In our guide for how to buy a weighted blanket, we’ll explore everything you need to know in order to make a sound purchasing decision that makes sense for your budget and your lifestyle. Keep reading our weighted blanket buying guide to find out how it might improve your quality of sleep and send you off into a restful slumber more quickly.
What is a Weighted Blanket?
So, what the heck is a weighted blanket anyway? Well, we’re glad you asked! A weighted blanket is exactly what it sounds like: a heavy blanket. This type of blanket is filled with poly beads, metal pellets, or tiny glass beads. So… what’s so special about a heavy blanket?
The weight in a weighted blanket is designed to have a calming effect on the sleeper who uses it. It provides a comforting snugness that may help you fall asleep faster.
How Weighted Blankets Work
Weighted blankets work by mimicking an occupational therapy strategy called deep touch pressure therapy or DTP. DTP helps calm the body and mind during periods of stress. When pressure is applied to the body using DTP, you can activate what’s called the parasympathetic nervous system (PSNS).
Your PSNS is the calming zen force in your body that is the opposite of your sympathetic nervous system (SNS). In contrast to your PSNS, your SNS is what kicks up your flight or fight response during a stressful event. The physical effects that come into play when your parasympathetic system takes over include a decreased heart rate, improved blood circulation, and more relaxed muscles.
During DTP, you might experience an increase of hormones like endorphins (the same happy chemical that gives you a runner’s high). Neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine also get released, which can help you feel at peace.
Sounds pretty cool, right? Although it’s almost impossible to give yourself DTP using manual hand pressure, you can get a similar effect by using a weighted blanket.
Weighted Blanket Benefits
Weighted blanket benefits are wide-ranging. Maybe you’ve had a stressful day at work, and you want nothing more than to block out the events of the day. A weighted blanket can help send you into a state of deep relaxation and calmness.
Anxious feelings can be a serious drag to deal with. In some cases, it might even be paralyzing and negatively impact your ability to function normally in day-to-day life. Besides getting counseling and using medication, you may also want to try a weighted blanket. It’s unlikely a blanket will suddenly wash away everything you’re worried about, like that bill you have to pay tomorrow, but it can help you feel better with comforting physical pressure.
A recent study observed that a weighted blanket helped patients get to sleep quickly and sleep more deeply during the night. Sleep and anxiety are very closely linked. If you don’t sleep enough, you might feel more anxious, and if you’re anxious, you might not sleep well. But a weighted blanket can be the key to feeling at ease and safe.
Reduces Symptoms of Restless Legs Syndrome
Restless legs syndrome may make sufferers experience a strong compulsion to move their legs along with unusual sensations like burning, crawling, pain, or tingling. A weighted blanket might help counter these symptoms. In turn, you can sleep without tossing and turning.
Improves Sensory Processing Disorder
If you’re sensitive to your environment or have a sensory processing disorder, the world might feel overwhelming and even scary. Luckily, research has shown that regular use of weighted blankets can reduce sensitivity to sensory stimuli.
Weighted Blanket Limitations
Although there are plenty of real benefits to write home about when it comes to weighted blankets, there are a few drawbacks to consider.
As you might imagine, weighted blankets are quite heavy, making them a difficult travel companion. They can also be hot since they’re so heavy and dense.
It’s also important to always monitor children using weighted blankets. In some cases, they can be a hazard since a child has a harder time adjusting under the weight of a heavy blanket. Very young children and infants should never use a weighted blanket. If you’re unsure if your child should use a weighted blanket, consult with a doctor first.
Why Weighted Blankets Make the Perfect Gift
The holiday season is upon us. And if you’re looking for the item that should be number one on your holiday shopping list, it’s a weighted blanket. As much as the small baubles found in those annual holiday gift guides may provide joy, a weighted blanket is truly the gift that keeps giving.
Gifting a weighted blanket is a great way to surprise someone with something that’s actually practical, functional, and way more interesting than a gift card. We’ve heard rumors that Santa himself uses a weighted blanket to wind down from a busy night of delivering gifts on Christmas Eve.
Want to know more? Continue reading so you can learn what to consider when buying a weighted blanket as a gift for a loved one or for yourself (because, hey, you deserve it).
How Heavy Should a Weighted Blanket Be
In the majority of cases, a weighted blanket should be approximately 10% of a sleeper’s total body weight. So, for example, if you weigh 150 pounds, you’d want a 15-pound weighted blanket. Of course, your preferences may vary. You might find that you like a lighter weighted blanket that allows for more freedom of movement. Or you may prefer a heavier weight that provides the snugness you’re looking for.
The Layla Weighted Blanket
The Layla Weighted Blanket comes in three weights: 15 pounds, 20 pounds, and 25 pounds. You can choose the weight and size you prefer based on your biometrics. Plus, Layla Sleep offers a five-year warranty on all materials and workmanship, so you never have to worry about your money going down the drain.
How Big Should a Weighted Blanket Be?
A weighted blanket’s size is another factor to consider.
The Layla Weighted Blanket
The weighted blanket from Layla comes in three sizes: twin, queen, and king. In most cases, you’ll want to choose the blanket that best fits your bed.
How to Choose a Weighted Blanket
Choosing a weighted blanket for you or a loved one? Here are some main considerations to make.
How to Buy a Weighted Blanket for a Child
Remember, it’s important to only allow children to use a weighted blanket under supervision. Infants and young children should not use weighted blankets at all, because they can be dangerous and too heavy for them to manage on their own.
Err on the side of caution when it comes to buying a weighted blanket for a child. In most cases, the 10% rule works for weighted blankets for children if they’re able to handle and manage the blanket.
How to Buy a Weighted Blanket for a Couple
If you sleep with a partner, you might want to share a weighted blanket. Although this arrangement can work, it’s important to make sure that both sleepers feel comfortable with the size and weight of the blanket. With that said, you might want your own weighted blankets if you and your partner have a dramatic size and weight difference between you.
A weighted blanket for couples works best if you’re a similar size.
How to Buy a Weighted Blanket for Adults
A weighted blanket for adults should correlate to your weight and size. Again, the type of weighted blanket you choose depends on your specific personal preferences. Do you feel comfortable? Can you move under the weighted blanket? Do you close your eyes and feel more relaxed? If you say yes, you’ve made the right weighted blanket buying choice.
What Fabric Should My Weighted Blanket Be?
The fabric composition of your weighted blanket depends purely on your preferences and lifestyle. Weighted blankets can be made with velvet, satin, flannel, polyester, cotton, rayon, linen, wool, and other materials. If you get cold often, a warmer blanket material like fleece might be a good option.
If you tend to sleep hot, a lightweight cotton weighted blanket is preferable. You could get a summer weighted blanket made from lighter fabric and switch it out for a denser weighted blanket in the winter. Or you can get the Layla Weighted Blanket that boasts two sides for you to choose from, so you have the option of a lighter cotton side that’s breathable and a fluffy, mink-like faux fur side that’s warm and luxurious. Plus, with the Layla Blanket, you don’t need two different blankets!
Besides the fabric itself, it’s also important to think about the filling of your weighted blanket.
In general, glass beads provide the highest quality and even weight distribution. However, you can also opt for metal or plastic beads. Both metal and plastic fillers can be a bit loud, however. And plastic beads specifically can quickly lose their integrity or melt in the dryer.
Sand is sometimes used in weighted blankets, but it’s a filler that won’t wash well. It tends to get lumpy when it’s in a watery environment.
Organic materials like rice and pasta are popular DIY options for weighted blanket fillers. As you might suspect, you can’t wash the blankets that are filled with organic materials. In addition, food products in a weighted blanket might degrade over time or even attract pests.
The Layla Difference
Layla’s weighted blanket is worlds apart compared to competitors. Our blanket boasts high-quality glass filling that offers consistent, evenly-spaced weight. Plus, it’s double-sided. On one side, you’ll enjoy an extra-plush, mink-like faux fur. The other size is smooth, 300 thread-count 100% cotton.
Caring for a Weighted Blanket
If you want your weighted blanket to last, it’s important to take care of it. Unfortunately, you get what you pay for in this case. If you choose a cheap weighted blanket, you might find that its lifespan is quite short. And trust us, you don’t want to wake up to thousands of tiny pellets rolling across your floor due to a ripped seam.
That’s just another reason you should invest in a Layla weighted blanket, constructed with quality materials that you can depend on night after night.
How to Wash a Weighted Blanket
In most cases, your weighted blanket can be washed in a washing machine, but you should check your blanket’s laundering instructions on the tag to be sure. You don’t want to end up with loose pellets all over a washing machine, after all.
It’s important to wash your weighted blanket according to the material it’s made out of. Here are some of the weighted blanket types and basic washing guidelines.
- Cotton Blankets: Cotton blankets are the easiest and most simple to wash. To wash a cotton weighted blanket, use cold and warm water during the wash cycle. A cup of salt and vinegar can also help lock in colors and avoid dye bleeding
- Faux Fur Blankets: Wash your fluffy weighted blanket on cold or warm. Use non-chlorine bleach and use a gentle hand if you’re scrubbing out any stains. (This isn’t the time to show your weighted blanket who’s boss.)
- Linen Blend Blankets: If you have a linen-rayon blend, you might need to get it professionally dry-cleaned. But if your weighted blanket is only made from linen, you can wash them on a cold cycle and use diluted bleaches to get stains out.
To dry your weighted blanket, you have a few different options.
- Air Dry: Air drying ensures that your filling (especially if it’s plastic pellets) won’t melt. Air drying can also provide the most even drying and reduced peeling on certain kinds of fabric like fleece. To dry, lay out the blanket flat for even weight distribution.
- Dry Clean: If your weighted blanket is made from wool, rayon, or linen, dry cleaning might be the best option.
- Low Heat Machine Dry: Using the low heat in a dryer is typically the manufacturer’s instructions. Using a gentle tumble setting and low heat, you can be confident that your blanket will remain intact and keep the integrity of most fillers. In some cases, your weighted blanket might be too big and bulky for a regular washer or dryer. You might want to head to a laundromat to use a commercial dryer instead.
If you get a Layla Weighted Blanket (good choice), washing directions are as follows:
- Wash on cold, gentle
- Don’t bleach
- Don’t iron
- Tumble dry on low
Do I Need a Cover for My Weighted Blanket?
If your weighted blanket isn’t washable, you might want to get a cover for it. A cover can provide an added layer of protection between the potentially sensitive filler material and stains. Plus, if you find your weighted blanket to be excessively scratchy, you can buy a cover that’s more plush and comfortable.
The Layla Difference
The Layla Weighted Blanket was designed for maximum convenience. Did your nightcap end up on your blanket? Toss it in the washing machine. This blanket can keep up with whatever your life throws at it. Just make sure to follow the washing instructions we mentioned earlier.
Wrapping Up: Investing in a Weighted Blanket and Better Sleep
Although a weighted blanket won’t fix your marriage or make you valedictorian, it can still provide you with serious benefits — just of the sleep variety. The Layla Weighted Blanket is the best choice when it comes to these specialized blankets. Built with a two-in-one design and filled with highly durable glass beads, this weighted blanket is in a class all its own. Don’t believe us? Feeling skeptical? Just read these reviews from Sleepadvisor.org and Business Insider.
With the Layla Weighted Blanket, you can enjoy a better night of sleep and, frankly, a better you.