For those of us who have sleep issues – or who simply want to make their snooze time more comfy – a weighted blanket is a fantastic investment.
It can feel like an enormous hug in your sleep. However, there’s one common question when owning one: how to wash a weighted blanket?
(After all, that thing is heavy!)
Thankfully, you can wash weighted blankets at home – depending on the fibre content and filler material.
For common materials like poly pellets or glass beads, simply machine wash in cold water on a gentle wash cycle. Otherwise, you can hand wash the weighted blanket in the bathtub.
Air dry your weighted blanket afterwards.
There are few better feelings than getting cosy in bed with freshly-washed linens. Grab your blanket and some detergent, and you’re well on the way to a good night’s sleep.
How Weighted Blankets Work
A weighted blanket is designed to simulate deep pressure stimulation, which relaxes you and improves your sleep quality. Most weighted blankets weigh between 2.2kg and 13.0kg, depending on size and filler material.
The blanket itself is divided into pockets containing either fibre content or filler material. This creates the weight or sensation of heaviness.
Like other bed linens, though, weighted blankets accumulate dirt and grime from body oils, sweat, moisture, and dust. Because of this, you’ll need to wash your blanket regularly.
It’s also important to maintain good bedroom hygiene! Check for home cleaning services near you to help you with general upkeep.
Can You Wash a Weighted Blanket at Home?
Yes, you can wash weighted blankets at home – but not all of them. Whether you can wash your weighted blanket depends on both the size and filling.
Can you wash a weighted blanket in the washing machine? Check the maximum capacity of your machine, then the filling material.
If the blanket’s weight falls into the range and the filling can be machine washed, then you’re good to go!
However, if your blanket is too large or heavy, you’re better off sending it to a commercial washer.
Machine or hand washing a weighted blanket at home is much the same process as washing a doona.
Which Weighted Blanket Fillers are Washable?
There are several types of weighted blanket fillings, but not all of them can be washed.
Make sure you know the material inside your blanket before you attempt washing.
- Micro glass beads: One of the most common filler materials. Glass beads can handle machine washing and slightly higher temperatures. They also won’t clump while drying.
- Plastic poly pellets: These are a more affordable alternative, made of virgin plastic. They are also machine washable but not at high temperatures as they could melt.
- Steel shot beads: These make for a heavy blanket without the bulk. Avoid machine washing steel beads since they could rip through the outer cover, damaging the blanket and washer.
- Small pebbles: More often used for DIY blankets. Do not machine wash.
- Organic materials: Options include dried corn, beans, grains, etc. These are not washable and are spot-clean only. Soaking the blanket will turn the filler soggy and potentially cause mould or bacteria.
- Sand: One of the cheaper filler options. However, sand is also prone to developing infestations, mould, or yeast when wet. It clumps and is very difficult to dry. Do not wash sand-filled blankets.
How Often to Wash a Weighted Blanket
Wash your weighted blanket every 3–4 months if you use it regularly.
For blankets used only in autumn and/or winter, you can get away with washing them at the start and end of the season.
If your weighted blanket comes with a separate cover, you’ll need to wash the outer cover every 1–2 weeks.
Before Washing Weighted Blankets
Always check the product label for the manufacturer’s care instructions.
This will include the washing instructions for the fibre content, which is usually one of the following:
- Cotton or flannel
- Bamboo lyocell
- Faux fur
Pre-treat any stains with an enzyme-based cleaner or gentle laundry detergent. Apply a small amount to the stained area and let it sit for 15 minutes before washing.
Do not wash with hot water. Avoid fabric softeners since these could leave a residue that attracts dirt, and use a bleach-free gentle detergent.
How to Machine Wash a Weighted Blanket
If your blanket has a removable duvet cover, start by stripping it first. Launder it separately like your other linen.
When you’re machine washing the inner blanket, use cold or warm water and a gentle cycle. Always make sure the weight of the blanket is within the load limit.
Place your weighted blanket inside the washer. Add a mild detergent without bleach, and do not use a fabric softener.
Run your gentlest cycle with cold or warm water (no more than 30ºC).
How to Hand Wash a Weighted Blanket
Fill your bathtub with cold or warm water. Add the minimum amount of mild detergent and swish it through the water.
Carefully submerge the weighted blanket into the water until it is fully underwater.
Squeeze the water through the fabric. You can use an old toothbrush or soft-bristled brush to lightly scrub the outer fabric.
Let the blanket soak for 15–30 minutes.
Following that, lift the weighted blanket out of the water and drain the tub. Refill with fresh, cold water.
Rinse the blanket by squeezing the clean water through the fabric. You can drain and repeat the rinsing process until there are no more suds or soapy residue.
Drain the tub one last time while carefully squeezing out any excess water from the weighted blanket. Do not wring.
How to Dry a Weighted Blanket Properly
It’s best to let your weighted blanket air dry.
Spread the entire blanket out flat on a horizontal surface for even weight distribution. Turn the blanket over and shake it out every few hours while air drying.
If this isn’t possible, hang the weighted blanket across several lines to spread it out as much as possible. Shake it every so often to prevent bunching.
Blankets with glass beads may be placed in a tumble dryer if specified by the care label. Use a low-heat setting and take the blanket out to shake it every so often.
For plastic pellets or steel beads, avoid tumble drying as the filling could melt or damage the outer fabric.
How to Wash the Weighted Blanket Cover
This will depend on the material of the blanket’s cover. Always check the care label for the proper instructions.
- Faux mink or fur: These are usually made from polyester, which is machine washable. Use a low or medium setting.
- Cotton: A common and durable material. Can be machine washed on a gentle cycle and warm water.
- Wool: This is a very delicate fabric that shrinks easily. Hand wash wool covers unless specified on the label and never tumble dry.
- Bamboo lyocell: Always use cold water for bamboo fabrics (no more than 30ºC) and a gentle wash cycle. Use only mild detergent with no bleach or fabric softener.
- Silk: Extremely delicate fabric. Hand washing is recommended, in cold water with minimal detergent. Otherwise, send for dry cleaning.
How to Spot Clean a Weighted Blanket
Sometimes a weighted blanket is spot-clean only, usually due to the filling material. These cannot be machine or hand washed.
Use cold water to dampen any stained or dirty areas.
Mix some gentle detergent with water to create a soapy solution. Dip in an old toothbrush and carefully scrub the dirty parts.
Rinse with a sponge dampened with fresh water, then set aside to air dry.
Removing Stains from Your Weighted Blanket
Rinse the stain with cold water as soon as possible. The sooner you act, the better chance you have at removing the stain.
Remember to test the cleaning solution first on an inconspicuous area!
Use an enzyme-based cleaner and carefully dab on the affected area. Use a microfibre cloth or a clean sponge.
For less stubborn stains, you can use a mild detergent.
Dampen another clean cloth with fresh water to clean the blanket before running it through a wash cycle.
Weighted Blanket Care
Do not try ironing weighted blankets, especially if they contain plastic pellets, steel beads, or organic materials as fillers. The heat from the iron will melt, warp, or damage the filling.
Weighted blankets cannot be sent to a dry cleaner unless specified in the blanket’s care instructions. Instead, send them to a commercial washer, which will have machines sized for larger loads.
Always wash your weighted blanket and cover separately from other linens and clothing.
Knowing how to wash a weighted blanket isn’t enough – you’ll need to know about regular care, too!
Things like not using it as a bedsheet without a cover, or letting it completely dry before use. After that, you can look forward to another calm night’s sleep while feeling like you’re getting a warm hug.