This is a review of swaddling and receiving blankets. To see our review of swaddlers and sleep sacks, click here.
Our focus groups with moms revealed six primary brands who make soft, flexible, and durable swaddling and receiving blankets. These include Aden + Anais, Swaddle Designs, Margaux & May, and Wee Sprouts. Here are how the 2017 ratings and reviews stacked up:
#1. Swaddle Designs Muslin Swaddle Blankets.
This was really a toss-up with our #2 Aden + Anais blankets, which appeared at the top of this list last year. This year, we welcome the addition of these breathable, lightweight, soft, and comfortable swaddling blankets to the top of our list! The Swaddle Designs company has been making high-quality baby essentials, including swaddling blankets and sleep sacks, for nearly two decades. As a small, female-owned U.S. business, they take tremendous pride in their products and customers, and it shows in their consistent quality, reliability, and responsiveness to consumers. The Swaddle Designs muslin swaddle blankets measure 46" x 46" which we believe is the perfect size, right in between the smaller and larger versions of the Aden + Anais product. The muslin cotton is soft and pliable out of the box; after three washings, it became even softer and felt like one of our kids' favorite lovies! We found the blanket excellent for not only swaddling, but also draped over the shoulder for privacy during breast-feeding, and draped over the stroller to filter the elements. Another great feature is that there are swaddling instructions sewn right into the seam, which is very convenient for new moms. Also if you scan the QR code next to the instructions, it will take you to their Swaddle Club, which is super informative for learning about swaddling, instructional videos, and helpful sleep hints. Subtle and adorable designs here, including polka dots, nighttime stars, planets, and moons, and zig-zags. The ones we tested had very gender-neutral colors, which makes it an excellent baby shower gift when mom-to-be hasn't yet revealed the gender; though we do point out that they are available in more gender-specific colors. Usually right around the $30 price point for a package of 4 blankets. Overall, highly recommended!
Here are a variety of colors and patterns: Swaddle Designs Muslin Swaddle Blankets
#2. Aden + Anais Muslin Swaddle Blankets.
The Aden + Anais swaddle blankets come in two primary sizes, 44" x 44" and the larger "classic" 47" x 47" version. Most people prefer the larger size, so be sure that you're ordering the right ones; also, the word on the street is that the smaller ones are slightly thinner than the larger ones. In general, the Aden + Anais blankets receive fantastic reviews; they are warm yet lightweight, breathable, 100% cotton, and get softer with multiple washes. Moms report that they aren't the cutest blankets on the market (the designs are very subtle), but they do the best job swaddling, and are great for other uses as well (covering the car seat, breastfeeding cover, tummy time blanket, etc). The fabric is soft and has a tiny bit of stretch to it. In our testing, these blankets held up fantastic to repeated washings, without any apparent loss of quality. In fact, we found that they got consistently softer as you washed them more, which is a hallmark of the muslin cotton blankets. Overall, highly recommended!
These are the thinner and less expensive 44" x 44" ones: Aden + Anais Muslin Swaddle Blankets
These are the nicer and pricier 47" x 47" ones: Aden + Anais Classic Muslin Swaddle Blanket
#3. WeeSprout Organic Muslin Swaddle Blankets.
The WeeSprout are very similar to the Aden + Anais blankets, but they are made with 100% organic cotton, using a breathable, comfortable, soft, and flexible Muslin weave pattern. The great thing about Muslin cotton is that it actually gets softer as you wash it, rather than other fabrics and weave patterns that will get stiff, thin, and scratchy. Like all the swaddling blankets on this list, these can be used as an awesome 47" x 47" swaddling blanket, or as a nursing cover-up, play mat, burp cloth, stroller cover, tummy time blanket, and more! Another thing to note is that these WeeSprout blankets come in a nice looking box, so they can double as a great baby shower gift! The only downfall we found was that there are only a limited number of styles, so if you're not into rubber duckies or cute little frogs, then you're outta luck!
Here are the 47" x 47" blankets: WeeSprout Muslin Organic Swaddling Blankets
#4. Margaux & May Organic Muslin Swaddle Blankets.
This was a toss-up between the #2 and #3 spots, and in both cases you're getting a super soft, super durable and comfortable swaddling blanket. They're both organic as well, so you don't need to worry about any harmful dyes, chemicals, or pesticides. In fact, they're also the same size (47" x 47"), both come in a cute box that makes for a great gift presentation, and we couldn't really tell them apart in terms of hand-feel. Both were breathable, soft, and flexible. And like the others, the more times through the washing machine, the softer it gets. There were only a couple small differences we could find between these and the WeeSprout. First, these were a tiny bit thicker, and second, these come in a few more patterns than the WeeSprout. The tie-breaker was really just those darn rubber duckies were so adorable we had to go with them!
Here are the Margaux & May Blankets: Margaux & May Organic Muslin Swaddle Blankets
#5. Zig Zag Kid Premium Muslin Swaddle Blankets.
The Zig Zag Kid swaddle blankets are a really excellent addition, and we got our hands on a set for our 2017 list. These are the same size as the above options, coming in at 47" x 47". They use gender-neutral color schemes that are great for girls and boys and make a great baby shower gift when you don't know what mom is going to have! And by the way, if that's your plan, these come in an adorable gift box. The premium lightweight 100% muslin cotton is soft, thin, and has a tiny bit of stretch. After a few washes, the quality of the fabric started to decline, especially the stitching around the edges. Though we didn't notice any shrinkage or color loss after washing. We think these are best for late spring, summer, and early fall swaddling. During the colder months, you will want a thicker option to keep baby warm. Overall, these are bright, comfortable, versatile blankets that are an excellent new addition to our list!.
Here are the Zig Zag Swaddle Blankets: SwaddleDesigns Ultimate Receiving Blanket
#6. SwaddleDesigns Receiving Blankets.
Let's be realistic. Swaddling has been done for centuries, even before the complex stitching of the Miracle Blanket or the invention of velcro. More traditional parents like the thought of simply using a blanket for swaddling! This is another versatile swaddling blanket option, a bit smaller than the others (42" x 42"), but certainly worth its cost. Though these are marketed as a receiving blanket, parents report loving these for swaddling. Moms report that these 100% cotton blankets are super soft (though a bit less so after a washing), and are made from a high quality and thick cotton. This is nice for those intermediate seasons, like Spring and Fall, when it's not quite warm enough for thin cotton, and not quite cold enough for micro-fleece. A couple additional advantages of this blanket: first, it is the only one on this list that is Made in right here in the USA. Second, we really appreciated how the instructions were sewn right into the edge of the blanket. No more fumbling around for instructions those first few times you use it. Just position it in a way that the instructions are easily available for reading, and you're off to the (swaddling) races! Only drawback with this blanket is that it's a bit smaller in dimensions than the others, making it not ideal for swaddling a larger baby.
Here are the SwaddleDesigns Receiving Blankets: SwaddleDesigns Ultimate Receiving Blanket