I love finding a cozy, clean, quality blanket or comforter to take home for snuggling. You can find some excellent used ones if you keep your eyes open.
The best prices for used comforters are at garage sales, where you can usually snag one for under $5. At the thrift shops, prices usually start at $7, and are more often found between $10-30 for the better ones.
When I shop the colored tag sale days at Goodwill, the Salvation Army or Savers, I always head right to the blankets. If you are persistant, you can find gorgeous down comforters, handmade quilts, lap throws, colorful afghans and soft, thick blankets for a song.
Always start by using your fingers to feel the ‘hand’ - the heft and texture - of the cloth. Does the blanet feel good to the touch? Look for the tag - you want to see high or all cotton fabrics. Cotton wears well and won’t be scratchy or pill (like polyester and some wool/acrylic blends do). Old, well worn muslin also has a wonderfully soft hand, washes clean, and has significant tensile strength - excellent for guest beds or for children.
Next, smell the fabric. It should smell laundered, or, at least, have no smell at all. If you are satisfied on these counts, then take the blanket off the hanger or shelf, unfold, and examine both sides. Don’t be afraid to spread it all out right where you are. How else are you going to see the whole thing?
You are looking for rips and stains. Don’t buy stained or ripped bedding unless you are A. sure you can get the stain out, or B. willing to fix a ripped seam or mend a tiny hole.
I feel there are so many nice blankets to hunt for and find, that I don’t need one needing any extra cleaning or sewing…unless I LOVE the blanket in question. In that case, you can usually talk the price down by showing the stain or rip to the seller, and asking if they can come down on the price. Always be very courteous when asking. No one HAS to give you a better price, although it might be in everyone’s best interests to do so.
Once you are home, you can clean your ‘new’ used bedding, and spread your nice finds in your guest or master bedroom!