In recent years, interest in weighted blankets has soared from seeming obscurity, with many sleepers claiming it helps produce a better night’s rest. But is there any weight to these claims, or just to the blankets themselves? If so, what are the best blankets on the market this year? Let’s take a look at what a weighted blanket does, and the best contenders out there.
What is a Weighted Blanket?
Visually, you wouldn’t discern the difference between a weighted and unweighted blanket—weighted blankets shouldn’t look like medical equipment or therapy blankets. Many weighted blankets come in cheerful colors and patterns, and feature soft textures and waterproof fabrics.
The difference is inside the blanket. Weighted blankets are filled with non-toxic, hypoallergenic polypropylene pellets, which give the blankets the sensation of added heaviness. Generally, the goal is for the blanket to weigh about 10% of the user’s body weight. Weighted blankets might also appear a bit smaller, as they are designed to cover the body and not the bed, lest the blanket be prone to falling off the side due to its weight.
How Does a Weighted Blanket Work?
Weighted blankets were originally pioneered by an autism researcher named Temple Grandin, who had become interested in the use of compression and touch therapy. Consider, for example, how hugging or holding can promote relaxation and reduce stress. At the same time, it can promote a feeling of restriction; weighted blankets aim to find the perfect balance of exploiting the body’s natural relaxation response to gentle pressure without the feeling of actually being “stuck.”
So, does it work? Yes! The benefits of compression and touch therapy, and now the use of weighted blankets, are well documented by psychologists today. Touch and compression therapy produces a chemical in the body called oxytocin, which is the brain’s “happy chemical,” and encourages feelings of relaxation and calm.
Consider this quote from Christopher Bergland in Psychology Today: “Oxytocin is a hormone directly linked to human bonding and increasing trust and loyalty.”
Who Can Benefit From a Weighted Blanket?
While pioneered for use by those on the autism spectrum, the same benefits have been demonstrated in those with ADHD, anxiety disorders, insomnia, restless leg syndrome, and depression. However, the benefits can be reaped by anyone who is looking to achieve a higher quality of sleep with improved relaxation.
What are the Best Weighted Blankets for Anxiety?
Now that you know the health benefits of weighted blankets, let’s take a look at the best on the market, and who they’re best equipped to serve.
YnM Weighted Blanket
This weighted blanket is an excellent entry-level blanket, striking a balance between affordability and quality. The blanket is soft, with seven layers, and feels very comfortable and durable. The construction helps achieve a better natural body temperature and contour to the user’s body, and also helps prevent moving while sleeping without a feeling of constriction.
At 15 pounds, it should be perfect for most people—remember, the goal is 10% of your natural body weight, but a little under or over shouldn’t make a difference. To top it off, it comes with a three-year warranty. All this at an excellent price, making the YnM weighted blanket perhaps the best bet for those just curious about a weighted blanket. YnM also offers a bamboo option for those concerned about overheating. Learn more about weighted blanket options for hot sleepers here.
Quility Premium Kids & Adults Weighted Blanket
This is the best weighted blanket for youngsters (and the heavier weights are great for adults). Made of 100% cotton and featuring a duvet cover that can be removed for a quick wash, it is airy and perfect for any time of year. Overall, this is a great option. Read out full Quility Premium Weighted blanket review here is a great option.
The 10 pound option is ideal for smaller adults or anyone who is afraid of having too much pressure while they sleep. The only downside is that this blanket is fairly expensive.
ZonLi Weighted Blanket
This is likely the best weighted blanket for adults who already know they’d prefer a weighted blanket and are eager to reap the benefits. Weighing in at 20 pounds, it’s suitable for heavier adults as well. As a premium weighted blanket, it utilizes advanced technology in its woven design to help produce an even distribution of weight, and utilizes two layers of microfiber to help secure the weighted beads and prevent leakage.
It’s notable that although the base model is 20 pounds, ZonLi does provide a variety of sizes and weights, but all tend to run on the heavier end. This is really a weighted blanket designed for those who already know they like weighted blankets. Additionally, it can get warm during the summertime, so those who prefer to stay cool might want to consider a different blanket.
Good Knight Weighted Blankets for Autism
The Good Knight Weighted Blanket makes our list as it is rated 100% hypoallergenic, meaning everything from the weighted filler beads to the woven materials in the Good knight will not affect anyone’s health. Aside from this, it includes all the basic advantages: 100% premium cotton, 15-pound weight, and a duvet cover (although it is unfortunately not removable).
There you have it. A quick rundown on how a weighted blanket can provide enormous health benefits and some of the top contenders in the industry. Have you ever tried a weighted blanket before? Let us know in the comments below.