What’s a Sex Blanket? Plus 14 Comfortable, Discreet Options to Consider From Amazon, Etsy, Wayfair, and More

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When it comes to sex, generally, the wetter it is, the better it is. The humble, underrated sex blanket exists for good, wet sex, and removes the stress of having to clean up a mess worthy of a janitorial crew. Whether you’ve heard of using a blanket for sex or it’s your first time learning about the concept, we spoke to sex experts for a crash course in all things sex blankets, from why they’re helpful to what to look for when shopping for one. The good news? Everyone can benefit from one.

“No matter who you are, what your sexual orientation is, or what kind of sex you engage in, there is no way around experiencing some sort of fluid,” sex and relationship therapist Malika O’Neill, LPC, and founder and CEO of the Pleasure Collective, LLC tells SELF. “With fluids may come a big mess, some of which a washing machine cannot remove. This is where waterproof blankets come in handy.”

Here’s everything you need to know about sex blankets before your next wet and wild sex session.

What is a sex blanket? And why are they helpful?

A sex blanket is a blanket you use during self-pleasure or partner play to keep your sheets and other surfaces clean and dry, because, well, nobody wants to lay in a wet spot. “Waterproof blankets for sex are a great thing to have in your sexual toolkit because they can take the stress off of making a mess during sex,” Gigi Engle, certified sex educator and author of All The F*cking Mistakes tells SELF.

Lovehoney sex expert Dr. Megan Fleming mentions that using one of these blankets is also a more hygienic option, especially if you don’t usually wash your bedding immediately after sex. There could be semen, lube, oil, sweat, or fecal matter on the sheets that can become a breeding ground for bacteria. Throwing a blanket or towel down can nix the need for the post-sex dash to the washing machine. “Really great sex, where you can stay in the moment and embrace pleasure, relies on a feeling secure and grounded,” says Engle. “If you’re panicking about having to wash the sheets afterward, it can be a buzzkill. So, having a blanket that is made for sex can be helpful to bridge that mental gap.”

When should you use a sex blanket?

You can use a sex blanket any time you have sex if you’d like. There’s no wrong time to use one, but they’re especially helpful during especially wet, messy sex. “If you’re a squirter, or you’re experimenting with food kinks, or using oil, lube, or massage candles, a waterproof blanket is going to be helpful,” says Dr. Fleming. What’s more, Engle notes that they’re excellent for anal and period sex, which often comes with post-coital clean-up. “They can make sex feel more accessible for people who would want to have sex, but choose not to because of the hassle in the aftermath,” she says.

“To me, beyond just being a practical addition, the whole idea of a sex blanket is that when you put it down, it’s kind of like your play space—it’s almost symbolic,” says Dr. Fleming. “It could be sort of like a ritual, where you and your partner decide what kind of intimate experience you want to have together.”

What should you look for when buying a sex blanket?

Before buying, O’Neill advises measuring your mattress and cross-checking the measurements of the blanket. “These blankets usually are in throw form and may not cover the entire bed or the surface you are using, so you may want to purchase two,” she says. She also says to be aware of any fabric or skin allergies, since you’ll be getting very intimate with the blanket.

Above all else you want a waterproof sex blanket so that moisture doesn’t seep through to your sheets or other porous surfaces. The best sex blankets usually have multiple layers, so look for well-constructed stitching or folded hems for durability. You should also ensure that your blanket is machine washable. There are other features to look for that are less imperative, but still nice, like color and pattern options that match your decor and don’t look like obvious sex blankets. Pet blankets do the job too—and often come with a lower price tag than made-for-sex blankets—as long as they’re waterproof, and not just water-resistant.

Ahead, we found 13 absorbent, discreet sex blankets to try that are supremely waterproof and stain-resistant, so that you can get messy without the worry. To shape our picks, we used guidance from the pros, scoured reviews, and took note of the guidelines above, so that you can feel confident about your purchase. 


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