A Buyer’s Guide to the
Best Weighted Blankets
When it comes to finding a solution for anxiety, stress, or insomnia, weighted blankets are a popular choice. The best weighted blankets are designed to provide gentle, even pressure to the body, mimicking the sensation of being hugged or held. This sensation, known as deep touch pressure, can have a calming effect on the nervous system and help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. But with so many weighted blankets on the market, it can be difficult to know where to start.
That’s why we’ve put together this comprehensive buyer’s guide to help you find the perfect blanket that fits your needs and your budget.
About this Guide
In this guide, we’ll go over the key features to consider when purchasing a weighted blanket, including selecting the right type of material, choosing a proper weight, and, of course, size.
In addition, we’ll answer some common questions about the best weighted blankets out there. “Is a 20-pound blanket too heavy?” and “Which best weighted blanket is best for anxiety?” are questions we often get. We’ll also provide tips on how to make the most of your blanket, including how to gradually increase the weight, how to choose a weight that feels comfortable and secure, and how to invest in a high-quality, durable blanket that will last.
By the end of this buying guide, you’ll be equipped to make an informed decision and start enjoying the benefits of a peaceful, restful sleep. So grab a cup of tea, settle in, and let’s get started on finding the best weighted blanket for you!
HOW WEIGHTED BLANKETS WORK
Occupational therapists have long relied on weighted blankets and vests to comfort and ease the anxiety, as well as to calm children with sensory processing disorders. Although there is limited research, the general belief is that the weight of the blanket stimulates the release of serotonin – a hormone that helps balance mood. The result is reduced anxiety, a sense of calmness, and an ability to fall asleep faster. It’s like that feeling you get when you hug someone or hold them tight – like swaddling a newborn. The pressure makes you warm and comfortable.
It’s no wonder, then, that the popularity of weighted blankets has extended beyond the therapist’s office and into home.
To make the best weighted blankets work properly, however, there are certain factors you need to take into account, as we mentioned earlier: choosing the proper weight, selecting the fabric and fill material that works best for you, and of course finding one that meets your budget.
HOW TO CHOOSE A WEIGHTED BLANKET
While weighted blankets aren’t complicated, there are still a few things to consider when purchasing one.
What size do you need?
Weighted blankets are available in a variety of sizes, including standard twin, full, and queen. However, note that a weighted blanket is not intended to cover your bed like a normal blanket. Instead, the best weighted blankets are designed to be placed on top of the bed without hanging over the edges. You wouldn’t want that extra weight pull the blanket off the bed as you shift during the night.
You may also not want a full size blanket for your bed. There are smaller weighted blankets that can be used for napping on the couch or as a wrap around the shoulders. There are also lap blankets – even weighted vests..
What fabric do you like?
When it comes to choosing the best weighted blanket for you, one of the first things to consider is the type of material it’s made of. Most custom makers will let you select the fabric, like cotton, minky, or even bamboo. It’d really just a matter of preference. If you just need something on the bed to help you sleep, you might want a soft fleece or flannel.
Let’s take a closer look at some options:
Cotton: Cotton is a popular choice for weighted blankets due to its breathability and softness. Cotton blankets are also easy to clean and maintain, making them a practical option for daily use.
Minky: Minky is a soft, plush material that is commonly used in children’s toys and blankets. Minky weighted blankets are great for those who want a cozy, comforting blanket that feels warm and snuggly.
Bamboo: Bamboo is a natural, eco-friendly material that is known for its breathability and softness. Bamboo weighted blankets are ideal for those who want a blanket that will stay cool throughout the night, making them a great choice for hot sleepers.
Note that children with sensory issues can be quite specific in their preferences. The fabrics that might help here are satiny, fleecy, chenille, even slightly rough or nubby. They are all possibilities.
Color and pattern are also a matter of preference. Pre-made blankets sold for adults are often gray or another neutral tone. Custom blanket makers typically offer a very wide range of kid-appealing patterns and colors as well as adult-pleasing options.
What provides the weight?
There are a variety of fills used in weighted blankets, including sand, plastic pellets, rice, and glass beads. One type of fill isn’t necessarily better than another, but it’s generally easier to wash blankets filled with plastic pellets.
Is the blanket quilted or baffled?
Unless the blanket has quilted baffles or boxes sewn through the full thickness of the blanket, the pellets or sand will shift to one side. Just about every weighted blanket is baffled to prevent this and keep the weight in place. If you come across a product option without this feature, move on.
Does the blanket have an outer cover?
It’s a fact. Weighted blankets can be difficult to wash and dry, To keep everything clean, a duvet cover that slips over the blanket and protect it from all the daily grunge is a must. When the duvet cover needs cleaning, you simply remove it from the blanket and wash it. Be aware that some weighted blanket manufacturers offer the blanket and duvet cover separately, not as a set.
What about poly-fil?
Some weighted blankets have poly-fil along with the weighted material to give the blanket more of a “traditional” blanket appearance. This may be important for children who are embarrassed about their weighted blanket and want a bed cover that doesn’t draw attention.
CHOOSING A BLANKET WEIGHT
When shopping for weighted blankets, you’ll find a wide range of weights. There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to these therapeutic and comforting blankets.
In general, most blanket manufacturers recommend that a blanket should weigh about 10% of your body weight, plus maybe a pound or two if you want just a little bit of extra weight. For example, a person weighing 130 pounds, a blanket weighing around 15 pounds or so. At 200 pounds, a blanket weighing around 20 lbs. to pounds would be about right.
It’s important to follow these weight recommendations. A blanket that is too heavy can be quite uncomfortable.
That said, this formula isn’t written in stone. Some people prefer blankets that are lighter or heavier than 10% of their body weight. Your sleeping position, whether you’re a hot or cold sleeper, and even your personal preferences all play a role in determining the right weight for you.
If you’re unsure what weight to choose, start with a lighter weight. See how it feels. If it’s too light for you, move up to another blanket with more weight.
But here’s the main point when it comes to weight. Be very careful when purchasing for a child. It’s a good idea to err on the lighter side for children. Don’t fool yourself by thinking that a child will “outgrow” the weighted blanket eventually. Too much weight is not safe for children – and especially not for babies or toddlers. As a rule of thumb, if the person using the blanket can’t remove it by themselves, it’s too heavy
THE DOWNSIDES OF WEIGHTED BLANKETS
While weighted blankets offer numerous benefits for those seeking comfort and stress relief, there are also a few potential downsides to consider before purchasing one.
Weighted blankets are known to retain heat, making them uncomfortable in warm weather or if you sleep hot.
Size and weight
Weighted blankets can be heavy and difficult to move, making it challenging to adjust during the night.
Cleaning a weighted blanket can be challenging, especially if it’s not machine-washable. Instead, get a blanket with a duvet cover to keep the grime off and wash the duvet cover instead.
Weighted blankets can be surprisingly expensive, especially compared to traditional blankets. Generally, weighted blankets cost between $100 and $200. And don’t forget the shipping costs because of the extra weight!
How to Overcome the Negatives
- Look for a cooling weighted blanket with breathable material.
- Choose a blanket that is the appropriate size and weight for your body weight and personal preferences.
- Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning the blanket to ensure it lasts as long as possible.
- Consider the cost-benefit of purchasing a weighted blanket and decide if it’s worth the investment for your well-being.
There you go. That’s it. As with most things, choosing the best weighted blanket comes down to your personal preferences. Hopefully we’ve given you enough here, though, to help you understand the ins and outs of weighted blankets and be more confident in finding the perfect one for you!
- Avoid using weighted blankets for infants and young children.
- Never use a weighted blanket as a restraint or form of punishment.
- Keep adult-sized weighted blankets out of reach of children.
- Choose a lighter weight blanket for elderly individuals or those with limited mobility.
- Experiment with a slightly heavier weight blanket if seeking relief from anxiety.
- Consider using a small blanket for relief from restless leg syndrome.
- Select a bed-sized blanket for sleep-related benefits and a lap-sized blanket for daytime use.
- Children with sensory disorders or ADHD may benefit from a small lap-sized weighted blanket.
- Follow the general guideline of selecting a blanket that is 10% of your body weight, or lighter if necessary.
- Consider personal comfort and preference when selecting a weighted blanket.
When shopping for a weighted blanket, there are many questions that come to mind. Here are answers to some of the most common questions.
Q. Is a 20-pound blanket too heavy??
A. It depends on your body weight and personal preference. A general recommendation is to choose a blanket that is 10-15% of your body weight.
Q. Which weighted blanket is best for anxiety?
A. It’s best to choose a blanket with a weight that’s appropriate for your body weight, and consider a material that’s soft and comfortable. A cooling option may also help with anxiety symptoms.
Q. Is it OK to sleep with a weighted blanket every night?
A. Yes, it is generally safe to sleep with a weighted blanket every night.
Q. Why do some people sleep better with a weighted blanket?
A. Weighted blankets are designed to provide a sense of comfort and security, which can help improve sleep quality. The pressure from the blanket can also stimulate the production of serotonin and melatonin, promoting relaxation and sleep.
Q. Do doctors recommend weighted blankets?
A. Yes, some doctors and therapists recommend weighted blankets for people with anxiety, insomnia, and other sleep disorders.
Q. Can you sleep on your side with a weighted blanket?
A. Yes, you can sleep on your side with a weighted blanket. It’s important to choose a blanket that’s appropriately sized for your bed and doesn’t restrict your movement.
Q. Is it better to go heavier or lighter with a weighted blanket?
A. It depends on your personal preference and body weight. A general recommendation is to choose a blanket that’s 10-15% of your body weight.
Q. Can you wash a 25-lb weighted blanket?
A. It depends on the manufacturer’s care instructions. Some weighted blankets are machine washable, while others may need to be spot cleaned or professionally cleaned. Be sure to check the care instructions before purchasing.