A Quick Guide on How to Wash a Weighted Blanket

There’s nothing better than curling up with a blanket at the end of a long day and getting some shut-eye. But for anyone who struggles to get the recommended 7-8 hours of sleep per night, it can be tempting to add more blankets and pillows onto your bed for some extra comfort. If you want an easy solution that will make you feel more relaxed and comfortable at night, try using a weighted blanket instead of an ordinary one. Weighted blankets, like the premium ones from Quility, are great for making yourself feel cozier and improving the quality of your sleep.

With that said, weighted blankets need to be washed properly and regularly just like any other blanket. However, not all blankets are the same when it comes to cleaning them. In this article, we’ll give you a short guide on how to wash a weighted blanket so you can take proper care of yours and get a good night’s rest.

What is a Weighted Blanket?

Before we get started on your guide to washing a weighted blanket, you may be wondering what a weighted blanket is. Basically, it’s a heavy blanket that weighs anywhere from 5 to 30 pounds and uses deep pressure stimulation (DPS) to relax the nervous system. They’re commonly known for their therapeutic purposes as they help relieve stress, anxiety, insomnia, PTSD, and a range of other conditions. Most importantly, weighted blankets are designed to produce a calming effect on your body to help you sleep and relax better.

Do Weighted Blankets Work?

While weighted blankets aren’t the sole determiner of improved quality of sleep and overall well-being, they definitely are a contributing factor of these things and come with a range of benefits. Here are a few perks of owning a weighted blanket:

  1. Experienced calming effect: According to studies, weighted blankets are effective in relieving stress or hyperactive disorders since they produce a calming feeling for many blanket users.
  2. Improved daytime social interactions: When people don’t get enough sleep, other areas of life are impacted: school, work, and especially social interactions. Since weighted blankets have been found to help people sleep better at night, they have been linked to improved social interactions for blanket users.
  3. Increased serotonin: Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that regulates the different stages of the sleep cycle and impacts the depth of sleep. According to studies, deep touch therapy can stimulate the release of serotonin and help users sleep better. Therefore, people who use weighted blankets often report higher quality sleep.

Can You Wash a Weighted Blanket?

As we mentioned before, cleaning a weighted blanket is just as necessary as cleaning a regular one. So, the short answer is yes; you can (and should) wash your weighted blanket! However, before we get into the details, you should know that the wash process depends on a couple of factors: the fabric type and filler material.

Fabric Type

  • Cotton: Cotton weighted blankets can be washed by hand or machine using a gentle cycle, cold water, and chlorine-free detergent. When drying, avoid tumble drying in a dryer or placing the blanket directly under the sun as these can lead to shrinkage.
  • Mink: Weighted blankets made with mink fabric can be washed in the machine with cold water and non-chlorine bleach. Avoid using hot water and high heat settings on the dryer since mink fabric is not tolerant of heat. It’s also best to wash this type of material alone so it won’t experience friction with other items.
  • Fleece: Fleece weighted blankets are washing machine friendly and can be washed with warm water and gentle detergent. This type of material can also tolerate fabric softener, but you may need to do an extra rinse to avoid any build-up. To dry weighted blankets made of fleece, use a low heat setting on the dryer or air dry to reduce pilling.
  • Wool: Since wool is delicate and prone to shrinking, avoid using the washing machine and dryer. It’s best to hand wash wool material with cold water and air dry in order to maintain the soft texture.

Filler Material

  • Micro glass beads: Weighted blankets filled with micro glass beads are machine-washable and dryer-safe. Washing with warm water and drying with low heat doesn’t pose the risk of melting the beads, but definitely avoid using hot water and high heat.
  • Plastic poly pellets: These are made out of pure plastic materials (ABS), so use warm water when washing to avoid the risk of melting and clumping. Weighted blankets made with plastic poly pellets should be hand washed and air dried.
  • Steel shot beads: Steel beads are heavier than plastic ones. They won’t melt in hot water and can be machine-washed and dried, but use a low heat setting when drying. Sometimes, you can also hand wash and air dry weighted blankets made from this material since steel beads can tear fabric due to their weight.
  • Organic fillers like beans and rice: These materials, like sand, should avoid getting wet if possible because they can decompose and become soggy and moldy. Weighted blankets made with organic fillers should therefore be dry cleaned and air dried.

father and son pulling laundry out of the washing machine

 How Do You Wash A Weighted Blanket?

Step 1: Remove Any Stains

If you happen to spot a stain on your weighted blanket, don’t immediately throw it in the washing machine and hope for the best. Instead, try using some of these pretreatment methods to remove stains before giving the blanket a thorough wash.

Run the blanket under cold water: Not all stains are tough enough to require the use of soaps. Sometimes, you can get away with just running the stained area directly under cold water to remove dirty spots. You should avoid using warm water as this can cause stains to seep further into the fabric.
Apply a chlorine-free stain remover: For liquid spill stains, pour a spoonful of chlorine-free stain remover directly onto the stain and gently scrub it out.
Use soap for grease stains: Oil-based substances can leave permanent spots on your weighted blanket if left untreated. To prevent this from happening, apply a bleach-free soap and scrub the stained area with your fingers or a toothbrush before rinsing.

Step 2: Wash the Weighted Blanket

 The best way to go about washing a weighted blanket is to check the care label and follow the instructions. As previously mentioned, weighted blankets vary in their fabrics and filler materials, so cleaning procedures may be different. For example, some blankets require hand washing while others are machine-washable.

If you’re using a washing machine to wash your weighted blanket, use hot or cold water according to the care tag and a gentle detergent. You generally want to stay away from fabric softeners and products with bleach; fabric softeners can make your blanket feel scratchy while bleach can break down fibers over time. Another important thing to note is that it’s better to wash blankets that are heavier than 10 pounds at a laundromat where the machines tend to be larger.

Hand washing a weighted blanket requires more physical work but is just as effective as using a washing machine. First, fill up your bathtub halfway with warm or cold water and add in some mild detergent. Depending on the size of the blanket, you can increase the amount of soap used. Next, place your weighted blanket into the tub and gently knead it with your hands for several minutes. Then, replace the water with clean water and rinse off any excess soap. Remove the blanket from the tub and proceed with the drying process.

Step 3: Dry the Weighted Blanket

The last step in cleaning a weighted blanket is drying it. There are two methods to dry a weighted blanket: tumble drying in a machine or air drying; it all comes down to whether your blanket can handle heat or not.

If you’re using a dryer, it’s a good idea to check the care label of the blanket and read the instructions beforehand. In general, it’s acceptable to use low heat settings based on the fabric type and filler material.

Air drying your weighted blanket is the safest method. When drying the blanket, you can hang it on a line, over a well-ventilated structure, or on a drying rack. Make sure to hang the blanket proportionately to avoid stretching the fabric and negatively impacting the shape and quality. If you decide to air dry your weighted blanket outdoors, avoid hanging it directly under the sun as this can shrink the fibers and coarsen the texture.

How to Clean a Weighted Blanket: Final Thoughts

Knowing how to wash a weighted blanket properly is important because this affects the overall quality of it; the last thing you want to do is ruin your cozy blanket. But now that you’re familiar with the cleaning process, you’re ready to use your weighted blanket to its full potential and get a good night’s sleep. Sweet dreams!

Contributing Writer: Rebecca Lee