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How Do I Wash My Weighted Blanket?

At Luna, one of the most common questions we receive revolves around the proper care for weighted blankets. Understandably, users want to know if they can wash their weighted blankets — and more than that, they also want to know how to wash a weighted blanket.

Luna weighted blankets are 100% safe for the washer, but not every weighted blanket manufacturer out there can make the same claim. Here’s what you need to know before you buy.

Concept of preparation to laundry process.

Is Your Weighted Blanket Machine Washer Safe?

There’s nothing better than snuggling up with a new blanket, especially if it’s a weighted blanket. However, spills and muddy paw prints can happen. Whether you’re on the sofa with a mug of coffee or sneaking a few crackers in bed, it’s easy to end up with a stain or two.

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When you need to wash and care for your weighted blanket, it’s important to know the best way to make sure it keeps its shape and function through a wash and dry cycle.

Washing Your Weighted Blanket

First, we’ll cover washing instructions for Luna weighted blankets. For all Luna weighted blankets, we recommend washing your blanket separately. For best results, don’t combine other items with your weighted blanket in the washing machine. Wash your weighted blanket separately with regular detergent.   

  • 100% Cotton Weighted Blankets - At Luna, all of our weighted blankets are safe for the washer. If you order a 100% cotton blanket, you should wash it in warm or cold water on a gentle setting. For blankets made with fabric that’s a bright or dark color, we recommend washing in cold water first with a cup of salt to lock in the color and prevent any dye from running or fading.
  • Oeko-Tex Certified Fabric Weighted Blankets - For a Luna weighted blanket made with one of our organic chemical free-fabrics, wash in warm or hot water. 
  • Weighted Blankets with Minky Fabric - If you have a Luna weighted blanket made with our super soft minky fabric, wash on cold with detergent but skip the fabric softener.

Should you ever take your weighted blanket to a laundromat? We recommend doing this for blankets that weigh over 10 pounds, although your machine might be able to handle a bigger size if you have a front loader washing machine without a center agitator.

If you’re concerned that your weighted blanket will bunch up and throw your machine off balance, it might be best to wash it at the laundromat using the same washing instructions for smaller weighted blankets.

For young kids (and adults, too!), many people like ordering a duvet cover for their Luna weighted blanket. The duvet cover is easy to remove, with ties that make it simple and hassle-free to put the duvet on and remove it for no-fuss washing and drying.

Oeko-Tex Certified Weighted Blanket

We specialized in Oeko-Tex certified bedding. This is an even higher designation than organic and ensures that no harmful chemicals were used at any stage of the manufacturing process. For those especially concerned about where their fabrics come from, Luna helps customers sleep easier knowing their products are free from not-so-pretty additives, such as formaldehyde (which is commonly used as a finish in wrinkle-free or wrinkle-resistant bedding).

A Word of Caution About Other Weighted Blanket Manufacturers

Do you own a weighted blanket made by another manufacturer? Are you shopping around, wondering which weighted blanket is right for you? Pay close attention to the washing and care instructions listed on the manufacturer’s website, as some weighted blankets contain covers or duvets that don’t detach from the weighted blanket, making washing more difficult.

Other weighted blankets are spot-clean only, which means you can’t put them in a washing machine without ruining the pellets inside. This compromises the therapeutic benefits of the weighted blanket — and who has the budget to order a new weighted blanket every time you need to wash it?

At Luna, we want our customers to enjoy their weighted blankets whenever and wherever they need them. Because all of our weighted blankets can be washed in a regular washer and dryer, you can feel confident taking your weighted blanket in the car, to school, at the doctor’s office, on vacation or anywhere else you or your child might want to use it.    

Two white blankets hanging on a clothesline drying In the afternoon Sun in Countryside, Thailand

Drying Your Weighted Blanket

When it comes to drying your weighted blanket, what’s inside matters. At Luna, we use 100% medical grade glass beads to give our blankets weight. The polypropylene pellets are hypoallergenic, non-toxic and, but you should always hang dry your weighted blanket.

  • 100% Cotton Weighted Blankets - Hang dry only. Don’t dry clean. 
  • Weighted Blankets with Minky Fabric - Hang dry only. Don't dry clean.

If you’ve purchased a weighted blanket from a different manufacturer, be cautious about drying it in a machine. The reason is that some manufacturers have attempted to cut their costs by using less expensive pellets in their blankets.

Some of these low-quality pellets are more porous, and they melt at very low temperatures, meaning you can’t put them in the dryer. For heavier blankets made by manufacturers who use low-quality pellets and fillers, it can take a very long time to line dry a weighted blanket. Fortunately, if you purchase from Luna, you don’t have to worry about cheap or inferior pellets or fillers, as we use the highest quality glass beads.

Should You Iron Your Weighted Blanket?

You should never iron your Luna weighted blanket, as the high heat could damage the glass beads inside. However, if you have a duvet cover for your weighted blanket, it’s perfectly okay to iron the duvet cover on a low heat setting before putting the duvet cover back on your weighted blanket.   

Order Your Luna Weighted Blanket Today  

Good sleep is important at every age. At Luna, we’re committed to helping America sleep better and feel more rested. Take a look at our order page to view a wide range of solid and pattern fabrics.
We welcome your questions! Get in touch by calling us at 212-473-4013, or use our online contact form to speak to one of our helpful team members.
Disclaimer: The content on this website is not intended as a substitute for medical advice. Talk to your doctor or healthcare provider before undertaking any type of therapy or treatment.

Why You Need a Weighted Blanket

male suffering from insomnia

Have you always wondered how weighted blankets work and what they do? Are you curious if one might work for you or your child? If you or a loved one suffers from a sensory processing disorder like anxiety, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or Asperger’s syndrome, a weighted blanket may be the non-drug therapy you’ve been looking for.

Weighted blankets may also help people with anxiety and insomnia experience more restorative sleep. For those with fibromyalgia, using a weighted blanket may ease pain and alleviate depression. We explain how weighted blankets can boost the happiness hormone, induce more restful sleep and help ease anxiety.

5 Reasons Why You Should Use a Weighted Blanket

If you have a sensory processing disorder or a related condition like ADHD or Asperger’s syndrome, or you’re the parent of a child with an autism spectrum disorder, you’ve probably already heard of weighted blankets. Over the years, weighted blankets have become an increasingly popular tool among occupational therapists and medical professionals who treat sensory disorders.

According to WebMD, a sensory processing disorder “is a condition in which the brain has trouble receiving and responding to information that comes in through the senses.” Sensory processing disorders can range from mild to severe. The Child Mind Institute notes that sensory processing disorders can affect a person’s proprioception — their sense of body awareness — as well as their vestibular senses, “which involves movement, balance, and coordination.”

In some people, sensory processing disorder presents as hypersensitivity, which can cause them to feel overwhelmed by things like loud noises, touching or bright lights. Individuals who are hypersensitive may also seem clumsy or unable to accurately gauge the amount of force necessary to achieve a task. For example, they may slam a door when trying to close it or press too hard while writing with a pen or pencil.

Other people with sensory processing disorder are hypersensitive, which means they sometimes struggle to experience adequate stimulation. Rather than feel overwhelmed by noise, light or contact, they may seek it out. For example, they might enjoy bumping or crashing into objects. Others who are hypersensitive intentionally seek out hugs and cuddling — even when such contact is inappropriate, such as during school or other quiet or focused moments. While adults can learn to manage their hyposensitivity, it is more difficult for children to learn how to control their symptoms.   

Weighted blankets may help both hypersensitive and hypersensitive individuals manage the symptoms of sensory processing disorder. With a weighted blanket, children and adults who are hypersensitive can benefit from touch without making contact with another person. And for those who are hypersensitive, the blanket provides firm but gentle pressure that mimics hugging and cuddling.

As people have become more aware of weighted blankets and their benefits, they have discovered that weighted blankets may be able to help with a variety of conditions beyond sensory processing disorder and related conditions like autism, ADHD and Asperger's.      

Why use a weighted blanket? Here are five great reasons to give one a try today.  

Kick Insomnia to the Curb

If you struggle to fall asleep at night, or you spend hours staring at the ceiling as you long (and sometimes plead with your brain) for rest, you’re not alone. Up to 35 percent of the population has some form of insomnia, and 10 percent of Americans have chronic insomnia, which is insomnia that occurs at least three times each week for a minimum of three months.

By applying firm but gentle pressure to the body, weighted blankets use a therapy tool called “deep pressure touch” or deep pressure stimulation. According to researchers at Harvard University, touch therapy can “have immediate and long-term effects on the body’s biochemistry, including decreased levels of the hormone cortisol, and increased levels of the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine, which play roles in mood regulation, movement, impulse control, and more.”

Serotonin is also the neurotransmitter responsible for regulating sleep. By mimicking deep pressure touch therapy through the application of firm, consistent pressure throughout the body, weighted blankets may lead to an increase in serotonin, which can, in turn, help people with insomnia fall asleep faster and stay asleep throughout the night. Adequate levels of serotonin also help promote deeper sleep cycles, which is the type of restorative sleep you need to wake feeling refreshed and well-rested.    

Non-Drug Therapy for Sensory Disorders

Your occupational therapist or physician may also suggest a weighted blanket as an alternative to medication. In other cases, health professionals use weighted blankets to complement a patient’s prescription medication. It’s important to remember that you should always consult with a medical professional before trying any sort of therapy or health regimen.

As we discussed above, weighted blankets have long been associated with occupational therapy for sensory processing disorders, including related conditions like autism and Asperger’s syndrome. Dr. Temple Grandin, a noted autism researcher and someone on the autism spectrum herself, developed a device called the squeeze machine or hug machine.

In her research and writings about the squeeze machine, Dr. Grandin describes craving hugs and cuddling as a child but being overwhelmed by the sometimes painful sensations caused by touch. She developed the squeeze machine after observing cows being led through a similar device to receive their vaccinations. When the cattle were gently squeezed to keep them still, they became calmer and more relaxed. When Dr. Grandin developed the human version of the squeeze machine, she noted that individuals with sensory disorders experienced the benefits of gentle pressure on their own terms and without unpleasant or unwanted touching.

The squeeze machine and devices like it have been widely praised as a beneficial therapy tool for sensory disorders, but they tend to be bulky and quite expensive. Fortunately, weighted blankets are an affordable and portable alternative. At a fraction of the cost of a squeeze machine, children and adults with sensory disorders can experience the gentle but firm touch that boosts the production of serotonin and oxytocin.   

Ease Symptoms of Fibromyalgia

image of woman cuddled up in blanket sleeping.

Despite its status as one of the most common chronic pain conditions, fibromyalgia remains underdiagnosed and largely misunderstood. According to the National Fibromyalgia Association, there are about 10 million fibromyalgia sufferers in the United States. Sadly, many fibromyalgia patients go years before they receive a diagnosis. Others are made to feel like their pain is “all in the mind” or something they can easily get over by sleeping more or simply getting more exercise.

People with fibromyalgia can experience a wide range of symptoms and health problems, but one of the main tools used to diagnose the disease is the presence of at least 11 out of 18 pain points or “trigger points.” Individuals with fibromyalgia typically report experiencing deep, persistent pain at these trigger points and may even be unable to tolerate any sort of touch in these areas. Because fibromyalgia symptoms, including pain, can come and go, many sufferers find it difficult to treat their condition. Understandably, some are also reluctant to take medications due to the possibility of unpleasant side effects.

Research shows that weighted blankets can help boost levels of oxytocin, which is known as the “happiness hormone.” A common form of therapy used to ease the symptoms of fibromyalgia is myofascial release, which involves applying firm but gentle pressure to the body in an effort to reduce pain. Weighted blankets reproduce these effects through the use of constant, gentle pressure over the body.     

Help Seniors Sleep Better

Many things about our health change as we age and sleep is no exception. Studies show that many adults over age 65 have difficulty falling asleep, with 13 percent of senior men and 36 percent of women needing more than 30 minutes to fall asleep at night. Elderly individuals also experience more sleep disturbances at night, including restlessness and increased sensitivity to sound and light.

If you have an older parent or a senior loved one, you may have noticed that they stay up late at night and often sleep in short bursts. Sleep experts say this isn’t because older adults simply require less sleep than younger people. On the contrary, sleep habits like this are often a sign that an elderly person is suffering from elder insomnia. Inadequate sleep can lead to a host of health problems, which is why it’s important for our older loved ones to get the rest they need.     

In a study published in the Journal of Sleep Medicine & Disorders, researchers at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden observed that study participants who used a weighted blanket slept longer and exhibited decreased activity at night, which meant they were less restless during sleep. As the authors state, “Weighted blankets provide a ‘cocooning’ feeling and are often recommended for young patients with ASD and in the care of agitated elderly people.”

Researchers went on to state: “When the participants used the weighted blanket, they had a calmer night’s sleep, with a decrease in movements. Subjectively, they believed that using the blanket provided them with a more comfortable, better quality, and more secure sleep. In conclusion, a weighted blanket may aid in reducing insomnia through increased tactile and proprioceptive inputs, may provide an innovative, non-pharmacological approach and complementary tool to improve sleep quality.”

Banish Anxiety

close up photo of a woman ruminating with worry.

Anxiety is a common problem in the United States. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of American (ADAA), about 18 percent of the American population experiences anxiety. Anxiety can be sporadic, such as feeling nervous about a big project or a test, but it can also be ongoing and chronic, which can impact just about every part of a person’s life. No matter what type of anxiety you have, it can stop you from enjoying hobbies and spending time with your loved ones.

In a study published in the journal Occupational Therapy in Mental Health, researchers found that 63 percent of study participants who used a 30-pound weighted blanket experienced a reduction in anxiety. Additionally, 78 percent of the people in the study “preferred the weighted blanket as a calming modality.”

If you enjoy cuddling up with a soft, heavy blanket on a cold day, or you like to snuggle under your down comforter at night, you’ve already experienced the benefits of a weighted blanket. Similarly, many people report feeling less anxious after receiving a hug or cuddling with someone they love. This isn’t just because hugging someone you love is a nice gesture (although it definitely is!). Rather, science reveals that hugs encourage the brain to release oxytocin, which improves mood and makes us feel happier and more relaxed.

While hugs are a wonderful thing, it’s not all that practical to hug someone for hours on end. This is where a weighted blanket can do the heavy lifting by extending hug time for as long as you need it. With a weighted blanket, you may feel less anxious and incredibly comfortable — what’s not to love?  

 

Order Your Luna Weighted Blanket Today  

Good sleep is important at every age. At Luna, we’re committed to helping America sleep better and feel more rested. Take a look at our order page to view a wide range of solid and pattern fabrics.
We welcome your questions! Get in touch by calling us at 212-473-4013, or use our online contact form to speak to one of our helpful team members.
Disclaimer: The content on this website is not intended as a substitute for medical advice. Talk to your doctor or healthcare provider before undertaking any type of therapy or treatment.

Can Weighted Blankets Help With Anxiety and PTSD?

image of an anxious woman

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) affects about 5.2 million people in the United States. The symptoms of PTSD can manifest after an individual has experienced a traumatic or life-threatening event. While PTSD is perhaps most closely associated with people who have experienced military combat, PTSD can also occur after a car accident, a near-death experience, an assault or any traumatic of life-threatening experience (or experiences).

For many people with PTSD, sleeping is a big challenge. If you’re struggling with this condition, a weighted blanket for anxiety and PTSD may help you get the rest you need.

image of person suffering from PTSD

What Is PTSD?

PTSD is a type of anxiety disorderOther anxiety disorders include panic disorder, social anxiety disorder and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).

According to the American Psychiatric Association (APA), PTSD “is a psychiatric disorder that can occur in people who have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event such as a natural disaster, a serious accident, a terrorist act, war/combat or other violent personal assault.”

In past decades, PTSD was most closely associated with combat experiences, which is why the disorder went by names like “shell shock” and “combat fatigue.” While it’s almost certain that veterans have experienced PTSD for as long as war has existed, doctors didn’t truly begin to study the condition it until World War I. One of the earliest PTSD researchers was an English physician named Charles Myers, who wrote about shell shock in 1915.

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At first, doctors theorized that brain damage from proximity to artillery blasts was the culprit for the symptoms of PTSD. However, this theory didn’t account for service members who seemed to have symptoms even when they hadn’t been exposed to high-powered blasts.

Over time, researchers began to understand that PTSD wasn’t the result of brain damage. Rather, it seemed to develop after particularly stressful and traumatic experiences. The more mental health professionals studied the disorder, the more they discovered that PTSD can affect anyone who has suffered through a frightening or stressful event. In fact, 1 in 11 people will experience PTSD at some point in their life.

4 Common Symptoms of PTSD

Although symptoms vary, there are four hallmark signs of PTSD, per the APA.

  • Intrusive Thoughts - This is a symptom with which most people are familiar, as it frequently involves “flashbacks.” When a person with PTSD has a flashback, it can feel like they are reliving the traumatic event. They may sleepwalk or suffer panic attacks as they struggle to remember they are not in danger. 

  • Avoiding Reminders - Avoidance is a natural human behavior. When we dislike something, we tend to do whatever we can to stay away from it. For example, if you hate making small talk at parties, you might decline an invitation to a wedding or work gathering. For people with PTSD, however, avoidance can take a serious toll on their social life and even their careers. The reason is that PTSD avoidance tends to creep into most aspects of a person’s life. 

    A good example of this is a traumatic car accident. If you were involved in a serious crash, you might suddenly find that even sitting in a car makes you sweat and panic. As you might imagine, a sudden inability to drive can stop someone from getting to work, taking children to school or running errands. 

  • Negative Thoughts and Feelings - PTSD tends to make sufferers doubt themselves and their self-worth. It can also prompt people to feel shame about their condition. They make start to drift away from friendships and personal relationships. For many PTSD sufferers, depression and anxiety are co-occurring disorders. 

  • Arousal and Reactive Symptoms - In this context, arousal refers to psychological arousal, which is a state of being physiologically alert. Some people describe it as “firing on all cylinders” or being “wired” all the time.

    When a person feels this way, their brain tells their body that danger is imminent. When this happens, the body kicks into a “fight or flight” response, which elevates the heart rate and raises the individual’s blood pressure. Staying like this for extended periods of time can tax the heart and raise cortisol (stress) levels.

An individual doesn’t have to experience all four categories of symptoms to be diagnosed with PTSD, and it’s actually uncommon for a person to suffer from all four. However, even one type of symptom can seriously interfere with an individual’s everyday life.

Additionally, researchers have found that people with PTSD also frequently suffer from co-occurring disorders, such as fibromyalgia.   

image of veteran suffering from PTSD

Treatment Options for PTSD

There are many types of therapy and treatment for anxiety and PTSD. What works for one person may not be as effective for another, and you may have to experiment with a few different therapies before finding what works best for you.

It’s also important to see a doctor or therapist who specializes in the treatment of PTSD. As the Anxiety and Depression Association of America states, “It is important for anyone with PTSD to be treated by a mental health care professional who is experienced with PTSD. Some people will need to try different treatments to find what works for their symptoms.”   

Some common treatment options for PTSD include:

  • Cognitive Behavior Therapy - Often abbreviated CBT, cognitive behavior therapy concentrates on altering the way the person responds to the negative feelings that arise because of their PTSD. A popular CBT technique involves writing down thoughts that crop up when you find yourself in an upsetting situation and then later analyzing your response and how you could modify it.

  • Exposure Therapy - Exposure therapy is exactly what it sounds like. The idea is that by intentionally exposing yourself to situations you might avoid, you “prove” to your subconscious that those things aren’t as frightening or uncomfortable as you thought. Mental health professionals have discovered that avoiding our fears can actually make them worse and that exposure therapy can help us confront and overcome the challenges that stop us from fully enjoying life.

    For example, someone who has been involved in a car accident may develop anxiety when they drive or ride as a passenger in a vehicle. 

  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing - Eye movement desensitization reprocessing, or EMDR, is a type of therapy that works by having the person think of a traumatic memory or experience, hold that thought in their mind, and then focus their eyes on some other type of stimulus, such as a laser pointer, flashing light or a swaying object like the kind a hypnotist might use. The goal is to retrain the mind to disassociate from the traumatic feelings.

    Many clinicians have hailed EMDR as a breakthrough therapy, but there is still debate around its efficacy. As with any other type of therapy, it’s best to talk to your doctor before giving it a go.

Mental health professionals also stress the importance of addressing the side effects of PTSD. As many PTSD and anxiety sufferers know, lack of sleep is a common side effect. When your mind is consumed with worry and stress, it’s often difficult, if not impossible, to shut it off and settle down for the night.

4 Ways Weighted Blankets Can Help People With PTSD

PTSD Therapy

A weighted blanket may help alleviate many of the symptoms of PTSD.

Fewer Nightmares, Better Sleep

It’s common for people with PTSD to experience nightmares and interrupted sleep. While just 5 percent of the general population has nightmares, a study of Vietnam veterans revealed that 52 percent experienced nightmares. By using a form of therapy called deep touch pressure stimulation, weighted blankets prompt the body to produce more serotonin, the chemical that helps regulate the body’s sleep cycle

In a 2006 study, researchers for the journal Occupational Therapy in Mental Health observed that people who slept with a weighted blanket had lower physiological symptoms of stress, including reduced blood pressure, lower pulse rates and better pulse oximetry. Among study participants, 63 percent said they felt less anxious and 78 percent “preferred the weighted blanket as a calming modality.”

In a 2015 study published in the Journal of Sleep Medicine & Disorders, researchers found that participants who slept with a weighted blanket found it easier to settle down for sleep, slept longer, had higher sleep quality and woke more refreshed in the morning.

As the authors of the study stated, “Overall, we found that when the participants used the weighted blanket, they had a calmer night’s sleep. A weighted blanket may aid in reducing insomnia through altered tactile inputs, thus may provide an innovative, non-pharmacological approach and complementary tool to improve sleep quality.”  

If your PTSD keeps you up at night or makes it difficult to stay asleep throughout the night, a weighted blanket might help you feel more relaxed and less anxious, which could translate into deeper, more restorative sleep.

As a result of better sleep, people with PTSD may also experience less brain fog during the day (since the negative effects of sleep deprivation build over time).

Relieve Physiological Symptoms of Stress

Using a weighted blanket may also reduce the amount of cortisol in the body. Known as the “stress hormone,” cortisol has been linked to a wide variety of health problems, including insomnia, stroke and heart attack.

Reduce Physical Pain

Deep touch pressure stimulation has been shown to produce calm, reduce anxiety and ease physical pain. When autism researcher Dr. Temple Grandin studied the gentle squeezing and touching effects of deep touch pressure stimulation therapy, she observed that patients were less anxious and more at ease with touch. They also experienced lower amounts of pain throughout the body.

Improve Mood through Oxytocin

Deep touch pressure stimulation may also help boost levels of oxytocin, the “feel good” chemical in the brain. In a study published in the Harvard Review of Psychiatry, researchers found that “[oxytocin] is increasingly recognized as an important regulator of human social behaviors, including social decision making, evaluating and responding to social stimuli, mediating social interactions, and forming social memories.”

Order Your Luna Weighted Blanket Today  

Good sleep is important at every age. At Luna, we’re committed to helping America sleep better and feel more rested. Take a look at our order page to view a wide range of solid and pattern fabrics.
We welcome your questions! Get in touch by calling us at 212-473-4013, or use our online contact form to speak to one of our helpful team members.
Disclaimer: The content on this website is not intended as a substitute for medical advice. Talk to your doctor or healthcare provider before undertaking any type of therapy or treatment.