How to wash a weighted blanket: in your washing machine, and by hand

Need to learn how to wash a weighted blanket? Whether it has glass beads, is made of cotton, or faux fur, we've got the lowdown and expert tips to safely wash yours.

A bed with green velvet weighted blanket
(Image credit: Cuckooland)

Knowing how to wash a weighted blanket is important to keep getting the most out of this must-have item. 

Weighted blankets have a lot of amazing benefits, they can help reduce anxiety, relieve stress, and sleepless nights also. Whether you keep yours for curling up on the couch or to help you chill out after a long day, the best weighted blankets are designed for a lot of use which means, keeping yours clean, fresh, and sanitized is a must. 

Can you take the easy route and deep clean a weighted blanket using a washing machine though? It's an option. Though, sometimes a spot clean or handwash will be all it needs.

The best way to wash weighted blankets

The most important thing is to make sure your method won't damage the internal filling, as there are around five popular types of weighted blankets on the market, and they all need to be treated appropriately.

Washing a weighted blanket in the washing machine

Generally, most weighted blankets (including those with glass or plastic poly pellets) can be cleaned by using a washing machine. But you can see if the blanket can be hand washed by checking the fabric on the care label and figuring out your machine's washing symbols.

If yours is coverless, you can chuck it in your washer dryer, but if it does come enrobed in a detachable sheet, then save yourself on drying time by solely washing this.

Mela, makers of some of the most popular weighted blankets on the market, has offered its advice on what to do should your beloved gravity blanket have a brush-in with some dirt: 'If you're machine washing your blanket, you should opt for a delicate cycle. That will extend the life of your blanket, and that’s a good thing since they can be expensive.'

Ideally, you should wash the blanket on a cold cycle to make sure you not only keep colors intact but also, keep it looking and feeling fresh and new for longer.

How to wash a weighted blanket by hand

If your weighted blanket is particularly weighty and you don't have a front-loading washer, we recommend using your bathtub to give the weighted blanket a thorough going over. Just like washing clothes by hand, you can have more control over the product if you think your washing machine will pull and tug at the filling.

Mela explains that 'you might be able to spot clean it with a wet washcloth and some mild detergent. If you can successfully perform that operation, you can avoid a full-scale machine wash.'

Alternatively, there are some great eco-friendly cleaning products out there that tackle stain removal successfully. The Ecover Stain Remover, available from Amazon has a built-in brush to target protein-based stains such as chocolate, egg, and curry.

Here's how to wash a weighted blanket by hand:

  • Make sure your tub is clean and rinsed down.
  • Half fill your tub with cold water and add a half a cup of laundry detergent or washing powder, making sure it's well mixed through the water.
  • If your weighted blanket comes with a cover, remove it, and wash this only. If not, proceed to the next step.
  • Submerge your blanket and agitate it well with your hands (wear gloves if you have sensitive skin, or use an eco-friendly laundry detergent)
  • Drain the bath and fill it again with cold water to rinse the blanket.
  • Drain and fill for the third and final time to make sure detergent is removed. 
  • Next, flatten out the blanket, fold in half and roll it to remove the water, avoiding wringing.
  • Repeat until most of the water has gone and hang up to air dry.

Detergents to wash your weighted blanket

You might be wondering if there's a specialist product to wash your weighted blanket with. The good news is that you don't need anything specific, but it is advised that you steer clear of two particular products that could ruin the texture of your throw.

Mela recommend, 'Detergent is necessary to get that deep clean you want, but make it as mild as you can. Skip the bleach and the dryer sheets. The less you do, the better the chance your weighted blanket will remain soft and cuddly even after multiple washes.'

We think The Laundress Delicate Wash is mild enough to clean and not damage your blanket. Experts at The Laundress also recommend the following: 

'If your blanket touches your skin nightly or a pet sleeps on top of it, we’d suggest laundering monthly. In between washes, spot treat stains and odors with Wash & Stain Bar.'

Should I put a cover on my weighted blanket?

If your weighted blanket doesn't already come with a cover, consider buying one to protect it from everyday spillages and general dust and grime. A weighted blanket cover will make washing simple and just like a duvet, you can slide the cover off and toss it in the wash.

If you don't want to add more warmth to your weighted blanket, a cover will affect how warm your blanket is. So if you're warm enough without a cover, opt for a bamboo or 100% cotton cover to keep you cool.

Love a weighted blanket but hate being hot at night? You need this cooling buy.

How to dry a weighted blanket

You can't beat a tumble dryer for drying clothes in record time. And when it comes to heavy-weighted blankets, the same is true.

Saying that, be sure to use this appliance sparingly and always check the care label on your blanket to make sure you don't ruin the fabric or filling. 

We would always err on the side of caution by drying it in the machine for a short time to get most of the moisture out. Plus, avoid leaving it in the machine to get bone dry, in case it's not up to the job.

If your blanket isn't designed for machine drying, we recommend laying it out flat on a sunny day (as opposed to line drying) and turning it every so often. It might take an age, but the freshness from the outside breeze will be oh-so-worth-it.

How to wash a weighted blanket of 20lbs or more

If you've got a big bed to cover, or like your blankie to swamp your sofa, we recommend taking weighted blankets of over 20lbs to a laundromat where it can be washed in a large commercial machine. This will save your washing machine from damage.

Experts at Mela explain more:

'If you have a heavy blanket that doesn’t have an outside cover on it, you might not want to wash it in your machine. That’s a lot of wear and tear on your washer with that amount of weight.'

'You’d be better off taking it to a laundromat and letting it bang around inside of their equipment instead.'

We couldn't agree more - you wouldn't want to risk this laundry mistake putting your washer out of service!

Can I wash the inside of my weighted blanket?

'Micro glass beads have easily become the superior choice for weighted blankets (and Luna blanket’s pick!) in terms of machine washability as they don’t clump after being washed, unlike materials like sand,' says Cassie Schirra, merchandising director for home and wellness at Boosted Commerce.

'Other common fillers tend to fall into the “natural grain” category— rice, beans, sand—however, these are susceptible to mold growth, insect infestation, and absorb liquid, which can alter the shape and feel of the blanket after being washed.'

'Micro glass beads are environmentally-friendly, hypoallergenic, and tend to weigh more than other filler materials so fewer beads are needed to achieve the desired weight, resulting in a smoother and less bulky blanket. They pair really well with Luna’s OEKO-TEX 100 Certified outer lining for a great machine-washing and drying experience.'

'Overall, there are five popular fillers that are used in most weighted blankets:

  • Micro Glass Beads: Micro glass beads are a smooth and environmentally-friendly alternative to plastic poly pellets, which are another commonly used material. Additionally, micro glass beads are usually denser than other materials, like poly pellets, which means less filling is required, creating a slimmer, more mobile design. Micro glass beads are also machine washable and are completely non-toxic and hypoallergenic, which makes them a great option for individuals with sensitivities to certain textiles.
  • Sand: Sand is typically a combination of organic and synthetic materials, making it more susceptible to clumping together, especially when wet which can completely alter the shape and feel of your blanket after washing. Sand filling also has the potential to be much messier than other materials so looking for a blanket with reinforced stitching is key.
  • Steel Beads: Steel beads are a common choice as filler for weighted blankets because they’re durable, machine washable, and heavy, which means you need fewer units to achieve the desired weight and pressure. The main drawback is that they’re usually quite noisier than other materials, such as micro glass beads, so those with auditory sensitivities may want to opt for a different filling.
  • Pebbles: Although not as common in the weighted blanket world, pebbles, such as river stones or smooth pebbles are an organic, cost-effective material that are used from time to time. Due to the irregularly shaped nature of the stones, materials filled with pebbles can be uncomfortable as they are easier to feel through fabrics.
  • Grains: Another natural and inexpensive filler option is grains. Although readily available, grains aren’t the best option for filling weighted blankets as they tend to grow mold/fungus easily.
Headshot of Cassie Schirra, Merchandising Director for Home & Wellness at Boosted Commerce, wearing cream cardigan
Cassie Schirra

As the Merchandising Director for Home & Wellness at Boosted Commerce, Cassie oversees the product development, buying, merchandising, and selling of products in Luna's DTC and Amazon channels.

She partners with Luna's vendors & cross-functional team members to develop quality products to deliver to the market in our variety of categories and brands that fit customers' everyday lifestyle needs.

Always thinking of the customer first, she partners with the team to provide a full spectrum of best-in-class experiences. Luna is a brand she truly connects with due to the mental health capabilities that the product supports at an affordable price and aligning with the importance of mental health support that the world needs more of today.

Jenny McFarlane
Senior Digital Editor

Jenny is Senior Digital Editor and joined the team in January 2021. She also works on the homes brands' video show, on the Future Homes Network, which is packed full of ideas to help you make the most of your own home and garden. Since getting on the property market with her first apartment and then more recently a house, her passion for interior design and gardening has taken on a new lease of life. Jenny's currently on the lookout for a doer-upper to put her stamp on. She loves collecting and salvaging unique items (much to her other half's despair) but sniffing out stylish home bargains is her one true love. When she has a spare minute, she loves to do a spot of crafting, having studied textiles at Uni – although she hardly gets the chance with a toddler who keeps her permanently on her toes.