Whether you’ve owned one or not, you may have heard someone mention how a weighted blanket increased their sleep quality and comfort.

Have you ever wondered: What Are Weighted Blankets Made of? Why are they so heavy?

what are weighted blankets made of?

In general, a weighted blanket is made up of two major parts or pieces: an inner piece or weighted part and an outer cover. 

The weighted inner parts are what give the blanket its heavy, comfortable feel. Softness, warmth, and style are provided by the material of a duvet cover or blanket. It will also be easier to clean and to customize your blanket if it comes with a duvet cover. 

Look for weighted blankets with a cover that has zippers or buttons so the cover can come off so you can wash it easily when it gets dirty. 

A quick note: I highly recommend Quility, a weighted blanket that can be found on Amazon. I really like that it comes in both adult and children sizes. It makes it easier to travel with your weighted blanket if it is a kid’s size one. It’s perfect for a long international flight!

The Inner Weighted Filler Material Is Important

When you think about what weighted blankets are made of, this is what you are typically wondering. The filler material is why they are so heavy. It’s what really created the weight in a weighted blanket. 

Micro-glass beads, poly plastic pellets, steel balls, organic grains, and sand are among the most popular options for weighted blanket fillers. 

Weighted blankets are comprised mainly of quilted fabrics with embedded “pockets,” or spaces that contain this filler material. 

Glass beads look exactly like their name implies: small pebbles made from glass. These can be great if you are allergic to any of the other options. 

Plastic poly pellets resemble pebble-like round plastic beads. Weighted blankets are best made with ABS virgin plastic pellets, which means they haven’t been exposed to toxins or chemicals. Consider these if you are worried about allergic reactions to weighted blankets. The pellets should be hypoallergenic poly pellets.

In most cases, poly pellets or glass beads are the best weighted blanket stuffer, and our weight blanket stuffing consists of a unique blend of glass beads that apply more even pressure as weight is distributed.

There are other options:

Sand can add weight to blankets and quilts at a lower cost, but it causes a lot of problems, so it’s not always the best choice. You can, however, make a budget-friendly weighted blanket with this filling. It is also much harder to wash and dry than non-organic fillers because sand does not spread out as readily as glass beads or plastic pellets.

Similarly, sand leaks more than other materials through the stitching. It is also messier if there is a leak with sand than pellets or beads. When wet, it clumps and doesn’t disperse very well.​

Micro steel shot balls are heat-treated steel beads that are also used as fillers for weighted blankets. As a result of the heating, the balls don’t warp or dent. Due to their smoothness, steel beads don’t retain much dirt.

​Because steel beads are larger than glass beads, they tend to be lumpy and noisy and don’t conform well to the body. Getting much-needed rest is hard when this happens. 

We won’t discuss beans, rice, and other grains at length because they don’t wash well for a variety of reasons. When you’re in a bind and you need something, they can work, but they aren’t an option you should consider if you are planning on having your blanket long-term.

When these grains are exposed to water, they expand, making washing a blanket difficult.

Related: What Are Weighted Blankets Filled With?

This blanket’s cover makes a big difference in your experience with it

Detachable duvet covers are available on the best ones. These are more convenient to wash. You’ll find many different types of fabrics that can be used to create weighted blanket duvet covers, such as cotton, microfiber, flannel, fleece, rayon, linen, and polyester. Getting a blanket that has a removable cover will make your life easier. If your blanket has a removable cover, it is likely machine or hand washable, which means fewer trips to the dry cleaners.

Weighted blankets are usually made from one of the following fabrics:

  • 100% cotton
  • Textiles blended with cotton
  • A polyester fabric
  • Fleece
  • Cotton flannel
  • Viscose made from bamboo
  • Blends of rayon and cotton, etc.

Instead of going through each of these and their advantages and disadvantages, I will provide some basic guidelines here. 

A quilted cover may be a good choice for you if you tend to sleep cold. It will help you stay warm by keeping your body heat close to your skin. You could consider this brilliant blanket from Hush Blankets to help you sleep warmer.

There are various types of fabrics that have different levels of breathability. It is advisable to get a blanket that is lighter and possibly a little more breathable, like cotton or bamboo viscose, if your body temperature is naturally on the warmer side. In addition to keeping you more comfortable, these fabrics allow more air to circulate in your body and keep sweat away from it. This is an excellent choice for people who suffer from skin sensitivities or allergies since bamboo viscose is hypoallergenic as well.

For tips on buying the right weighted blanket, check out this article: Weighted Blanket Ultimate Guide To Purchase And Travel

Why does a weighted blanket feel calming?

Dina Barnes, an occupational therapist in London, Ontario, says deep-pressure touch promotes relaxation through the release of dopamine and serotonin, which helps regulate arousal and behavior when using a weighted blanket.

video #1 Travelonthefly.com

How do weighted blankets work?

Weighted blankets can stimulate the release of serotonin and dopamine in the brain as a form of deep pressure therapy. The user experiences the feeling of calm, happiness, and well-being due to these “feel good” chemicals. The use of weighted blankets has been found to be beneficial in treating autism, sensory processing disorder, depression, and other mental issues. 

A weighted blanket makes a person feel more secure by using a technique called deep pressure stimulation (DPS). Applied with hands, tools, or blankets, deep touch pressure has the ability to relax the nervous system. 

Do weighted blankets have a calming effect?

In general, people who use weighted blankets report it helps calm them, which is why it’s often prescribed for people who are stressed or have an underlying disorder that makes them hyperactive. Everyone from college students to animals has found weighted blankets to be effective at promoting calm and relaxation.

Benefits

  • You don’t have to refill prescriptions for sleep conditions when you use them. 
  • They might ease your morning grogginess.
  • In addition to reducing anxiety and soothing your heart rate, they also benefit your physical and mental health. 
  • A relaxing effect is created by releasing dopamine and serotonin during deep pressure stimulation. 
  • Sleeping better is possible with them. 

Drawbacks

  • Those who sleep hot sometimes find them too hot. 
  • Due to their weight, they can be cumbersome to transport. 
  • When cleaning them, you must take extra care. 
  • They typically cost more than other types of blankets. 
  • At first, they can feel uncomfortable or awkward until they are used to them.

Although weighted blankets can have several advantages when it comes to your mental well-being, they do have some drawbacks such as extra care and temperature regulation. Look for a blanket that allows for better airflow when you are shopping for a weighted blanket. 

Are Weighted Blankets Worth It?

Many people suffering from conditions like anxiety and pain can benefit from weighted blankets, sometimes referred to as gravity blankets. Additionally, they can be beneficial to those who have sensory issues or are on the autism spectrum.

In recent years, they have become increasingly popular due to their numerous benefits. If you suffer from sleep problems, anxiety, autism, ADHD, Alzheimer’s, or PTSD, you should consider trying a weighted blanket. 

It is possible that a weighted blanket would benefit someone who has trouble relaxing and falling asleep. They aren’t for everyone, however. Some feel too claustrophobic and pinned down when sleeping under a weighted blanket, while others feel more relaxed and less anxious. Even though some models promote better temperature control than others, a weighted blanket may not be appropriate if you’re a warm sleeper, either.

Have you wanted to try one? You should!

Check out my favorite one right here! It’s also listed below.

Related: How Heavy Should Your Weighted Blanket Be?