Weighted blankets are becoming much more commonplace in today’s world where they are used to naturally treat problems with anxiety, stress, attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), insomnia, autism, sensory processing disorder, chronic pain and other struggles of the emotional, physical and mental varieties.
Many people who own a weighted blanket state that it has been so beneficial to them that they now can’t imagine living without one! Weighted blankets work by increasing the serotonin (“happy” hormone) levels and promoting a greater sense of calm and well-being in those who use them. But some people are concerned that weighted blankets can be difficult to take care of.
Because weighted blankets are a great investment, they should probably be treated with care. But they are usually more durable than you might imagine. Weighted blankets are typically more expensive than a normal blanket, meaning that it is wise to follow suggested washing instructions if they are to last a long time. And because weighted blankets are often used by children, they may need to be laundered more often than a weighted blanket that is used by an adult.
How to Launder a Handmade Weighted Blanket
If you purchase a weighted blanket from a reputable company, you should be given laundering instructions by the manufacturer. If it isn’t listen directly on a tag attached to the blanket, it should be given to you within the shipped packaged, or you should also be able to find the washing information you need on the website of the weighted blanket company who manufactured it.
Most makers of weighted blankets filled with poly pellets state that their weighted blankets can be machine washed at home on gentle cycle if they weigh up to 12 pounds. Any blanket weighing more than 12 pounds should probably be taken to a laundromat to be cleaned in a commercial size washing machine. Your local dry cleaner may also have access to a commercial size washing machine, but make sure it is clear that you want you weighted blanket washed and not dry clean. The chemicals used in the dry cleaning process are not safe for a weighted blanket.
If the poly pellets are of high quality, they should stand up to the heat of a tumble dryer. Certainly any weighted blanket that is washed in a machine can be air dried on a line or laid flat to dry in the sun.
When you make your own weighted blanket, you will need to use your own best judgement to decide how to keep it clean. If all of the materials you use to make your weighted blanket are washable, then you should be fine to wash it in a machine in gentle cycle. Do make sure that your seams are well-done so that they will stand up to the agitation in the washing machine.
If you’ve made your blanket weights out of rice, you probably want to avoid washing the inner lining. Instead, remove the inner lining from the inside of the blanket and spot clean it if needed. Then throw the outer cover into the machine to wash and then tumble dry.
How to Make a Washable Weighted Blanket
Some people want to make their own washable weighted blanket. This is certainly a big project to take on and should only be attempted if you are an experienced seamstress –or if you’re very adventurous, crafty, and don’t get easily discouraged! A washable weighted blanket will probably take you 3 hours to make, once you have gathered all of the materials. It can be a bit time consuming and you may be just as happy purchasing one from a quality manufacturer that offers a warranty!
But for those who want to know how to make a washable blanket, we’ve included some basic how-to instructions right here.
To make a washable weighted blanket, you will need to gather these materials:
- Washed-and-Dried Blanket Fabric (flannel, cotton, minky dots, fleece, or other preference)
- Sewing Machine
- Straight Pins
- Poly Pellets (enough to equal 10% of body weight for an adult or 10% of body weight + 1-2 pounds for a child) or some other non-toxic, washable material to provide weight
Instructions for Making a Weighted Blanket:
1. Place two pieces of fabric, right sides facing together, and stitch around three outer edges.
2. Stitch vertical columns approximately four inches apart.
3. Calculate how much weight of pellets you need for each square by dividing the entire weight of the blanket by the number of squares you will have.
4. Fill one column with the weight of pellets you need for one square.
5. Stitch up the top to secure that square, then add more pellets for the next square. Stitch again.
6. Repeat until each column is evenly filled with poly pellets and secured into squares.
7. Finish off the edges with a serged stitch or satin blanket trim.
As long as all of the materials that you used for your weighted blanket are machine washable, then you should be able to simply throw it into the washing machine on gentle cycle. Then you can either tumble dry or line dry your blanket.
If you desire to make a washable weighted blanket with more natural materials, such as rice or beans, you’ll need to make an inner lining (as above) from muslin and attach ribbons or string to each corner. Then you can make an outer cover with ribbons or string attached to each corner of the inside. Once you’ve placed the weighted lining inside, you can secure it by tying the cover to the liner. To wash, simply removing the weighted blanket lining and wash the outside cover as usual.
Weighted blankets have the power to absolutely change the lives of many people who use them! Whether to soothe and comfort a child who can’t seem to sleep alone, or to provide just the thing that an adult needs to calm down and battle insomnia, weighted blankets can almost seem magical! But they are very practical too. Whether choosing to do the work of making your own, or clicking a few buttons and ordering one from a trusted online source, if you’ve been trying to decide if a weighted blanket is right for you then it might just be that the time is now!