Weighted blankets have grown in popularity, with more and more people using them to improve their sleep and treat issues like anxiety or pain that can interfere with a restful slumber. There are many weighted blanket options on the market, but some people may opt to make their own weighted blankets, since store-bought blankets can come with a hefty price tag. If you’re looking to create your own makeshift weighted blanket, it is important to know about the available weighted blanket fillers, so you can determine the best one to use.
Why Use a Filler?
Weighted blankets work by applying deep touch pressure to the body, which relaxes the nervous system and helps the body to calm down for sleep. Fillers help to provide deep touch pressure, by adding evenly distributed weight to the blanket. There are several types of weighted blanket fillers available, but some are better than others. Regardless of the type of filler used, what fillers have in common is that they are placed inside pockets that are sewn throughout a weighted blanket. These pockets are equal in size to promote even weight distribution to properly stimulate the body’s pressure points.
Types of Weighted Blanket Fillers
The following may be used as weighted blanket fillers:
- Plastic poly pellets: Also used in stuffed animals, plastic poly pellets are one of the most popular weighted blanket fillers. They are also affordable, as you can obtain 50 pounds of plastic poly pellets for just $100. Poly pellets are easy to find and carried in most craft stores, and they are safe to wash, helping you to keep your weighted blanket in good shape.
- Micro glass beads: Among the more premium weighted blanket fillers are micro glass beads, which cost more than plastic poly pellets, but are also heavier than poly pellets, so fewer glass beads are required to make the blanket. Like poly pellets, glass beads are safe to wash and can be found in craft stores. They may be more sensory friendly than plastic poly pellets, and they are also effective for cooling, making them a good option for those who want to maintain the optimal temperature for restful sleep
- Steel shot beads: Found online, steel shot beads are a premium option among the other weighted blanket fillers. They are even heavier than micro glass beads, and they, too, can be safely run through a washing machine. Many consider this to be the best filler for a weighted blanket, but those who have sensory sensitivities may find steel beads to be too loud when the blanket is moving around.
- Sand: Some people may think sand is a suitable weighted blanket filler, and while some makeshift blankets may be created using sand, this isn’t the best option. Sand can become clumpy and does not evenly distribute, and it also leaks out of a weighted blanket more easily than other fillers do. If you have a tight budget, you might consider sand as a weighted blanket filler because of its low cost, but keep in mind that you will have to exercise caution. Washing a sand-filled weighted blanket can damage the blanket’s structure, and the blanket will be unusable for a few days, as it will need to hang to dry.
- Rocks and stones: These items, found free of charge in nature, are an attractive option for some individuals looking to make their own weighted blanket. That being said, rocks and stones are heavy, and it can be extremely difficult to create a blanket with evenly distributed weight using them, given that rocks and stones come in all different shapes and sizes. In addition, a weighted blanket made from rocks or stones may not be very comfortable. Nature fanatics may be tempted to use rocks and stone as weighted blanket fillers, despite the drawbacks. If you do choose this method, be sure to select small ones that are very similar in size, or you will run into problems.
- Rice, Beans, and Grains: People may utilize rice, beans, or grains like pasta as weighted blanket fillers, but like rocks and stones, these options may be affordable but otherwise not ideal. While you can get a strong blanket with even weight distribution using them, food products are not durable. As the weighted blanket ages, products like rice will begin to break down, and they may attract bugs or develop mold. After washing a weighted blanket that uses food products as fillers, you can expect the blanket to remain wet, as the food will absorb water during washing.
The Bottom Line
If you are choosing to make your own weighted blanket, the type of weighted blanket filler you use is ultimately up to you. Plastic poly pellets, micro glass beads, and steel shot beads are all relatively easy to find, and they are the most durable options. They are also safe for washing, making it easier to keep your blanket in good shape. Options like sand, rocks, and rice may be preferred for those who are on a tight budget, but a weighted blanket made from one of these fillers is less durable, so you may end up having to spend extra money making a second weighted blanket if yours doesn’t last as long as you’d like. Blankets made from these types of fillers may also be less comfortable, and you will run into challenges keeping them clean.
If you can afford them, steel cut beads make excellent weighted blanket fillers. They are durable and provide even weight distribution. You will have to consider how much you can afford to spend, after factoring in other materials for sewing a makeshift weighted blanket, which includes a medium weight fabric like flannel, and a fabric pen for marking during sewing. Also, keep in mind that individual preferences and needs may make some weighted blanket fillers more attractive than others. For instance, those who are sensitive to sound may not prefer steel cut beads, and might find that micro glass beads are a better option.
Aricove Weighted Blankets
If you’d rather not worry about choosing a weighted blanket filler to create your own blanket, Aricove offers a white weighted blanket in 10, 15, and 20 lb versions to meet a variety of needs. Our blankets are made from premium bamboo fabric, which is naturally moisture wicking and soft to keep you cool and comfortable for a restful night of sleep. We also sell a weighted blanket duvet cover so you can protect your investment and keep your weighted blanket in optimal condition.