There's nothing more soothing than snuggling up in a freshly washed blanket— especially one that's proven to reduce anxiety, improve sleep quality, and calm your nervous system. These heavy blankets create sustained pressure using deep pressure stimulation to create a sense of comfort, security, and serenity.
But due to their unique design, weighted blankets require different care than your average blanket. So to help you care for your favorite blanket correctly, we're offering step-by-step instructions on how to wash a weighted blanket below.
How often should you wash a weighted blanket?
How often to wash your weighted blanket depends on how you use it. Blankets that are covered with a duvet should be washed around four times a year if you have a washable weighted blanket. Blankets that are used without a cover should be washed monthly. Be sure to spot clean stains right away to prevent them from permanently damaging your blanket.
Factors to consider when washing your weighted blanket
Many weighted blankets are made with machine-washable fabrics and fillers, and some require hand washing. Let's take a look at some of the most common materials used for weighted blankets.
Cotton: This is one of the most common materials and natural materials for weight blankets. It's durable, breathable, and easy to care for. A cotton blanket can be hand washed or machine washed on a gentle cycle. Avoid drying the cotton weighted blanket under the sun or tumble dried in a dryer as it can shrink the blanket and give it a brittle texture.
Linen: Though linen is used less commonly, it's an excellent choice for warm climates and hot summer weather. This material can be washed in warm or cold water with mild detergent.
Mink: Mink fabric is similar to fleece, only thicker, softer, and plushier. This material is washing machine-friendly in cold water and dried on low heat. To maintain its quality, it is best to pre-soak it and wash it on cold.
Fleece: It is water-repellent, so it is best to wash fleece blankets alone with gentle detergent and without fabric softener. It is best to finish with a tumble dry on low heat.
Wool: This material is very soft and delicate, and prone to brittleness. To wash a wool-weighted blanket, it is best to hand wash and air dry to maintain its soft texture.
Most weighted blankets have several dozen pockets of fillers to evenly distribute the weight and help the blanket hold its shape:
Micro glass beads: These tiny glass beads are very similar to salt or sand crystals. It is best to avoid washing in hot water. Best to wash with cold or warm water.
Plastic Poly Pellets: This material derives from virgin plastic material, and it is best to avoid washing them in hot water to prevent melting or clumping.
Both materials can tumble on a low heat cycle or spread your freshly laundered blanket on a large surface to air dry.
How to Wash a Weighted Blanket
Step 1— Read the Care Label
First things first, you'll need to read the blanket care instructions on the care label to learn what you should and shouldn't do. To keep your weighted blanket looking its best, you'll need to follow the manufacturer's instructions carefully.
Step 2— Check Your Blanket's Weight
Check your blanket's weight to ensure it's safe to wash in your washing machine at home. Blankets weighing over twenty to twenty-five pounds should be washed in a commercial machine, as they can permanently damage smaller machines.
Step 3— Spot Treat Stains
Depending on the size of the stain and its cause, you may not need to wash the entire blanket. Dampen the area and gently scrub with a bit of stain remover. Rinse with warm water and allow to dry thoroughly.
Additionally, spot-treating stains with a little stain remover before washing your weighted blanket helps ensure they actually come out in the wash. Liquid spill stains, urine, and other bodily fluids should be washed out right away to prevent permanent stains and lingering odors.
Step 4— Wash as Directed
It's crucial to follow the instructions on the care label closely when washing a weighted blanket. Using the wrong washing method can damage the filler inside and significantly decrease the quality and lifespan of your blanket. Check the tag to determine which of the following methods to use:
These days, most weighted blankets are made with machine-washable materials. Here's how to machine wash a weighted blanket correctly:
- Double-check your blanket's weight before machine washing at home. Anything over twenty to twenty-five pounds should be washed in a commercial washing machine that can handle larger, heavier bedding.
- Wash your blanket alone. Avoid putting any other garments, bedding, or towels in the washing machine.
- Always use a gentle wash cycle and use cold or warm water, even if your washing machine has a setting designed specifically for bedding and blankets. These intense spin cycles can damage the blanket.
- Use a gentle laundry detergent that does not contain bleach or chlorine that can break down fillers and wear out the exterior fabric.
- Regardless of whether you're machine washing or hand washing, you should always use cold water. Never use hot water.
- Never use fabric softeners, as they can leave behind build-up that causes the filler to clump together. Fabric softener can also cause some fabrics to feel stiff.
When you are using a washing machine:
Most washing machines could only wash a blanket that weighed up to 12 lbs. Anything heavier will be best to take to a professional laundromat.
If your blanket doesn't explicitly say that it can be machine-washed on the care tag, you'll want to hand wash it. And when in doubt, always hand wash. It's better to be safe than sorry. Here are a few tips on how to hand wash a weighted blanket:
- Most sinks won't be large enough to accommodate your weighted blanket, so you'll need to wash it in your bathtub.
- Fill the tub halfway with cold water and add a splash of mind detergent. Swish the laundry detergent around to ensure it's evenly mixed before adding the blanket.
- Submerge the entire blanket in the water and leave it to sit for a few minutes. Then, using your hands, agitate the blanket for a few minutes.
- Drain the water and rinse the blanket until thoroughly to ensure it's completely soap-free.
- Wring out as much water as possible to help speed up the drying process.
Don't want to go through the hassle of washing your weighted blanket yourself? Try dry cleaning it instead. Just be sure to check the tag to ensure it's okay to dry clean before you drop it off at your neighborhood dry cleaner.
Step 5— Dry Thoroughly
Depending on the care tag's drying instructions, you can either machine dry on a low or medium setting or air dry your weighted blanket. While most weighted blankets are safe to tumble dry on a low heat setting, it's always best to air dry your blanket. Never dry your weighted blanket using a high-heat setting.
Even if your blanket is safe to tumble dry, it's best to avoid the inevitable damage caused by the heat and agitation of a trip through the dryer. Air drying, line drying, or laying your blanket flat to dry can help extend the life of your blanket.
Care Tips for Weighted Blankets
Quality weighted blankets don't come cheap, so you'll want to take good care of them to make the investment worth your while. Here are a few additional care tips to keep your weighted blanket looking its best:
- Never iron your weighted blanket. Ironing can melt the plastic beads or plastic poly pellets inside your blanket.
- Avoid using bleach, fabric softener, and harsh laundry detergents. Stick to a mild laundry soap that won't damage the fabric or leave behind a residue.
- To preserve the color of your blanket and prevent it from bleeding onto other clothing and bedding, pre-soak your blanket in a cup of vinegar and a sprinkle of salt before its first wash. This helps to lock in colors and remove excess dye.
- Protect your weighted blanket from stains and regular wear and tear by using a duvet cover. You can simply toss the duvet cover in the wash with your other bedding instead of going through the hassle of washing the weighted blanket itself every time.