Choosing the Best Weight
What’s the best weight for my weighted blanket? Actually, as of this writing, there have been no scientific studies done to determine either the most effective or the safest weight for a weighted blanket. The best anecdotal evidence suggests that, with a few important exceptions, it is simply a matter of personal preference.
The “Ten Percent” Myth
Whether you’ve scoured the internet or discussed the topic with a medical professional, you’ve probably heard someone say that your weighted blanket should be approximately 10% of your body weight. Unfortunately, as common as this advice is, it is still incorrect. The actual source for the 10% formula seems to have come from one or more research papers studying back injuries in school children. In those studies the 10% figure was an upper limit, above which, the risk of back injury increased. It had nothing whatsoever to do with weighted blankets.
Except for the special conditions listed below, a weighted blanket’s size and weight are nothing more than a matter of personal preference. Many people seem to enjoy the heaviest blanket they can find, we even have a few customers who use two weighted blanket together! But, for every customer who likes them “super” heavy, we have customers who would much rather have them be relatively light because too much weight makes them feel a bit claustrophobic which just increases their anxiety. As a point of reference, most of our adult customers seem to end up with a blanket that is roughly 0.6 – 0.7 lbs/square foot which is a little above the midpoint of what’s available.
There are four kinds of users where extra care needs to be taken and personal preference may need to be constrained for safety reasons.
- Children under the age of three or who still sleep in a bed or crib with rails should, in general, not use a weighted blanket without the direct recommendation of their physician. At that age a child may not have the strength or awareness required to remove the blanket when necessary, making it a suffocation risk. For similar safety reasons, a young child should also never be left alone while using a weighted blanket.
- The elderly can also have strength or mental acuity issues and thus you should get a physician’s approval before using a weighted blanket with people in this group.
- Anyone using medication which can make then groggy, sleepy or which affects their alertness, should never use a weighted blanket without a medical professional’s opinion. If you have any questions about the medication the person is using, please contact a physician before allowing them to use a weighted blanket.
- Anyone dealing with a medical condition which affects their ability to move, their physical strength, their ability to breath or which impacts their mental awareness, should consult a physician before using a weighted blanket. Some examples would be muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, COPD, pneumonia, emphysema, etc. This is not a comprehensive list of conditions, you should ALWAYS check with a physician if there are any concerns or questions.
- You should ALWAYS check with a medical professional before using a weighted blanket on a child or if there are any questions or safety concerns