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How to Pick the Right-sized Weighted Blanket

Sujata Iyer Nov 20, 2018
A weighted blanket is designed in a way to help the user relax his or her senses and sleep soundly. Let us help you in choosing the right-sized weighted blanket as per your needs.
Only weighted blankets that use high quality polypropylene pellets are safe. Do not use ones that are filled with corn, beans, gravel, rice, etc.
We often tend to underestimate the value of a good night's sleep. We stay up till the wee hours, try to cram in a couple of hours of sleep, and then load ourselves with caffeine all day, which results in not being able to sleep at night again.
Sleeplessness and unsettled nerves can now be handled with a weighted blanket. Extensively used to help people who have trouble sleeping or resting, a weighted blanket is a worthy investment. It is recommended for:
  • Children with autism or ADHD
  • Elderly with Alzheimer's, chronic pain, or dementia
  • Women going through menopause
Though the aforementioned constitute a larger number of users, a weighted blanket can be used by kids, teens, and adults even when awake to help soothe their nerves and gain focus. Let's understand how a weighted blanket does this and then move on to how to pick the right-sized one for your needs.

How a Weighted Blanket Works

A weighted blanket uses the principle of DPTS or Deep Pressure Touch Stimulation. The blanket is filled with polypropylene pellets which exert a certain amount of pressure on the user and result in chemical (hormonal) reactions within the body.
The pressure applied helps in the release of endorphins and serotonin. These hormones make the user feel relaxed and at ease. The serotonin eventually gets transformed into melatonin (the hormone produced by the pineal gland) that helps us sleep.
Using a weighted blanket is safe and comfortable, and users often describe the experience as the feeling of 'being hugged'.
Using it not only helps the users sleep soundly, but also their caregivers. Hence, it is of utmost importance that you buy the right blanket. Here are some points that you need to take into consideration before making your purchase.

The Purpose of the Blanket

What or who are you buying the blanket for? Is it for yourself to be more relaxed while watching TV or working from home? Or do you want it to soothe your nerves after a long day?
In such cases, DreamCatcher, a popular manufacturer of weighted blankets recommends a lap blanket that measures 34" x 43" or a wrap blanket that measures 43" x 52".
If you're buying it to help someone sleep better, then there are other points to consider which have been mentioned further.

The Height of the Person

The height of person plays an important role in determining size of the blanket that you buy. DreamCatcher recommends the following dimensions as per different heights.

Child under 40": 43" x 52" or 36" x 52"
Child above 40": 43" x 75" (to provide enough growing room)
Teens: 54" x 75"
Young Adults: 60" x 80"
Older Adults: 76" x 80" (suitable for couples as well)
While ascertaining the size, keep in mind the size of your mattress as well. A weighted blanket should fit the top of your mattress and not sag from the sides, especially for small children. Adults can manage a heavy blanket that drops on the sides, but a child may not be able to.

The Weight of the Blanket

Always consult a health-care professional or licensed therapist before buying a weighted blanket as he/she is authorized to prescribe the use of one and will be able to help you regarding the size.
The generally used calculation is as given below.

10% of the Weight of the Person + 1 pound (in case of children)
10% of the Weight of the Person + 2 pounds (in case of young adults and adults)
Manufacturers themselves definitely do have their own recommendations regarding the weight that you must choose. However, they too advise that you seek expert advice before deciding on one.

The Construction of the Blanket

Apart from the size, you also need to pay attention to the way the blanket has been constructed.
An ideal weighted blanket will have many layers of fabric (most preferably cotton). This fabric not only makes it comfortable for the user, but also serves as enough cushioning from the polypropylene pellets that the blanket is filled with.
Another point you should check for in the construction of the blanket is the distribution of the pellets. An ideal weighted blanket will have evenly distributed pellets. If you find the pellets clumped in one area, and you need to even them out by hand, do not buy the blanket.
Most leading manufacturers recommend that a weighted blanket should not be dry cleaned. They recommend washing it in cold or warm water and air drying it. If air drying is not possible, then drying it in a dryer on low heat is advised. Remember, a weighted blanket is quite a heavy investment. So, keep all these points in mind, and make an informed purchase.