A weighted blanket will help to improve your sleep quality and to relieve anxiety.
Weighted blankets have also been scientifically proven to help restless people staying asleep because it gives you a calm, secure feeling. That’s why most people who try a weighted blanket say they feel better with it than without it. The sensation of sleeping underneath a weighted blanket may release happiness hormones that will improve sleep duration and quality.
The following 6 major brands are reviewed here, listed as per their retail prices (in ascending order): Layla, Mosaic, BlanQuil, Puffy, MOLECULE and PlushBeds. You’ll also find below our comprehensive Buyers Guide for Weighted Blankets.
How to Shop for a Weighted Blanket: Buyers Guide
Weighted blankets are on average heavier than standard duvets, comforters and quilts, and normally weigh from 5 up to 25 pounds. These blankets promote the production of happiness hormones that can have a relaxing effect on the nervous system. They also help improve sleep quality because they facilitate the production of melatonin, a natural hormone that is known to control your sleep cycle.
A few weighted blankets come in the market with several weights to accommodate individuals with different preferences, while others can be folded in order to distribute different amounts of weight. Prices vary between $100 and $300.
How Do Weighted Blankets Work?
Weighted blankets provide a sensation known as grounding that triggers the release of hormones that lead to a good night’s sleep and calm the nerves. Grounding also applies a mild pressure to the sleeper’s body.
The blanket’s weight is critical for getting an adequate amount of rest and ensuring sleep quality every night. Weighted blankets should be tailored to the individual sleeper. Most adults reach optimal comfort levels using a blanket that weighs about 5% to 10% of their own body weight. And for most children, a blanket weighing 10% of their body weight will achieve top results.
Weighted blankets carry safety and health risks for kids under 8 years old, and should be avoided their use (unless it has been prescribed by a doctor).
The use of weighted blankets should also be avoided by adults who have a hard time breathing and/or circulating blood, and those who suffer from claustrophobia or other fears associated with being stuck or trapped.
The Benefits of Weighted Blankets
These blankets help individuals sleep better in many ways:
- Triggers happiness hormones. Grounding triggers the release of dopamine and serotonin that help making people feel more relaxed and also calms the nervous system. These blankets also promote the production of oxytocin, a hormone normally released during hugging.
- Reduces cortisol levels. Grounding reduces cortisol production, a steroid hormone normally triggered by being under stress. The production of cortisol during the night can have a negative effect on sleep quality.
- Reduces sleepwalking episodes. Inefficient or interrupted sleep can cause sleepwalking in both kids and adults. Weighted blankets cause people to feel more relaxed before falling asleep, which often leads to more restful nights and deeper sleep. These blankets can be very helpful for toddlers and kids with tendencies to sleepwalk.
- Helps produce more melatonin. Natural light triggers melatonin, causing us to feel more wakeful in the morning and more tired at night. Individuals with insomnia tend to produce less melatonin, causing problems with sleep maintenance. Those who use weighted blankets for insomnia linked to low melatonin production often experience sleep quality improvements.
In addition to benefits for sleepers, weighted blankets can also alleviate anxiety and stress. Doctors have noted that both kids and adults with specific medical conditions and disorders may benefit from using a weighted blanket. These include autism, hyperactivity, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, Alzheimer’s, anxiety and restless legs syndrome.
The Disadvantages of Weighted Blankets
- The heavier models are not suitable for travel
- Kids under 8 should not use them without a doctor’s prescription
- Price-point often exceeds $100
- Blankets may cause stress for claustrophobic people
Common Design Features of Weighted Blankets
Most weighted blankets are filled with glass, plastic or steel beads that are evenly distributed for ensuring proper weight distribution. Some blankets may contain other weighted filling materials, such as glass sand.
In addition to weighted materials, these blankets also feature fabric padding for providing a layer of cushioning between the sleeper’s body and the beads. Padding materials may include cotton or polyester. Some weighted blankets are also designed to be water-resistant or waterproof.
Often, weighted blankets include a cover, which is removable for washing. These covers can be made from synthetic fabrics like rayon or polyester, natural fibers like wool or cotton or fabric blends that incorporate everything. Weighted blankets made from wool or cotton tend to sleep cooler, and are more breathable but they are also more expensive. Polyester is typically much cheaper, but are also considerably warmer and less breathable.
Heavier weighted blankets are wider and longer than lighter ones and are available in sizes that match common mattress dimensions.
Some weighted blankets are machine washable, but dry cleaning is recommended, to ensure they last longer.