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How to wash a weighted blanket: complete care guide

how to wash a weighted blanket

With the correct care of your weighted blanket, you will be able to enjoy it for many years. Here you will find basic advice and expert tips on how to wash a weighted blanket and care for it properly.

What are the benefits of a weighted blanket?

Different names are given for the weighted blankets — often also called therapy blankets — but their mission is always the same. The blanket is said to improve your sleep thanks to its weight. The weighted blanket is a bedspread that is weighted down with small glass beads inside. The additional weight is said to stimulate the sleep hormone melatonin and alleviate the symptoms of nervousness, sleep disorders and restlessness. Also read how to fall asleep faster and how to fix your sleep schedule.

The idea comes from wearable vests that are filled with sand. The vests used to be used to treat autism. The weight blankets are used to treat sleep disorders, anxiety, Alzheimer’s, depression, Tourette and Restless Leg Syndrome. The theory behind the mode of action of therapy blankets or weighted blankets, is based on the fact that they exert what is known as low pressure stimulation.

This creates a pleasant and calming feeling. In addition, the small-scale fillings create a tactile experience that is reinforced when you move. This can influence the release of neurotransmitters and stimulate the nervous system in such a way that overexcitation and nervousness are alleviated.

What does the science say?

how to wash a weighted blanket

But what does science actually say about it? There are now several studies that have dealt with the subject and have come to different conclusions. It is noticeable, however, that in almost all cases the test persons stated that they preferred a weight blanket.

Probably the most comprehensive evidence-based study of weighted blankets is one that was published in the Journal of Sleep Medicine and Disorders in 2015. It comprised 31 subjects with insomnia. They slept with their previous blankets for a week before sleeping with a weighted blanket for two weeks. During the entire time, all parameters related to sleep were recorded and evaluated afterwards. Four out of five test persons stated that they slept better with a weight blanket. They basically slept longer in a row and woke up less at night. They also reported that they found it easier to rest in the evening.

Another major research study was Evaluating the Safety and Effectiveness of the Weighted Blanket With Adults During an Inpatient Mental Health Hospitalization, which examined the safety and effectiveness of weighted blankets in adults, was published in 2015 by T. Champagne, B. Mullen, D. Dickson and S. Krishnamurty. The study took place in a psychiatric clinic, tested 30 adults, and the weight of the weight blanket was 13 kg.

The team came to the following conclusions:

  • Finding 1: 63% of the adults tested were able to notice a reduction in anxiety symptoms after using the 13 kg weight blanket.
  • Finding 2: 51% of the study participants reported that the feeling of fear was reduced when they were covered with the 13 kg weight blanket. 77% preferred the weighted blanket when they could determine their own weight.
  • Finding 3: When asked ” When do you feel more relaxed ?” 91% answered “ When I use the weighted blanket ”.

Weight, size and price

To be effective, the blanket should be one tenth of your weight. These are blankets with a weight generally ranging from 4 to 12 kilograms, but there are also lighter ones designed for chidren. The prices for weighted blankets are based on quality and weight. On average, the prices for a weighted blanket are between $70 and $250 — although some can be higher. As a rule, the blankets are around 135 × 200 and 200 × 200 centimeters in size. The price also depends on where the blankets were made.

Weighted blankets made in the USA, UK and Europe with a certification of fabric and blanket are of high quality and therefore more expensive than cheaper versions from China. And when it comes to how to wash a weighted blanket, you can depend that the cheaper and less well-made ones are unlikely to survive the cleaning process as well as better-made ones.

What are weighted blankets made of?

Most blankets are made of normal cotton or organic cotton, some of which are 32 percent polyester. The covers consist of a velvet cover made of polyester or 100% cotton. The cover is not included with all weighted blankets. The inner workings can differ a little. The blankets are available in the quilted version with glass beads inside or with inside pockets in which the glass beads are located.

To keep sweat and dust mites away, you should always use a cover for the weight blanket. Even if the blankets are heavy, you won’t sweat any more underneath than you would under a regular duvet. However, all weight blankets have one thing in common: “They have to be washed or cleaned at intervals”.

How to wash a weighted blanket: complete guide

The washing process depends on the filling, the quality and the cover. In any case, the duvet should be washed separately. As a rule, a normal household washing machine only offers space for a smaller weighted blanket. If it is an extremely small single washing machine, the blanket can also be sent for cleaning. Professional cleaning is often offered in various specialist bed shops. When cleaning, you should always pay attention to the attached laundry symbol.

How often should the weight blanket be washed?

If you are not a person who sweats very heavily or has other problems such as incontinence, it is sufficient if the blanket is washed once or twice a year. In any case, the blanket should be well ventilated every morning after you use it, so that the moisture that has accumulated overnight can escape. Moisture is the ideal breeding ground for dust mites, which is why it is crucial to understand how to wash a weighted blanket.

What detergent should the weighted blanket be washed with?

A normal mild detergent without bleaches or optical brighteners is very suitable. A heavy duty detergent is sufficient for a down comforter. However, there are special down detergents for down. You can easily wash your weighted down blanket with it. Fabric softeners are not the optimal choice for a down comforter, as the filling of the weighted comforter depends largely on the choice of detergent.

At what water temperature should at weighted blanket be washed?

For allergy sufferers, 60 degrees Celsius is an appropriate washing temperature. Not all weighted blankets can be washed at 60ˆ, some blankets require 30ˆ or 40ˆ. If the cover is a velvet cover, 40ˆ Celsius is provided here. Before doing anything wrong here and possibly damaging the ceiling, you should always pay attention to the care symbol on the ceiling. If the care instructions are missing on the blanket and cover, use the following guidelines:

  • Microfiber blankets washable at 60 ° C
  • Down duvets washable at 60 ° C
  • Cashmere / camel hair duvets washable at 30ˆ ^ C
  • Feather duvet washable at 60 ° C
  • Silk duvet washable at 30 ° C
  • Cotton duvet washable at 60 ° C

If you want to be on the safe side with an expensive product, cleaning can help here. However, you should note that natural bed linen has no place in the washing machine unless you have an ‘extra care’ cycle on the machine.

What about the program selection for the wash cycle?

Today’s washing machines almost all have different special programs. If these programs are missing, you can’t go wrong by choosing a wool or delicates program.

Can the weighted blankets also be put in the spin cycle?

You can’t go wrong by spinning the blanket at a low speed. But if the spin speed is set too high, feathers or down can break and clump.

What if the weighted blanket does not fit in the washing machine drum?

A normal household washing machine holds 5 kilograms of laundry. A weighted blanket 200 × 200 cm is often too big for the washing machine unless you have a large sized machine. Don’t be tempted to force the weighted blanket into the washing machine. It damages the blanket and the cleaning result is by no means satisfactory.

If you really want to go quickly, because you are going away the next day and would like to leave a clean blanket behind, you can wash the blanket in soapy water in the bathtub. Do not soak it in water for too long and pay attention to the temperature. A washing center is ideal for drying, as these are equipped with large dryers. Of course, you can also wash the weighted blanket in the laundromat.

In most cases it is sufficient to just wash the cover and not to put it in the dryer afterwards. The fabric can suffer from this.

Using frost and snow

An alternative care recommendation for blankets is to expose the blanket to the cold frost in winter. When the temperature is below zero, hang the blanket on the balcony or terrace or lay it in the snow to effectively eliminate bacteria and mites.

Using a weighted blanket

There is no right or wrong about using your weighted blanket – you know best what is good for you. The majority of people use their blanket every night, while other people only use it when they are restless and have trouble falling asleep. Many also snuggle up with the weighted blanket on the couch to relax for a while, until it’s time to sleep. There are thinner weight blankets that are specifically designed for this purpose.

With or without a duvet cover

People often wonder whether the weighted blankets should be used with or without a duvet cover. This is of course a matter of taste, but since it is easier to wash only the bed linen instead of the entire blanket, we recommend using a duvet cover.

When using bed linen, it can happen that the weighted blanket slides back and forth within the duvet cover. Some manufacturers offer specially designed duvet covers that can be attached to their weighted blankets. The duvet covers are available in different colors and sizes made of cotton, bamboo and Tencel ™ Lyocell and often come with a matching pillowcase set.

Putting the weighted blanket in the duvet cover

In order to protect your shoulders and back, due to the weight of the blanket, we recommend laying it out flat at first and then gradually putting on the duvet cover. For specialised duvet covers designed specifically for weighted blankets you will receive special instructions on the easiest way to attach the duvet cover and blanket to each other.

Who does a weighted blanket benefit?

The desire to feel pressure on the body occurs especially in children and adults who suffer from hypersensitivity, overstimulation, the urge to move or tactile perception disorders. This group includes autistic people, people with ADHD, people with Down, Asperger or Tourette syndrome. Deep pressure also has a positive impact on people affected by anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder. The weight blankets are also used in the treatment of depression.

Parents of children with psychomotor developmental disorders usually notice an almost immediate improvement in their children’s sleep quality if they are covered with a weighted blanket before going to sleep. The children fall asleep faster and easier, sleep longer and sleep is either not interrupted or the number of breaks is visibly reduced. Also understand how to get a baby to sleep all night.

Important: Children do not need to sleep under the weighted blanket all night. About 20 minutes are enough. How to do the sleep training Ferber Method

The positive effect of a weight blanket is not only reflected in the improved quality of sleep. The deep pressure exerted by the weighted blanket increases the release of the so-called happiness hormone, serotonin, which is often particularly low or nonexistent in people with psychomotor disorders. Serotonin makes an important contribution to the functioning of the human organism throughout the next day.

If the ability to concentrate noticeably decreases, the inner restlessness grows and everything becomes too much for you, then a weighted blanket can help. A weighted blanket is perfect for a short relaxation, whether it’s a rest between class, reading books in the evening, brief meditation, etc. This precious period of rest, which you spend under the weighted blanket, is enough to feel good in your own body again, yourself concentrate better and be able to cope with the challenges that each day brings with it more easily.

Weight blanket in sensory therapy

Weighted blankets and other weighted products (such as weight vests or weight collars) are used with success in occupational therapies for people with sensory integration disorders. The deep pressure exerted on the muscles, tendons and joints improves the interpretation and processing of sensory impulses by the central nervous system.

Because of their therapeutic properties, weight blankets are also used in schools, employment workshops and clinics around the world. Many parents who have chosen to purchase a weight blanket report that therapy works immediately by improving their child’s body awareness, calming them and helping them focus better.

The weight blanket is particularly helpful in the following situations, for example if a child, teenager or adult:

  • can’t fall asleep
  • it cannot stand to sit still in one position until, for example, a school task has been solved
  • screams in public, becomes over-excited and aggressive
  • looks for haptic impressions, e.g. by intrusive touching of other people or objects that are sometimes destroyed
  • is distracted or upset
  • has problems solving multiple, consecutive tasks

genevieve dumas new Genevieve Dumas is a design, fashion, food and style writer who has worked on major magazines and mastheads in the United States and Europe.