Weighted Blanket: Choosing The Right Weight And Size For Your Family

You might have heard of what a weighted blanket is and its numerous benefits on your mental health. If you are interested in buying one and curious about how to find the right weighted blanket weight and size suited for you, then you have come to the right place.

As its name implies, a weighted blanket is a blanket that is “weighted.” Its weight or heaviness is what makes it therapeutic. Through its weight, the blanket can induce what is called Deep Touch Pressure (DTP) or Deep Touch Stimulation. Deep Touch Pressure is a firm and gentle squeezing, hugging, or cuddling of the body.

Through Deep Touch Pressure, serotonin and dopamine, the happy hormones in the body, are released and the level of the stress hormone, cortisol, decreases. That is why people can feel a sense of calm relaxation, and peacefulness takes over them when they are under a weighted blanket. With its ability to alleviate stress and improve sleeping quality, no wonder it is creating noise in the bedroom scene.

Importance of Choosing the Right Weight for Your Weighted Blanket

Choosing what weight should a weighted blanket be is essential. Buying a weighted blanket that is not of the right weight and size would defeat its purpose. A weighted blanket that is too light will not be therapeutic for you. It would just be like a regular comforter. If a weighted blanket is too heavy, it would bring more discomfort to you rather than benefit you.

So what weight should a weighted blanket be? Read on as we discuss how to decide for the perfect weighted blanket for adults and children.

Guide to Choosing the Right Weighted Blanket Weight

Weighted blanket weight for infants

Weighted blankets are not for infants or babies. Although weighted blankets can make a person calm and sleep faster, it is essential to note that it is not for babies or infants. Putting a weighted blanket over a crying baby hoping to calm and help him or her sleep puts the infant at risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

According to doctors, causes of SIDS can be either physical or environmental factors. The weighted blanket goes into the environmental factor category. A baby covered with a weighted blanket will have difficulty in breathing because of the heavy weight placed on the infant’s chest.

Another factor that can lead to an infant’s SIDS is overheating.

Due to the weight of the weighted blanket and also the fabric used on the weighted blanket, the infant might overheat increasing his or her risk to sudden infant death syndrome.

Weighted blanket weight for toddlers

Although it is possible to use a weighted blanket on toddlers, ages 1 to 7, it is best to consult occupational therapists or health professionals before you do so.  A toddler’s body is not strong enough to support a heavy weighted blanket and might cause them discomfort and difficulty breathing during sleep.

It is therefore essential to consult your occupational therapist’s opinion so that he can recommend what the best and safe weight for your toddler is. With the right weight which is 10 percent of the toddler’s body weight, they can benefit from a weighted blanket.

Weighted blanket weight for children

The weighted blanket has already been used in the occupational therapy scene long before it became available to the public. A weighted blanket is beneficial to children especially children with autism and sensory processing disorder. It helps them calm down, relax, and sleep better.

The weighted blanket weight for a child follows the general rule for the weighted blanket – 10 percent of the body’s total weight, plus 1 or 2 pounds.

Weighted blanket weight for adults

Adults weighted blanket differs just in the dimension size with that of children. Choosing the weight is only the same – 10 percent of the body’s total weight. Depending on your preferences, you can add up to 3 pounds or a little bit heavier.

Points to Consider When Choosing the Weight of Your Weighted Blanket

  •   Ten percent of the body weight is the general guideline for the weight of your weighted blanket. Depending on the person’s comfort and preference, adding one to two pounds for children and one to three pounds for adults is fine.
  •    Every manufacturer has its weight and size guidelines, but most weighted blankets range from 5 pounds to 30 pounds.
  •    If you are in between the standard sizes of the weighted blankets, experts recommend going up and adding one or two more pounds. Going lighter than 10 pounds might not lead to a deep touch simulation, defeating the whole purpose of the weighted blanket.
  •    Most manufacturers offering a weighted blanket can make a custom blanket for you for a higher price. With a customized weighted blanket, you will be able to choose the filler, fabric, design, and the perfect weight and size depending on your preferences.
  •    A weighted blanket does not come cheap. Buying a weighted blanket and discovering it is not the right weight and size for you is a waste of money, unless you can take it back for an exchange or refund. It is then essential that you are 100% sure of your weighted blanket weight or a return and exchange policy is available.
  •    Some weighted blanket companies offer a trial period where you can test the product for a specified period. During this trial period, you will be able to know if that weighted blanket is in the right weight, size, filler, and fabric for you.

Importance of Choosing the Right Weighted Blanket Sizes

Choosing the right weight blanket size or dimension is also essential. Compared to a regular blanket, a weighted blanket should cover you from chin to toe. The size of your weighted blanket should be based on your body size, not on the bed size. Going beyond the edges of the bed would pull the weighted blanket towards the floor.

Nobody is happy waking up to their blanket on the floor, especially a weighted blanket to help you sleep. So how should you choose the size of your weighted blanket? This weighted blanket size guide should help you.

Guide to Choosing the Right Size for Your Weighted Blanket

Sizes of the weighted blanket vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. Some manufacturers offer three sizes, twin, queen size, and king size. Others only offer two sizes, the queen size, and king size. But from our research of comparing sizes provided by each manufacturer, there is only a few inches difference between them, so it wouldn’t be too hard to choose and distinguish between different brands.

  •    Teen Size

The teen size measures 42 inches by 72 inches. This size is great for toddlers and children who are still growing up. With a size a bit bigger than them, you wouldn’t worry about your children outgrowing them – for a while.

  •    Twin Size

Twin size measures 48 inches by 72 inches. Others companies have it by 48 inches by 78 inches. The twin size weighted blanket would be perfect for people sleeping alone.

  •    Queen Size

This size is where we observed most manufacturers agree in as we saw that the sizing is the same in all brands we saw. The queen size is 60 inches by 80 inches. If you are going by the size of your bed and you have a queen size mattress, then this blanket size is for you.

  •    King Size

The king size is offered in the dimensions of 80 inches by 84 inches and 80 inches by 86 inches. Just like with the queen size, if you are going by the size of your king size bed, this one is perfect for you.

Points to Consider When Choosing the Size of Your Weighted Blanket

  •    When considering what size you want your weighted blanket to be in, it is essential to find the reason why you need a weighted blanket. Are you going to use it help you sleep? Is it to help with your restless leg syndrome? If it is to help you with insomnia, then get a size that can cover you from the chin to your toe. But if you want it covering your lower body part to help with your restless leg syndrome, then choose a small sized weighted blanket.
  •    Ensure that the weighted blanket does not cover your face. The weighted blanket is heavier than a regular blanket so it can cause difficulty in breathing if it includes your face.
  •     Even though the weighted blanket is heavy, it should not restrict the movement of the user. Weighted blankets with fabric made with fleece tend to get warm so it is essential that the user can remove it in times of discomfort.
  •    Your sleeping preferences also matter. Are you a fitful sleeper who tosses and turns and usually finds their blanket on the floor in the morning? If so, then depending on the size of your mattress, the queen size or king size is perfect for you. With it, you can toss and turn around but still have the weighted blanket on top of you.
  •    Do you have a sleeping partner who wants to share the weighted blanket with you? Are you both compatible with the weight and size of your weighted blanket? The king and queen sizes of the blanket are suitable for sharing. However, if your preferences are different from your partner, then getting the twin size suited just for you is recommended. It will only be awkward sleeping under two separate blankets.
  •    Are you a frequent traveler and wants to take your weighted blanket with you every time? Do you want a weighted blanket that you can take with you during your travels? A weighted blanket that is just right for your size would come handy. Rather than having a queen or king size weighted blanket taking the space on your luggage, get the twin size weighted blanket. The twin size weighted blanket is perfect for one person and is best if you sleep alone.
  •    Your budget is also a consideration. The larger the size of the weighted blanket is, the more expensive it is.

Benefits of a Weighted Blanket

People will not be raving about the weighted blanket if not because of the many benefits it offers not just in the body’s sleeping quality but also on some clinical disorders. A weighted blanket is used to alleviate symptoms of:

  1.    Fitful sleepers
  2.    Insomnia
  3.    Autism spectrum disorder
  4.    Depression
  5.    Stress
  6.    Anxiety
  7.    Restless Leg Syndrome
  8.    Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  9.    Sensory processing disorder

Anatomy of a Weighted Blanket

To understand further what a weighted blanket is and how you should choose the right weighted blanket for you, let us take a look at the construction of the blanket itself. The weighted blanket has three main parts: the fabric, the filler, and the cover.

Fabric

The fabric of your weighted blanket comes in different types so many options for you. Cotton, minky, fleece, and flannel are just some of the materials that come with your weighted blanket. To know the differences between them, let us take a closer look at each fabric.

  •    Cotton

A weighted blanket with cotton fabric is breathable compared to other materials. With its absorbent quality, cotton can absorb and release perspiration quickly. It is therefore known as the fabric that breathes.

Cotton fabric is wrinkle-prone, but ironing it is okay due to its ability to withstand heat. Cotton is also slow to dry so take note of this when washing your weighted blanket with cotton fabric.

A weighted blanket with cotton fabric is best for people with temperature sensitivity.  

  •    Flannel

Another fabric with excellent breathability just like cotton is the flannel fabric. It is best used during the winter or cold season because of its ability to quickly retain heat. The flannel is soft to the touch, elastic and does not wrinkle. If you want your blanket looking sharp, then go for this fabric.

  •    Fleece

Fleece is a knit or woven fabric. If you want a weighted blanket that gives you a cozy feeling, the fleece is perfect for this. If you are looking for a warm and soft weighted blanket, fleece is a great choice. It is durable but also inexpensive.

A fleece fabric, however, retains smell. If you sweat a lot during your sleep, your weighted blanket might smell in the long run. It also creates static so it can attract lint and hair.

  •    Minky

Once used for baby products due to its softness, nowadays even children and adult product uses the minky fabric. It is durable and comes in plush, high-pile or sleek, low-pile. The minky is super warm, so it’s great for colder seasons. When washed properly, it will stay soft for a long time.

  •    Chenille

Just like minky, chenille is also very soft and fuzzy to the touch. It has longer fiber compared to minky, soft but also durable. A weighted blanket with chenille fabric has an excellent resistance to stain. You can also wash this in your machine without worrying about it being damaged. However, compared to minky, it is expensive.

Filler

Fillers are the inserts used to weigh down the blanket. Different fillers exist like glass beads, poly pellets, and steel shot beads among others. The filler type influences the heaviness and the temperature control of your weighted blanket. The filler type also affects how you should take care of your weighted blanket including the washing and drying process.

  •    Glass beads

Glass beads are an increasingly popular choice for a weighted blanket filler. With a consistency similar to white beach sand, it is an ideal filler that will sit smoothly in your blanket. It is an excellent choice since it would not create lumps and bumps on your weighted blanket. They are also heavier than plastic poly pellets so just a small amount of it can weight down your weighted blanket, creating a thin but heavy blanket.

However, glass beads can chip or break inside the blanket that can cut through the fabric resulting in leakage. Because of this, it is best to ensure that warranty is available for your weighted blanket.

  •    Poly pellets

The most common filler used for weighted blankets is the plastic poly pellets. They are round, small plastic beads made from ABS virgin plastic. Just like glass beads, they are used with soft stuffing to soften its feel on the weighted blanket. Compared to the glass beads fillers, they are hypoallergenic, safe and non-toxic.

Poly pellets are made of plastic, so they are considered not environmentally friendly. If not appropriately distributed, the poly pellets can give a bumpy and uneven feeling to your weighted blanket. Weighted blankets filled with poly pellets tend to give off a faint rustling, so it is not for people who have noise and texture sensitivity.

  •    Steel shot beads

Steel shot beads are round beads having the same size as the plastic poly pellets. Since they are made of steel, they are heavier so it would require just a small amount of steel shot beads to fill a weighted blanket.

A weighted blanket filled with steel shot beads can also have a bumpy and uneven feeling just like the poly pellets. They can also be noisy, so it is not recommended for people that are very sensitive to noise and texture.

  •    Grains or dried beans

Inexpensive grains and dried beans are popular to people who DIY their weighted blankets. However, grains and dried beans are organic, so they are likely to develop mildew, mold, and bacterial growth. They can also rot and attract insects.

  •    Sand

Sand is an inexpensive option for a filler that can create a smooth texture to your weighted blanket. However, the sand filler has several drawbacks.

A weighted blanket filled with sand is hard to wash and would take ages to dry. Also, when sand comes in contact with water, they create lumps on your blanket when it is not dried correctly. You have to take note also that drying a weighted blanket filled with sand can take ages. Because of their small size, they can easily leak through the stitches of your blanket.

Cover

Some weighted blankets come in one piece while others have a removable cover or duvet. A removable cover is a great addition to your weighted blanket; however, it also comes with its advantages and disadvantages.

  •    A removable cover keeps your inner liner clean. If it is time to wash the weighted blanket, you can remove the removable cover and toss it into the washing machine. Machine washing decreases the wash time for the inner liner, protecting its fabric and fillers from wear and tear brought by machine washing.
  •    If the weighted blanket is too warm for you, changing the removable cover for a cooler and breathable fabric is easier and less expensive compared to replacing the whole weighted blanket. The removable cover is also available in a variety of fabric giving you more option.
  •    Also, with a removable cover on your weighted blanket, you have the opportunity to change the fabric type, design, and color of your weighted blanket, adding more spice and color to your bedroom.
  •    The removable cover for the weighted blanket is sometimes too thick and heavy. Adding this to your already heavy inner liner can make the weighted blanket uncomfortable because of its heaviness.
  •    Some removable covers require zipper to secure it to the inner liner. The zipper can be an uncomfortable addition to the weighted blanket. Zippers are also not washing machine friendly.  It will only cause the zipper's teeth to be misaligned, thus, requires replacement.
  •    Removable covers can also be a pain to install and separate from the inner liner of the weighted blanket. Every time you need to wash the removable cover, you need to remove it from the inner liner, which is quite easy since you have to unzip it and pull it away from the inner liner. However, reattaching it into the inner liner is not that easy. With the weight of the inner liner and also the size, especially for queen and king sizes, inserting it into the removable cover needs a hand, and it can take ages to finish.

Taking Care of a Weighted Blanket

It is essential to take proper care of your weighted blanket so that you can keep its quality top notch and it will last longer. Just like all things, a weighted blanket experiences wear and tear, so it needs to be replaced after some time. But knowing how to take proper care of it can prolong its usability and effectiveness as a therapy blanket.

Washing your weighted blanket

The fabric and fillers of your weighted blanket affect its washability.

Fabrics that are washing machine friendly include fleece, cotton, minky, and flannel. You don’t need to hand wash them as you can toss them into your washing machine at home.

However, if your machine has a weight limit and can’t accommodate weighted blankets that weigh 25 pounds or higher, it is best to hire the service of a professional or a Laundromat to help you wash it rather than risking your machine at home.

How often should you wash your weighted blanket? Experts recommend washing it at most 2 to 3 times per year to kill the bacteria and dirt. Even if it looks clean and stain free after months of using it, you still need to wash it.

Washing your weighted blanket too often can damage it. It can affect the consistency of its fillers and its durability. Frequent washing is therefore not recommended.

Drying your weighted blanket

Most weighted blankets are safe for machine drying. However, if your filler is a plastic poly pellet, choose the cool drying option of your dryer or else your risk it melting.

The best way to dry your weighted blanket is the hang dry option where you hang the weighted blanket evenly across the clothesline. It won’t require the use of your dryer machine but will take more time to dry.

Airing your weighted blanket

Airing the weighted blanket is also recommended. The purpose of airing is to remove unwanted scent on your weighted blanket. Rather than toss it in the laundry, you can air your weighted blanket outside to remove dust and bacteria build up.

Replacing your weighted blanket

Knowing when to replace your weighted blanket will help you experience its benefits continuously. After some time, a weighted blanket can become thinner and lighter due to wear and tear. It would not be heavy enough to apply deep touch pressure so it won’t be a therapy blanket anymore. The fabric can also become too uncomfortable to the touch, giving you more stress than alleviating it.

If the fillers of your weighted blanket also o not distribute evenly, then it is a sign that you need to replace it. If there are visible tears on the fabric that risk the leakage of the fillers that can be hazardous to your health, then you should mend it or replace it immediately.

When you buy your weighted blanket, it comes with the manufacturer’s guidelines on how to properly care for it. Be sure to read it and apply what the manufacturer instructs you to do since they know best when it comes to the longevity of their product.

Things You Need to Know Before Buying a Weighted Blanket

You have done your research and read a lot about the weighted blanket, and you think it is now time for you to buy one. But before you do so, read some more tips to guide you on your journey to buying one.

  •    Invest in the quality of your weighted blanket. Choosing an expensive but durable weighted blanket that will last longer over a cheap but low quality is a smart investment.
  •   The size of the weighted blanket affects its price. King size and queen size weighted blankets are more expensive than the teen size. If you sleep alone and do not need a big weighted blanket, you can save some bucks if you opt for the twin size. It is small compared to a queen size blanket. However, it will cover you just enough.
  •    If you are still not sure with your choice of a weighted blanket, then try it before you buy it. Some manufacturers offer a trial period before your purchase. If it’s not available, try borrowing a weighted blanket from a friend and trying it yourself for some nights so that you will be surer of your preferences and avoid buying the wrong weighted blanket.
  •    Make sure your weighted blanket has a return policy. A return policy would be helpful in cases where you bought a weighted blanket and found that it does not meet your preferences. You can always return it for a refund or an exchange.
  •    Some medical insurance covers the cost of a weighted blanket. Weighted blankets are considered as medical expenses; all you need is your doctor’s prescription.
  •    Research on the quality of your weighted blanket. Research on its manufacturer. Read reviews about them and learn about their manufacturing process. Through these, you will learn about the quality of your weighted blanket.
  •    A warranty for your weighted blanket also helps. Choose a manufacturer that offers warranty especially if your weighted blanket filler type is the micro glass beads. Micro glass beads tend to break and tear the blanket’s fabric causing leakage.
  •    Always consult your occupational therapist or any health expert if you are going to use the blanket for medical purposes. Sometimes the weighted blanket can do more damage than benefit if not used properly.
  •    During the trial period of using your weighted blanket and you noticed adverse reactions from you or your child, then it is a sign that the weighted blanket is not a perfect match for you. These signs include nausea, difficulty breathing, anxiety, and discomfort.
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