What is a weighted blanket?
Weighted blankets are tools for persons struggling with sensory disorders like SPD, Misophonia, or Autism. Unlike regular blankets, these blankets aid with proprioceptive input, and are a great tool in a sensory diet. The Friendship Circle explains that a weighted blanket as, “a calming tool or for sleep. The pressure of the blanket provides proprioceptive input to the brain and releases a hormone called serotonin which is a calming chemical in the body.”
Weighted blankets, unlike regular blankets, should fit the specifications of you or your child’s body, and not that of your bed. These blankets are heavier than regular blankets, but they provide a great deal of support for the body.
Weighted blankets are also used for anxiety and other brain-based disorders, but they are primarily a wonderful resource for sensory disorders as they help the body with sensory integration. While there is no cure for misophonia, it is important to understand your sensory system and integrating coping skills. Susan Nesbit, OTR believes weighted blankets can be helpful for misophonia and sensory disorders and adds, “I tried 10% of my body weight but 5% may have been better. (I don’t have the money to get a new blanket to try it out, but occupational therapists should be considering this possibility when they talk with their clients. Many persons who overreact to sounds, also overreact to heat”.
Since switching to a heavier blanket, I’ve noticed that my comfort and disorientation have gone away while sleeping. In the past, I’ve explained what I do for misophonia and sleep, but I believed it was important to make a separate post entirely for weighted blankets, as it could not be covered in the smaller space.
So, how do I pick a weighted blanket?
Your weighted blanket should be 10% of the body weight plus 1 or 2 pounds. So, if you weigh 130lbs, your weighted blanket would be 14 or 15 lbs. What works for a person who is 200 lbs will be far too heavy for a person that is 120 lbs, and vice-versa. Some people may benefit from 5% of their body weight instead of 10%. This is highly individualized, and you may benefit from consulting with an Occupational Therapist that understands SPD and or autism.
How should I choose a weighted blanket?
You should know you or your child’s fabric preferences. Many persons have sensory preferences, and what is comfortable to one person can be disorienting to another. I personally am over-responsive to highly synthetic fabrics and polyester, and prefer a soft cotton. Most companies that build weighted blankets do-so based on a highly customized process. Some may prefer fleece, but for myself it is too soft. Trust your senses!
Can I make my own?
Yes! Of course. However, you should be aware that this can often be an expensive option. You must ensure you have the materials, and many of the fillers that are used for these blankets can be expensive, but if you’re crafty and resourceful this is absolutely possible.
How much do weighted blankets cost?
Weighted blankets are often expensive, and they are difficult to return. Consultation with an Occupational Therapist may be beneficial before you make this commitment. Another option is to purchase a weighted blanket with an Amazon Prime subscription (they 1 month free trials). Students can receive Amazon Prime at half the price.
When selecting your product ensure you see the Amazon Prime logo next to the product.
While weighted blankets may be better when they are fully customized, this may not be within the price range of everybody, and Amazon Prime helps with this try and test method because they offer free shipping and free returns (paid by them). You can get a free trial of prime here.
If you don’t want to continue your membership after purchasing your blanket, you can cancel any time before the trial ends, or it will renew at full cost! Please make sure you cancel if you’re not going to keep it! Students of eligible institutions can get prime for half the cost.
What are some of my options?
Luckily there are weighted blankets available on Amazon for people that may not have the opportunity to live near a vendor. There are also vendors that will ship weighted blankets, but the cost can be high since they are so heavy! These blankets range in price, size, and weight due to the huge variance in weighted blankets. Please note that it’s impossible to know which blanket will suit a person! You will have to choose based on your own needs. If you and your partner are different weights, you could each have your own weighted blanket, and then use another comforter atop of the bed to match your bedroom scheme. There are many ways to integrate weighted blankets into your everyday life without sacrificing style or personal preference.
For Adults & Teens
This blanket comes in a range from 5lbs to 25lbs, and has lovely shades that will match almost every bedroom scheme. Available on Amazon.
The Rocabi weighted blanket is beautiful, and priced within the range of most other blankets. They are available between 15 and 25 lbs and are a nice grey tone that will match most bedrooms. The microfibre cover is also likely to be soft and comfortable for most users. You can find them on their website. These weighted blankets are geared toward adults.
This blanket comes in navy blue and grey/navy blue. It is suitable for a person up to 150lbs, and you should shop within this range.
Harkla Weighted Blanket
*They boast a lifetime guarantee and donate 1% of all sales to Autism research at the university of Washington. Available on Amazon.
These kids weighted blankets come with a cute removable cover, and are also available in a dinosaur print. Available on Amazon.
Customizable Weighted Blankets
Offers fully-customizable weighted blankets. They also have a selection of ready-to-ship blankets.
More to come!
If you have a suggestion for a weighted blanket, please do submit it in the comments! We’ll be updating this list regularly, and would love to feature tried and tested products.
*Not available in the UK
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