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Today, the number of people suffering from various sleep disorders is increasing. Innovative product companies are always introducing products to help people get better sleep. One such sleep product that has become wildly popular in recent years is the weighted blanket. Unlike a regular blanket, weighted blankets are much heavier, ranging from anywhere between 5 and 30 pounds. It has become a common sleep accessory for many adults and children because it is supposed to help with several sleep-related disorders.
Weighted blankets usually have a filling inside made of glass or plastic beads. Some weighted blankets also have extra padding off polyester fibers to provide maximum comfort. The outer portion of the blanket is usually made of cotton, flannel or wool. Weighted blankets look much like regular blankets but feel a lot heavier. The reasoning behind weighted blankets is that the weight helps release happiness hormones that help with sleep disorders and mental disorders such as autism and depression.
A lot of mental and behavioral problems cause restlessness and make it hard to fall asleep. Weighted blankets are supposed to calm down restlessness and induce relaxation and sleep. But weight is the most important consideration when choosing weighted blankets. If the blanket is too heavy, it can cause discomfort and disrupt sleep, especially in children. Not all weighted blankets have the same weight, so you must always try to feel and hold the blanket before purchase.
How a Weighted Blanket Works?
Weighted blankets work by providing a sensation called ‘grounding’ that involves applying moderate pressure to the body and pushing them deeper into the sleep surface. Grounding is also said to trigger the release of calming hormones that soothe the nerves and aid in sleep.
The key to making a weighted blanket work for you is the weight. This is why weighted blankets should always be customized according to individual users because no two people will be comfortable using the same weight. Most adults are usually comfortable with a blanket weighing around 5 to 10 percent of their own body weight. Weighted blankets are also safe for older children, with the optimal comfort level being 10 percent of their body weight. But children under the age of eight should not be using weighted blankets unless prescribed by a physician, because they pose health and safety risks.
Weighted blankets aren’t for everyone. There are people who should avoid using them or consult with their doctor about the use of weighted blankets. These people include those with respiratory or circulatory disorders and those with claustrophobia and fear of confined spaces or being trapped. Weighted blankets can cause distress and complications to such people and make their problems worse. Particularly heavy blankets can cause significant distress to the user in case of respiratory and circulatory problems. People with claustrophobia should also avoid using weighted blankets because the heavyweight can trigger the phobia.
Benefits of Weighted Blankets
Despite the health risks that come with using weighted blankets, they have been found to be useful in aiding with proper sleep for certain people. Some of the advantages of using a weighted blanket are:
Reduced nighttime cortisol levels: After a stressful day, cortisol remains in your blood even when you go to sleep. Excess cortisol impacts the production of melatonin and hinders sleep. The use of weighted blankets has been found to lower cortisol levels, bringing about calmness and relaxation and helping the person fall and stay asleep.
Increased production of serotonin: Using weighted blankets has been found to increase the production of Serotonin, the hormone that is responsible for keeping us awake and alert throughout the day and preventing daytime sleepiness. Weighted blankets also help in the production of other hormones such as dopamine and oxytocin, which are called happiness hormones.
Reduced instances of sleepwalking: Children who walk in their sleep benefit from the use of a weighted blanket, because the heavyweight isn’t easy to quickly get out of in the middle of the night. Besides, weighted blankets are also known to promote calmness and relaxation, reducing the instance of somnambulism.
Weighted blankets also help calm down children with autism and ADHD, because they have significantly low levels of melatonin and are hard to put to sleep. Weighted blanket calms down restlessness, increase production of melatonin and also improve memory and cognition to some extent.
Best Weighted Blankets of 2019
With weighted blankets so popular, bedding manufacturers are jumping on the bandwagon and producing their own versions of the blanket. But not all of them are capable of providing you with the benefits of weighted blankets. We have listed the top weighted blankets today that are on the forefront for being the best.
- Fun, colorful weighted blankets made of nontoxic materials and BPA-free pellets
- Made for year-round use
- 100 % customizable
- 5 lbs to the 25 lbs weight range
Mosaic has been one of the most beloved weighted blanket manufacturers in the US, founded by Laura LeMond as a way to help people get relief from disorders like panic, anxiety and ADD by cuddling up with a blanket. Mosaic weighted blankets are made in Austin, Texas, and are 100 percent customizable. In fact, you can even send in your own materials and pellets to have a blanket made just for you.
Mosaic offers a huge range of weights, colors, and styles, outnumbering most other weighted blanket manufacturers. Mosaic blankets begin from 5 pounds are available in one-pound increments. They also come in different sizes, and 100 percent customizable to suit your exact preferences. You can have a Star Wars themed blanket for your boy, a pink polka dot blanket for your daughter, a plaid 20-pound blanket for yourself, or 25-lbs queen size for the master bed.
While Mosaic does offer reasonably priced weighted blankets that have been tried and tested by consumers over the last eight years, the company does lack some of the user-friendly features offered by newer weighted blankets. For instance, the plastic pellets can be felt through the cotton cover and they also noisily move around inside the pockets. But if you don’t do much tossing and turning during the night, and also find the sound of the pellets soothing, you shouldn’t have a problem with the Mosaic weighted blankets. As far as grounding and calming are concerned, the blankets perform an excellent job.
- Both adults and children
- Those who love body-hugging blankets
- Interested in customizing options and variety
- Scientifically proven to improve sleep, reduce stress and increase productivity
- Dual-sided, for summer and winter use
- Evenly distributed weight
Not all weighted blankets are machine washable, but the one by CMFRT is. You can easily remove the cover and wash the blanket, just like all your other clothing. Another advantage of the CMFRT Cozy weighted blanket is the dual side. One side has a minky microfiber cover for use in winter while the other side has a soft cotton cover for use in summer. Inside there are beads stitched uniformly into individual pockets that add weight to the blanket. Because these beads don’t heat up, you can easily use this blanket throughout the year, switching sides to your preferences.
The weighted blankets by CMFRT are available in small and queen sizes. The smaller sizes – 5 lb, 7 lb, and 12 lb – are great to cover your body, and the larger queen sizes – 16 lb, 20 lb, 25 lb – are great to cover the bed. Although they don’t offer many customization options, CMFRT Cozy weighted blankets do come in a number of color options. The beads are made with premium glass and are nontoxic and hypoallergenic. The blankets are made entirely in the US and have a satisfaction guarantee. A 22 lb queen size blanket retails for $179.
- Those who want a user-friendly, innovative weighted blanket
- Those who want size and weight options
- Those who want to machine wash the blanket
- Reasonably priced, compared to competitors
- Satisfaction guarantee
- 3-year warranty
- Seven-layer construction
Given the variation in children’s weights, it can be hard to find the right weighted blanket for them. The YnM weighted blanket seems to be just right for both kids and adults, because of the variety of sizes they offer. Children are usually comfortable with weighted blankets that are 10 percent of their body weight. Usually, weighted blankets that weigh 5 to 7 pounds are ideal for children. YnM offers that, and there are additional options that are fit adults.
The blanket has a seven-layer construction, at the center of which is the layer of glass beads. The additional layers are made of soft fabrics that do not heat up and help keep the sleep cool. Because there is little to no microfiber content, the blanket is great for the summers. Sleepers will also be comfortable without feeling the beads through the layers. There are five weighted inserts for evenly distributing the beads and allow the blanket to adapt to the shape of the sleeper.
- Children as well as adults
- Those who prefer a blanket that adapts to their shape
- Hot sleepers
- Machine washable
- Satisfaction guarantee
- Three weight options to choose from
The Density Comfort weighted blanket has only three weight options to choose from, and they are all pretty heavy at 15 lbs, 20 lbs, and 25 lbs. Needless to say, this isn’t a blanket that’s ideal for children. Only heavy adults will be able to use it comfortably. Many adults who prefer something lighter have said that the blanket is too heavy to sleep with. If you’re above 150 pounds and would love something really heavy pinning you down through the night, this is the blanket for you.
The outer cover is plush fleece, and the inner layer is made cotton. The outer cover can be removed and thrown in the wash.
- Heavyweight people
- Those who sleep cold
- Those who love really heavy blankets
- Soft and breathable materials
- Responsive customer service
- 30-day return/replacement and 3-year warranty
The Zzzhen weighted blanket is made of cotton, which means it’s breathable and also sleeps cool. It’s touted as the ideal blanket for those who suffer from insomnia, anxiety and other pressures of life. The gentle weight of the blanket helps remove stress and fatigue and creates a calming sleeping experience. The blanket is constructed with high-quality Egyptian cotton through well-proportioned sewing that evenly distributed the weight through the blanket.
- Hot sleepers
- Those who love premium cotton
- Those who want dependable customer service and longer than average warranty
- Dual-sided removable cover
- Evenly distributed weight
- Only one size of 15 lbs
Although Sensadream offers only one size and weight – queen 15 lbs – the company claims that it can be used for all people. However, the ideal weight range is 130-lbs to 180 lbs. the blanket has two sides to the cover, the minky side for winters and the 100 percent natural bamboo side for summer. The cover can also be removed for washing. The tiny glass sand beads are non-toxic and hypoallergenic and do not make any noise.
- Those looking for attention to detail
- Ideal weight
- Those who want reasonable pricing
Degrees of Comfort Weighted blanket
- Weight options 5 lbs to 30 lbs
- Two covers for summer and winter
Available exclusively on Amazon, the weighted blanket from Degrees of Comfort comes with two separate covers- one for the summer and the other for the colder months. Strict attention to detail is paid during construction, using only the highest quality materials that are hypoallergenic and non-toxic. Suitable for both children and adults, the weighted blanket comes in a wide range of weight options and is priced under $60.
- Those looking for value for money
- Use in both summer and winter
- Wide weight options
Although weighted blankets claim to offer a number of health and sleep benefits, remember to consult with your doctor before you start using it if you have any health problem that requires attention.