How to Choose a Weighted Blanket?
If you have a hard time relaxing and falling asleep, then you might be an excellent candidate for a weighted blanket. However, these products are not for everyone. While many sleepers report more relaxation and less anxiety sleeping under a weighted blanket, others feel too claustrophobic and pinned down. A weighted blanket may not be suitable if you are a hot sleeper, either – though some models promote temperature control better than others.
When browsing different weighted blankets, you should take the following factors into account.
Some models carry different price-points depending on the selected weight. For others, the price will be the same no matter which size you select. Be sure to factor shipping costs, if applicable, into your shopping budget.
The general rule of thumb is to choose a weighted blanket that is roughly 10 percent of your own body weight. However, this is not a hard and fast rule. Realistically, a blanket weighing between 5 and 12 percent of your body weight may be comfortable. The best way to determine your optimal blanket is to test out different weights.
A weighted blanket made from high-quality materials may cost a bit more than average, but you can usually count on better durability and a longer lifespan from these models. Those made with cheaper fabrics and plastic pellets tend to wear out more quickly, especially if you wash and dry them in household machines.
You should choose a weighted blanket based in part on your desired feel or texture. Some of these blankets have covers made of cotton or microfiber material that deliver a smooth feel, while others are made with fleece for a plusher and cozier texture. A few weighted blankets have reversible designs with a distinct feel on each side.
Ease of Cleaning
Most weighted blanket covers are removable and can be washed and dried in a household machine. In some cases, the entire blanket can be laundered at home. Alternatively, you may need to spot clean or dry clean your blanket to prevent early wear and tear.
Some weighted blankets are constructed with breathable cover fabrics and interior components to keep you cool during the night. Others may absorb and trap body heat; combined with their hefty weight, this can lead to excessive warmth.
What Are the Benefits of Weighted Blankets?
Weighted blankets are designed to reduce stress and promote feelings of relaxation, which in turn can help you fall asleep more quickly. For many people, the feeling of a blanket pushing gently onto their body and weighing them down is calming. This sensation is intended to simulate deep pressure touch (DPT), a type of therapy that alleviates anxiety by distributing an even amount of weight across the body. DPT is comparable to a full body hug. When administered properly, some studies have shown DPT to be highly effective at reducing anxiety in children and adults.
Weighted blankets are often touted as therapeutically valuable for those with certain medical conditions like autism, depression and PTSD, but overall, the research supporting these claims is thin. As with any product, be wary of any medical claims from manufacturers.
Who Is Best Suited for a Weighted Blanket?
Weighted blankets carry benefits for a wide range of sleepers. Whether or not it is officially due to sleep onset insomnia, those who struggle to fall asleep at night may feel more relaxed and less anxious under a weighted blanket. This can be true for adults, teenagers, and children age 2 or older, especially if they experience an undue amount of stress over work, family, or other concerns.
Which Weighted Blankets Are Best for Kids? Are They Safe?
You should consult with your pediatrician or family physician before choosing a weighted blanket for your child. For some young ones experiencing sleep difficulties, a weighted blanket may be less effective than other strategies, such as establishing and sticking to a strict bedtime or avoiding liquids in the hours leading up to sleep.
Weighted blankets are generally considered safe for children who are at 3 years of age or older and weigh at least 50 pounds. When selecting a blanket for a child, it’s wise to follow the “10 percent rule” or err on the lower side. An excessively heavy blanket can pose an injury risk for children, even if they are 3 or older.
Many weighted blankets are specifically designed for children. A weighted blanket for kids will range between 3 and 10 pounds. If your child weighs more than 100 pounds, then a blanket for adults or children may be more suitable.
Again, have a chat with your family doctor before deciding which blanket – if any – will be the most effective sleep strategy for your child.
Do Weighted Blankets Make You Hot?
The blanket provides some measure of warmth and insulation, but it should not make you overheat. As with standard blankets, whether or not a weighted blanket sleeps cool depends largely on its material composition. Most weighted blankets include an outer cover, which provides padding for your body, and an inner shell where the beads or pellets are encased. Certain cover fabrics, such as cotton and rayon, are fairly breathable, while others trap more heat. The inner shell contents also play a role in temperature regulation. Models with thicker batting tend to sleep warmer than those with little to no batting.
Some blankets also promote more airflow than others due to how they are constructed. Knitted blankets have an openwork design that allows air to pass through freely, and this can help you keep cool – even if the blanket is exceptionally heavy. Quilted blankets cannot circulate air as well and often sleep hot as a result.
How Do I Choose the Right Weight?
The best weight for your blanket depends entirely on your body. As we’ve discussed, most people tend to prefer blankets that equate to roughly 10 percent of their body weight. That said, there is some wiggle room with this estimate.
The table below lists our suggestions for the most common blanket weights. We’ve based our figures for ideal sleeper weight on the “10 percent rule.” The acceptable sleeper weight range figures are based on the general assumption that a sleeper will feel reasonably comfortable under a blanket that equals 5 to 12 percent of their own weight.
|Blanket Weight||Ideal Sleeper Weight||Acceptable Sleeper Weight Range|
|5 lbs.||50 lbs.||25 to 60 lbs.|
|7 lbs.||70 lbs.||35 to 84 lbs.|
|10 lbs.||100 lbs.||50 to 120 lbs.|
|12 lbs.||120 lbs.||60 to 144 lbs.|
|15 lbs.||150 lbs.||75 to 180 lbs.|
|17 lbs.||170 lbs.||85 to 194 lbs.|
|20 lbs.||200 lbs.||100 to 240 lbs.|
|22 lbs.||220 lbs.||110 to 264 lbs.|
|25 lbs.||250 lbs.||125 to 300 lbs.|
|30 lbs.||300 lbs.||150 to 360 lbs.|
Keep in mind that weight loss or gain can affect how comfortable your weighted blanket feels.
These are estimated ranges based on a general consensus among weighted blanket users. To determine your ideal blanket heft, test out a few models with differing weights to see what feels most comfortable.
What Size Should I Get?
You may be a bit limited in sizing options for your weighted blanket. Many models come with the same width and length measurements regardless of which weight you select. For others, you’ll be able to choose from a broader selection of sizes, such as twin, full, queen, and king. Kid-friendly child sizes may also be available, depending on the seller.
Although this is not always the case, some heavier weighted blankets are wider and/or longer than their lighter counterparts. Most weighted blankets are designed for single person use, so twin is the most common size offered by manufacturers. A common size for larger weighted blankets is 60 inches wide by 80 inches long, which corresponds to a queen size mattress.
How Do You Clean a Weighted Blanket?
How to clean a weighted blanket depends entirely on that specific model. Weighted blankets generally fall into one of the following categories for cleaning and care:
- Machine wash and dry: Every component of the blanket – including the inner shell that contains the weighted materials – can be washed and dried in a household machine. These models usually come with detailed laundering instructions about water temperature, acceptable cleaning agents, and drying heat level.
- Machine wash, not dry: Some weighted blankets can be washed in a machine as a whole, but should be air dried rather than machine dried.
- Machine wash cover only: For these blankets, you’ll need to separate the inner shell housing the beads or pellets from its outer cover. Unless the care instructions say otherwise, you can wash and dry the cover in a machine. Spot-cleaning with water and mild detergent is usually advised for the inner shell.
- Spot or dry clean only: Avoid using a household machine to wash or dry these blankets. This can permanently damage the outer and inner materials.
Always consult the care instructions tag that comes with your blanket before cleaning it. Also, keep in mind you won’t be able to return the blanket for a refund if it is stained or soiled (assuming the seller allows returns in the first place).