You may think that weighted blankets are just heavy blankets with lots of weight. However, there is much more to weighted blankets than meets the eye. Weighted blankets are helpful for stress relief and many other health-related problems. For many people, weighted blankets are part of their daily routine for therapeutic reasons.

According to the research, the pressure of a heavy blanket works as therapy. It provides relief in anxiety, insomnia, autism, and some other conditions. Their therapeutic properties make them more beneficial than ordinary blankets. (1)
Thinking of buying one! However, don’t know what you are looking for precisely and where to find the best blanket?
Follow me to learn all there is to know about weighted blankets or, as we like to call it, a ‘gravity blanket.’

How Do Weighted Blankets Work?

As the name suggests, weighted blankets carry 5-30 pounds weight, making them heavier than standard blankets. They are filled with different materials such as glass beads, poly pellets, and weighted discs.

The material inside the blanket is evenly distributed to provide balanced coverage. These types of coverings are shorter than the regular full-size bed duvet so that they will not fall off from the bedside due to their weightage.

The calming effect is the philosophy behind the gravity blanket. When you are under the heavy duvet, the pressure makes you feel like you are being hugged, giving you a sense of security.

“Being hugged is a potent stimulus; it makes you feel more secure,” says Irina Zhdanova, MD, CEO of Clock Coach.

Moreover, the pressure that comes from the weight of the blanket works as ‘deep pressure stimulation,’ which is a therapeutic technique. In this technique, people use hands or massage tools to put gentle pressure on their bodies. It generates natural chemicals like serotonin, relaxes their nervous system, and reduces stress and anxiety. With weighted blankets, the person gets to enjoy the same benefits by just wrapping the blanket around their body.

The Benefits of Using a Weighted Blanket

Although we need more study to confirm the effectiveness of gravity blankets, the research done by behavioral scientists suggests that they are effective in treating disorders like:

AUTISM AND ADHD. The compression the body feels while being covered in a heavy blanket gives the children with autism or ADHD the feeling of security. They feel comfortable and sleep better under the light pressure of the heavy blanket. According to the 2014 crossover study on autism and weighted blankets, the parents and children said they found gravity blankets very effective in reducing sleep issues. (2)

ANXIETY. Autonomic arousal in the body triggers symptoms of anxiety, increasing the heart rate of a person. The deep pressure stimulation effect caused by the heaviness of a blanket can help reduce autonomic arousal, reduce stress, and make a person sleep peacefully. Engineers and behavioral scientists studied the benefit of using heavy blankets in adults. They found out that 78% of adults preferred the blanket as a calming method as it caused their brain activity to slow down. (3)

INSOMNIA AND SLEEP DISORDERS. Yes, these blankets provide the tense, anxious, restless person get the sleep they need. The person who tosses and turns a lot in bed suffers restlessness all night long, and that makes them feel tired the next day. These blankets offer mild restraint that makes it easier for a restless person to stay still and fall (and stay) asleep. (4)

CHRONIC PAIN. The mild pressure decreases the level of your body pain, provides comfort so you can lay down easily. Its massaging properties even aid you in arthritis, fibromyalgia, and other painful conditions. Similarly, a person going through a painful medical procedure, e.g., tooth extraction, suffers anxiety; using these blankets calms those symptoms. (5)

The Risks of Using the Weighted Blankets

  • According to the manufacturers, these blankets are not recommended for toddlers under 2 years of age due to the higher risk of suffocation.
  • They are not suitable for people with obstructive sleep apnea (disrupted breathing during sleep) as they may cause more trouble with breathing.
  • Asthma patients can also not use these blankets because the heavy blankets can cause difficulty breathing at night.
  • The tightness of the heavy blanket may trigger claustrophobia.

Tips for Deciding the Correct Blanket

To avoid buying an oversized or overheated blanket, consider these pro tips while deciding on a weighted blanket.

  • Weight: For comfort, the weight of these blankets matters most. A perfectly fit blanket should be 5% to 10% of your body weight. Therefore, the recommended weight according to different age groups is as follows,
  • Small weighted blanket: 3-8 pounds for a 20-70 pounds child.
    Medium weighted blanket: 5-15 pounds for a 30-130 pounds child.
    Medium-large weighted blankets: 12-30 pounds for adults.
    Small or medium-weighted blankets: 5 to 8 pounds for older adults.
    Fabric: Check the quality of the material. The fabric should feel soft, breathable, and comfortable. It should also be eligible for machine wash. Microfiber is recommended.
  • Construction: The material filled in the blanket, e.g., poly pellets, glass beads, etc., should be evenly distributed. Nano-ceramic beads are recommended.

Guidelines for Using the Blanket Efficiently

Here are some guidelines that will help you to use the blanket proficiently and to attain optimal comfort from it.

  • Time Duration: Well, the time duration to use the blanket at night depends on a person’s comfort level. You can use it for 20-30 minutes if it makes you feel uncomfortable after a while. However, if you love snuggling, then you can use it overnight as a regular blanket to sleep soundly.
  • Long-term benefits: To attain long-term benefits, make it a part of your daily routine. Remember, consistency is the key to achieve optimal benefits. Moreover, track your energy level or sleep cycle to learn more about your comfortable sleeping pattern.
  • Complete relaxation: To attain total comfort, cover your entire body from your shoulders down to your feet with the blanket. It will evenly distribute the weight, giving you a feeling of full body massage.

We are not done yet! Below is the description of the best three weighted blankets you can buy from amazon.

3 Best Weighted Blanket on Amazon

Affiliate Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you purchase through a link on this post, I may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you.

1. MP2 Glacier Weighted Blanket with Nano-Ceramic Beads.

Size: 60×80″ (Full/Queen)

The material is 100% Microfiber. The blanket weighs 20lbs. The fabric is breathable, comfortable, and skin-friendly. Suitable for kids and adults. It is filled with Nano-ceramic beads. They are ideal for people with sensory issues and restless sleep, and they are more comfortable than glass variety.
It offers calming abilities of DPS (Deep Pressure Stimulation): The DPS is very effective in relieving body pain and relaxing the nervous system.
This weighted blanket has one reversible warm and cool duvet cover: One side is soft, warm, fleece flannel fabric, and the opposite side is made from Coolmax material, great for summers.

2. Superior Quilted Microfiber Weighted Throw Blanket

Size: 48″ x 72″

The filling material is Polyester.
It’s filled with glass beads. The heavy blanket will provide soothing comfort while you sleep.
It’s a perfect cozy fit. 48″ wide x 72″ long blanket weighs 15-pound.
It has a timeless style. The cover is made of 100%microfiber. It is soft and comfortable. The box quilt design keeps the beads in place.
The easy blanket care: Spot clean only. Please follow care label instructions to extend service life.

3. Amazon Basics All-Season Cotton Weighted Blanket.

 

Size: 60×80″ (Full/Queen)

The material is 100% Cotton.
The blanket has a 300-thread count, 100%cotton sateen, and provides a soft hand-feel and keeps you at the perfect temperature.
It comes with 10 built-in loops to attach the blanket with the cover. You can use it alone or with the Amazon Basics removable Minky cover, sold separately.
It is made through High-density sewing technology. 7-layers blanket design and small filling pocket evenly distribute weight across the blanket to assure sensory calming effect.
Care Instruction: Only Spot clean with a damp cloth. Do not bleach, tumble dry, dry clean, or iron.
It is manufactured by OEKO-TEX standard, 100% certified factory. This independent certification system ensures textiles meet high safety and environmental standards.

Final Thoughts

Weighted blankets are like at-home therapy that calms your nerves and makes it possible for you to sleep peacefully. Doctors recommend heavy blankets for patients who have autism, ADHD, chronic pains, and anxiety. They effectively reduce the level of stress, relax a restless body, and improve sleep disorders. Remember to choose a blanket that is around 10% of your body weight and could fit snugly to the bedside.

References

  1. Weighted Blanket Use: A Systematic Review – PubMed (nih.gov)
  2. Weighted Blankets and Sleep in Autistic Children—A Randomized Controlled Trial | American Academy of Pediatrics (aappublications.org)
  3. (PDF) Exploring the Safety and Therapeutic Effects of Deep Pressure Stimulation Using a Weighted Blanket (researchgate.net)
  4. A randomized controlled study of weighted chain blankets for insomnia in psychiatric disorders | Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine (aasm.org)
  5. Weighted Blankets and Chronic Pain – Full Text View – ClinicalTrials.gov
  6. https://www.healthline.com/health/anxiety/do-weighted-blankets-work
  7. https://hush.ca/pages/do-weighted-blankets-work
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About the Author

Hermione M.

My name is Hermione. I am the founder of WomenH and I write about women's health, wellness, mental health, and personal growth. I created this platform to inspire women to take care of themselves mentally, physically, and emotionally to become their best selves. Thank you for stopping by.

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