How to Wash a Weighted Blanket, So It Stays Soft and Snuggly


How to Wash a Weighted Blanket, So It Stays Soft and SnugglyJill GleesonDecember 19, 2022 at 11:14 PM

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Getting a good night’s sleep is more than just a luxury — it’s a crucial part of a healthy lifestyle. It helps your brain stay sharp, your mood stay positive, and your body stay ready to tackle the day. That’s probably why there are so many helpful products out there to help us catch some much-needed Z’s — from heated mattress pads to silk pillowcases (psst, the latter is Alex Drummond’s favorite).

Of course, nothing is quite as popular as weighted blankets. Usually weighing somewhere between five and 50 pounds, a weighted blanket provides soothing, gentle pressure that can relieve anxiety and lessen aches and pains. Users even say snuggling under a weighted blanket is like receiving a hug!

But just like any piece of your bedding set, you have to wash it! After all, not only are these blankets heavy, they’re also filled with materials like glass beads or even rice. So are they machine washable or should they be hand washed? And what about putting them in the dryer? To get the full details, we went straight to a pair of cleaning experts for the best tips on how to wash a weighted blanket.

Can you machine wash a 20 lb. weighted blanket?

Short answer: it depends. Before you do anything else, it’s crucial that you check your weighted blanket’s care label. Some blankets can be popped into the machine; some can only be hand washed or spot-cleaned. And some even feature duvet-like covers that can be removed and washed, while the blanket inside of it cannot.

“The care label should tell you exactly how your blanket needs to be washed and whether the materials it’s made of are machine washable or require a gentle hand wash instead,” says Matt Connelly, founder and CEO of ihateironing, an on-demand dry cleaning and laundry service. “This varies based on the fabrics your blankets are made of as well as the materials used for their filling.”

Generally, blankets filled with plastic pellets and steel beads, as well as chunky knit blankets, can be laundered in the machine. Those with micro-glass beads and pebbles should be hand washed, while blankets that use materials like beans and rice may only be spot-cleaned.

The label should also note the weight of the blanket. You should check it against your machine’s load capacity, but according to Angela Lee, a spokesperson for the cleaning company Hellamaid, “It is better to dry clean it or seek a professional laundromat if it is more than 22 to 25 pounds. This way, you can protect your blanket as well as your washing machine from any damage.”

Front-loading washers are a better choice to clean weighted blankets because it’s less likely they will become off-balanced the way that top-loading machines with a central agitator will. If you do use the latter rather than the former, you may need to stop the washer repeatedly and redistribute the blanket to keep it balanced. Also, don’t wash your blanket with other laundry and never iron it.

How do you clean a weighted blanket with beads?

Cleaning a weighted blanket with beads often requires special care. Check the care instructions on the blanket, but typically, spot cleaning is recommended unless otherwise noted. Use a mild detergent and a soft cloth to gently clean any stains. Avoid submerging the entire blanket, as it may damage the beads. If the blanket is machine washable, follow the specific instructions provided.

Will washing a weighted blanket ruin it?

No, a weighted blanket will not be ruined so long as you follow the care instructions and our tips to wash your blanket safely!

Always use cool water when laundering your blanket, unless otherwise recommended on the tag. According to Connelly, this “avoids the risk of colors running or your fabric becoming harsher in the wash.” You should select the “delicate” or “gentle” option on your machine, and, Connelly says, “choose a low spin cycle speed as well to make sure your weighted blanket doesn’t get damaged by the spin of the drum.”

Only use a mild, enzyme- and bleach-free laundry detergent that won’t harm your blanket’s fabric. And avoid fabric softeners — they’ll build up over time, turning your cozy gift scratchy.

If you need to wash your weighted blanket by hand, scrub your bathtub first to make sure it’s free of all grime and soap products. Fill the tub with cool water, thoroughly mixing in a mild laundry detergent. Submerge the entire blanket in the tub, squeezing the water through it, and let it sit for up to an hour. Rinse the blanket by draining the tub, refilling it with clean water, and squeezing that water through it. Repeat until the water is suds-free. Make sure to finish by squeezing as much water as possible out of the blanket. Don’t wring it.

In between or before washings, you’re probably going to want to spot-clean your blanket. Lee suggests using “a mild stain remover or cold water and soap. Use your fingers, a soft-bristled brush, or a sponge to work the stain, and then give it a good rinse.”

Can weighted blankets go in the dryer?

Although some blankets’ care tags might say yes, a word of caution: “We recommend against tumble drying your weighted blankets to avoid shrinking or damaging the fabric and filling of your items, even on a low setting,” Connelly notes. “You should air dry your blankets in a well-ventilated space in your house, regularly turning it over to make sure all sides dry equally.” Because it weighs so much, it’s best not to hang up your blanket to dry.

If you do decide to tumble dry your blanket, make sure, like your washer, your dryer is a large-capacity machine in the laundry room — you definitely don’t want to be jamming or stuffing your blanket into either appliance. Use the low setting and stop the dryer every now and again to fluff the blanket.

What’s the best way to keep a weighted blanket clean?

If your blanket doesn’t have a duvet cover, you can always get one to keep it free of surface soiling. Otherwise, keep your blanket off the bed when you’re not using it and launder it at least every four months or so. If you have pets that sleep on it, or you suffer from allergies or use it every night, wash your blanket more often, perhaps every month or two. In between washings, make sure you’re spot-cleaning it. And if you put your blanket away for the warm weather months, make sure you wash it before you store it.

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Stain Remover and Laundry Bar

Laundry Stain Brush

An apple a day might keep the doctor away, but research has proven there is little as important to good health as a restful night’s sleep. That’s probably why there are so many helpful products out there to help us catch some much-needed z’s. From heated mattress pads to silk pillowcases (Alex Drummond’s favorite!), non-medicinal sleep aids are everywhere nowadays. But nothing has quite caught on the way that weighted blankets have. Usually weighing somewhere between 5 and 50 pounds, they provide soothing, gentle pressure that can relieve anxiety and even lessen aches and pains. The feeling of snoozing under a weighted blanket is akin, users say, to receiving a hug, or being swaddled. Sounds like heaven, doesn’t it?

Whether you’re already counting sheep beneath a weighted blanket, or are just thinking of purchasing one, you probably need to learn one thing: how to wash a weighted blanket.

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