What is a Weighted Blanket and How does it Work? (A Beginners Guide)

Sleepless nights are no longer a problem thanks to the weighted blankets, the latest craze in the world. Well, these blankets are the best solution for people dealing with anxiety, autism, ADHD, osteoarthritis, chronic pain, insomnia, and other sleep disorders. At the most, weighted blankets are intended to assist individuals in feeling calm and relaxed while they sleep.

Let us go more deep into it to know about its construction, how weighted blankets work, and what are the benefits and risks of using these therapeutic blankets.

What is a Weighted Blanket?

weighted blanket

Weighted blankets are also referred to as gravity blankets, pressure blankets, and even heavy therapy blankets.

Like the name, the weighted blankets are typically heavier blankets than the regular blankets. In appearance, these blankets resemble a regular blanket, but the construction differs. It is usually made of a soft fabric such as cotton or polyester and often includes small weights such as stones, plastic pellets, glass beads, rice, beans, and sometimes even small rubber balls.

The specialty of these blankets is that they offer similar benefits like deep pressure therapy. And so, when you cover yourself with a weighted blanket while sleeping, you will feel like being hugged or swaddled. Thus, it makes you feel calm and relaxed and gives you a comfortable, restful sleep.

How does a Weighted Blanket Work?

As we have discussed above, a weighted blanket is a special type of blanket that mimics the benefits of deep touch pressure therapy. The Deep touch pressure therapy promotes the release of oxytocin and provides comfort to an individual suffering from anxiety or insomnia.

The weighted blankets also increase the amount of dopamine and serotonin in the user’s brain. Thus, they feel a sense of calm, happiness, and well-being from these feel-good chemicals.

In a nutshell, sleeping under a weighted blanket not only improves sleep quality but also helps to lower stress and ease anxiety.

Weighted Blanket Benefits

Disadvantages of Weighted Blankets

  • These are expensive than the normal blankets or comforters.
  • Requires extra care while cleaning
  • If you are a hot sleeper, sometimes they cause more discomfort.
  • Since they are heavy, they are not meant for traveling purposes.
  • Sometimes it may cause discomfort when using it for the first time. It may take a few days or weeks to get used to.

Risk of Using Weighted Blankets

  • Weighted blankets are unsuitable for people with certain medical conditions, like chronic respiratory problems, circulatory problems, asthma, type 2 diabetes, low blood pressure, etc.
  • People with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) should avoid weighted blankets, as the weight may restrict airflow, causing discomfort while sleeping.
  • Do not use weighted blankets if you have sensitive or weak joints.

Safety Tips for Children Using Weighted Blankets

  • A weighted blanket should only be used by a child after consulting with a healthcare professional.
  • Make sure that the child using a weighted blanket is capable enough to put it on and remove it on their own.
  • Children should use the weighted blankets of their size only. They should avoid using large-size or adult weighted blankets.
  • It is strictly prohibited not to use weighted blankets for infants or children less than three years.

Weighted Blankets Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Who will benefit from a weighted blanket?
The use of a weighted blanket may benefit all types of sleepers, especially those who suffer from excessive stress or who have certain medical conditions. Generally, the weighted blankets offer therapeutic benefits for those suffering from anxiety, depression, autism, insomnia, or other sleeping disorders.
2. Why should I buy one?
The benefits of having a weighted blanket include improved quality of sleep, reduced stress levels, increased energy level, better mood, and overall feeling of well-being. So, buying one is really helpful to get quality sleep.
3. Are Weighted blankets safe to use?
Yes! The weighted blankets have been tested extensively and found to be completely safe. However, we recommend consulting a doctor before purchasing a weighted blanket.
4. How heavy should a weighted blanket be?
It is recommended that you must use a weighted blanket that is ten percent of your body weight and if you are not sure, start with a lighter weight. However, it is suggested to consult a physician or occupational therapist if you need a blanket for medical reasons.
If you are supposed to buy the weighted blanket for children, it is important to follow the guidelines suggested by occupational therapists and then invest in the correct weight. This will protect the child from feeling “trapped” under a blanket.
5. How large should a weighted blanket be?
As a general rule of thumb, a weighted blanket should be sized to fit your body and your bed. The weighted blankets come in different dimensions and bedding sizes, including twin, full, queen, and king. Therefore, it is recommended to buy a weighted blanket that is the same size or larger than you.
6. Are weighted blankets safe for kids?
Generally, the weighted blankets are safe for children over the age of 3 if they are provided with the right weight and size of the blankets. However, if the child is suffering from any risk factors like asthma, or other breathing disorders, using the weighted blanket may be risky. Better to consult the physician before buying a weighted blanket for your kids.
7. What are cooling Weighted Blankets?
It is worth it to invest in cooling weighted blankets if you are a hot sleeper. Cooling weighted blankets are made up of high-quality breathable fabric that redistributes your moisture and vents you at night; thus, you sleep peacefully.
8. How long does it take to get used to sleeping with a weighted blanket?
If you are a new user, it is very important to allow your body to adjust to the additional weight of the blanket with ease. Most of the users feel uncomfortable in starting, so it is recommended to use the weighted blankets for a shorter period of time while your body adjusts. Generally, it takes 14-21 days to get used to sleeping with a weighted blanket.
9. How to clean and wash the weighted blanket?
You must follow the different care and wash guidelines available on the tag on your blanket, the owner’s manual, or the manufacturer’s website. However, cleaning depends on the construction material, including cotton, polyester, rayon, wool, or another material, and whether the fill contains glass beads, plastic pellets, or organic materials. Thus, choose the correct wash and care option needed.

Well, you can wash your weighted blanket either in a washing machine or by hand, depending upon the wash and care instructions.

10. How to choose the right weighted blanket?
Choosing the right weighted blanket depends upon various factors like your medical condition, its size, and weight, construction material, price, etc. We recommend reading our complete buying guide on choosing the right weighted blanket.

Conclusion

That’s all on weighted blankets. Hope the information we have provided is sufficient enough to guide you through buying the right weighted blanket for yourself. Feel free to share your thoughts and feedback; we would love to hear from you.

Reviewed by Swapnil
Expert Author Swapnil

Swapnil is the leading reviewer for home and kitchen products with over five years of experience. She writes reviews for the readers of OneReview. She reviews products in a straightforward manner by extensively studying, analyzing, comparing, and then reviewing them in depth. This enables the reader to understand the value of the product they are looking for, and then buy it with confidence.View all posts by Swapnil.

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