If you’re one of the 108 million Americans who struggles with sleep problems, you’ve probably found yourself scouring the web for a weighted blanket at some point. For years, these heavy covers have been touted for their ability to help with everything from insomnia and anxiety to ADHD and autism. But do they work? Let’s break it down.
What is a weighted blanket?
Weighted blankets live up to their moniker. Essentially, they are blankets that have been constructed with an added, evenly distributed heft of approximately 5 to 30 pounds. Many compare the feeling of a sleeping under a weighted blanket to wearing a weighted vest during an X-ray — only much more comfortable. Much like a regular duvet cover and comforter set, this bedding typically comes in two parts, or layers. The inner layer holds the weight, while the outer layer offers up sensational comfort in the form of soft, cozy materials.
What are the benefits of a weighted blanket?
It’s common to experience bouts of anxiety from time to time, but when it becomes a consistent thing that affects your sleeping habits, it may be time to seek help. A study in the American Journal of Occupational Therapy suggests that deep pressure touch (DPT), like that simulated in weighted blankets, is effective for those looking to calm their anxiety.
Research has also shown that weighted blankets can have therapeutic benefits on the body, as it increases your natural production of serotonin, aka the happiness hormone. Additionally, it coaxes your system into the production of melatonin, or the sleep hormone.
What's more, the added pressure of a weighted blanket is said to give you a sense of protection, as it mimics the feeling of a warm hug. In fact, that's the chief reason behind the continual use of weighted blankets in therapy for those experiencing anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD), and autism.
How to Choose a Weighted Blanket
On a quest to find the best weighted blanket? Before you hit that checkout button, there are a couple things to consider.
1. Find the best weighted blanket material for you. When it comes to the choosing the best weighted blanket material, it's all about your personal preference. Thanks to the copious amounts of fabric variations available, you should have no trouble finding a favorite: They come in everything from soft cotton and microfiber polyester to cushy plush fleece.
2. Find the best weighted blanket weight for you. Industry guidelines suggest buying a weighted blanket that equates to roughly 10 percent of your body weight. For more on this, check out our handy guide below.
Best Weighted Blankets
Whether you're shopping for you, your child, or someone you love, you'll all be in good hands with one of the 11 weighted blanket options we scoured the internet to find. Keep scrolling for FIRST's picks for the best weighted blankets for a good night's sleep.
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