Weighted blanket guides
Weighted Blankets: How to Choose and Care For Yours
With all the information around about how weighted blankets can help with everything from insomnia to autism, you may look into getting one for yourself. These therapeutic covers are not one-size-fits-all, however, and do require some forethought to get the maximum benefits.
Once you know you want a weighted blanket and all the ways it can help you, learn the proper size, weight, and care instructions to maximize your enjoyment of one of these comforting, cozy helpers.
What is a Weighted Blanket?
Weighted blankets are currently surging in popularity due to their therapeutic benefits for almost everyone. They consist of a two-layered blanket with heavy loose material such as plastic or glass beads in the middle. Some also have a layer of soft quilt batting or fleece to make it warmer and cuddlier. The weights are evenly distributed throughout the blanket. They come in a variety of sizes and weights to suit almost everybody.
How Can a Weighted Blanket Help You?
They have long been used in clinical settings to soothe, quiet, and calm people with developmental and emotional disturbances such as autism, ADHD, anxiety, PTSD, and serious insomnia. The weight creates physical comfort when the blanket is draped over the person’s body.
Also, weighted blankets stimulate the production of serotonin in the brain. This “feel good” hormone is one of the body’s natural defenses against stress and anxiety. The weight blanket naturally and effectively boosts mood, alleviates nervousness, and promotes calm.
How to Choose the Right Size and Weight of Blanket
People from pre-school to elderly ages can benefit from a weighted blanket, but it is vital to buy one specifically sized and weighted for the individual. If a small or frail person uses a blanket that is too heavy and they cannot get out from under it or manipulate it easily, it can even be dangerous.
Weighted blankets come in sizes from very small lap blankets to those used on beds. The blanket should never hang down the sides of the bed like a normal cover or quilt as this makes it too difficult to remove. Instead, choose one that is the right size to cover the body only.
The weights range from lighter 3 pound blankets to 25 pounds and even more. The standard formula for determining the right weight for an individual is to take 10% of their body weight and add 1 or 2 pounds. Therefore, a 40-pound child should have a 5 pound blanket while a 200-pound adult can use a 22 pound blanket.
How to Wash a Weighted Blanket
Many weighted blankets can be laundered in conventional at-home washing machines and dryers. Always check with the manufacturer’s directions before choosing the water temperature and washing cycle. Any blanket over 12-15 pounds requires a heavy duty machine and should probably be professionally washed as it could damage home style laundry machines.
Cold water washes are best. Air-drying is recommended rather than putting the weighted blanket in a dryer. For more convenience, consider buying a zippered duvet cover and washing that instead of the heavy insert every time.