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What are weighted blankets?
Filled with materials like glass beads or polly pellets, weighted blankets are simply blankets that weigh anywhere from seven to 25 pounds. They are designed to help people relax, emulating the effects of a hug, for example.
Weighted blanket benefits
Adding one to your bed can offer a sense of calm to your nighttime routine. “Many people like the feeling of pressure against their body and do find this pressure to be quite relaxing,” said Lynelle Schneeberg, Psy.D., a sleep psychologist who is also a fellow of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. She likens it to a hug or massage, and compares it to why we swaddle newborns. “Lying under a heavy blanket can, indeed, be very soothing,” she added.
Do weighted blankets work?
While there is preliminary research that weighted blankets can help increase sleep time, Schneeberg said that it’s unlikely to be the magic bullet for insomnia. Buy one to bliss out, but see a doctor if you are suffering from insomnia.
Weighed blankets for kids
You might consider it for your little ones, too. “Kids who experience stress or anxiety in different situations, or who struggle to fall asleep at night may find a weighted blanket useful,” said Heather Forst, an occupational therapist at Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare in Saint Paul, Minnesota. The pressure they offer may help children with ADHD remain focused when doing schoolwork, and might aid those diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, she added.
If you’re thinking about buying one, Schneeberg recommends huddling up under a pile of blankets or quilts to test out how much you like the heavy sensation.
Ready to try one out? Here are seven options fit for adults and kids.
Best weighted blankets for adults and teens, according to doctors and experts
Hayden C. Finch, Ph.D., a licensed psychologist based in Des Moines, Iowa, recommends this best-selling weighted blanket on Amazon. It's filled with glass beads and wrapped in a breathable fabric to improve temperature control. (After all, no one likes to sweat while they sleep.)
Sleep specialist Dr. Raj Dasgupta, likes Baloo for its quality products, and said this is a good option when you’re looking for comfort from a blanket that provides a feeling of warm cuddles. (If you’re grappling with pain, a weighted blanket may also soothe discomfort, he added.) Available in 15- and 20-pound weights and measuring the top of a queen-sized bed, it’s made with breathable fabric and can be tossed into the washing or drying machine. The quilted sections also keep the fill balanced, so it can properly lay on the pressure points of your body.
Finch also recommends ZonLi's offering: "This one’s great because it comes in a range of sizes and weights for folks with different needs." Finch advises that blankets should weigh about 10 percent of your body weight, and they should be big enough to cover your body (but not necessarily your entire bed).
This consistently well-rated 12-pound option is available in two neutrals — gray or ivory — and is compactly sized like a throw, suitable for your living room or atop your couch.
Best weighted blankets for kids
The best-selling kids' quilt on Amazon sports a plush and minky cover. "My son woke up to 7 times a night, it has been miserable. Last night he slept 12 continuous hours. I recommend this blanket very much so," wrote one reviewer, adding some advice: "There is a bit of heat that builds under it so I dress him very lightly under it and place a box fan in his direction."
The Minky cover is soft and designed for cuddling. Plus, it comes in kid-friendly 5- and 7-pound sizes, suitable for little ones who weigh more than 42 pounds. If you’re using one for kids, you should always consult your child’s pediatrician first, said Finch.
Bed wraps, which fit over the entire mattress like a pillowcase and provide gentle-yet-snug pressure, are a great alternative to weighted blankets for kids, said Schneeberg. They’re also travel-friendly. This option from the handmade section on Amazon comes in a variety of colors and sizes.
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