If you’re a regular reader of this website then you surely know that I have had sleep issues.
Tossing and turning at night. My mind racing with thoughts of my to-do list for the next day. I don’t feel like I need to explain how this lack of sleep was damaging other aspects of my life and health. And it is a downward spiral that feeds into itself.
It wasn’t long ago that I tried a weighted blanket.
Wasn’t it constricting and claustrophobic, you ask? Did it make me too hot? Did it even help at all?
SPOILER ALERT: It worked!
In this article I will go over a few I liked and the features of each one so you can decide which one will be best for you.
And they aren’t just for adults who can’t sleep. They are also ideal for kids with anxiety or for autistic children and adults.
What to look for in a weighted blanket
There are a two different kinds of weighted blanket styles, plus a number of materials and weights. Which one is best for you will depend on a few factors.
Before we take a look at what makes a weighted blanket have a look at the top choices for sale here in the UK.
Best Weighted Blankets UK
One piece or duvet
These are the two different styles of weighted blanket. A one piece is used as is without a cover. In most cases with one piece blankets, the weights are in the form of dots sewed into the exterior material.
Others may have the weight as a filling in the same way as a duvet style but with a more comfortable exterior made with materials like plush or cotton. Either way, the material on the outside is comfortable to the touch so you don’t need a cover.
Duvet style is exactly as the name suggests.
The blanket is like any other duvet, with weights like beads or discs as a filling instead of down or polyester. Then you simply use a duvet cover to keep it from getting dirty.
Which style is better? This one comes down to personal preference more than anything.
Personally, I liked the duvet style ones better. Some parents with autistic children swear by the one piece with weighted dots.
Types of material
The exterior of the blanket runs the gamut of materials just as any ordinary blanket. You and find whatever type of material you prefer from Egyptian cotton to microfleece. Again, this depends on personal preference.
The filling is also very varied.
They can be filled with beads of different materials like glass or terracotta, discs or even compressed polyfill.
How heavy should a weighted blanket be?
There is a general rule of thumb when it comes to weighted blankets. Shoot for 10% of the body weight of the person using it. Now, if you are over 250 pounds, a 25 pound blanket will do the trick. Don’t look at that number as being set in stone as the heaviest generally are around 25 pounds.
It’s more important for this rule to be applied for kids since they are smaller. It is wise to not go too far over this 10% rule to not weight them down to heavily.
Now for adults, some may find that 10% of their body weight is too heavy. It all depends on what you want the blanket to do.
On that note let’s talk about the different functions of weighted blankets and how they differ.
When to use a weighted blanket
At the risk of sounding like I am expounding on some miracle cure for all ills, you would be surprised how many problems can be solved by a weighted blanket even beyond insomnia.
It’s important to understand why you are using a weighted blanket to help you determine which one is best for you since the different weights have a different effect.
Let’s examine some reasons you may want a weighted blanket and which weight corresponds to that.
Children with autism, PTSD, anxiety etc.
Kids with anxiety issues like OCD or PTSD along with the autistic often lack serotonin which they need to relax and focus. Using a weighted blanket is like deep touch therapy that helps release this chemical.
I’ll reiterate that the weight for this scenario shouldn’t go over 10% for kids. If the blanket is too heavy they may feel restricted rather than hugged and it will have the opposite effect. It can be less than that if you feel like they just need something gentle.
Up to 5 pounds is probably sufficient.
Reduce stress in adults
If your insomnia is due to stress, you may also need something to help you feel like you are getting a gentle hug. In this case, I would suggest a lighter blanket. Something around 10 pounds is probably more than enough. If you go for the 10% of your body weight, you may feel that is too heavy and isn’t really necessary anyway.
If you have a lot on your mind and find it hard to turn your brain off, then this gentle pressure is enough to make you feel better.
Restless legs or a lot of tossing and turning
If you often cannot lie still at night, or have Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) when your legs feel tingly and have a strong need to move your legs around then a heavier blanket will probably relieve that.
This is when I would go for the max of the 10% rule and maybe even go beyond it. The heavier the blanket, the more restricted you will be which forces you to lie still.
This pressure you will feel on your legs should reduce the feeling of the RLS.
Anxiety is different than feeling stress. Stress is the weight of everyday life that can have your mind working overtime. Anxiety is a much deeper sense of worry that can be all consuming making it difficult to do simple tasks.
In the case of anxiety you will need a heavier blanket than when you just feel stressed out.
Rather than feel like you’re getting a reassuring hug, you may have the sensation of being in the womb or a safe place where you needn’t worry about things.
My List of the Top Weighted Blankets
Now that you have an idea of what you might be looking for in a weighted blanket, let me list off some of the ones I think are the best in terms of quality and effectiveness.
Quality Premium Kids Weighted Blanket & Removable Cover
- 5 pounds of weight
- Dimensions are 36″ x 48″
- Exterior material: Minky cotton
- One piece design with dotted glass beads
With three different weights available, you’re able to find the right size according to how big your child is. You can choose from 5, 7 or 10 pounds by clicking the appropriate box to the right of the photo.
This is a one-piece style weighted blanket with weighted dots and a very comfortable minky/cotton exterior. The beauty of this weighted one piece is that it has a removable cover so can double as a duvet.
This helps to keep it clean as the cover is washable, but also can keep your child cooler in the summer months when used without the cover.
What sets this apart from a regular duvet is the fact that the cover can be secured so the weights don’t lead to the blanket getting bunched up in one end. This would have the opposite effect on a child with autism, anxiety or OCD as they will undoubtedly get anxious about the blanket not being comfortable.
This is the biggest reason I recommend this as being the best weighted blanket for autistic children.
Another reason I recommend this for kids is that the weighted dots don’t produce any noise when the child moves around since they don’t rub on one another. The beads are made of glass for the extra bonus of being hypoallergenic.
Harmonia Weighted Blanket 25 lbs
- 25 pounds
- 60″ x 80″ dimensions
- Box quilted design
- Exterior fabric: Cotton
- Filled with glass microbeads
This extra heavy duvet is the best weighted blanket for those with anxiety and need something to really provide deep pressure.
At 25 pounds it works great thanks to the even distribution of the glass beads for Deep Pressure Technology.
What I really love about it is that it looks and feels like an ordinary duvet at first glance. It is box quilted, but with hypoallergenic beads instead of filling. Each box keeps the tiny beads from moving around for even distribution.
It comes with its own duvet cover that snaps on for a secure fit. A concern about weighted blankets is always the stitching. Well, the durable seams are not likely to give way, keeping the microbeads firmly in place.
A common question about glass bead weighted blankets is if they make noise when you move around. I can’t speak for all brands, but I know this one by Harmonia is quiet.
It’s also quite thin by weighted blanket standards so it won’t get you overheated if you are a hot sleeper. It works great as a 4 season blanket keeping you warm in the winter as well.
Even if you don’t have anxiety, but rather toss and turn a lot during the night, then this extra heavy blanket is ideal to keep you still and help you fall asleep faster.
Jaymag Weighted Blanket -15lb
- Weighs 15 pounds
- 122x183cm dimensions
- Exterior fabric: Cotton
- Filled with glass microbeads
At 15 pounds this is a nice weight for those that need a gentle hug from the weighted blanket making it ideal for those that are stressed.
Keep your mind from racing when the release of serotonin washes over you from the reassuring pressure from the blanket.
It isn’t as heavy as the last review above, but heavy enough that you do feel the sensory aspect of it.
As far as construction goes, this is very solidly manufactured. Diamond quilting ensures an even distribution of the glass microbeads. The tight, durable stitching of the boxes is not likely to give way so you’ll get many years of use out of this blanket.
The size is good for single, twin and double, so for those looking for a queen or king sized, then I am sorry that this will be too small.
The even distribution of the beads will keep you cool in the summer even if you are a hot sleeper. Since there is some space between the beads it allows air to flow between them somewhat and moisture is not reflected back to your body.
Like the Harmonia, this looks elegant on any bed and the neutral color works in any setting. It doesn’t look anything like a blanket that would be used therapeutically.
Best Cheap Weighted Blanket
Pine and River Queen Size 15lbs
- Weighs 15 pounds
- 60″ x 80″ dimensions
- Percale cotton exterior fabric
- Filled with silica sand beads
- BPA free
You may have been shopping around for a weighted blanket and been put off by the high prices. Yes, they can be quite expensive, but you needn’t spend a fortune for a quality version.
This one by Pine and River will definitely exceed your expectations for an economical weighted blanket.
First, there is the fact that it is queen size. The other blankets in this list of reviews have been smaller sizes and cost more than this one. Though, one caveat is that it fits over the top of a queen size mattress. It will not drape over the edges, so keep that in mind.
The comfort of the satiny percale cotton exterior is simply luxurious. It is smooth and soft while providing warmth and breathability.
As with the others I selected for this list, you will not overheat when using this blanket as it is a four-season cover.
In this case, the filling is made with 1 mm sized silica sand beads. Just like with glass microbeads, your body heat is not blocked. There is enough space left for the heat and moisture to pass through the blanket.
For added strength, there are multiple layers of material to ensure that there is no leakage of the filling. There is an inner liner also made out of cotton.
Between the heavy duty construction and the comfort of the cotton, the price will definitely come as a surprise.
How to wash your weighted blanket
Now that you have hopefully settled on the right blanket for you, you may be curious about how to clean and maintain it.
It may not be exactly the same as a duvet, but it isn’t something that should prove too difficult, either.
How you wash it will be determined by the fabric and the filling so I will go over a few different scenarios.
The general rules of thumb for any weighted blanket, however, is that you should only use a gentle detergent. Another is that you should bring any blanket over 20 pounds to a laundromat with heavy duty washers, or leave it with a dry cleaner.
This isn’t anything to do with damaging your blanket, but you may damage your washer with a blanket that heavy.
This is a very comfortable fabric that may prove a little tricky if it gets stained due to the texture. Use a spot cleaner on it at the first sign of a spill and then wash normally afterward.
You may be tempted to use a fabric softener to keep the softness of the material, but it is not a good idea to use any on a weighted blanket. If you avoid using bleaches then it should stay soft for years to come.
Fleece or Microfleece
Fleece will generally clean up very easily and doesn’t require much special care or attention. To reduce pilling, you should only air dry your blanket.
Unfortunately cotton can stain easily, so take care if you have a one-piece blanket that doesn’t have a duvet cover.
Follow the instructions from the manufacturer on removing stains. Otherwise, if you are just washing it to freshen it up then just use your gentlest detergent and wash on a gentle setting.
You can dry it in a dryer or air dry it for equal results.
Avoid using hot water when you wash flannel and always use cool or warm settings. The hot water will leave your flannel feeling scratchy afterward.
If you choose to dry your flannel blanket make sure to use the low setting and remove it straight away once the cycle has finished.
Air drying will provide the best results.
Drying your weighted blanket
As you can see from the washing instructions, you can use a dryer to dry your weighted blanket. It depends on the filling, however, and you shouldn’t use the highest heat to avoid melting it. Glass beads are fine and won’t melt, but it may be filled with polyester pellets which shouldn’t be dried with high heat.
Your electricity bills may skyrocket if you choose to dry by machine, however! It does take a long time to dry.
Your best approach is to hang it to air dry. It’s wise to give yourself plenty of time, however since it takes longer to dry a weighted blanket than a normal duvet.
Many people’s lives have been changed by adding a weighted blanket to their routine. From the reduction of stress, to recuperating from last sleep, there is a myriad of benefits to using one.
If you have tried numerous therapies to get your sleep back without success, then I hope the answer lies in something as simple as using one of the blankets from this list.
If you have any questions about these blankets, or others, please feel free to reach out by leaving a message in the comment box below.