8 Differences Between Polar Fleece And Plush Fleece

If you have been in two minds about whether to use polar fleece or plush fleece, you have come to the right place. Here’s giving you detailed information about the difference between these two popular types of fleece.

Differences Between Polar Fleece And Plush Fleece

The difference between polar fleece and plush fleece is one of the most common doubts that most people have. As such, though these two variants are not related, they are about as similar as cousins rather than immediate family.

Each comes with a few unique properties that you need to know in order to take the best decision for your sewing project.

So, if you are not sure which fleece to choose for that no-sew project or that jacket, you will find all the answers here. Without further delay, let’s get right to it!

What is Polar Fleece?

Before moving on to the difference between the two popular types of fleece material, let’s acquaint you with each individually.

Polar fleece is a type of synthetic fabric that was originally made to imitate the properties of wool. It is probably the variant of fleece that you would be more familiar with if you have just started working with fleece. Furthermore, polar fleece is one of the most economical types of fleece available in the market.

It might not be as soft as some of those other types of fleece material, but polar fleece is easy to work with. And, you will find polar fleece in a plethora of colors. So, you can make your blankets and hats as colorful as you want.

What is Plush Fleece?

what is plush fleece

Plush fleece has a fur-like texture that is closely related to the thickness of cuddle or Minky fleece. Due to the texture and construction, plush fleece is not good enough for no-sew projects because it tends to stretch and shed more than polar fleece.

The edge of the material has to get properly finished so that being in the washer does not stretch it out.

The super-soft and luxurious feel of the plush fleece makes it a favorite for making those cuddly baby blankets.

You can even make toys with this material, and your cats would love it, as well. Just as polar fleece, you will find a rainbow of colors to choose from in plush fleece.

8 Differences between Polar Fleece and Plush Fleece

Here’s outlining the most important differences between polar fleece and plush fleece that will help you choose between these two for your next project.

1. The Name Game

What’s a name, right? Well, a lot in this case! You must have heard the terms like anti-blizzard fleece or coral fleece. But if you are under the impression that they are other types of fleece, you can’t be further from the truth.

Polar fleece has other names like medium-weight, anti-pill, or blizzard fleece and plush fleece is also known as coral fleece. These are all one and the same thing instead of being different variants.

2. The Make of the Material

the make of the material

Plush fabric has a hundred percent polyester fibers that get knitted into materials of varying pile heights and weights. Moreover, plush fabric is one-sided, so the fur-like, plushy texture is only on one side.

On the other hand, polar fleece also has a hundred percent polyester fibers, but they are knit. So, the skin feel you will get from polar fleece will not be the same as plush fleece. Also, the texture of polar fleece is the same on both sides.

3. The Thickness Factor

Polar fleece has a lower pile and is thinner than plush fleece. In simple terms, polar fleece is not as furry as plush fleece.

In fact, the thickness of plush fleece has earned it the name of coral fleece. Think of it like corals poking up from the depths of the sea. This is one reason why plush fleece is also great for blankets.

4. The Amount of Stretch

the amount of stretch

Plush fleece tends to shed around the edges because of the furry texture, and it usually has more stretch compared to polar fleece. Because of these two reasons, it is important to get the edges of plush fleece finished. However, you can use polar fleece without any finishing on the edges.

5. The Price of the Two Types

Plush fleece is usually more expensive than polar fleece, especially if you go for those high-end brands. As a matter of fact, the price of polar fleece is one of the many reasons for its popularity. You can call plush fleece as a nicer fabric than or a step up from polar fleece.

In some stores, plush fleece comes at a price of around twelve dollars per yard. You will get a good-quality polar fleece at one-third of that cost. Per se, some stores even sell polar fleece for four dollars per yard.

6. The Type of Projects

the type of projects

Polar fleece works great for no-sew and tie crafts and projects, but plush fleece does not lend itself well to those projects. So, if you are a beginner planning to make a no-sew blanket, polar fleece is the material you should go for.

Plush fleece is a popular choice for making baby items (babies love that furry, fuzzy feel!). On the other hand, polar fleece is good for both adults and children for blankets and clothing. Both work really well when it comes to lining robes, coats, and so on.

However, it is important to mention in this regard that polar fleece will work better at keeping the cold away from the body. Hence the name “polar”!

Remember that both polar fleece and plush fleece are polyester synthetic fabrics that can melt if you put too much heat to it. So, regardless of the project you’re doing, make sure it has no heating involved.

7. The Cleaning and the Pilling

Both plush and polar fleece are easy to maintain and keep clean. However, cheaper variants of polar fleece might start pilling after continuous use and washing. Plush or coral fleece doesn’t pill because of the furry texture.

Pro tip: You should never put fabric softener while washing plush fleece because the furry fibers will start sticking together within two to three washes. And, in the end, the fleece will lose its beautifully soft texture because of which you bought it.

8. Identifying the Right Side

Both sides of plush fleece are soft, though the right side appears furrier and comes with a higher pile. On polar fleece, it is usually difficult to differentiate the back side from the front because both the sides look identical.

Don’t worry because you’ll find a tip for easy differentiation between the two sides of polar fleece soon enough!

What Is Meant By Anti-Pill Fleece?

When a fleece is anti-pill, it means the fabric has undergone special treatment for preventing little balls or pills of thread coming up on the fabric surface. The balls of thread usually come up due to the abrasion resulting from washing and drying. Polar fleece has greater chances of pilling than plush fleece. However, plush fleece is available in both anti-pill and non-anti-pill variants. Per se, the cheaper plush fleece might start pilling after washing and wearing.

How To Differentiate Between The Two Sides Of Polar Fleece?

how to differentiate between the two sides of polar fleece

It is easy to differentiate between the two sides of polar fleece after you cut through it. Cut a small piece of fabric from any one of its sides and cut this sample on the cross. Once you do this, the fleece will curl towards one side. This side is the fluffier part and the wrong side of polar fleece.

Which Is More Durable – Polar Fleece Or Plush Fleece?

Both polar fleece and plush fleece have almost the same level of durability. So, they are great fabrics for long-term pieces that you make. Also, it means durability is not the criteria you can use to judge between these two types of fleece.



I'm Jessica Flores, a professional fashion designer and an expert seamstress. Crafting has always been a deep-seated passion of mine, one that has flourished and evolved over the years. I've dedicated considerable time to both studying and practicing in the realm of fashion and sewing, amassing a wealth of experience and skills. It brings me great joy to share these insights and experiences with you all, hoping to inspire and foster a similar passion for the art of sewing.

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