The Complete Guide To Baby Blanket Yarn – The Best Yarns For Knitting A Baby Blanket – Softest, Snuggliest Materials For Little Ones

Babies just look so darn cute wrapped up in a blanket!

The parents will so appreciate a hand-knitted baby blanket made with soft cuddly yarn. Plus the baby will be nice and snug. In this post, we share the Best Baby Blanket yarn, making sure it is the softest and snuggest.

In a hurry? The best baby blanket yarn for most people is Bernat Baby Blanket Big Ball.

At A Glance: Our Recommendations For The Best Baby Blanket Yarn

Note: Clicking the above links will take you to further information, current prices and customer reviews on Amazon and Knit Picks.

Something we forgot? Leave a question or comment at the end.

When Only Soft And Squooshy Yarn Will Do

When knitting what will be a treasured item, you want the best yarn for the job.

These are all the qualities you would be looking for, in baby blanket yarn – Soft, cuddly, lightweight, functional.

Sometimes you might be wanting to create something beautiful, a keepsake.

Most of the time, you’d like the blanket to keep a baby comfortable and snug.

That means that you have to consider what babies do to their blankets!

There are bound to be occasional diaper disasters, leakages, drooling, etc. Ah, the joys of babyhood!

The best baby blanket yarn can handle being washed many times.

Table of Contents

“Knitters use knitting to value-add to the world.”
– Stephanie Pearl-McPhee

Things To Consider In The Best Baby Blanket Yarn

Soft Cotton Yarn @blueskyalpaca on @Fuzzy_Goat
Soft Cotton Yarn by @blueskyalpaca on @Fuzzy_Goat Follow for more fiber goodness

Is The Yarn Washable?

As much as parents want to look after the beautiful hand knitted baby blanket you’ve given them, they probably won’t have the time or energy for handwashing.

The best yarn for baby blankets must be machine washable. The blanket won’t be washed just once but many times.

While superwash wool is machine washable, you still need to be careful.

Choose a yarn that can not only be machine washed (and ideally tumble dried) but can withstand at least a 40°C normal wash. Cotton yarns, some linens, commercial sock yarns, and other superwash wool blends are a good choice for this reason.

If you’ve done some testing with your swatch in warmer machine washing settings and it came out fine, tell the parents. Knowing this will give the parents peace of mind to know they won’t ruin your hard work.

The issue with hot washing is some animal fibers can felt, and all the beautiful stitch work disappears! Man-made fibers can become scratchy and floppier if exposed to high temperatures.

Knitters have found acrylic and cotton yarns come out well when washed many times.

Some acrylic yarn can become softer when a little fabric softener is added when washing it.

Acrylic yarns can be scratchy to work with, so it is best to knit up a swatch, wash it with the fabric softener and check the results.

If you go cotton, get a blend. Some only cotton yarns can be very stiff and your hands will tire much faster while knitting with them.

What Yarn Will The Parents Like?

As babies don’t get a say in the decor of their nursery or the clothes they wear, the baby blanket you knit will need to appeal to the parents.

Colorwise, most parents have their choice of colors for the nursery chosen well in advance. Take notice of their chat about color choice and then incorporate those baby blanket yarn colors.

If they haven’t hinted it already, straight up ask them which they prefer. It will prevent anything awkward.

An option to include different colors that work well together is to choose variegated baby yarn. Clever yarn dyers have already decided which colors work best in a variegated baby yarn.

If you already know the parents find wool uncomfortable, opt for cotton/acrylic blends or acrylic.

How Much Are You Willing To Spend?

There are many gorgeous baby blanket yarns, such as alpaca or bamboo yarns that are super soft but can be expensive. Acrylic yarns or non-wool yarns such as cotton tend to be a little more affordable.

Baby blankets are often well used during the first year, but after that, they might not be used anymore.

Chevron Knitted Baby Blanket @KellyKatKnits
Chevron Knitted Baby Blanket. Follow @KellyKatKnits for more gorgeous knits

Is The Baby Sensitive To Wool?

It’s essential to check with the parents to see if they have any sensitivities to wool. More often than not, if they do, so will the baby.

Cotton/bamboo or cotton/acrylic blends are highly recommended by knitters. These yarns are washable, stain resistant, soft and allergen-free. They’re also lovely to knit with.

Remember Babies Always Put Things In Their Mouth

Babies explore their environment through their mouth. Whatever they can grab, goes to directly to the mouth to be sucked or licked.

You should avoid novelty yarns as a choice for baby blanket yarn, as they are fluffy and shed. A parent will be none too happy if they see their child choking on a yarn furball!

What Season Will The Baby Arrive?

Babies are not able to regulate their body temperatures very well. They are notorious for wriggling out of swaddling and kicking off covers. Choose a baby blanket yarn that suits the season.

Match the weight of yarn to the size of the blanket. If the blanket is too big, it will be folded in half or worse quartered. This means the blanket would be more like 2 or 4 blankets.

If the baby is due in the warmer months, have a knitted lightweight blanket made in a cotton blend.

For a baby born in the colder months (who is not sensitive to wool), a knitted blanket made from superwash wool such as merino would be ideal.

What Type Of Yarn Is Best For Baby Blankets?

As there are many types of yarn available out there, it can be hard to know which yarn to choose. To answer that, we searched high and low for the best recommendations.

Turns out, Knitters recommend Acrylic or Cotton Blends for their softness and machine washability. These types come in a variety of colors and are relatively inexpensive.

A great tool to stop your yarn from moving all over the place when knitting up your baby blanket is a yarn bowl.

How much yarn do I need for a baby blanket pattern?

Generally, 2 balls of chunky yarn, such as Bernat Baby Blanket Yarn 10.5oz is enough to knit a good size baby blanket. When knitting with a medium yarn such as Lion Brand 24/7 Cotton yarn, 9 balls would make a good size blanket.

Knitted Baby Blanket @CrystalTeaKnits
Knitted Baby Blanket @CrystalTeaKnits Follow her for more lovely ideas

Yarn That Knitters Swear By For Baby Blankets

As knitters we are often asked “What is the softest yarn to make a baby blanket?”

The following recommendations are all soft. The softest would be Bernat Baby Blanket Big Ball.

The yarns below are highly recommended by knitters. They are listed in what material the yarn is made from.

Acrylic

Bernat Softee Baby – 100% acrylic, soft to touch and machine washable. Machine Dry. There is range of lovely pastel colors and marl options.

Bernat Softee Baby Yarn, 5 oz, White, 1 Ball

Brand: Bernat
Product Line: Softee Baby
Yarn Weight: Light (3)
Material: 100% acrylic
Care: Machine Wash
Skein Weight: 5 oz. / 140 g
Yardage: 362 yd. / 331 m
Knitting Gauge: 22 sts – 30 rows = 4″ (10 cm)
Crochet Gauge: 16 sc – 19 rows = 4″ (10 cm)
Suggested Knitting Needle: 4.00 mm, US – 6
Suggested Crochet Hook: 4.00 mm, US – G/6

Click to Learn More / Buy from Amazon

Bernat Baby Blanket Big Ball – 100% Polyester, luxurious, soft, chenille-style yarn. The 10.5oz/220yards ball means you can make a decent size chunky baby blanket very quickly. Babies love the soft texture of this yarn!

Bernat Baby yarns are Oeko-tex certified and proven to be safe for your baby’s sensitive skin. Learn more here.
How many balls of Bernat yarn do you need for a baby blanket?
– For most baby blankets you will need 2 balls of Bernat Blanket Yarn 10.5 oz. This will make a blanket approx 34″ [86.5 cm] wide x 36″ [91.5 cm] long.

Bernat Baby Blanket Big Ball

Brand: Bernat
Product Line: Baby Blanket Big Ball
Yarn Weight: Super Bulky (6)
Material: 100% Polyester
Skein Weight: 10.5 oz. / 300 g
Yardage: 220 yd. / 201m
Knitting Gauge: 8 sts – 13 rows = 4″ (10 cm)
Crochet Gauge: 8 sc – 8 rows = 4″ (10 cm)
Suggested Knitting Needle: 8.00 mm, US 11
Suggested Crochet Hook: 8.00 mm, US L/11

Click to Learn More / Buy from Amazon

Lion Brand Babysoft comes in two different yarn weights, sport weight or light worsted yarn. Plenty of pastel colors to choose from and as you’d expect, it feels soft to the touch. Made from 60-Percent Acrylic, 40-Percent Polyamide materials. Machine Washable.

Lion Brand Baby Soft

Brand: Lion Brand Yarns
Product Line: Babysoft
Yarn Weight: Light (3)
Materials: 60% Acrylic, 40% Nylon
Skein Weight: 5 oz. / 140 g
Yardage: 459 yd. / 420 m
Knitting Gauge: 22 sts – 30 rows = 4″ (10 cm)
Crochet Gauge: 16 sc – 20 rows = 4″ (10 cm)
Suggested Knitting Needle: 4 mm, US – 6
Suggested Crochet Hook: 4 mm, US – G/6

Click to Learn More / Buy from Amazon

Lion Brand Vanna’s Choice – has a wonderful variety of brighter trendier colors. It isn’t quite as soft as some of the other baby yarns, but among 100% acrylic yarns it’s pretty good. Machine washable and dryable.

Lion Brand Vanna's Choice

Brand: Lion Brand Yarns
Product Line: Vanna’s Choice
Yarn Weight: Medium (4)
Materials: 100% acrylic
Skein Weight: 3.5 oz. / 100 g
Yardage: 170 yd. / 156 m
Care: Machine Wash and Tumble Dry
Knitting Gauge: 16 sts – 22 rows = 4″ (10 cm)
Crochet Gauge: 12 sc – 15 rows = 4″ (10 cm)
Suggested Knitting Needle: 5.5 mm, US – 9
Suggested Crochet Hook: 6 mm, US – J/10

Click to Learn More / Buy from Amazon

Universal Yarn Bella Chenille is super soft and snuggly. This yarn falls somewhere between worsted weight and bulky. Using bulky yarn means the baby blanket will knit up quickly. This yarn is machine washable but not dryable.

Universal Yarn Bella Chenille

Brand: Universal Yarn
Product Line: Bella Chenille
Yarn Weight: Super Bulky (6)
Material: 100% Polyester
Skein Weight: 100gm
Yardage: 131 yd.
Care: Machine wash. Do not tumble dry.
Knitting Gauge: 10 sts – 14 rows = 4″ (10cm)
Crochet Gauge: 9 sc – 9 rows = 4″ (10cm)
Suggested Knitting Needle: US Size 10.5 (6.5 mm)
Suggested Crochet Hook: (8 mm) US – L-11

Click to Learn More / Buy from Amazon

Lion Brand Yarn Jiffy Thick and Quick Yarn– Using a soft, bulky weight yarn like this will cut down on time taken to knit. It’ll make for an extra cuddly blanket.

Lion Brand Yarn Jiffy Thick and Quick Yarn

Brand: Lion Brand Yarns
Product Line: Jiffy Thick and Quick Yarn
Yarn Weight: Super Bulky (6)
Material: 100% Acrylic
Skein Weight: 5 oz / 140gm
Yardage: 84 yd / 76m
Care: Machine wash. Machine dry.
Knitting Gauge: 8 sts x 10 rows = 4″ (10cm)
Crochet Gauge: 6 sc x 6 rows = 4″ (10cm)
Suggested Knitting Needle: US Size 17 (12mm)
Suggested Crochet Hook: (10mm) US P-15

Click to Learn More / Buy from Amazon

Caron Simply Soft – 100% acrylic and comes in a large range of fun colors with sheen. Soft to touch. Gentle machine wash and gentle dry.

Caron Simply Soft

Brand: Caron
Product Line: Simply Soft
Yarn Weight: Medium (4)
Material: 100% Acrylic
Skein Weight: 6 oz / 170 g
Yardage: 315 yds / 288 m
Care: Machine wash delicate cycle. Machine dry delicate cycle
Knitting Gauge: 18 sts and 24 rows = 4″ (10cm)
Crochet Gauge: 13 sc and 14 rows = 4″ (10cm)
Suggested Knitting Needle: 5 mm (U.S. 8)
Suggested Crochet Hook: 5 mm (U.S. H/8)

Click to Learn More / Buy from Amazon

Knit Picks Brava – 100% acrylic that comes in a broad range of bright colors. Soft and easy to work with. Machine Washable and Dryable on low. Make sure you check the dye lots on your yarn to make sure it all matches!

Brand: Knit Picks
Product Line: Brava
Yarn Weight: Medium (4)
Material: 100% Premium Acrylic
Skein Weight: 100gm
Yardage: 218 yd.
Care: Machine Washable/Tumble Dry Low
Knitting Gauge: 4.5 – 5 sts = 1″
Crochet Gauge: 11–14 sc = 4″
Suggested Knitting Needle: US 7 – 8 needles (4.5mm-5mm)
Suggested Crochet Hook: I – K hooks (5.5 mm-6.5 mm)

Click To Learn More / Buy From Knit Picks

Silk/Bamboo Blend

Patons Silk Bamboo – Soft to the touch with the beautiful Silk/Bamboo blend, 70% Bamboo and 30% Silk in a range of colors.

Patons Silk Bamboo Yarn, 2.2 oz, Sea

Brand: Patons
Product Line: Silk Bamboo Yarn
Yarn Weight: Light (3)
Material: 70% bamboo, 30% silk
Skein Weight: 2.2 ounces / 65 grams,
Yardage: 102 yards / 93 meters
Care: Handwash, dry flat.
Knitting Gauge: 22 stitches by 26 rows = 4×4 Inch
Suggested Knitting Needle: Size 6 (4mm) needles
Suggested Crochet Hook: Size G-6 (4mm) hooks

Click to Learn More / Buy from Amazon

It has a pretty sheen, and it’s is lovely to knit with and makes a beautiful fabric. A little more expensive than an acrylic yarn but when it’s for the special baby in your life, it’s so worth it.

This yarn is best to hand wash and lay it out flat to dry away from sunlight. This means a little more laundry care, to keep the knitted blanket in good condition and to make it last.

As the yarn is four-ply and it’s a slippery yarn, take your time when knitting as the yarn could split into the separate strands.

Bamboo, Wood or Plastic needles are recommended to use with this yarn, as they have a little more tooth and makes a slippery yarn easier to knit.

Cotton

Lion Brand Yarn 24-7 Cotton Yarn – This 100% cotton is smooth and soft to the touch. It is lovely to knit with, no stiffness at all. Machine washable and dryable.

Lion Brand Yarn 761-157 24-7 Cotton Yarn, Lemon

Brand: Lion Brand Yarns
Product Line: 24/7 Cotton
Weight: Medium (4)
Material: 100% Mercerized Cotton
Skein Weight: 3.5 oz. / 100 g
Yardage: 186 yd. / 170 m
Care: Machine Wash and Dry
Knitting Gauge: 20 sts – 28 rows = 4″ (10 cm)
Crochet Gauge: 14 sc – 19 rows = 4″ (10 cm)
Suggested Knitting Needle: 4 mm, US – 6
Suggested Crochet Hook: 4 mm, US – G/6

Click to Learn More / Buy from Amazon

Bernat Baby Blanket Yarn such as Bernat Handicrafter – 100% Cotton, smooth and soft. Easy to work with. Machine Washable and Dryable.

Bernat Handicrafter Cotton Solids Yarn, 1.75 oz, Gauge 4 Medium, 100% Cotton, Off White

Brand: Bernat
Product Line: Handicrafter Cotton
Weight: Medium (4)
Contents: 100% cotton
Skein Weight: 14 oz. / 400 g
Yardage: 674 yd. / 616 m
Care: Wash and Machine Dry
Knitting Gauge: 20 sts – 26 rows = 4″ (10 cm)
Crochet Gauge: 13 sc – 14 rows = 4″ (10 cm)
Suggested Knitting Needle: 4.5 mm, US – 7
Suggested Crochet Hook: 5 mm, US – H/8

Click to Learn More / Buy from Amazon

Organic Cotton

Knit Picks Simply Cotton Organic Worsted Yarn – No dyes or bleach are used to process the yarn. It’s super soft, comfortable to work with and is 100% organic cotton yarn. Lovely and soft. Machine washable. Dry on low setting in the dryer.

Brand: Knit Picks
Product Line: Simply Cotton Organic Worsted Yarn
Weight: Worsted Weight
Material: 100% organic cotton
Skein Weight: 100gms
Yardage: 164 yd.
Care: Machine Washable/Tumble Dry Low
Knitting Gauge: 4.5 sts = 1″
Crochet Gauge: 11–14 sc = 4″
Suggested Knitting Needle: US 6 – 9 needles (4.0mm-5.5mm)
Suggested Crochet Hook: I – K hooks (5.5 mm-6.5 mm)

Click To Learn More / Buy From Knit Picks

Cotton/Acrylic Blend

Knit Picks Comfy Fingering Yarn – 75% Pima Cotton and 25% Acrylic. A lightweight yarn with plenty of colors to choose from. Machine washable. Dry on low setting in the dryer.

Brand: Knit Picks
Product Line: Comfy Fingering Yarn
Weight: Fingering Weight
Material: 75% Pima Cotton, 25% Acrylic
Skein Weight: 50g
Yardage: 218 yd.
Care: Machine Wash Gentle/Tumble Dry Low
Knitting Gauge: 7 – 8 sts = 1″
Crochet Gauge: 21 – 32 sc = 4″
Suggested Knitting Needle: US 1-3 needles (2.25mm – 3.25mm)
Suggested Crochet Hook: B – E hooks (2.25mm-3.5mm)

Click To Learn More / Buy From Knit Picks

There you go, plenty of yarn suggestions to start knitting a baby blanket.

Enjoy knitting for the special baby in your life a hand knitted treasure.

Something we forgot? Leave a question or comment at the end.

Now It’s Your Turn…

I’d like to hear what you have to say. What did you think about today’s guide?

Or maybe you have a question. Either way let me know by leaving a comment below right now or send me a message on Twitter.

You can also contact me here.

About Jodie - Editor Knit Like Granny

Hi. I’m Jodie Morgan, owner and creator of Knit Like Granny. (Yes, I’m a real person :) ) Thanks for being here. I am an Australian, currently living in Romania with my family. I love knitting and have met so many other fabulous knitters through this site. I love learning and helping others discover the joys of working with yarn. Please say hello!

12 thoughts on “The Complete Guide To Baby Blanket Yarn – The Best Yarns For Knitting A Baby Blanket – Softest, Snuggliest Materials For Little Ones”

  1. Baby blankets are amazing because you can knit them in a variety of colors. Thank you so much sharing these handy tips. Looking forward to knitting my first grandchild’s baby blanket.

    • Sounds great Katherine 🙂
      Congratulations on your first 🙂
      Please post a photo on our facebook page when you are done.
      I would love to see it!

    • Hi Heidi 🙂 Thanks for the message.

      It’s best to hand wash Patons Silk Bamboo yarn.

      Not as convenient but your creations will last much longer with hand washing.

      Would love to see your finished blanket 🙂

      Thanks again and we’ve updated our post to let people know this yarn is best to hand wash.

  2. Hi … I live in Sydney and I’m looking to buy cotton yarn for a new born baby’s blanket …
    1) what type of cotton yarn should I buy that’s machine washable, easy to maintain and soft on the baby ?
    2) where will I find it here? Any shops that you know of pls ?

    Thanks a ton . Your blog was very helpful

    Thanks
    Zainab

    • Hi Zainab. Thanks for getting in touch and for your kind words.

      So glad you’ve found the information here helpful.

      Try googling ‘local yarn store’ to see what stores come up near you.

      Spotlight and Lincraft are the larger stores that would have cotton yarns available.

      Buying online would also be an option.

      Try Knitpicks.com They have a Simply Cotton Organic Worsted Yarn that is not dyed or bleached and is machine washable.

      Cheers Jodie 🙂

    • Great to hear Edith!

      Be sure to send us a pic so we can share your creation with our readers.

      What yarn did you end up choosing?

      Cheers Jodie

  3. Hi just discovered your article and it is very good. I’m using Lion Brand Baby Steps, making a blanket. Can you put in the dryer and wash machine? Thanks as still want it to look nice when they wash it.

    • Hi Pat. That’s great you found my information helpful. I checked what Lion Brand recommend.

      They say that it is okay to machine wash and use a dryer.

      Be sure to tell your family member that the first wash shouldn’t be hotter than 30 degrees centigrade or 65-85F.

      And to have the dryer on a medium heat setting.

      All the best with your knitting and I’d love to share a pic with our readers when you finish.

      Be sure to get back in touch here – https://knitlikegranny.com/contact/ Cheers Jodie

  4. Thank you so much for taking the time to post this treasure chest of information. I’m going to knit my first blanket for my first grandchild and didn’t know where to start…which pattern, which yarn, etc. Such a big commitment and I would like to get it right the first time. Thanks again!

    • Hello Debbie.
      Congratulations on your first grandchild! How special.
      What a lovely start to my day, seeing your comment 🙂
      It’s so nice to hear someone has found my research helpful.
      I would love to follow along while you are making this blanket.
      Please let me know how it’s going.
      I’d love to share a photo of your finished blanket with our readers, please get in touch with me here.
      Also if you have any questions, just let me know.
      Thanks again
      Jodie

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