A few years ago, weighted blankets were just a fad item. Now, they’re everywhere, with more than two dozen companies manufacturing them.
These blankets are typically weighted with plastic pellets or grains of rice or buckwheat and can weigh anywhere from four to 25 pounds.
This filling makes them heavier than standard blankets. The idea is that this extra weight makes you feel secure, as if you’re being held or hugged. It calms you down and helps you sleep.
Why should I use a weighted blanket?
Anyone can benefit from a weighted blanket, but they’re particularly good for people who tend to sleep fitfully. The blanket presses gently on the sleeper, keeping them still.
And the pressure created by the blanket lowers the body’s level of cortisol, the chief stress hormone, while boosting production of serotonin, the happiness hormone.
Most of the benefits of a weighted blanket stem from “deep pressure stimulation,” which is the same type of pressure babies feel when they’re swaddled. It’s why you might have seen weighted blankets referred to as “pressure blankets.”
Studies have shown that the pressure from these blankets gives sleepers feelings of comfort, relaxation and safety. People have reported less anxiety after using weighted blankets.
Other benefits include the following:
- Weighted blankets have been shown to improve focus in people with ADHD.
- They ease symptoms of people with restless leg syndrome.
- They help with fibromyalgia pain.
- People with post-traumatic stress disorder reported feeling less anxious and stressful after sleeping with a weighted blanket.
- Weighted blankets aren’t just for the human members of your family. People with dogs will use them to calm their pets during thunderstorms or firework displays.
However, much of this research has been industry-funded, as WebMD points out. One study found that after two weeks of using a weighted blanket, 31 people with moderate insomnia enjoyed a calmer sleep with less movement.
Another study looked at 32 people who slept with weighted blankets and found that more than half of them had less anxiety, while 78 percent preferred the weighted blanket as a way to calm themselves.
How do I choose the right weighted blanket?
How much weight should a weighted blanket provide? A good rule of thumb is to pick something that’s between 10 and 15 percent of your body weight. A person weighing 150 lbs. would therefore need a 15 to 22 lb. blanket.
Be sure the blanket is laid out flat across the bed, so that the weight is distributed evenly. And use caution: The 10-15 percent rule is only for adults. Kids should get weighted blankets that are 10 percent of their weight plus a pound or two. Weighted blankets are not at all safe for babies.
Parents should be careful when giving weighted blankets to kids, as they can present a choking hazard. It’s a good idea to consult with your pediatrician before getting a weighted blanket for a child.
It’s also important to pay attention to sleep hygiene, says Dr. Jennifer Poon of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Section on Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics. That means no caffeine before bed, avoiding screen time in the evening, and sleeping in a dark room.
“If those other things are not in order,” Poon told WebMD, “I am not sure a weighted blanket is going to make a difference in your sleep.”
InnStyle knows the value of a good night’s sleep and knows how much that matters to our customers. It’s why we’re dedicated to providing only the most comfortable bedding and mattresses.
Contact our sales team at 1-800-877-4667 to learn more.