It seems like everyone these days is extolling the virtues of the weighted blanket. From people with autism or sensory issues to people with no known diagnosable conditions who just like the weight to parents desperate for something to keep their kids asleep a bit longer… everyone’s using them, it seems. (note: blankets are not appropriate for use with babies under 1 year of age.)
And why shouldn’t they be? I love weighted blankets. I’ve always preferred sleeping with weight on me. My two older kids don’t appreciate weight, but Teddy certainly does. It’s comforting to some people, and it provides pressure needed by others.
And you can certainly purchase some majorly expensive weighted blankets these days. And you can also purchase some really super cheap ones, too. Wallypop blankets are somewhere in the middle, in keeping with our philosophy of keeping our products affordable for average families. But I still get a large number of comments suggesting that weighted blanket prices merely reflect makers’ desire to take advantage of special needs families. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Let’s take a look at the expenses that go into a weighted blanket, and why it might not be in your best interests to purchase a cheap one.
1. Fabric. Wallypop blankets are made from name brand fabrics that will last for years and years. This is potentially more important in a weighted blanket, because we’re asking the fabric to do something it wasn’t really meant to do – hold up a lot of weight. Particularly when blankets are washed, the addition of weights adds a LOT of strain to the fabric, so starting with quality fabric is a must.
2. Inner layers. Wallypop blankets are made with two full inner layers to hold the beads that provide the weight. Cheaper blankets typically omit these layers, which are crucial to blanket stability and lifespan. They also mean that an older worn blanket can often be repaired (if it develops a hole, or is ripped or rubbed thin in places) instead of needing to be completely replaced. If a hole develops in the outer layer, the inner layers still hold the beads safely in place. These inner layers also make the blanket safer – if a hole develops in the outer layers, you’re not dealing with a bed full of tiny plastic pellets.
3. Pockets. Wallypop blankets are sewn with relatively small pockets to keep the weight evenly distributed and also to help contain any bead loss should the blanket get torn. Many cheaper blankets either omit these pockets entirely, or use much larger pockets. This results in uneven weight distribution, and encourages all the beads to run to the edges of the blanket and shifts the weight off of the user.
4. Weights. Wallypop uses high quality poly pellets as the weights. The pellets we use are smooth and round (or oval, or sometimes a flat disc, it just depends on what our supplier has in stock when we order). Cheaper pellets are typically blunt -edged and aren’t as smooth inside the blanket. Some cheaper weighted blankets are made with other materials, as well – before purchasing, it’s a good idea to find out what exactly will be inside your blanket when you buy it. I’ve seen blankets made with metal weights (which can rust), and even some made with food products like rice or beans, which can attract bugs and mice and which also make the blanket essentially non-washable.
5. Time. A quality weighted blanket made with four layers of fabric, small pockets, and quality beads takes time. Cheaper blankets, sewn with fewer fabric layers, larger pockets, and less careful sewists, can be made much faster. But our blankets are sewn with care, and that just plain takes time. Compared to the other products I offer, weighted blankets are one of my most time-consuming products. (They’re also the second most expensive product I make in terms of direct materials cost.) I do not apologize for paying myself above sweat-shop rates for my work. That said, weighted blankets are not a huge money-maker for me, because I want to keep them affordable.
Hopefully that helps you understand where all the costs of a weighted blanket come from and gives you a little better understanding of why good you can expect to pay a bit more for good quality blankets.
Weighted blankets – or any blankets – are not appropriate for children under 1 year of age. Please note, if you’re using a weighted blanket with a small child, please place the blanket on the legs ONLY. And Please make sure you’re using an appropriate weight.