Wondering what a weighted blanket is? You’re not the only one! Weighted blankets have suddenly become very popular, and for good reason.
Weighted blankets promise to help you sleep better by relieving emotional anxiety, calming your nervous system and increasing serotonin levels in your brain.
What is a Weighted Blanket?
Okay, you might hear the term weighted blanket and think of weights hanging off the sides of a blanket. Or think of a very heavy blanket that covers you and doesn’t allow you to move well.
A weighted blanket can be very comfortable. It is just like a thick comforter or duvet.
The difference is that it’s two layers sewn together to look like a traditional blanket. In-between the two layers are small little weights, usually plastic or tiny glass beads, that disperse a weight evenly through every part of the weighted blanket.
The tiny weights stay in place because of a grid pattern used to sew the two layers together. So you don’t have to worry about waking up and having a pile of plastic beads weighing down one side of your blanket.
All of the weights will stay in place all night long.
What Are the Benefits of a Weighted Blanket?
Weighted blankets are thought to mimic being held by someone in the middle of the night. It’s meant to feel like a hug or a cuddle.
A weighted blanket is thought to be especially beneficial to kids and adults with autism or sensory processing disorder. Because a heavy blanket offers deep touch and pressure without the challenges of receiving physical touch from others.
Deep touch pressure is beneficial to your body’s proprioceptive sense. Proprioception is know as the “safe sense” for your body. When this sense is stimulated in your brain from receptors on your body, it is thought that you will feel calmer, soothed and less anxious.
In a study about how weighted blankets can affect your health, the findings were surprising:
- 33% of adults had lowered electrodermal activity, such as blood pressure and heart rate
- 63% had lower anxiety
- 78% preferred using a weighted blanket as a calming mechanism
The use of weighted blankets is becoming even more common for kids and adults dealing with:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Obsessive compulsive disorder
Even kids and adults that have not been diagnosed with autism or sensory processing disorders can also receive calming benefits from a weighted blanket. The gentle, deep pressure of a weighted blanket can calm the nervous system for any child or adult.
And a calm nervous system will result in better sleep.
Who Shouldn’t Use a Weighted Blanket?
A weighted blanket is an easy solution at home to see if you feel less anxiety and get better sleep.
But weighted blankets can alter body rhythms.
It’s always best to talk to your doctor if you have specific issues that could be aggravated by using a heavy blanket, such as being pregnant, heart or lung issues, high blood pressure or sleep apnea.
My Personal Experience with Weighted Blankets
For years, I’ve been using a weighted blanket experience without even knowing it.
When I’m at my family’s home in North Carolina, it’s cold in the winter. My bedroom is perhaps the coldest room in the house, and heat doesn’t get back there into my bedroom.
So in the purpose of thrift, and not turning up the heat in the winter time, we just piled on lots of blankets. Like lots and lots and lots of blankets.
I wold lie down at night under a pile of probably up to 10 blankets. No joke.
Yet with every blanket kept another layer of warmth. And a little bit more weight.
I probably had at least 5 – 10 lbs. of blankets on top of me at night.
And I sleep GOOD!
I always thought it was because of the cooler temperatures. But to be honest, I’m quite toasty warm under all of the blankets. Not cold.
You’ll want to find your best bedroom temperature for sleep so that you get a great night’s rest.
So maybe it has always been the steady, constant weight that I was sleeping under. I sleep soundly. And I wake up refreshed.
Also, there is a lot less thrashing around and moving in the middle of the night. If I lay down on my back, chances are I wake up still sleeping in the same position. Because it’s hard to change positions when you have that much weight laying on you. But that’s not a bad thing.
What Size Weighted Blanket Do I Need?
You may be wondering what size of a weighted blanket you should get. There are two considerations:
- Size of the blanket
- Weight of the blanket
What Size Weighted Blanket Should I Get?
First, the size is an easy answer. Get a blanket size that is perfect for those who want to sleep under a heavy blanket.
So, if you are sleeping in a king size bed, but your husband always sleeps hot and has no desire to put a heavy blanket on, then don’t force him! This is a sleeping solution for you and doesn’t need to be the sleeping solution for both partners in a bed. In that case, get a twin size weighted blanket and just keep it on your side of the bed.
What Weight Should I Get?
Weighted blankets come not only in sizes, such as Twin, Full and Queen, but also in pounds, such as 5 lbs. or 10 lbs.
Weights vary from 5 lbs. to 30 lbs. for a weighted blanket.
Obviously, the heavier the weight of the weighted blanket, then the more pressure you are going to feel as you sleep.
If you are new to using a weighted blanket, you might want to start with a smaller weight, such as 5 lbs. That way, you can see if you even like the sensation of a weighted blanket on you.
Once you know that you don’t mind a heavy weight on you while sleeping (for instance, you’re used to a loved one’s arms being on you or a pet laying on you), then you might be more comfortable with a heavier weight, such as 10 lb.
I have read that for children, you will want a weighted blanket that is 5-10% of your child’s body weight. However, it’s just a suggestion, and you should definitely go with what your child will tolerate. After all, if it’s too heavy and they throw the blanket off, there is no reason to use a weighted blanket.
In all honestly, you can just pile up tons of blankets at home to see what weight you feel comfortable with. It’s a pain trying to keep all of those blankets on a bed. Which is why you probably want to buy just one weighted blanket. But to get an idea of what weight you need, weigh a pile of blankets at home and then sleep under them for a night to see how it works.
Best Weighted Blankets 2018
What are the best rated weighted blankets for 2018?
I recommend weighted blankets that use natural materials and glass beads. Why?
Natural fabrics, such as cotton or bamboo, are more breathable. When you’re sleeping at night, it’s important to let moisture and sweat wick away as well as possible. Natural fibers allow moisture to wick away for a more cool sleep. Polyester can keep moisture trapped in.
Weights can be created by plastic beads or glass beads. In general, I don’t like the thought of bringing any more plastic into my life, even in a comforter.
Here are my picks for best rated weighted blankets with glass beads:
I like this weighted blanket because it uses material made from 100% natural bamboo viscose. And the weights are from glass beads.
It also comes in a variety of beautiful colors to match your bedroom decor, rather than detract from it.
Weights range from 5 lbs. to 25 lbs.
Using only organic cotton and glass beads, this flannel heavy blanket will keep you warm with non-toxic materials.
The glass beads used are as fine as sand. Which makes a gentle, soothing deep pressure without noise of larger beads rattling around.
With 100% natural cotton and glass beads, I like the non-toxic materials used in this heavy blanket.
Weights range from 15 – 20 lbs. Colors are dark and neutral.
This blanket is thinner than others, which means it takes up less storage room.
Support a small business on Etsy with these best selling weighted blankets.
Made with cotton and glass beads, these weighted blankets range from 5 lbs. to 22 lbs.
Yorkville also sells weighted comforters, as well.
Can You Wash A Weighted Blanket?
How do you wash a weighted blanket? Well, it’s not that easy.
Washing a Weighted Blanket
With all of the glass beads in a weighted blanket, you can see why it’s not easy to just put the blanket in a washing machine. Plus, you wouldn’t want to have the blanket in high heat in a dryer bouncing around in the dryer.
So, you can’t easily wash a weighted blanket if it’s full of pet hair, you spill a drink on it, or your child pees on it.
But it’s still got to be cleaned.
The best method to wash a weighted blanket is to do spot cleaning. You can dampen a wash cloth and rub the area until the offending spill or odor is removed. Adding soapy water will kill the germs and remove dirt and debris the best. Just be sure to thoroughly get all soap residue off of the blanket with a separate damp towel by continuously dabbing rubbing the area until no soap suds can be seen.
Killing Dust Mites
I’m a big believer in needing to frequently wash your bedding to kill dust mites, which can cause allergies.
So having a blanket that you can’t put in the washing machine to quickly and effectively kill dust mites is kind of gross to me.
BUT there are still ways to easily clean a weighted blanket even if you can’t put it in the washing machine.
The good thing is that very hot and very cold temperatures naturally kill dust mites. Since you are probably using a weighted blanket primarily when it’s very cold outside, that works in your favor.
Put your weighted blanket outside on a day when the temperatures are below freezing. Consider the following ways to keep your weighted blanket in the cold outside:
- Hang over a clothes line
- Drape over a railing
- Fold over a chair or bench outside
Keep the blanket in the freezing cold temperatures for at least a couple hours. Longer if you can. Just make sure that there is no frozen precipitation falling on the weighted blanket, such as snow, rain or sleet.
More Ways to Get Better Sleep
Sleep is so important to healthy living and better health. Without sleep, your body can’t rest or repair itself over night.
After all, your body can survive without food for almost a month, without water for almost a week, but you can’t survive with no sleep for more than a few days.
Declutter your bedroom for better sleep to detox your sleeping environment for less stress every day. These easy ways to reduce EMFs in your bedroom can also reduce your body’s stress every night and allow for more healing.
You also want to pay careful attention to why types of materials you are sleeping on. That’s why I look for weighted blankets that are made from natural fibers, such as cotton, with glass beads instead of plastic. But don’t stop with just the weighted blanket. Also look for the best organic and natural pillows and choose an organic mattress that is healthy. Some of the best affordable beds that I recommend are Sleep on Latex, Avocado Mattress and Latex for Less.
We have even more ideas on how to afford a non-toxic bed and how to make a bed more comfortable without spending tons of money. And if you’re RVing, then these are the best natural mattresses for an RV.
Finally, don’t forget about little things that help you sleep better and could make you feel better, too. Adding these best bedroom plants can remove toxins and VOCs off gassing from your bedroom and improve oxygen levels. It’s also important to darken your bedroom so that your body’s hormones work properly and get you a better night’s sleep.