This should be your one stop shop for all you need to know about buying a weighted blanket. There are literally thousands of possible options on the market right now, and the benefits being pushed are a little hard to believe. I hope by the time you finish reading this you will have a more rounded understanding of not only what is out there, but also what it is you are looking for.
But first, what is a weighted blanket?
What is a Weighted Blanket?
A weighted blanket is exactly what it sounds like. It is a blanket that weighs more and applies pressure across the entire body at a consistent rate. It has been proven to provide relief for a whole bunch of illnesses, all of which stem from the Deep Touch Pressure concept.
What is Deep Touch Pressure?
Deep touch pressure is a well-known phenomenon. It is essentially the chemical release that happens when one is hugged. The serotonin flood that occurs can be artificially induced, via a weighted blanket or vest, and put to good use for those who are deficient. ADHD and Autistic Spectrum disorders benefit from the extra serotonin, which is why many of the earlier studies revolved around children. In recent years the same concepts have been used to effectively treat insomnia, anxiety, and depression, and even those without a diagnosed illness can reap the benefits of a weighted blanket.
What Should I look for in a Weighted Blanket?
There are a wide variety of options on the market right now, and narrowing down your specific needs can be troublesome. The first thing you need to know is the weight ratio. You need to buy a weighted blanket that hits between 7% and 12% of your body weight, though 10% is generally a good bet. I prefer a blanket to be on the higher end of that scale, or at least I have found the one I use beneficially.
The size of the blanket is important as well. You want a blanket that fits the bed but does not overlap. If the blanket is too large it will apply more pressure than you need, which would mitigate the positive effects of the blanket. It is for this reason that the vast majority of weighted blankets do not come in standard bed sizes, and are instead measured in straight up inches. Be sure to take a tape measure to your mattress, so as to be sure you are buying the correct size.
Those are the fundamentals, but there are a number of other factors that you might consider taking into account. I have been reviewing bedding and beds for years, and in that time I have come to a few conclusion regarding the materials used. The cream of the crop, that which in fact does indeed rise to the top, is cotton. There are three attributes that we need from our bedding. Comfort, durability, and porousness. Cotton has all three, with no real downside. Poly blends tend to be more durable, but lack porousness, and are slightly less comfortable, depending on the blend. So be sure to make sure that the cover material is cotton, unless of course, you have a preference in which case go for what you like.
On the inside, we have three options for weight material. Plastic, Glass and natural materials, like rice or dried wheat. I like glass, it is hypoallergenic, as is plastic, but it also has the best consistency in terms of weight. There are downsides to the glass though, it cannot be dried in a dryer, it must be air dried. If you want something with a little more speed, then go for plastic. I have used a wide variety of blankets, and plastic is the most common ballast material, so getting one should not be hard. Be aware though, while the plastic beads can be dried in a dryer, it must be on a low heat, or you run the risk of melting them a little.
Price wise you will find the smallest blankets sitting in the sub $100 range, the cheapest on brand one I have found would be the Magic small, a great blanket, and it is priced at $69.99, depending on the materials. In adult sizes you can expect to pay around $200, maybe a little more, maybe a little less, depends on the quality of the materials. Never spend more than $250 on a large weighted blanket in the 25lbs size.
Should I Buy a Weighted Blanket?
I have to say yes to this. There are too many benefits, and they apply across the board. Not only are they amazing for children and adults with learning issues, but the broader applications, to otherwise healthy adults, are obvious. If you have issues with anxiety, or just have an excess of stress and anger at the world, then you need to at least try a weighted blanket.
Weighted Blanket 101 Conclusion
Weighted blankets are amazing. I have been using one for the last few months and it has had a major positive effect on my demeanor. I used to have such trouble sleeping, not to mention dealing day to day with anxiety, and honestly, neither have been a huge problem recently. I cannot say for certain that it was the blanket, but all the studies tell me it just might be. If you find yourself considering a weighted blanket be sure to take what I have said into account before you buy.