The latest product everyone is talking about is the weighted blanket. But are there any benefits of weighted blankets or is it just a lot of hype?
The science behind weighted blankets
There have been tons of studies on the science of deep touch pressure (DPT.) The first study found that this type of pressure not only calmed the subjects down, it even caused physiological reactions!
This next study also showed positive physiological reactions from DPT. Some studies are focused on weighted vests (which is the same science as weighted blankets) and whether they help kids to concentrate.
Two of the studies focused on children with ADHD, and the other on Autistic kids. All of the tests reported positive results! One study found that children with ADHD improved from 18 to 25% with on-task behavior when they were exposed to DPT.
The final study worth a mention is from 2001. Researchers observed how preschoolers with pervasive developmental disorders reacted to DPT. The study found that the use of DPT reduced the number of distractions and increased the participants’ focus times!
What are the main benefits of weighted blankets?
Many weighted blankets are filled with non-toxic pellets which provide deep pressure touch stimulation for your body to make you feel comforted and safe.
The pressure from the weight of the blanket causes the body to produce more serotonin and endorphins. These are chemicals that our bodies naturally produce to make us feel relaxed and calm.
What do people use weighted blankets for?
A weighted blanket provides pressure on your body. It is also a tool for sensory input for sufferers of autism, gender identity issues in teenagers, and other mental or physical disorders.
Weighted blankets are increasingly being used as a calming tool or for those that suffer from insomnia.
The gentle pressure of the blanket provides proprioceptive input to the brain which then releases the hormone serotonin. This can give a calming effect on the body and mind.
When should a weighted blanket be used?
- Any kind of sleep disorder can be treated with a weighted blanket. It even has its own name – “weighted therapy”. These kinds of blankets can help increase Melatonin to help you sleep.
- Victims of insomnia across the world are seeking help from weighted blankets to fall asleep and stay asleep.
- ADD/ADHD Spectrum Disorder sufferers are also using these blankets to calm down their kids after school or in therapy sessions.
How do weighted blankets help with stress?
One of the main benefits of weighted blankets is deep pressure touch (DPT). Weighted blankets can promote relaxation by triggering the release of the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin. These feel-happy hormones are naturally produced in the brain and help combat stress, anxiety, and even depression.
Do heavy blankets help with sleep?
Deep pressure touch helps your body to relax in a similar way to getting a hug. Many people sleep with a pillow over their heads and weighted blankets work in a similar way. They can make us feel more secure, grounded, and psychologically safe.
Moore says “this is the reason many people like to sleep under a comforter even in summer. If you want to try this type of blanket, the best weight depends on your body size and personal preference.”
What weight of blanket is best for me?
Your weighted blanket should not weigh more than 15% of your body weight.
Before you buy one, ask yourself if you like the feeling of pressure. If you do, then select a medium or high-pressure blanket. If you prefer less pressure or you are in doubt, choose a light-pressure option.
Best weighted blanket
Harkla weighted blanket
For those looking for a drug-free way to reduce stress and get better sleep, we introduce the Harkla weighted blanket. It can help to release calming neurotransmitters and reduce activity in your body’s nervous system.
The Harkla has a new and improved design and features tiny glass particles for an evenly distributed weight. This top-end weighted blanket is made with super-fluffy cotton that feels just like a regular blanket.
Featuring Multi-sensory inputs with cotton and beads, the blanket provides excellent sensory input that has a calming effect when you run your hands over it. The Harkla is our favorite weighted blanket and is loved by teachers, therapists, and parents.
Harkla donates 1% of its monthly sales to the University of Washington Autism Clinic. The cash helps to provide therapy for local children and funds studies related to autism.
Some weighted blankets require dry cleaning but you’ll be pleased to hear that the Harkla can be washed at home. The blanket is made in two pieces so that you can take the cover off for washing and quick drying.
Second best weighted blanket
The Calmforter weighted blanket
Another top-weighted blanket is the Calmforter. It has a fabric cover that feels as smooth as silk on one side. The other side has a unique SensaDot texture pattern that you can fidget with.
Many cheaper weighted blankets have ugly square pocket stitching. The Calmforter looks much nicer as it’s completely smooth and has a non-therapeutic look since the entire weighting system is hidden inside the blanket.
The blanket is made with a two-part construction so it can be washed easily. The outer cover easily zips apart for fast washing and easy drying. You don’t have to wash the whole blanket like the old-fashioned one-piece blankets.
Studies have shown that most users prefer a 12lb blanket and that’s what you get with a Calmforter. If that’s too heavy, simply half the blanket for a 6 lb. weight.
If you liked this article, you might also enjoy our feature on the best mattresses for back and neck pain from our wellness section.