Warmth, security, and peace: three creature comforts that humans crave. When we’re stressed, a weighted blanket is an excellent option to help us find peace.
A weighted blanket differs from regular bedtime coverings in that it incorporates additional bulk and structure that provide major health boosts. The outer cover holds dense filling, which, when layered over the body, creates a feeling of being held, hugged, or cradled.
What started as a therapeutic tool eventually made its way into the market so that everyone could access its benefits. More than just a trendy household item, there are many reasons to use a weighted blanket when you sleep! In this article, we’ll elaborate on these and show you the best options.
What Is a Weighted Blanket Used For?
Weighted blankets have been around since the 1970s, but exploded in popularity in the U.S. in the late 1990s. They began as a touch and sleep aid in the special-needs community, primarily for use in children with autism.
A weighted blanket creates an artificial environment that stimulates feelings of closeness and comfort. The pressure of a weighted blanket feels like a “hug,” acting as a means of closeness. They are helpful for alleviating symptoms of imbalances such as anxiety or trauma. There are also advocates in favour of their effect on dementia, PTSD, and restless leg syndrome.
Even for people without clinical disorders, a weighted blanket is a great purchase. Insomniacs can enjoy the same sensory benefits as those with more serious conditions. The blanket may help regulate sleep patterns and guide them into a deeper, more restful sleep.
What Is It Filled With?
Weighted blankets differ from regular bed coverings in that they have two parts. This allows the manufacturer to fill them with heavy material that renders weighted blankets effective. Usually the inner portion is compartmentalised into smaller areas that hold pellets or beads.
The outer shell is similar to a conventional duvet cover, usually made from cotton, microfibre, fleece, rayon, mink fabric (plush), flannel, or a combination. There are also more niche textures available such as T-shirt yarn and recycled materials.
The inner portion also comes in a wide range of options. Plastic and synthetic pellets are the most economical. Micro glass beads are bulkier and more expensive, but require fewer than plastic to attain the same weight. On the environmentally-friendly spectrum are organic choices like beans, grains, and sand.
While the sensory feel is paramount to the weighted blanket experience, there are other elements to consider. Look for which product best suits your needs, such as hypoallergenic or moisture-wicking properties, or an eco-friendly company policy.
There are various options on the market, but ultimately it’s up to your individual preferences. Choose a material you love for a comfortable touch, and you’ll pick a winner.
How To Use
When used alone or layered on top of regular bed coverings, the gentle pressure of a weighted blanket helps soothe and settle the nerves, by imitating the sensation of cuddling. This coziness promotes security and comfort while resting.
5 Best Weighted Blankets to Buy in Ireland
Here, we’ve rounded up the top 5 blankets that appeal to all our senses.
|Name||Where to Purchase||What You Get|
|#1 Our Pick: YnM Knitted Weighted Blanket||Buy Now|
|#2 Buzio Shaggy Faux Fur Weighted Blanket||Buy Now|
|#3 Smart Queen Weighted Blanket||Buy Now|
|#4 SCM Weighted Blanket W/ Two Covers||Buy Now|
|#5 Sivio Kids Weighted Blanket||Buy Now|
Best for Hot Sleepers – YnM Knitted
For those who toss and turn at night because they can’t reach a comfortable body temperature, the YnM Knitted Blanket is a great pick.
The weight of this blanket comes from the consistency of the heavy yarn, filled with hollow fibres. Due to the looped yarn structure, it’s extremely breathable and encourages airflow, unlike the solid cover of most weighted blanket designs.
This one is also great for sleepers who prefer the aesthetic of a chunky throw blanket rather than a duvet. Use it on the bed at night for extra padding, or drape it over the living room couch and grab for a more restful midday nap.
The Knitted Blanket is washing-machine friendly and does not irritate skin. Choose from 14 colours to add a splash of brightness to your home decor.
Pros & Cons
- 14 colour options
- Knitted fabric
- Breathable material
- Machine washable
- Not as solid as other weighted blankets
Best for Looks – Buzio Shaggy Faux Fur
If an elegant look and luxurious texture are your top priorities, this blanket’s a winner. Reversible from plush fleece to sherpa, we think it’s the peak of style and textural comfort.
Weighing in at 9kg, it is one of the lighter options on this list, so this one is best if you’re looking for aesthetic appeal rather than clinical sleep help. The polyester construction makes for a permeable material that won’t get too warm.
Curl up in this one to watch a movie at home, or lay atop a guest bed for the ultimate in soft and sensual accommodations.
Pros & Cons
- Luxurious Faux Fur
- Light option
- More focus on aesthetic than purpose
Best for Couples – Smart Queen
This supersize option fits over a queen- or king-sized bed so that you and your partner can both enjoy its cozy benefits. Weighing 9kg, the Smart Queen features a unique layered structure so that its filling won’t leak.
A classy tartan pattern displays well on its own, or you can add a duvet cover for easier cleaning (though this blanket will tolerate the washing machine).
Pros & Cons
- Large size for couples
- King or queen bed
- Machine washable
- Simple design
Best Variety – SCM Weighted Blanket W/ Two Covers
Next on the list is the SCM weighted blanket which comes with two replaceable covers too. This option is best for variety as you can choose from four different weight and size options plus it comes with the extra covers too.
The inner layers of this version is 100% microfibre plus with filling that is hypoallergenic, odourless and non-toxic too. There is just one grey colour option to choose from with this choice.
Pros & Cons
- Extra covers provided
- Choice of weight & size
- Hypoallergenic filling
- Not as luxurious as other options
Best for Kids – Sivio Kids
Both sides of this weighted blanket are made using 100% breathable, natural cotton and is available in 5 colours/ patterns. The internal micro glass beads are evenly distributed using an internal small square pattern which allows for even temperature and pressure.
Weighted blankets work to promote deeper sleep for children by applying gentle pressure which mimics the feeling of being hugged. This is a moisture wicking material so you don’t have to worry about accidents at night soaking into the blanket.
Three options of weight and size are available to choose from which start at 1.4kg weight, and then 2.3kg and finally 3.2kg weight.
Pros & Cons
- 3 weight options
- 5 colour options
- Moisture wicking material
- Natural cotton
- Only suitable for children
What Are the Benefits?
Weighted blankets encourage deep sleep through the use of sensory integration therapy, which involves tactile focal points to help the brain stabilise. Deep-touch pressure is also an element that contributes to its healing properties.
There are numerous psychological effects of weighted blankets. Warming, protective, and secure, they give sleepers a mental boost as well as health benefits such as relaxation and deep sleep. Add to your self-care routine as a decompression method.
How to Choose a Weighted Blanket
When shopping, consider things like texture, possible allergic reactions, and environmental impact. Of course, since a weighted blanket is about the sensation of comfort, your tactile preferences are a big priority.
What Size Should I Get?
This is entirely dependent on the size of your bed and your taste in decorating. Most blankets are designed to cover standard beds, so look for them in sizes like twin, full, queen, and king, just as you would a set of sheets or a duvet/quilt cover.
How Heavy Should a Weighted Blanket Be?
For optimal results, the blanket’s weight should equal roughly 10% of your body weight. Heaviness is variable, depending on fabric and size of the blanket, but if you are new at sleeping with a weighted blanket you might try one on the lighter end first.
The Cons of Using a Weighted Blanket
It’s easy to get overheated when using – though you can offset this with the right materials. With kids, it’s best to have a parent help them set up, as the awkward size and weight can overwhelm little ones at bedtime.
Due to their bulk, weighted blankets aren’t easy to travel with. They can also be challenging to wash, as they don’t always fit in a standard washing machine, and can include materials in their structure that aren’t washing-machine friendly. Check the label to ensure best care practices.
Are They Safe for Kids?
Yes! The concept of weighted blankets began with studies of autistic children and possible coping mechanisms. Weighted blankets are safe—even for side-sleeping. In fact, we encourage you to use them for your child to promote better, comfortable sleep, regardless of health.
Sleep Better, Feel Better
Find the therapeutic effects and cozy up under your comfy new sleep companion. With the many benefits of a weighted blanket, you’ll soon be able to quit tossing and turning and enjoy a better rest.
⭐ Are weighted blankets good for side sleepers?
Yes! You don’t have to lay on your back to enjoy the calming effects of gentle pressure as you sleep.
⭐ What is the heaviest weighted blanket?
There are blankets on the market that weigh 13.6kg. This is the heaviest option available, and only recommended for use by adults weighing 50kg or more.
⭐ Does a weighted blanket help with anxiety and depression?
Yes! The blanket can trigger a calming effect on the brain, which helps release muscle tension. For those with depression, the pressure can release serotonin just as a hug with another human might, helping lift energy and mood while simultaneously promoting deep rest.
⭐ Are weighted blankets good for back pain?
Though we don’t recommend them for chronic issues, weighted blankets can help with routine aches and pains. The pressure system along the body may encourage your spine to return to its natural alignment and help balance out trouble spots.
⭐ Can my dog sleep under my weighted blanket?
There’s no reason your pet can’t enjoy the same sleep benefits you do! Dogs with anxiety may get some relief from the cozy properties of a weighted blanket. Please use caution for dogs with flat faces, as they already have challenges when breathing — and take note of any skin conditions that a blanket might irritate.