Weighted blankets are everywhere right now, and they have been hyped up to solve a litany of ailments. No longer relegated to the world of occupational therapy, weighted blankets are now being used by millions of people who believe that it has helped alleviate symptoms of ADHD, hormonal imbalances, insomnia, and anxiety.
What is a Weighted Blanket?
A weighted blanket is just that – a blanket with weights sewn into it. The weights are usually plastic pellets or beads.
The technology behind weighted blankets is simple. The pressure of the blanket can feel like a hug. The technical term for this is deep pressure stimulation or DPS.
The hug sensation, or DPS, can have a calming effect on the nervous system and can cause a lower heartbeat. This can lead to a reduction in feelings of anxiety and stress for many people. The logic behind weighted blankets is similar to why parents are encouraged to swaddle newborns.
Weighted blankets and vests have been used for years in children and adults with ADHD, autism, anxiety, and other sensory issues. There has also been research to show that the use of weighted blankets during dental procedures had a measurable effect on lowering the anxiety of adult and youth patients.
What to look for
Weighted blankets are sold almost everywhere now. However, you should keep a few things in mind before buying.
First, you need to know how heavy of a blanket to purchase. The blanket should be no more than 5-10% of your body weight. Any heavier than that may be uncomfortable and ultimately counterproductive.
You should also consider the material of the actual blanket. Just like regular blankets, weighted blankets come in a variety of materials, such as microfiber, polyester, and cotton.
Finally, if you share your bed with a partner, it is also recommended that each of you have your own blanket, rather than share. That way each person can get the blanket in their preferred weight.
Popular Weighted Blankets
Best Value: Layla Weighted Blanket
Best for Kids: Bearaby Nappling Weighted Blanket
Best for Hot Sleepers: Baloo Living Weighted Blanket
Best Organic: Sweet Zzz Organic Weighted Blanket
Not For Everyone
There are limitations on who should use a weighted blanket. They are not recommended for use in children under age 2 or people with sleep apnea or asthma. Additionally, those with claustrophobia may find that the weight of the blanket triggers this condition.