Weighted blankets have been around for a few decades, but mostly in a clinical setting. They have been used for therapy to treat people with autism, sensory processing disorder, and anxiety. Lately they have become a popular product for people to use at home for better sleep and stress relief.
Weighted Blanket Weight
The majority of weighted blankets get their extra poundage from glass beads. These tiny beads are sewn into the blanket and evenly distributed throughout the sections of the blanket.
Higher quality weighted blankets will have smaller squares that keep the beads from shifting too much, providing consistent coverage over your body.
Weighted Blanket Sizes
The most common sizes for a weighted blanket are 48×72” and 60×80”. The 48” blanket is usually sold as a twin size while 60×80 is sold as full/queen sized weighted blanket.
The blanket is sized to cover your bed, and not drape over the edges as a normal comforter does. At these sizes, they are generally made for single-person use, so couples would need to buy one for each person or there are a few manufacturers who make extra large king size weighted blankets to cover both people in bed.
What Weight to Buy?
The general guidelines are to get a blanket that is about 8-12% of your body weight, but this is just a guide. Each person will have a different preference, but the 8-12% is a good starting point.
For example, this means that a person weighing 150lbs would most likely enjoy a 15lb weighted blanket whereas a 200lb person would likely prefer a 20lb blanket.
Washing a Weighted Blanket
You can wash most weighted blankets in a washing machine. Some home washers are more capable than others when it comes to washing larger and heavier loads, so it’s always best to check with your brand to see how much weight your washing machine can hold.
15lb blankets can be washed in most top load and front load washers, but 20lb blankets should go to the laundromat if you have a small or older machine.
Benefits of a Weighted Blanket
Weighted blankets provide the users with deep pressure therapy (more on that below) which is what helps provide the many benefits. These benefits include:
- Lowering stress/anxiety
- Increased focus (ADHD)
- Falling asleep faster
- Getting deeper more refreshing sleep
What is Deep Pressure Therapy?
Deep pressure therapy (DPT) is a form of therapy that uses a light pressure over specific areas of your body or across most of your body to provide a calming effect.
The gentle pressure from DPT effects your parasympathetic nervous system, also known as the rest and digest system. This is the opposite of your sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight) which causes stressful reactions to certain stimuli.
The weight from the blanket mimics the feeling of a hug which tells your body and brain that you are safe and that you can calm down and relax.