The 2020’s have been something of a wellness renaissance, and for the first time for many people, sleep and sleep products are at the forefront of their minds.
Enter weighted blankets. These heavy blankets come in a variety of weights and materials, and they’ve become a self-care staple. Read on to find out if a weighted blanket could make a good addition to your own wellness routine.
What is a Weighted Blanket?
Weighted blankets are essentially heavy blankets that act as DIY deep pressure therapy tools. They come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and materials. Most weighted blankets weigh between five and 20 pounds, and they’re made from a variety of materials, including cotton, bamboo, linen, flannel, polyester, and more. Those that are stuffed, not knitted, can be weighted with a range of different fillers, including sand, pebbles, grains, micro glass beads, and more.
Benefits of Weighted Blankets
Weighted blankets can be a tool for those interested in deep pressure therapy, a form of therapy that calms the nervous system through firm pressure. Deep pressure can boost serotonin levels, reduce cortisol (the stress hormone), and even increase melatonin levels. Additional benefits of using weighted blankets for deep pressure therapy include:
- Reduced stress and anxiety
- Better sleep
- A sense of calm and happiness
- Improved school or work performance
- Improved focus
Additionally, weighted blankets can be particularly beneficial for people with anxiety, insomnia, Autism, ADHD, and more.
How Heavy Should a Weighted Blanket Be?
If you’re looking to add a weighted blanket to your routine, you’ll want to consider your own size when selecting how much weight you’re looking for — most experts will recommend choosing a blanket that’s about 10 percent of your bodyweight. Check out our chart below to help you choose the weighted blanket that’s right for you.
Weighted Blanket Weight Chart
Weighted Blanket Safety
Weighted blankets are considered safe for use by healthy adults, though it’s worth checking with your doctor before introducing one into your routine to be on the safe side — if you suffer from certain conditions, such as sleep apnea or circulatory conditions, weighted blankets may not be the best option for you.
Children And Weighted Blankets
Dr. Shelby Harris, Sleepopolis’ director of sleep health, says weighted blankets are generally safe for older children.
Talk to your pediatrician first,” she says. “If [your kids] are a little older, preschool or older, then you can use [a weighted blanket], but you really want to think about the weighting of it.”
Additionally, Harris says parents of babies or very young children should steer clear of the weighted blanket trend, and extends this advice to other weighted sleep products, like sleep sacks, weighted stuffed animals, and more, too.
“Really, it’s older kids and adults that find them to be more beneficial,” she says.
What is in a weighted blanket?
Weighted blankets that are stuffed, not knitted, can be weighted with a range of different fillers, including sand, pebbles, grains, micro glass beads, and more.
What is a weighted blanket good for?
Weighted blankets are great for reducing stress and anxiety, as well as promoting better sleep and a sense of calm. They can be especially beneficial for older children and adults with autism, insomnia, ADHD, and more.
How do you wash a weighted blanket?
Cleaning methods for weighted blankets will vary from brand to brand — if an easy clean is important to you, be sure to check the care details before purchasing.
What is the best weighted blanket?
The best weighted blanket will depend on your personal preferences. Our guide to the best weighted blankets can help you find the right one!
Can you use a weighted blanket every night?
Weighted blankets are generally considered safe for use every night. If you have concerns, check with your doctor.
Can a weighted blanket be too heavy?
There is a sweet spot for how heavy a weighted blanket should be — for optimal results and comfort, look for weighted blankets that weigh about 10 percent of your total body weight.
Last Word From Sleepopolis
A trend centering around self care is definitely one we can get behind, especially when it can help people sleep better. Weighted blankets can be great tools for reducing stress — and thus, getting a more restful night’s sleep. Just be sure to get one that’s weighted properly according to your size.