Glass Beads for Weighted Blankets: Everything You Need to Know

Weighted Blanket for Insomnia

So, you already have a new weighted blanket and you’ve fallen instantly in love, or maybe you’re still shopping around for the perfect blanket to check all your boxes. Either way, you have most likely come across glass beads for weighted blankets and their impact in helping you sleep easy. 

There are a couple types of fillings typically used in weighted blankets, some more than others, so let’s take a look and find out a little more about the fillers, and which will produce the most effective, coziest blanket.

What Exactly Are Weighted Blanket Beads

Once you start to get serious and do some real research, you’ll want to know what exactly weighted blanket beads are and why they are vital to the overall effect that your weighted blanket will create. 

Glass beads for weighted blankets are a leading filler used by multiple brands in the marketplace, as well as one of the most viable, although other materials are also employed to add weight to blankets.

Weighted Blanket Glass Beads and Other Fillers

After much widespread success and rising popularity, it’s pretty well known that a weighted blanket assures to alleviate our occasional insomnia or everyday anxiety, and generally put us in a better, calmer headspace. 

But what might be lesser known is how these weighted blankets get their weight; more specifically, what’s on the inside. A favorite and popular filler which makes for an optimal experience, and is also friendlier to the planet are weighted blanket glass beads, but a few other fillers do exist, so let’s take a deeper look at what’s out there:

Glass Beads 

The glass beads that are used to fill weighted blankets are also referred to as micro glass beads, as they are tiny, miniscule beads, and they resemble sugar crystals or white beach sand in look and feel. 

Glass beads are considered top quality, and the most luxurious and quiet filler when it comes to weighted blankets. 

When people talk about the “grounding” sensation they get from a weighted blanket, or wake up feeling less anxious and more well rested, it could very likely be due to the effects of glass  beads specifically, as they distribute much more evenly and smoothly throughout the blanket than other fillings, thereby wrapping you softly in a peaceful, soothing hug. Because of their itty-bitty size, they are gentle enough for people with physical sensitivities.

Glass beads are also great for those who want the weight of the blanket without a bulky filler. The glass beads are heavier than other options, so typically fewer are needed to achieve the desired weight, producing the same effect of Deep Pressure Touch and reducing stress, anxiety, and other negative emotions, without weighing you down too much.

Plastic Poly Pellets 

Plastic poly pellets are small, plastic round beads , and the texture of these beads is similar to that of a pebble. They are not quite as smooth as glass beads, so if you are hyper sensitive or want the smoothest experience from your blanket, these probably are not the way to go for you.

Plastic pellets may also be on the noisy side as the blanket shifts and the pellets run across one another. With your serotonin triggered, and your calm vibes coming on as you snuggle into your blanket, unpleasant noise can be a real buzzkill. 

Sometimes these plastic pellets can be interspersed with cotton in the blanket, which might reduce the noise, but the pellets and cotton combo may make for a lumpy mess if the inside isn’t assembled with care. 

This could all lead to a blanket that’s more a pain than it is a comfort, just because of the pellets. As a mindful, health-conscious individual (hey, you’re already approaching your health from a natural standpoint by looking into a weighted blanket, right?), it’s also important to remember that plastic pellets aren’t environmentally friendly.    

Steel Beads 

Another filler, although more niche, are steel beads, and like plastic, the main drawback to using this type of bead is that it can be lumpy and noisy. These beads are similar to glass beads in that they are heavier than plastic, so fewer are needed to fill a blanket. This means they make for a thinner blanket because you get much more weight out of a smaller size.

These beads are slightly larger in size than glass beads, but because they are larger, there is always a chance they can lump around and create an uncomfortable blanket. Also, as with plastic beads, these too make more noise than the glass microbeads when shifting around or moving the blanket.

However, one pro that steel beads have is that they are durable and relatively easy to clean, so they make for a long-lasting blanket.

Sand in Blankets 

Sand is a very cost effective way to add weight to a blanket or quilt. However, as we see with many cheap items, problems can arise when this filler is used instead of a more reliable, intentionally-designed type of filler like beads or pellets.

Sand is a semi-organic filler, making it harder to wash and dry when compared to other non-organic fillers. When sand comes into contact with water, it expands. This means your blanket can become lumpy and uneven, and also makes it very difficult to dry out. 

Nobody wants an everyday blanket that you can’t use every day or are afraid to wash!

Sand also leaks out of the stitching of the blanket quite easily. We don’t even need to tell you what a hassle this would be, but imagine your weighted blanket now only half as full, and your bed turned into a playground; not an ideal situation, especially when our goal is relaxation, not added mess or stress.

Smooth Pebbles 

Even though pebbles are often smooth and round in shape, they aren’t always the best choice for a weighted blanket for adults. Many people might not find the idea of sleeping under a bunch of rocks exactly appealing, to say the least.

However, if you do end up going this route, pick pebbles that are as small and uniformly round as possible, otherwise, you could end up with a bumpy, uneven, and flat out uncomfortable blanket.

Rocks are also going to create a lot more noise anytime the blanket moves, as the stones clatter together, unless there happened to be another material added into the blanket, such as fleece to act as a barrier.

Which Filler Should You Choose?

We already know that the biggest allure of weighted anxiety blankets is an end to sleepless nights, a relief in our stress levels, and a general uptick in our happy vibes. 

We also know that all the positive outcomes from these blankets keep making more positive waves in our emotional and physical health, as we start to sleep more regularly, our bodies find their natural rhythm, and relaxation becomes something we can count on, while we are able to control anxiety and mood.

If you want your weighted blanket to live up to its full potential, it’s essential to find one with a quality material used as blanket filler. For the highest quality overall, glass beads for weighted blankets are the only way to go, providing the most pleasing and peaceful experience, while coaxing your brain and body into a calm place.

The glass beads we use in our blankets at Baloo are silent when moving, and so tiny they fan out all over you, with little adjustment required, hugging your body snugly. We use lead-free glass microbeads, enveloped in pure, breathable cotton, making us the only eco-friendly, luxury blanket out there, unlike those made with plastic pellets or some of the less common fillers. 

You can pop our blanket into the washer and dryer, which makes cleanup a breeze. At Baloo, we want to put you on the path to a calmer, healthier life, one night at a time.

Written by Courtney Moore. Courtney is a freelance writer who focuses on culture, food, and design. When she's not in her adopted town of Barcelona, you'll probably find her getting her fill of Tex-Mex and BBQ back home in Texas.