Guidelines for Weighted Blankets (Read This Before You Buy)

If you’re reading this, you’re here because you want to know if a weighted blanket is worth the investment. In the article below, we’re going to list out the guidelines for weighted blankets to ensure your future purchase of a weighted blanket goes smoothly.

There isn’t an officially established set of guidelines out there today to help shoppers determine their next purchase, we’ve created our own set of guidelines to help people curious about these magical blankets. We’ve created a set of guidelines through research, consultations, and recommendations.

Many people who are looking to buy a weighted blanket become so confused by the different types. You have different weights, sizes, and materials. How are you supposed to know which one is right for you?

You might be looking for a blanket for your child to help them sleep. Or maybe you are looking to help calm your nerves with some extra pressure through the night. It might be that you need help with muscle recovery. Either way, you are going to need to know the weight guidelines for weighted blankets and other guidelines so that you can pick the right blanket for you.

Disclaimer: The tips and recommendations given here are intended to be used as guidelines. Do not replace our advice for a registered health professional or therapist’s advice. It’s best to consult with a healthcare professional if you have a special condition.

Disclosure: Namaste Blankets, as an Amazon Associate, earns commissions on qualified purchases. This informative review article may contain affiliate links. Commission and earnings support our work. This means we may receive a commission if you purchase items from links embedded in the articles.

What is a weighted blanket?

A weighted blanket is exactly what the name entails, it’s a weighted blanket that’s filled with weighted materials. Usually, these weighted materials include glass-beads, plastic pellets, and/or food. The blanket was created to recreate a feeling of being hugged to calm down individuals suffering from insomniaanxietystress, and other similar conditions.

The size and the style of the blanket can vary greatly but generally, they come in a similar size to a bedspread. Depending on the manufacturer, they could be made from cotton, polyester or bamboo, all of which have different properties. You will even find child-friendly blankets that have bright and cool patterns.

Working out which weight you need for your blanket can be a little confusing so reading through the weight guidelines for weighted blankets will help you to find one suitable for your body size. Working out which size you need can be equally challenging, which is why we have covered the size guidelines for weighted blankets too.

Who is a weighted blanket for?

Weighted blankets have become popular in the last 10 years and are now more readily available to buy. This is because they possess so many health benefits and can be a real asset to your life. Originally made for people on the autistic spectrums, it is now apparent that they can help ease the symptoms of a lot of different ailments.

These include problems such as sleep apnea, stress, anxiety, muscle therapy, sensory processing disorder, and insomnia. These health issues can really get you down and traditional therapies don’t always help ease the symptoms.

Most people with these problems feel the relief when they lay under a weighted blanket and have the pressure of the weight gently applied all over their bodies.  The pressure felt can help to ground people and can reduce the levels of cortisol (the stress hormone) in their bodies.

Some people simply use these blankets because they like the idea of being wrapped up in a big hug! All in all, they have so many uses that they would be a great addition to everyone’s lives.

How do they work?

As mentioned above, weighted blankets were designed to recreate the sensation of being hugged and cuddled. It’s a tool used to help individuals dealing with issues such as stress, anxiety, insomnia, and much more. 

The main reason why weighted blankets were made was to help sleepers increase their low endorphin and serotonin levels (hormones). The hormone Endorphin is to help give a sense of pleasure while serotonin is the hormone that gives a sense of happiness. Serotonin converts itself into melatonin and helps sleepers get a better night’s sleep.

This is all done through Deep Tough Pressure Therapy that’s embedded a weighted blanket. Furthermore, weighted blankets help reduce the stress hormone cortisol within the body. When there’s an increase in your endorphin and serotonin levels, ultimately, there’s a decrease in cortisol levels. This helps you sleep longer.

Here’s a list of disorders and issues weighted blankets help treat:

What materials are used for weighted blankets?

In today’s market, there are several different weighted blankets available in all shapes and sizes. But, you’re probably asking, “What materials are used for weighted blankets?” Good question! There are several popular materials that are used for weighted blankets. We’ll list some of the most common ones right now.

Popular materials include:

Picking the right materials

As stated earlier, there are lots of different types of weighted blanket for sale that have a range of different structures and materials within them. Price does have a large part to play in how well your blanket is made and what quality the materials are. For example, a cheaper blanket will be made from polyester and plastic bead filling. A more expensive blanket will be made from a bamboo outer with glass microbead filling.

Choosing the right materials is an entirely personal preference. Some people prefer polyester covers because they are fireproof, others prefer bamboo for additional health benefits. If you are looking for a midline blanket in terms of both price and comfort, then a cotton-backed blanket with a Minky covering gives a lovely feel without a big price tag.

Another thing to think about is the filling and the structure of the blanket. As a rule, the smaller the quilting squares, the more evenly the weight will be displaced around the blanket. Choosing a glass microbead filling will be more environmentally friendly and non-toxic.

What is inside a weighted blanket?

There are hundreds of weighted blankets out there with different fillings. In this section, I’ll discuss a couple of the most popular options you’ll most likely see. Plus, I’ll list some pros and cons of each. This will help figure out the best weighted blanket for your needs.

Plastic poly pellets

You’re probably asking what the heck are plastic poly pellets? Good question! These are, histologically,  the most popular options of weighted blanket fillings on the market. They’re plastic pebbles embedded in a weighted blanket. As the name entails, they’re all made out of plastic.

It doesn’t matter if you’re looking to create your own weighted blanket or looking to purchase one, always look for 100% virgin polypropylene pellets if you choose plastic poly pellets. These are the best option for people looking for a plastic pallet-based weighted blanket. You want to make sure your plastic poly pellets are machine washable and machine-dryer ready. 

You also want to make sure the plastic pellets within your weighted blanket has a high-temperature rating. Make sure you contact the manufacturer if it’s not listed on their product page. You don’t want melted plastic pellets within your weighted blanket. It’s highly dangerous for your health and defeats the purpose of a weighted blanket. 

Pros

  • The most common filling option for a weighted blanket.
  • Usually machine washable (some options may say different)
  • Long shelf life.

Cons

  • Most weighted blankets using plastic poly pellets use lower grade versions of it.
  • Can hold a strong odor if not aired out correctly. 
  • It’s reported they can be a bit uncomfortable if you’re very sensitive to touch and sensations. Be cautious before you buy.
  • Easily makes weighted blankets feel uneven.

Micro glass beads

Most new modern weighted blanket companies use micro glass beads for their fillings. These glass beads are much smaller than the traditional plastic poly pellets discussed above.

The reason why glass beads became the preferred filling option for weighted blankets is due to their density and smooth sensation. It spreads more evenly throughout the blanket than plastic pellets. Plus, they don’t create an uneven feel as plastic pellets do.

Pros

  • They don’t rely on plastic.
  • Completely odorless.
  • Lays smoothly on the body and comfortable.
  • Evenly distributed through the blanket.
  • Machine washable and dry-friendly. 

Cons

  • More likely to have leakages due to their smaller body.
  • They’re harder to manufacture in the production stage.
  • If you’re looking for a great option for a glass bead-filled weighted blanket, check out our weighted blanket here.

Dried grains, beans and rice

There’s no need to explain this one. But you may be asking “Why do people use food in their weighted blanket?” This is the most cost-effective option of all. The above options can easily cost you hundreds of dollars to make. But, if you’re looking for a SUPER cheap option, this may be for you. 

We have never seen certified manufacturers use these as fillers but we have seen plenty of people attempt this option. If you’re looking for a fun project or need something very temporary, this may be for you. 

Pros

  • Cost-effective and cheaper than plastic pellets and glass beads.
  • Fun project to attempt. 

Cons

  • Using this option, you will make your weighted blanket unwashable. 
  • It can get very messy and the clean up is a pain. 
  • If any liquids make contact with your blanket, you’ll run the risk of causing mold or mildew thus leading to health problems down the road.
  • Even if you keep your weighted blanket dry, the materials will create a bad odor.

Ultimately, we do not recommend this option but if you do choose to go this route make sure you understand the health risks associated with it.

In the end, it comes down to the classic glass vs poly weighted blanket. In our opinion, we choose glass beads due to the fact they’re more comfortable, dense, and odorless. You can check out our glass bead-filled weighted blanket by clicking here.

If you’re still going to make your own custom weighted blankets then go with glass beads. But, fair warning, if you go the route of making your own weighted blanket, it’s going to cost you a lot of time and money. 

It’s important to take a moment to think about your eco credentials too. Do you want to fill your bedroom with man-made fibers? Or would you rather stick with natural, breathable fabrics?

What size weighted blanket do I need?

This is a good question that’s not simple to answer because most weighted blankets come in all different sizes. In this section, we’ll do our best to help you choose the right size for your needs. 

If you’re someone who’s a bit on the smaller side and would like a weighted blanket that doesn’t completely cover your body then we’d recommend a 41×60 weighted blanket. This weighted blanket would be perfect for growing teens and people who are either on a twin or full-size bed.

If you’re bigger and would like a full-body immersion and/or have a queen size bed, we recommend the 60×80 weighted blanket. This is the most popular weighted blanket on the market.

If you’re a bigger individual on a Cali-king size bed or looking for a weighted blanket size for couples then we recommend an 80×87 weighted blanket.

While you may think that it’s as simple as picking a blanket to match the size of your bed, that isn’t always the case. These blankets come in various sizes and designs, with most of them conforming to standard bed sizes. However, there are some companies that work in European and Asian sizing as well. Be sure to check your measurements with your bed BEFORE you buy.

It is also a good idea to look at choosing a blanket that is a size larger than your bed. The reason for this is that as the blanket drapes over the side of the bed, it creates more pressure against the person lying under it. It also helps when your partner rolls over and takes the blanket with them!

Finally, when looking at the size guidelines for the weighted blankets, check how long they are against your body. It should comfortably cover you from your shoulders to your toes so take these measurements before buying as an ill-fitting weighted blanket won’t work as effectively.

Once you’ve figured out the right size you need. You want to understand how to choose the correct weight needed. In the following section, we’ll discuss how to choose a weighted blanket by weight.

How to choose a weighted blanket by weight

It’s important to choose a weighted blanket that’s approximately 10-12% of your body weight. Note: If you’re heavily into fitness and a fitness competitor like a fitness model, mixed-martial artist or fitness competitor of any kind and weight jumps up and down, get a weighted blanket based on your off-season or walking weight. If you’re looking into getting a larger couple size weighted blanket like the 80×87, it still applies as well.

If you are looking for a child then the guidelines for weighted blankets state that you should still follow the 10-12% body weight rule. For example; if you are choosing a blanket for your child that weighs 73lbs then 10% of that will be 7.3lbs. As blankets come in 7lbs weights and that is around 10% (or lower, never higher) of their body weight, you should choose that one.

If you’re looking to get a couple’s weighted blanket (80×87) we recommend you still follow our weight rule. For example, if your husband or wife weighs 180lbs and 130lbs, you may want to get a weighted blanket that fits between 10-12% of both your body weight. If you can’t find something that’s within the reach of the heavier person, it’s recommended to go lighter. You’ll still receive the benefits of a weighted blanket.

namaste blankets

 

Our final thoughts

Weighted blankets are blankets that use Deep Tough Pressure Therapy (DTPT) to help sleepers eliminate various issues and disorders including night terrors, autism, stress, travel anxiety, ADHD, anxiety, PTSD, insomnia, depression, fibromyalgia, sensory processing disorder, and other conditions.  

Weighted blankets, in general, come in all shapes and sizes. It’s best to pick a weighted blanket that uses glass beads above all. You’ll get the maximum ROI on a weighted blanket that’s embedded with glass beads due to it being machine washable, odorless, and evenly distributed.

When you’re picking the right weighted blanket, make sure you’re getting a blanket that’s 10-12% your body weight. Also, consider getting a blanket that compliments your relationship status and bedding size. You don’t want to get a small weighted blanket that only covers you if your significant other sleeps on the same bed.

Overall, reading through these weight guidelines for weighted blankets should be able to help you choose the right blanket for your needs. Remember to never go heavier, always choose lighter and that paying a little extra for quality materials will serve you better in the long run. The health benefits you receive from using a weighted blanket are worth every penny.

If you want more information on weighted blankets, click here to learn more. 

FAQ

Do weighted blankets really work?

Yes! Weighted blankets work for the most part. They aren’t a complete solution for most disorders, but they work. They’re a great sleep assistance tool to help you sleep better. Weighted blankets use Deep Touch Pressure to help sleepers with anxiety, insomnia, and depression.

Should you use a weighted blanket every night?

It’s recommended to use a weighted blanket every night but it’s not required. Weighted blankets are an assistance tool for the most part. You can still reap the benefits by sleeping with them periodically. But, we recommend you use your weighted blanket if you have a hard time sleeping.

How long does it take for a weighted blanket to work?

There’s no guarantee but some buyers have reported after the 1st night. Sometimes you’re going to have to use the blanket for a couple of nights to see improvements. Namaste Blankets has a 60-night policy in place, so it for 60-nights.

Do weighted blankets help with tossing and turning?

Weighted blankets deter you from tossing and turning at night. But, you have to make sure other factors aren’t in play. Make sure you’re not on your phone before night, you’re hydrated and caffeine-free. Weighted blankets are a great assistant to stop you from tossing and turning.

Are weighted blankets good for side sleepers?

Weighted blankets are great for all sleepers especially side sleepers. Most of our staff have reported being side-sleepers and sleep fine with their namaste weighted blankets.

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