couple under weighted blanket

For those of you suffering from difficulty sleeping, anxiety, or insomnia, there may be an answer for you that does not involve medication. Weighted blankets are known to help when it comes to getting the rest you need and are a great solution for those looking to solve their sleep issues naturally.

What is a Weighted Blanket?

A weighted blanket is exactly what it sounds like — a heavy blanket usually weighing anywhere from 5 to 25 lbs. They are known to be calming which is how they help you sleep. Many describe their experience using a weighted blanket as feeling a sense of security. 

How Do Weighted Blankets Work?

Nervous System Changes

Weighted blankets work by providing deep touch pressure evenly distributed to touch receptors throughout the body. When deep touch pressure is applied, the body switches from its “fight or flight” response of the sympathetic nervous system to its “rest and digest” response of the parasympathetic nervous system.

The sympathetic nervous system is there to help us cope with daily stresses life throws our way. For many people, this “fight or flight” response runs overtime into the evening and causes us to feel tired and even anxious. This keeps us from relaxing and being able to sleep. When we apply deep touch pressure, such as with weighted blankets, our body activates the parasympathetic nervous system. As a result, the weighted blanket calms our anxiety, lowering our heart rate and helping us rest and relax.

Chemical Changes

Deep touch pressure is known to release a chemical neurotransmitter called serotonin, which is known as the “feel good” chemical that makes us happy, calms anxiety, and helps us to relax.

Serotonin is needed in the body to help produce the hormone melatonin. Melatonin is crucial for our circadian rhythms, also known as our sleep/wake cycles. It’s produced in the pineal gland and is responsible for making us feel sleepy when daytime changes to nighttime.

Weighted blankets are known to mimic a hug and hugs release a hormone called oxytocin, which makes us feel warm and happy. Oxytocin is known to decrease blood pressure, decrease heart rate, and aid in relaxation.

Relationship Between Weighted Blankets and Disorders

Weighted blankets have benefits such as reducing anxiety, lowering heart rate, and decreasing blood pressure. For this reason they have the potential to alleviate certain disorders, although this isn’t a guarantee and heavily depends on each person’s individual case. Here are some of the disorders a weighted blanket may help relieve.

Weighted blanket on bed

Features to Consider Before Choosing a Weighted Blanket

Weight

Weighted blankets are filled with poly pellets, glass beads, or steal shot beads. Some people also make them using rice or barley on the inside. Poly pellets, made from polypropylene, seem to be the most common filler for weighted blankets. It’s important to make sure that the pellets (or other filler) are evenly distributed throughout the blanket before using.

Your doctor may want you to try a weighted blanket with a different weight than what’s typically recommended, so always check with them first. Usually, it’s recommended your blanket be 10 percent of your body weight. For example, someone weighing 150 pounds would use a 15-pound weighted blanket. Some companies recommend 10 percent of your ideal body weight and others recommend 10 percent of your body weight plus 1 or2 pounds. Before purchasing your weighted blanket, check the company’s recommendations, or better yet, check with your doctor to be sure.

Fabric

You’ll want to make sure you get the fabric you want since different companies use different materials for their weighted blankets. Weighted blankets are quilt-like and are many times hand-sewn. Cotton and polyester are two of the most common fabrics used to make weighted blankets. Polyester does not breathe easily and is probably best for those in colder climates or people that don’t get hot when they sleep. Cotton is more breathable, so it would be a better choice for those that get warm at night or live in warmer climates.

Size

Choosing the appropriate size is important because weighted blankets are meant to fit you, not the bed. If you have a king size bed, you can choose a king size blanket that will cover both you and your partner, if desired. Weighted blankets are made to fit on the top of the bed and should not hang over the side. If a weighted blanket  is too large, there’s a good chance it will keep falling and you’ll be fighting to keep it on all night. If you aren’t planning on sharing with your partner, avoid the hassle altogether by buying a smaller blanket that fits you only.

Where to Get a Weighted Blanket

With access to the internet, purchasing a weighted blanket is only a couple of clicks away. Bed Bath & Beyond and Target are just a couple of retailers where you can buy weighted blankets online or in store. Some medical supply stores also carry them. It’s important to research the weighted blanket before buying to make sure you get the size, material, and filler you want.

Recommended Products

Deconovo Weighted Blanket

Deconovo Weighted Blanket

Nectar Weighted Blanket

Nectar Sleep Weighted Blanket

Gravity Weighted Blanket

The Gravity Weighted Blanket

Weighted Blanket Reviews

Most, if not all, of these reviews and comparisons are anecdotal. At the time of this publication, there were no large scale trials comparing weighted blankets for sleep efficacy.

Deconovo Weighted Blanket

  • 5 to 20 pounds of pressure
  • 100% cotton with glass beads for weight
  • 41” x 60” 
  • Available at many locations, including Amazon
  • 4.5/5 star reviews

Nectar Sleep Blanquil™ Quilted Weighted Blanket

  • 20 pounds
  • Removable plush cover with glass beads for weight
  • 47″ x 74″ x 1″
  • Available at many locations, including Nectar Sleep
  • 4.5/5 star reviews

Gravity Weighted Blanket

  • 15 to 25 pounds
  • Micro-fleece duvet cover with glass beads for weight
  • Various colors
  • 48″ x 72″
  • Available at many locations, including Gravity
  • 4/5 star reviews

FAQs About Weighted Blankets

Can Weighted Blankets Be Washed?

While it’s important to check with the manufacturer of your particular blanket, most weighted blankets can be washed in cold water and air dried.

How Much Does a Weighted Blanket Cost?

There’s a very large price range for weighted blankets. Price seems to depend on size, material, quality, and whether it’s handmade or factory made. Blankets can range from $60 to $360 or more.

Will My Insurance Cover a Weighted Blanket?

Many insurance companies do not cover weighted blankets, but there are some that do. You’ll need to check with your insurance provider to be sure.

Who Should NOT Use a Weighted Blanket?

Talk to your doctor before using a weighted blanket if you suffer from:

  • Sensitivity to temperature changes
  • Chronic heart conditions
  • Circulation issues
  • Respiratory issues/disease
  • Menopause

Weighted blankets are a great, natural treatment for helping you sleep, as well as possibly alleviating symptoms of certain disorders. If you’re interested in trying a weighted blanket, it’s always a good idea to check with your doctor to make sure it’s the right solution for you. Not only can doctors advise you on whether weighted blankets are the best treatment, they also can help you decide which blanket and weight will offer you the biggest benefit.

4 thoughts on “Best Weighted Blankets: Reviews and How They Work

  1. Kathleen Reply

    I am 72 yo, with sleep apnea for 7 years, relieved by cpap.. I thought a weighted blanket would help me sleep deeper, but after several months with a 15 lb blanket (I am 5’2″, 160 lb), had developed pain from, I believe, strained ligaments from lifting the blanket to adjust it or move under it. This has subsided since I went back to regular blankets. I still like the gentle pressure from the weighted blanket at the beginning. I have never seen this mentioned in any of the reviews. Do you think a 10 lb blanket would work for me and not cause pain, or another weight?

  2. M Reply

    Update Rich please? I’ve tried the metal straps (and they’re not long enough). The twin weighted blanket barely touches the sides (never mind when you’re laying underneath it).

    Did you keep the weighted blanket ? Did you find another resolution ? Mine keeps getting kicked off during the night . It’s annoying & doesn’t help my sleep – gives anxiety

  3. Debbie Reply

    Rich, they make elastic bands with metal “clips” on each end that may help. I believe they were originally made to fasten fitted sheet under the mattress to prevent them from popping off. (I’ve used them for regular blankets in the past.)A bedding shop or an online store such as Vermont Country Store may be your best bet! Good luck 🙂

  4. Rich Reply

    I love my weighted blanket! However I need help to come up with a way to keep the blanket from sliding off the bed. ALL weighted blankets are not large enough to “tuck” under today’s thick mattresses. So they just lay on top with a small portion of the weighted blanket hanging over the sides “or” off the end of the bed. Eventually over the course of the night my body movement will shift the blanket to one side or the other, then the weight of the blanket will simply drag the blanket off which ever side has the most weight hanging over the edge. This will also happen at the end of the bed if you change the orientation of the blanket. There must be some way to anchor the weighted blanket to the bed(or the blankets which ARE tucked under the mattress) to keep the weighted blanket from sliding off the bed at night! Somebody Please Help!!!

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