I recently purchased a weighted blanket. Ours is by Sleepeasy, but now many companies are producing them.
I had read about them for a while and thought they may be helpful to me. Going through perimenopause has been quite stressful with many disrupted nights and I hoped it may help. There have always been other priorities but when I saw this one for a reduced price I could not resist!
They are essentially a heavy blanket filled with beads or similar in strongly stitched pockets or squares weighting between around 5 to 30 pounds and certainly heavier than a normal blanket or most quilts. They purport to produce a deep pressure stimulation that is said to relax the nervous system similar to a great big bear hug, except this comes from having the blanket wrapped around you.
What Are The Benefits Of A Weighted Blanket?
Weighted blankets are said to have several benefits. I have read that researchers are still studying the effects for physical and emotional benefits.
Benefits so far are mainly listed as being helpful to reduce anxiety, relieve stress, aid restful sleep and essentially to give the body a big relaxing hug. Many people say that they have a fantastic sleep while using one.
However, I cannot verify them so do your research and it is best to buy one based on whether you like it and feel you personally receive benefits from it. Any other benefits would be a bonus.
If we choose to use them it should be because we find them comfortable and personally helpful.
What I Like About The Weighted Blanket
I like the colour of ours being a dark grey it goes with everything. I think I would always choose a dark neutral colour for these blankets as it is more versatile. They do come in many colours though so choose whichever suits you and your decor.
I do like the way in mine that the beads are contained in individual pockets so they do not move about very much at all and the stitching is very strong and secure.
I have taken to draping the weighted blanket over me and hubby in the evenings while watching a film and draped over the sofa it looks great in our living room and not like just something for bedtime.
I do enjoy the feeling of a big hug and find it very relaxing. Hubby found it so relaxing the first time we tried the weighted blanket that within 15 minutes he fell asleep and did not see the film!!
It is warm, but surprisingly not too warm. When I use it I sleep really well without waking up several times as usual.
My personal experience is that I like to feel the weight of it over my body and find that feeling very calming and relaxing. I can never rest properly with only a light sheet for covering, so I was always going to be a good candidate for a heavier blanket.
The first night I used it I did not struggle to drop off to sleep which for me usually takes about an hour. Now it is much less than that. I did not wake up all night and usually since starting perimenopause I have woken up two or three times every night.
It is warm, but I bought it in late autumn and since then it has not been too warm. I am not sure if it will be too warm in the summer yet.
I do not feel that it is too heavy when using it as a blanket. Carrying it around I feel it is very heavy, but once on the bed, to me, it just feels comforting.
Can Everyone Use A Weighted Blanket?
Weighted blankets are generally safe for healthy adults, older children and teenagers.
However, they are not suitable for everyone. If you are considering using a weighted blanket for an adult that has any underlying health conditions or for a child of any age please consult with a qualified healthcare practitioner first to ensure that it is safe for you to use.
Our weighted blanket is for adults. It should not weigh more than about 10% of your body weight and so would be unsuitable for a child to use.
You can buy children's weighted blankets specifically for them although please check with a doctor first that it is suitable for your child.
Weighted blankets should never be used for a child under age 2 or older children with developmental difficulties or learning difficulties due to the risk of suffocation.
They are not recommended for people with epilepsy in case the person has a seizure under the blanket.
The heaviness of a weighted blanket may cause difficulties for people with certain pre-existing conditions, such as Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), Asthma and sleep apnea where any breathing issues may be exacerbated and diabetes where any circulation issues may be further affected by the heaviness of the blanket. In people with Claustrophobia, a weighted blanket can feel too heavy and restrictive. Please always check with a Dr first if you have any health conditions.
As it is heavy I would not recommend it for anyone who likes only a light covering. When I took it out of the box it was so heavy I thought I would not like it. However, in my experience, it does not feel anywhere near as heavy on the body as it does when carrying it or moving it.
Things To Bear In Mind About A Weighted Blanket
The way the beads are stitched into the covering is something to watch out for in any of these blankets. I have read that in some blankets the beads fall into uncomfortable clumps when the individual pockets are too large or too weak.
You do need to look for quality design so the beads are held in their separate individual pockets and remain comfortable. The stitching needs to be secure and strong.
Check if there is a washable cover or if the whole blanket is washable. Or do you need to handwash and is this practical for you? Some are dry clean or spot clean. You need to choose whichever suits you best.
If the whole blanket is washable check if it will fit into your washing machine.
Personally, I would use this blanket over a sheet so that it does not require washing so much, or use a cover. I wash our sheets and covers on at least a weekly basis and I would not want to be washing this blanket every week. However, used as a blanket over a sheet or with a washable cover it will need washing much less.
Check the size you need. You want it big enough to cover your chest to toe and some drape at the sides but not enough so it is falling off you onto the floor as that will be uncomfortable. Remember the bigger it is the heavier it will be to move around and also to wash. In hindsight, I would probably have gone for a single size as it is mainly me using it.
I would go for the smallest size you are comfortable with using. If you are using it for yourself only I think a single size may be better. Or if there are two of you then either a double or two single sizes to give more versatility.
Check if there is a trial period and returns policy if you do not get on with it as it is such a personal item.
Washing Weighted Blankets
I think the only concern I personally have is that my double bed sized one is so heavy my washing machine will not accommodate it.
However, being dark grey and using it over a sheet or quilt in bed hopefully, it will not need washing so often.
To improve it I feel a detachable cover I the same colour would have been most useful.
I have now found a quilt cover that will fit to sort this issue when using it for sleep purposes. So will treat the blanket as I do our quilts. When using it in the living room we use it without the cover.
Final Thoughts On A Weighted Blanket
You do importantly need to check if you have any health conditions if you are fine to use a weighted blanket.
If healthwise you are ok to use a weighted blanket and you like the feeling of a heavier cover you may find this type of blanket very relaxing. If you enjoy a light covering in bed you may not like this but if you like the feel of a comforting hug and the feeling of a heavier cover on your body you may well take to it.
I cannot recall the last time I slept so well and so soundly since we had this blanket.
Do your research and make sure you can return and refund if you do not get on with it. Give it a week or so to get used to it. I took to it immediately but some people have said it takes them a while.
A good night's sleep is extremely important to me I do not function well on a disturbed sleep so this has made a huge difference to me.
Before buying a weighted blanket do your own research and see if it will be right for you. This is a very personal choice and requires some thought.
Weighted blankets will not suit everyone. However, if they do suit you they can make a big difference to the way you relax and sleep. I am very glad I got mine and as I am getting a much sounder sleep I am feeling much better these days.
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