Has your doctor or occupational therapist recommended a weighted blanket for you or your child? Wondering why you should buy a weighted blanket, or how to order? We’ve got a comprehensive guide to weighted blankets, including helpful information about choosing the best size and weight.
Why Buy a Weighted Blanket?
Weighted blankets are an increasingly popular way to address the symptoms of sensory processing disorder — a condition in which individuals have difficulty handling the information they take in via their senses (sound, touch, taste, sight and smell). Sensory processing disorder affects both kids and adults.
Because young children and kids with developmental delays sometimes have difficulty expressing what is bothering them or making them uncomfortable, it’s not always easy for parents and caregivers to recognize the symptoms of sensory processing disorder.
We take in information from our senses all the time. In most cases, we don’t even realize we’re doing it. As you walk through a crowded amusement park, you’re bombarded with a lot of loud noises coming from all directions. While you watching television, your eyes take in different colors and flashes of light as the screen changes. These are normal, everyday experiences that help you related to the world around you.
For people with sensory processing disorder, the brain doesn’t always process information in an orderly way. Some experts liken the disorder to a mental traffic jam. Signals come in, but they clump together and get jumbled. As the brain struggles to make sense of all the information it’s receiving, the person can feel overwhelmed and anxious. In children, this overload can lead to learning, behavioral and social challenges.
While there is no “cure” for sensory processing disorder, there are ways to manage the symptoms. Research has revealed that firm but gentle pressure or squeezing — called deep touch pressure therapy — can help people with sensory processing disorder feel calmer and less anxious. It’s a bit like getting a firm, full body hug.
Occupational therapists and other health professionals can perform deep touch pressure therapy, but there is also a way to enjoy the benefits at home, school or on the go. Weighted blankets provide the firm, gentle and consistent pressure used in deep touch pressure therapy.
Fast Facts About Weighted Blankets
If you’re new to weighted blankets and deep touch pressure therapy, here is a quick rundown of what you need to know. You can also check out our FAQ page for more answers to common questions about weighted blankets.
How Much Should a Weighted Blanket Weigh?
Generally, a weighted blanket should be about 10 percent of the user’s body weight. At SensaCalm, we give the following guidelines, with the caveat that different people may have different preferences that require minor adjustments in weight depending on their needs.
Small Blankets - For small blankets, we generally suggest using 10 percent of your body weight and adding one pound. Our small blankets measure 34 inches by 50 inches and work for children between 1 and 6 years old.
You should never use a weighted blanket on a child under 1 year of age. Before using a weighted blanket for a child, discuss it with your pediatrician or other health provider.
Medium Blankets - For our medium blanket, we recommend 10 percent of the user’s body weight plus two pounds. Our medium size weighted blanket is 38 inches by 62 inches and fits children between the ages of 6 and 12.
Large Blankets - For the large size blanket, we suggest 10 percent of the person’s body weight and then adding three pounds. Our large weighted blankets measure 38 inches by 72 inches and fit most adults and taller teens.
Full and Queen Blankets - It’s a little bit more difficult to determine the right weight for the Full and Queen sizes, as the weight will depend on how you plan to use the blanket. If you’d like to order a Full or Queen size blanket, we recommend giving us a call so we can help you select the most appropriate weight.
If you think you might like a different weight for any of the sizes we offer, contact us to talk about which weight will work best for you. Our experienced team can help you decide which weight and size blanket is the best fit for you.
How Big Should My Weighted Blanket Be?
The size of your weighted blanket really depends on two things: your personal size (or the intended user’s size), and how you plan to use it. If you’re ordering for a child up to 6 years old, we usually recommend the Small. For kids between 6 and 12, we typically tell people to order the Medium. For taller teens and adults, we generally suggest a Large. However, people come in all shapes and sizes. If you have questions about which size or weight to order, just give us a call to discuss your needs.
An important point to remember is that your weighted blanket should fit your body — not your bed. Unlike a typical quilt or comforter, the weighted blanket shouldn’t hang over the sides of the bed. If it drapes down or hangs over, the weight will drag the blanket to the ground. You don’t want to spend your nights in a wrestling match with your blanket as it sinks to the floor over and over again. To get the most benefits, choose a size that fits your body — not your mattress.
Are Weighted Blankets Good for More Than Just Sensory Processing Disorder?
The answer to this question is an emphatic yes! One of the great things about weighted blankets is that they may work to ease the symptoms of anxiety and insomnia. According to the Journal of Sleep Medicine and Disorders, “The application of deep pressure, through for example weighted vests and blankets, has been reported to produce a calming and relaxing effect… Applying deep pressure has been shown to be beneficial for children with high levels of anxiety…”
Because so many health issues involve anxiety and insomnia, weighted blankets may help with a wide variety of conditions. For example, many people find that weighted blankets help ease the symptoms of ADHD. Other people use a weighted blanket to help with insomnia. Weighted blankets may also help reduce stress. Here are six other ways a weighted blanket might help you.
Weighted blankets may also help kids and adults with sensory processing issues stemming from autism and Asperger's syndrome. In a study published in the journal Pediatrics, children with autism and their parents preferred weighted blankets over regular blankets.
We also frequently hear from elder caregivers who say their weighted blanket helps their older loved one rest easier and sleep better. If you care for someone with dementia or age-related insomnia, a weighted blanket may be an easy way to manage symptoms and provide comfort.
The good news is you don’t have to have any specific sort of health problem or concern to take advantage of the benefits weighted blankets have to offer. Just about everyone can appreciate the comfort of a warm, firm hug. A weighted blanket may help you feel more relaxed and at ease — something we can all use at the end of a long day.
Where Are Weighted Blankets Sold?
You can find weighted blankets on various online retail sites. In recent years, several companies have jumped on something of a weighted blanket bandwagon as more and more people have discovered the wide-ranging benefits weighted blankets offer.
Before you buy, it’s important to carefully consider a few things.
How Long Has the Company Been in Business? While there is certainly nothing wrong with startups, there is also something to be said for knowledge, experience and longevity. Look closely at how long the company has been in business. Is it a new company, or is it backed by years of industry experience? Does it have a track record of delivering a quality product on time? Can it boast a long list of satisfied customers?
It’s also a good idea to look at reviews, both on the company’s own website and elsewhere on the internet. What do other people have to say about the business? Have other customers received their orders on time? Did their weighted blanket hold up after months and years of use? This will give you a good sense of the kind of experience you’re likely to have.
What Kinds of Products Does the Company Offer? Does the company sell just one type and size of weighted blanket? Or does it offer a one-size-fits-all product with a handful of available weights. Does it offer a variety of fabric colors, patterns and textures? This is especially important for parents buying a weighted blanket for their child. Many kids want their blanket to look like any other blanket — not a therapy tool.
- What Happens If the Blanket Doesn’t Work for You? Take a close look at the company’s customer service and return policies. Does the company promise to work with you to find the right size and weight for your needs? A reputable, reliable company will help you pick the style, size and weight of your weighted blanket — and will pledge to work with you to find the best blanket for you or your child.
These are just a few of the things you should consider before making a weighted blanket purchase. You want to make sure your blanket is durable, stylish and capable of delivering all the benefits of deep pressure touch therapy.
Where Can I Buy a Weighted Blanket?
For 10 years, SensaCalm has offered weighted blankets and similar products to help children and adults who suffer from sensory processing disorder and related conditions. We are committed to helping parents and their kids manage the symptoms of sensory processing disorder, anxiety, ADHD, Asperger’s and other health issues.
We invite you to browse our site for helpful information about our weighted blankets, how they’re made and what types of health conditions they may be able to help manage. You can also find many useful resources on our company blog, which we’re always updating with information about scientific research and studies on weighted blanket therapy and related issues.
Our weighted blankets are available as a custom order or a ready-to-ship design. For a custom blanket, you pick the fabric, weight and whether you’d like to include the optional cuddle fabric lining. Custom blankets have a 3-5 day manufacturing time.
Can’t wait for a custom order? No problem. We also offer a large selection of finished blankets in a variety of colors, patterns, weights and sizes.
Order Your SensaCalm Weighted Blanket Today
At SensaCalm, we have made weighted blankets right here in the U.S.A. for a decade. We use the highest quality fabrics and materials to make a durable, machine-washable blanket you or your child will want to cuddle up with again and again.
We offer both custom weighted blankets and ready-to-ship options available to ship the next business day after your order. Got questions? You can reach us at 855-736-7222, or use our online contact form to get in touch with one of our experienced team members.
Disclaimer: The content on this website is not intended as a substitute for medical advice. Talk to your doctor or healthcare provider before undertaking any type of therapy or treatment.