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What is the best fabric for a weighted blanket?
However, there isn’t really a ‘best’ material, or fabric, when considering a weighted blanket – it’s more a case of thinking about which fabric is going to suit you and your needs best.
For example, a warm, tactile Minky Dot fleece blanket may work well for a sensory seeking child. But if you’re a hot sleeper, a more cooling cotton or bamboo fabric is likely to suit you better.
So, to help you find the best material for you (or your child), here’s a guide to 5 of the most common fabrics used to make weighted blankets, with some pointers on the type of person each one ‘tends’ to work well for (remember though, there’s never a ‘concrete’ rule!).
1 – Cotton Fabric Weighted Blankets
Cotton is a common & popular fabric used in weighted blankets. A natural fibre, cotton is durable & easy to care for. It’s also smooth to the touch, making it a good option if you tend to avoid more tactile fabrics such as fleece or velvet.
Cotton is also more breathable than synthetic fabrics, so doesn’t tend to feel as hot. So as long as you keep the room at a cool temperature, the cotton will reflect this & help release excess body heat into the air.
Organic cotton weighted blankets, whilst not as common, are also available & these are a great option if you’re keen to reduce the amount of chemicals used in the farming and manufacturing process and, ultimately, in your blanket.
Some cotton weighted blankets include a polyester mix – so keep in mind polyester is a manmade fabric & less breathable than cotton, so look for 100% cotton weighted blankets, if cotton is your preferred choice.
Cotton weighted blanket fabrics tend to work best for:
- warm sleepers
- those who prefer natural fibres
- those sensitive to touch or who prefer less stimulating fabrics
2 – Minky/Fleece Fabric Weighted Blankets
Modern plush fabrics such as flat or Minky Dot fleece are commonly manufactured from synthetic polyester. Plush fabrics are durable & retain heat well. They are also soft & tactile to the touch.
This often makes plush fabrics one of the best weighted blanket fabric choices for sensory people who seek out extra sensory input. For example, a child with a sensory processing disorder (SPD) who craves tactile stimulation may get on well with the more stimulating texture of a Minky Dot fabric.
Fleece weighted blankets may also be a good choice for older people who feel cold easily.
Another factor to consider is that synthetic fibres, such as polyester fleece, don’t breath well & trap moisture & sweat close to the body. This generally makes them a less comfortable option for hot sleepers or warm climates.
Minky/fleece weighted blanket fabrics tend to work best for:
- those who get cold easily
- people who like to feel warm & cosy at night
- children & adults who are under sensitive to touch & seek out extra tactile input.
3 – ‘Cooling’ & Bamboo Fabric Weighted Blankets
Are you a hot sleeper? You won’t want to invest in a weighted blanket only to throw it off in a furious night sweat, as you won’t receive the therapeutic benefits you’re looking for.
So if you’re prone to over heating at night, why not consider a ‘cooling’ weighted blanket, made from a fabric designed specifically to wick moisture away from the body. This should help to keep you cool & sweat free.
Cooling weighted blankets are generally made from a bamboo derived or COOLMAX fabric (a specifically engineered fabric created from a blend of Polyester fibres designed to improve breathability). Both fabrics help you maintain a core body temperature, so you can sleep more comfortably year round, without over-heating.
Here’s a video from Weighting Comforts that explains how their COOLMAX fabric weighted blanket works:
‘Cooling’ weighted blanket fabrics tend to work best for:
- hot sleepers or those sensitive to heat
- summer/year round hot climates
- the menopause/hot flashes.
4 – Flannel Weighted Blanket Fabrics
Although not as common as other weighted blanket fabrics, flannel is another fabric to consider.
Typically made from wool or cotton (although it can sometimes still use synthetic fibres, so check product details), flannel is a loosely woven, brushed fabric that feels soft & lightweight to the touch. It’s also a good insulator.
So if you like to be warm, flannel can be a good alternative to synthetic fleece, as the ‘fuzzy’ brushed fabric traps air in little pockets, keeping body heat in and cold air out.
5 – Linen Fabric Weighted Blanket
Lightweight like cotton, linen is an extremely strong and durable material. Absorbent and very breathable, it’s often considered a good choice for warmer weather, due to its natural water wicking properties.
Usually considered a more luxury fabric, linen is derived from the flax plant and has a looser weave than cotton, as well as a more rough, textured pattern to it.
Linen is a very appealing fabric for many reasons. It’s:
- long lasting (it can last for decades)
- a fabric than gets gets softer with washing and doesn’t pill
- naturally hypo-allergenic (lower thread count and loose weave is less likely to trap dust and particles)
- absorbent and breathable, with natural water wicking properties, making it a cooler option to consider for summer sleeping
- a good environmental choice (virtually all parts of the flax plant are used in the harvesting process, plus it’s a renewable source).
On the flip side, linen does tend to be more expensive than other fabrics, as it has a timely and more costly manufacturing process. And if you have an aversion to creases, linen is notorious for wrinkling.
In terms of weighted blankets, linen fabric covers are harder to come by and you’ll often have to buy the weighted blanket element separately. It’s a lovely fabric to consider though if you can find one the right size for your needs. It should also last you years.
If you’re wondering what’s the best fabric for a weighted blanket, it really depends on you, or your child’s, own unique make-up.
Generally speaking, though:
- Cotton fabrics tends to work well if you prefer natural fibres, like to sleep at a certain temperature, run warm easily, or are sensitive to touch.
- Plush fleece or Minky fabrics are both soft & warming, so tend to work well if you enjoy soft, tactile & cosy fabrics and don’t overheat easily.
- ‘Cooling’ bamboo or COOLMAX fabrics are a popular option for hot sleepers or those in warm climates, as they’re specifically designed to help you enjoy the benefits of a weighted blanket, whilst remaining cool.
Flannel or linen are other options, but these are less commonly available to buy as a fabric for weighted blankets.
Whatever fabric you decide is best for your needs, it’s also a good idea to check a shop bought blanket’s care instructions before you buy, to make sure it’s washable.