Moving Blankets: What Are They and How to Use Them

Have you ever known the struggle of moving heavy furniture during a move? Just getting a bulky sofa out of the doorway is a challenge. Add in the fact that you need to move a sofa, dressers, and fragile items, and your moving day quickly becomes a literal backache. Fortunately, heavy-duty padded moving blankets make moving a lot easier. As long as you know how to wrap your valuables, these shipping blankets can save you a lot of time and hassle.

moveBuddha is here to answer all of your burning questions about moving blankets, including how to use them, where to buy them, and alternatives to moving blankets.

Check out this guide to see how moving blankets offer the best level of protection against “oops” moments in any move, whether you’re moving across the country or around the block.


Don’t want to deal with buying and using moving blankets yourself? Professional movers will supply moving blankets and use them to do the packing for you.

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What are moving blankets?

Moving blankets are also commonly referred to as moving pads, shipping furniture pads, furniture moving 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.

Instead of sleeping with these blankets, you use them as packing supplies — similarly to how you would use bubble wrap — to simplify your move.

They’re made of multiple layers of filler and either recycled cotton or synthetic materials, like polyester or nylon. Moving blankets have a distinctive zig-zag thread pattern to make them more durable, too.

Most moving blankets come in shades like:

  • Two-tone blues
  • Browns
  • Greens
  • Reds

You might notice that moving blankets have a light and a dark side. This is actually a helpful feature: the light side is the inside or “clean” side that you put on your valuables. The dark side is the outside or “dirty” side that forms a barrier between your stuff and the moving truck.

Types of moving blankets

Did you know that there are different varieties of moving blankets? It’s good to get a variety of different moving blankets to cover all of your bases.

Woven vs. non-woven

Woven moving blankets are more durable and offer better protection for moving delicate furniture and appliances. The downside is that they’re significantly more expensive than their non-woven counterparts.

Buy a few woven moving blankets for transporting large items, but opt for non-woven blankets for the rest of your move to balance protection with cost savings.

Cotton vs. polyester

Moving blankets with 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.

Again, if you can, go with a mix of cotton and polyester blankets to get the best of both worlds.

Where to buy moving blankets

Fortunately, high-quality moving blankets are easy to find.

You can get moving blankets by:

  • Renting a moving truck: If you’re renting a truck from Budget or U-Haul, you’ll be able to rent pads from them.
  • Buying them in-store or online: Buying your own blankets from home improvement centers, like Lowe’s and Home Depot, and online retailers, like Amazon, is also an option.

The downside is that moving blankets aren’t cheap. The good news is that quality blankets last for decades. Furniture pads are also washable, reusable, and handy to have around the house, farm, and workshop.

Moving blanket shopping checklist

Regardless of where you get moving blankets, keep in mind that they might be smaller and less sturdy than the deluxe versions that professional movers use.

When buying moving blankets:

  • Go for quality: Consider durability, cushioning, size, price, and value.
  • Check reviews: Read customer reviews to make sure you’re getting a good product before clicking the “buy” button.
  • Read between the lines: Look out for terms like “pro economy” and “ultra-thick pro,” which can help distinguish between different grades of moving blankets.

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Do you really need moving blankets?

Yes. Moving blankets have tons of benefits, including:

  • Item protection: Moving is tough on household goods, but heavy-duty moving blankets are thick enough to prevent most dents, scuffs, dings, and gouges.
  • Home protection: Moving blankets can prevent damage to doors, walls, and floors during the moving process, which is a must if you want your security deposit back. You can also use moving blankets to easily slide furniture across linoleum, hardwood, or tile floors without damaging the furniture or the floor.
  • Accessibility: Moving blankets are fairly easy to come by. If you’re renting a U-Haul truck and going the DIY route, you’ll be able to rent or buy your own. But if you don’t want to buy them, you can always hire a full-service moving company to provide these textile moving blankets free of charge.

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

How to use moving blankets

Professional movers make it look easy to use moving blankets, but there’s a technique for wrapping your valuables in blankets before moving.

Follow these tips to safely wrap small and large items before your next move.

How to wrap small items in moving blankets

Small items are easier to wrap than large ones. But even so, you need to wrap them up inside your home before carrying them onto the truck.

You can wrap several small items in a single furniture pad, provided you secure everything with packing tape or rubber bands.

The following items are a good fit for consolidating in one pad:

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

The key is to make sure the items don’t crush or rub against each other. If you’re not sure, it’s okay to get another moving blanket just in case. The last thing you want is your belongings to scrape against each other inside the moving blanket.

Once you’ve chosen the items you want to wrap, follow these steps to secure your belongings in the moving blanket:

  1. Clear enough space to spread the moving blanket on the floor.
  2. Make sure the dark side is facing down, with the light side facing up.
  3. Place the item in the center of the blanket with its top and bottom pointing toward diagonal 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. Ensure that each fold overlaps neatly.
  5. Once the item is totally covered, use tape or rubber bands to secure the pad in place over it.

How to wrap large items

While you can fit several small items in one moving blanket, you’ll need two or three heavy-duty pads for washing machines, dryers, triple dressers, or armoires.

Grab several moving blankets and follow these steps to protect your bulky items:

  1. If you’re moving a sofa, loveseat, chair, or ottoman, wrap it in stretch wrap before covering it in a moving blanket. This added barrier will keep your nice upholstery move-in ready.
  2. You’ll need to wrap large items in an upright position. Move the piece away from the wall so you have enough space to maneuver on each side. If the piece is too heavy to move solo, don’t be afraid to phone a friend for help.
  3. With both hands, lift the moving blanket until the edge is level with your head or shoulders, ensuring the light side is facing the appliance.
  4. Make sure the blanket is level with the floor, and then wrap the front of the item first, followed by the sides.
  5. Fold excess padding over the top of the piece and secure the pads with rubber bands as you go.
  6. Drape a blanket or two over the top. Bind all of the pads together with bands, tape, or plastic wrap.
  7. If it’s still hard to move the item, use an appliance dolly with a strap to take it to the moving truck.

What can you use instead of moving blankets

There is no true substitute for moving blankets.

In a pinch, you can try:

  • Old towels
  • Square carpet scraps
  • Pieces of heavy-duty cardboard
  • Comforters
  • Bedsheets

However, you probably won’t have enough to cover all of your furniture, and you definitely don’t want to tear holes in your comforter during a move. Plus, this doesn’t provide the padding and protection that a real moving blanket provides.

Where to buy vvvThey will come with all of the supplies — and expertise — you need.

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

Make the most of your move

Moving requires a lot of brawn and brain, but you can save yourself both hassle and back pain by moving your stuff with moving blankets.

Moving blankets are a good start, but you’ll probably need other supplies to make your move as smooth as possible.

Check out moveBuddha’s moving costs checklist to get a head start on all of the supplies you’ll need for your move.

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