If you are new to the world of modern sleep products, you are probably wondering: What is a weighted blanket and why is everyone talking about them? We’re about to demystify one of the hottest trends in bedroom decor, and answer every question you have.
A weighted blanket is a heavy blanket that is designed to help alleviate stress and anxiety. How can a blanket do this? It all has to do with a simple yet effective process called deep touch pressure stimulation.
Think back to when you were a child. When you were stressed or hurt, it’s likely that being hugged or held with reassurance calmed you down and made you feel better. Weighted blankets work similarly.
But is it just a fad, or do weighted blankets help people calm down and improve sleep quality? In this all-inclusive guide, we take you through the benefits of weighted blankets, the different types you can buy, as well as best ways to use them.
A weighted blanket is a heavy blanket filled with tiny pellets of weight that are evenly distributed throughout the fabric. Designed to place pressure on muscles and release tension from the nervous system, weighted blankets can help troubled sleepers prepare for sleep and fall asleep faster.
As a trend, weighted blankets are new. However, the product has been around for quite some time as a treatment option for children with severe anxiety, autism, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Fast-forward to today, and weighted blankets have entered the mainstream market as an effective way to improve sleep and naturally reduce stress for people of all ages - especially adults.
Deep touch pressure stimulation is the science behind the effectiveness of this blanket.
Also referred to deep touch pressure therapy, weighted blankets are considered effective in two ways: they help increase serotonin levels and improve the sense of body awareness.
When pressure is applied on muscles and joints, it relaxes the body and increases serotonin, which contributes to happiness and calm. Serotonin is a crucial hormone that plays an essential role in stabilizing mood and increasing general feelings of well-being and happiness.
A reduction in serotonin increases the production of the stress hormone cortisol. As a result, people may experience bouts of depression and difficulty sleeping. Therefore, maintaining serotonin levels consistently plays a crucial role in your mental health and physical well-being.
Serotonin can be increased in many ways, including nutrient-enriched foods, exercise, bright light, and massages. Like a massage, which creates a sense of instant calm, the use of a weighted blanket has feel-good benefits that help users get cozy and relaxed just before bedtime.
Another key function at play when a weighted blanket is used has to do with the sense of body awareness, also referred to as proprioception.
While most people are aware of the body's five key senses (sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch), there are actually seven. Vestibular (movement) and proprioception (body position) are acute senses that allow the mind and body to function at an optimal level.
The use of a weighted blanket and the consequent benefits of deep pressure stimulation therapy is said to be a form of proprioception input. The weight of the blanket on the body gives the brain more information on where your body is in relation to the space around you.
This can be a comforting feeling for most, especially during times of immense stress of fatigue. Having an awareness of your body's exact position and feeling where you are in the world can help settle uncertainty.
Weighted blankets come in a variety of weights, ranging from very light to up to 50 lbs. The key to finding the best weighted blanket is to ensure it’s heavy enough so you can feel the therapeutic benefits, but not at the expense of your comfort.
As a general rule for buyers, you need a blanket of around 10% of your body weight. So if you weigh 130 lbs, buy a weighted blanket that is around 13-15lbs. Keep in mind that this is just a guide.
Personal preference will play a role in which weighted blanket you decide to buy because some people prefer lighter blankets. In contrast, others prefer much heavier options compared to the recommendation of 10% body weight.
There are three main components of a weighted blanket: the cover, the filling, and the weighted beads or pellets that make it heavy. If you want the best, the following breakdown will help you identify what feature to keep an eye out for and what materials to avoid.
The most popular and highly rated weighted blankets have a 100% cotton cover. For extra comfort, you may want to invest in a weighted blanket with a dual feel like the Puffy weighted blanket, which is designed with mink and 100% twill cotton.
What to look out for: Sensitive sleepers should always opt for a hypoallergenic weighted blanket as it will repel dust and other allergens. Also, make sure it’s machine washable to avoid hefty dry-cleaning costs.
What to avoid: Avoid materials such as wool or fleece that may deteriorate quickly or even irritate the skin. To protect your investment, choose a weighted blanket with a removable duvet cover; these tend to last longer and are easier to maintain.
While you may not see it, the fill of your weighted blanket is essential for two reasons. The highest quality fill will keep the weighted beads or pellets in place and circulate air, so you don’t overheat during the night.
What to look out for: Breathable cotton layers are your best bet, especially if you want to use your weighted blanket throughout the year. Also, take note of how the weighted blanket is stitched. A pattern stitch is essential as it will hold the weights in place and ensure perfect weight distribution.
What to avoid: Steer clear from any fill that will make you feel hot and stuffy. Plus, if the weighted blanket isn’t pocket stitched, don’t buy it. Poorly finished weighted blankets can force more weight onto specific parts of the body, which can aggravate your muscles, leaving you with soreness.
Last but not least, the beads or pellets that make the blanket feel heavy can vary considerably. Best-in-class blankets like the Puffy Weighted Blanket do not compromise on quality. Always read the product specs to identify what weighted material is used.
What to look out for: Ceramic beads are used in the best blankets on the market. They are more durable than glass beads and smoother than plastic poly beads. Ceramic beads offer a seamless distribution of weight, and when stitched expertly, you can be sure they won’t bunch up and cause discomfort.
What to avoid: Avoid various fillings that are most often used in the cheaper options in the market. Steer clear from weighted blankets that are filled with sand, grains, or steel shot beads.
Once you get stuck in your research, you will likely find that weighted blankets come in a wide range of prices - but you don’t need to break your bank to find one that will help you sleep better.
Weighted blankets are a worthwhile investment. They have been proven to help many children and adults reduce stress and anxiety before bed, fall asleep faster, and even reduce pain and tension in the body during the night.
Alongside price, consider other factors such as delivery costs, warranty periods, and see if the company offers a money-back trial period.
Wondering what are weighted blankets good for? A weighted blanket's primary purpose is to induce a calming effect on the body and relieve stress before bed. But the benefits extend beyond just relaxation and comfort - there are a plethora of reasons to use one.
First and foremost, the standout weighted blanket benefit is that it is a natural way to reduce stress. While there are medications and other expensive and long-term solutions that people use to deal with varying degrees of pressure, weighted blankets are designed to improve the sleep experience significantly.
Getting quality sleep can significantly help individuals cope with anxiety and stress more efficiently.
Do you find yourself tossing and turning, unable to sleep due to ruminating thoughts? Try a weighted blanket. Deep pressure stimulation can help reduce sleep latency and help you fall asleep as soon as you settle in and get comfy.
Occupational therapists have used weighted blankets as a tool to treat sensory conditions for many years. The blanket's weight had both a calming and organizing effect on the sensory system, which helps those who suffer from sensory processing disorders and other conditions feel safe and stable.
The therapeutic benefits of deep pressure stimulation offered by weighted blankets increase the production of oxytocin. Oxytocin is a feel-good hormone that is known to improve mood and promote better decision-making.
Restless leg syndrome is a condition that creates an unpleasant sensation in the leg, usually when a person is resting. Those who suffer from this disorder often feel an urge to move or shake their leg when the sensation strikes. Deep pressure stimulation triggers pressure points and can help relieve symptoms of RLS when they arise.
Trying one for the first time, or are you looking to increase your collection? Whatever the case, we make the process of buying a new weighted blanket stress-free. Trial any Puffy Weighted Blanket in the comfort of your own home for 101-nights. If you don’t love it, you can return it for free and get a full refund!
Despite being a relatively new inclusion to the modern bedroom, there’s no doubt that weighted blankets are here to stay. Its health benefits, and contribution to better sleep habits have many people hooked.
What do you think about the new weighted blanket craze? Let us know in the comments below.