How To Choose a Weighted Blanket That’s Right For You
You’ve never slept with a weighted blanket ever? Well, you are seriously missing out. Weighted blankets are having quite a moment right now in Australia and they are truly the extra pounds of blessings from the sleep gods.
Even after a long day at work, falling asleep may seem like a struggle. Even if you do rollback on your time spent on Instagram in bed and cut down on the evening coffee ritual, it can still seem impossible to get yourself to sleep.
Well, say hello to weighted blankets!
These super cosy and comfortable throws will squash your anxiety and comfort you for a good sleep, which is so important to keep you sane throughout the day, especially in these unprecedented times.
What Is A Weighted Blanket?
From Kourtney Kardashian to sleep therapists and doctors, almost everyone swears by the therapeutic benefits of a weighted blanket in sleep, especially if you are one of those who keeps tossing and turning at night. These are super-cozy blankets that have fillers that weigh anywhere between 3 and 15 kilograms-worth of beads, to weigh it down.
How Do Weighted Blankets Work?
Well, you know how good it feels when you hug someone or how well you sleep after a good cuddle with your partner? Well, a heavy weighted fabric triggers a similar response. It mirrors the soothing effect of an occupational therapy technique (Deep Touch Pressure therapy) that is used to help patients with anxiety.
According to this, when you hug, hold, gently stroke a person with ADHD, anxiety and other sensory disorders, their stress levels go down, according to research cited in this Occupational Therapy International journal. The science behind this is that when you apply pressure on someone’s body, it decreases the level of cortisol, a stress hormone and pushes the level of happy hormones such as dopamine and serotonin up, elevating your mood. You can dig deeper on how it exactly works in our article on what makes weighted blankets effective.
So, in addition to those bubble baths, spa massages and scented candles, weighted blankets might just be the kind of soothing self care routine that you need this year for better sleep.
Now that doesn’t mean you just find the heaviest blanket online and dump it on you. Nope, that’s not how it works. It is important that you ease your way into the world of weighted blankets by picking one that works for your body weight the best.
How to Choose a Weighted Blanket?
There are a couple of factors to keep in mind while choosing a weighted blanket, like the blanket’s weight, size, material and type of fillers, as discussed below.
1) How Heavy Should The Weighted Blanket Be?
The first and most crucial step is to determine the right weight. Weighted blanket come in all range of weights from 3 kg to all the way up to 15 kg. If you are a newbie in the weighted blanket world, then a general rule of thumb is to pick a weighted blanket that is close to 10% of your body weight.
So, if you are 68 kgs, a 6.8 or 7 kg weighted blanket will ensure the right amount of pressure to help you get a good night’s sleep. Similarly, a 90 kg person would need a 9 kg weighted blanket.
Choosing one that is just a bit over the 10% rule is also acceptable, provided you feel comforted by it. Anything heavier than that and you will start feeling uncomfortable squished.
Don’t Let The Baby In
It is extremely important that you keep weighted blankets that you use away from your kids, especially if they are less than 9 kilograms or under two years of age. It is advisable to consult a doctor before you buy one for children under the age of five. They are also not safe for children with heart issues or breathing disorders.
If you are a couple that struggles with sleep, a weighted blanket is a great option to calm your nerves while sleeping. But before purchasing one, it is important to consider the weight differences and partner’s height.
Suppose you and your partner’s weight does not differ by much (less than 5kg difference). In that case, you can consider getting a weighted blanket that’s about 10% of the body weight of the lighter one.
But let’s say you weigh 80 kilograms and your partner weighs 60 kilograms, then the weighted blanket you pick may be too heavy for your partner. Here, instead of the 10% rule, purchase a weighted blanket that is 7.5% of the combined body weight.
The average weight of couples in Australia is 157 kg (as per Abs.gov report). So for most Aussie couples, a 12 kg weighted blanket should do the trick.
You can refer to the table below to figure out how heavy your weighted blanket should ideally be:
|Combined Weight of Couple||Recommended Blanket Weight|
|54 – 68 kg||4.5 kg|
|68 – 90 kg||7 kg|
|90 – 115 kg||9 kg|
|115 – 150 kg||12 kg|
Why Your Blanket Shouldn’t Be Too Heavy
It is advisable to stay under the maximum weight limit of 15 kilograms for a blanket, irrespective of your size or the number of people sharing it. Here are a few reasons why you should stick to weighted blankets that don’t exceed the recommended weight:
- Hot Flashes: Not only will a blanket heavier than 15 kgs cause discomfort, but it can also raise your body temperature. The optimal temperature for a good night’s sleep is between 60 to 67 degrees Fahrenheit (15.6 to 19.4 degrees Celsius). Anything over that will make you susceptible to overheating and hot flashes.
- Waste Of Money: Honestly, there is no need of buying a blanket that is way above the 10% body weight limit. It won’t alleviate the benefits of the blanket in any way and will instead be dumped in your lower wardrobe shelf because of how hot and uncomfortable it is to use. There is no reason to invest in such a blanket only to be suffocated under its weight.
- Health Risk: You are limiting your body’s blood circulation as an overweight blanket only restricts your movement under it during the night. It truly is a health hazard. If you have diabetes, then it is advisable to stay off weighted blankets, according to MedicalNewsToday.
2) How Big Should Your Weighted Blanket Be?
Weighted blankets come in a variety of sizes and weights and you must make a calculated and informed decision while buying one. We understand that it can get a bit overwhelming at times. If you aren’t sharing your blanket with anyone else, then you can buy the ones that come in single sizes.
If you are a couple who loves being under the same blanket, then it is wise to go for larger Queen/King weighted blankets to ensure both of you are covered and enjoy a good night’s sleep.
You would also want yourself to be covered up to your toes. Hence, buy one that is slightly larger than your height so that you are covered fully, but not drowning in it. Too big blankets are also tedious to fold and store.
The key here is to buy a blanket of a similar size as that of your mattress so that it does not drape off the bed’s ends. So, if you have a queen mattress, you should consider getting a queen-sized weighted blanket.
3) The Make Of Your Weighted Blanket
While weighted blankets have simple designs that just include a cover with fillings inside, it is significant that you pick a cover material or casing that is durable and offers comfort. Thankfully it is available in a range of materials and you can pick one, depending on your needs.
- Cotton: Thanks to cotton’s hypoallergenic properties, it is one of the most skin-friendly and safest fabrics to go for, especially if you have sensitive skin. The cotton casing that has not been treated with harsh chemicals and artificial softeners are breathable and airier than the others.
- Microfiber: These are one of the favourites in the weighted blanket world, as they are super soft and last longer than the rest. However, if you have sensitive skin, you might want to skip this one. It is easy to wash and is stain-resistant.
- Satin: Not only will this give a luxe appearance to your mattress, but it is also great for your hair as unlike cotton it doesn’t suck the moisture off your hair and keep it hydrated. It is also a great option for those with dry skin as it will not absorb the natural oils off your skin, unlike the cotton, microfiber and polyester options. It also helps regulate cool temperature inside the blanket offering you optimum comfort to fall asleep.
4) Types Of Fillers
From foam beads, to plastic poly pellets, to steel shot beads and micro glass beads, weighted blankets are made with various types of fillers. A filler is what largely contributes to the weight of the banket, however some blankets do use weighted weaves instead.
It is significant that you pick a filler material that is durable and allows for gridded stitching that distributes the weight evenly across the blanket. The most common fillers are plastic, micro-glass and steel.
- Plastic poly pellets: If you prefer a cozy, duvet-style blanket, then the one with plastic pellets is perfect for you. These pellets are made of polypropylene and are non-toxic and safe to wash. They are larger than glass beads and hence make the weighted blankets bulkier. While plastic is more affordable than glass ones, these weighted blankets are a difficult find as most manufacturers have switched to glass beads.
- Micro glass beads: The micro glass beads in weighted blankets are usually the size of grains of sand and are much heavier than plastic pellets and do not take up much space, unlike other fillers. They are an eco-friendly alternative to plastic ones and are hypoallergenic. So if you have sensitive skin, it is best to opt for weighted blankets with micro glass beads. It is easy to maintain as they are machine washable.
- Steel shot beads: If you are looking for a thin cover blanket material, then the ones with micro steel shots work perfectly with light fabric. They last long and the smooth surface allows them to move against one another easily. They are slightly bigger than glass beads, so you won’t need as many, making them a cost-efficient option.
Of course, which filling will suit you best is also down to your personal preference. Just stick to the basics of investing in quality materials and making a well informed choice, instead of a hurried decision. That way, you won’t end up with a dupe and realise how weighted blankets have lived up to the hype after all.
The options for busting your stress levels and sleep-enhancing solutions are endless these days, from supplements to essential oils and meditation apps to sound machines. And we get it, you have probably tried it all, but are still restless during bedtime.
If you have been feeling a little antsy, then weighted blankets are definitely a good investment in practising self-care. Couldn’t we all use a little sedative action right now anyway? Weighted blankets are the kind of warm cuddles you need to get that serotonin and dopamine going, helping you reach a stage of calm and restfulness. To find one that will suit your needs best, check out our article on Australia’s best weighted blankets.