Learn how to choose a weighted blanket, what size and weight to buy and if you would benefit from weighted therapy.
Weighted blankets live up to their name as heavier alternatives to ordinary blankets. However, they are not just that, these extra comfy blankets are a wonderful, beneficial addition to your sleeping routine. Weighted blankets use the same technique as deep tissue massaging, called deep pressure therapy (DPT).
The weight works by applying pressure on the body to stimulate serotonin production. Serotonin is often dubbed as the chemical responsible for happiness and calmness. Its pressure sensation, almost similar to receiving a giant hug, helps release oxytocin in the body.
These blankets enhance deep sleep. The release of oxytocin slows heart rate, reduces blood pressure ,and calms the body, enticing it to sleep quickly and soundly.
Also, serotonin may develop to melatonin and help the body relax and sleep better. As they’re filled with various things such as pellets, glass beads or sand. People opt for a variety of options, duvet-like blankets, softer materials as cotton, etc, depending on their preferences.
No wonder why weighted blankets and people battling anxiety become best friends so fast. These blankets have shown great results with anxiety, Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Restless Leg Syndrome, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
How to Choose the Perfect Weighted Blanket
There are 3 main points to consider when choosing a weighted blanket. They are:
#1: How Heavy Should a Weighted Blanket Be?
The weight of a weighted blanket should be around 10% of your body weight.
|Body Weight||Weighted Blanket Weight|
|100-120 lbs||10-12 lbs|
|120-140 lbs||12-14 lbs|
|140-160 lbs||14-16 lbs|
|160-180 lbs||16-18 lbs|
|180-200 lbs||18-20 lbs|
|200-220 lbs||20-22 lbs|
Use this calculator if you’d prefer this guide in kg.
For children some guides recommend that the ideal way to calculate the best blanket size is by multiplying your body weight by 10% + 1 or 2 lbs.
For example, children whose body weight ranges between 30-40 lbs (and aged between 2-6 years) should use a 5-lbs blanket.
* Please note: always supervise children when using a weighted blanket.
#2: What Size of Weighted Blanket is Best?
Each blanket is best suited for individual usage and comes in various shapes: one piece, part of a set, embedded layers, extra soft covers,and so on.
The blanket should cover you from neck to toe easily. The most common blankets sizes in the market are 42” x 74” and 55” x 74”.
Size isn’t as important as weight however. As long as it adequately covers you and you’re happy with the size, I’d go with that.
It can be beneficial to go for a slightly larger size than normal, as a lot of weighted blankets are made a little small.
#3: What Is the Best Fabric to Use?
It’s never a bad idea to get a blanket made entirely from natural fabrics such as cotton. This is a pro tip for people who have hot flashes at night, have body temperature issues, or are simply allergic to synthetic fabrics.
Organic blankets are also available made entirely of organic materials.
Who Should Use a Weighted Blankets?
Weighted blankets are a great tool to overcome negative emotions, anxiety, and symptoms of more serious challenges such as ADHD. Deep pressure therapy helps deal with emotions better.
The Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) has stated that around 40 million people suffer from anxiety in the U.S. Anxiety disorders count as the most common mental illness nationwide affecting 18.1% of the population every year.
The organization has also highlighted that 7.7 million adults in the U.S. face symptoms of PTSD. Most of the strugglers have been triggered by incidents of rape and childhood sexual abuse. The statistics are slightly inclining towards women.
According to the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine Trusted Source, the grounding produced through using weighted blankets can effectively stimulate cortisol secretion and help it maintain its natural 24-hour circadian rhythms. The production of cortisol considerably improves a person’s quality of sleep and helps them overcome stress, insomnia and pain more easily.
Not only that, weighted blankets have been proven to enhance focus among students. Doctors advise parents to integrate these blankets into the lives of their autistic children. They help them maintain a sense of calm when dealing with all the noises and visuals around them, and prevent them from being overwhelmed with frustration.
The mechanism is simple. Weighted blankets reduce self-stimulation behaviours such as repetition of a physical movement, sounds, words, or objects. Therefore, a weighted blanket assists with overcoming children’s upsets and lack of focus, thus, better sleep and less anxiety.
Summary: Choosing Your Blanket
If you follow the three steps of weight, size and fabric you should easily be able to choose your weighted blanket without any problems. The only thing you’ll have to worry about is the style!