Woman sleeping on white bed

Over the past year, weighted blankets have become increasingly popular. Most people know that it relaxes the muscles and promotes sleep. But, people often wonder: what are weighted blankets filled with? Even if you own a weighted blanket, you might not know the answer to this question.

  • Poly plastic pellets
  • Micro glass beads
  • Sand
  • Steel shot beads
  • Rice/grains
  • Pebbles

The material doesn’t have a significant impact on the effectiveness of the blanket. But, it may affect how you wash the weighted blanket.

Each weighted blanket filling has its pros and cons. Keep reading and we’ll break down each one.

Types of Weighted Blanket Fillings

Plastic Poly Pellets

Plastic poly pellets are one of the most common weighted blanket fillers. They are incredibly cheap and machine washable. You can buy them in bulk too.

Check out this 10 pound bag of plastic poly pellets from Amazon. These pellets are non-toxic, odorless, and machine washable. Not only that, but they are mold resistant as well.


Micro Glass Beads

Glass beads are a high-end weighted blanket filler. They are a little heavier than plastic beads and smoother too, which makes for a comfortable feeling during sleep. The main downside is that glass pellets are more expensive.

If you don’t want quite as many beads as plastic pellets, try micro glass beads from Amazon.


BBs or Steel Beads

Steel beads are the most popular blanket filler due to their versatility. They are slightly larger than plastic pellets and glass beads, which means you aren’t dealing with as much filler. They’re also machine washable. Most importantly, steel beads are exceptionally durable. Unlike plastic beads, these rarely ever need to be replaced. Likely, you only need to replace steel pellets if you lose some of the filling through a hole over time.

Pebbles or Small Stones

Pebbles or small stones are not as popular, but just as reliable for your weighted blanket. The main advantage of pebbles is that you can find them in nature. It’s important to gather smooth pebbles, though, as sharp pebbles may cause some discomfort. Also, be sure to wash the pebbles thoroughly before using them as a blanket filler. These can be a good option if the person using the blanket has severe allergic reactions to other materials or you are looking to make one super cheap.

Beans Grains or Rice

Beans, grains, or rice are also easy to find for your weighted blanket. They are inexpensive to buy. Because of their small size, they’re easy to evenly distribute and manipulate to make you comfortable. The main concern with weighted blankets filled with rice is that you need a LOT of rice to fill your blanket. They are also much less washable. You for sure want to have a cover on a blanket made with these fillers that you can remove and wash. A weighted blanket core filled with beans, grains or rice can then be spot treated.

Sand

Sand is the most inexpensive filling for weighted blankets, especially if you can find it yourself. But it requires a little more preparation before you can use it as a filling. Make sure to clean the sand so you’re left only with fine particles and no other debris. Also, if you choose to gather sand for your weighted blanket, make sure it’s completely dry. Wet sand clumps together when it comes in contact with moisture. This will cause an imbalance in your weighted blanket. Also, you’ll have to wash your weighted blanket by hand, since sand doesn’t react well with water.

couple in bed sleeping with a weighted blanket

Best Weighted Blankets

You can find dozens of weighted blankets online, but not all of them will suit your needs. We narrowed the list down to three that will accommodate people of different weights. Each of these blankets feature glass beads, which, although more expensive, are worth the investment. These blankets will help you sleep for years to come.

To learn more about how to choose a weighted blanket that is best for you, check out our buyer’s guide.

Our Favorite 12-Pound Weighted Blanket

This weighted blanket is a comfortable fit for anyone around 120 lbs. The glass beads are evenly distributed for an incredibly comfortable fit. With your purchase of this blanket, you’ll also get two duvet covers – one for the winter and one for the summer. The winter cover is made of a soft fleece that traps heat to keep you nice and warm. The summer cover is made of microfiber that moves heat from your body to keep you cool. You can remove your cover at any time to wash your blanket, too!

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

Our Favorite 15-Pound Weighted Blanket

This 15-pound weighted blanket is perfect for your twin or full bed. The glass beads are evenly distributed and hug your body throughout the night. Also, the beads are layered with soft breathable fabric. This comfortable blanket will keep you from tossing and turning throughout the night.

The YnM Cotton Weighted Blanket is the perfect fit for your twin or full size bed. It is a great gift for a friend or partner for the holidays. Buy yours from Amazon here.

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Our Favorite 20-Pound Weighted Blanket

Our third blanket on this list is the perfect size for those who weigh around 200 lbs. The multilayer blanket is one of the most comfortable on the market. The micro glass beads are sandwiched by two layers of microfiber. These keep the beads evenly distributed and prevent them from falling out of your blanket. The outer layer of the blanket is made of cotton, which is lightweight and breathable.

This 20-pound blanket is available in a wide variety of colors and sizes. It comes with a cover that’s easy to wash. Check it out at this link.

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

Do you have to be careful of fillers made from potentially toxic chemicals?

No; companies are required to manufacture non-toxic fillers for weighted blankets to ensure the safety of all users. Most weighted blankets today are manufactured with plastic poly pellets, glass beads, or steel beads. All of these materials are non-toxic. The main material to watch out for is lead. It is a toxic material that can cause lead poisoning, which can be harmful or even fatal. But, today, manufacturers do not distribute these unsafe blankets.

If you feel uncomfortable with the idea of a certain filler option, or have known allergies, consult with your doctor before using a weighted blanket. But, most people will be just fine.

What is the best filling for weighted blankets?

Steel beads are one of the best weighted blanket fillers on the market. They are a little larger than plastic pellets, which means you’ll be dealing with less beads. This is especially convenient if you spill the blanket fillings. They are also much more durable than plastic beads.

They are not as affordable as plastic poly pellets, but they are still a cost-effective option for your weighted blanket in the long run.

What do you put inside a weighted blanket?

Weighted blankets have several types of blanket fillers. These include:

  • Poly plastic pellets
  • Glass beads
  • Sand
  • Steel shot beads
  • Rice/grains
  • Pebbles

Can weighted blankets harm you?

Weighted blankets are designed to have evenly distributed beads or pellets. If that’s the case, you’re not at risk when using your weighted blanket. In fact, it’s manufactured to relax your muscles and provide relief.

If you wake up sore after using a weighted blanket, don’t panic. This is normal, especially if you haven’t used a weighted blanket in the past. But, if the soreness persists, it’s possible you may have a blanket that is a little too heavy for you. You can either reduce the amount of filling in it or purchase a lighter blanket. 

If you need to buy a couple before you find the right one, it is a small price to pay for a fantastic night’s rest.s.

The weight sits on your entire body for a full night’s sleep, so it can definitely lead to short-term discomfort. Try removing some of the fillers and see if that solves the problem. Generally, weighted blankets should weigh about five to 10 percent of your body weight. So, if you weigh 150 pounds, the blanket should weigh a max of 15 pounds. If you haven’t used a weighted blanket before, try one that’s a little lighter.

The beads also might not be evenly distributed. If one spot is too heavy that can cause targeted pain. So, make sure to spread out the beads evenly.

Finally, your weighted blanket may be causing discomfort due to your sleeping position. Some people sleep on their back, some on their side, and some on their stomach. Depending on how you sleep, your weighted blanket may be a little too intense for a whole night. Experiment with a different amount of pellets or different blanket fillers to find the best one for you.

What does a weighted blanket do?

A weighted blanket applies deep touch pressure throughout the body, stimulating the nervous system. Research has shown that deep touch pressure is linked to reduced anxiety and increased relaxation. Weighted blankets are often used by occupational therapists to soothe patients with ADHD, autism, or other conditions involving anxiety or mild to major depression.

Are weighted blankets hot?

Depending on the materials used, weighted blankets can get hot. But, not all of them do. Common materials for weighted blankets include linen, fleece, cotton, and microfiber. Cotton tends to be the most breathable blanket, but for the most part, the fabric is up to your personal preference.

To learn more about whether weighted blankets make you hot, check out this article.

Who should not use a weighted blanket?

Children under three years old or weighing under 50 pounds should not use weighted blankets. At that weight, the prolonged mild stress on the body can be harmful. For safety reasons, keep your children away from your weighted blanket. If you sleep with children, set your weighted blanket away for the night.

If you ever spill the fillings of a weighted blanket, keep the pellets out of reach of children. They are a choking hazard.

Woman in bed sleeping with white blankets

Summary

There you have it: six weighted blanket fillers and some helpful questions to lead you to the most comfortable fit while you sleep. Sometimes it comes down to personal preference and your sleeping behavior when choosing a weighted blanket. At the end of the day, use a durable, non-organic weighted blanket filler like steel, plastic, or glass. These pellets are incredibly reliable; they wash well, are easy to store, and you can even travel with them too.

But, the other types are reliable too. What’s comfortable for you may not be comfortable for someone else. If you try a weighted blanket and it’s not comfortable for you, make sure to evenly distribute the fillings. If that doesn’t work, try a different type of pellet.

Thanks for reading! For more product reviews and guides, check out the articles below.

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