Can You Bring a Blanket on a Plane? (TL;DR – Yes!)


2022 is hopefully the year we get to start flying again and for the first time since our little girl was born.

Travelling with a child is certainly going to be a bit different for us, and one of the questions we had ahead of our flight to Adelaide that’s coming up is, can you take a blanket on a plane? So we did some research.

Yes, you can take a blanket on a plane, though the bigger question is what type of item does it count as. Most airlines agree that a blanket would count as your ‘personal item’ (usually a smaller item such as a laptop bag) so you are best if possible to fit it into your main carry on luggage.

The rest of this post covers all the research I did on this topic. Whilst it is a fairly simple subject, there are a few minor rules and complexities that are worth understanding so you don’t get caught out at check-in.

Can You Bring a Blanket on a Plane?

Can I take a blanket on a plane? As we discussed in the introduction, yes you can, and it is fine to come into the main cabin.

The big discussion is what type of item does it count as.

The bigger airlines usually allow three types of item per passenger on a flight:

  1. Your main carry on bag.
  2. A smaller bag known as a personal item. This is very much a bag that is small enough to fit under the seat in front of you. It is not luggage – so think a purse, laptop or nappy bag.
  3. A coat or something wearable.

It seems to be the consensus that a blanket does not count as a wearable item, therefore if you wanted to carry a blanket on a plane not packed in your hand luggage, it would count as your personal item and would mean you wouldn’t be able to bring a smaller bag such as a purse.

This blog post from Tortuga does an excellent job of describing exactly what counts as a personal item for the main airlines in the USA.

Please be conscious though that many airlines have different rules, so the best solution is to look up the specifications from your carrier or to send them a Tweet as the people below did.

Can You Bring a Weighted Blanket on a Plane?

Yes, you can, though the same rules apply as with a regular blanket, it would be best to pack it into your carry on bag.

Does the Blanket Have to Fit in Your Hand Luggage?

The blanket doesn’t have to fit in your hand luggage, though if you can’t it will be counted as your personal item (usually a smaller bag such as a purse).

In most situations, you will not be able to claim your blanket is a wearable such as a jacket, so you will need to either not take a personal item or fit your blanket in either your personal item or carry on.

READ NEXT: Can I Leave The Airport During a Layover?

Does a Blanket Count as Carry on or Is It Treated Like a Coat?

This will be down to the individual airline you are travelling with, not the security team, but generally, the answer is no, it will be counted as your personal item.

As we have already established, you can take a blanket on a plane so it will get through screening, the challenge will be how many items you are allowed to take with you on the plane.

The recommendation from the TSA is to check with your individual airline on their carry-on restrictions before you travel so you are clear whether or not the blanket has to fit in your bag.

Can I Take My Picnic Blanket Spikes in Hand Luggage?

Many picnic or beach blankets come with plastic spikes to hold them in the ground on windy days.

See an example of this in the image below:

Sale
Sand Free Compact Beach Blanket - Pocket Picnic Sheet for Outdoor Multiple Use | Best Mat for Travel & Festivals, Soft & Quick Drying with 4 Portable Tent Pegs and a Unique Gift Box
  • ✪ Light & Ultra - Thin Design That Makes Various Uses Possible! Outdoor Camping Gear, Table Map, Oversized Mat, Shade Tarp and Picnic Throw.
  • Made in USA or Imported

These picnic blanket or beach blanket spikes are not allowed in carry-on luggage and would need to be put in your checked baggage to allow them onto a plane.

READ NEXT: What Happens If I Show Up Late For a Flight?

Are You Allowed to Knit a Blanket on a Plane?

Remarkably (especially when you consider those small plastic spikes for a picnic blanket are not allowed) knitting needles and crochet hooks ARE allowed in carry-on luggage, so you conceivably could knit yourself a blanket whilst on a plane.

Here are two examples from the @AskTSA Twitter account that show you I haven’t lost the plot completely…

Can You Bring a Pillow on a Plane?

Yes, you can bring a pillow of any size onto a plane, but it must fit into your hand luggage otherwise it will be counted as an additional item of baggage.

If you need a pillow on a plane, you might be best to buy one which deflates and packs down small, to prevent the risk of going over your luggage limit and being charged more.

AirComfy Daydreamer Travel Neck Pillow – Self-Inflatable Pillow with Luxuriously Soft Washable Cover and Packsack – Compact and Lightweight Support for Sleeping and Traveling in Airplanes
  • EASY TO INFLATE: No-blow inflation allows you to inflate your airplane neck pillow in 30-60 seconds by repeatedly pressing the built-in inflation pump, and release air even faster with a quick release…
  • EASY TO CLEAN: Keep your travel pillow clean by tossing the micro-velvet pillowcase in the washing machine for a quick freshening up! It will remain ultra-soft, wash-after-wash, and your airplane…

How Big of a Blanket Can I Bring on the Plane?

There is no restriction of the size blanket you can bring on a plane, however it will need to fit in your hand luggage.

In theory, you could fill up your entire carry-on limit with a blanket, which would mean you could have a huge one if that’s what you wanted!

Do Airlines Provide Blankets?

Short haul flight generally don’t provide blankets, but ling haul flights do.

Do They Provide Blankets on International Flights?

Yes, they do provide blankets on most international flights, and if they are not readily available, then the aircraft crew will usually provide you with one.

Can You Take Airline Blankets Home?

No, aircraft blankets are not allowed to be taken home, not even in first class.

Hygienic items such as face masks, socks and ear plugs can be taken with you, but blankets are not on that list.

Though, given that blankets often don’t get washed between flights, I’m not sure why you’d want to take one anyway!

Why Would You Want to Take a Blanket on a Plane?

There are a few reasons I can think of for taking your own blanket on a plane:

  1. Many no frills airlines don’t have them, and even cheaper long haul flights often only carry a quota, not one per passenger.
  2. The quality of airline blankets isn’t always great, and there have been reports published suggesting they only get washed every 30 days!
  3. For a child who may get cold on the flight or have an attachment to a particular one.
  4. Weighted blankets have been shown to help with everything from anxiety to autism, so there may be a medical reason to bring one on a plane.

The Best Blankets to Take on a Plane

What you’re looking for on a plane is a blanket that is both warm and packs down to a small size.

The suggestions I give below tick both of those boxes and are perfect for your next flight.

E Marie Travel Limited Edition Boss Blanket Set (Black)
  • VERSATILE AND PORTABLE: This cozy combo features our all-new Boss Blanket and a matching eye mask that ensures restorative zzz’s. The Boss Blanket is an oversized spin on our best-selling Travel...
  • ANYWHERE AND EVERYWHERE: Perfect for everything from power naps and movie nights to running errands and traveling.
Litume Travel Camping Blanket Lightweight and Breathable, 67 x 48 in Soft Airplane Flight Blanket for Travelers, Foldable Sheet with Stuff Sack for Train, Camp, backapcking, Office, Home (E651 Grey)
  • Velvet blanket: Thinner compared to a fleece blanket. Suitable for use on airplanes, travel, and lightweight summer travel.
  • Fleece blanket: Thicker compared to a velvet blanket. Suitable for all-season travel, airplane use, office, home, and hotels.
Sale
PAVILIA Travel Blanket Pillow, Soft Airplane Blanket 2-in-1 Combo Set, Plane Blanket Compact Packable, Flight Essentials Car Pillow, Travelers Gifts Accessories, Luggage Backpack Strap, 60x43 Gray
  • SOFT COZY TRAVEL BLANKET - This compact airplane throw blanket is packable and portable, designed for traveling, flying, camping and road trips. This plane blanket is plush and warm, keeping travelers...
  • AIRPLANE BLANKET OR PILLOW - When the travel blanket is folded away, the microplush case bag can be used as a pillow to lay your head or to support your neck. The dual zipper pouch design also makes...

Finishing Up

I hope you’ve found this post useful, and have everything you need to make your decision about bringing your own blanket with you on the plane.

Thanks for reading and happy travels,

Ben

P.S.
For all my best travel tips check out this post.

the reeves family picture

AUTHOR – BEN REEVE

Reeves Roam, is a first-hand travel blog. The Reeves have lived in the UK, South Africa and Australia and have travelled extensively in Europe and Southeast Asia.

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