How Heavy Should a Weighted Blanket Be: The Answer to a Restful and Cosy Sleep

How heavy should a weighted blanket be

You may have heard by now that using a weighted blanket may help reduce some of the symptoms associated with sensory disorders, stress, anxiety, sleep disorders, and even restless leg syndrome. Weighted blankets are known for bringing consumers an increased level of relaxation and calm when used correctly. With this in mind, how heavy should a weighted blanket be? Keep reading to learn all about weighted blankets and their benefits.

What Is a Weighted Blanket?

A weighted blanket is just like a regular blanket but has been designed to carry and provide you with extra weight. In most cases, weighted blankets are filled with evenly distributed poly pellets or glass beads in varying densities and amounts to establish a specific blanket weight overall. They tend to range in weight and size quite drastically, which explains the need for this article.

What Is the Purpose of a Weighted Blanket?

Weighted blanket products were designed to help soothe and relax children with sensory disorders such as Autism and ADHD. However, they proved to be so effective that they are now commonly used for anyone who feels they could benefit from added relaxation.

A weighted blanket mimics the sensation of a hug and provides you with what is now referred to as deep touch pressure stimulation. This deep touch pressure, similar to what you experience during a massage, has been proven to activate your parasympathetic nervous system providing you with a calming effect. It is achieved by lowering your heart rate and triggering relaxation hormones like serotonin which can reduce anxiety and depression levels.

How to Choose the Appropriate Weight: A Beginner’s Guide to Weighted Blankets

Now that we know why weighted blankets are so popular and who can benefit from using one, it’s time to discover how to choose the appropriate weight for your purposes and your body weight. After reading through this weight guide for blankets, you should be able to select the perfect weighted blanket for you with confidence.

Blanket Weight Guide

Weighted blankets come in weights ranging from 5 to 30 pounds, or 2 to 14kg. They typically jump about 5 pounds in between each blanket weight, with a few exceptions, which contributes to why many people are unsure what weighted blanket weight is right for them.

As a general rule of thumb, experts recommend the weight of the blanket should be equal to 10 percent of your body weight, plus one pound or possibly two pounds if you prefer a heavier blanket to activate deep pressure sensation. Just remember, though, the most important thing is that the blanket be comfortable for you and your body’s preferences, regardless of the general guidelines.

Blanket Weight Chart:

If you don’t feel like doing the math, that’s ok. We did it for you. The following list contains the recommended weight range and blanket weight recommended to activate deep touch pressure benefits.

  • 50- 90 pound bodyweight = 5-10 pound weighted blanket
  • 100-160 pound bodyweight = 10-17 pound weighted blanket
  • 165-200 pound bodyweight = 17-25 pound weighted blanket
  • 200+ pound bodyweight = 20-30 pound weighted blanket

What if You Fall in Between the Recommended Guideline Categories?

As we briefly mentioned above, personal preference should be the most important factor. If you have a lighter body frame, you may want to choose a lighter blanket. Adversely, if you have a thicker body frame, you may want your weighted blanket weight to be a pound or two heavier.

Pro tip: If you have sensitive joints or painful areas, you may want to go for a slightly lighter weight when choosing a weighted blanket. It ensures you won’t be adding to the pain but supporting it instead.

Is Your Height a Contributing Factor?

For the most part, your height does not need to be considered when choosing a specific weight for your new blanket. Relying on your weight should suffice. However, you may want to consider your height when determining which size blanket you want. Some blankets are designed for personal use or use by children, so choose a weighted blanket that will cover your body. Otherwise, the weight will not be distributed evenly across your body, and it will be harder to achieve the blanket’s full potential.

What if You Get a Weighted Blanket That is Too Heavy?

If a weighted blanket is on the heavier side, it can be constricting, which can feel claustrophobic and may even induce nightmares. Ensure it doesn’t restrict your movements too much and doesn’t make it more difficult or hard to breathe regularly. When using a weighted blanket, you should feel heavy pressure similar to a hug but not more than that. The idea is to feel safe and secure.

Weighted Blanket Types and Sizes

Sizes vary from smaller sizes that are good for personal use up to a large comforter that can fit a Queen size or King size bed and everywhere in between. Choose a blanket size that suits your body type.

Standard Weighted Blankets

These are filled with beads or pellets in square-shaped baffle boxes, which keep weight evenly distributed across the surface of the blanket. Advanced models tend to have smaller baffle-boxes. Some of these blankets are machine washable, and some are spot clean only. So pay attention to the specific instructions as heavier blankets could be too heavy for your washing machine or dryer.

Knit Weighted Blankets

These weighted blankets do not contain fill. Instead, they are constructed using dense yarn that is thick and, of course, heavy. The yarn used is usually fairly durable, but these weighted blankets can be harder to clean, and they must be laid flat to dry. Otherwise, they are likely to lose their shape and stretch out in different places.

Comforter Style Weighted Blankets

These weighted blankets are typically larger in size and fluffier in appearance. They eliminate the need for a second blanket, as some people find it necessary with lightweight or smaller weighted blanket products.

Cooling Weighted Blankets

These are great for people who tend to sleep hot. Some people find that the added weight provided by a weighted blanket adds enough heat to cause overheating at night. Cooling weighted blankets take this into account, incorporate highly breathable, moisture-wicking, help keep you cool and regulate your body temperature while you sleep. Common materials used include bamboo, cotton, synthetic fibres, and eucalyptus.

Additional Weighted Blanket Considerations

Now that you know how heavy a weighted blanket you need to feel the intended benefits, there are just a few more things we think you should know before you move forward and pick out the right blanket for your specific needs.

Who Can Benefit from Using a Weighted Blanket?

a family smiling on the bed

Weighted blankets can make a welcome addition to anyone who wants to increase relaxation overall or feels they could benefit from a calming sensation while in bed. They are credited with making falling asleep easier and more restful, even for people with sleep disorders, even a severe sleep disorder like insomnia.

Weighted blankets are also good for:

  • Children who are on the Autism spectrum, have ADHD, or other types of sensory disorders
  • Use by an occupational therapist
  • Treating conditions like restless leg syndrome
  • Anyone who experiences anxiety disorders or high levels of stress

Can You Sleep With a Weighted Blanket Every Night?

When it comes to using the blanket, not everyone is alike. Some people like to use a weighted blanket for a while before bed or anytime during the day that they feel they could benefit from calming down. Weighted blankets can also be used during an episode or all night long for improved sleep quality.

If you try sleeping with your weighted blanket all night, remember that it may take as long as 30 days to become accustomed to the sensation. It may help start off using it for a shorter time and gradually work your way up to a whole night of use.

Is There Anyone Who Should Not Use a Weighted Blanket?

Children under 50 pounds in weight, toddlers, and babies should never use a weighted blanket because it can potentially restrict breathing and movement a dangerous amount. The lightest weighted blanket weighs 5 pounds, and since we now know that a weighted blanket should weigh 10 percent of your body weight plus one pound, the 50 pounds minimum weight restriction only makes sense.
Adults and children with respiratory disorders like sleep apnea or asthma should also avoid using weighted blankets as they could also prove to exacerbate breathing issues. If you have claustrophobia, then you may not enjoy the effects of a weighted blanket, either.

 

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Weight Does Matter

How heavy should a weighted blanket be? The answer primarily lies in your specific body weight. However, we recommend considering your age and frame to help you make the best choice possible when it comes to comparing the weight of various products. Just remember to choose a weighted blanket weight equal to 10 per cent of your body weight plus a pound or two if you prefer more pressure. Considering all of the benefits weighted blankets can provide, like increased serotonin and a calm and relaxed feeling before bed, what do you have to lose?

Do you feel ready to choose a weighted blanket for yourself or someone else that weighs the appropriate, recommended amount? Let us know about your weighted blanket experiences as a consumer in the comments below.

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