In recent years, weighted blankets have grown in popularity because of their potential benefits for sleep health. Some sleepers find that using a weighted blanket helps with insomnia, anxiety, and restlessness.
If you own a weighted blanket, it is inevitable that it will need cleaning. Blankets in general absorb body oils and sweat and can become exposed to spills and dirt. There are some special considerations to be aware of when cleaning your weighted blanket.
How to Wash a Weighted Blanket
Before washing your weighted blanket, you should consult the manufacturer’s care instructions, either on the tag or on the company’s website. Because of the heavier construction of weighted blankets, they cannot be washed as easily as a regular blanket. Care instructions vary depending on the type of fill and the fabric material, so be sure to learn about how to care for your particular blanket before moving forward with cleaning.
In general, there are a few things to keep in mind when cleaning a weighted blanket. The first is how much cleaning the blanket actually needs. If the blanket only needs to be spot cleaned, then use a gentle soap, detergent, or stain remover to treat those stains, rinse with cold or warm water, and let your blanket air dry. Cleaning stains as soon as they occur may help prevent them from setting.
For blankets that have a duvet cover, consider removing and washing just the cover instead of the entire blanket. Often, duvet covers can be machine washed and dried, but check the care label beforehand.
When your weighted blanket is ready for a deep clean, you may choose to wash it in a washing machine or by hand in a bathtub or sink. Either way, choose a mild detergent without bleach and wash the blanket in cold or warm water, as many weighted blankets can’t handle hot water. Make sure to rinse the blanket thoroughly. Depending on your washing machine’s weight limit, you may consider bringing the blanket to a commercial washing center instead.
Generally, it is best to air dry a weighted blanket by laying it flat and shaking it out every so often so the fill can dry and distribute evenly. If you choose to put the blanket in a dryer, use a low or medium setting and remove it promptly once it’s dry. Make sure that the blanket is fully dried before using it again. There should be no need to iron your weighted blanket.
Weighted Blanket Care Guidelines
As with most bedding, different care guidelines may apply depending on whether your weighted blanket is made with cotton, polyester, rayon, wool, or another material, and whether the fill contains glass beads, plastic pellets, or organic materials. The tag on your blanket, the owner’s manual, or the manufacturer’s website should provide you with the necessary information on how to clean your weighted blanket. Most weighted blankets come with one of the following instructions:
- Machine Wash and Dry: When machine washing, choose a bleach-free, gentle detergent, and wash your blanket in cold or warm water on a gentle cycle. Avoid fabric softeners. Choose a light or medium dryer setting and periodically fluff the blanket while it’s drying.
- Machine Wash, Air Dry: Put the blanket in the washing machine with a mild bleach-free detergent. Choose a gentle wash cycle and use cold or warm water. To air dry the blanket, spread it out flat and occasionally shake it out to make sure the inner fill evenly distributes.
- Machine Wash, Cover Only: Some weighted blankets have a removable cover that can be washed separately. Remove the cover from the blanket, and wash it according to the care instructions listed on the label. Generally, duvet covers can be washed in cold water and on a normal wash setting. Either air dry the cover by laying it flat, or place it in a dryer on a low setting if the instructions allow.
- Spot Clean or Dry Clean Only: Spot clean small stains using a gentle stain remover or soap and cold water. Massage the stain with your fingers or with a soft-bristled brush or sponge, and then rinse thoroughly. For blankets labeled dry clean only, take them to a professional dry cleaner or consider purchasing an at-home dry cleaning kit to keep your blanket clean.
How Often Should Weighted Blankets Be Washed?
How often you clean your weighted blanket depends on how often it’s used. If you use the blanket every night while sleeping, wash it once every few weeks to prevent the build-up of sweat and body oils. If you only use it occasionally as a lap blanket on the couch or at a desk, cleaning your weighted blanket three to four times per year should suffice.
Frequently washing a weighted blanket can affect its feel and durability. You may be able to prolong the life of your weighted blanket by investing in a cover that can be easily removed and washed.
In general, a weighted blanket should be replaced every 5 years. But, with proper care, you may be able to enjoy your weighted blanket for even longer.