I always sleep better with a heavy blanket on me—even in the stifling heat of summer. That’s why I’ve been so excited to see weighted blankets popping up everywhere. They used to be some sort of secret society product you could only get at an online specialty store, but they’re turning up just about everywhere blankets are sold.
Instead of packing myself under my down comforter, I recently tried a weighted blanket. There’s a difference, for sure. I can’t say that I slept better with a weighted blanket, but it was enjoyable.
Now, everyone seems to claim that weighted blankets have all these benefits. There’s not much research in the way of how effective they are, but kids and adults can find them quite soothing. They used to be targeted solely to adults with insomnia, anxiety, or dementia and children with special needs, but anyone may find a weighted blanket beneficial. This is true for kids and adults.
Choosing a weighted blanket
Thinking of trying one? It’s imperative to choose the right weight. Experts say to stick to about 10 percent of a person’s body weight—you can go lower—but you can go to 12 or 15 percent depending on comfort level. You may want to sleep under a pile of quilts to see if you like the sensation before investing in one.
Another tip: Select a blanket with a washable cover, or buy one to go on it. Especially if you have kids. You know why.
“It is useful to choose a blanket with a washable cover since the blanket itself is usually not washable,” said Dr. Lynelle Schneeberg, a sleep psychologist and director of the behavioral sleep program at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center.
As for trying a weighted blanket on a child, talk to your child’s pediatrician before using one. While some parents rave about it, it’s vital to make sure the blanket is safe. You want to make sure that the child can cover or uncover him or herself independently, and get the blanket off the floor should it slide off, Dr. Schneeberg said.
Weighted blanket options
Here are a few brands of weighted blankets you may want to check out:
- Tranquility makes a line of weighted blankets. I slept under one with a minky texture. Sold at Target, Kohl's, and other stores, this blanket comes available with a washable cover. They typically run under $100 and come in bedding sizes as well as a throw blanket size.
- PLAGOODS. This eco-friendly weighted blanket made from polylactic acid (PLA) and is available for both kids and adults. PLA is essentially derived from 100 percent naturally occurring sugars. They are fully sustainable, biodegradable, and eco-friendly and they include recycled glass beads. The blankets cost up to about $180.
- Nest Bedding features a luxury weighted blanket that has fleece and a smooth bottom layer from 300 thread-count 100% cotton. They cost under $180 depending on size.
- Gravity Blankets produces a top-rated collection of weighted blankets. They’re on the pricey side, around $250, but the reviews are mostly positive.
- Mosaic makes a kids weighted blanket for about $125, along with adult sizes and other weighted accessories.
Do a little research online to see which blanket options may be right for you. Again, it never hurts to sleep with a few regular blankets on you to see if you like how a weighted blanket would feel, but that may make you too hot. If you know you like weight on you when you sleep, or think your child may benefit from a weighted blanket, now you’ve got some insight into selecting one that may help you get a better night’s rest.
Kristen Fischer is the publisher of Macaroni Kid Central Jersey Shore.