Benefits Of Weighted Blankets (Dangers And Buyers Guide)

Do you have trouble falling asleep at night? Do you suffer from anxiety, migraine headaches, or restless legs?

Weighted blankets may be just the solution you’re looking for!

Read below to find out why these heavy blankets work and which conditions they can help improve. Also included is a bonus guide to the many brands of weighted blankets and their features.

What Are Weighted Blankets?

Weighted blankets are just that – blankets that have been weighed down, usually somewhere between 5 and 30 pounds.

The blankets are filled with heavy beads, usually made of an allergy-friendly plastic. Some blankets come with glass bead filling, while others (usually handmade blankets) are filled with rice or millet.

In theory, the weight of the blanket is supposed to be suitable for a number of conditions, such as anxiety, ADHD, insomnia, and Autism Spectrum Disorder.

The blankets should weigh about 10% of your body weight, give or take a pound or two.

While some companies sell weighted blankets that can act as bedspreads, it is better to purchase them so that they are just big enough to cover your body.

Do Weighted Blankets Work?

The short answer is… maybe.

Light touches, such as a bug crawling on your arm, excite the nervous system. On the other hand, deep touches, like a hug, relax the nervous system.

Weighted blankets use Deep Touch Pressure Stimulation to mimic a hug with the goal of helping you relax.

The weight of the blanket can cause your body to release serotonin, a neurotransmitter that reduces stress and elevates mood. Serotonin, once released, can be turned into melatonin. Melatonin is a neurotransmitter that helps you fall asleep.

Weighted blankets can also cause you to release oxytocin, or the Happy Hormone. Oxytocin elevates your mood and reduces blood pressure and heart rate.

Weighted blankets can work very well, as long as you like how they feel. Some people feel overly-restricted by weighted blankets, which can make their condition worse.

Many people have had great success with weighted blankets. Below are a handful of conditions that may benefit from the pressure these blankets provide.

Benefits For Autism Spectrum Disorder

Occupational therapists first used weighted blankets for sensory integration therapy. This type of therapy helps children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, or ASD, regulate their emotions and behavior.

The deep pressure of the weighted blanket can help to reduce arousal in children with ASD and help them to feel safe and secure.

Weighted blankets are also useful for people with Sensory Processing Disorders, or SPD.

People with SPD are highly sensitive to certain sensations, like touch or sound. The pressure of a weighted blanket can help bring focus to one sensation at a time and prevent overwhelming feelings.

Used To Relieve Anxiety

While weighted blankets won’t cure your anxiety, they can be a great tool to help relieve symptoms.

Weighted blankets can reduce anxiety by lowering levels of cortisol, or the stress hormone. They also cause the release of serotonin and oxytocin, which can elevate mood.

Along with anxiety, weighted blankets can be helpful for Pot Traumatic Stress Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and other related disorders. They are even useful for everyday stress and may prevent anxiety from occurring later in life.

Good For Managing Restless Legs

Restless Leg Syndrome is, unfortunately, still poorly understood. This condition is known for causing unpleasant symptoms like creepy-crawly sensations, the necessity to kick or fidget, and pain.

Many people have found relief from their restless legs by using weighted blankets. Restless Leg Syndrome often occurs at night, so sleeping with a weighted blanket may help prevent annoying symptoms from occurring.

Offers Relief For Migraines

Migraines are another poorly understood condition that millions of people deal with around the world. Many migraine sufferers have found some relief by using weighted blankets.

Frequently, migraines are caused or made worse by muscle tension. The pressure of a weighted blanket can allow muscles to relax and reduce tension, allowing the migraine to go away more quickly.

Some brands offer special weighted eye masks specifically for migraine sufferers. Many people find that applying pressure directly to the eye area greatly relieves pain and throbbing caused by a migraine.

Masks are also useful for blocking out light, which can make migraines worse. On the other hand, others have found that specific types of light can actually have a positive effect

Improve Sleep And Insomnia Problems

Parents know that one way to get a baby to sleep is to swaddle them in a blanket – this snug pressure helps the baby feel safe and calm.

Some children and adults will benefit from this same type of ‘swaddling’ pressure provided by a weighted blanket.

Weighted blankets, as mentioned above, cause your body to produce melatonin. Many people find that melatonin allows them to fall asleep quicker and stay asleep longer.

It is important not to use weighted blankets to swaddle babies or children, as this can be extremely dangerous.

Used To Help ADHD

Weighted blankets can be useful for children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD.

Low levels of serotonin are thought to be a major cause of ADHD. Weighted blankets help to increase levels of this neurotransmitter and can calm hyperactivity.

Now that we know some of the big benefits, let’s also consider some common questions people have.

Here we go…

Are Weighted Blankets Hot?

People who tend to overheat at night may find most weighted blankets to be too hot. This can be solved by running a fan or air conditioner at night.

If you are prone to overheating, look for blankets that do not use polyfil and avoid heavy fabrics like flannel or fleece.

Some companies make weighted blankets with cooling features built in, such as moisture-wicking fabric or weighted beads that keep you cool.

Can Weighted Blankets be Dangerous?

Weighted blankets are generally safe for adults and children when used properly.

When picking a blanket for your child, make sure they can lift the blanket off of themselves without any help. Some children and babies have died after being smothered by blankets that were too heavy or wrapped too tightly.

Follow the manufacturers directions to avoid accidents, and never wrap or swaddle children with a weighted blanket.

Popular Brands People Like

    • Quility
      • Size
        • Comes in one size only – 48” x 78”
        • Comes in three weights – 15 pounds, 20 pounds, 25 pounds
      • Material
        • Comes in one color only
        • Blanket and cover are 100% cotton
        • Filled with hypoallergenic plastic poly pellets
      • Special Features
        • Comes with a removable cover that is machine washable
    • Harkla
      • Size
        • Comes in six different weights from 5 pounds to 25 pounds
        • Comes in five sizes ranging from 36”x56” to 65”x80”
      • Material
        • Comes in three colors
        • Blanket is made of soft, textured fabric for sensory input
        • Filled with poly-pellets
      • Special Features
        • Made just for children
        • Entire blanket is machine washable
        • Lifetime guarantee
        • Removable cover included
    • SensaCalm
      • Size
        • Comes in small, medium, and large sizes, as well as full and queen
        • Comes in weights between 3 and 8 pounds
      • Material
        • Come in countless colors, patterns, and types of fabric
        • Polyfil used to mimic a duvet
        • Filled with hypoallergenic polypropylene pellets
      • Special Features
        • Entire blanket is machine washable
        • Waterproof version available
    • Weighting Comforts
        • Size
          • Comes in 10 pounds, 15 pounds, and 20 pounds
          • Comes in one size only – 42” x 74”
        • Material
          • Comes in six different colors
          • Filled with PVC beads
          • Fabric is 100% cotton
        • Special Features
          • Company sells a Coolmax blanket made with moisture-wicking fabric to keep you cooler
          • Entire blanket is machine washable
    • The Magic Blanket
        • Size
          • Comes in nine different weights between 4 and 24 pounds
          • Comes in nine different sizes to choose from, including a mini size
        • Material
          • Have many different colors, patterns, and types of fabric available
          • Filled with hypoallergenic poly pellets
        • Special Features
          • Comes in a “lite” version that weighs less
          • Comes in a waterproof version
          • Entire blanket is machine washable
    • YnM
      • Size
        • Available in nine different weights from 7 to 30 pounds
        • Comes in four different sizes
      • Material
        • Available in four different colors
        • Filled with hypoallergenic glass beads
      • Special Features
        • Blanket is machine washable but a removable cover is recommended
        • 3-year warranty included
    • Mosaic
      • Size
        • Comes in all weights between 5 and 20 pounds
        • Comes in four different sizes
      • Material
        • Comes in many different colors and types of fabric
        • Filled with poly pellets and polyfil
      • Special Features
        • Blankets are machine washable
    • Gravity Blanket
      • Size
        • Comes in 15 pounds, 20 pounds, and 25 pounds
        • Available in one size only – 72”x48”
      • Material
        • Duvet is made of microfiber
        • Available in three colors
        • Filled with BPA-free poly pellets
      • Special Features
        • A special cooling blanket is available
        • Entire blanket is machine washable
    • Swadl
      • Size
        • Comes in five weights between 5 and 25 pounds
        • Available in only one size – 49.5”x77”
      • Material
        • Filled with poly beads
        • Cover is made from 100% cotton
        • Comes in only one color and one type of fabric
      • Special Features
        • Is supposed to keep you cooler than other blankets
        • Can increase the weight of your blanket by adding more beads
        • Removable cover is machine washable
    • My Calm Blanket
      • Size
        • Comes in four weights between 10 and 25 pounds
        • Comes in one size – 48” x 72”
      • Material
        • Available in one material only
        • Available in one color only
        • Blanket is made from cotton, cover is a soft minky material
      • Special Features
        • Entire blanket machine washable
        • Removable cover
Kelli Yates
Kelli Yates
Kelli Yates is a health and nutrition writer, dietetics student, and co-host and creator of The Nutrition Nerds Podcast. In her spare time she teaches the free class Well-Fed Survival: Eating Healthy After A Disaster, which helps people build nutritious emergency food supplies and prepare for natural disasters.
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