Waterproof Blankets - What Even Are They?

Posted on July 24 2023

Maybe you like to eat dinner and drink wine on the couch. Maybe you like to drink that same wine in bed. Maybe things get messy and you need to be able to clean up easier because you hate washing the sheets before bed. Whatever the reason, a waterproof blanket is a great option. They are soft, luxurious and get the job done. But you are still wondering, what is a waterproof blanket?

For our favorite waterproof blanket check it out here.

How do they work?

In most cases waterproof blankets are waterproof due to the nature of the blanket and the materials they are made out of. We all can imagine waterproof surfaces - tarps, rain coats you name it. Chances are none of those are comfy enough to lay on or put on your body. Let alone consider them a "blanket". So with that - comfortable blankets that wish to have uses other than roofing or sailing contain membranes made of these things rather than the whole blanket.

In the case of waterproof blankets a membrane refers to a thin, protective layer or barrier that is applied to the surface of a fabric to enhance its water resistance while maintaining breathability. While this definition is a good one, the most common cases in blankets that are worth something have membranes internally. Meaning there is fabric, membrane, fabric. making the blankets comfortable and waterproof.

The above diagram was taken from our original product and is a great example.

Typical materials used

When it comes to the membrane we mentioned above. Common materials used are polyurethane (PU) and polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), which is often known by the brand name Gore-Tex®. These materials are engineered to have microscopic pores that are too small for liquid water droplets to pass through, but large enough to allow water vapor to escape as a gas. You can see the technology that goes into it and why some of these blankets could come with a steep price tag. However, like anything in life things that are good cost money. Don't worry - TPU is medical grade and safe to come into contact with.

For the outer layer of blankets or the layer that most will come in contact with - there can be a variety of materials used. Anything from cotton to polyester can be used. Depending on the use case - materials that are naturally water repellent can also be used and help the water fall off the surface. It can also be beneficial that the blanket absorbs small amounts of water while repelling larger amounts.

Can you wash them?

Off the top of your head you may think that if a blanket is waterproof it cannot be cleaned. We get this all the time - maybe its a joke maybe it isn't so we figured we would touch on it. Simply put you wash it like anything else. It the blanket has no external shell or fabric it will simply be washed off. Blankets with other materials on the outside can easily be cleaned like you would a T-Shirt. It is important to was on cold or cool setting as to not damage any sort of membrane on the blanket. Dry on low heat or hang dry to prolong the waterproofness.

All in all - waterproof blankets are great. Extremely useful and practical. We hope we solved the mystery on how they work. We have a great selection of blankets you can find here. Whether they are for you animals or your adult activities we can solve your water problem.