Weighted Blanket Guide: How heavy should a weighted blanket be

Weighted Blanket Guide: How heavy should a weighted blanket be

According to the Sleep Foundation, about 30% to 40% of adults suffer from sleep disorders. So many sleeping disorders can be due to the lack of proper bedding. Weighted blankets are one of such inventions designed to help improve sleep quality.  Weighted blankets are getting more popular with sleepers battling sleep disorders. It has grown popularly in recent years as a form of therapy. 

What is a Weighted Blanket?

A weighted blanket is a heavy blanket designed to give a calming effect to the body when you sleep. Also referred to as gravity and anxiety blankets, weighted blankets usually contain either plastic pellets or glass microbeads that add pressure to your body. The pressure helps to provide a calming effect without providing so much pressure that makes you feel uncomfortable. Weighted blankets mimic the feeling of a hug and cause increased secretion of the feel-good hormones like serotonin, dopamine, and oxytocin. 

The beads or pellets in weighted blankets are supported by batting to provide warmth and reduce the feel and sound of the glass or pellets shifting during usage. Most gravity blankets are significantly heavier than conventional duvets. Weighted blankets can weigh between 5 pounds to 30 pounds.

How Heavy Should A Weighted blanket Be For Adults?

If you are purchasing a weighted blanket upon the advice of a medical professional, such as a doctor or occupational therapist, ensure you ask for the appropriate weight that is right for you. You can ask the therapist for a weighted blanket you can try. Trying out a few weighted blankets will make you get a feel of the blanket which makes it easier for you to decide on which weight suits you best. 

As a rule of thumb, it is recommended that the weight of a weighted blanket should be about 10% of your body weight. A typical weighted blanket for adults ranges between 12 pounds to 20 pounds. You should feel comfortable beneath a weighted blanket. This ensures that the blanket provides a warm and cosy feeling to your body. This should create a sense of calmness, thereby reducing anxiety, and giving you a sound sleep. 

Without a doubt, the ideal weight depends on what you feel is right for you. And the preferred weight can vary from 5% to 12% of your body weight.  When picking a weighted blanket, look for one that is comfortable and also feel safe when you are beneath it. You should try out a few weighted blankets before selecting the one you find comfortable.  

Below is a weighted blanket guide for adults

Body Weight Blanket Weight

120lbs 12lbs

130lbs 13lbs

140lbs 14lbs

150lbs 15lbs

160lbs 16lbs

170lbs 17lbs

180lbs 18lbs

190lbs 19lbs

200lbs 20lbs

The above guideline is based on the 10% body weight recommendation. 

How To Tell If a Weighted Blanket is Too Heavy

 A weighted blanket can get too heavy if you do not get the right size. When picking a gravity blanket, you should not pick a blanket that weighs 35 pounds or more. 

You can tell if a weighted blanket is too heavy if;

  • You can’t move underneath the blanket 
  • You feel trapped in it
  • You feel suffocated in it
  • You feel the exerted pressure is much 
  • You have a hard time sleeping in it
  • You have difficulty breathing 
  • You feel uncomfortable using the blanket 

If you experience any of the above, then you should know your weighted blanket is too heavy and there is a need for you to change it to a lighter one. If you feel you can’t move or are not comfortable using the blanket, you should look for a lighter one. When the weight of a gravity blanket is perfect, you should;

  • You should feel comfortable in it 
  • Your sleep quality improves, easing the symptoms of clinical disorders 
  • You have a restful sleep 
  • You have a sense of calmness, reduced anxiety, and stress level.

How to Choose the Right Weighted Blanket for Adult 

When choosing a weighted blanket, there are a few things you might want to consider. Although the weight of the blanket is a major factor, there are other things that should form your decision when selecting your gravity blanket. 

  • Price: Weighted blankets are available at various price ranges in the market. This makes it easy to find a blanket that fits best into your budget. Various factors contribute to the price of weighted blankets such as the size and the quality of the material used in the production. Nevertheless, when going for a weighted blanket within your budget, you should get one of good quality. 
  • Size: Although most weighted blankets are designed to fit individual usage, some sizes are best for couples. Sizes, such as the king size are best suitable for couples. You should consider the size before you pick a gravity mattress that best suits you.  There are also sizes designed for heavier and lighter users. 
  • Weight Distribution: Weight distribution is key to the effectiveness of a weighted blanket. The blankets are stitched in squares to keep the fillings balanced. The smaller the squares, the more evenly the weight would be distributed. This prevents the spillage of the beads inside the blanket. 
  • Weight: Weight is a critical factor to consider when selecting your weighted blanket. A blanket that is underweight or overweight will not be effective. You must pick a weight that is appropriate for you. As a rule of thumb, a weighted blanket should be about 10% of your body weight. 
  • Fabric: Some sleepers love sleeping hot, and love the soft cosy feeling of their blanket. The fabric used in the construction of the weighted blanket determines the temperature neutrality of the blanket. You might want to consider the fabric used when selecting your weighted blanket. 

How Does A Weighted Blanket Work

Weighted blankets are designed to simulate deep pressure therapy. Unlike conventional blankets, weighted blankets are filled with materials such as microbeads and plastic pellets. The weight creates pressure that mimics deep pressure therapy. 

The pressure from the blanket improves sleep quality by stimulating the secretions of natural hormones such as dopamine and serotonin. The blanket is also known to reduce the secretion of cortisol hormone, a hormone known to cause stress in individuals. 

Benefits of A Weighted Blanket

Weighted blankets are designed with inspiration from the therapeutic technique called deep pressure stimulation. The technique works using a firm controlled pressure to create a feeling of calm. This creates a hug-feeling which helps to increase the secretion of the feel-good hormone; dopamine, serotonin and oxytocin. 

The deep pressure stimulation from the blanket helps to relax the nervous system. This in turn helps to relieve pain, lessen anxiety and improve the mood. Some of the benefits of weighted blankets include;

  • Relieves Anxiety and Depression

Anxiety and depression can negatively affect the quality of your sleep. The lack of sleep can increase the symptoms of anxiety and depression. Weighted blankets offer a soothing effect that helps to improve sleep quality. Research has proven that deep pressure touch can reduce the symptoms of anxiety. The blanket offers a gentle but firm touch that helps to relieve these mental health conditions. 

  • Relieve Stress

Getting stressed after the day’s work or an argument can have a negative impact on your mental, emotional, physical health. The deep pressure stimulation offered by a weighted blanket helps you to relieve stress. 

  • Improve Sleep Quality

You need quality sleep to get restored and prepare you for the next day’s task. Fatigue from the day’s work can cause you to turn and toss in bed, resulting in a bad sleep experience. The deep pressure stimulation from a weighted blanket will boost the serotonin level which helps you to have a better sleep. With a weighted blanket, you tend to fall asleep faster, sleep longer, and wake up fully reloaded. 

  • Autism Symptoms 

One of the therapies with increased autism symptoms management is touch therapy. A gravity blanket can help people with autism disorders through the deep sense of touch. The pressure offers comfort and allows them to better relax. 

Are Weighted Blankets Safe?

Although weighted blankets are linked to so many benefits, there are a few potential risks attributed to their use. Weighted blankets are generally safe for most adults. Yet, individuals with underlying medical conditions should consult with a doctor before use. Individuals with health conditions such as asthma, low blood pressure, as well as some other respiratory and circulatory issues may experience difficulty using a weighted blanket. Adults with claustrophobia may also experience discomfort using the blanket. 

Weighted blankets are known for their calming effects and for helping you sleep well. They are also known to reduce symptoms of anxiety, PTSD, Autism, Insomnia, and restless leg syndrome. Nevertheless, gravity blankets come in different brands, sizes, weights, prices, and fabrics. As a rule of thumb, you should get a weighted blanket that is 10% of your body weight.


  • What weight weighted blanket for couples?

Sharing the same blanket with your partner can help you save a few bucks. However, there are some factors you need to consider before choosing a  weighted blanket for couples. If you decide to sleep under the same blanket with your partner, you need to;

  • consider your weight and your partner’s weight
  • choose the right size
  • choose the right weight 
  • the fabric 
  • the construction and fill of the weighted blanket. 
  • What weight of weighted blanket do I need?

It is recommended that you get a weighted blanket that is 10% of your body weight. However, when picking a weighted blanket, you should select a comfortable blanket. You should not get an overweight blanket, or underweight. An overweight blanket will cause discomfort while an underweight blanket will not be effective. 

  • How do I clean a weighted blanket?

To clean your weighted blanket, you should follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Weighted blankets are made from different fabrics.


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