In recent years, weighted blankets have become increasingly popular with people who have difficulty sleeping, for example, because of night-time anxiety or insomnia. For a weighted blanket to have the desired effect, it needs to provide just the right amount of pressure to provide calm and comfort. Too heavy, and the sleeper will feel uncomfortable and trapped.
How do you know what is the right weighted blanket weight for you? In this article, we share with you a weight chart you can choose to easily pick the right weighted blanket for you. So continue reading to find out how heavy should a weighted blanket be.
Weighted Blankets – What Are They?
If you have heard about weighted blankets but are not exactly sure what they are or if you should get one, let’s first look at what they are. They are blankets that contain a filling designed to add weight to the blanket. The fillings can be, for example, glass microbeads or plastic pellets, or organic materials such as rice or sand.
The extra weight in these blankets adds pressure to your body. You can find weighted blankets weighing from a few kilos to around 15 kilograms on the market, meaning they are considerably heavier than regular comforters or duvets.
For added comfort, many weighted blankets also have some quilting, which will reduce the sound and feel of the fill shifting as you move the blanket. The quilting can also provide extra warmth and comfort. In short, the blankets can give you the feeling of being hugged, which can release feel-good hormones such as serotonin, dopamine, and oxytocin.
Because the blankets have a calming effect on people who suffer from sleep anxiety or other sleep disorders, they are sometimes referred to as anxiety blankets. However, you do not need to suffer from any form of anxiety to still benefit from a weighted blanket.
What Are the Benefits of Weighted Blankets?
There are several benefits associated with weighted blankets, which can be compared to deep pressure therapy. Weighted blankets can help you if you have:
- Trouble falling or staying asleep
- Sensory issues
- Autism symptoms or ADHD
- Restless feet syndrome
How Heavy Should a Weighted Blanket Be?
If your weighted blanket is too light, you will not feel any benefits from using it or only feel some benefits. The rule most often applied to choosing a weighted blanket is that it should be between 7% and 10% of your body weight. For example:
If you weigh 70 kg and want a blanket that is 7%, you will need to choose a blanket that weighs 5 kg since 7% of 70 kg is 4.9 kg. If you wish to choose a blanket that weighs 10% of your body weight, the blanket needs to weigh 7 kg. When you choose a blanket that fits within this weight range it will be heavy enough to activate the benefits but not too heavy so it feels like you cannot breathe or move.
You also need to note that using 7% to 10% of your body weight is a general guideline and people have different preferences. You might find a lighter or heavier blanket more comfortable. If you are not sure, try out different weights or speak to your doctor to see what they recommend. It is also best to check with your doctor in case there are any medical conditions or concerns that may prevent you from using a weighted blanket.
What if Your Weight is Between Two Recommendations?
If you work out the weight of the blanket using a percentage of your body weight, you will often fall between two weights. For example, if you weigh 67 kg, 10% of your body weight would be 6.7 kg.
When the weight of the blanket is in the middle of two available blanket sizes, choose the one nearest to the recommended weight. For example, for 6.7 kg, choose a blanket that weighs 7 kg. However, it is best to try out both 7 kg and 6 kg blankets to find your personal preference.
How Heavy Should a Child’s Weighted Blanket Be?
When choosing a weighted blanket for children, you can follow the rule of 10% of their body weight plus a half to a full kilogram. For most children weighing up to 20 kg, the lightest blankets will usually work the best. With the right weight, the children will get the best benefits and stay safe.
You should never use weighted blankets for babies and if your child is younger than five, speak to your family doctor before you start using a weighted blanket for your child.
What is the Right Blanket Weight for Eldelry People?
You can follow the same guideline with older adults as with children, which is 10% of the body weight with an additional half a kilogram up to a kilogram. If you are an elderly Canadian and have trouble sleeping, a weighted blanket can be helpful. However, if you have any respiratory issues or health conditions such as sleep apnea, heavy blankets could be dangerous. Speak to your doctor about weighted blankets to ensure you get the right weight for you.
Is it possible for a weighted blanket to be too heavy?
Yes, your weighted blanket can be too heavy if you pick a blanket that is more than 10% of your body weight. In addition, the general rule for most people is to avoid blankets that weigh 15 kg or more. If your blanket makes moving difficult or you feel that it is pressing on your chest and making breathing difficult, swap it for a lighter blanket.
What is the Best Size for a Weighted Blanket?
While weight is the most important factor when choosing a weighted blanket, the size of the blanket is important, too. If it is not covering your whole body, you will not feel the benefits in full. The blanket should cover you from your shoulders down to your feet.
Weighted blankets come in varying sizes and the size will affect the distribution of the weight. For example, a king-size blanket that weighs 10 kg, may feel lighter than a twin-size blanket weighing 10 kg because the weight is distributed across a larger area. If your blanket is bigger or smaller than you need, it may not provide the benefits as well as a right-size blanket would.
Choose a blanket that is almost as long as you. For example, if you are 160 cm tall, a good length would be around 155 cm. If you are looking for a single-person weighted blanket, a twin-size blanket is usually comfortable, while a couple will need at least a queen size.
What is Deep Pressure Therapy?
Deep pressure therapy (DPT), which is also called deep pressure stimulation (DPS), involves using comforting pressure to relax the nervous system. This will have a calming effect on the whole body. DPT can be helpful for people who struggle to sleep, with anxiety, or with stress.
According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine which conducted a study on weighted blankets, they can mimic the effects of DPT and therefore ease symptoms linked to attention, sensory, and sleep issues.
Weighted Blankets Safety
While weighted blankets are safe to use for most people, you should always speak to your doctor before you start using them to see if the benefits align with your health issues and wellness goals. You may not be able to use a weighted blanket if you have conditions such as sleep apnea or asthma.
You should note that you may not feel the benefits of a weighted blanket straight away. Some people start to notice a difference after a few nights but for others, it may take a week or slightly longer to notice anything.
Give your body time to adjust to the weighted blanket before you decide whether it is working for you or not. If you are still not noticing any benefits after a week or so, it may mean that the blanket is not the right weight for you. If you have chosen a lighter blanket within your recommended range, consider changing it for a slightly heavier one.
What Else Should You Consider Except the Weight When Buying a Weighted Blanket?
Once you have picked a suitable weight for you, there are other factors you should consider from the filling material to the color of the blanket.
Different filling materials are likely to give you a different experience. Glass beads are a common filler in weighted blankets and are often used in high-end blankets. Blankets with glass beads can be easier to care for because they can be washed in a washing machine and even tumble-dried.
Another common filler material is plastic pellets. Blankets with plastic pellets can make some noise when you move under the blanket. However, plastic pellet blankets are often cheaper than glass bead blankets. These blankets are also machine washable.
Sand is a natural filler and it can be either glass sand or regular sand. Both types are affordable options, with the glass sand blankets costing a little more. You cannot wash sand-filled blankets in a washing machine.
There are also other materials used for filling weighted blankets such as rice or dried peas. However, the above three tend to be the most common materials. When deciding on the filling, consider your preferences regarding the sound and feel of the blanket.
The Fabric of the Blanket
Considering the fabric of the blanket is important as it can make a difference in how comfortable you feel using it. When deciding on the fabric, consider factors such as how soft and smooth you want it to be, do you need it to help you keep cool during the night, or do you have allergies.
For example, if you want a fabric that will help you keep cool and is hypoallergenic, consider a fabric such as bamboo. For someone who likes to keep warmer, cotton or flannel could work better.
Choosing the Colour
The colour of the blanket will not be important to everyone but others may want to consider how well the colour of the blanket matches their bed sheets and the rest of the bedroom decor. You will find that there are multiple colour options available from neutrals to multicoloured. Of course, if you decide to use a duvet cover with your weighted blanket, you can change the appearance of the blanket more easily.
Should You Use a Duvet Cover With a Weighted Blanket?
Whether you want to use a duvet cover with a weighted blanket is really a matter of personal preference. However, there are benefits to using a duvet cover with your blanket. The duvet cover will protect the weighted blanket from direct contact with your skin which means you can wash the blanket less often and wash the duvet cover instead. Using a duvet cover may also extend the lifespan of your weighted blanket.
Choosing the right weight for your weighted blanket is a key factor in how beneficial using a weighted blanket will be. The general rule is to choose a blanket that is between 7% and 10% of your body weight but personal preferences vary so try out different weights to find the one that works for you best.
You also need to consider the size of the blanket to get the most out of it. If you are the only one sleeping under the blanket, a twin will be a good size. For two people sharing, choose at least a queen size to share it comfortably.
Frequently Asked Questions
You should not use weighted blankets with babies and if your child is under five years old, speak to your doctor before you give your child a weighted blanket. For children weighing around 20 kg, you can use the lightest blankets to help them sleep better.
The recommendation is to find a blanket that is between 7% and 10% of your body weight. So if you weigh 62 kg and choose a blanket that is 10% of your body weight, you would need to get a blanket weighing as close to 6.2 kg as possible.
Yes, you can and should wash weighted blankets. Check the care label on the blanket for instructions on how to wash your specific blanket.