Sleep Accessories

“Why Are Weighted Blankets So Expensive? And How Do You Keep Them Clean?”

What first attracts many people to using a weighted blanket is its wide spectrum of uses. With the ability to treat poor sleep, chronic pain, anxiety, depression, and other conditions and disorders, weighted blankets have a little something that can appeal to everyone.

But unfortunately, many folks learning about weighted blankets for the first time can be put off by the price tags they see, and the sticker shock becomes a hurdle they simply cannot pass. They pass on these amazing blankets because they seem expensive, but if they understood why it may not be an issue in the first place.

So the question is this: why are weighted blankets so expensive? Simply put, it’s because they have more “parts” to them than standard blankets. It’s primarily a combination of two different factors—parts and labor. However, marketing plays a role in it as well. Weighted blankets aren’t commonplace in brick-and-mortar stores (yet), so specialty manufacturers sometimes market them solely as medical or luxury items, using that to justify an increased price.

In this article, we’ll take a look at what impacts the price of weighted blankets and how you can maintain them to get the most out of the money you spend.

Weighted Blankets Are Complex


It’s easy to be tricked into thinking that blankets are simple things. For most of us, they’re just fabric filled with stuffing, and they carry only one function: keeping us warm and comfy. There is a misconception that weighted blankets are just heavier versions of what we curl up with every night. But there are more to weighted blankets than what meets the eye.

There are three parts every weighted blanket needs: the cover (or exterior), the interior, and the weights. Makers can add additional components as a bonus, but these are the only three that are absolutely needed for a weighted blanket. That said, what makes each part can vary wildly in terms of materials used which, understandably, affects the final price. Let’s take a look at each part, how it’s made, and what materials are commonly used to make them.

The Cover

You want the part that you come in direct contact with to be as comfortable as possible. 100% content is what’s most commonly used to make covers. Not only is it easy to clean being machine-wash safe, but everyone is familiar with the touch of the fabric already, so there shouldn’t be any textural discomfort when switching to weighted blankets for the first time. In order to be cleaned the covers must also be removable, which is usually done with a zipper.

Covers rarely get complicated in terms of design, but fabric choice can raise the price. Bamboo viscose is a great example of this: because of how breathable the fabric is, it’s something of a luxury. Buying just a bamboo viscose cover without the rest of the blanket costs almost $100. The first step in finding an inexpensive weighted blanket is sticking to fabrics you’re already familiar and comfortable with.

The Interior

The unique traits of a weighted blanket lie in the exterior. Because it needs to help retain heat as well as hold the weights in a specific way, a great deal of effort gets put into an interior’s design. As with covers, the most common fabric used inside weighted blankets is cotton. It’s fairly rare that manufacturers will use something else; unlike the exterior, the texture doesn’t matter as much to consumers.

While not the most expensive part of the weighted blanket to produce in terms of materials used, it’s here where labor costs spike. The interior of the blanket must be divided into a series of sections separate from one another to hold the weights. Each of these sections holds several weights (see the next section), and ideally the seamstress will measure the pouches so that they hold the weights in place with minimal movement. As you can imagine, this is a very precise, time-consuming process, but it’s needed to achieve the equal weight distribution that delivers all of a weighted blanket’s benefits.

From a consumer standpoint, not much can be done to reduce the cost of the interior. If you do encounter a weighted blanket interior (or a weighted blanket sold without a cover) being sold cheaply, be cautious: the low price could be indicative of poor workmanship.

The Weights

Also known as the filler, these are the actual weights that give the blanket its heft. Each individual weight is small and stuffed into pockets of the interior. The overall weight of a blanket will vary depending on who makes it, but buyers are advised to find one that weighs anywhere between 10-15% of their own body weight. And, as mentioned above, the individual weights shouldn’t have much space to shift around.

Fillers tend to be glass or poly (plastic) beads, though organic materials like sand and rice are occasionally used. Each one has its own strengths and weaknesses, but a general rule of thumb is that organic materials are cheaper because they don’t need to be manufactured. However, they’re often less efficient at equal weight distribution because they aren’t uniform in size. If you do choose to go with an organic option because it costs less, know that you’re risking a potentially uncomfortable experience.

What About Size?

It makes sense that a larger blanket would cost more money, but understanding how weighted blankets are meant to be used and measured could help you save a nice chunk of change. Unlike traditional blankets, which we love to have draping the edges of the mattress, a weighted blanket should only be big enough to cover your body with a little extra space. Using a weighted blanket that fits your mattress doesn’t make it any more useful.

Shipping Costs

Currently, the majority of weighted blankets are sold online directly from the manufacturers. As a result, shipping costs can become an issue. Unless you’re specifically buying a specific brand or a blanket with unique features, try to buy as close to home as you can.

As an aside, there are a number of companies in China producing weighted blankets at extremely low cost. While obviously appealing to the price-conscious consumer, buying consumer goods from China comes with tremendous risk. The country has significantly less oversight and quality control than others, leading to products made with little durability and even potentially dangerous materials. Don’t let a good deal blind you to these dangers.


As mentioned previously, the many uses weighted blankets can have has resulted in them being sold in different ways. You could have two weighted blankets at different prices, one advertised as treating chronic pain and another that helps lower anxiety, but they wouldn’t necessarily be different. It’s the same application of weight that relieves all of those symptoms, so why are they priced differently?

It comes down to the idea of specialty. Manufacturers can make extra money by marketing towards specific problems and consumers. Though they’re essentially the same, a blanket sold as a medical tool rather than a general purpose item can come with a higher price tag even though there may not be anything special or unique about it. If you’re willing to spend more time shopping around, you can save money by finding a quality weighted blanket without specialty marketing.

Keeping Your Weighted Blanket Clean

washerNow that you know just what goes into a weighted blanket, you probably suspect that cleaning one is is a bit more involved than simply tossing it in the washer. Thankfully, it’s not too difficult of a process, but it does require you to be extra careful. Also, lest you ruin your investment so soon.

How you clean your blanket, as well as how much of your blanket you can clean; depends largely on its materials and weight. Manufacturers are usually kind enough to include detailed instructions for washing, drying, and generally caring for your blanket, but if you decided to purchase a custom made a blanket, or if there simply were no instructions included, here’s are some general tips to follow.

Removable covers save time

The cover (or duvet) is the blanket’s first link of defense against all forms of stains. The more that you use your blanket, the more likely it is to get dirty. Rather than having to wash the entire blanket every time; you can choose to remove just the cover and clean that instead. You can send it for a gentle ride in your washing machine or spot clean it yourself with your preferred cleaning agent.

Consider a laundromat for the blanket itself

No matter how heavy or light your weighted blanket may be; the additional weight it carries can cause real stress on your washer and dryer. To help maintain those appliances and your blanket; it’s worth the extra time and money to wash it at a nearby laundromat. Their commercial-sized washers can handle the extra weight no problem.

Wash the blanket in its own load

It’s not just a matter of additional weight: additional items in the same load could pose a hazard to the blanket. Anything with metal buttons and zips can snag on and tear the blanket. Also, makes it less durable as a whole and potentially spilling some of the filler.

Remember your filler

Whatever your blanket uses for weight can also determine how you wash and dry it. Glass or plastic beads don’t pose an issue since they don’t absorb water and will dry easily. Fillers like sand and rice, on the other hand, are much more of a hassle and shouldn’t be machine washed at all. Instead, you can try to spot clean them as needed. But ultimately they should have as little contact with water as possible.

Machine dry or air dry?

MachineWashBoth methods are viable options, though they come with their own caveats. You can machine dry your weighted blanket safely on a low heat setting. But if it’s too heavy, especially after being washed; the additional strain could harm your dryer over time. A blanket that’s 20 pounds when dry will weigh even more when wet, so keep that in mind. Knowing your dryer’s weight limitations can be very helpful here.

Air drying is simple and fast depending on the filler. You can choose to lay it out on a flat surface or choose to hang it. However, you should avoid hanging it from one end. The blankets weight could be enough to pull it down and send it to the ground.

Think twice before ironing

ThinkTwiceIroningYou’ll have no problems ironing your weighted blanket’s cover, assuming it can be removed. However, if it can’t be removed you’ll want to reconsider ironing all together. Most fillers won’t react well to the heat of an iron. It’s not necessarily dangerous, but it could warp the individual weights depending on what they are made of.

Direct heat treatments, like ironing and dry cleaning services, also pose the threat of shrinking fabrics. Since weighted blankets can have so many intricate seams, shrinking like this can quickly lead to irreparable damage.


Go easy on the detergent

GoEasyDetergentHave you ever noticed how soap dries out your hands? It’s not much different with fabrics. Standard laundry detergent can, over time, dry out and damage fabrics, leading to rips and tears. Your weighted blanket will get clean without detergent. But if you’d feel better using some, try using a gentle baby laundry detergent instead.

Weighted blankets carry the prices that they do ultimately because they are meant to be long term investments with a complex manufacturing process. You can get the best price if you know what you’re looking for when you’re shopping around and are conscious of how marketing influences the final cost. But just as important as that is practicing good upkeep and maintenance. By knowing the correct way to keep your weighted blanket clean; you can better guarantee that you’ll get the most use from it. And the most value from the money you spent.



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