There’s a good chance you’ve seen weighted blankets making their way through your social media feed or perhaps even on the news lately, and these simple but effective accessories are being touted as the next big thing.
Just as the name suggests, a weighted blanket is one that has weights sewed into it, making it a lot heavier than most.
The purpose of the weighted blanket is to provide some mental relief, which they achieve by using all that added weight to keep you feeling snug and safe. However, a quick online search with show you that a quality weighted blanket can cost hundreds of dollars, and that alone can send the anxiety soaring.
Can you make a DIY weighted blanket and how?
The good news is it’s possible to create your own weighted blanket for a fraction of the cost of purchasing one brand new. All you’ll need are some basic sewing skills and supplies, a durable blanket, some plastic beads, and a spare few hours.
If you’re in need of some relaxation or want to gift a weighted blanket to someone you know, you’re in luck. We’ve got a simple tutorial on how to make your own DIY weighted blanket that works just as well as a store-bought one and filled with the love and satisfaction you can only get my making something for yourself.
- 1 What is a Weighted Blanket?
- 2 Who Shouldn’t Use a Weighted Blanket?
- 3 The Benefits of Weighted Blankets
- 4 Tools and Materials for the Project
- 5 The Steps to Make a DIY Weighted Blanket
- 6 Related Questions
What is a Weighted Blanket?
A weighted blanket is as simple as the name suggests; a regular blanket that’s been fitted with weights of varying sizes. By laying with a weighted blanket, it adds a deep pressure to the body and can help keep you secure at night, so you always feel comforted when you have one with you.
Our minds react to this stimulus powerfully, and you’ll instantly feel more secure when you’re underneath one.
Weighted blankets come in all different shapes, sizes, materials, and weights, so they can be just as unique as the person using them. This is why it’s helpful to know how to make your own, so you can tailor it to your needs exactly
With your own blanket, you can choose the materials, colors, patterns, and even the weight.
The most important feature of these special types of blankets, aside from how comfortable they feel, is its actual weight. As a guide, you should be using a blanket that weighs 10 percent of your total body weight, so for the average 150lbs person, you’ll want at least 15lbs of weight in your blanket.
Who Shouldn’t Use a Weighted Blanket?
Although a weighted blanket is a comforting accessory for most, it’s not ideal for everyone. Predominantly, anyone who has sleep apnea or suffers from snoring at night may find it works against them, as it puts further pressure on their chest where they already experience difficulties.
People who suffer from asthma might also want to avoid weighted blankets as they can disrupt their breathing.
If you’re someone who has claustrophobia or doesn’t enjoy the feeling of being tight and secure, you might find the sensation of these blankets unusual, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still benefit from them once you get used to it.
One group that should be particularly careful about weighted blankets is children, especially younger ones as they can pose a safety risk. As these blankets are made to be heavy and create deep pressure on the user, they might not be safe for some kids to use, and they’ll have trouble moving around in them.
Weighted blankets were originally designed for children with disorders like autism and ADHD, so that doesn’t mean they should be ruled out entirely from enjoying them, but they should be supervised.
If you would like to use one for your kid, choose a lighter material like lycra in a sleeping bag style, giving them the same enveloping comfort without any of the risks.
The Benefits of Weighted Blankets
A quick look online and you’ll see thousands of people raving about the wonders of their weighted blankets. Whether it’s for a better night’s sleep or to ease anxiety, there are loads of reported benefits. If you’re looking for motivation to make your own weighted blanket, here are some ways they can help:
Whether you suffer from anxiety or just have trouble getting into a deep sleep, you’re likely screaming out for a solution.
Using the same method as deep pressure stimulation, these blankest can help release serotonin which relaxes you. This, with the comforting sensation, allows you to get a better night’s sleep.
Anxiety is a common condition that affects millions of Americans and it can strike at any time of the day or night. If you suffer from anxiety, you’ll do anything possible to make it better, and a weighted blanket could be the solution.
The pressure of these blankest is comforting and a lot like a hug, which can reduce the racing thoughts and bring some peace to your mind no matter the time of day.
Eases restless leg syndrome
Restless leg syndrome is a condition that causes people to feel as though they have to keep moving at night, usually by shaking their leg.
A weighted blanket can keep you secure as you sleep and help weigh your legs down, which is helpful for people who have restless leg syndrome that keeps them moving around.
Focuses the mind
It’s easy for our minds to wander as we try to drift off to sleep and it can take hours to relax. Whether you have ADHD or just struggle to get to stay focused, being cocooned in your blanket and unable to fidget and move around can be useful for focusing on sleep.
We all have bad days and there are times when we need a big huge to make things all better. Thanks to the deep pressure stimulation of these blankets, your brain will release a healthy dose of serotonin which can turn a bad mood into a good one just by cuddling up underneath it.
Tools and Materials for the Project
If you already enjoy sewing, you’ll have most of the supplies you need to create a weighted blanket. To get started, round up your basic pieces of equipment that you should have on hand:
- Marking tool
- Quality thread
- Sewing machine
- Plastic filler beads
Next, you’ll need to select the material for your blanket, which is the most important part. Choose a color of fabric that’s soothing and comfortable, but something durable.
To determine the size and weight of your blanket, it should be able to cover the person who’s sleeping under it, as well as have enough room for the squares that will hold the plastic filler beads and weights.
The overall fabric measurements should be your size plus four inches on the edges, to give some overhang.
The overall weight will need to be 10 percent of your body weight, which means once you subtract the weight of the fabric, the beads need to make up the rest. Divide this amount by the number of squares the blanket will have to get the number for how much weight will be held in each one.
The Steps to Make a DIY Weighted Blanket
With your material ready to go and all of your equipment ready, you can now start the easy process of creating a weighted blanket.
This is a basic tutorial for those with sewing skills and is more time consuming due to the squares you have to sew, otherwise, it’s a straightforward process.
- With your marking tool, mark 2 inches from the edges of your fabric. Next, mark out your squares based on the above calculations, so you end up with a grid drawn onto the back.
- Sew the right sides of the front and pieces with a 3/8 inch seam allowance. Then, sew the two long sides and one short side making sure to leave the top.
- Turn the blanket with the right side facing out and open the seams. Topstitch ¼ inch from the edge, starting just a small distance from the open side.
- Move 2 inches from the open side and then sew along the lines you marked as the edge.
- Sew together the two long sides and the bottom of the fabric using a backstitch at the start and finish. The inner topstitch area is where you’ll create the grid for your weights.
- Sew the vertical channels on the lines you marked and start at the closed bottom edge then end just past the 2-inch side mark you made, with a backstitch at the start and end.
- With the vertical channel done, you can now fill it with weighted plastic beads. Measure out a scoop of beads as calculated previously and fill up each channel making sure they’re evenly distributed.
- Insert some pins to make a line that keeps the filler beads secure in the channel before you start sewing the horizontal line.
- Sew the horizontal line by starting just over the stitching that’s already been done at the top, and then finish it just over the topstitching on the other side. Use a backstitch at the beginning and end, making sure you don’t pull stitches as you go.
- Check as you go that no beads are getting in the way, and feel ahead in the line to make sure none are coming up.
- Repeat the steps of adding beads to each vertical channel as you go, and then close off the channel with a horizontal line. Continue until you’ve worked your way up the entire blanket.
- At the top, close off the last row of squares with a line so that it meets up with the line of inner topstitching you did.
- Fold over the edges of the open side to make a ½ inch border, then topstitch ¼ inch from the edge, beginning where you first topstitched on either side. Your blanket is now complete.
Weighted blankets are one of the biggest products of the last few years, and with benefits ranging from calming anxiety to helping you get a settled sleep, it seems there’s nothing they can’t do.
If you’ve been thinking of buying or making a weighted blanket but still want to know more, we’ve answered a few questions that can help you learn more.
Are Weighted Blankets Hot?
One common misconception about weighted blankets is that they’ll be too hot and can’t be used by people living in warmer conditions.
Just because these blankets have added weights in them, that doesn’t mean the material they’re made of has to be thick or insulated, so they can be cool and comfortable and still give you all of the usual benefits.
Is a 20 lbs Weighted Blanket Too Heavy?
The best way to determine whether a blanket is a right size for you is to divide your weight by 10, and then shop for a blanket of that weight.
Kids and teens should use blankets no more than 15 lbs but it differs for adults. If you weigh between 165 and 200 lbs, a 20 lbs weighted blanket will give you enough pressure to cover your entire body and enjoy the benefits.
Can You Wash a Weighted Blanket?
Weighted blankets feature small weights sewn into the fabric that gives them their hefty feel, but that doesn’t mean they need any special treatment.
As they’re made with plastics and other durable materials, you can wash a weighted blanket in the washing machine as normal, and then hang it to dry on the line outside.