Can You Bring a Blanket on a Plane?

A blanket can be a great way to remind yourself of home when traveling, it can also be a lovely way of helping give some sense of familiarity and helping you and children sleep on the journey. You may have experienced less than perfect airline blankets in the past that don’t cover your whole body and want a bit of an upgrade to your flight experience. This is especially so if you are heading off on a long flight and want to try and make the most of sleeping on the plane. So, if you’re about to head off on a flight and want to stay comfy, you might be wondering if you can bring a blanket on a plane.

The answer is generally yes, you can bring a blanket on a plane, but it can vary from country to country about the best way to bring a blanket with you in your carry-on baggage, and most of the time, this is related to its size. So, this should be one of your biggest considerations when packing.

Below, we’ve outlined around the world what you’ll need to consider if you want to bring a blanket with you on the plane to keep snuggly for your flight.

can you take a blanket on a plane

Why Wouldn’t You Be Allowed to Take a Blanket in Carry-On Luggage?

When you’re getting ready for a flight, especially if you are trying to keep things down for your carry-on baggage, you can have the best of intentions, but you might find that everything you want to bring with you on the plane simply just doesn’t fit.

It doesn’t fit in your luggage. Given that blankets can become quite large, especially if they are not purpose made travel blankets, can make it hard to fit your favorite blanket in your carry-on baggage. As most airlines class a blanket as a personal item, it will either need to fit in your small ‘laptop’ sized bag to go in front of you, or your bigger case or bag that goes in the overhead locker. You will generally not be allowed to carry a blanket under your arm and you will need to demonstrate if asked that you can pack it away. With this in mind, you may want to look at buying a blanket that packs down really small and has its own stuffy sack, for example. If you’re going backpacking at your destination, you could even look to use a high-end sleeping blanket to minimize excess packing.

So, Can I Bring a Blanket on a Plane as Carry-On Luggage?

Generally, the answer is yes, you can bring a blanket in your carry-on luggage, provided it fits within various size and packable requirements. If you stick to this, you should be fine. However, to be on the safe side, it’s a good idea to check if there are any specific rules with your country of departure before flying to know the best way to pack and avoid any nasty shocks at the airport.

USA – What Does the TSA Say About Blankets?

The TSA and USA have no restrictions around taking a blanket with you in either your carry-on or checked luggage. Provided your blanket fits within your allocated luggage allowance and this can be demonstrated if asked, you will be able to travel easily with a blanket.

https://www.tsa.gov/travel/security-screening/whatcanibring/items/blankets

The UK – What Are the UK Government’s Regulations Concerning Blankets in Hand Luggage?

The gov.uk website makes no special notes about bringing a blanket on a plane, but because it is not in a list of restricted items, you are fine to carry a blanket with you on a plane in the UK. Some information suggests that you could just carry your blanket on the plane under your arm, much like you can a duty-free bag, however, it is important to air on the side of caution here.

Some airlines, especially budget airlines can be extremely stringent about what they will allow you to go on board with based on what you have paid for on your ticket. It is not uncommon to have a last check at the gate when leaving the UK on a flight. So, it is always best to have a blanket that you know easily fits into your carry-on and that you can demonstrate if asked at the gate.

https://www.gov.uk/hand-luggage-restrictions/personal-items

Europe – What Are the EU’s Guidelines Regarding Blankets?

As you would probably assume, a blanket is not on the EU’s list of prohibited items. Therefore, you are fine to travel with a blanket in your carry-on luggage in the EU.

https://transport.ec.europa.eu/transport-modes/air/aviation-security/information-air-travellers_en

Australia – Does the ABF Have Laws About Blankets?

The ABF of Australia does not specify blankets on their lists of items you cannot take with you on a plane, nor do they mention them anywhere. Therefore, provided a blanket fits within your carry-on allowance, and doesn’t exceed any weight limits exceeded by the airline, you will be fine to bring a blanket with you in your carry on.

https://www.homeaffairs.gov.au/travelsecure-subsite/Pages/Items-you-cannot-take-on-plane.aspx

New Zealand – What Are the CAA of New Zealand’s Rules About Blankets?

Similar to many other places, the CAA of New Zealand does not have any specific rules stopping you from bringing a blanket on a plane. Therefore, you will be fine to bring your blanket in your carry-on to use on a flight. As with anything, it is important to just make sure it fits within your allowance and can be easily stowed away if needed so as to not run into any problems at the airport.

https://www.aviation.govt.nz/passenger-information/what-can-i-bring/

can you take a blanket on a plane

Canada – What Does the CBSA Say About Blankets?

The CBSA doesn’t say anything specifically about taking a blanket with you on a plane, the only thing they really mention is weighted blankets. This is just in regards to certain powders, or granular materials that can be used to create the weighted blanket. If these exceed 350ml, you won’t be able to take your blanket in your carry-on baggage.

https://www.catsa-acsta.gc.ca/en/what-can-bring/item/weighted-blanket

The Rest of the World

As with most countries there are generally not many rules around bringing a blanket on a flight in your carry on and it is generally considered ok. With the rest of the world, this means it should be seen as ok, and it is a good idea to just make sure that your blanket fits easily inside your carry-on baggage and that you can demonstrate so if needed. However, if in any doubt, it is a good idea to just check with your airline in advance.

What’s the Best Advice for Travelling on a Plane with a Blanket?

As a blanket is generally considered as OK to fly with, if it is within your carry-on baggage, the main advice is to just make sure that you are meeting the weight allowances for your baggage.

Some airlines actually impose weight restrictions on carry-on baggage too, and you may be asked to weigh your bag when you check in and any time before you board the plane. Given that a blanket can be quite heavy, you should just double check that it doesn’t put you over your allowance before you head to the airport.

The other thing to consider is if your blanket easily fits inside your carry on. Blankets can naturally be quite bulky, so you’ll want to consider this. You may be asked to make sure that your blanket will go inside your bag and that your bag fits inside a certain size. If your bag is bulging and won’t fit into the size measurement given by the airline, they may make you pay extra – which if course, you surely will want to avoid.

The best option would be to take a travel blanket that is intended for exactly that. Generally, a travel blanket will compress down small and once you open it, will expand, so it can be perfect for fitting into a small bag for the plane.  

What Happens If Your Blanket Is Flagged by Airport Security?

It is generally unlikely, if you’ve packed your bag well, that you will have your blanket flagged by security and this will likely only happen for a couple of reasons.

The first is if your blanket is loose and won’t fit into the storage bin to go through the scanner. This may well be flagged if it gets caught in the scanner and holds things up. So, it is always a good idea to make sure it fits into your luggage easily.

The second is if you are wearing your blanket around you, you may need to then put it in the scanner, and this may slow things down.

It is important if you’re asked to have your bag checked to remain as calm and friendly with the security officer as possible. They are just doing their job and want to keep everyone safe. If you are nice, you are more likely to have a smooth experience, and getting frustrated generally won’t make things move any faster. Though, if you follow the suggestions above, you likely won’t have this happen with a blanket anyway.

How to Pack a Blanket in Your Luggage

It should be fairly self-evident how to pack a blanket in your luggage, but there are a few things you can do to maximize the space you have for your other items, given a blanket can be quite large.

Packing a Blanket in Carry-On Luggage

The main thing to consider with packing a blanket in your carry on luggage is it’s size. A blanket can be quite large, and as tempting as it may be to bring your childhood blanket or a blanket of sentimental value with you, it may be better to bring one that it specifically designed for travel.

This will allow you to pack your blanket up very small in your bag and leave plenty of room for other things. These can often come in a stuffy sack, much like a backpacking jacket and work in much the same way as a sleeping bag. They’re still an awful lot more comfortable than an airline blanket! That said, if you can make your own blanket work, then you should absolutely bring it if you wish!

You should try to make sure that your blanket is packed away in your checked bag, and that you can just get it out once it is safe to do so into your flight. This way, you will avoid any costly surprises if it doesn’t fit, and isn’t within your carry-on weight limit

Packing a Blanket in Hold Luggage

If it isn’t so much that you want a blanket for the flight, but you just want some of the familiarities of home, then bringing a bigger blanket with you in your hold luggage can be much easier.

As it is a soft item, there isn’t really a lot to consider when thinking about packing a blanket in your hold luggage. The main thing is its weight and size and how that effects things for your trip.

Obviously, if bringing a bigger blanket from home, this is likely to be heavier than a specifically designed travel blanket, so it is important to consider if this will take up too much of your luggage allowance. If you have plenty to play with though, you could even use your blanket to pack around anything that might be slightly fragile – and it can be great for this purpose if you decide to buy anything to bring back in your destination.

What Are the Different Types of Blanket?

There are quite a lot of different types of blanket on the market now, some of which are likely less practical for travel than others.

Travel blanket. This is a type of blanket that is specifically designed for travel and is made to pack down small. It will generally stuff down smaller than it is when fully expanded, making it easier to put in your carry-on for your flight and to conserve space. They obviously don’t have the same feel as your old school blanket at home might do, but they can be extremely helpful if you want that extra comfort on a flight without sacrificing on other items you can bring.

Comforter. This is more your traditional style, thicker blanket that may also be described as a bedspread. These, whilst they are comfortable and generally quite sentimental for most people as to what they symbolize, can be fairly impractical to travel with. Though if you have the space, they can really help you feel more at ease on your flight.

Weighted blanket. These types of blankets use beads or granular matter inside to give a feeling of weight on top of the body when using. Because these can be quite a lot heavier and bulkier than traditional blankets, they can be even more impractical still for a flight.

Microfiber blanket. This is made of synthetic materials, and as such can be made to be lightweight and also very warm, so they can actually be a great blanket to take on a flight. The only thing to consider is they don’t always pack down very small, so can take up quite a bit of space. Therefore, the best thing to do if wanting to bring a microfiber blanket on a plane is to try and get the smallest one possible that will still cover your body, as they come in different sizes.

Conclusion

As you can see, it is generally considered as ok to bring a blanket on a plane with you in your carry-on luggage. Unlike things like plants, aerosols and sunscreen, there are no real restrictions and the main thing you need to consider is its size and if it fits ok within your bag.

It is worth looking at your country of travel to see if there are any specific recommendations, as mentioned above, but as a blanket is not classed as a dangerous or potentially harmful item, there should be no problems at the airport.