You probably have already heard about weighted blankets which have the popularity for the last 2 years. If you have decided to buy one, you need to know some specific things about this type of blankets and how to choose the right one for you.
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What is a Weighted Blanket?
A weighted blanket is a heavy blanket, in other words, it has extra weight in it. The weight of the blanket is the most important factor for the person who is going to use it.
There are a lot of materials which make the blanket heavier:
- plastic pellets;
- micro glass beads
- smooth pebbles.
Benefits of Weighted Blankets
There is one interesting fact that weighted blankets have been used for many years but only for therapeutic purposes. At first, they were used only for people who really need them, but then they become popular because of their wide range of benefits which can be helpful for everyone.
Benefits of a weighted blanket:
- Helps to beat insomnia. The use of a weighted blanket is a kind of deep touch pressure therapy or DTP. The results of researches show that DTP promotes the release of serotonin, the hormone responsible for sleep. Weighted blankets gently press on your body while you are sleeping and provide you with restful sleep.
- Fights against depression. It’s a medically proven fact that hugs are awesome for our health. The soft pressure of a weighted blanket gives us the same feeling as if somebody hugs us. This pressure stimulates the release of oxytocin and the reduction of the stress hormone cortisol. Oxytocin slows our heart rate down, reduces blood pressure and relaxes our body. With all these facts weighted blankets improve the work of our nervous system that helps to beat depression.
- It’s good for children with ADHD (Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) and Autism. Children who suffer from ADHD or Autism are highly vulnerable to anxiety. The researches have shown that the children who use weighted blankets become calmer and more concentrated. Weighted blankets positively influence on their sleep and behavior.
- The treatment of Obsessive-compulsive disorder or OCD. The best way to ameliorate the symptoms of OCD is to increase serotonin. This hormone calms the person down and delivers from compulsions. Weighted blankets alleviate the first symptoms not only of OCD but also of other mental illnesses caused by the low level of serotonin.
And if you don’t have all these problems, a weighted blanket is a good purchase, because it will improve your night sleep and lighten your mood.
The Right Size of a Weighted Blanket
- 10 percent of your body. The main rule concerning the weight of a weighted blanket is that your blanket is 10 percent of your body weight. If your body weight is 140 pounds, the perfect weighted blanket is 14 pounds for you. If your blanket is less than 10 percent of your body, you wouldn’t see all its benefits.
- If you are between the standard sizes of weighted blankets. This type of blankets has standard sizes; usually, they are 10, 12, 15, 17 or 20 pounds. If you are going to lose weight or afraid that you can gain it, choose the blanket which is 10 percent of your weight plus 1 or 2 pounds.
- Your height. Your height is not the key factor. But it would be more comfortable if the blanket will cover all your body. And also don’t forget about your bed size.
Sizes for Children
If you are going to buy a weighted blanket for your child, the rule is still the same – 10 percent of your child’s weight plus one or two pounds. If you have a 40-pound child, the ideal weight of a weighted blanket would be about five or six pounds.
For example, if the bed is 75 inches in length and 39 inches wide, your weighted blanket should be about 71 inches in length and 35 inches wide.
Take into account that children grow very fast but producing companies recommend weighted blankets of 44 inches in length and 36 inches wide if your child is under six years old.
If your child is above the age of 6, choose a blanket of 44 and 50 inches, but anyway it can be bigger in case you want it to be the size of the child’s bed.
Fabric Types for Weighted Blankets
- Cotton. This fabric is one of the most popular for weighted blankets. But the weighted blankets made of organic cotton can be sometimes very expensive. Cotton is hypoallergenic and highly breathable what is really good for your skin. This fabric never pills and keeps a comfortable temperature for your body. Despite its good points, it shrinks and wrinkles. Also, you should be very careful with non-organic cotton; it sometimes can cause different problems with health.
- Satin-cotton. Weighted blankets of satin-cotton are not very high in price. The mix of satin-cotton with conventional cotton allows getting a high-quality blanket with a minimal price. Weighted blankets made of this material have a smooth texture, look expensive and are good for cold days. If you are ready to buy this type of fabric remember that it can’t absorb your sweat and the regular wash will damage it very soon.
- Using a weighted blanket made of flannel you’ll never sweat a lot due to its great breathability. It’s very easy in use because it doesn’t need special care, you can dry and wash it even at very high temperature, and you don’t have to iron it. But before buying it pay your attention to the fact that flannel is very flammable.
- If you want to feel cozy and warm choose this type of fabric. It’s made of synthetic materials and very light and what more it has a very reasonable price. Blankets made of fleece are perfect for cold weather but if you sweat too much look for other fabrics.
- Minky is a new popular fabric which resembles plush. It is very soft and if you are looking for a blanket for your baby, this material is perfect. Usually, it consists of polyester and you can find a lot of blankets with different designs. These blankets are really durable and you will use them for many years in case of carefully washing. Minky doesn’t shrink and it means that you don’t have to iron it. This material is also resistant to strains. But there is a great minus – it is very uncomfortable on hot summer days because it is too warm.
- Acrylic is synthetic fiber made from petroleum. It is similar to wool and sometimes even better. It’s very soft, warm and light material which is resistant to moths. Acrylic blankets are 100% machine washable and don’t require a lot of care. These blankets are great for cold winter months but you will be really hot under it in summer. The price of these blankets is also sometimes very high.
- Bamboo fabric. This fabric is eco-friendly material made of bamboo rayon, sometimes it also includes cotton and polyester. This material is very durable and a great point is that you don’t have to pay a lot of money for it. Bamboo fabric never causes allergy and is suitable for babies due to its softness and high level of breathability. But if you don’t take care of it the material won’t be soft very soon.
- This material is made of long fluffy fibers. Among other fabrics these one has ultra-softness. You can wash it using your washing machine but you won’t do it very often because it is resistant to strains. The price is usually high but the blanket is really good.
Choose the Right Fabric
Companies which produce weighted blankets offer a large choice of fabrics. The choice of fabric depends on your own preferences.
But there are some recommendations for you:
- If you usually feel hot at night or sweat a lot during sleep, choose the CoolMax fabric. This type of fabric is made of cotton and polyester, wicking moisture away this blanket helps your body to stay dry and cool. The great plus of this blanket that it is suitable for all seasons. It means you can use it even on very cold days.
- If you are a cold sleeper, you should definitely choose a flannel quilt. This blanket will keep you warm all night.
- You are neither cold nor hot, then choose a blanket made of 100% cotton. It keeps a comfortable temperature and let your body rest.
Weighted Blanket Filler Materials
There is a variety of materials which give blankets their weighted characteristics:
- Blankets filled with sand are really not a very good choice, however, they are extremely cheap. The first problem you will have is washing and drying, you will spend a lot of time on it. When sand contacts water it can bunch your blanket, it means that this type of blankets is not durable. Sand also causes incorrect weight distribution because it doesn’t spread out easily.
- Micro glass beads. This filler looks like grains of sand, sugar or salt. Blankets with this filler are the best choice for some reasons. These blankets are easily washable and hypoallergenic, the beads are smooth and round that’s why they easily spread out inside the pockets of the blanket. Your blanket will not be bulk but you will feel its weight.
- Plastic poly pellets. Plastic poly pellets are like round beads, their texture is similar to pebbles. They are usually made of polypropylene or virgin plastic and don’t include any toxins. This filler is traditional for weighted blankets. Pay your attention that plastic poly pellets are not very smooth and if your skin is sensitive you may feel uncomfortable using this type of filler. Sometimes this filler can emit unpleasant odor but good airing helps to get rid of it.
- Steel shot beads. These beads are heavier than glass beads, it means that a weighted blanket with this filler will be heavy and thick. You will not have any problems with washing because the beads are smooth. The main drawback is that this filler is very noisy and lumpy.
- River stone and smooth pebbles. These fillers have a very low price. If you want to sleep under the blanket filled with stones make sure that all the stones are of the same size. Be ready that your blanket will be noisy, rough, lumpy, and very heavy.
- Organic material. There are some organic fillers usually used for weighted blankets: beans, dry pasta, rice and so on. You can think that organic material is great for weighted blankets but it’s a mistake. The main problem is washing which will damage this type of filler very soon. The other problem is that this material can cause unsanitary conditions, because of mold, insects, and bacteria.
While choosing filler for your weighted blanket, think about your comfort and health benefits. It’s better to choose non-organic fillers, which make your blanket comfortable in use, durable and easy to wash and dry. And also don’t forget about your own preferences.
How Much Do Weighted Blankets Cost?
The price of a weighted blanket depends on the fabric, filler, and its size. For example, if you want to buy a blanket for your kid the price would be lower than if you would buy it for an adult.
The try-it-before-you-buy-it rule is still actually in this case. If you don’t know what weighted blanket to buy, find someone who is using it and ask to give it to you only for one night. Some stores also offer a trial session before buying.
Don’t forget that weighted blankets influence on your health, it means that you always have to think about its quality. Buying a high-quality blanket you spend a lot of money but it is a great investment in your health.
Prices usually start at 115$.
The Quality of a Weighted Blanket
Very often the high price is not the mark of the high quality.
There are some rules to help you to buy a high-quality blanket:
- Remember that some fabrics are very expensive (organic cotton) and some are not but their quality is also quite high (fleece, satin-cotton). Each of them has its pros and cons.
- It’s better to choose some traditional fillers which don’t cause allergy and are washable.
- If you have already chosen a weighted blanket read some feedbacks before buying it. It helps to make the right choice and save your money.
A Cover for a Weighted Blanket
It is hard to say does a weighted blanket need a cover or not. If you have a weighted blanket and don’t use it every day there is no need in a cover. But if you sleep under the blanket every night, the cover is important because it keeps your blanket clean and it won’t be damaged by constant washing.
In case your blanket is of low quality or you don’t like its texture, a cover is a good way to make it more comfortable. But covers made of good material are not cheap in price.
Anyway, a cover for a weighted blanket is not the waste of money because it can be easily washed and dried and also saves the quality of your blanket.
The price of a cover is 25-70 $.
How to Take Care of a Weighted Blanket?
If you want to keep your weighted blanket in a good state you have to know how to take care of it:
- Remember that not all weighted blankets can be cleaned in a washing machine, some of them require only hand washing. So, if you don’t want to buy a new weighted blanket after washing, read care instructions and strongly follow them.
- Some fabrics can be damaged by drying at high temperature, some should be dried only in the air.
- Air your blanket regularly. If you use it every day it needs airing.
- Clean it at least 3-5 times a year. Constant washing badly influences on a filler and causes the fading process.