Weighted Blanket Alternatives: Best DIY Options To Try [2022]

Many of us love to sit on our couch at the end of the day and unwind with a cup of something delicious, and many of us prefer to do so with a warm and comforting blanket as well. These days that tends to be a weighted blanket with just the right amount of deep touch pressure to release hormones that relax our bodies and dismiss anxiety.  

Unfortunately, these are pricey items, and if you don’t get it just right, you may be thoroughly disappointed and out a lot of money. That can be super frustrating, not comforting. Never fear because there are plenty of ways to work around the expense of weighted blankets and still get those wonderful benefits.

We are going to take our time in this article to walk through all the alternatives available for weighted blankets. Yes, we will look at DIY items as well as products that can be purchased. It is going to be a deep and thorough dive, but it could save you time, money, and frustration in the future. So, if you are unsure if there is a weighted blanket on the market for you, but you still want all the benefits they offer, let’s walk through this journey of discovery together.

Let Your Creative Juices Flow

If you’re an apt and able crafter, then you should have no problem pulling together these recommended DIY alternatives. DIY crafting can bring so much pleasure while saving so much money that it’s no wonder that YouTube is overflowing with these alternatives.

DIY Sewn Weighted Blanket

For those who have little experience with a sewing machine, this project will not only be productive but cathartic as well. The price point should average out to around $50.00, especially if you can find fabric and other materials on sale.

The Shopping List:

  • Batting for inside padding
  • Fabric that is thick enough to hold filler beads
  • Filler beads (plastic or glass)
  • Scale for weighing filler beads
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine
  • Sewing pins
  • Sewing thread
  • Tailor’s chalk
  • Tape measure or ruler

Pre Project Guidelines:

  1. Determine how large of a blanket you prefer. You can make this blanket as large as your budget and sewing skills allow, and you can combine that size with whatever weight you need it to be; that is not an option with blankets sold in stores or online. Think, 5-pound king-size blanket – you’ll probably never find that for sale.
  2. Determine how heavy a blanket you need. Weighted blankets should be 10% of the weight of the person using them.
  3. Select your fabric. Consider how the person using the blanket sleeps. Do they get hot? Get a cool, breathable cotton fabric. Do they get cold at night? Get a fabric that is plush and warm.
  4. Gather all the other materials.

Project Directions (read through the directions prior to beginning):

  1. Cut out the front and back sections of the blanket, then lay the panels on top of each other and line up their edges. The outsides of both sections should be facing toward each other while the inside of each section should be visible to you (facing outward. Pin the sections together at their four corners.
  2. Line up the batting on both sides of the fabric sections that have been pinned together. Pin the batting to the fabric so that there is an inch of fabric extending beyond every side of the batting.
  3. Sew three sides of the blanket with your sewing machine, leaving one of the short sides unsewn.
  4. Flip the blanket right side out.
  5. With the unsewn side at the top, begin sewing vertical lines from top to bottom. These vertical lines will be used to make columns to hold the weighted filling, so you can decide how many you need in your blanket.
  6. Determine how much weight should be in one square of your blanket. Fill each column with the determined weight. Shake the blanket, so the weight falls to the bottom.
  7. Sew across the vertical columns to seal in the weights and create a horizontal row with weighted pouches.
  8. Repeat steps 6 & 7 until you have filled up your blanket.
  9. Sew the top of the blanket shut.
  10. Trim loose ends and enjoy.

Note: If you have pets or small children in your home, be careful with the filler beads since they are easy to swallow and could cause health problems for your beloved pet or child. Make sure to sew these very securely into the pouches of the blanket so that you don’t have to worry about any falling out.

sensory blanket

DIY No Sew Weighted Blanket

Sewing may not be your thing, or you may not have access to a sewing machine. No matter where you rank in crafting skills, you should be able to pull this blanket together with little trouble.

The Shopping List:

  • Duct tape
  • Fabric – you will need a piece for the front and a piece for the back (choose something thick and comforting such as fleece)
  • Filling (glass beads, plastic poly beads, rice, or beans will work)
  • Kitchen scale
  • Plastic or cloth bags to hold the weighted filling

Pre Project Guidelines:

  1. Determine how large of a blanket you prefer. You can make this blanket as large as you want, and you can combine that size with whatever weight you need it to be.
  2. Determine how heavy a blanket you need. Weighted blankets should be 10% of the weight of the person using them.
  3. Gather all the other materials.

Project Directions (read through the directions prior to beginning):

  1. Once you have determined the dimensions and the weight of the blanket, you will need to fill the bags with the filling weights. Make sure each bag weighs approximately the same amount, and you have enough bags to evenly cover the entirety of the blanket.
  2. Layout the filled bags and securely tape each bag to the inside of the front piece of the blanket. Make sure that every part of the filled bags is covered with tape so that you don’t risk getting tears in them and losing the filling.
  3. Place the backside of the blanket over the taped bags, so they are evenly sandwiched between the two pieces of fabric.
  4. Cut out a 5” square from each of the corners of the blanket.
  5. Cut 5” fringe pieces along the four edges of the blanket.
  6. Tie the fringe piece from the backside of the blanket to its counterpart fringe piece on the front side of the blanket. Do this on all four sides so that the blanket is sealed shut.
  7. Enjoy your warm and weighty blanket.

Note: If you need a visual aid for this blanket, you can find it here.

DIY Sewn Compression Bed Sheet

A project like this is so simple that even an inexperienced sewist can probably accomplish it. Give yourself some grace and read through the instructions first, then have fun. This is a project with a purpose, and it should not be overwhelming.

The Shopping List:

  • Sewing machine
  • Stretchy fabric
  • Thread

Pre Project Guidelines:

  1. Measure the mattress that you will be using this bed sheet on. You will need enough fabric to loop around the entire width of the mattress and reach from the top to the bottom of the mattress.
  2. Gather your tools and materials

Project Directions (read through the directions prior to beginning):

  1. Pin together the stretchy fabric so that it is the appropriate length and width for the mattress it will be used on.
  2. Use a zigzag stitch to sew the fabric together on three sides. You should leave the top side open in order to slide the mattress into it. The bedsheet should look like a zipped-up sleeping bag.

Note: This can also be used as a sensory tunnel for playtime.

Consider Other Popular Products

If you don’t have a creative side or the time to give to crafting a weighted blanket alternative of your own, you can look into other products that have a similar purpose.  

Odoxia Compression Blanket

sensory compression blanket

This is another type of blanket that provides deep pressure touch but without added weight. A compression blanket is made from nylon and spandex, so it is stretchy but still hugs the user. It is also designed to be cool and breathable, so overheating is infrequent.

Pros:

  • Available in Twin, Full, and Queen Sizes
  • Available in two different colors
  • Inexpensive alternative to weighted blankets
  • Returns and refunds accepted.
  • Designed to provide comfort for those who suffer from insomnia, restless leg syndrome, and fibromyalgia
  • Relieves anxiety in kids or adults with autism, ADHD, or other anxiety disorders
  • Great alternative for those who cannot find the right weight for a weighted blanket or those who feel more tension from a weighted blanket

Cons:

  • Some customers have found that it is difficult to put onto a mattress
  • Some customers have stated that it does not compress enough to bring comfort

Sleep Pod Wearable Blanket

sleep pod blanket

This product is designed for anyone who needs the comfort of a weighted blanket but with a little less weight. It is like a personal compression blanket that can be wrapped around your entire body but is still flexible enough to allow you to move and stretch as needed.

Pros:

  • Available in six different sizes
  • Provides all the comfort and benefits of a weighted blanket without the weight
  • Stays cool
  • Allows the user to move and stretch while wearing it
  • Great for travel

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Some customers have found that it is difficult for those who get up in the night frequently to wear this
  • Some customers have found that it does not provide enough compression to be beneficial
  • Some customers have noticed that they miss being able to have a pillow between their knees while using this

Smart Knit Kids Compression Undershirt

SmartKnitKIDS Undershirt

This is a great way to set up a child with anxiety for a successful day. These shirts are designed to help kids with ADHD, ADD, or autism feel safe and secure while playing, working, or interacting with others. They are lightweight, comfortable, and fun.

Pros:

  • Provides the comfort and benefits of a weighted blanket without the weight
  • Great for any time and anywhere
  • Available in six different sizes
  • Available in two different styles
  • No tags or seams
  • Wrinkle-free

Cons:

  • Finding the right size can be difficult, and it is essential
  • Some customers had complained that the shirt smelled when it was delivered

Sanho Sensory Sock

sanho yopo dynamic sox

This product is geared for kids who need deep touch pressure but also need to be able to move around. These sensory socks are designed in a fun and bright colors and will allow the kids who are wearing them to lounge and lunge at their pleasure. If you need the benefits of a weighted blanket without the expense or the confinement that is part and parcel of these blankets, then consider a sensory sock instead.

Pros:

  • Reasonably priced
  • Available in multiple colors
  • Available in multiple sizes
  • Received great customer reviews and ratings

Cons:

  • Some customers have found that it is a static magnet
  • Some customers have found that it is too tight around the back of their child’s neck

FAQs

Question: How to Choose a Weighted Blanket if You Have a Sleep Partner?

Answer: If you have a sleep partner, you should check with them before getting a weighted blanket that you share. Ensure that they are okay with using a weighted blanket and that your weight ratio is approximately the same. Remember, a weighted blanket should be 10% of a person’s body weight in order to provide all the benefits. If it is too heavy, it will actually produce tension and anxiety, and if it is too light, it won’t provide that snug and comforting hug that produces relaxing hormones.

Another thing to consider is if your sleep partner gets hot or cold at night. If they are a hot sleeper, you should consider getting a weighted blanket that is cool and breathable. However, if they get cold at night, you should consider getting a weighted blanket that is warm and fuzzy. 
 
If you and your sleep partner do not share the same body weight or sleep temperature, you should reconsider getting a shared weighted blanket.  

Question: Which Weight Filling is the Best for a Weighted Blanket?

Answer: Probably the best-weighted filling is glass beads. They are washable, durable, and they spread out for even weight distribution in the blanket. 

Question: Is There Anyone Who Should Not Use a Weighted Blanket?

Answer: While these blankets are wonderful, and many people find relief from using them, these blankets are not for everyone. Weighted blankets should never be used on children under the age of two, on those who are unable to remove the blanket for themselves, or those who have any health issue that would be worsened by added weight. If you have any concerns about using a weighted blanket and how it could negatively impact your health, speak to your health care professional before purchasing one.

Question: Can Weighted Blankets be Washed?

Answer: This depends on what the blanket is filled with and how much it weighs. A washing machine may not be able to handle the weight of a wet weighted blanket, and also, they may be too heavy to hand wash. Check your washing machine’s weight capacity before putting one inside.

If the blanket is filled with rice, beans, or sand, it should not be washed or soaked in water; it should only be spot cleaned. If the blanket is filled with poly pellets or glass beads, it can be washed, but do be careful since the blanket can get very heavy when it is wet.  

In Conclusion

There are so many wonderful alternatives to weighted blankets that no one should feel left out of the comfort brought by deep touch pressure. Whether you enjoy crafting something for yourself or a loved one or just getting an item that brings comfort without adding weight, you are sure to find what you need. The Odoxia Compression Blanket is something that really speaks to me. It has all the benefits of a weighted blanket without all the weight, expense, and difficult cleaning procedures. I love that it is easy to use and compatible with almost any size of the bed and that it can be paired with a light blanket for a little extra warmth.

Don’t let the world of weighted blankets weigh you down. If you need a little guidance on how to find weighted blankets for extra relaxation, to reduce anxiety, or to sleep better, let Quilted Rest guide you to the best.

Recommended Reads:

Research Citations

Scroll to Top