Posted by Bridget Reed

What Are Weighted Blankets Made Of?

5 min read

Offering a gentle hug and cozy comfort, weighted blankets have taken the world — and the internet — by storm. But they’re far more than a social media trend. If you’ve ever snuggled into the comfort of a weighted blanket on a chilly evening or during a stressful period, you know the level to which they can help soothe and relax you. 

But what are weighted blankets made of, and what makes them so unique? Whether you’re just looking to understand your new favorite addition to your bedding collection or considering getting a weighted blanket, let’s talk about everything you need to know to fully understand weighted blankets. 

What is a weighted blanket, what are weighted blankets good for, what does a weighted blanket do, and what exactly are they made of?

What’s So Great About Weighted Blankets?

So, what is a weighted blanket? And what are the benefits of a weighted blanket? The wonders of weighted blankets stretch far beyond a simple cuddle. 

They're a marvel of modern innovation, catering to a diverse crowd seeking warmth, comfort, and therapeutic benefits. From reducing anxiety to improving sleep quality, weighted blanket benefits are multifaceted and scientifically proven.

The benefits of weighted blankets can be helpful to people of all ages, whether you or a child (or a parent!) are looking to improve their sleep quality or just find new ways to relax and unwind from a stressful day or period in your life. Studies have shown that their soothing pressure can replicate a therapeutic technique known as deep touch pressure (DTP), enhancing the overall sleep experience.

To explore the benefits of weighted blankets further, they’re what they sound like: blankets that are in some way weighted or heavier than your average blanket. You’re applying gentle pressure to your body by laying under a weighted blanket. Think about how a good, firm hug can help ground and relax you when you’re feeling stressed or on the verge of spiraling about something in your life.

The purpose of weighted blanket is to provide a gentle squeeze, like a calming embrace, and this isn't merely a comforting feeling. There's scientific wisdom behind it! The sensation triggers a release of serotonin, the happiness hormone, paving the way for better relaxation. But how are weighted blankets made to accomplish this? Let’s talk about it.

What’s Inside of a Weighted Blanket?

If you’ve ever searched “how to make weighted blankets?” on Google, think again. It’s best to buy one ready-made, because of what they are made of. 

Understanding what's inside can make all the difference when seeking the benefits of a weighted blanket, whether comfort or relaxation. The variety of fillers is fascinating and functional, and each has its unique attributes that cater to different preferences and needs. 

To select the right weighted blanket for your preferences and needs, let’s talk about the most common filling for weighted blankets to help you make an informed choice.

Plastic Poly Pellets

When asking, “What are weighted blankets made of?” you may not have considered plastic pellets! Often used in homemade weighted blankets, these pellets made from polypropylene are lighter and larger than some alternatives, which leads to a different feel and potential unevenness in the blanket.

While they are the most affordable option, their synthetic nature raises concerns about environmental impact and possible toxicity. Although considered safe by the FDA, the growing awareness of microplastics' dangers may lead some to think twice. This is why you’re most likely to encounter this type of filling if you’re getting your weighted blanket from an individual creator rather than a larger company.

The lighter nature of poly pellets means that more are required to achieve the desired weight. Although they are typically machine washable and dryable, the fact that they are not as free-flowing inside the blanket and don't provide the same level of comfort may limit their appeal.

Glass Beads

Glass beads are the undisputed champions in the world of weighted blanket fillers. Glass beads are more environmentally friendly than other filler options. Unlike some materials that can harm the environment, glass beads present a more sustainable choice. 

The beads are tiny and uniform, allowing them to mold to your body comfortably. This creates a sensation that seems more organic — if you really want your glass bead weighted blanket to give you the experience of a tight, comforting hug, then glass beads are the filling you should look for.

And contrary to what you might think at first glance, glass beads are mostly silent. Unlike some other fillers that can create noise when you move, glass bead-filled blankets provide a serene, noise-free experience. 

Easy to care for, many are machine washable and dryer-friendly. Their one drawback is the cost, as they're more expensive than plastic alternatives, but their efficiency and effectiveness often justify the expense.

Nothing At All

It seems impossible, but some weighted blankets stand out by using no filling at all. Instead, they derive their weight from a heavy and dense weave of fabric. This simple approach offers clear advantages: it's easy to care for, there's no worry about ruining the filling, and the weight is distributed evenly all the time.

However, this method does have limitations. Achieving higher weights becomes impractical with fabric alone, so if you feel that you need a more substantial heft to your blanket to get the feeling you’re looking for, these types of blankets may not be for you.

Because the weave on these blankets is often quite heavy, these heavy, non-filled blankets are much warmer, which might not be suitable for everyone.

Choosing the Right Weighted Blanket for You

Now that we’ve answered, “What is a weighted blanket?” it’s time to choose the best one for you. In addition to considering the filling that works best for you and your needs, you’ll want to think about a few other key things when selecting a weighted blanket.

Because weighted blankets can be somewhat difficult to clean and can take a while to dry, look for a blanket with a removable cover so you can keep it clean without the hassle. It’s basically the same idea as having a duvet cover! 

You can wash the duvet cover (or weighted blanket cover, in this case) as regularly as you would any other piece of bedding without having to go through the difficulty of washing a more complicated piece.

That said, as with many comforters such as ours, many weighted blankets are machine washable, so just check the care instructions before committing. You’ll also want to think about the weight of your blanket. 

They typically come in different weights depending on your size and preference. Look into the return policy of your weighted blanket before you purchase it if you're buying it online and aren’t sure which level of heaviness will be comfortable for you. This way, you can be sure you can send it back if you need to rethink things.

Weighing In on Great Bedding

You shouldn’t be asking, “What is a weighted blanket?” or “What are weighted blankets made of?” — now it’s all about making a choice! Every detail contributes to their unique appeal, from their fabric to what's inside weighted blankets. Weighted blankets have evolved from mere comfort accessories to versatile companions providing therapy, relaxation, and joy. 

Whether you're seeking therapy or comfort or just looking for a way to upgrade your bedding, a weighted blanket is your perfect companion. They can add a touch of style, a new texture, and yes — a real upgrade to your evening wind-down routine or just a great way to help reach your ultimate zen state on the weekend while you’re recuperating from a challenging week!


Weighted Blanket Benefits | Sleep Foundation

The Effects of Deep Pressure Touch on Anxiety | National Library of Medicine

Embrace Hugs for Your Health | Golden Valley Health Centers

Plastic Planet: How Tiny Plastic Particles Are Polluting Our Soil | UN Environment Programme

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