Are you wondering if a weighted blanket is genuinely effective? Then this guide is for you. Known as a gravity blanket, a weighted blanket has been used for several years by mental health professionals. A weighted blanket has become a routine for people looking for healthy sleep habits and stress relief.
Furthermore, studies suggest that this type of blanket may benefit people suffering from insomnia, anxiety, autism, and other conditions. However, it is not suitable for children below two years as it increases the risk of suffocation.
Also, it is unsuitable for people suffering from certain conditions such as obstructive sleep apnea, claustrophobia, asthma and other ailments. This detailed guide will enlighten you more on weighted blankets.
What are weighted blankets?
A weighted blanket resembles an ordinary blanket, but it is filled using plastic pellets or glass beads that make them heavy. Their weight ranges from five to thirty pounds and uses the extra weights to mimic a therapeutic technique called pressure therapy.
How do they work?
On most occasions when you are stressed, you will attest that your heart beats quickly. When in this situation, applying pressure on your body activates your parasympathetic nerves system that helps your body to calm, a condition that lowers your heart rate.
A weighted blanket gives you an overall feeling of calmness by inducing your body to a similar sense of being swaddled or held.
Why are they a good purchase
Since weighted blankets are expensive, it’s not an obvious purchase for everyone. However, if you want a soothing tool to help ease stress, soothe anxiety, and improve sleep quality, then a weighted blanket is a must-have item.
What are the components of a weighted blanket?
A weighted blanket comprises three main components: the fabric, filling and duvet cover
a weighted blanket also consists of a cover that is either sewed together with the blanks or is removable. There are several fabrics used in making a weighted blanket which include rayon, microfiber, cotton, flannel, linen fleece, and Minky. When choosing a blanket, go for one with a soft, breathable, durable fabric that can withstand the bulkiness of a weighted blanket. Also, it is good to choose a material that is easy to clean.
A weighted blanket is also made up of filler. Some of the most popular weighted blanket stuff materials include micro glass beads, plastic Polly pallets and sand.
Choose a blanket with affordable fillers and will offer a relaxing feel.
A weighted blanket also comprises an inner comforter that buffers the weight. The batting provides cushioning between the fillers and the user’s body. Some of the insert fabric used in batting weighted blankets include cotton, wool, hemp, fleece and polyester. Choose one that is comfortable and breathable.
Why are weighted blankets so expensive?
The price tag of a weighted blanket reflects its high quality. These blankets are made up of thicker and better-quality materials than traditional materials. Also, they require double stitching, which ensures the fillers are intact. The quality material, time taken, and special equipment needed to influence its price tag.
How to make a blanket with the weight
Even with a variety of ready-made weighted blankets available in the market, sometimes it might interest you to make one.
Making a DIY weighted blanket does not require any special skills. Hence anyone with the suitable material and time can do it.
Here are a few step-by-step procedures on how to make one
Step 1. Collect all the material needed
Gather the required materials to complete your tasks, such as sewing machines, tablespoons, kitchen scales, tailor chalk, measuring tape, scissors, fabric, scissors, and poly pellets. However, when choosing the poly pellets, ensure you go for plastic poly pellets which are more durable and affordable.
Step 2. Measure the fabric
Depending on your ideal blanket size, ensure that you measure a fabric that can cover you from chin to heel. Nonetheless, the material should have an extra one-inch margin all around to accommodate binding. Then go-ahead to cut two pieces of the fabric with the proper dimension and stack them on top of each other.
Step 3: use chalk to make a grid
This step entails using a tailor’s chalk and a measuring tape. Then you will mark the columns down the length of our blanket using a four-inch spacing. After which, you will draw the horizontal row across the vertical rows observing the four-inch rule. It is good to note the four-inch grid is a pocket for your pellets.
Step 4. Start stitching
Once you complete marking the grid off, stitch the two sides and close the bottom of your blanket. Ensure the three sides are done first, an activity that will create long open pockets which you can start filling.
Step 5. Start filling your blanket with the weight
At this stage, make sure you evenly fill the pocket by dividing the number of squares by the number of pounds you want. It is recommendable to use a kitchen scale to ease the work.
Then go ahead and stitch your blanket horizontally to keep your pellets safe. Repeat the same action till the rows are sewn.
What is the difference between an expensive weighted blanket & a basic option?
Although more manufacturers offer quality than others, some differences between basic and expensive weighted blankets stand out. The following are some of the differences.
The price of the weighted blanket is determined by the quality and size.
More expensive weighted blanket offers their clients more features than the basic option. These features include dual-sided, fluffy, and weight.
The type of material and its quality is another determinant of the cost. For instance, if the blanket uses polyester fabric, it could be slightly more expensive than cotton.
How heavy are these blankets?
The weight of the weighted blankets varies on several factors, such as the size of the veil, the filler material used and many more. On average most of these blankets weighs between 5 to 30 pounds.
What are weighted blankets good for?
Here are some of the conditions that weighted blankets can help adults and children
Anxiety is the feeling of worry and uneasiness, a condition every person at a point in their life experiences. If anxiety is constant, it interferes with your daily activity, a condition that makes your body stressed. But with the pressure of a weighted blanket, your autonomic system is put to rest mode. This action reduces the symptoms related to anxiety, such as breathing and a quick heartbeat.
when your body is anxious and stressed, and you have an underlying health problem, it worsen the quality. Just in case you find yourself yawning, turning, and tossing in bed frequently for longer hours, then you might be having a sleeping disorder.
When you use a weighted blanket, it prepares your body for rest by calming your heart and breathing. In this condition, the body calms down, and you quickly get asleep feeling refreshed.
When a person has autism, it becomes hard to interact socially. This situation is challenging for them and can lead to stress and anxiety. Also, it becomes difficult to function in a public places like schools and workplaces. But the pressure formed by a weighted blanket can relieve stress for people with ASD. Also, it improves their focus on the complex task at hand.
Any child with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder gets a hard time using their self-control. A child with ADHD is distracted by the environment they are in. Nonetheless, it is difficult for them to concentrate, most likely when they are in school.
When you activate the sense of touch using a weighted blanket, it helps the child avoid becoming distracted by other sensory stimuli such as sound. Also, it improves the child attention and makes them fidget less.
How do you wash weighted blankets?
If you have a weighted blanket, it is inventible and will need cleaning at some point. The frequency at which you wash it depends on how frequent you use it and whether it has a cover or not. You clean it periodically if it has a duvet cover, but it will require regular cleaning when used directly to the body.
Generally, how you clean this blanket varies depending on the type of filler. Also, the fabric material used on the weighted blanket determines how you wash it.
Therefore, before you start cleaning your weighted blanket, you should first check the manufacturers care instructions on the tag.
If your blanket has a duvet cover, you should remove and wash just the cover instead of cleaning the whole duvet.
However, if your weighted blanket needs a deep clean, you can wash it by hand on a bathtub or sink. Or can clean it using a washing machine. However, check the label first to ensure its machine-safe. Either way, you should use a mild detergent with no bleaching agent. Also, it would be best to wash the weighted blanket in warm or cold water because most of the weighted blankets cannot withstand hot water.
Are weighted blankets safe for children?
Generally, weighted blankets are considered safe for your child if their age is above two years and does not have risk factors such as sleep apnea or asthma. Kids under the age of 2 may be too small to untangle themselves from the blanket, which can cause suffocation.
Besides, before you try weighted blankets on your baby, it is best; first, they be evaluated by an occupational therapist or a paediatrician. Also, when choosing a weighted for your kid, you must select the right size for them.
So, do they actually do anything?
It is good to note that a weighted blanket is a therapeutic blanket that helps reduce feelings of anxiety, relieve stress, and improve sleeping habits.
These blankets weigh between 5 and 30 pounds and have shown positive results to people suffering from ADHD, autism, anxiety, and many more. When choosing your weighted blanket, ensure it weighs 10% of your weight.
Although the price tags of weighted blankets can be a bit high, the benefits they offer outweigh the cost.