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What is in Weighted Blankets?

Posted By: Layla

If you’ve been curious about weighted blankets, there are plenty of good reasons to add one to your bedroom setup. The comforting weight of a weighted blanket provides scientifically-backed benefits that can help you achieve a deeper, more restful sleep. But, have you ever wanted to know what’s actually in a weighted blanket and how those materials make them better or worse?

What is in Weighted Blankets?

Well, we’ve compiled a helpful guide to assist you in your search for the perfect weighted blanket. Keep reading to learn more about how these carefully engineered blankets can enhance your life.

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What are Weighted Blankets?

Weighted blankets are crafted to help relieve stress and deliver a sense of well-being and calm for the user. It accomplishes these feel-good effects by offering a comforting layer of pressure to the body.

Weighted blankets work by mimicking deep touch pressure therapy, also known as DTP, which helps increase the number of endorphins in your body. These endorphins are the same hormones responsible for giving you a “runners’ high.” DTP also helps release positive neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin, bringing you an overall sense of peace and calmness. So, instead of going to the spa for a day, you can just slip under a weighted blanket for that relaxed feeling you want – minus the sliced cucumbers and face masks.

Although it’s possible to enjoy the effects of DTP with manual hand pressure, weighted blankets are a much more effective way to take advantage of DTP – especially, if you sleep alone and don’t have access to a 24/7 occupational or massage therapist when you’re stressed.

These specially crafted blankets can soothe anxiety and stress, help you fall asleep more easily, ease restless leg syndrome, calm sensory processing disorders, and diminish symptoms of ADHD.

What is in a Weighted Blanket?

As you might imagine, a weighted blanket is filled with a substance that’s – wait, for it – weighted. But depending on the kind of weighted blanket you choose, your blanket may be filled with plastic pellets, steel beads, glass beads, and a variety of other popular fillers. Below, we’ll dive into the different kinds of materials you’ll see in weighted blankets, and which one might be best for you.

Weighted Blanket Filler Options

There are many weighted blanket filler options, each distributing weight differently. Refer to our weighted blanket weight guide to determine how heavy your weighted blanket should be. Here are the most popular commercial and DIY weighted blanket fillers you’ll see as you search for your own weighted blanket:

Plastic Poly Pellets

Commercially made blankets are often filled with plastic pellets, which are formed into small, round beads. They’re hypoallergenic, easy to clean, and durable.

But plastic pellets also have significant drawbacks. In addition to contributing to plastic pollution, they can make your weighted blanket feel bumpy and uncomfortable. This is especially problematic for people who are using weighted blankets to soothe sensory issues.

Organic Materials

Rice, beans, grains, and corn aren’t just what’s for dinner, they can also comprise the filling in weighted blankets. These organic filler materials tend to be budget-friendly but come with significant negatives. Because they’re organic materials, they’re much more likely to degrade over time, give off unpleasant odors, attract insects, and may even promote mildew growth.

And, because the material is organic, you can’t wash them, unless you want a soggy bean or corn blanket instead of a weighted blanket. (No thanks.)

Pebbles or stones

Believe it or not, pebbles can be used in weighted blankets as a cost-effective solution filler. But, if you choose to fill your blanket with stones you find on the ground, it’s important to note what Mom and Dad might have warned you about: you get what you pay for. And that warning certainly applies in this case.

Pebbles vary in size, so your blanket will have inconsistent texture and weight, making it less effective overall. For people with sensory issues, the lack of consistency can be especially bothersome. Nobody wants to wrap themselves up in a blanket burrito, feeling a rock poking into their back.

Sand

Although sand is one of the cheapest filler options on this list, it comes with serious drawbacks. Sand is incredibly difficult to distribute over the surface area of your blanket evenly, which can result in large, uncomfortable mounds that are difficult to spread out again. Sand can also seep out through blanket stitching, and nobody wants to wake up to a bunch of loose sand in their bed. Plus, if you accidentally spill water or any other liquid on your blanket, good luck. Sand expands when it’s wet, making it incredibly difficult to dry – especially when it’s already inside your blanket.

Leave the sand where it belongs: at the beach.

Steel Beads

Steel beads offer a heavier and consistent weight, making them a promising filler material. Plus, steel beads are typically heat-treated, making them easy to clean. Unfortunately, steel beads are often larger in size, which means unsightly and uncomfortable lumps and bumps interrupting your calming weighted blanket experience.

In addition to their size, steel beads might also be louder, with an unmistakable metallic clicking.

Washing Your Weighted Blanket

Maybe you already have a weighted blanket. If that’s the case, you might wonder how you can actually wash a weighted blanket. Well, as we mentioned above, if your weighted blanket is filled with an organic material, you’re out of luck. Water mixed with uncooked grains, beans, rice, and corn in your weighted blanket will make a soup, and not the delicious kind you were hoping for.

In fact, many weighted blankets are not washable. If you have a sand-filled weighted blanket, avoid washing it because the sand in the blanket will expand. When the sand inside your blanket is wet, it’s extremely hard to fully dry it out.

If you have pebbles as the filler in your weighted blanket, it’s also smart to avoid the washing machine. The varying pebble weights could tear your blanket, setting pebbles loose in your machine and potentially damaging the inside of your machine (and probably all while making a terrible sound, too).

With these filling types, it’s a good idea to spot-clean. Never soak them if you can avoid it.
Steel beads and poly beads have the best chance of being machine washable, depending on the outside fabric and overall construction. If you’re unsure of whether your blanket is washable, it’s best to err on the side of caution and avoid putting it in your washing machine. After all, you don’t want to clean up a mess of beads from your dryer or washing machine in your effort to clean your blanket.

If you decide to invest in a Layla Weighted Blanket as your choice, you’ve got the easy way out. The instructions for washing a Layla Weighted Blanket are very simple:

1. Wash on cold
2. Set to gentle
3. Do not bleach or iron
4. Tumble dry low

Our weighted blankets are designed to be life-friendly, so you don’t have to worry about spilling something on your blanket and fretting about getting it out using a spot-treatment. You can simply throw it into the washing machine, worry-free.

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The Layla Weighted Blanket

The Layla Weighted Blanket isn’t just a bed accessory, it’s a tool you can use to whisk you away to a better night of sleep. The outside construction of the blanket offers two sides of dreamy comfort. On one side, you’ll enjoy plush, mink-like softness. And on the other side, you’ll find clean, soft cotton with a premium 300 thread-count. Complemented by the hexagon pocket stitching, this blanket is designed to provide you with reliable use, night after night.

Inside your Layla Weighted Blanket, you’ll find micro glass beads sewn between layers of batting. For you, this means an ultra-quiet weighted blanket with weight evenly spread across. Plus, it’s completely washable, so you don’t have to worry about your breakfast-in-bed habit creating a headache-inducing mess. A night sleeping with the Layla Weighted Blanket is like getting a hug from your favorite person, all night long.

Conclusion: Layla reigns supreme

Although there are other kinds of weighted blankets out there with different kinds of fillings available, we believe that our glass-bead filled blanket is the stuff dreams are made of. Quiet, smooth, and calming, our unique weighted blanket is perfect for calming a restless mind and body.

Plus, Layla Sleep stands behind our Layla Weighted Blanket whole-heartedly, that’s why we offer a 120-Night Trial and Return Policy in case you don’t love it. But we’re pretty sure you will.