By: Karlton G. Kemerait
Weighted Blanket Body Weight Formula
Why Using The 10% Formula Doesn't Work
If you’ve done any research on weighted blankets or spent any time looking at various vendor’s websites you’ve most likely come across a formula that purports to tell you what your ideal weight is for a weighted blanket. It’s called the “10% formula” and it generally says that you should take 10% of your body weight and then add 1 or 2 pounds to arrive at the ideal weight for your weighted blanket.
As common as this formula is, unfortunately, it is not only incorrect but it can also lead persons to purchase a weighted blanket that is either too light for them or far too heavy. While there are many ways to demonstrate why this formula shouldn’t be used, I am going to limit myself to presenting what I consider to be the best arguments.
Research And Science
As of this date, there simply have been no scientific studies done or research papers published which specify a particular weight that produces the maximum amount of relaxation, or which establishes any kind of functional relationship between a person’s body weight and blanket weight. For this reason alone, we should approach this formula with caution and some skepticism.
How We Perceive Weight In A Blanket
Secondly, the amount of weight that you get from following the formula may not even end up being the amount of weight that is resting on your body. Imagine two people, one short and stout and the other tall and slender. Let’s say they both weigh 150 pounds. Now according to the formula, they should both buy a 15-pound blanket, but here’s the problem. Maybe our short consumer wants to get a small, twin-size blanket while our tall and slender customer needs one for their king-size bed. Clearly, with the smaller blanket, a larger percentage of it will be on the person than on the mattress and the reverse is true for the person with a king-size bed, a much larger percentage of the weight will be on the mattress and not on the person at all!
Even if our two customers both bought the same size blankets and both weigh the same, they each have different shapes and so they will each have a different amount of the blanket on top of them. This makes the notion of a single number from a formula ridiculous. The same number can’t possibly be correct in both the above situations.
Thirdly, people have different preferences, and the same weight might feel too light for some people who prefer a big, heavy bear-hug type of blanket while for the others, too much weight can induce feelings of claustrophobia and end up increasing their anxiety instead of helping to reduce it. This is true even when people share the same body weight.
Medical, Age and Usage Considerations
Lastly, the formula completely ignores the reasons that someone may want to use one, it doesn’t take into consideration any medical conditions that may affect the weight of the blanket, nor does it make allowances for age.
The truth of the matter is that this formula is far more “marketing” than “scientific”. Using it can lead to buying a blanket that is too heavy (or light) for you and as a result can waste a lot of your hard-earned money, it also runs the risk of suggesting a weight that may actually be inappropriate to use.
The best guide is to use your own personal preferences. Try out some blankets or take a look at our weighted blanket calculator which you can use to help you find a good weight by using regular blankets around your home. Always remember if there are any medical or age considerations please consult a medical professional before buying your blanket.