If there was ever a year that needed a weighted blanket, it’s 2020. Weighted blankets are fast becoming the “it” item this year because they not only help people with insomnia but also soothe anxious thoughts…and we’ve had a lot to be worried about lately. Using deep pressure stimulation, the weight of the blanket works like a warm hug from a friend, which subconsciously tells your brain that everything is going to be ok. While therapists have recommended weighted blankets for years to patients with autism, PTSD, and sensory disorders, they are only recently starting to become a household staple.
If you’ve been wondering, “How heavy should a weighted blanket be?” then this guide is for you. We answer the most common questions about weighted blankets below!
Weighted Blanket: the Basics
Also known as a gravity blanket, a weighted blanket is quite simply, a blanket with weights inside. No, it’s not your grandmother’s unnecessarily thick wool blanket — this type of heavy blanket intentionally holds weight to induce Deep Touch Pressure (DTP), which relaxes the nervous system. According to the American Journal of Occupational Therapy, Deep Touch Pressure (DTP) is the “sensation produced when an individual is hugged, squeezed, stroked, or held.” Occupational therapist Theresa May-Benson, who works at the Spiral Foundation explains the usage of a weighted blanket as “very much based in deep pressure helping to calm that arousal level in the system and to help with self-regulation.”
To get this sensation in a blanket, the blanket is filled with weights, often in the form of plastic pellets or glass beads. A full size weighted blanket is usually between 15-20 pounds for the average adult, depending on your size and preference. Particularly if you are someone who struggles to fall asleep because of racing thoughts or anxiety, a weighted blanket can give you a sense of safety and comfort that will help you sleep through the night. Like lighting a relaxing candle and meditating before bed, a weighted blanket is another tool to make your sleep environment more comfortable.
How Heavy Should My Weighted Blanket Be?
So, how much should a weighted blanket weigh? Weighted blankets come in a range of weights, from five to thirty pounds, according to Healthline. The general rule of thumb when purchasing a weighted blanket is to find one that is approximately 10% of your body weight. Any lighter and you might not get all the benefits of Deep Touch Pressure (DTP). Of course, everybody is different and you might feel more comfortable with a lighter blanket, or one that is heavier than 10%. You are welcome to increase the weight guideline if you feel comfortable. Here’s a few common weight comparisons to be used as a guide:
- What weight weighted blanket do I need if I’m between 120 – 160 lbs? You should choose a blanket that is between 12-16 lbs to start with.
- How heavy weighted blanket for someone who is 160 – 200 lbs? Ideally, your blanket should be around 16-20 lbs in weight.
A Word on Type of Weights
Before purchasing a weighted blanket, check what type of weights it uses. Weighted blankets are often filled with poly pellets, glass beads, discs, or polypropylene plastic beads. These can be inconsistent as they move around and don’t distribute the weight evenly. Plus, the glass beads make a loud sound whenever they move around…not what you want when you’re trying to sleep!
With a revolutionary design, the weight of Yaasa’s blanket comes from woven 100% Recycled Polypropylene Fiber that distributes weight evenly throughout the blanket.
Should Height Be Considered When Choosing Your Weighted Blanket Weight?
While your height is less important than your weight when it comes to a weighted blanket, you will want the blanket to be large enough to cover your body while you sleep. A too-small blanket can easily slip off in the night and once a weighted blanket starts slipping, it’s all downhill from there! Most people choose a blanket that is the same as their mattress size or at the very least, will be able to cover their body fully.
Other Key Factors to Consider When Choosing a Weighted Blanket
While weight is the most important factor in choosing your blanket, you should also take the following into account:
- Material: A weighted blanket can be made of many different fabrics, from cotton to poly blends. Natural fibers like cotton are definitely recommended as they will be cooler than synthetic fabrics. The Yaasa Weighted Blanket is made of soft hand-knitted cotton.
- Washability: While you don’t need to wash a weighted blanket every week, you also don’t want one that can’t be washed. Check the guidelines on the Care Tag of a blanket before you purchase it. Weighted blankets with removable covers are fairly easy to clean because you can simply remove the exterior and throw it in the washer while the lining stays out. When you just need to spot clean, use a washcloth with cool water to treat a stain on your weighted blanket. For a deep clean, The Yaasa Weighted Blanket can either be dry-cleaned or you can wash it on a cool cycle and lay it flat to dry. It is not recommended to put it in the dryer.
- Breathability: One of the biggest faults of weighted blankets is that they trap heat. Overheating can easily disrupt your sleep at night, so finding a breathable blanket is a must. The Yaasa Weighted Blanket’s unique hand-knitted design allows air to circulate so you can stay cozy without getting too hot at night.
The Benefits of a Weighted Blanket
While scientific research on weighted blankets is still limited, many adults and teens use an anxiety blanket for the calming benefits. While a weighted blanket is not a cure for health conditions, it can help improve your sleep quality and alleviate restless leg syndrome, especially when used in tandem with an adjustable bed. Weighted blankets are also designed to soothe anxiety through the use of DTP. This type of therapy helps people feel more relaxed by stimulating the production of feel-good hormones like serotonin and dopamine in the brain. Weighted blankets have also been used in the past with patients who have autism spectrum disorder as the weight can help with behavioral regulation. If you are using a weighted blanket for any kind of disorder, it is advised that you speak with your occupational therapist or doctor to make sure a weighted blanket is right for you.
For example, people with respiratory conditions or sleep apnea should consult their doctor before using a weighted blanket. While a child can use a weighted blanket if recommended by a doctor, infants should never use weighted blankets as this increases the risk of SIDS.
Why Choose a Yaasa Weighted Blanket?
We’ve already mentioned some of the main reasons why so many people trust Yaasa’s blanket as the best weighted blanket on the market, including the soft materials used, breathability, and unique hand-knitted design. Even if another blanket is the same weight, you’ll find that Yaasa’s version has better weight distribution. This allows for the ideal DTP sensation to give you the peaceful night’s sleep you’ve been craving. After a few days of using your blanket, you should notice that your sleeping has improved. Eventually, many people come to rely on the comforting feeling a weighted blanket provides year round.
Frequently Asked Questions
How heavy of a weighted blanket do I need?
The general recommendation is to use a weighted blanket that is 10% of your body weight. So, if you weigh 120 – 140 pounds, you should use a blanket that is 12-14 pounds in weight. This amount of weight will add gentle pressure to the body that will produce a calming effect.
How heavy should a weighted blanket be for a couple?
If you are sharing your weighted blanket with your partner, a general guideline is to buy one that is 7.5% of your combined weight. Many people prefer to have their own individual blanket, but you can share a weighted blanket if you are both around the same size.
Can a weighted blanket be too heavy?
Yes, if your blanket is causing you any sort of discomfort, it is too heavy for you and you should get a lighter blanket. You might also find your blanket to be too hot and should choose one made of natural fibers and a breathable design instead.
Can weighted blankets be harmful?
Weighted blankets are generally safe for adults unless you have a respiratory condition or sleep apnea. If you have any questions about the use of a weighted blanket, it’s best to consult your doctor about your specific case. Infants and toddlers under the age of two should not use weighted blankets as there is a suffocation risk.