How to Make A Weighted Blanket?

How to Make A Weighted Blanket

Are you thinking of buying a weighted blanket? Maybe you’ve heard about how it stimulates deep pressure stimulation, an experience that is a part of massage therapy. Stressed and anxious folks can try it out. And so do individuals who want to boost their sleep quality.

But did you know you can make your own weighted blanket? For those in search of an alternative to a product worth at least around $150, doing it yourself has its own advantages. How do you make a weighted blanket? Let us count the ways.

Before that, we will look into the benefits of using a weighted blanket. The DIY process will require time, money, and effort. So you should make sure you’re doing something worthwhile. You will also learn about the materials used to make this bedding item and how to source them.

Scroll down to start creating your personalized and pocket-friendly weighted blanket.

How It Works

Weighted blankets are not just a heavier version of the blanket we know and love. Indeed, the regular version can carry a sentimental value from childhood or a memory from a significant life moment. But it may or may not have a therapeutic effect on us. A weighted blanket, on the other hand, is popular for how it mimics the deep pressure touch. 

Deep pressure touch or stimulation is a therapeutic technique used in massage therapy or animal support therapy. It relaxes the nervous system, so it’s said to reduce anxiety, relieve pain, and enhance mood. Instead of relying on hands-on therapy, you can access the benefits by wrapping a weighted blanket around your body.

A weighted blanket can be effective in some conditions, including the following:

Insomnia and Sleep Disorders

Bedtime woes afflict both the young and the old. While insomnia is the common culprit, other disorders can affect a person’s sleepytime. These are grouped into categories like hypersomnias, parasomnias, and circadian rhythm disorders, among others.

Weighted blankets can help treat such issues, including the inability to fall asleep fast and stay asleep. However, a study done in 2014 applied it to children with autism. The link between the developmental disorder and weighted blankets was established from interviews with parents and children.

More research is needed to confirm if this applies to children and adults in general. But the result of the study is a good place to start.

Read: 5 Sleep Disorders You Should Know Aside From Insomnia


Although the benefits of weighted blankets on persons with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) are yet to be established, a similar study on the use of weighted vests for ADHD has been done.  The result of this study shows that weighted vests can be used in ADHD therapy to improve attention and reduce hyperactivity. In a separate test, a weighted ball blanket has yielded positive effects on ADHD-related sleep issues.


Weighted blankets can help reduce symptoms of anxiety. Individuals with an anxiety disorder may experience impaired autonomic arousal, which can be improved by deep pressure stimulation. Using a 30-pound version of this sleep accessory, researchers found decreased anxiety in 63% of participants. It was a convenience sample of 32 adults. But it can be the basis for further research on the therapeutic effects of weighted blankets among mental health patients. 

Chronic Pain

Deep pressure touch has been a significant part of massage therapy. And massage therapy has been used to relieve chronic pain. The researchers found that gradual application of pressure, from light to moderate to deep, can reduce pain in this condition. Weighted blankets can steady the legs, exerting a similar pressure that can lessen the experience of chronic pain in affected areas. 


There are two things you need to decide on when determining the dimensions of your weighted blanket. First, what will be the size of your blanket? Choose a big one if you’re going to use it in your bed. Go for small if you’re wrapping it around yourself while lounging on the couch. A larger blanket is heavier, so it won’t be easy to lug around for the latter purpose.

Another consideration would be the size of the squares of your blanket’s quilt. For a start, make them three to five inches. But it can be anything you want. To get the full measurement of your weighted blanket, multiply the size and number of the squares and then add four inches. For instance:

Width = 3 x 11 + 4 = 37 inches

Length = 3 x 19 + 4 = 61 inches


Begin with a weighted blanket that weighs 10% of your body weight, then adds or subtracts one or two pounds. Check the one that’s approved for your weight to be sure. But look for a lighter one when you are still acclimatizing. For adults with special needs and children, you should consult with a therapist for the correct weight.

When making your own weighted blanket, you will measure the volume of the filling. It should be your target weight divided by the number of squares. If you’re using pellets, for example, you should put one pound of pellets per square if you have 16 squares making up a 16-pound blanket.

Types Of Weighted Blanket Materials

One of the main materials for sewing a blanket is filling. And you have several types to choose from. To know which one you should use, check out the following fillers:

Plastic Polypropylene Pellets

Traditional and common, plastic poly pellets are pebble-like plastic beads made of ABS virgin plastic. They’re non-toxic and safe from harmful chemicals. You can easily source them in your local crafts shop, as well as online. 

This material can be cleaned in a washing machine, so it’s preferred among DIY-ers. However, it can irritate the skin or ears of some people. If you want a smoother and quieter option, pick glass beads instead. 

Micro Glass Beads

Glass beads have been around for ages. They have been used mostly for decorative purposes, but now they feature inside weighted blankets, too. Smaller than poly pellets, this filler option feels smooth and makes no noise. The microbeads are distributed evenly that they’re less likely to end up lumpy.

Despite the compact appearance, this material makes the blanket heavy. So you will get a non-bulky bedding item while receiving the right amount of pressure from it. When crafting your own, sew the beads in with care. Micro glass beads are more expensive than their plastic counterparts and they’re not as popular as poly-pellets in the DIY community.

How to Make A Weighted Blanket

Steel Shot Beads

There are three reasons why you should choose steel shot beads for your weighted blanket. This option is larger and heavier than glass beads, so you’ll need fewer to achieve your preferred weight. Because of its size, it’s not easy to leak through the blanket stitches. 

Also, it sports a smooth, round feel. It repels dirt to keep your weighted blanket clean and fresh. Those who have sensitive skin may not get a reaction from this filler. Lastly, due to its steel composition, it can make your blanket last long.


The sand used as filling in weighted blankets is semi-organic. It is very easy to source. Your local shop may have craft sand for sale at a low price. However, it has more downsides than upsides, making it the least favored choice among the common filling materials. Its grains do not spread out evenly within the stuffing. It also tends to clump when it gets wet. 

Although it’s not used as often as the above and is used as a filler for weighted blankets. It is an inexpensive commodity and also easy to get. Aside from the difficulty of washing, it can also leak through loose stitching.

Dried Beans, Grains, or Stone

Quite the odd alternative, any of these three materials can place weight on the blanket you are going to create. These unconventional materials are the easiest to find. Dried beans and grains can be bought in the supermarket. Aquarium stone, of course, is available in pet or specialty shops.

When choosing grains, avoid rice as this can prove difficult to wash and attract bugs quickly. You wouldn’t want your blanket to smell musky, too. If you are iffy about the outcome of using one of these options, it’s best to stick with the more traditional and popular ones.

Weighted blankets are a special type of bedding, so they also need a special kind of care and maintenance. Consult the instructions below before you wash your DIY weighted blanket.

How to Make A Weighted Blanket

1. Cut two pieces of fabric into a U shape.

Cut two pieces of fabric so that they will make a U shape when put together. Let their decorative side face each other. Then sew them together at the edges, leaving only one edge open. The result should look like a large pocket.

Turn it right side up to start making your squares.

2. Mark your squares.

You will divide your blanket into squares which will be filled with pellets, beads, or whatever material you choose. If you followed the steps provided under Dimensions, you probably know how many squares or channels you need. Use a fabric marker to identify the divisions. 

You can also fold the fabric to create squares. Lay it flat on a table or any clean surface, fold it in half, and then mark the CenterPoint. Continue folding to make quarters and eighths and so forth. Once you reach the last fold, unfold the fabric to find the pattern for your squares. Sew through the vertical lines you’ve marked.

Alternatively, pick a fabric with straight lines to make sewing easier.

3. Fill the squares with beads or such material.

Begin filling each square with your chosen material. Start pouring into the bottom squares. Then, sew the horizontal lines atop the bottom squares to seal in the first batch of beads. Keep doing this step until you reach the topmost set of squares. Make sure to leave equal spaces between squares.

These can all be approached methodically if you have the measurements you want your blanket to have.

4. Stitch up the opening.

Once you are done with your final square lineup, fold the open edge to create a seam. And then sew it to close the blanket. You finally have a weighted blanket that is handmade and relatively cheaper than commercial ones.

Make sure to remove the marks left by the fabric marker. We suggest spot cleaning so as not to damage the blanket you just created.

Care and Maintenance

Weighted blankets are a special type of bedding, so they also need a special kind of care and maintenance. Consult the instructions below before you wash your DIY weighted blanket.

Check the Label

Commercially available weighted blankets come with labels that specify their materials and respective care instructions. The fabric and filling used typically require a different treatment from ordinary sheets. You can start with gentle machine wash in cold water, but make sure to read up on the correct settings for your chosen materials.

Inspect for Damage Or Stains

Part of the maintenance of weighted blankets is making sure they have no untreated stains and smells. Maybe you didn’t notice a spill or had no time to deal with right away. If the stain has set into the fabric, you will have to pre-treat it. Washing will then be easy. However, different methods apply to different types of stain.

For fresh stains, you can use liquid dish soap to spot-clean the affected areas. Avoid bleach as its chlorine content may cause discoloration and damage to the fabric. Some non-chlorinated solutions are also available for gentle treatment. 

Another way to treat the stains is to put it under cold running water. This technique will loosen the fabric and moisten the stained parts, whether dried or stained. This should help lift the dirt. When trying this method, let the fabric face the running water while also pointing it downward. Be careful not to wet the entire blanket.

Of course, fix all damages before washing away the stains to prevent them from getting worse.

Try A Gentle Spray Stain Remover for Fluids

Bodily fluids may cause stains on your blanket. If this happens, use a gentle spray stain remover. The ones available on the market are typically hypoallergenic, bleach-free, and safe. This is ideal if your bedding is made of soft fabric.

Pre-treat and rinse your blanket according to the instructions shared in the second step. To spot-clean affected areas, rub them with your finger or a soft brush.

Wash Your Blanket

You can wash your blanket in the machine or by hand. Or you can put it in cold water instead if either is not possible.


Weighted blankets have benefits to offer individuals who are experiencing insomnia or another sleep disorder, anxiety, or chronic pain. They have a proven positive impact on people with ADHD. However, this sleep accessory is quite expensive. So if you want to take advantage of its good effects, an alternative would be sewing your own.

In this article, we broke down the materials and the measurements required to make a weighted blanket. We also threw in a few things about the item’s care and maintenance. Now that you know what it takes to successfully put together a weighted blanket, are you ready to do it yourself?

If you have started sewing a weighted blanket, tell us about your experience. Others may pick up something from it. So feel free to share it in the comments section.

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