How to Wash a Weighted Blanket

Written by in Weighted Blankets

Quick Overview

Weighted blankets may be among the most-used products in your home. But you can only reap their benefits if you take care of them. Most weighted blankets can tolerate a cold, gentle machine wash and low to medium dryer heat, but others have more specific care instructions. Learn how to properly launder your weighted blanket and preserve its material for years to come.

As with any item in your home, proper maintenance is the key to longevity. The same goes for weighted blankets. While appliances may need tune-ups or replacement parts and smart TVs need software updates, weighted blankets need to periodically be washed. Laundering not only keeps this product sanitary, but it enhances the comfort provided to the person using the blanket. There is nothing more relaxing than a clean, fresh-smelling blanket, which only adds to the existing benefits of weighted blankets.

While weighted blankets do not have many components and are easy to use, they do possess care instructions that differ slightly from those of standard blankets. We’ve discussed how weighted blankets can be simply made of hand-knit cotton (like the Serenity Knit Weighted Blanket) or they can contain one of many filler materials, which gives the blanket its substance. Just as silk clothing requires a different cleaning process than cotton goods do, the care of weighted blankets will differ depending on what sort of material and filling is used. We will discuss the dos and don’ts for washing a weighted blanket followed by comparing the differences in care instructions between the various weighted blanket fillers.

How to Machine Wash a Weighted Blanket

In particular, many people are curious if you are able to put weighted blankets in the washing machine, since washers are notoriously considered to be bad for products that are delicate (1). The answer to this question is sometimes.

If your weighted blanket has a plastic pouch with some type of fabric or linen duvet cover on the outside, then the best option is usually to remove that cover, spot clean (if needed), and machine wash it as you would any other type of fabric article. If the inner pouch of the blanket has also been soiled or stained and needs cleaning, then you can easily wipe it dry with a wet cloth and some mild soap.

You might also be interested in: What’s Inside Your Weighted Blanket: A Detailed Guide

While the washing process differs between regular blankets and weighted blankets, there are only slight differences in how to wash a 20-pound weighted blanket versus how to wash a 25-pound weighted blanket. The main consideration here is whether or not your washing machine can handle the weight. Before doing anything else, you are advised to check the weight limit of your washing machine.

This is particularly helpful if you have a compact, portable washing machine since such appliances are not considered as versatile as other appliances are. Compact washers often weigh between 50 and 70 pounds and are ideal for small spaces such as apartments.

These units are designed to handle small loads of laundry with minimal weight, so they will most likely not be able to manage the bulk of a weighted blanket. Most other standard washing machines should be able to accommodate a weighted blanket, but it’s a good idea to check their specifications anyway. 

Regardless of your machine’s capacity, it’s recommended to wash weighted blankets one at a time, each in separate loads. While this may not be the most economical option in terms of water consumption, it lightens the burden on the washing machine and prevents it from stalling.

This also sidesteps any damage to the blanket. Weighted blankets should be cleaned with a mild laundry detergent and do not come in contact with bleach products. Coldwater cycles are recommended since hot water can damage your blanket. Most weighted blankets can also tolerate warm water washes, but it’s recommended to check in on them throughout the cycle.

This is especially the case if it is a brand new blanket and/or this is the first time you are washing your blanket. Well-made material such as that on Yaasa’s Signature Weighted Blanket will hold up well in these washing cycles.

Another factor to consider when placing your blanket in the washing machine is its material and whether or not it contains fillers. The process can get a bit more complicated when we enter the realm of weighted blanket fillers. This is when people usually begin questioning what is acceptable and safe when it comes to putting materials like glass beads or sand in the washing machine.

How to machine wash a weighted blanket with sand

Sand does not usually hold up well in washing machines. When sand is combined with any amount of water, it will expand. So, even if you are hand washing a blanket with sand filling, take care to do this only as needed. Sand is also the weighted blanket filler that most commonly leaks. This is only made worse by the washing process since it gets larger. As a result, washing and drying of any kind should be done gently and with caution.

For the drying process, air or line drying is recommended for weighted blankets that contain sand. However, as you may have guessed, this will take significantly longer than the drying process for blankets with other fillers. If you have any doubts about what steps to follow when washing weighted blankets with fillers, it’s best to refer to the care instructions that come on its tag. This will provide specific guidance based on the manufacturing process for that product. 

How to machine wash a weighted blanket with glass beads

Glass beads hold up much better in the washing machine compared to most other fillers. The good news is that they do not melt like some other plastic materials might. It is even safe to wash them in warm water, but hot water should be avoided since they may heat up too much and burn through the fabric exterior.

Weighted blankets with beads made of steel can be much heavier than those made of glass. For this reason, you should again double-check the capacity of your washing machine to ensure it does not overexert the unit and cause irreparable damage. If your weighted blanket contains ceramic beads, it is also safe to place it in the washing machine on the gentle cycle. This is another instance where your blanket will need to be air-dried once the washing is complete.

How to machine wash a weighted blanket with poly pellets

It is perfectly safe to put your weighted blanket with poly pellets in the washing machine. It’s best to use cold water and a gentle cycle to maintain the integrity of the pellets. Since these pellets are usually made of silicone or plastic, it is not recommended to place them in the dryer. They are best dried on a line outside or rack indoors. Weighted blankets with poly pellets may take longer to dry than traditional fabrics like cotton or rayon, but they will not take quite as long as weighted blankets with sand.

How to Hand Wash a Weighted Blanket

Hand washing is not necessarily a requirement of any weighted blanket, but some people feel more comfortable with this type of maintenance (2). If you feel your blanket needs a deep clean that your washing machine may not be able to provide, you might want to hand wash it in a large sink or the tub.

The same instructions apply here: use a gentle, mild detergent, avoid any bleach-containing products, and use cold or warm water. You can gently wring the blanket out before laying flat to dry or place it in the dryer on low for a short time. Whichever method you choose, it’s recommended that you shake the blanket out every half an hour or so while it’s drying to redistribute the filling and avoid any lumping.

Drying a Weighted Blanket

It’s safe to place most weighted blankets in the dryer (3). However, weighted blankets with plastic poly pellets as filling are the only exception. These should be air-dried since they carry the risk of melting when met with dryer-level heat.

The best way to freshen up most other weighted blankets in the dryer is on low or medium heat. Even Yaasa’s Luxe Organic Weighted Blanket is dryer-friendly. They should be checked frequently and removed as soon as they are completely dry. It’s not ideal to use a weighted blanket that is not completely dry, since this can contribute to the buildup of mold or mildew, which is difficult to remove and poses a health risk. It’s not advised to iron your weighted blanket either due to potential damage to the internal filling.

When to Visit a Laundromat 

In some cases, it might be necessary to visit a laundromat to effectively wash your weighted blanket (1). The only time this is really recommended is if the weight of the blanket exceeds the weight capacity of your washing machine and dryer at home. For most people, this will happen if their blanket is over 20 pounds.

Some people with weighted blankets slightly less than 20 pounds still opt to take them to the laundromat to reduce the wear and tear on their washer at home. This is personal preference and is not usually required of them. Either way, it’s always best to check your blanket care instructions.

Can a weighted blanket be dry cleaned?

Yes, most weighted blankets can be dry cleaned. This is an easy way to keep them clean without the hassle. Check the care tag to ensure it says ‘dry clean safe’ before dropping it off.

Can you wash weighted blankets with glass beads?

Yes, you can wash weighted blankets with glass beads. Be sure to use cold or warm water and gentle detergent. Weighted blankets with glass beads can then be air dried or placed in the dryer.

How do you get stains out of a weighted blanket?

Before placing them in the washer, it’s best to spot clean weighted blankets that have been soiled in particular areas. Use dish soap or mild laundry detergent. Once you are satisfied, place it in the washer as you normally would a weighted blanket.