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Weighted blankets contain materials, such as plastic pellets or glass beads, to make them heavier. Some people sleep better with them, or they feel calmer.

This article will discuss how weighted blankets work, their reported health benefits, and whether they can help with certain health issues. We also review different brands and their blankets.

Weighted blankets work by providing deep pressure stimulation (DPS). DPS is a firm, but gentle, squeezing or holding sensation, which can trigger feelings of relaxation and calm.

When a person uses a weighted blanket, they stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system, which dampens the fight-or-flight response. This reaction increases heart rate and breathing. Anxiety can trigger the fight-or-flight response, which is why people may find weighted blankets useful if they experience symptoms.

Some people may find that DPS using weighted blankets has the following health benefits:

  • feeling calm for up to a few hours after use
  • decreased anxiety
  • increased happiness
  • better quality sleep
  • increased focus
  • finding it easier to cope with stressful situations, such as school or work

Weighted blankets may help ease symptoms of anxiety, insomnia, and autism. However, more research is needed to understand fully how these products work on the body.

Anxiety

A 2020 systematic review found that weighted blankets may help decrease anxiety, but were not as effective in alleviating insomnia. The authors acknowledge they need to conduct more research on how weighted blankets reduce anxiety and how effective they are in clinical settings.

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD)

People with ASD may prefer weighted blankets to non-weighted variants. A 2014 study found that they did not affect children’s behavior or help them get to sleep faster. However, the children and their parents say they preferred using them over other forms of bedding.

Learn more about ASD here.

Insomnia

A 2015 study found that weighted blankets may help ease mild-to-moderate insomnia and other mild sleep problems in some people. This is due to the blanket’s deep pressure and consistent sensory input, which encourages relaxation.

The researchers also noted that a weighted blanket that is 10% of a person’s body weight works best for insomnia. For example, if someone weighs 200 pounds (lbs), they may find optimal benefit with a weighted blanket of 20 lbs.

However, a 2020 systematic review noted that there is not enough evidence to suggest that weighted blankets are suitable for treating insomnia, and more research is required.

Learn more about insomnia here.

Before buying a blanket, people may consider if they want one filled with plastic or glass beads. Blankets containing glass beads tend to be more expensive, although some may prefer the texture. Glass beads are also better for the environment.

The following are some weighted blankets a person may wish to purchase.

Please note that no one at Medical News Today, including the writer, has tried these weighted blankets. All information is research-based.

Sweetzer & Orange Weighted Blanket for Kids

Sweetzer & Orange made this weighted blanket to appeal to children. Designs include sleepy animals, sleepy dinosaurs, and unicorns. The company also provide several weights suitable for children between 42–88 lbs.

The product has a removable soft cover providing extra warmth during cold weather, with odorless, non-toxic glass microspheres to weigh the blanket down. The cover adds 1.25–1.75 lbs to the total blanket weight.

The Sweetzer & Orange Weighted Blanket for Kids is available for purchase online.

Degrees of Comfort Weighted Blanket

Degrees of Comfort provide two covers with their weighted blanket: a pre-assembled plush cover for cold weather, and a lighter cover for warmer nights. Each blanket contains small pockets with premium glass beads that evenly distribute weight.

The company offer several weights in the range, from 5–30 lbs, suitable for people weighing between 50–300 lbs. The blankets currently come in grey, navy, or tan.

The Degrees of Comfort Weighted Blanket is available for purchase online.

Quility Premium Weighted Blanket

Quility’s weighted blanket has seven layers that provide comfort and durability. The outer cotton layer of the blanket is breathable to keep people cool as they sleep.

The blanket also contains two layers of polyester, with each layer containing micro glass beads to give the blanket its weight.

This product comes with a removable cover and is available in several weights, from 5–30 lbs, suitable for those weighing between 50–300 lbs.

The Quality Premium Weighted Blanket is available for purchase online.

Weighted blankets provide DPS, which may help people with health conditions, such as ASD, insomnia, and anxiety. These blankets may also ease the symptoms of these conditions by promoting a sense of relaxation and calm. There are several products available to buy, each with varying sizes and weights.