Swag lab logo.

KOTIS SWAGLAB

Our favorite blankets to bring max coziness to your crew

Allison Buschur & Nic Thomassen    |    Oct 27, 2022    |    Table of Contents

A comfy blanket can be a key part to getting cozy on your couch or staying warm on the sidelines of a soccer game. Since they protect against the elements and provide those fuzzy feelings, we love leveraging blankets for gifting (and hygge). Most blankets have a certain connotation of relaxation and luxury that goes well with corporate gifting, especially holiday gifts (which also come at the time of year when seeking coziness is at a high). 

After countless hours of snuggling, I mean testing, 14 blankets during weekly movie nights, outside in the cold, on flights to fend off those airplane chills, through lots of wash cycles, and trying to constantly heat up my icy feet (I’m thyroidless which means I’m always freezing, normally that’s not a good thing, but when it comes to blanket testing it’s a win), we think the Sackcloth & Ashes blanket is the best for gifting to your people. We also picked our favorites in categories like outdoor, puffy, wool, weighted, and more. For us, the snuggle is real.


Why gift a blanket?

Whether youre looking for a client gift or one for your crew, a blanket brings many benefits. Here‘s why you should consider a blanket for your next project.   

  • Longevity: How long has your go-to blanket been around? Our testers still have blankets they formed connections with as kids (too long?). The point is, a high-quality blanket will stand the test of time. Your people could be using it for years (dare we say decades?)
  • Utility: According to a recent ASI Global Ad Impressions Study, utility is the 2nd highest reason recipients hold on to promotional items, proving that swag with a purpose is kept longer. A well-made blanket is indeed useful, making it a great gift.
  • Cozy factor: Branded merch isn’t often cozy. I mean, what promo product comes close to a blanket for cozy factor? There’s something to be said for a piece of swag that gets used for warmth and snuggles... your gift and brand could be there in those moments.



Our pick

View Sackcloth and Ashes Blanket products.

Sackcloth & Ashes Blanket

A super soft throw with a BOGO mission
Offered in over 51 unique designs/colors, this blanket has the most options by far. They're made in Italy with an eco-friendly, cruelty-free wool blend that’s also super soft. Their mission is inspiring: For every blanket purchased, they donate one to a local homeless shelter.

$110-150 

Measuring 72” x 60” and weighing 3 pounds, a Sackcloth & Ashes blanket works at home or on the go. It’s the only pick with tassels, which gives it a classic feel. They also offer the most colors/patterns of all the blankets we tested (including a new National Geographic collection), some simple and others intricate, but all well done.

We love the blend of recycled fabrics that still maintain a super soft feel. This may become the go-to blanket your spouse or kids (or pets) fight over. Speaking of kids, Sackcloth & Ashes also offers some of their top designs in a smaller kid’s size measuring 48” x 38”. For every kid’s blanket sold, they give a blanket to a child in foster care.

Mission: Sackcloth & Ashes founder Bob Dalton felt inspired to help the homeless population after his mother found herself living on the streets in 2013. As he made calls to his local shelters to ask what they needed most, the demand was highest for blankets. As a result, Sackcloth & Ashes was founded and for every blanket purchased, they donate another to a local shelter. Their goal is to have donated one million blankets to homeless shelters around the country by their 10th anniversary in 2024. Sackcloth & Ashes is a brand that hits on a lot of great notes in terms of mission, branding, quality, and sustainability. 

MOQ: 1 unit
Size: 72” x 60”
Material: Recycled Wool, Recycled Polyester, Recycled Acrylic
Decoration: Embroidery, Woven Label, Patch
Colors: 51 colors and 8 styles, Youth: 20 colors and 4 styles

sackcloth and ashes open shipping package. Sackcloth and ashes open shipping box with message to donate to local shelters.

Packaging: Sackcloth & Ashes uses their shipping box and packaging in a unique way to showcase their mission. After removing the blanket, there’s text about how you can help fill the box with essentials and donate to a local homeless shelter. It’s a great unboxing experience that your people will appreciate.

Sackcloth & Ashes founder Bob Dalton felt inspired to help the homeless population after his mother found herself living on the streets in 2013. As he made calls to his local shelters to ask what they needed most, the demand was highest for blankets. As a result, Sackcloth & Ashes was founded in 2014. In fact, they’re so passionate about providing for the homeless that for every blanket purchased, they will donate another to a local shelter. Their goal is to have donated one million blankets to homeless shelters around the country by their 10th anniversary: June 1st, 2024.  

Measuring 72” x 60” and weighing 3 pounds, a Sackcloth & Ashes blanket is ideal for use at home or on the go, in virtually any season. Their unique designs and signature tassels on both ends take us back to simpler times. Choose from a multitude of different colors and styles (including their new National Geographic collection), some simple and others intricate but all tasteful. Made from the perfect blend of recycled fabrics, a Sackcloth & Ashes blanket will quickly become a prized possession in every household, and likely one that your family (and pets) will fight over.

Sackcloth & Ashes offers a first-class user experience from start to finish. It’s always a thrill to receive a package on your doorstep, but this one was an extra special experience. Once you unbox your blanket, it quickly becomes evident just how important their mission is to the company. Using their packaging, Sackcloth & Ashes gives all their customers the opportunity to make a difference by filling the box with common necessities and donating it to their local homeless shelters. Sackcloth & Ashes is truly a brand you can feel good about purchasing from every angle: mission, branding, quality, and sustainability.

$110-150
MOQ: 1 unit
Size: 72” x 60”
Material: Recycled Wool/Recycled Polyester/Recycled Acrylic
Decoration: Embroidery, Woven Label, Patch (Leather, Embroidered, etc.)
Colors: Adult – 51 colors & 8 styles/ Youth – 20 colors & 4 styles
Packaging


Premium pick

View Marine Layer Lined Blanket products.

Marine Layer Lined Blanket

Lightweight and lined with soft
t-shirt fabric

Made with ultra-soft mock twist Sherpa fleece and lined with their signature sustainable T-shirt fabric, the Marine Layer Lined Blanket is light enough for warmer weather and warm enough to take the chill off. This is the only blanket we tested that can be dyed to your Pantone color (if you order 100), thanks to Marine Layer’s custom dye program.

$110-150 (custom dye: $150-190)

gray colored swatchmulti color wheel Custom dyeing at 100 units

If you’ve worn anything from Marine Layer, you know how soft their clothing is. But you may not know they also make blankets (with the same commitment to softness and sustainability). The blanket is made in the USA with Marine Layer's signature cotton modal and lined with Sherpa fleece in a heathered grey/asphalt blend.
It will keep the cold at bay without weighing you down. Although you’re limited to a single stock color, the Marine Layer custom dye program allows you to match your Pantone color for something extra custom (which they do for apparel too, hint hint).

MOQ: 12 (custom dye: 100 units)
Size: 50" X 72"
Material: Outer Fabric - 50% Polyester, 38% Cotton, 12% Rayon; Inner Fabric - 50% Supima Cotton and 50% Micromodal
Decoration: Woven Label, patch, embroidery
Colors: Heather Grey/Asphalt Grey

Norwest spring/summer kit with marine layer fleece blanket and other branded swag.

This spring/summer kit from Norwest features our premium pick, decorated with a subtle branded label.

Marine layer blanket embroidered with Balfour Senior Living logo

Balfour Senior Living used a more tonal embroidery on this Marine Layer blanket,
and gifted these to residents.

If you’ve worn anything from Marine Layer, you know how soft their clothing is. But you may not know they also make blankets (with the same commitment to softness and sustainability). The blanket is made in the USA with Marine Layer's signature cotton modal and lined with Sherpa fleece in a heathered grey/asphalt blend.
It will keep the cold at bay without weighing you down. Although you’re limited to a single stock color, the Marine Layer custom dye program allows you to match your Pantone color for something extra custom (which they do for apparel too, hint hint).

$110-150 (custom dye: $150-190)
MOQ: 12 (custom dye: 100 units)
Size: 50" X 72"
Material: Outer Fabric - 50% Polyester, 38% Cotton, 12% Rayon; Inner Fabric - 50% Supima Cotton and 50% Micromodal
Decoration: Woven Label, patch, embroidery
Colors: Heather Grey/Asphalt Grey, custom dyeing at 100 units


Outdoor pick

View Marine Layer Lined Blanket products.

Eddie Bauer® Quilted Insulated Fleece Blanket

A warm insulated fleece for the outdoors
We like the 2-in-1 style this blanket offers with a durable water-repellent finish on the outside and an ultra-soft high-pile fleece on the inside. It’s a great companion for outdoor activity, and it helps it's made by a crowd favorite outdoor brand, Eddie Bauer.

$50-80

If your people like to get outside, this next option might be for you. Being an Eddie Bauer product, it already has credibility in the outdoor clothing and accessories space. While one side is a traditional outdoor quilted blanket typically seen at a picnic, flip it over for a soft fleece fabric that begs to be touched.

We love multipurpose products that give you more ways to use the item. As the name implies, the blanket is also insulated, which will help keep your nature lovers warm on their adventures. It's available in 3 neutral colors that will complement most brands.


Eddie Bauer blanket with easy embroidery access. Open Eddie Bauer blanket with easy embroidery access.

$50-80
MOQ: 1 unit
Size: 50" x 60"
Material: 100% polyester woven fabric, 100% polyester high-pile fleece, 2.8-ounce polyfill
Decoration: Woven Label, patch, embroidery (with access pocket)
Colors: Black, Grey Steel/Black, River Blue Navy

If your people like to get outside, this next option might be for you. Being an Eddie Bauer product, it already has credibility in the outdoor clothing and accessories space. While one side is a traditional outdoor quilted blanket typically seen at a picnic, flip it over for a soft fleece fabric that begs to be touched.

We love multipurpose products that give you more ways to use the item. As the name implies, the blanket is also insulated, which will help keep your nature lovers warm on their adventures. It's available in 3 neutral colors that will complement most brands.


$50-80
MOQ: 1 unit
Size: 50" x 60"
Material: 100% polyester woven fabric, 100% polyester high-pile fleece, 2.8-ounce polyfill
Decoration: Woven Label, patch, embroidery (with access pocket)
Colors: Black, Grey Steel/Black, River Blue Navy


Our picks for specific blanket categories

Puffy pick

View Marine Layer Lined Blanket products.

Quilted Blanket

Like your favorite puffy jacket in blanket form
Although the name is simply the Quilted Blanket, the fabric is indeed like a sleeping bag, which allows crumbs and sand to be brushed away easily. It’s made with sustainably produced 30D nylon material which is soft and lightweight, making it great for the beach or a camping trip. Best of all, it’s super customizable with a full front (full color) imprint area and the option to pick between 3 quilting patterns. That’s some big-time branding opportunities.

$110-150

NOTE: These currently take 6–8 weeks, so they won’t arrive in time for holiday gifts.

Many of you have probably seen the original puffy blanket, Rumpl, gracing the shelves of an REI or other outdoor retailer near you. It’s been a hot item, one that basically created a new category of blankets. Like most good ideas, we ask, how was a sleeping bag-like blanket not a thing before this? But I digress. Rumpl started the puff blanket craze (which, by the way we can also get for your brand), but now others have joined in. Another one of our favorite retail brands, Nomadix is getting into the mix soon with their own version for wholesale in the spring. We already have a sample that we’re testing and will report back with our findings.  

Although our puffy pick may not have all the brand panache of a Rumpl, it makes up for it by allowing you to customize the heck out of it, more than any other blanket we tested. There are three different quilted patterns to choose from (diamond, horizontal stripes or vertical stripes), and the entire front of the blanket can be used as a blank canvas for your graphic (designers everywhere are cheering). There are also a whopping 48 stock colors and 43 stock ribbon colors to choose from. With all of that, it’s almost like building a product from the ground up, the way we do with overseas sourced items, but with lower MOQ and other benefits of being domestic.  

Bonus: There’s a matching drawstring carrying case that can also be printed from edge to edge for another branding moment.

MOQ: 6 units
Size: 52" x 75", Drawstring bag: 17.5" x 7.5"
Material: Super soft 30D ripstop nylon with DWR water repellent finish; 90% recycled poly fill material
Imprint Area: 45” x 62.5”, drawstring bag: 19.25” x 12.5”
Decoration: Full-Color sublimation
Colors: 48 stock 4CP colors / 43 stock ribbon colors / Pantone ink matching available

Quilted puffy blanket color options.

Wool pick

View Marine Layer Lined Blanket products.

Pendleton Yakima Camp Blanket

Durable and rustic camp blanket
When you think of wool, the word “scratchy” might come to mind. This blanket will make you a believer in traditional wool style blankets with its durable wool and cotton blend material.


$170-$250

MOQ: 10 units
Size: Twin 66" x 84", Queen 90" x 90"
Material: 86% wool, 14% cotton
Fabric Care: Dry clean Made in the USA
Decoration: Embroidery, Woven Labels
Colors: Green Heather Mix, Lake, Mineral Umber, High Ridge, Oxford


Sherpa pick

View Marine Layer Lined Blanket products.

Port Authority Flannel Sherpa Blanket

Lightweight and fluffy throw with classic plaid designs
Flannel lovers will find comfort in this vintage style throw. Think of your favorite flannel button-up, but in blanket form and way softer thanks to its Sherpa interior. While it’s thinner than other options, it still does the job of keeping you warm and fuzzy.


$50-$80

MOQ: 1 unit
Size: 50” x 60”
Material: Fabric: 100% cotton flannel; 100% polyester Sherpa
Decoration: Embroidery (with Port Pocket™ for easy embroidery access)
Colors: Black Uneven Plaid, Black Watch, Buffalo Plaid, Window Pane


Weighted pick

View Marine Layer Lined Blanket products.

Luna Cotton Weighted Blanket

A budget-friendly weighted blanket
Wrap yourself in a long (and heavy) Luna hug with the cotton weighted blanket that uses deep pressure touch to reduce stress and promote relaxation.


$80-120

The Luna Cotton Weighted Blanket is a quality blanket that still maintains a moderate price point. There are lots of materials, sizes, and weights to choose from. One of our testers even used the Queen-sized 15-pound weighted blanket after surgery and it provided relief for her pain and anxiety. Gifting a weighted blanket is like sending your people a warm hug, as the blanket uses deep pressure touch to reduce stress and promote relaxation.

MOQ: 1
Size: Full: 48” x 72”; Queen: 60” x 80”; King: 80” x 87”
Material: Outer Shell: 100% cotton; Filling: 100% polyester & microfiber + glass beads
Decoration: Woven Loop Label
Colors: 19 colors (not all colors are available in all sizes/weights)


Comparing our top picks

Our pick

View Sackcloth and Ashes Blanket products.

Sackcloth & Ashes Blanket

A super soft throw with a BOGO mission.
Made in Italy with an eco-friendly, cruelty-free wool blend, tassels and a huge color/pattern selection.

$110-150
MOQ: 1 unit
Size: 72” x 60”
Material: Recycled Wool / Recycled Polyester / Recycled Acrylic
Decoration: Embroidery, Woven Label, Patch
Colors: 51 colors, 8 styles,
Youth: 20 colors, 4 styles

Premium pick

View Marine Layer Lined Blanket products.

Marine Layer Lined Blanket

Lightweight and lined with soft t-shirt fabric.
Made with ultra-soft mock twist Sherpa fleece and lined with ML’s signature T-shirt fabric.

$110-150 (custom dye: $150-190)
MOQ: 12 (custom dye: 100 units)
Size: 50" X 72"
Material: Outer Fabric - 50% Polyester, 38% Cotton, 12% Rayon; Inner Fabric - 50% Supima Cotton and 50% Micromodal
Decoration: Woven Label, patch, embroidery
Colors: Heather Grey/Asphalt Grey, custom dyeing at 100 units

Outdoor pick

View Marine Layer Lined Blanket products.

Eddie Bauer® Quilted Insulated Fleece Blanket

Insulated for the outdoors
This durable insulated blanket has a water repellant finish on the outside and fleece on the inside.

$50-80
MOQ: 1 unit
Size: 50" x 60"
Material: 100% polyester woven fabric, 100% polyester high-pile fleece, 2.8-ounce polyfill
Decoration: Woven Label, patch, embroidery (with access pocket)
Colors: Black, Grey Steel/Black, River Blue Navy


Our research

We tested 14 blankets for over 8 months. Each tester washed and wore them regularly to get a sense of the look, feel, functionality, coziness, and more.

  • Material/Construction: We’re always seeking high-quality swag. In fact, our core value is “fight for better”, which also relates to product choice. The first question when testing these blankets was “Will this hold up for the long haul?”.

  • Washing/Drying: Do the blankets maintain their shape and color after many wash cycles? Does the quality hold up? Our top 3 choices all exceeded our expectations after consecutive washes and actually felt even cozier. Note, the Pendleton Yakima Camp Blanket is made of pure virgin wool fabric, so it should be dry-cleaned.

  • Aesthetics/Colors: If we were shopping, which blankets would we be most drawn to? You may not hear blankets being described as beautiful very often; however, that’s exactly what our testers said about the Sackcloth & Ashes blanket with its fringe detail and variety of colorful patterns.

  • Affordability: We know affordability is subjective, so we included products in a range of prices to fit everyone’s budget. If our top picks are too much, a great budget-friendly choice is the Port Authority Flannel Sherpa Blanket.

  • Sustainability: The interest in sustainability within our industry continues to rise, which is exciting to see. A part of sustainability is making quality products that people keep, and therefore won’t end up in the landfill. We love to partner with eco-friendly brands like Marine Layer, who uses low-impact materials in their products, offers a great recycling program, and gives back to the community through numerous donations. As we make positive strides of our own, we continue to highlight and use Marine Layer in our own projects.


The blanket backstory

The first known instances of blankets date back to ancient Egypt around 3000 BC, although animal skins have been used as blankets since prehistoric times. The name itself is believed to come from Thomas Blankquette, a Flemish weaver in the 14th century who became famous for making wool blankets for the royal family.  

Today, the market is full of blankets in all kinds of categories. The Snuggie morphed the blanket into a wearable, while Rumpl more recently riffed on the sleeping bag to bring a new puffy blanket category. We've also seen the weighted blanket regain popularity. Even comforters and quilts can be considered part of the blanket family. Blankets have evolved, but the goal remains the same: to provide comfort and warmth.


KITTING & SENDING
Wrap your blanket into a kit

A blanket can make a great corner piece of a kit. It also has the added bonus of being a soft layer to protect other items you’re kitting (no air pillows needed). So, add in a few items, put some custom tissue paper around it, place a card on top (did you know we have handwriting machines?) and voila, kit magic! We put together a guide for curated holiday kits and one on how to make awesome kits if this topic gets you excited, like it clearly does for us.  

If you’re looking to send out your blanket, we can help there too. Our redemption page can automate the collecting of addresses. We kit everything together at one of our in-house distribution facilities and send your swag box out into the world. That’s spreading some cozy.

Norwest Venture box kit with insulated mugs, socks, and fleece blanket.

Norwest Venture Partners added blankets in their employee and partners kits. They used both our top pick and our premium pick.


Decoration Tips

Most blankets do well with a simple woven label, patch or embroidery. It keeps your branding noticeable, yet subtle so it doesn’t take away from the fabric or coziness.

Our puffy pick is the only option that has a full front imprint area (and a drawstring bag). That’s an enticing option, but one that should be taken with care to create a graphic that will last and look great on the side of a sofa. Get inspo from the Sackcloth & Ashes designs or other retail blankets and consider how elements of your brand could be used in pattern form. Remember, our in-house designers are always here to help create and mockup different options for your project.

Embroidery, the flip side: One thing to note with embroidery, is that you’ll see the thread and embroidery backing on the other side of the blanket. Labels or patches will have much less on the flip side, but will still show the thread from sewing on your label. However, some blankets made specifically for our industry have an embroidery access pocket to hide the back of the embroidery. Both the Eddie Bauer Quilted Insulated Fleece Blanket and the Flannel Sherpa Blanket have this nifty feature.

 

View Marine Layer Lined Blanket products.

View Marine Layer Lined Blanket products.

Built-in pocket for easy embroidery access.


Royal Apparel Examples

Delphix Gradient Hoodies

Earthjustice Staff Gifts

Marine Layer Examples

Spokane BLM Veterans Wildland Fire

TuSimple Holiday Gift

Carhartt Examples

Earthjustice Staff Gifts

Earthjustice Staff Gifts

Why trust Kotis

Over the years, weve distributed thousands of blankets. We use the feedback from our clients, combined with our testing over many months to create these recommendations. They are not endorsed by any supplier; we simply want to help make your life easier when choosing swag for your people.

Our goal has always been to create better merch for our clients, and we’re always excited to work with you in that endeavor. Let’s do swag together.