How To Wash a Weighted Blanket
5 min read
Often, people seek out weighted blankets due to their reported ability to help with anxiety. Even if you absolutely love your weighted blanket and think it’s super effective, you may have found it introduces new, unexpected anxiety into your life even as it helps with your previous ones.
How do you wash this thing?
Depending on how heavy your weighted blanket is, you may be a bit baffled at the thought of washing it. Luckily, you have us to help walk you through the options when it comes to keeping your weighted blanket clean and fresh.
But first, let’s talk about what weighted blankets are and why you might want to think about adding one to your bedding lineup.
What Are Weighted Blankets?
Weighted blankets are the hot new thing when it comes to stress relief and ways to promote good sleep hygiene and habits. Whether you're looking to create your own home spa or are interested in simple ways to help your body wind down and de-stress after a challenging day, weighted blankets may be a good option.
These therapeutic blankets can weigh as little as five pounds and as much as 30 pounds. Weighted blankets are generally as soft and plush as you expect a blanket to be and are made from traditional materials like cotton, linen, or rayon, like any other blanket.
What sets them apart are heavy fillers used to add weight rather than the usual added fluff for comfort. Fillers could include glass beads or glass microbeads sewn into pockets for even distribution throughout the entire blanket. Other blankets may rely on plastic poly pellets or steel shot beads, among other things.
In short, a weighted blanket is a notably heavy blanket.
How Do Weighted Blankets Work?
The idea is that using a heavy blanket can provide something mimicking deep pressure therapy, which can benefit a wide range of mental health issues. This kind of pressure may also benefit some types of pain and even promote a higher quality of sleep.
If you’ve ever felt like you’re on the verge of a meltdown after a really hard week, only to receive a hug from a loved one that instantly makes you feel calmer and more balanced… you know the effects that weighted blankets are purported to offer.
How Do You Wash Weighted Blankets?
When it comes to figuring out the best tactic for washing your weighted blanket, the first thing to do is look at the care instructions for your specific blanket. These can often be found on the care tag. While we’re about to walk you through some basic tips and tricks for washing your weighted blanket, follow your blanket’s specific care label first and foremost.
After that, you can review this helpful guide to help you keep your weighted blanket as clean and fresh as it was the day you brought it home!
Spot Clean First
Your first consideration when it comes to washing your weighted blanket is to only wash it as often as necessary. The frequency with which you need to clean your blanket depends on how often you use it and how often it comes into contact with your skin.
If it’s lying on top of your comforter, you can probably wait a little longer between trips to the washer — likewise, if you only use it occasionally.
To keep your weighted blanket fresh between full washes, get an effective stain remover to help address any wear and tear in the meantime. Difficult stains like red wine may require some special care. However, in a pinch, a combination of white vinegar and dish soap (applied with a toothbrush) can help remove any stains or build-up that may make your weighted blanket appear less than fresh.
Check for a Removable Cover
The most user-friendly weighted blankets will come equipped with a removable cover (much like a duvet cover) which makes the process so much easier. If your weighted blanket has this, it’s likely machine washable. So, aside from following any specific washing instructions, you can pretty much toss it in your washing machine and go.
If your weighted blanket doesn’t have a removable cover, you’ll most likely have to hand wash it, or else it’s dry clean only.
Find the Best Laundry Detergent
As you probably know, the right laundry detergent is key. You want a mild detergent that’s free from bleach, like these Laundry Detergent Sheets, which are made with only four natural ingredients.
Despite the short ingredient list, these zero-waste laundry sheets prevent 99.9% of bacterial growth — gentle on the environment but harsh on stains. If you’re looking for a deep clean from a gentle detergent on your items, this is the one.
Be Mindful of the Temperature
While it may be tempting to throw your blanket in on high heat when you’re loading your washer, you’re better off using a low heat setting on your wash cycle. If you can remove the agitator from your washing machine or if you have a front-loading washer that doesn’t use an agitator, that’s definitely preferable. These setups will help maintain the structural integrity of your blanket.
This is especially true if your blanket doesn’t have a removable cover but is machine washable itself. Most weighted blankets need cold water, as they can’t take the intensity of warm water or hot water.
Whether you’re dry cleaning your weighted blanket, using a commercial washer at a laundromat, or washing your blanket at home, ensuring it’s totally dry and free from excess water is essential.
This is easier, of course, if your weighted blanket has a dryer-safe removable cover. But generally, it’s going to be better to air-dry your weighted blanket.
Lay it completely flat, or hang it in a single layer so that there aren’t any nooks and crannies for dampness to settle in. Give your blanket a shake occasionally while it’s drying to ensure it gets as dry as possible.
If you put your weighted blanket in the dryer, opt for a gentle cycle with low heat. If you’re worried that it’s not drying quickly enough, perhaps throw a couple of dry towels in to absorb excess moisture and expedite the drying process. A note: under no circumstances should you let your weighted blanket sit in the dryer unintended.
This is first and foremost so you can be sure it’s completely dry and doesn’t sit in moisture any longer than necessary, which can lead to musty smells and bacteria that will force you to rewash it.
If there are wrinkles here and there, you might be out of luck: most weighted blankets cannot be ironed.
A Light Solution to a Heavy Blanket
Weighted blankets can help you achieve a level of cozy nirvana that you never thought possible. But they can be less-than-intuitive when it comes to how to clean them.
With these helpful hints and tips, though, you can rest assured that your weighted blanket is as fresh as a daisy, which means you’ll be able to rest easily cuddled up underneath it.
How to Wash a Weighted Blanket | Sleep Foundation
Adjunctive Deep Touch Pressure for Comorbid Anxiety in Bipolar Disorder: Mediated by Control of Sensory Input? | National Library of Medicine
The Intermediate Effects of Deep Pressure on Young People with Autism and Severe Intellectual Difficulties: Demonstrating Individual Differences | National Library of Medicine
4 Ways Weighted Blankets Can Actually Help Conditions | Penn Medicine