An important factor when buying a weighted blanket is its weight. Choosing the wrong weight can either cause discomfort to the user or make the weighted blanket ineffective to induce therapeutic benefits. So, how heavy should a weighted blanket be? What are the factors that affect a weighted blanket weight?
How Heavy Should a Weighted Blanket Be?
Weighted blankets are sleeping accessories designed purposefully to induce a calming effect on the user. Because of its ability to help alleviate symptoms of sleeping disorders like insomnia and clinical disorders like autism, it is often called a therapy blanket.
One thing that makes a weighted blanket different from a regular comforter is its weight. If you think a quilt is heavy, wait until you see a weighted blanket. Weighted blankets have fillers like plastic poly pellets, glass beads, or steel shot beads to make them heavier. The weight of a weighted blanket weighing down on the user’s body results to what is called a deep touch pressure.
Deep touch pressure is the pressure from firm hugging, holding, cuddling, and squeezing that causes a calming effect on the body. Weighted blankets work around the principle of this deep touch pressure. The firm hugging and squeezing impact from the weight of weighted blanket results to a deep touch pressure stimulated on the user’s body.
It is, therefore, to choose the right weight of a weighted blanket so that deep touch pressure can take effect. However, choosing the right weight is not that straightforward and sometimes requires trial and error. Thankfully, weighted blankets that are in the market weigh from 5 pounds to 30 pounds, and some manufacturers even offer a customizable weighted blanket – more choices for anyone buying a weighted blanket. But what weight should you choose? How heavy should a weighted blanket be?
Let us look at how heavy should a weighted blanket be for children, adults, and elderlies through the guide below.
How Heavy Should a Weighted Blanket Be for Children
Do not use a weighted blanket on babies. Using a weighted blanket to calm them is not safe. Babies do not have the physical capacity to support the weight of a heavy weighted blanket. A weighted blanket is therefore not safe for infants and should never be used on them.
Toddlers (1 to 3 years old)
Before using a weighted blanket on children, consult your doctor or occupational therapists. To calculate the exact weight of weighted blanket for toddlers, get the 10 percent of their body weight, and add or subtract one pound depending on the child’s preference. A small sized weighted blanket is an excellent choice for toddlers.
Always use weighted blankets on toddlers under adult supervision. Observe how the toddler reacts to it. If the toddler shows signs of discomfort, stop using the weighted blanket on them immediately.
Preschoolers (3 to 5 years old) and Children 6 Years Old and Above
The general rule of 10 percent body weight also applies to children three years and above. To determine the weighted blanket weight for a child in this age range, take 10 percent of the child’s weight and add or subtract up to two pounds.
As with using a weighted blanket on toddlers, speak first to your doctor or health experts before using a weighted blanket on them. During the use of the weighted blanket, observe how they react to it. If they show continuous sign of discomfort or breathing difficulties, change the weighted blanket weight or stop using the weighted blanket.
How Heavy Should a Weighted Blanket Be for Adults
For teens and adults, calculate the weight for the weighted blanket by using 10 percent of the user’s body weight and add or subtract two to three pounds. It is okay to add more pounds as some people like their weighted blanket with more or less weight.
Take note of discomforts during use and adjust the blanket weight or size accordingly. Discomforts can include breathing difficulties, asthma, or allergies.
How Heavy Should a Weighted Blanket Be for Elderlies
Elderlies have frail bodies so consult the doctor or the occupational therapist before using weighted blankets on them.
As with weighted blanket adults and weighted blankets kids, to measure the weight of the blanket for elderlies, take 10 percent of their body weight and add or subtract two pounds. It is safe to go beyond 10 percent as long as the user is comfortable with the weight and shows no sign of discomfort.
General Guidelines When Choosing the Weight of Weighted Blanket
- Your weighted blanket should weigh 10 percent of your body weight plus one or two pounds, depending on your preference.
- Going beyond the 10 percent general rule is safe as long as the user is comfortable with it.
- The best way to see if a weighted blanket is of the right weight for you is to test it for at least a week. During those nights, notice any discomfort – difficulty breathing, difficulty moving under the blanket, restless sleep, or a trapped feeling. If the weighted blanket is uncomfortable for you, going lighter is recommended.
- A weighted blanket is heavy, but it should not be so heavy that it poses a risk during sleep. If the weight doesn’t agree with you and you feel trapped under pressure, discontinue the use until you can change to a lighter weighted blanket.
- When choosing a weighted blanket to share with your partner, make sure that the weight is comfortable for both of you – not too heavy or not too light for both.
- If you have medical or psychological conditions like claustrophobia, respiratory, or circulatory problems, consult your doctor or therapist first before using a weighted blanket.
- As said earlier, finding the perfect weighted blanket for you is through trial and error. Some manufacturers offer a trial period, so take advantage of this before you buy weighted blanket.
- Always consult a doctor or an occupational therapist before using a weighted blanket, especially for children below eight years of age.
How To Know If a Weighted Blanket is a Perfect Match
No signs of discomfort
One thing that determines how heavy should a weighted blanket be is that it should give the user a sense of calmness and a night of restful sleep. Sleeping with a weighted blanket should not be an uncomfortable experience for the user. The signs of discomfort to look out for when using a weighted blanket are difficulty sleeping or restless sleep, feeling of being trapped or claustrophobia, breathing or respiratory problems, restricted movement.
If you feel these discomforts on your weighted blanket, try going lighter and subtract one or two pounds until you feel comfortable using the weighted blanket.
Sleep improves, and symptoms of clinical disorders alleviate
Weighted blankets are therapy blankets to improve the overall quality of sleep and help with sleep problems and clinical disorders. After using the weighted blanket for a while, the user should experience improvement on sleep - alleviated symptoms of insomnia, restless sleeping, stress, or anxiety.
If the user does not observe any of these improvements, then the weighted blanket is not working as it should be and acts just like a regular blanket. If this is the case, it might be that the weighted blanket weight is not enough. Try going heavier and add one or two more pounds as long as it is comfortable for the user.
Factors that Affect the Weight of Your Weighted Blanket
Also, how heavy should a weighted blanket be is determined by the following factors:
Some weighted blankets don’t come with removable covers. If you decide to buy a removable cover for your weighted blanket to help keep your blanket clean or to change the fabric, color, or design, make sure to check its weight. A cover can easily add one or two pounds to your blanket, so make sure you choose one that will not make your weighted blanket too heavy to the point that it becomes uncomfortable.
If possible, buy a removable cover from the same manufacturer as they offer covers that are compatible with their weighted blanket.
Wider and longer weighted blankets weigh more than the small sized ones. When deciding the dimension of your weighted blanket, make sure it fits the size of your body or the size of your bed. Buying a queen size blanket on a single or twin bed will have your weighted blanket weighed down onto the floor.
Tears on the Blanket
Weighted blankets are filled with small beads or plastic poly pellets to weigh it down. A little damage on the fabric of your weighted blanket will cause the fillers to leak. Filler leaking out can result in the blanket losing its weight, so make it habit to check your weighted blanket for tears or damage before use.
Fillers are usually placed in many small pockets inside the blanket to distribute the weight evenly. If the fabric between these pockets has a hole or open seam, it will result in the fillers to leak into another pocket which can then cause uneven distribution of weight. If you notice that your blanket is heavier on one side than the other, it can be that your blanket is damaged inside.
Weighted blanket fillers like sand, rice, beans, and other organic fillers are prone to clumping when wet. Clumped fillers can result in an uneven distribution of weight throughout the blanket. Weighted blankets with these kinds of fillers should be washed and dried carefully for the fillers not to clump.
Wear and Tear
Although weighted blankets can last up to 15 years, it still has an expiration date. After some time of constant use, your weighted blanket will wear and tear and will deteriorate. The weighted blanket material will shrink, the fabric will become thinner, it will have an odor that you can’t remove, the fabric will have tears and holes in it, and will not be as weighted. It will not be as effective anymore and thus needs to be replaced with a new one.
How to Care for Your Weighted Blanket
A weighted blanket can last for up to 15 years as long as you take good care of it. Here’s how to care for your weighted blanket to make it last longer.
- The longevity of a weighted blanket depends on its quality. Make sure that where buy weighted blankets adults are reputable manufacturers with good reviews on their products. Do your research and compare from the best weighted blankets adults available in the market.
- Washing a weighted blanket is not as simple as throwing it inside the washer; it depends on different factors like its weight, fabric, and filler type. Fillers like plastic poly pellets melt so don’t wash it in hot temperature while glass beads are safe to wash in hot temperature as they don’t melt. Some fabrics are safe on a tumble dryer while other fabrics are better to hang dry. If you wash your blanket wrongly, there is a high chance that you will damage it, so make sure to read the washing instruction before cleaning your blanket.
- Frequent washing can damage your weighted blanket. One way to reduce washing and keep your blanket clean is to use a removable cover. A removable cover is a lot easier to wash and is less expensive to replace compared to the weighted blanket itself.
- Another way to keep your blanket clean and reduce its wear and tear is by folding it and storing it away after every use. Weighted blankets are meant for the body and not for the bed as a bedspread. If you tuck it away, it will be safe from the everyday activities that can cause damage to your weighted blanket.
- If possible, use your weighted blanket on the bed alone. If you carry it and use it on the couch while watching TV or at your work office, chances are you will spill food or coffee on it. If you can’t do without your weighted blanket on the couch or in the office with you, use a separate smaller weighted blanket. There are smaller weighted blankets specifically designed for use as lap pads that are easy to wash when dirty.
- To prevent odor, dust, or bacteria built up, air your weighted blanket out regularly. To air your weighted blanket and quickly refresh it, hang it outside, or open your bedroom windows for an hour or two.