Medical and business experts provide useful insights when buying weighted blankets to allow consumers to find the one that’s right for them.
Weighted blankets were used as early as 1999. But it didn’t explode in popularity until 2018, when it became a hot commodity. Initially used as a therapeutic tool, weighted blankets rose into prominence after a burst of people posted online about their positive experiences while using the product.
“Word of mouth paved the way for weighted blankets to become the hottest holiday must-have,” says Bill Fish in an interview with The Washington Post. Fish is the co-owner of Tuck.com, a website that sells sleeping essentials. Using a weighted blanket himself, Bill Fish claims to have tested dozens of weighted blankets to see which one fits his preference the most.
While weighted blankets’ efficacy is still in question, medical science, however, has a lot of praise for its potential. “Weighted blankets are far more effective than taking prescription drugs,” says Raj Dasgupta, assistant professor of Clinical Medicine at the University of Southern California. “The sensation of being hugged and cuddled improves comfort and contributes well to a person’s ability to sleep.”
If you’re buying into what a weighted blanket can offer, these experts have also provided some useful insights when shopping for one:
Brands Don’t Matter as Much
While prominent companies such as Calming Blankets and Gravity Blankets are getting a lot of attention, Fish points out that there isn’t a “must-have” brand. The playing field is pretty even as no clear leader is dominating the industry.
According to Fish, “Each weighted blankets found online or at department stores cater to a specific consumer or need. There are even custom weighted blankets where companies manufacture them on demand.”
The Weight Matters
While the brand may not matter, the weight of the blanket does. Most weighted blankets are available in five-pound increments. Laura LeMond, the founder of Mosaic Weighted blankets, provides the general rule of thumb when choosing your blanket’s ideal weight.
According to her, “Choose a weighted blanket that’s roughly ten per cent of your actual body weight.” That means if you weigh 250 pounds, you should buy a 25-pound weighted blanket.
On the other hand, She also points out that personal preference will also play a role in your decision. “You may prefer a lighter or heavier variant,” she says. “At the end of the day, it will always depend on one’s personal preference.”
They Aren’t Cheap
As of the moment, weighted blankets are selling for around $70 to $300, with reports that it might even inflate in the next couple of years. Keep in mind that the heavier the blanket, the more materials it contains. The more materials used, the greater the cost is going to be.
Make Sure It’s Washable
“Weighted blankets will get dirty at some point,” says Donna Chambers, the founder of SensaCalm, an authorized online retailer for weighted blankets and other calming sensory products. “Whether it’s a slip-on or a single cover, always choose one that’s machine-washable.”