Batting: Which to choose?


Your quilt top is done, you’re back in the store, and you don’t know which batting to choose? Here’s a handy comparison list that will help!

100% Cotton Batting

Care: Washable
Needling: Challenging by hand, easy by machine
Loft: Low
Weight: Medium
What’s good about it? Breathable, soft, insulating
What may be a problem: Shrinkage (need to preshrink unless you want that look), heavier than polyester

Wool or Wool & Cotton Blend Batting

Care: Hand wash
Needling: Easy
Loft: Medium to High
Weight: Medium
What’s good about it? Warmth without weight in winter, soft, breathable, cool in summer
What may be a problem: May attract moths, more expensive, may beard

Silk Batting

Care: Hand wash
Needling: Easy, sometimes sticky
Loft: Low
Weight: Very lightweight
What’s good about it? Luxurious, drapes beautifully, warm without weight
What may be a problem: Expensive, may be hard to find, may beard

80%/20% or 60%/40% Cotton/Poly Blend Batting

Care: Washable
Needling: Easy
Loft: More flat than polyester, less flat than cotton
Weight: Depends on loft
What’s good about it? Shares good qualities of cotton and of polyester
What may be a problem: Possible shrinkage

Polyester Batting

Care: Washable
Needling: Easy. Higher lofts are more difficult to machine quilt.
Loft: Wide variety – up to very thick
Weight: Various
What’s good about it? Lightweight, warm, less expensive, non-allergenic
What may be a problem: Not breathable

Want to learn more about batting?

Click Here to check out a video all about which batting to choose for different effects.

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Lowell Adams

I prefer to use Bamboo/Cotton batting. It is low loft. Easy to quilt. Very durable and little shrinkage when washed.
The cost is higher than Polyester batting and 100% cotton.
I have purchased king size and the cost was about $69.00


Cotton batting can work quite well for hand quilters, but it depends on the type. Dense, heavily needle-punched batting like Warm & Natural are not a good choice for most hand quilters. Others work very well–Quilters Dream Request and Select loft, Mountain Mist’s Cream Rose, and Hobbs Heirloom cotton are excellent choices.

Diana Annis

Wool is always my first choice. The super-washed is super easy to needle or machine, has a nice loft and no shrinkage. I use either the Quilter’s Dream Wool or Legacy Wool, from Pellon. Both layer well with other battings when I need to and also work well alone.


What about the bearding problem with polyester batts? The big exception is Thermore polyester batting, which I love because it’s low loft, easy to needle and doesn’t beard.