A weighted blanket is simply a regular blanket stuffed with fillings segregated into pockets to make it feel heavy. Such heaviness serves the purpose of reducing anxiety and stress and also helping people with autism and insomnia, according to modern research. These healing properties are what give the weighted blanket its famous title “therapeutic blanket”.
Depending on the manufacturer, weighted blankets can have different types of fillings stuffed inside them during production, just as the choice of fabric can also be different. Such variance in fabric and filling type makes it virtually impossible to conclusively comment on the washability of weighted blankets. And also how to dry them.
In this article, we’ll go through the various fabric types and how they can be washed, and then discuss the different types of fillings used in weighted blankets and their status in the washing machine. With this knowledge, the user should be able to know whether or not the weighted blanket they have at home can be washed or not.
Without wasting time, let’s get started.
First, consider the fabric
Is your weighted blanket made from cotton? Acrylic or polyester? Depending on the type of fabric you have covering your fillings, you would want to adopt a different washing option.
In the case of cotton, which is the widely used fabric for making weighted blankets, it’s a highly durable material that can endure the rough agitation of the washer or your hands. Putting it inside the washer is a really good idea especially for days that you don’t have the energy to wash by hand.
Cotton based weighted blankets can be washed in the washer using cold or warm water and a decent detergent. They can also be washed by hand and put in the dryer under high heat to dry before use.
Wool is made from the fur of animals like sheep and it’s a durable material. It should be put inside the washer for cleaning using only the delicate or wool cycle. The detergent should be a gentle detergent and the water should be cold since warm or hot water can cause wool to shrink. You don’t want shrinkage on an expensive weighted blanket right?
After washing wool, you want to ditch the dryer and air dry instead for the same reason mentioned above.
Polyester is a strong material that can withstand the rough agitation of the washer. It can also be washed using warm water and put in the dryer to dry.
Lyocell is best washed by hand using gentle motion, gentle detergent and cold water. However, the delicate wash cycle of the washer is also an option. Hang on the clothes line to dry or put in the drying machine at medium setting.
Another synthetic fiber that is made from an acid. It is totally safe to wash in the washer and using warm water. Acrylic is often paired up with other types of fabric (especially wool) so you want to consider that before putting it inside the washer. As for drying, it is safe to put in the dryer but at low temperatures to prevent permanent wrinkle.
Nylon is a synthetic fiber that is as sturdy as polyester and can be washed in the rigid perimeters of the washing machine. Nylon can withstand cold and warm. And both options of water temperature is suitable for its washing. It can also be put in the dryer to dry.
Second, consider the filling inside
There are a variety of fillings used to stuff the inside of weighted blankets. We discuss how each one of them fares under “washing” as well as “drying conditions”.
These category of weighted blankest have their fabrics made into large chunky knits or layers which are meant to stand in for the actual fillings. They become heavy and are able to provide the benefits that other fillings do. These type of weighted blankets do not have any fillers and as such the method of washing them depends strictly on the type of fabric used.
Recycled shredded fabrics like denim or cotton
These fillings are fabric based and thus are perfectly safe to put inside the washer and drier.
Plastic poly pellets
These are made from polypropylene and are perfectly fine if they come in contact with water. They can endure cold, warm and even hot water, and they can also be put inside the dryer to dry at hot or warm settings.
Blankets having sand as their filling can be washed, but they can take a very long time to completely dry out. Additionally, sand is prone to clumping, thus wetting such type of blanket exposes the sand filling to this risk which can cause loss of shape of the blanket. Sand based weighted blankets are best cleaned using dry cleaning.
Steel shot beads
These are made of steel and thus are perfectly safe to put inside the washing machine for washing. They can also be put in the dryer to dry out.
Aquarium gravel, river stones and pebbles
These are also machine washable as they are merely stones. They can be dried at the hottest temperature as well without any problem.
Micro glass beads
Micro glass beads are made of glass and are perfectly safe to machine wash and dry. They are durable and tough and can be subjected to warm and cold situations.
Weighted blankest having grains like rice or beans as their fillings are not advised to be washed because the grains can absorb water through their porous walls, swell and eventually serve as breeding ground for microorganisms. In short, rot. The last thing you want to slap over your body is a blanket full of rotten grains.
Amethyst and quartz crystals
These are stones and are completely machine washable. They can also be dried in the dryer.
These particles are chemically inert (which means they do not react chemically). They also have high heat resistance. These favorable properties make them an ideal choice for filling because they can be subjected to the cold and warm environment of the washer and still fare well.
Your best bet
Despite having the instruction above telling you how to wash each type of fabric, it’s still advisable to consult the care label of your weighted blanket to find out all the necessary instructions for proper and care. There, you can find instructions for washing the blankets as well as how to dry it properly.
How to wash a weighted blanket that has a washable fabric and filling
If your weighted blanket ticks the two boxes above, meaning its fabric and fillings are particularly safe to wash, how then do you wash it?
For blankets without washing instructions slapped on them, go ahead and wash them as follows.
- Load the washer with the blanket.
- Pour cold or warm water and also a gentle detergent. Use small amount of detergents for washing machines as too much can lead to suds.
- Use the appropriate cycle for your blanket.
- Spin dry in the spinner and transfer to the dryer afterwards.
- Use the appropriate settings for your fabric and dry.
- Spread blanket on a line and properly shape to balance out the weights inside.
- Let dry completely.
Maybe you only need to spot clean
If you have spots only and that’s the reason why you’re convinced you need the services of the washing machine, then please hear me out. You don’t. You can simply treat spots and your blanket is good to go for few rounds of nights.
How do you spot clean? Well, there are various guide online that teach you how to properly treat specific types of stains on your fabric. If you’re too busy to try that out by yourself, you can take the blanket to a professional stain remover and get charged extra bucks.
Weighted blankets come in all sort of varieties and not all of them can be washed using the same procedures. Each one of the varieties require different washing techniques which should be strictly adhered to otherwise there is the risk of ruining that expensive piece of bedding.