Moving Blankets: What Are They and How to Use Them

Ever watched an experienced moving crew work?If so, you’ve likely marveled at how they wrap bulky items like dressers, refrigerators, and china cabinets in thick moving blankets.

Moving blankets can also prevent damage to doors, walls, and floors during the moving process, but using them like the pros do isn’t easy.

Thankfully, learning how doesn’t require years of on-the-job training.

In fact, the following tips will help you get up to speed on how to use moving blankets to protect your new home or apartment and household goods during your move.

But if you don’t want to learn how to use moving blankets or figure out where to get them, hire a professional moving company. They will come with all of the supplies you need and have a lot of experience in how to use them.

What are Moving Blankets?

Moving Blankets are also commonly referred to as moving pads, furniture pads, and packing blankets.

Whatever you call them, moving blankets are heavy-duty quilted coverings that are usually between 6 and 7 feet long per side.

They consist of multiple layers of filler and cotton or synthetic materials like polyester or nylon stitched together by a zig-zag thread pattern.

They typically come in two-tone blues, browns, greens, and reds, and they almost always have a light and dark side.

This is important because the light side is the inside or “clean” side, while the dark side is the outside or “dirty” side.

Remember, the outside will be exposed to grit, grime, dirt, and liquids, so keep it off finished surfaces.

Did You Know? 

In addition to moving blankets, professional movers use thin burlap pads called “skins” or “space-savers” to wrap items like fireplace tools, sporting goods, and patio furniture that doesn’t need thick, cushiony full-size pads.

Do You Really Need Moving Blankets?


Heavy-duty moving can be tough on household goods, but the best moving blankets prevent dents, scuffs, dings, and gouges.

If you hire a full-service moving company, they should provide pads free of charge, but if you’re renting a U-Haul truck and going the DIY route, you’ll be able to rent or buy your own (more on that shortly).

In short, moving blankets are a must if you’re moving yourself or hiring professional movers.

Insider’s Tip

Quilted cotton pads are more pliable and easier to work with, but polyester furniture blankets are more durable, less absorbent, and trap less abrasive sand and grit.

Woven vs. Non-Woven Pads

In short, woven moving blankets are more durable and offer better protection when moving delicate furniture and appliances.

They’re also significantly more expensive than their non-woven counterparts, which may be more than adequate if you’ll be using them infrequently or in light-duty applications.

How to Use Moving Blankets

When folded and held in place properly with packing tape or rubber bands, one furniture pad will usually suffice for small items like end tables, nightstands, and chairs.

On the other hand, you’ll need 2 or 3 for appliances and triple dressers.

How to Wrap Small Items in Moving Blankets

Small items are easier to wrap than large ones and should be padded inside the home before being carried onto the truck.

Items small enough for one pad include –

  • Coffee and end tables
  • Small bookshelves
  • Chairs and bar stools
  • Nightstands and magazine racks

To protect them, follow these steps –

  1. Clear enough floor space to spread your pads out
  2. Make sure the dark side is facing down (light side facing up)
  3. Place the item in the center of the blanket with its top and bottom pointing toward opposite corners (this will make it easier to wrap and secure the pad)
  4. Fold the bottom corner up, followed by the sides and then the top making sure that each overlaps neatly
  5. Now your the item should be totally covered
  6. Use tape or rubber bands to secure the pad in place

Insider’s Tip

Moving rubber bands can break chair legs if pulled too tightly, so use tape on the outside of the pad instead.

How to Wrap Large Items

Large, heavy, and bulky items like washing machines, dryers, triple dressers, and armoires usually need to be wrapped in the upright position.

Have two or three padded moving blankets ready, then –

  1. Lift and move the piece away from the wall, so you have sufficient space to maneuver on each side
  2. With two hands, lift a pad until the top edge is level with your head or shoulders, making sure the light side is facing the piece you’re wrapping
  3. Check that the bottom of the blanket is level with the floor
  4. Wrap the front of the item first, followed by the sides
  5. Fold the excess padding over the top and secure the pads with rubber bands as you go
  6. Then drape a pad or two over the top and bind all the pads together with bands, tape, or shrink wrap
  7. If carrying the item will be difficult, use an appliance dolly with a strap

Insider’s Tip

Moving blankets should be applied to sofas, loveseat, chairs, and ottomans covered in upholstery after they’ve been wrapped with stretch wrap.

Alternatives to Moving Blankets

When it comes to moving an entire home or apartment, there’s really no substitute for moving blankets.

Old towels, comforters, and bedsheets work in a pinch, but you probably won’t have nearly enough to cover all your furniture.

And besides, they just don’t offer the padding and protection that real moving blankets do.

Did You Know? 

When spread out underneath a dresser or wardrobe, moving blankets make sliding them across linoleum, hardwood, and tile easier without damaging the furniture or floor.

Alternately, old towels, square carpet scraps, and pieces of heavy-duty cardboard work as well.

Where to Find Moving Blankets

It used to be that high-quality moving blankets were only available from moving supply companies like New Haven, but these days they’re easy to find.

If you’re renting a truck from Budget or U-Haul, you’ll be able to rent pads from them.

That said, they’re not cheap.

Buying your own from home improvement centers like Lowes and Home Depot and online retailers like Amazon is also an option.

Just keep in mind that they may be smaller and less sturdy than the deluxe ones professional movers use, so make it a point to read customer reviews (like the ones in the link below) before clicking that “buy” button.

Sure-Max 12 Heavy-Duty Moving & Packing Blankets

Also, look out for terms like ‘pro economy’ and ‘ultra-thick pro,’ which are used to distinguish between different grades of moving blankets.

Last-Minute Moving Tips

  • Consider buying affordable moving boxes from companies like Uboxes
  • Use moving straps and other cargo control devices to prevent your items from shifting in the truck
  • When buying moving blankets, consider durability, cushioning, size, price, and value
  • Furniture pads are washable, reusable, and handy to have around the house, farm, and workshop
  • Check out our moving supplies checklist to get a head start on all of the supplies you’ll need for your move

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