By: Karlton G. Kemerait

The Correct Size And Weight For A Weighted Blanket

Helpful Tips For Finding The Best Size And Weight

Getting the best size for your weighted blanket is pretty easy as it is mostly a matter of personal preference. There are some helpful guidelines that I can offer, but other than that, you should feel free to get whatever size suits your needs.

Sleeping In Your Bed

  • The Blanket Should Fit You, Not The Mattress (especially important for children)
  • The Blanket Should Not Hang Over The Edge of The Mattress – Or It will Pull Itself to The Floor At Night
  • If There Are Two People In The Bed, Individual Blankets Work Better Than One Large Blanket
  • If You Sleep on Your Side or If Change Positions Frequently, Get a Blanket That is a Bit Wider
  • Never Use a Weighted Blanket In A Bed With Rails or in a Crib

Couch, Car And Travel

  • Look for a blanket that’s 24″ wide or less, so It doesn’t slide off your lap
  • A blanket that is lighter will make be easier to carry and move around

TSA Guidelines For Airline Travel

Bring a small weighted blanket or even better a lap pad that’s small, and relatively easy to carry.

Based on several conversations I have had with TSA, there should be no problem with bringing a weighted blanket aboard a plane even though weighted blankets are not mentioned specifically in their list of approved items. Ultimately though the TSA check-in officer at the airport has the final authority as to what is permitted on a given flight.

In addition to TSA, each airline has specific guidelines on size, shape, and weight for the overhead compartments. Here is a page that lists the restrictions for some of the most common airlines flying in the USA. Airline Personal Items Size Restrictions

How Heavy Should My Weighted Blanket Be?

This is absolutely the most commonly asked question that people have regarding their weighted blankets. It is also the question that has the largest number of misleading answers on the internet! In general, the weight of your blanket is a matter of personal preference and nothing else. There is no magical weight that works better than any other and no formula that can tell you what you will enjoy the most.

Pressure - How We Feel Or Experience A Blanket’s Weight

One of the reasons that choosing a weight is difficult is because the way we experience the weight of a blanket is different from most other objects.

Take as an example a child’s school backpack. If that backpack weighs 10 pounds then as soon as it’s strapped it on, you carry the entire 10 lbs. on your back. But for a blanket that isn’t normally the way it works. When you lie down on your bed with a blanket, a significant portion of the blanket’s weight is on the mattress and not on you. If the blanket weighs 15 pounds then its possible that only 4-5 pounds of it is actually on your body!

Note: This is one of the reasons why using a formula based on body weight doesn’t work. Both the blanket’s size and the body surface area of the person using it are going to affect how much weight is actually on the person, regardless of how much the person weighs.

One of the things that can be done to help, is to convert the weight of a blanket to pressure or weight per square foot that a blanket produces. This, as least, allows you to select a blanket and have it feel the same whether it is a small, medium, or super large size blanket. A blanket that provides, for example, 0.65 lbs./ft2 of pressure will feel the same to the user whether it’s a twin size or a king-size blanket.

For a more detailed explanation or for a step-by-step process to find out what pressure you prefer before you buy check out our “Weighted Blanket Calculator”. which provides step-by-step instructions for helping you to find your ideal weight by using regular blankets found around your home.

What About The 10% of Body Weight Formula?

If you’ve spent any time at all searching vendor’s websites or talking with friends, you’ve most likely heard about a formula that says you should can take 10% of your body weight and then add 1 or 2 pounds to arrive at your ideal weight for a weighted blanket.

Souds pretty simple doesn’t it? I agree, it does sound simple, the problem is that it’s wrong. This pseudo-scientific formula is more marketing than science and it definetely should not be used to determine the weight of a weighted blanket as it can lead to wasted money and you may end up with a blanket that is either too heavy or too light for its intended use. To learn more see our article on the Weighted Blanket Body Weight Formula

In Conclusion

Science doesn’t know yet and more studies are needed, but as of this writing, there are no scientific studies that can tell you the most effective weight for your weighted blanket.

So it would seem that for now, the best answer is that it is a matter of personal preference. Some people enjoy a super heavy blanket that feels like a giant bear hug, secure and comforting. For other people, a blanket that is on the lighter side is best, because if it’s too heavy it can create feelings of being claustrophobic and cause additional anxiety instead of relieving it.

If this is your first weighted blanket purchase and you’d like to get a better idea of what your weight preferences might be, we have a set of steps that use regular blankets found in your home to help you get a sense of what weight you might find most relaxing. Visit our weighted blanket calculator.

Special Considerations

While weighted blankets are completely safe when used properly, there are groups and situations that warrent special consideration. Among them are…

  • When using blankets among the elderly, special care should be taken to ensure that they can safely remove the weighted blanket and that it doesn’t adversly affect their ability to move or breathe
  • When using a weighted blanket on young children, always be certain that the child can easily get out from under the blanket and never use a weighted blanket on a child under the age of 3 without first checking with a medical professional.
  • Special care should be the rule anytime someone is using medication or has a medical condition which impairs their ability to move, breathe or be mentally alert. This covers things like seizures, multiple sclerosis, asthma, COPD, etc.
    This is NOT a complete list, always check with a medical professional if there are any questions or concerns.
  • Never use a weighted blanket on a child under the age of 3 years old.
  • Never use a weighted blanket in a crib or any bed with guard rails
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