How To Choose A Weighted Blanket
It’s 3 a.m. and you’re lying in bed after tossing and turning all night. You’re trying desperately to sleep and you’re hesitant to check what time it is in case you only have a few hours before you have to be up for work or to look after the kids. These sleepless nights are really starting to be a drain!
You can take care of this now - buy a weighted blanket, aka, gravity blanket. You’ve read about the studies, read lots of reviews, and it’s clear people like these blankets.
There are several weighted blankets on Amazon however, looking at their specs, it’s hard to tell which one’s the best weighted blanket. You’re an expert at buying shoes and such, but buying a weighted blanket is a different matter.
- Are they really machine washable, or will the thing fall apart?
- What about a blanket for kids?
- Is queen size right me?
What size weighted blanket do I need? What’s the recommended weight for weighted blanket? There’s such a wide range of sizes and weights, it’s all a bit rattling. How can a person know about buying a blanket with weights tucked inside it?
Which weighted blanket is best, you shout at your laptop, in your 3 a.m. hysteria!
Perhaps you’re buying the blanket as a gift for an insomniacal friend, family, or lover. What’s the best weighted blanket for them?
Is insomniacal even a word? :P
We can sort through the details and figure this thing out!
Teasing apart a weighted blanket
Firstly, here’s the basics to consider about this type of blanket.
There are lots of layers, which adds to the sheer comfort:
The exterior cover:
You likely want the cover to be attractive, so it looks nice in your bedroom! Whilst you’re shopping, if there’s an option to select a compatible fabric that fits your decor, that’s the best.
And the blanket should be snuggly soft as well as durable and machine washable. You want to know the blanket will stand up to a washing -- with animals, children, and adults around, you know!
There’s a range of options to choose from for weighted blanket covers: cotton covers, bamboo covers, minky covers & faux fur. Make sure that they are specifically designed to be attached to a weighted blanket otherwise they will slip off when you use it.
They should have interior ties to attach to the weighted inner section which usually range from 8-12 ties. With 12 ties, you know the inner weighted blanket will stay just where you need it.
Cotton & bamboo covers are great if you sleep hot at night. They are also excellent for the summer months as they are more breathable than polyester. However, if heat isn’t a problem, then the super soft faux fur and minky style covers make it feel like you are getting a giant bear hug!
When purchasing a cotton or bamboo cover make sure they have a high thread count for extra softness and be aware that although bamboo is more breathable than cotton it doesn't last nearly as long as the fabric isn’t as durable.
The exterior of the weighted section:
When it comes to the exterior material of the weighted section you have a range of options to choose from with each having their own benefit.
Cotton is a breathable fabric that helps you regulate heat more efficiently. It is fairly durable so will last a while if looked after properly -- but it is more expensive than flannel or polyester.
Bamboo is the fastest growing woody plant in the world and can grow up to 4 feet per day! Generally speaking bamboo is organic although it’s hard to find actual ‘certified organic’ bamboo fabrics. It is considered a more sustainable material than cotton due to its fast growth. However, bamboo has also drawn criticism when it’s made into a wearable fabric -- as this requires a process which is full of harsh, toxic chemicals.
Despite the criticism, bamboo is even more breathable than cotton -- so if you’re a really hot sleeper, this might be a good option. However, the price of bamboo fabric is higher than other fabrics and the fabric isn’t as durable as cotton.
Polyester blankets are the cheapest but won’t serve you well if you are a “hot sleeper.” The positive point is that polyester blankets will last longer. However, some people find their skin is sensitive to the fabric as it’s not a natural material -- and you will get a lot hotter!
Washing instructions may differ among the brands of weighted blankets. Most are not machine washable. If they are machine washable, then it’s a bit of a nightmare -- as putting that much weight into a regular washing machine could overload it.
That’s why we recommend always buying a weighted blanket cover. They you can just wash the cover, and you don’t need to worry about washing the weighted section!
Additionally, the stitching is super-critical, to keep those pellets in their place. Make sure it’s reinforced thread or double stitched (Rules out the homemade blankets, don’t you think?).
The blanket’s weight:
The distribution of the weight is critical for optimal performance. The blanket cannot do its job, reducing stress and improving sleep, if the weight distribution is off!
The best way to check this is to read the fine print. Compare the size of the weighted squares -- as the smaller squares will have better weight distribution. However, keep in mind that if the squares are TOO small, the blanket starts to lose its benefits. The optimal size per square is 11cm x 11cm (based on 100s of tests).
Regarding the crucial question: how to determine the weight for a weighted blanket?
We recommend that you pick a size between 7-12% of your bodyweight. This really depends on personal preference. Some people love the heavier feeling whereas some people just like to feel gently hugged.
The total weight is also critical for safety purposes - as you don’t want a too-heavy blanket on a small person.
The weighted pellets:
There are several options when it comes to the actual weighted material in weighted blankets and each has their pros and cons.
Stones: Some manufacturers or homemade blankets actually put little stones inside their blankets. Not only are these uncomfortable but they rattle around when you move at night. NOT RECOMMENDED!
Rice: More commonly found in homemade weighted blankets, rice is often used as a cheap weighted material. The only problem with this -- the weight isn’t distributed as well as sand or glass and the blanket won’t last as long.
Sand: Most frequently used by cheaper Chinese manufacturers or brands, and has better weight distribution than rice or stones -- but is usually not inspected by a 3rd party inspection company for safety and quality. It’s cheaper to use than glass micro pellets.
Glass Micro Pellets:
This is hypoallergenic, non-toxic and makes minimal noise when moving around at night. It offers the best weight distribution as the pellets are so small and mold to the body better than sand does. The type of glass pellet can vary. The most expensive and highest quality is quartz glass as it’s extra small. This is what all Mela Comfort weighted blankets use.
The pellets must be sewn into some type of filler to keep the weight as evenly distributed as possible across the blanket.
This can be achieved by layering the weighted material on top of the filler. Or, the filler may be combined with the weighted material so it’s more evenly distributed. This second option costs more but is generally a sign of a high-quality blanket!
How to pick a weighted blanket?
Step 1: Weigh yourself and then pick a blanket which is between 7-12% of your bodyweight.
The weight is possibly the most important consideration. A weighted blanket should be based on the person’s size -- not the bed’s size. For example, you can use a Queen size on a Twin or King sized bed. As long as it covers your body properly, it’s ok to use!
Often, we recommend adding a few pounds beyond 10 percent. When you order your custom weighted blanket, you’ll see a handy weight chart, which makes it easy to select the right weight.
Step 2: Choose a material
We always recommend making sure the inner weighted section is made from cotton or bamboo for extra breathability. When it comes to the external cover, this can depend on the season or your body heat while you sleep.
Step 3: Choose a size
As we’ve noted, the size isn’t the most important thing as you can use a queen weighted blanket on a king bed -- or on a twin bed -- and vice versa (for twin- or king-size blankets).
However, if you are really tight on space, pick a weighted blanket that fits your bed size whether it’s a twin, queen or king.
The larger sized Queen & King blankets are designed for use as bedspreads. Also, many adults who toss & turn find that a Queen-sized weighted blanket is ideal -- as they can ‘shift around’ until it feels right.
If you buy according to body size - rather than bed size - you’re less likely to find your weighted blanket in a heap on the floor. Gravity does have an effect on a weighted blanket, after all, and a too large blanket can be a heap on the floor by morning :-)
Step 4: Enjoy your newfound love of deep sleep!
With so many layers of soft and breathable fabric and so many tiny glass pellets, your weighted blanket will provide the distinctive ‘hug’ that makes sleep come effortlessly.
Weighted blankets aren’t a miracle cure by any means but as 1000s of satisfied customers have said, again and again, weighted blankets provide wonderful sleep therapy to both adults and young adults suffering from insomnia, anxiety, aches, and pains. Hopefully, you will become one of those people!
Considering the price of a weighted blanket
While the weighted blanket is more complex than an everyday comforter, that doesn’t equate with a high price.
Some high-quality products are very affordable! You just have to know what to look for.
In searching the internet, you will find the prices of weighted blankets can range from $30 to $300. This includes amateur-made blankets on crafting sites, blankets for children, adult blankets, big-box store blankets, and well-manufactured premium weighted blankets.
It’s dizzying looking at all those websites!
If you simply want a blanket that’s high quality yet affordable, look for a weighted blanket company that:
- Specializes in professionally manufactured blankets
- Uses high-quality non-toxic and hypoallergenic materials for optimal safety
- Ensures superior craftsmanship
These high-quality blankets are more likely to hold up in everyday use and after washing.
Here’s your checklist to consider regarding the weighted blanket:
- Is the size good for you & your bed size?
- Can you wash the blanket at home, including the weighted section?
- What kind of material is inside and outside? Cotton?
- Are the materials non-toxic?
- Is there a warranty?
If it’s time to get your insomnia under control - and live your life fully - you owe it to yourself to try a weighted blanket. If your bed partner or a friend is the one who’s tossing and turning, what a lovely gift you can make with a weighted blanket.
Let us know how it feels, once you try your blanket. We’d love to know!