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Can You Bring a Weighted Blanket on a Plane?

can you bring a weighted blanket on a plane

Once you get used to the deep pressure stimulation provided by a weighted blanket it’s hard to survive without it. You’d probably want to carry it around everywhere you go. Whether it’s a vacation trip to a neighboring country with your pals or an oversees wedding you’re attending, you’ll need your favorite blanket during the night for that extra hint of comfort. 

But, in order to make this possible, you’ll first have to figure out how to carry a weighted blanket on a plane. If you’re anything like us, there might only be one question ringing in your ears right now; “Can You Bring A Weighted Blanket On A Plane?”

So, without any further ado let’s figure out if there’s any way to make this possible. We’ve also jotted down any regulations you might have to follow to make this process seamless.

Can You Bring a Weighted Blanket on a Plane? Summary

3 Ways You Can Use a Weighted Blanket on a Plane

sleeping with weighted blanket in plane flight

If the back of your seat or the physical stress caused by a long flight bothers you, you can fold and use your weighted blanket as a pillow. The same goes for an uncomfortable seat that’s making it harder for you to sit upright. Just fold your blanket, place it on your seat and sit on it. The last one is the most conventional way of using a weighted blanket. Layer up by using your weighted blanket if you feel too cold on a flight or feel the need to sleep more comfortably.

Why Do People Bring Their Own Weighted Blankets on a Plane?

Better to Be Safe Than Sorry

There’s a tight turnaround in between flights. Thus you’re more than likely of landing a blanket that was used by another passenger in a previous flight. Now, if you’re flying luxuriously with a good airline, there’s a possibility that you’re not using a blanket that’s been used before. Even if that’s the case, that particular blanket might’ve been cleaned thoroughly before being presented to you. But, can you really take a risk with this pandemic going around? 

Even if this wasn’t the context, you have no idea what kind of fluids or germs are now latching onto the blanket you’re about to use. To avoid this whole mess, some people tend to bring their own neck pillows or weighted blankets on a plane just to be on the safe side.

Health-Related Reasons

Even though airline staff always tries to maintain the temperature inside the plane on a moderate level, it can still be cold enough to make some people shiver. Some people just tend to catch a breeze swifter than others and the presence of a physiological disorder might be the reason why. Someone who struggles with anemia can catch a cold earlier than someone who doesn’t have it.

Similarly, if you have hypoxia even the bearable level of coldness can be too much to handle for you. That’s because your body tissues do not receive enough oxygen in that stage. These are a few of the many reasons why people tend to carry a weighted blanket with them for warmth instead of taking a chance. Layering is the best possible option and when it gets too hot to handle, you can just take off your weights blanket.

Even if this wasn’t the context, you have no idea what kind of fluids or germs are now latching onto the blanket you’re about to use. To avoid this whole mess, some people tend to bring their own neck pillows or weighted blankets on a plane just to be on the safe side.

A Cure for Untimely Panic

If this is your first rodeo, then the anxiety associated with flying would be through the roof. Some people do have phobias associated with planes in general and the entire journey can be too much for them. It’s normal to be stressed out in that situation because you can’t really travel to your destination on road as quickly as you can on a plane. 

When you’re too stressed, the cortisol level in your body tends to amp which can make you have a panic attack under severe circumstances. This is why snuggling with a weighted blanket on a plane can create a comfortable, secure space for you. It can calm down your nerves, increase serotonin release and make you feel more grounded. According to a study conducted on 30 adult volunteers with mental health crisis;

“60% of those participants reported lower anxiety after lying under a weight blanket for at least 5 minutes”

People are always pleased by the fact that weighted blankets can replicate the feeling of a warm hug. It almost feels like you’re snuggling up to a loved one on the plane. So someone who has an anxiety disorder, or tends to panic too easily will feel more secure with a weighted blanket on a flight. 

Better Chances of Dozing Off

If you think about it, sleeping on a long flight is way harder than it seems. You’re in an enclosed space where there usually isn’t enough space to completely spread your limbs. Additionally, if there’s a crying baby or talkative passenger next to you, the chances of getting a nap squeeze even further. 

That’s why people tend to carry a weighted blanket from their own house as having a domestic item with you makes you feel more at home. Not only that, the deep pressure stimulation mechanism of the blanket can help you doze off way swiftly. This is a claim backed up by various polls done on weighted blankets. If you want to appear fresh after a long flight instead of being beaten down by jet lag, this is probably the best way to go. Another study assessing the impact of weighted blankets on the sleep quality of autistic children also garnered positive results.

Why Is It Harder to Bring a Weighted Blanket on a Flight?

A usual blanket that you’ve brought with you on a plane usually counts as a personal item or carry-on. But, people do have their doubts when it comes to carrying a weighted blanket as there’s room for concealment. During most flights, people are usually provided with a small blanket that keeps them comfortable during the rest of this journey. But that particular blanket is much different than a weighted blanket some folks prefer. 

Weighted blankets have some additional benefits and it’s heavier than the usual blanket. It consists of a filling on the inner side which might make the airport authorities a little too suspicious. It’s harder to take a weighted blanket on a flight because not only is it bigger than the item size recommended by airport authorities, people with malicious intent can use the weighted section to carry life-threatening items or drugs.

Carrying something of this sort can pose a security risk which is why it’s so hard to take it on a flight despite your good intentions. Your chances of taking a weighted blanket on board decrease even more if it’s too huge as it goes against the restrictions set by airline companies. You can carry a weighted blanket that’s small enough to fit inside your carry bag. For instance; a kid sized weighted blanket is more likely to be allowed on a plane as compared to a king-sized weighted blanket.

Can I Carry a Weighted Blanket on a Flight?

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) addresses the matter as follows in their guidelines; 

“Although passengers are allowed to carry personal items like; blankets in their carry-on and checked baggage before arriving at the airport, it’ll still be subjected to additional screening. No matter how big of a item you’re carrying inside, your carry bag’s weight limit shouldn’t exceed 35 pounds”

So, if you’re packing a weighted blanket, you’re going to have to pack one whose weight doesn’t exceed the weight limit. Before packing your bags for the trip you can check out TSA’s official website for further guidelines or simply snap a picture of relevant item; blanket and use #AskTSA on Facebook Messenger / Twitter for further inquiries.

According to some online testimonials, people have been able to take their weighted blankets on a flight but it all narrows down to one’s luck sometimes. Here are some pointers you should note down if you plan on snuggling with your favorite weighted blanket on the next flight;

Address Your Medical History Beforehand

As stated earlier, people do tend to find comfort in a weighted blanket when they feel agitated. Similarly, you or someone you know is more likely to feel anxious, scared, or agitated a thousand feet above the ground in an airplane. The fear or anxiety associated with flights is truly understandable. Matters can be even worse for someone who struggles with any psychological, neurological, or physiological disorders. For instance; an autistic individual might be high key sensitive to the foreignness the interior of the plane presents. There are way too many strangers around and the change in lighting or sound can make an autistic individual hyperventilate. 

So, how does one cope with this anxiety? This can only be achieved by holding onto a familiar item that not only emotionally grounds you but also wears off your stress. Someone struggling with any neurological or anxiety disorder shouldn’t be taking their chances by leaving it all for the final checking. Instead, you can prepare in advance and make sure you actually get to carry your weighted blanket on the plane. 

For this purpose, you can start by contacting the TSA or airline agent and brief them on your medical history. You must have a proper medical prescription that entails why you’re carrying a weighted blanket as a piece of medical equipment. 

Travelers who have vital medical equipment of this sort and are backed up by their physician’s note are usually successfully able to bring their weighted blanket on a plane. There’s one thing that you must ensure at all costs for this whole thing to unfold in your favor. You must thoroughly read/follow the rules and regulations brought forward by the airline regarding baggage restrictions.

Keep Your Receipt in Your Personal Bag

Let’s be real, people with deadly intentions will always find a way to bring deadly weapons on board. Similar is the case for people running full-blown cartels, that export and import drugs by any means possible. So, the fact that you’re carrying a blanket with inner space for filling, can really jeopardize the way you’re viewed by airline authorities. In that case, they might go as far as stopping you from getting on your flight or confiscating the item that could pose threat. 

It is highly recommended to carry a billing receipt that clearly acts as proof of purchase. It will absolutely negate the idea that this is something you created for the purpose of concealment. Instead, the therapeutic purpose behind carrying a weighted blanket would be made much more obvious. So, make sure you have a billing receipt with you in your personal bag. This way you can show it to TSA or airline agents if anyone raises any eyes regarding your weighted blanket.

Carry a Sample of The Filling Material

There’s nothing worse than seeing an airline agent ripping your weighted blanket apart to check what’s inside? It’s their job to ensure that you’re not carrying any narcotics. Even though there are animals and security equipment that can pinpoint the direction of narcotics. Some airport security officials tend to go the extra mile by extracting something like this piece by piece just to be sure. Now, if your weighted blanket doesn’t have a zipper, it might need to be ripped.

Weighted blankets are sometimes filled with poly pellets, glass pellets, organic material, or simply cotton. There’s a long list of filling materials that manufacturers use to make the weighted blanket heavy enough for pressure stimulation. You must carry a sample of the filling used in your weighted blanket. In this way, if you get inquired you can present that sample and end their curiosity.

Final Words

Lastly, if you’re carrying a weighted blanket for an agitated child always try to carry it in a personal bag. Additionally, carrying it in a folded state under your arm will also not raise any questions because it’s almost like carrying a clothing item; jacket, scarves, etc. You probably could’ve placed your blanket on your seat or someplace else. The surface of a plane is a hub for various germs and dirt. This is why it’s necessary that once you get off the flight, you wash your weighted blanket’s duvet with a good mild but good detergent. 

Hanging it on a string in the sunlight just won’t do the job. So, make sure you clean it thoroughly before using it again. Call ahead before booking a flight and ask for further instructions regarding this topic. Even if you’re advised against bringing a weighted blanket you can carry a small weighted pillow for comfort.

Mike Horton (head of Weighted Living)

by Mike Horton

Mike is one of the lead editors at Weighted Living and the author of this article. He's become fascinated with weighted products (a bit too much we think) and loves to see all the different ways they can improve our loves. He's written quite a few weighted product guides as well.

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