How to Make a Weighted Pillow

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In the quest for a better night’s sleep, many have turned to the comforting embrace of weighted blankets. Yet, there’s a powerful sleep aid that deserves equal attention – the weighted pillow. Unlike its blanket counterpart, a weighted pillow offers targeted pressure that can aid in reducing stress and coaxing the weary into a serene slumber.

This comprehensive guide will take you step-by-step through the process of creating your very own weighted pillow, empowering you to tailor your rest with a touch of handcrafted comfort.

What You Will Need

Crafting a weighted pillow is a delightful blend of simplicity and creativity. Here’s what you need to get started:

  • High-quality fabric: Choose a fabric that is comforting against the skin but also durable enough to hold the weight you’ll be adding. Popular choices include cotton for its breathability and Minky for its plush softness.
  • Sewing essentials: A robust sewing machine or a sturdy needle and strong thread are essential. Opt for threads designed for quilting or heavy fabrics to ensure your pillow can bear the weight without coming undone.
  • Weights: The filling can be anything from specially designed poly pellets that are machine washable to more natural options like rice or small beans. Glass beads are another popular choice due to their smooth edges and high density.
  • Tools of the trade: Fabric scissors, a tape measure, and a funnel or a tube for guiding your fill material into the pillowcase will make the process smoother.

Detailed Step-by-Step Instructions

Let’s dive into each step with the detail it deserves:

1. Decide the Size and Weight

The properties of your weighted pillow can be tuned to your needs. While there are general recommendations to make the pillow roughly Ten percent of your body weight, some prefer a lighter touch. A common pillow size to aim for is 20×26 inches for a standard, but you can make it smaller or larger depending on personal preference.

Consider the weight distribution – the filling should be enough to provide pressure but not so much that it becomes uncomfortable to use.

2. Prepare Your Fabric

Selecting the right fabric and preparing it correctly sets the foundation for your pillow. If you’re using a patterned fabric, think about how the design will look once the pillow is filled and whether you want to match any patterns at the seams. Cut your fabric with an extra inch on each side for seam allowance.

3. Sew Three Sides

Turn the cut pieces of fabric so that the ‘right’ sides face each other, line up the edges, and pin them in place if necessary. Sew a straight stitch about half an inch from the edge, double-stitching at the beginning and end for extra stability. Remember to leave one side open for the filling.

4. Add the Filling

Using a scale, precisely measure your chosen weight for the filling material. Gradually add the filling to the sewn fabric, using a funnel to prevent spillage. This step requires patience as rushing could result in an uneven distribution of weight.

5. Sew the Open Side

After successfully adding the filling, it’s time to sew the open side shut. This can be the trickiest part, as managing the weight while sewing requires care. Some prefer to hand-stitch this final seam to provide close control over the process.

6. Add a Removable Cover (Optional)

For the sake of hygiene and longevity of your weighted pillow, creating a removable cover is a wise choice. A cover will not only make it easy to frequently wash and dry your pillowcase, but it also means you can switch up the design whenever the mood strikes.

To construct, follow similar steps used for the pillow, but include a zipper, buttons, or Velcro to one of the seams for easy removal.

Aftercare and Maintenance Tips

How to Make a Weighted Pillow

Weighted pillows should not be treated like regular pillows when it comes to care. Beyond the usual fluffing and occasional sunbathing to destroy microbes, consider the following for maintaining your pillow:

  • Spot Cleaning: Should your weighted pillow endure a spill, opt for spot cleaning with a gentle detergent. Soaking the entire pillow could damage the integrity of the filling.
  • Refresh the Fill: Over time, the contents of your weighted pillow may settle or compact. Regularly massaging and shaking the pillow will help maintain an even distribution of weight.

Health Benefits of Weighted Pillows

Delving into the scientifically noted advantages, the methodical pressure applied by weighted pillows can stimulate deep touch pressure, akin to a firm hug. This physical connection has been observed to boost oxytocin, lower cortisol levels, and can aid those with insomnia, anxiety, or stress.

However, each experience is subjective; testing various weights can lead to discovering a personal ideal.

Safety Precautions

Safety is paramount. For young children, the elderly, or anyone with a condition limiting their strength or mobility, heavy bedding should be used with caution. Never use a weighted pillow as a blanket for infants or toddlers. Consult with a healthcare provider if you have concerns related to respiratory conditions or other health issues. 

Cost Comparison

Creating your own weighted pillow allows for customization while often being more cost-effective than purchasing pre-made options. Depending on your choices of fabric and filling, DIY projects can range significantly in cost but typically offer substantial savings.


The weight of your pillow should generally be about Ten percent of your body weight. Personal preference and intended use (head pillow vs. body pillow) might affect the final weight.

Glass beads or plastic poly pellets are commonly used for weighted pillows because they are smooth, dense, and can be evenly distributed. They are also typically washable and non-toxic.

Yes, weighted pillows can be washed, especially if you make a removable cover. However, ensure that the inner pillow and the type of beads you used are suitable for washing and dry completely to prevent mold.

While weighted pillows are generally safe, it is important to use the correct weight for your body and consult a doctor if you have concerns, particularly for children, pregnant women, or individuals with health conditions.

Durable and comfortable fabrics like cotton, flannel, or Minky are ideal. Choose a fabric that feels comfortable to the touch and is easy to work with when sewing.


Crafting a weighted pillow at home is a rewarding project that can lead to improved comfort and health benefits. By following these detailed steps, you’ll be able to create a customized sleep aid that meets your specific needs. Embrace the therapeutic embrace of a weighted pillow, and enjoy the serene, restful sleep you deserve.

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