When it comes to chunky knitting I think there are 3 main choices of yarn.
These are Merino, Acrylic and Chenille.
If you look carefully at the 1st 2 pictures( merino then acrylic) you can see that they are already starting to pill and bobble.
Whilst they all have their merits, when it comes to quality, style and practicality, I believe chenille yarn is the best to use.
Merino wool is the top of the range. Anything knitted in this wool will be very expensive as it is an expensive yarn to buy. It does have some great qualities - super soft, can regulate body temperature and is flame retardant. Some of the negatives are - not for everyday use as pilling will occur quickly and your blanket will look worn out. Can't be washed in a machine, so any spills etc have to be spot cleaned.
Acrylic yarn is a manmade yarn and is similar to Merino but at a cheaper price and is a lighter weight. It too is soft, but not as soft as Merino or Chenille. Again this is a yarn that will pill even quicker than merino and soon start to look worn out, not really suitable for everyday use and not really suitable for machine washing.
I wouldn't recommend having merino or acrylic items around babies or very young children s the fibres can easily come off and be inhaled.
Chenille yarn is another manmade yarn so is suitable for vegans. it is extremely soft, not as expensive as the other 2 and can be machine washed and tumble dried!! Its great for children and animals and perfect for everyday living. You don't have to keep items knitted in chenille just for decoration, you can use them about your home and garden and just give the a quick wash if they get dirty.
WIN WIN for me! Chenille every time!