- What weights do they come in?
- What’s the best weight for a weighted blanket?
- What weight should I get?
- What’s the best weight for a child?
- Falling in-between weight recommendations
- Can a weighted blanket be too heavy?
- Is height a factor when selecting weight
- Benefits of selecting the correct weight
- Downfalls of selecting the wrong weight
So you’re considering buying a weighted blanket, how exciting! People buy this magical sleep tool for a variety of reasons. Maybe you are tossing and turning at night? Perhaps thinking of your endless to-do list? Paranoid from that new murder documentary you had to watch before bed? Whatever is causing you to lose sleep, there are solutions out there to help us unwind at the end of the day—one of those being a weighted blanket.
Weighted blankets have gotten a lot of good press from being a form of pressure, or “deep touch,” therapy. They’re acclaimed to improve sleep by relieving stress and calming the nervous system. Think of your new blanket as a gentle hug which, deny it as much as you want, we all need. However, everyone varies in the amount of pressure we want from that hug.
It’s hard to decide what weight option is right for us without testing it, and honestly, no one wants to go through the return process if there’s even one in the first place.
So, how do you pick the best one for you? Choosing the right weight is essential in gaining all of the benefits. We’ve put together a little weighted blanket guide to ensure you a better sleep journey. We’ve also pulled our top 3 tips if you feel like skimming.
Let’s delve into some aspects to consider before you purchase your dream weighted blanket.
What weights do they come in?
Weighted blankets range from 5-30 pounds. This large gap may seem overwhelming, but it just means there are many options.
Many brands offer blankets in five-pound increments. Sizing often ranges from 36” x 48” to 80” x 87” with selections in between. These translate to a Twin sized blanket all the way to a King. Generally, the smaller the blanket, the less it weighs and vice versa.
What’s the best weight for a weighted blanket?
While there are no hard winners or losers in the weighted blanket game, we found that many people prefer heavier. However, we say this with a grain of salt.
One study found that a group of 32 individuals of different body sizes mostly found a 30-pound blanket to be relaxing. While this may seem like a lot of weight, keep in mind that the weight is spread throughout the entire blanket, caressing the body evenly. It all boils down to personal preference, so don’t feel peer pressured by this one study.
What weight should I get?
So the basic rule of thumb: Divide your weight by ten, and voila! Phrased differently, the weight of your blanket should reflect 10% of your body weight.
For example, if you are 120 pounds, a suggested blanket weight would be 12 pounds, 130 pounds to 13, 140 pounds to 14, etcetera. The 10% rule is a standard starting point for beginners. If you find that you like more or less weight, go for it! Here’s a quick table to spell it out:
|Your Weight||Weighted Blanket Weight|
|120 lbs.||12 lbs.|
|130 lbs.||13 lbs.|
|140 lbs.||14 lbs.|
|150 lbs.||15 lbs.|
|160 lbs.||16 lbs.|
|170 lbs.||17 lbs.|
|180 lbs.||18 lbs.|
|190 lbs.||19 lbs.|
|200 lbs.||20 lbs.|
We could go on, but I think you get the point. If you are smaller or heavier, multiply your weight in pounds by .10, or divide it by 10, and you’ll be a step closer to finding the weighted blanket of your dreams (that will also improve your dreaming).
The weight of your weighted blanket should be 10% of your body weight.
What about for a child?
Babies, no but toddlers, yes. For children under one year old, it’s super important not to introduce a weighted blanket just yet. There should be nothing restricting your infant’s movement that early in life.
Have you heard of SIDS? Not to scare you, but Sudden Infant Death Syndrome results from restricting movement, limiting breathing, or overheating the child. Let’s avoid this altogether by waiting until your child is at the appropriate age and weight to introduce a weighted blanket.
Since the lowest weight is five pounds, your child should be at least 50 pounds for their beginner blanket. Once they crest over that one-year point and 50 pound requirement, feel free to start your little boy or girl with a lighter weighted blanket if they are having trouble during nap time or going to bed. So start light and stick to the 10% rule, or close to it. Of course, consult your pediatrician beforehand.
So we’ve already discussed the 10% rule, giving or taking a few pounds if you’re up for it. Adult weighted blankets typically range between 12-20 pounds or enough to create a hugging sensation.
Who doesn’t want on-demand hugs? With the warm and fuzzy thoughts in mind, remember that going slightly heavier when choosing your weighted blanket is more likely to evoke the feeling of being embraced.
Check out the table above for a quick reference based on your weight.
Did you ever have a security blanket as a kid? Thanks to modern technology and therapies, a weighted blanket is an upgrade from this timeless comfort piece.
When you can’t cuddle your little one throughout the night, a weighted blanket will offer the same feelings of being held and supported. We’ve already talked about the consequences of starting your kid off too early or when they are under 50 pounds (don’t), but if they meet the minimum requirements, consult your family physician or occupational therapist before you purchase.
They’ve been using these things before they were available to the public, especially for children on the spectrum or those with a sensory processing disorder, so they can steer you in the right direction if you have concerns.
Falling in-between weight recommendations
Don’t panic. There is a weighted blanket for everyone, regardless of shape or size. One simply must consider, what’s my preference and tolerance? While weighted blankets come in standard sizes, think of whether you’d like to go slightly heavier or lighter to dip your toes in the water.
However, as mentioned earlier, going a bit heavier will not defeat the purpose. Another general rule in the land of weighted blankets: 10% of your body weight plus one or two pounds.
If you’re in-between sizes, bump up the weight 1-2 pounds.
Can a weighted blanket be too heavy?
There’s a difference between going a little heavier and too heavy.
I am yet to find an official competition for handling the heaviest weighted blanket on the market. Choose a weight you’re comfortable with. If going heavier may make you feel suffocated, that’s obviously not the goal. Thus if you feel trapped, mentally or physically, go lighter.
However, some findings discovered going lighter than the 10% rule can diminish the positive effects. Consider your frame and tolerance at the end of the day when evaluating your purchase.
Is height a factor
Height may play a role here too. You don’t want your toes sticking out from the bottom, or conversely, to feel that there is no escaping your weighted blanket.
This kind of defeats the calming purpose, right? While weight is the main deciding factor, weighted blankets also come in different lengths and sizes. If you’re a bit on the taller side, maybe opt for a king-sized and vice versa if you’re smaller than the average Joe.
Typically, the size of your blanket should match the size of your comfy bed. Just don’t have it cover your face as an obvious precaution. All in all, you want to choose a blanket that is larger than your body to get the full effect.
Select a size proportionate to your height, frame, weight, and bed.
Benefits of selecting the correct weight
Once you find your baby bear porridge of a weighted blanket, the benefits soon become apparent. The primary purpose of weighted blankets is to act as a form of pressure therapy, relaxing the nervous system that tends to light up before bed.
The weight creates a positive effect on the hormones in charge of stress, shutting down the fight or flight response. These specialized blankets:
- Release dopamine & serotonin (calming/happy hormones)
- Enhance oxytocin (that lovely love hormone)
- Reduce cortisol (a pesty stress hormone)
- Boost melatonin (hello sleep!)
So generally, weighted blankets act to lessen pain, relieve anxiety, and turn that frown upside down (better mood). They also work as a supportive tool for reducing the stress-inducing reactions from conditions including, but not limited to (the limit does not exist!):
- General stress
- Sleep disorders
- Chronic pain
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Panic disorder
- Restless leg syndrome
Whether you suffer from these or not, weighted blankets are designed for comfort and a sense of security.
The weight creates a positive effect on the hormones in charge of stress, shutting down the fight or flight response. With the rest of this article in mind, if you pick the right weight for your blanket, the most love and support you can get from a blanket is in your near future.
Downfalls of selecting the wrong weight
Honestly, it’s not the end of the world if you choose the wrong weight for your first weighted blanket.
Ordering your future on-demand hugger should be exciting, not stressful. Many brands offer hassle-free returns. Some even offer a trial period because they know how important choosing the right weight and size is for optimal comfort. But whether we want to go through that process is another question. More pressing than the shipping haggle, we don’t want to worsen your symptoms or leave them neglected if you go too heavy or too light.
Problems with going too heavy:
- The most significant issue that we cannot stress enough is not ordering a blanket for a child under one-year-old or under 50 pounds. Always go lighter for children if concerned, and consult your family physician.
- Feeling trapped or claustrophobic
- Difficulty breathing or experiencing upper respiratory problems
- Limited movement
- Feeling restless
Issues with going too light:
- Lack in gaining benefits
- Feeling more despair (why isn’t this working? Or what’s wrong with me?)
- Trigger more pain and anxiety
- Feelings of anger over spending too much on a blanket that acts as all of your others
To avoid these potential barriers holding you back from nights of excellent sleep, follow the 10% rule and take a hard think about what you need from your future weighted blanket. You’ll pick an awesome one; we just know it!