Factors in Choosing a Weighted Blanket
If you're ready to purchase a weighted blanket, it can be hard to know where to start. How do you know what the right weight or size is? What fabric do you choose? Use our handy guide as a starting point! We'll give you some nifty tips and tricks we've learned along the way.
The first—and most important—thing to consider when choosing a weighted blanket is the weight. The general rule of thumb is that it needs to be approximately 10% of your body weight. So if you weigh 150 pounds, you'd want to choose a 15-pound blanket. Some retailers recommend adjusting it a pound or two higher depending on what weighted blanket benefits you're hoping to obtain.
You'll also want to consider the weight of the blanket you'll be using in addition to the weighted blanket. So if your queen-sized comforter adorning your bed already adds a couple of pounds, you won't need to add additional weight.
Size can be tricky. Most weighted blankets come in a range of sizes (child, throw, twin, full queen king). You'll want to consider what you'll be using it for. If it's for personal use and your spouse will not be using it, consider the throw or twin size.
I have a friend who uses a throw-sized blanket under the comforter, so when her husband is sleeping and rolls away with their shared blanket, hers is heavy enough to stay in place—with the added bonus of her staying asleep.
If you're sharing it with a significant other, experts recommend sizing down from the size of your bed. For example: If you have a king-sized bed, use a queen-sized weighted blanket. Why? If the blanket hangs over the edge of the bed, you'll spend your time fighting to keep it from falling off completely (1).
Are you worried that a weighted blanket will be hot? Or scratchy instead of soft? Many brands offer different types for different comfort levels. Here are a few options:
Some retailers offer fitted covers for your weighted blankets. If you're like me and will need to frequently wash your blanket to remove golden retriever hair, this may be your best bet (what can I say, he loves to cuddle).
Most blankets are stitched in layers so that some sort of cotton fill is surrounding whatever filler type is used.
Some brands offer matching pillow-cases to accompany the blankets they sell. If you prefer your bedding to be coordinated this is a great option. Are you giving the blanket as a gift? Some retailers offer monogrammed blankets if you want to personalize it.
Choosing a Weighted Blanket for a Child
Each weighted blanket retailer has different recommendations for what age is suitable for a weighted blanket. Some recommend a blanket only for children 50 pounds and up. Others state ages 2+ is suitable. They recommend checking with a pediatrician or occupational therapist for medical advice.
The biggest issue that you must address is the child's ability to move the blanket. If they are unable to physically (or cognitively) remove a weighted blanket, then it is considered unsafe to use. Often, that is left up to the parents discretion.
Most recommendations for children at 1-2 pounds more than 10% of the child's weight. The chart below lists some recommendations:
Sizes for children range from 30" to 38" and goes up based on age/size/weight. An older child would be fine with a throw or twin-sized blanket.
Fabric is a matter of preference, but consider why you're purchasing the blanket for your child. Is it to help them sleep or ease anxiety? Perhaps a soft 'Minky' style blanket would be the route to go. If your child has sensory issues they may prefer the clean crisp texture of a simple cotton blanket.
This is imperative. I cannot imagine buying a blanket for a child that had to be hand-washed (if I'm being honest, I wouldn't buy hand-wash only for myself either...). Many brands are machine washable, but be sure to read the fine print before you purchase.
Weighted Blankets for the Elderly
Sensacalm recommends sizing down in weight for an elderly person. They often use the blankets when sitting in a chair/wheelchair and it is only needed for their legs. In this instance, they recommend a small blanket weighing 5-8 pounds. The largest they recommend is a 10-15 pound full-size blanket for sleeping (5).
Just like for children, you want to make sure the individual has the strength to remove the blanket themselves. If someone is frail, a heavier blanket may pose hazardous, thus the recommendation for the lighter more manageable sizes. They will still gain the benefits of the blanket without fear of it being too heavy.
The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.