or chemically treated to remove the outer fuzzy layer and make it washable, making it super easy to clean. You can choose from two types of wool to choose from: regular wool, which can be itchy for some people, and organic wool, which is sourced from sheep that have not been exposed to any type of chemicals, non-itchy and perfect for those who are sensitive to wool. Other types of wool that do not cause allergic reactions, and which are therefore a good choice for sensitive people, are Merino wool, cashmere, and Alpaca wool.
Our Editor’s Choice, Bernat Softee Baby Yarn, takes the top position for its soft, smooth texture and medium worsted weight. We like that it’s allergen-free, which means you can use it to make a baby blanket and gift it to anyone. We also like that you can machine-wash it and put it in the dryer.
In second position is Lion Brand Yarn 920-218 Babysoft, which stands out for its soft pastel colors and soft texture. We like how it’s easy to work with and how well it drapes. Other notable characteristics are that it is machine washable and dryer friendly.
Third on our list of best baby blanket yarn is Red Heart Soft Baby Steps Yarn, most notable for its soft texture. We like how versatile and easy to work with it is. We also like that it is no dye lot, easy to clean, and you can either dry clean it or wash it in the washing machine.