|I have recently discovered the benefits of a weighted blanket. It was a surprise to me that it could possibly help with my chronic pain. But there are many more benefits from them, and here I will present a review of three blankets, with a little extra thrown in!
What Is a Weighted Blanket?
According to Wikipedia definition, a weighted blanket is “a heavy blanket that is used to aid sleep and reduce anxiety.” Check out that link if you want to know more about the history of weighted blankets.
What Purpose Does a Weighted Blanket Serve?
The most popular advertised use is to help people with depression. The weight of the blanket stimulates the nervous system to release serotonin, which is a feel good hormone that calms the brain. Added to this the blanket enhances sleep, and the benefits are doubled.
The release of serotonin can also reduce stress and anxiety. Which of course are two culprits of an inability to fall asleep and stay asleep.
Another use has been to help children that have been diagnosed with ADD or ADHD. The same principle that assists people with depression affects children’s nervous system also. It assists the brain to relax and calm down so that the person can focus. See this article about Weighted Blankets and ADHD.
I have come to use them for two reasons. They help me sleep better and they help distract me from my chronic pain. I wrote about pain relief in my article: What Is the Purpose of a Weighted Blanket? Managing Pain! Click on the link to see my findings.
What Is A Weighted Blanket Made Of?
The blanket itself is made from traditional materials, such as rayon, linen, flannel, cotton and even bamboo. The filling is what sets the blanket apart as a weighted blanket. The filling makes it heavy. Materials that can be used would include pebbles, grains, sand, beads or steel beads.
These fillings are sewn into the blanket, usually distributed as squares of seams. Each forms a pocket that holds the materials used for filling. This ensures an even distribution of the fill.
Who Can Use a Weighted Blanket?
Most people can use a weighted blanket. Even children can use one. In fact, using a weighted blanket can calm children. This helps them relax and get to sleep.
Most adults can use one as well, with similar benefits of feeling like you are being hugged. However, there are some people that shouldn’t use a weighted blanket. Those people are ones that have these conditions:
- Chronic respiratory or circulatory issues
- Sleep apnea
- Low blood pressure
- Type 2 Diabetes
Other precautions are to never put it over your head and only as far as your shoulders.
If you are in doubt, talk with your doctor to see if a weighted blanket is for you.
Cleaning a Weighted Blanket
This is an important factor to consider. A blanket that weighs over 15 lbs. should not be cleaned in your washing machine. It is too heavy for the parts of your machine to handle. One suggestion is to take it to a place that has heavy duty machines. Even then, I would be careful to make sure the machine can handle your blanket.
A safe recommendation is to wash it by hand in your tub. But you better have a strong person doing this, because getting it wet will increase the weight. And if you have grain filling your blanket, then don’t wash it at all. Maybe spot cleaning is all you should do.
Cleaning a weighted blanket is certainly a downside of a weighted blanket. The recommended way to dry a washed weighted blanket is by hanging it to dry. Again, not a small feat and a strong person will have to do this.
I think investing in a duvet cover might be a good idea. And read the cleaning instructions before you purchase one.
This chart comes from my experience using two of the products and then researching other popular items. I have used the Yescool and the Weighted Idea blankets. I liked them both and continue to use them. In addition, I am adding a duvet cover option, as I think a cover is needed so you don’t have to try to clean the weighted blanket itself.
|Yescool Weighted Blanket for Adults
|20 lbs., but can get lighter or heavier
|Comes in several bright colors
|Not as many size options as other two
|Weighted Idea Cooling Blanket
|Queen 15 lbs., but can get lighter or heavier
|Lots of size options
|Some complaints that sizing doesn’t match what you get.
|Twin, 10 lbs., but can get lighter or heavier
|Tons of size options
|Only two colors
|Limited sizes and selections
If you are looking for a weighted blanket for any reason, I can honestly recommend the first two listed in my chart. I am happy with both. If you have questions or comments, please leave them below. Here’s to better sleep and less pain!