There are some general rules for how to size a weighted blanket, but each individual is going to have their own needs and preferences.
You may even find some differences among the manufactures’ guidelines. It boils down to choosing the best blanket for you.
In this post, we outline the general guidelines and some tips for choosing your weighted blanket. Basically, when choosing your weighted blanket, you’re going to consider:
- body weight
- body size
- physical strength
- personal preferences
Three important points to keep in mind:
- Weighted blankets are not recommended for babies. (under one year)
- The person must be able to take the blanket off themselves. It should never be restrictive.
- The weighted blanket should be sized for the body, and not the bed.
Let’s look at these aspects in more detail.
Body Weight and Physical Size
The general rule for choosing the weight is to take 10% of your body weight and go to the nearest blanket weight offered for the one you want.
Choose a Weight for Your Needs
You’ll find that some manufacturers recommend adding a pound or two, or more. What you’ll need to decide is if you prefer a heavier or a lighter weight.
Do You Like Weight?
What you think you’ll prefer in terms of a heavier or lighter weighted blanket is going to factor in. Try to think of other times you’ve had a weight on your body, such as an x-ray blanket or a heavy quilt. Did you like the weight? Was it comforting?
You Can Go Up or Down a Size
Go up or down a size depending on if you think you’ll find a heavier weight more calming or if you’ll need a lighter weight to feel comfortable.
Bear in mind that some experts say at least 10% of body weight is needed to get the full effect of the deep touch pressure. However, anecdotal reports say some people are fine with a lighter blanket.
Check Return Policies
If you’re unsure of what will work until you try it out, check the return policy of the blanket you want. Many manufacturers will allow you to return or exchange the blanket within a certain time period.
Do You Know Someone with a Weighted Blanket?
If you know someone with a weighted blanket, you can always try it out to see how it feels and get an idea of what will work for you.
Just keep in mind that it often takes several days for someone to get used to the weight of one of these products. So, spending just a few minutes under one might not tell you much.
Weighted Blankets Should Just Cover the Body
When it comes to dimensions, choose a blanket that fits over your body. It doesn’t need to cover the bed, and really it shouldn’t.
And, it should never be big enough to hang down the sides of the bed. If it just covers your body, it will have optimum weight distribution and work better.
Also, even though some manufacturers offer king-sized blankets promoted for couples, it’s generally recommended for each individual to have their own blanket in order for it to fit like a hug and give best results.
Physical strength is also an important consideration when choosing the size of a weighted blanket. The individual using the blanket must be able to manipulate the blanket on their own.
Weighted Blankets Should Never Be Restrictive
A weighted blanket should never be too heavy or restrictive so that the person can’t get out from under it. They must be able to move it on their own.
For example, if you purchase one for an elderly person who has lost muscle and strength, make sure it’s light enough for them to move it themselves.
On the other hand, if you are very physically active and strong, you might want to go with a heavier weight for more benefit because you can easily get under and out from under the heavier weight without assistance.
People should never need assistance to move their weighted blanket. It should always be something they can do using their own strength.
The other thing to consider before you purchase your weighted blanket is what personal preferences you might have. Try to analyse how you think you might respond to a heavy weight laying on top of you.
Are You Claustrophobic?
Do you get claustrophobic or annoyed if your movements feel restricted? Or do you have any memories of feeling comforted by a heavy weight like an x-ray blanket or homemade heavy quilt?
One of the reasons we thought a weighted blanket might be useful for our son is that he always liked snuggling under a heavy homemade quilt my step-grandmother gave us.
Use your personal preferences to choose the weight and size of a blanket that will suit. But as mentioned earlier check the return policy of the manufacturer to exchange it if you want something different after you try it out.
Cautions for Using a Weighted Blanket
While weighted blankets provide excellent benefits for many people, there are some generally recognized cautions about who should use them:
- You should never use a weighted blanket with babies or a child under one year of age.
- Anyone using a weighted blanket should be able to move it and get out from under it on their own.
- Weighted blankets should never be used to restrict the person under it.
- Take care around pets.
These are important things to remember if you’re going to use a weighted blanket or provide one for someone else to use.
And, if you decide a heavy weighted blanket is not the right product for your situation, you might prefer a lightweight product like a compression sheet, or a more portable product like a weighted lap pad or weighted compression vest.
Weighted blankets provide many benefits and getting the right size for your needs is important. Make sure to consider all the important aspects before you make your choice.