Confused about the wide array of weighted blankets available in the market? Weighted blankets have gained tremendous popularity in recent times. They are known by several names such as the heavy blanket, anxiety blanket, and the gravity blanket. As the name suggests, a weighted blanket is nothing but a heavy blanket that usually weighs from 5 to 30 pounds.
The weight of this blanket usually comes from the fillers which are used within this blanket such as the plastic poly pellets, micro glass beads and steel shot beads. When you cover yourself with it, you can feel its pressure which ultimately gives you a hugging effect.
This can thereby induce a calming effect due to the production of the dopamine hormone. Principal of the weighted blanket is that of DTP (Deep Touch Pressure) or DPS (Deep Pressure Stimulation).
Selecting the right one for you and your family can be a tedious task especially when you aren’t aware of the selection criteria. We have listed below the criteria which one should keep in mind before you purchase one.
Weighted Blankets:- How To Choose Them
Length and Weight of Your Blanket
This is the most important criteria to look into, in order to select the right weighted blanket. The weight of your heavy weighted blanket should be equal to 10℅ of your body weight. For instance, if your body weight is 130 pounds, then the weight of your blanket should be 13 pounds.
The length of your blanket should be equal to or slightly more than your body height.
- For children, it is advised to select a blanket that weighs 1 to 2 pounds more than 10 % of their body weight. For instance, for a body weight of 50 pounds, select a mattress that weighs 6 to 7 pounds.
- For couples who prefer to use a single blanket, selecting the right one can be quite tricky. This is because your body weight would be different from your partner’s. And hence, one of you will find it extremely heavy or vice-versa if you go by the body weight of either of you. To relax and enjoy the various cuddling positions it is recommended to select a blanket that weighs 7.5% of your combined body weight.
Size of Your Blanket
The size of your blanket should be equivalent to the width of your mattress. None should be left to hang along the sides of your mattress.
Fillings of Your Blanket
These filler materials are generally placed within pockets stitched throughout the blanket. At times quilted channels are seen for the arrangement of the fillers to provide an even distribution of pressure.
The function of these filler materials is to provide the effect of deep pressure. Often individuals find it hard to move around within the blanket. Therefore, this blanket provides quality rest to the individual, thereby providing a night of quality sleep. However, one must not purchase the blanket if they are not able to lift the blanket on their own.
There are several filling materials which are available in the market such as:
- Micro glass beads: These are hypoallergenic materials. The maintenance is also easy as they are machine washable.
- Plastic poly pellets: They are of the safest and non-toxic filler materials. Manufactured from 100% polypropylene is used to manufacture it.
- Steel shot beads: They are heavy and sturdy. However, only a lesser number of beads are required to reach the desired weight.
Among these materials, the most economical choice is plastic poly pellets. However, one must keep in mind that purchasing a heavy weighted blanket can be quite expensive when compared with the traditional varieties.
Maintenance of Your Blanket
While purchasing a weighted blanket one must keep in mind that it can be quite hot when covering yourself with this blanket. So,it is advised to select materials such as cotton which allows air circulation and has moisture-absorbing properties so that it leaves cool throughout.Also, make sure that they are machine washable. Blankets with organic fillers such as rice and sand may get slogged when wet. Hence utmost care should be taken while washing them.
Removable Cover for the Blanket
While purchasing make sure that you buy a cover if it doesn’t come with a removable cover. Also, make sure that the cover doesn’t weigh too much. Having a cover can help you maintain cleanliness and to wash it frequently.
Damage in the Blanket
Make sure that there are no tears and holes in the blanket as this can lead to a polling of the filler material which may result in decreased weight.
Who Are The Ideal Candidates For The Weighted Blankets?
- Individuals who complain of sleepless nights due to their work burden.
- Those individuals who suffer from anxiety.
- Those who are suffering from sensory processing disorders such as autism.
- Those suffering from restless leg syndrome.
Who Should Strictly Avoid Using Weighted Blankets
- Those suffering from snoring, other respiratory disorders such as asthma and chronic pulmonary disorder should strictly avoid using these blankets, as it may make them even more uncomfortable. Loose and light clothing without collars are recommended for such individuals.
- Children below 2 years should strictly avoid using these blankets as they cannot handle their weight. However, children below 5 years can use weighted blankets with the supervision of doctors.
- Individuals suffering from central nervous system disorders such as epilepsy should avoid these blankets.
- Individuals with other underlying disorders such as claustrophobia.
Weighted blankets were initially used only by medical practitioners such as psychiatrists in the treatment of various disorders such as anxiety, insomnia, autism etc. However, in recent times these have gained considerable popularity among the common man owing to their non-medicinal choice of treatment.
The hugging effect produced by the deep pressure of the filler materials is very comforting. Studies indicate increased secretion of the pleasure hormone, dopamine when these weighted blankets are used. Also, the secretion of melatonin and serotonin is increased thereby providing a night of quality sleep.