Weighted blankets have become a new sensation because of their ability to manage stress, anxiety, and insomnia. Many people who suffer from lack of sleep and other related abnormalities have benefited from this wonderful product. However, a weighted blanket comes at a cost, hence learning how to choose the best-weighted blanket is out of the question.
Weighted blankets cost an arm and a leg. With the shift in market dynamics where most things are purchased online, it is apparent that trying out a weighted blanket before a purchase is almost impossible. This complicates the whole process because the usage of a weighted blanket is restricted to specific weight and size depending on the user. Adding in user preferences and comfort further complicates the acquisition process.
It is apparent that before shopping for a weighted blanket, users should know the key factors that need to be considered.
But first, what are weighted blankets?
Weighted blankets are simply blankets that have an extra weight added onto them so as to exert pressure on the body. These extra weights are fastened in between a fabric.
The weighted blankets are not new. They have been used by occupational therapists as a prescription for people with sensory-related symptoms. The benefits of a weighted blanket numerous and can be enjoyed by anyone with sleep-related disorders.
A weighted blanket is not just an oversized comforter or quilt. It is a normal blanket that has several pockets filled with weights. The weights used include micro glass beads, plastic poly pellets, steel shot beads, sand, and grains.
The individual pockets have an equal amount of filler material and are sewn together to avoid the spillage. The pockets ensure that the weights are evenly distributed across the blanket stimulating a uniform effect on the body.
The weight from the filler material in the weighted blanket exerts pressure on the pressure points on the skin causing a calming effect. This pressure recreates a warm hug or massage. The pressure points create a calming effect on the nervous system hence managing anxiety and sensory-related disorders. The calming effect also encourages the body to fall asleep faster.
Weighted blanket use also improves sleep because the deep touch pressure that it exerts on the sensory system stimulates the production of serotonin, a ‘happy hormone’. Serotonin aids in the production of melatonin which is the hormone responsible for sleep.
An increase in the level of melatonin guarantees a good night’s sleep. It also helps to restore the body’s circadian rhythm.
The use of a weighted blanket is also reported to result in feeling refreshed in the morning hours after waking up. This feeling can be directly attributed to sufficient amounts of melatonin in the brain.
Before you choose the best-weighted blanket, what should you consider?
It is evident that a weighted blanket has a lot of benefits for the body and the mind. However, without a proper mechanism of choosing the best-weighted blanket to purchase, the benefits may never be realized. Therefore, it is important that the following considerations be made before purchasing a weighted blanket.
Getting the best weight for a weighted blanket is key
The first question that lingers in the consumer’s mind when choosing the best-weighted blanket is ‘how heavy should it be?’
This can be a hard question to answer straight-forwardly, but some rules come into play. A common rule of thumb that is used across the industry is the 10% rule.
General Rule of Thumb: The Ten Percent Rule
A generally accepted guide for getting the weight of the weighted blanket is using ten percent of the weight of the body. Depending on the level of comfort of the user, the weight can be adjusted by adding or subtracting a pound or two until the user is comfortable. This ‘rule’ just provides a starting point from where the actual weight can be determined but does not necessarily mean that what is obtained is the final weight for the weighted blanket.
The weighted blanket works optimally when the right weight is obtained. At this point, the body feels comfortable and the right conditions for sleep are maintained. However, choosing the wrong weight makes it uncomfortable for the body hence resulting in counter-productive results.
Striking the balance between the weight of a weighted blanket and the comfort required by the body is often a daunting experience. However, the ten percent plus or minus two rule has worked on many occasions. For others, there is need for trying out for some time until a perfect match is obtained.
The ten percent rule recommended by the manufacturers is backed by safety reasons. However, consumers have reported that adding a pound or two to the initial ten percent weight enhances the benefits from the weighted blanket.
Weighted Blanket Weight Chart
Even though the general rule that is used to determine the weight of a weighted blanket is the ten percent rule, general deviations from this rule are permissible. Various researches have been done and a weighted blanket weight chart has been developed as a guide to consumers on what weight they should adopt. The weight chart gives a comprehensive body weight versus the weight of the weighted blanket that will be comfortable for the consumer. This is given in ranges as shown in the table below.
|Body Weight||Weighted Blanket Weight|
|20 lbs – 40 lbs||3 lbs – 6 lbs|
|30 lbs – 50 lbs||4 lbs – 7lbs|
|50 lbs – 70 lbs||6 lbs – 9 lbs|
|70 lbs – 90 lbs||8 lbs – 10 lbs|
|90 lbs – 110 lbs||9 lbs – 11 lbs|
|110 lbs – 120 lbs||11 lbs – 12 lbs|
|120 lbs – 140 lbs||12 lbs – 13 lbs|
|140 lbs – 160 lbs||13 lbs – 14 lbs|
|160 lbs – 180 lbs||14 lbs – 16 lbs|
|180 lbs – 200 lbs||18 lbs – 20 lbs|
Blanket Weight Rule for the Old and Weak
The use of a weighted blanket but the sick, old, or the weak should be strictly upon the occupational therapist’s recommendations. This is because of the risks involved with the extra weight imposed on their weak bodies. However, if it is necessary that they use a weighted blanket, the ten percent rule described above will not apply.
The bodies of the weak cannot withstand the extra weight from the weighted blanket. Therefore, as you choose for them the best-weighted blanket, their recommended weight should be less than what a healthy person would use. Their use should be under close monitoring for any difficulties in breathing or profuse sweating. Upon any signs of struggle to breathe, the weighted blanket should be withdrawn immediately and a much lighter blanket used or avoided completely.
Blanket Weight Rule for Couples Sharing
Couples share so many things and it only makes sense for them to share a weighted blanket. This is a common thing and questions regarding couples sharing a weighted blanket are among the hardest to tackle.
The sharing of weighted blankets is not encouraged. However, couples can share a weighted blanket provided that there isn’t a huge difference between their weights. This ensures that both feel comfortable and they get maximum benefits of the weighted blanket.
As couples choose the best-weighted blanket to use, they should take into consideration the ten percent rule. However, in this case, the sum of the weight of the two couples or people sharing is used to determine the weight of the weighted blanket. Therefore, if the combined weight for the couples is 200 lbs, the weighted blanket will be between 18 – 20 lbs. But the catch is, both of the couples should feel comfortable covering their bodies with the weighted blanket.
Your Safety Comes First
Weighted blankets have huge benefits for people with sleep-related disorders. However, their side effects are equally disastrous if proper guidelines are not followed while using them. Safety while sleeping is a priority that should never be ignored when making a choice for the best-weighted blanket to buy.
The most vulnerable and the most susceptible to weighted blanket risks are children, the old, and the sick.
Children are the most vulnerable
Children under the age of two or less than 20 pounds should never use a weighted blanket. A child below the age of two has low motor skills that enable them to instinctively react to a change in their environment as they sleep. They may not be able to move the blanket if they become extremely hot or uncover their face if the weighted blanket accidentally covers them as they sleep.
Parents co-sleeping with their children should never be tempted to cover them with their weighted blanket. This doesn’t matter how old the child is, but as long as their body size does not correspond to the weight of the weighted blanket, then they shouldn’t attempt to cover themselves in.
Parents should also avoid restraining their children using a weighted blanket. For effective use, the user of the weighted blanket should be willing to use it and always feel comfortable. However, using a weighted blanket as a tool to restrain a child may cause anxiety which leads to insomnia, hence being counterproductive.
Children with underlying conditions, special needs, and developmental delays should not use a weighted blanket unless expressly recommended by their Occupational Therapist. This is because a weighted blanket is not a universal solution to sleep-related problems, but provides a complementary solution to the doctor’s treatment. Using the weighted blanket as a solution may worsen their condition instead of helping to alleviate it.
The elderly and the sick are equally vulnerable
How to choose the best-weighted blanket for the elderly and the sick is yet another challenge that is often difficult to solve. The sick and the elderly are generally weak, hence using a weighted blanket might be counterproductive to them.
It is recommended that the sick and the elderly should not use a weighted blanket unless it is a direct recommendation from their caregiver. However, should it be deemed necessary that they use one, the choice should be made to ensure that the weighted blanket is not too heavy for them. Their use should also be under close monitoring from an adult to ensure that they do not experience difficulties in breathing or turning.
A perfect choice of a weighted blanket comes in the right size
Weighted blankets have been designed in variety of sizes and dimensions. Each company that manufactures weighted blankets have custom sizes for their products, and this varies greatly depending on the use and customer preferences.
Determining the weight of a weighted blanket is simple because of the ten percent rule. Similarly, determining the size of the weighted blanket has its own measuring technique. A common method in use is the Chin-to-Feet Rule. Another method of determining the size of the weighted blanket is whether the weighted blanket will be used to cover the upper body or lower body. The purpose of the weighted blanket also plays a major role in choosing the best size to buy.
Before you choose a weighted blanket to buy, it is best to know that a weighted blanket is never used to cover the face or the head. A weighted blanket should cover the body from the chin to the feet.
The chin-to-Feet rule has been adopted to mean that the length of the weighted blanket should roughly the length from your chin to the feet. There should be no extra blanket hanging from your feet. This ensures that the weighted blanket effectively benefits your body.
The width of the weighted blanket should also fit your body and should never go past the edges of your bed or the mattress. The goal is to have a higher percentage of the weighted blanket covering your body. There should be no extra blanket hanging over your body.
Most of the people fail to realize the full benefits of the weighted blanket because they shop for larger blankets that hang over their bed. The weighted blanket is not meant for your mattress, but for your body. Given the high cost associated with the blanket, wasting even an inch on the bed means a lot of money wasted on acquiring the weighted blanket.
Therefore, before you choose your next weighted blanket, measure your height from the chin to the fit. Also, take the measurements of your width giving a small allowance, but slightly less than your mattress’ width. This will guarantee that you get a perfectly fitting weighted blanket that serves its purpose.
Upper Body and Lower Body
Despite the fact that weighted blankets were designed to cover the body from chin to fit, this is not usually the case. Some people prefer to cover the upper body only. This means covering the body from the chin to the knees.
Covering the upper body only produces the same results of stimulating pressure points and causing a calming effect. People suffering from the symptoms of anxiety, insomnia, and restlessness at night but don’t want the entire weight of a weighted blanket upon them can benefit from this experience.
On some other occasions, consumers would prefer covering their lower body only, from feet to abdomen. This is particularly common with people suffering from Restless Legs Syndrome and it also helps with increasing blood circulation to the legs and the lower abdomen.
Individuals suffering from Restless Legs Syndrome may find it beneficial to cover their whole body with a weighted blanket. However, in situations where the weighted blanket feels too heavy for them, they can still adopt the lower body weighted blanket and benefit from it.
Weighted Blanket Purpose
Individuals can also choose a weighted blanket based on the purpose that they intend to put the blanket to. Weighted blankets are generally heavy. Therefore, if it’s intended purpose is to be used while in motion, a smaller in size weighted blanket would rather be chosen. The good thing is that manufacturers have different sizes of weighted blankets meant for moving around with it, and some have been designed to be worn over the body for easy mobility.
Some individuals also experience anxiety and restlessness while on the planes. If this problem lasts the entire flight, the thought of taking a flight would always be a nightmare for them. These people can benefit from a weighted blanket draped on their bodies to instill calmness. Some weighted blankets have been designed to be extremely small in size but still carry their anticipated weight, hence making it easier to use it in a plane or carry it around.
Making the right choice of the weighted blanket depending on the purpose of the use is an important step while purchasing a weighted blanket. A weighted blanket meant for sleeping can be cumbersome to use it on the couch while reading or watching TV. Equally the same weighted blanket meant to be used while traveling on a plane can be less effective when used in bed. Therefore, a choice made based on purpose is equally important like any other considerations made while choosing the best-weighted blanket.
Choose the right weighted blanket based on the fabric material
Weighted blankets are made from a variety of fabric material as seen in the best fabric for weighted blankets. The different fabric materials include cotton, flannel, fleece, satin, acrylic, polyester among others. Just like it is important to choose the right size of a weighted blanket, so is the right fabric, but this is highly tied to one’s preference.
Even though preference plays a bigger role in choosing the weighted blanket fabric, other factors come into play.
Temperature preferences as a determinant of fabric
Temperature is the key consideration when it comes to weighted blanket choice based fabric. Those people who love warm temperatures and usually bundle themselves up in heavy blankets and warm pyjamas would be good with a fabric that holds heat. These fabrics include fleece and flannel.
Conversely, those who prefer cool temperatures and do well with light blankets and sheets would be better off with a highly breathable fabric. This could be due to hormonal changes and profuse sweating at night. Lightweight cotton and other cooling fabric like bamboo fabric will be a better option to go with.
Seasons change and we experience summer and winter within the same year. This could be a challenge if one type of weighted blanket is selected that favors one weather condition. A good practice is to have a warm weighted blanket for summer and a cooling weighted blanket for winter. However, this may have high financial implications.
Skin sensitivity also determines the fabric type chosen
Another factor to be considered when choosing a weighted blanket based on fabric is the level of sensitivity of the skin. Some people may have allergic reactions to a given fabric. In most cases, individuals with highly sensitive skin would be best suited with fabric made from organic material such as cotton and wool. This ensures that the fabric has no chemical content which would lead to allergic reactions.
There is no preferred fabric? No problem
On rare occasions, you may fail to get the best fabric that suits you. A duvet cover made from the preferred material would come in handy. The duvet cover will cover the weighted blanket hence you don’t have direct contact with it. The only problem with a duvet cover is that it means more financial obligations and may subsequently increase the weight of the weighted blanket.
A sensory-friendly sheet can also do the job quite well. In this case, the sheet is placed under the weighted blanket so that it is in between the body and the blanket. This way, the sheet will prevent the weighted blanket from coming into contact with the skin, but allow the weighted blanket to stimulate the sensory nerves of the skin.
Choose the right weighted blanket based on the filler material used
The filler material also plays an important role when choosing a weighted blanket. Weighted blankets get their highly desired weight from the fillers used. Several types of filler are available in the market with some being organic and others inorganic. These different types of filler have their own strengths and weaknesses, hence should not be selected blindly.
Plastic poly-pellets are the most common filler types. They are tiny, round pellets made from pure plastic that have not been exposed to any toxic chemicals. These materials serve well as filler for a weighted blanket. However, they tend to be noisy if they are not fastened well to the weighted blanket fabric.
Another common and high quality filler material is the glass beads. These are also minute crystals that resemble salt crystals and work well because of their weight. However, they come at a cost hence weighted blankets filled with glass beads tend to be expensive.
Sand is another filler option available. Despite the fact that sand is not expensive, it does not work well when it comes into contact with water. Sand tends to swell and become lumpy when washed, hence making it hard to maintain. The look and feel of the weighted blanket made from sand can be affected so much when washed.
Other filler options come from organic material like rice, barley, beans, etc. this offers a cheap option for the DIY enthusiasts. However, organic filler materials pose a challenge of maintenance. The only sure materials that are great for filling weighted blankets are the glass beads and the plastic poly-pellets.
Weighted blankets filler options are readily available and can be purchased from any vendor. Before making a choice on which weighted blanket to buy, consider its filler material.
Weighted blanket cover can be the greatest differential
A weighted blanket cover is a necessity that needs to be considered while buying a weighted blanket. The cover comes in handy especially if the weighted blanket is used on a daily basis. It keeps the weighted blanket clean hence lengthening its durability.
Most of the manufacturers provide a weighted blanket and its cover as a set. This makes it cheaper in the long run. However, on other occasions, the weighted blanket cover has to be purchased separately.
Just like a weighted blanket, a blanket cover has its own effect like temperature control and skin sensitivity. That means that the fabric has to be chosen well. However, if excellent work was done in selecting a good fabric for the weighted blanket, picking a fabric for a blanket cover shouldn’t be a problem.
Purchasing a weighted blanket separately means that its cost will be high. Some people opt for making their own blanket cover to cut on costs. However, the quality might not be as good as the purchased blanket cover. In the long run, it might become expensive to maintain.
Buying a weighted blanket cover separately should be dreaded carefully. This is because apart from being expensive, it might increase the total weight of a weighted blanket.
You also have an option when it comes to the cost of a weighted blanket
Weighted blankets are significantly more expensive than normal blankets. However, they should be considered an investment because of the medical therapies associated with it.
Weighted blankets are used to treat anxiety, insomnia, ADHD, restless legs syndrome among other conditions. The lack of sleep has been linked to other fatal diseases such as stroke, hypertension, obesity, etc. It is the lack of sleep that has also been touted as the leading cause of accidents in the USA.
The cost of a weighted blanket compared to the costs of treating conditions that result from insomnia is insignificant. It will take a few doctor’s appointments for the amount equivalent to the cost of the blanket to be consumed.
A good night sleep can never be compromised by a few bucks.
Weighted blanket costs range from $50 to an upwards of $200. The fact that the cost of a weighted blanket is insignificant compared to the cost of treating associated conditions, that does not mean that Americans should spend an arm and a leg on a weighted blanket. Informed decisions should be made before choosing the best weighted blanket to buy.
The cost of the weighted blankets is normally determined by the fabric and filler used. Organic materials are the most expensive. The cost is also determined by the size of the blanket, with the smaller one being cheaper than the bigger blanket.
Start with the manufacturers who offer trial periods for testing out the weighted blanket before buying. Also, look out for manufacturers who offer money-back guarantees in case you buy a weighted blanket that doesn’t fit your needs.
Finally, look out for opportunities where your weighted blanket could be covered by insurance. Talk to your doctor and ask for a possibility of prescribing a weighted blanket, hence cutting on your expenditure.
Does quality influence the type of weighted blanket you choose?
Quality determines the type of weighted blanket that you choose. A good quality ensures that one is able to get maximum benefits from the blanket. A weighted blanket is not a luxury tool but a medical tool hence high quality standards are necessary.
The type of fabric chosen and the filler material hugely impacts the quality of the weighted blanket. Filler materials like glass beads and plastic polly-pellets are of high quality unlike organic materials like grains and sand. Similarly, organic fabric material like bamboo and cotton will have a significantly high quality when compared to inorganic material like acrylic.
Manufacturers also determine the quality of a weighted blanket to a great extent. Different manufacturers have different quality standards within their organization. Before you choose a manufacturer, consider reviews of their weighted blankets and their quality culture.
While choosing a manufacturer, also consider the money-back guarantee that they offer. Check also if they offer a trial period. A good manufacturer will give a money-back guarantee of at least 15 days.
Where to buy the best-weighted blanket
After doing all the due diligence, the last thing to do is to go for your weighted blanket. However, getting a good place to buy your chosen weighted blanket may not be that simple.
The rising popularity of the weighted blankets has invited many vendors who want to get a share from the sales. In the process, several substandard products have made their way into the market. That means that due diligence of where to buy a weighted blanket should be made.
With the rise of online stores, getting a perfect place to buy a weighted blanket is no longer a hustle. A good store can be determined with a click of a button.
Some of the most reputable online stores include Amazon, Walmart, eBay among others. Most of the manufacturers have also ventured into online stores, hence buying it directly from them is possible. There is a possibility that the selected brand of a weighted blanket can be acquired online. Mosaic Weighted Blankets, Gravity Blankets, BlanQuil, and YnM Weighted Blankets are all available online.
The problem with online stores is that you won’t get a chance to try it out. You will also have to keep up with waiting for your order for up to a week. Always ensure that you read online reviews and recommendations before you settle on an online store. Also, select stores that offer a money-back guarantee.
If an online search for a store leads you to a store nearby, take some time, and visit them. The advantage of brick-and-mortar stores is that you have attendants with knowledge on the products they sell and they will be willing to guide you on how to use and their advantages. With a physical store, you get a feel of the weighted blanket before you commit to buy.
Never forget the maintenance cost
Weighted blankets come with its maintenance cost. Different fabrics and filler materials used demand different levels of care necessary. Some weighted blankets can be easily washed on a machine wash while others will require hand-washing.
The weight and the size of a weighted blanket determines how it will be washed. Large and heavy weighted blankets will be hard to wash in a machine wash and may require the help of a laundromat.
Frequent washing of weighted blankets deteriorates them. This can be avoided with the help of a duvet cover. Washing frequently can also be avoided by keeping the weighted blanket as clean as possible. That means that you should avoid using it in places where they are susceptible to dirt. This includes using it while sitting on a couch, eating while covered with it, using it to cover the bed, etc.
Weighted blankets have a lot of advantages when it comes to treating sleep related disorders. This has made weighted blankets extremely popular. Their popularity has brought with it a challenge of so many brands most of which don’t meet the required quality. A common challenge facing most of the consumers is how to choose the best weighted blanket that meets quality and is within their budget.
Before you choose a weighted blanket, consider what purpose it is meant to serve. Will it be used to treat a condition or is it generally as a preference? Is it intended to cover part of the body or the whole body?
Consider the type of fabric and the filler option that the weighted blanket is made of. What conditions will the weighted blanket be used in? Should it be warm or it should be able to cool the body?
Budget is also key when choosing a weighted blanket. Consider the maximum amount that you need to spend and whether a weighted blanket cover should be purchased separately.
Finally, as you choose your weighted blanket, consider how easy or hard it will be to maintain it. Some weighted blankets require extreme care while others are easy to clean and care for it.
These are the major considerations that need to be made before choosing a weighted blanket. A weighted blanket is a health investment and hence should be effective and durable. It should benefit the user instead of worsening their conditions.