By: Karlton G. Kemerait

How Weighted Blankets Are Made

All The Materials Used In The Manufacture Of Weighted Blankets

Weighted blankets come in a variety of forms. Your blanket might be made of anything from modern hypo-allergenic fillers like plastic and glass to organic materials such as rice and beans. In one scientific study they even used a blanket made of chain-mail! A randomized controlled study of weighted chain blankets for insomnia in psychiatric disorders and while interesting to be sure, we don’t recommend them for daily use!

Weighted Blanket Pillow Fight

What Type of Fabrics Are Used?


Far and away, almost all modern weighted blankets have one or both sides made from quilting cotton.  You may occasionally find a denim weighted blanket or maybe one made from Jersey Knit  but cotton is definitely the most popular fabric.

When buying keep an eye on the type of cotton, the most common and best is quilting cotton which is usually medium-weight cotton. Also, if possible, try to find out who the manufacturer of the fabric is. Always try to get quality cotton from reputable manufacturers such as Art Gallery Fabrics, Michael Miller, Timeless Treasures, Robert Kaufman, etc. You want to avoid cheaply made cotton which can be itchy or uncomfortable on the skin.

What Is Used For Weight?

Plastic Pellets

Plastic Pellet Filler

Plastic pellets are still the most common filler, and its been around since weighted blankets were commercially available. Typically the plastic pellets are 2-3mm in size, and the better quality weighted blankets will usually utilize virgin plastic as opposed to using recycled material which may contain containments.  Plastics are generally non-toxic, hypo-allergenic and safe to wash and dry. They can also be safely used for making blankets for pets.

Glass Beads

Glass beads have been around for several years now as an alternative to plastic pellets. Many vendors offer them as an upgrade to plastic pellets. One note of caution, however, as glass beads can chip and develop sharp edges which can damage the fabric or thread of the blanket causing it to wear out faster. than normal.

Rice, Beans and Other Grains

Rice Filler
Bean Blanket Filler

To be honest I’m not certain if anyone still uses these for weights, but at one time they were quite popular. The problem with using organic materials is that they can become an ideal place to grow mold or become a home for bacteria if not washed regularly and dried completely. Organic materials also present the possibility of allergies, depending on what’s been used. 

Small River Stones

There are some weighted blankets that use river stones as a filler for their weighted blankets. As unusual as it may sound though, river rocks are actually porous and therefore, if not dried carefully, can also end up harboring mold or bacteria just like organic materials.

Steel Ball Bearings

OK, this applies to the chain-mail and river rock blankets as well .. close your eyes and imagine two siblings having a pillow fight and one of them decides to swing away with a weighted blanket full of rocks or ball bearings… nuff said.

What Else Is inside?


Typically some type of support fabric is usually sewn into the blanket to help reinforce the fabric and provide extra strength.  Most often it is muslin, a type of cotton fabric.


Polyfill Image

Not all blankets have a polyfill filler, but the better quality ones usually do. This serves two purposes. Firstly, it helps prevent the pellets from moving around and creating noise. Secondly, it helps give the blanket some loft and softness making it more comfortable to sleep on.

The polyfill is usually a synthetic, polyester fiber fill, the same type that you might expect to find in a stuffed toy or animal. This is non-toxic and hypo-allergenic making a great addition the the blanket.

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