Home / Blog September 30, 2022

Can You Bring a Weighted Blanket on a Plane as a Personal Item?

In most cases the answer is yes: according to TSA guidelines, you should be able to bring a personal blanket on the plane with you. Sometimes you can even take a light blanket on a plane without packing it in your carry-on or personal item. But it’s important to consider travel blanket size. Depending on the weight, width, and style of your weighted blanket, there may be additional obstacles to keep in mind.

Can You Bring a Weighted Blanket on a Plane as a Personal Item?

Bearassentials

Flying with a weighted blanket can be a great way to sleep better and remain calm during your flight.

Travel blanket size determines whether a blanket can be considered a carry-on or a personal item. Most weighted blankets fit as personal items if they are packed correctly.

Choosing a weighted blanket that comes with a travel case might save you time at TSA and in the boarding line.

Did you know?
Some airlines don’t wash their blankets before passing them onto the next customer – even if they wrap them in plastic before you step on the plane.

The stress and uncertainty of traveling might have you reaching for a weighted blanket to stay cozy and calm on long flights. But can you take a weighted blanket on a plane as a personal item? And if so, does a blanket count as a personal item or a carry on?

It can be tricky to know how to pack a weighted blanket for travel, especially with so many other airport-related logistics on your mind. We’ve got you covered, from the first step of your journey through to your final destination.

TSA Requirements for Weighted Blankets

If you’re a seasoned traveler, you’ve probably experienced that sinking feeling when your bag gets stopped at a security checkpoint. In addition to causing anxiety and adding to your travel time, bag checks often result in items being confiscated, forcing you to say goodbye to that fancy hand soap or jar of jam that you packed in a hurry.

So will a weighted blanket make it through the TSA line? Most likely yes! According to the official TSA website, blankets are allowed in both carry on bags and checked bags. That means that in most cases you can bring a blanket through TSA without any problems. However, TSA always reserves the right to confiscate a given item if it poses any concerns.

It might seem like a blanket wouldn’t raise any red flags at airport security, but there are a few things to look out for.

Some weighted blankets are filled with steel beads or contain metal zippers. If your blanket has any metal components, it might set off alarms when going through security screening. A knitted weighted blanket can be an easier option to take to the airport since its weight comes from layers of heavy fabric, rather than clunky filling.

TSA Requirements for Weighted Blankets

How to Pack a Weighted Blanket For the Airport

To make for a smoother experience passing through security, you may also want to pay special attention to how you pack your weighted blanket.

Try to make sure that any blankets in your luggage are snugly folded with no smaller items wrapped up inside. That way, if your bag is stopped, you’ll be able to quickly access anything that security may need to examine.

It may be worth investing in a bag that’s only for your weighted blanket. This can make the blanket easier to carry, from your driveway to the boarding line. Our travel weighted blanket is designed with this need in mind – it comes with a sturdy duffel bag that’s just the right size.

Another environmentally conscious route might involve purchasing a bag from your local thrift store or reusing a carrier you already own. Just make sure it fits your blanket and can hold the weight!

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Does a Blanket Count as a Personal Item?

Most plane tickets come with a free carry-on item and personal item.

A carry-on item is meant to fit in the bins above your seat – think your smallest suitcase or a medium-sized duffel bag. Size limits for carry-on luggage varies by airline. The good news is, a bundled up blanket is not likely to exceed them … unless you’re hoping to bring your biggest quilt!

If you’re relying on that precious carry-on space to pack other items like clothes or toiletries, you might be relieved to hear that a blanket can be considered a personal item in most cases. Whether a weighted blanket counts as a personal item or not is a little more subjective, but with some advance planning, it’s easy to make sure it won’t be a problem.

You can find specific dimensions for personal items on some airline websites. In most situations, a personal item is considered anything smaller than a carry-on that will fit under the seat in front of you. This could look like a purse, backpack, or briefcase. Luckily, most of these bags could fit a weighted blanket!

Can You Bring a Loose Blanket on a Plane?

So far, it seems like as long as your blanket is packed neatly, you won’t encounter many problems taking it on a flight. But you might be hoping to bring a suitcase, purse, and blanket to the airport. This is where the situation gets trickier.

In most cases, your blanket has to fit inside your personal item or carry-on, even if you want to wear it over your shoulders or tuck it under your arm as you board your flight.

That means that you probably won’t be able to bring a full personal item and carry-on in addition to a loose blanket – unless your blanket is super lightweight or small. A comfy weighted blanket shouldn’t match that description!

To avoid the heartbreak of losing your favorite napping companion at the gate, it’s best to allow that extra space for your blanket in your backpack, purse, or suitcase.

Why Bring a Weighted Blanket on a Plane?

How Heavy Can a Carry-On Blanket Be?

Keep in mind that every airline has different requirements for carry-on baggage, so depending on who you’re flying with, there may be additional hoops to jump through.

If you’re flying domestically in the US, you won’t need to worry about how much your blanket weighs. Generally airlines don’t weigh your carry-on luggage before you fly, so as long as you can lift your blanket into an overhead bin, you should be able to rest easy.

The few US airlines that do restrict carry-on weight tend to have high limits like 35 lbs. That would be a lot of blanket to travel with!

However, if you’re bringing your weighted blanket on an international flight, it’s a good idea to pay special attention to your airline’s luggage restrictions. International airlines sometimes enforce carry-on weight limits by weighing your luggage before you fly, either at bag check or at your gate.

The good news is that the lowest these weight requirements usually get is 11 lbs (or 5 kg). That means that if you’re flying with a 10 lb weighted blanket like our Travel Napper, you’re good to go!

Why Bring a Weighted Blanket on a Plane?

Now that you know you can take a blanket on a plane, you might be wondering why you would need to. While it may not be the first item you’d think of adding to your air travel checklist, bringing a blanket on a plane can be a great idea for your comfort and hygiene.

Airplanes often distribute blankets for long flights, but whether these airline blankets are clean or not is another story. Some airlines refold and reuse blankets between customers without washing them. And the blankets themselves are often flimsy, low-quality coverings. It’s hard to feel cozy under a thin piece of felt!

So it makes sense to bring your own clean blanket, but why bring a weighted blanket on a plane? After all, that extra weight might be difficult to carry around the airport. But beyond the fact that you might want your weighted blanket once you land, there are many reasons why you would bring a weighted blanket on a plane.

On a long flight, sometimes all you want to do is sleep so you can get ahead of the jet lag you’ll soon be facing. A few hours of quality shut-eye could be the difference between a smooth transition and a bumpy beginning at your final destination.

But we all know how hard it can be to doze off when you’re crammed in an airplane seat. There’s even peer-reviewed evidence suggesting that sleeping on a flight results in lower quality rest than sleeping elsewhere.

If you bring a weighted blanket on your flight, you might find it easier to fall (and stay) asleep. Depending on the design of your blanket, it could also be sturdy enough to double up as a headrest, giving you a comfier surface to lean on.

Air travel can also be a source of anxiety for many people. Whether you suffer from a condition like aerophobia or you simply find traveling a bit overwhelming, it’s safe to say that not many people find airports or airplanes particularly relaxing.

Carrying on a weighted blanket could be a great strategy to cope with travel anxiety. Through Deep Touch Pressure (DTP), weighted blankets lower cortisol (the stress hormone) and increase melatonin (the sleepy hormone), which is why they’re so good at keeping us calm and cozy.

Conclusion

So ultimately, can you take a weighted blanket on a plane or not? Since blankets are allowed in your carry-on and personal item, and most weighted blankets won’t exceed airline weight limits, you can absolutely bring your weighted blanket with you when you fly – and it might be a good idea.

Air travel is typically associated with lots of stress and not enough sleep. Weighted blankets, on the other hand, are known to help people sleep better and feel calmer. The bottom line? If you find a weighted blanket helpful at home, taking it with you on your travels might be your ticket to happier flights.

Our 10 lb sustainable Travel Napper comes in a carrying case designed specifically for air travel, so your weighted blanket can be the last thing you have to worry about on your packing list.