Learning how to care for a weighted blanket is important. It is an item we will most likely want to use for many years and how we long we can use it for depends partly on how well we take care of it. Reading the manufacturer’s instructions should always be the first step. But on top of that there is also a number of tips and cautions we should keep in mind. There are many types and sizes of weighted blankets and many different combinations of materials used.
As with any type of bedding, constant care is required to prevent odors from setting in and to prevent bacteria. It doesn’t matter if you don’t use a weighted blanket on a daily basis. Even when in storage, a blanket can get dusty and soiled over a long period of time.
Follow the Manufacturer’s Instructions
Always start by reading the manufacturer’s instructions. They are usually included on a tag attached to the product and there is often a list clear indications of the dos and don’ts regarding the care of these heavy blankets.
This may include special washing instructions (e.g. avoiding certain cleaning agents).
However not all manufacturers are specific, as you would know if you’ve ever bought a regular blanket, sheet, or T-shirt for yourself. But even then there are things that you can do to determine the right course of action.
For example, identifying the material is of absolute importance. It should be listed on the label. If it’s unclear, check it against other materials in your home or try to find the composition online.
This will tell you whether the fabric is suited for cold or hot water cycles. It will also tell you what chemicals to use and not use.
Does the Weighted Blanket Have a Removable Cover?
Some weighted blankets come with a removable cover that makes keeping it clean a much easier job. For most cleanups, all you need do is remove the cover and wash it alone, then reattach it to the inner weighted blanket.
Keep in mind that you may still need to wash the inner weighted blanket from time to time as well, and they may have different instructions if made from different materials.
Having a cover for your weighted blanket can help protect your investment and prolong the life of the product especially if it’s used regularly.
Account for the Weight of the Weighted Blanket
Most people don’t realize just how heavy weighted blankets can get. There are plenty of people that need to use weighted blankets of up to 25 or 30 pounds. That’s because the recommended blanket weight should be at least 10% of the body weight for adults.
Most home washing machines may not be able to handle such a heavy load, especially when you think about how much heavier the blanket gets when it’s soaked in water. However many manufacturers now make products that are machine-launderable.
Nevertheless if you don’t have access to a commercial washing machine, it’s best to try and clean the blanket by hand. Tackle each stain individually and then hand wash the rest to the best of your ability.
Professional laundry services are also an option. And many laundromats have larger machines designed for heavy loads. You can check out any in your local area.
Drying Weighted Blankets
Heavy blankets are best left to air dry because most of them are made from various types of materials. Some may handle being spun in a dryer but some of them may not.
Also excessive spinning and turning can’t be good for the pocket compartments that hold the weights. The added stress of the fabric might burst the seams and cause leakage of the beads.
Drying instructions, like washing instructions, are usually included on a tag with the manufacturer’s instructions for care of that particular brand.
A Definite Don’t
Some people may be tempted to remove the weights before washing a weighted blanket – don’t do it!
Unless the weighted blanket has a comforter design and no plastic, metal, or glass beads are used, taking out the weights is a bad idea. Not only would you have to rip through multiple layers of fabric to get to them, but resealing and tightening the pockets is impossible to do at home, at least not to a professional level.
Exercise Your Common Sense
Keep in mind that even though a weighted blanket is an article of bedclothes, it is much heavier than most other kinds used in the home.
Use caution when dealing with such a large weight in your appliances, and even when lifting it yourself, especially when it is wet.
As noted above, using a protective cover and following the manufacturer’s instructions are two of the most important steps you can take to protect your weighted blanket.
For our son, we use a duvet cover with the YnM Kids Weighted Blanket. This makes care and cleaning easier and less stressful, allowing him to enjoy the benefits of better sleep and less anxiety.