What Is A Weighted Blanket?

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what is a weighted blanketWhat Is A Weighted Blanket?

Have you heard about weighted blankets yet? They are experiencing a massive surge in popularity at the moment. One brand was even honored as one of Time magazine’s best inventions of 2018. What is a weighted blanket, I hear you ask?

Well, it’s pretty much exactly what it sounds like. It’s a heavy blanket (they range from 5 lb up to around 25 lb) that gets its weight from being filled with something like small plastic or glass pellets.

Why are they so popular all of a sudden? In this article, I’ll run you through what they feel like to use, what they do, and if a weighted blanket is the magical item you never knew was missing from your life.

What Is It Made Of?

Weighted blankets usually have three layers. Those layers are:

  • An outer layer, which will vary depending on what you want from the blanket. Some feature breathable cotton, while others will have lovely soft faux mink.
  • Foam padding to soften the feel of the beads on the inner layer.
  • Small glass or plastic beads on the innermost layer of the blanket to create the weight.

They are quilted into box segments to keep the interior beading (and therefore the weight) evenly distributed throughout the blanket. It would be terrible it the weight all moved to one place as soon as you moved the blanket, wouldn’t it!

Weighted blankets come in a range of weights, use these charts to figure out which one is the best for you.

If you want to see how a weighted blanket is constructed or learn to sew one yourself, watch this short video.

what do weighted blankets do
What Does A Weighted Blanket Do?

Weighted blankets have actually been used in specialty areas of health for a number of years. Before they exploded into the mainstream, they were mostly used to help calm people with anxiety or autism.

The idea is that being under the pressure of the blanket has a calming effect. The weighted blanket is intended to provide you with a feeling of calm and security, which in turn should help you sleep better, and also move less in your sleep. You could describe it as kind of like the blanket is giving you a hug.

According to psychologists, the reason that they work is that they provide a great “in the moment comfort“. What that basically means is that by putting the blanket on and committing to doing some relaxing while you’re under it, you are bound to start feeling better. It is the same if you chose to sit down and enjoy a cup of tea while looking at a garden: it is more about choosing to do something that you believe will make you feel better, and focusing on it so that you can. Weighted blankets are therefore a great tool for self care.

You need to know that there is not much scientific evidence (apart from studies done by blanket companies) for how they actually work, so please treat them as a “nice to have” item, rather than a tool to cure you of any condition.

I actually quite like the sound of weighted blankets. I always get cold anyway, and as I sit here typing this I am wrapped up in a big down sleeping bag that makes me feel nice and cozy (it’s nearly winter here). I think a weighted blanket would be lovely to sit on the couch with, or to try out on my bed.

What Does It Feel Like To Use A Weighted Blanket?

As expected, people report that wrapping themselves in a weighted blanket feels like the blanket is giving them a hug. Some also describe it as being wrapped up in a cocoon.

If you put the blanket on your bed and use instead of a traditional comforter, you’ll likely feel nice and snuggly, but you shouldn’t feel trapped. It could be described as more of a gentle encouragement to lie still.

A general guide for choosing a weighted blanket to get these feelings from it is to choose one that weighs about 10% of your own body weight.

Weighted Blankets Must Be Used With Caution For Children and Never For Babies:

  • Children may be at risk of choking or suffocation from the
    weight of the blanket. Check with a pediatrician before using with a
  • Do not EVER use a weighted blanket for babies.

Who Would Benefit From Having A Weighted Blanket?

who would benefit from using a weighted blanket

Do you have trouble falling asleep?

  • A weighted blanket can help take the focus off all the thoughts going around in your head, quitening your brain and making it easier to fall asleep (I might buy my husband one for this very reason, he has a terrible time falling asleep and if he wakes up in the night he can’t get back to sleep easily either).

You might also want to read my helpful article about natural sleep aids if you’re looking for more help falling asleep. I’ve just started my husband off meditating with the Headspace app.

Do you toss and turn a lot in the night?

  • Using a weighted blanket can stop you from moving as much during your sleep. You don’t want it to be so heavy that you feel trapped or suffocated under it: you are aiming for feeling cozy and anchored.

Do you want to feel cozy and like you’re getting a hug when you sit down for some relax time?

  • Well, I doubt there is anyone out there who would say no! A weighted blanket can wrap you in that cozy hug like feel while you’re siting and relaxing. It can really add a really nice dimension to your relax time, taking it to “super relax”.

So as you can see, a weighted blanket can be used to achieve a couple of different goals in a couple of different ways. I can see myself and my husband really enjoying them, particularly living in a colder climate. In this busy life it’s getting harder and harder to just sit in calm or peace, and if this blanket can help with that, then why not?



Emily Johnstone

Emily is the creator and owner of bestmattressforyou.com. Emily's scientific background gives her an analytical, critical, and discerning eye to bring unbiased, thorough, and helpful content to the site. Your good sleep is her top priority. Find out more about Emily and bestmattressforyou.com here.