The Slanket, the Snuggie, the Freedom Blanket or the supremely expensive and extravagant Blankoat? This is the most important question of the millennium. You're about to know the answer.
Those who haven't seen the Snuggie ad or one of its many parodies and aren't aware of the blanket-with-sleeves phenomenon get no sympathy from us. Unless, you've just awoken from an eight-month coma, in which case: Welcome back! To recap, the Snuggie is the most famous and widely marketed of the many blanket-with-sleeves. The Freedom Blanket originated the idea, the Slanket followed up, and recently, the Blankoat decided to take it into a ridiculous dimension.
But which is the best for you? We tried each of them the way they were meant to be worn: on the sofa, lying down, with one fist buried in a bag of Doritos and the other cradling a bottle of beer. We gained 15kg, but it was so worth it.
And for those of you who think that the whole blanket-with-sleeves product could just as easily be accomplished with a robe worn backwards? We tested that too.
Snuggie ($US15): Don't buy this. Having the most ironic value contributes nothing to the final product when it's constructed out of material that's one step up from a papery hospital gown. Not only are the sleeves too cramped, the bottom part—the part that keeps your feet warm when you're lying down—isn't long enough for anyone of a decent height. I'm only 5' 10", and I have to bend my knees to keep all of my body covered. Bend them! This body wasn't constructed for that.
The Snuggie is also the most static-prone of all the blankets, and comes in such neon colours that surely are not found in nature. There's a reason why this is the cheapest of the bunch, which means you should only consider this if you have a plus-sized dog you want to dress up as a radioactive Superman. Krypto, if you will. Nobody else should buy it.
At $US15, it's the cheapest
Can be conveniently found at many lousy stores
Generates a lot of static when being taken off
Thin, papery material
Too short for most people
Slanket ($US38): The most expensive of the major three, the Slanket is where you turn when you want to make sure you get the best for your blanket money. It's 1.5 x 2.4 metres, so it's long enough even for people over 6 feet, and is made out of polyester microfibres, so it's soft and thick. Essentially, it's everything the Snuggie is not.
When someone asks why a regular blanket won't do, the Slanket is the answer. The sleeves are wizardy enough to keep you warm and allow enough space for maneuverability (gaming is the most prominent example). It has the most variety of colours choices—11 at my count—and is an example of the concept done right. If you're serious about staying warm while also keeping your hands one extra layer of material away from being able to fondle your genitals, this is it. [Slanket]
Very comfortable, very long, very usable
Comes in a wide variety of couch-matching colors
Most expensive of the 3 normal ones
Still generates a little static when removed
Freedom Blanket ($US30): The original blanket with sleeves has become, unfortunately, lost between the media blitz of the Snuggie and the web-presence of the Slanket. But it shouldn't be. The price, $US30, reflects exactly how the Freedom Blanket performs: somewhere in-between the Snuggie and the Slanket.
The Freedom Blanket isn't quite as comfortable as the Slanket, but comparing it to the Snuggie would be like comparing rubbing your face with a cotton towel to rubbing your face with Joaquin Phoenix's beard. At 1.8m, it's also longer than the Snuggie, but still falls slightly short of the Slanket's 2.4m. And that's pretty much the whole story.
If you don't want a piece of crap like the Snuggie but can't get over the fact that you're paying a couple Hamiltons for a blanket with sleeves, the Freedom Blanket is a good compromise. Plus, you'll sleep well knowing that you're supporting the people who actually invented the idea instead of someone who knows how to copy very well. [Freedom Blanket]
More comfortable than the Snuggie
Not quite as expensive as the Slanket
Also generates spouse-shocking static when removed
Slightly too short for tall people
Sruli Recht Blankoat ($US330): The Blankoat is to the other three blankets as getting a full service massage is to setting your showerhead into massage mode. They may sound similar, but it's an entirely alien concept. If you have enough money to spend $US330 on a gigantic 3m long blanket made out of wool from Icelandic sheep, you have enough money to run your heater and walk around in your underwear instead.
You know how wool sweaters are itchy? This is a wool sweater for your entire body. If you like wool, great—this will keep you very, very warm. If you don't, wearing this while watching an episode of America's Next Top Model is like an hour enduring Gitmo's mildest torture session.
But if your question is whether or not the Blankoat does its job, the answer is yes. With this much material, you can wrap yourself entirely inside the thing—including your head—with only a small hole left for your face. Having actually never lived in Iceland, or Boston, or anywhere where you actually have to physically move snow away so you can travel, I can't say whether the Blankoat would be worth the money in those situations. I imagine it would. But you're still paying $US330, which is John Mayer money. [Blankoat]
Provides the most coverage of all the solutions
Wool is scratchy
A Bathrobe ($US42 or cheaper): You may already have one of these. You may also wonder why you can't just turn one backwards and be done with it. Two reasons. One, no robe is long enough to cover your feet. People don't enjoy falling down repeatedly when going for a drink of water. Two, the sleeves aren't long enough to provide adequate coverage like all of the above options (save for the Snuggie). [Low-priced bathrobe on Amazon]
You may already own one, in which case it's free
Doesn't cover your feet when lying down, doesn't cover your arms adequately
Here's what you should take away. Get the Slanket if you're serious about staying warm while lying on your couch, the Freedom Blanket if you're not. Nobody anywhere should buy the Snuggie. The Blankoat is for rich people who can afford Icelandic wool. Bathrobes do not work, no matter how much you wish them to.
Thank you, Snuggie, for raising blanket-with-sleeves awareness. Now get out.