Who might benefit from the use of a weighted blanket? Anyone who has trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or needs calming input during relaxing activities (reading, watching t.v., etc.).
Who are weighted blankets safe for? Anyone who responds appropriately to discomfort (i.e. Does the person remove a jacket when they are hot?), and anyone who can independently remove the blanket or crawl out from under it. If a person meets these two conditions, they can sleep under the weighted blanket all night if the choose to.
How much weight should be in a weighted blanket? This depends on the weight of the person as well as personal preferences. Typically about 15% of the person’s body weight is a nice amount.
What can be used as weight in the blanket? I like to use poly-fil beads (purchased at local hobby or fabric stores). These are fairly inexpensive, non-toxic, and machine-washable. Some people use used clothing, sand, pebbles, dried peas or beans, or pony beads.
There are several ways to make an effective weighted blanket. Here are a few:
- Choose two pieces of fabric with a texture that is pleasing to the person who will be using the blanket. Sew the two pieces together using 10” rows. Stuff each row with used clothing or other soft but heavy filler. The advantage is this is the cheapest and simplest way to make a blanket. The disadvantage is this type of blanket can be lumpy and bumpy.
- Sew pockets onto a blanket. Use Velcro at the top of each pocket. Make beanbags filled with polyfil beads (find these at local hobby store or fabric store). Place beanbags into pockets. This allows you to adjust the amount of weight in the blanket as needed.
Here’s my preferred method (I’m all about ease!):
- Purchase a fleece throw blanket and a twin sheet set.
- Measure your throw blanket and figure out how many beanbags you will need. Most throws are 50” x 60”. For this size, you will need to sew about 56 four-inch beanbags.
- Use the fitted sheet as scrap fabric to make the beanbags. Leave seams exposed because you will use these to sew to the flat sheet. Fill each beanbag with beads. The easiest way to do this is to first decide on how much weight you want in the blanket. Then divide that amount of beads into 8 fairly equal amounts (use bowls). This will be the amount of beads total in each vertical row. Then divide the amount in each bowl into 7 fairly equal amounts – since there will be 7 horizontal rows, you will end up with the right amount to fill each beanbag with. Don’t worry about being exact – it won’t matter.
- Pin the beanbags onto the non-printed side of the flat sheet. You’re basically going to want to spread them out so there are 8 rows with 7 beanbags each. I spread them out a little so the weight will be more equally distributed. Here is how I arrange them:
5. Sew three sides of the flat sheet to the fleece throw with “wrong sides” out. Turn inside out so that now the beanbags are on the inside. Sew the remaining side shut.
Congratulations! You did it! Enjoy the calming sensation of your new weighted blanket.