You’ve counted sheep. You’ve meditated. You’ve simplified. And yet you’re often feeling tired, stressed and continuing to toss and turn at night, perhaps even suffering from a condition that keeps you from living your best life.
Whether you’re having trouble sleeping, suffer from anxiety or struggle with stress, finding a solution that works can be as challenging as it is important.
Fortunately, over the past few years, weighted blankets have become super popular for treating these issues and many others, helping millions of people live and sleep better for the first time in years.
While most new innovations are created to keep us engaged, distracted and awake (looking at you smartphones!), weighted blankets are one innovation that actually help you to disengage, relax and sleep.
For those who are already experiencing the benefits of weighted blankets, many describe sleeping with a weighted blanket to be similar to the feeling of being held or hugged, creating a sensation that lulls you to a state of relaxation, free from stress and anxiety.
What’s not to love?
Although weighted blankets are springing up all over social media and TV shows, few people know the benefits of a weighted blanket or how they actually work. Even fewer know that scientists and researchers have been hard at work on studies that overwhelmingly confirm the soothing effects of a heavy blanket.
If you’re considering adding a weighted blanket to your sleep routine and are curious about how they work, what to look for when purchasing one and if it would be beneficial to you, read on!
What are weighted blankets?
Let’s cover the basics.
Weighted blankets, sometimes called gravity blankets, are made to be heavier than a duvet cover or comforter, typically filled with sand, plastic or glass beads. The specific weight of the blanket depends on the user’s body weight, however, most range from 15 to 25 pounds (6.8-11.3kg), just heavy enough to provide even pressure all over your body without being uncomfortable.
It’s basically relaxation magic—backed by science.
High-quality weighted blankets are typically filled with non-toxic glass beads so you can get the most from the weight of the blanket while remaining comfortable. After all, these are meant to help you relax and sleep better, not keep you up at night.
Sitting on a bed or couch, these heavy blankets are usually indistinguishable from a normal blanket—until you pick it up!
How did weighted blankets become popular?
If weighted blankets are new to you, you’re not alone! Although they’ve existed for several years, they first found popularity in the special needs community and with psychiatrists because of their ability to calm and soothe children and adults with autism, ADHD, OCD and other needs.
As word spread about their effects, others realized heavy blankets could help address anxiety, restless leg syndrome, insomnia and other conditions that affect millions of people. Weighted blankets became an easy and effective solution, especially as friends told friends of their brilliant new insomnia, stress and anxiety hack!
As more and more people found relief with weighted blankets, they became one of the most in demand holiday gifts of 2018, even going head to head with Apple AirPods and other hot tech gadgets. Weighted blankets gained coverage from Good Housekeeping, Psychology Today, The New York Times and others as more people became interested in sleeping and living well.
It’s no surprise that people have trouble sleeping. Between the negative effects of blue light exposure from smartphones and screens, drinking too much caffeine and increases in mental disorders like anxiety and depression, people want to get back to sleeping well and feeling great—and figuring out how doesn’t always come easy.
As more and more people have trouble sleeping or finding solutions to health conditions, research shows that sleep is vital to mental and physical health. Everything from obesity to heart disease to diabetes has been linked to poor sleep and research suggests that poor sleep leads to depression, high blood pressure, cancer, poor reasoning and an inability to focus.
If you’ve ever only managed to get a few hours of restless sleep and had to function the next day, you personally know how important sleep is. Sleep can be the difference between a focused, productive day and a distracted, low-energy day where you’re just not at your best.
The weird desire to be overworked, busy and poorly rested is finally disappearing, replaced by the cool factor of being healthy, rested and living well. Meditation, mindfulness, exercise and healthy eating became more common and people are finally becoming conscious of their self care and health.
As this huge shift happened, these heavy, relaxing blankets emerged as an easy, proven solutions.
How do weighted blankets work?
Thinking back to the best hug you’ve ever had, you experienced a short glimpse of what it’s like to sleep with a weighted blanket—although, no, they don’t have arms.
Surprisingly, being held or hugged is comforting for essentially the same reason why sleeping under a heavy blanket is so effective: deep touch pressure.
Deep touch pressure, which is gentle, constant pressure similar to a long hug, has a calming effect, relaxing the nervous system and stimulating hormones that regulate mood, sleep and more. This effect allows you to go from stressed and anxious to calm and peaceful completely naturally.
By boosting endorphins, weighted blankets may create a change in the body’s chemistry and decrease cortisol, the stress hormone.This is the hormone that creates the fight or flight instinct which can leave you feeling panicked, anxious and exhausted.
If you’ve ever been late to a flight, prepped for an interview or read through text messages after a night out, you definitely know the feeling that cortisol creates—and you don’t want to experience that feeling as you’re trying to settle in and get a good night’s rest.
One of the most important endorphins that’s released by weighted blankets is serotonin, sometimes known as “the happy chemical”, a hormone and mood elevator. Sunshine, exercise and foods like salmon and spinach can boost serotonin, however, not everyone lives in sunny Los Angeles, gets enough time at the gym or eats spinach like Popeye, so serotonin is often in short supply. With weighted blankets, this serotonin production is stimulated naturally.
Feeling happy through boosted serotonin is great, but it doesn’t necessarily help you sleep better, right? Wrong, actually.
Serotonin leads to the production of melatonin, a hormone that makes one feel sleepy and regulates sleep patterns. Ultimately, this combination of increased serotonin and melatonin can create a relaxed, calm state and chilled out nervous system ideal for sleep.
Wrapping up the science lesson and coming back to weighted blankets, it’s the weight of the blanket creating pressure on the body that creates these chemical reactions and benefits. Some users describe the feeling as similar to a personal cocoon or the sensation of being cradled or swaddled. Sign us up.
It’s a firm, even pressure that’s easy to move beneath but offers some resistance to the usual tossing and turning that can keep you awake at night, thinking about that one stupid thing you said five years ago.
One surprising additional benefit of weighted blankets not everyone knows about? When moving beneath the blanket, the pressure from each individual pocket of weighted beads can create a feeling of being caressed or massaged, offering another level of soothing relaxation and comfort that boosts sleep-friendly hormones.
At this point, you may be thinking: this all sounds wonderful, but is there any evidence or research to back up the claims that these blankets actually help people?
We’re so glad you asked. More on the science of weighted blankets and their benefits is below!
What does science say about weighted blankets?
As weighted blankets become more popular and talked about, researchers are turning their attention to deep touch pressure studies and heavy blankets, testing their effectiveness to help everything from ADHD to depression to insomnia to anxiety.
As results come out, researchers are realizing the benefits of weighted blankets, confirming what many weighted blanket fans have noticed from their own experiences: better sleep, less anxiety, less stress and improved health conditions.
So, what does the research say exactly?
It’s overwhelmingly positive. According to one study, 63% of participants revealed their anxiety decreased while sleeping with a weighted blanket instead of their normal bedding. In the same study, 76% of participants chose weighted blankets as their preferred calming method, releasing their stress and anxiety.
For insomnia sufferers, a 2015 study confirmed that weighted blankets can help those who have trouble sleeping get a good night’s rest. Participants with insomnia reported they felt more rested and four out of five people preferred the heavy blanket over their normal blankets and sheets.
Bringing in an expert on the matter, Raj Dasgupta, MD, an assistant professor at the University of Southern California, said weighted blankets are ''a good alternative to life-long sedative hypnotic medications (sleeping pills) at night.” After all, your body can grow used to melatonin supplements and certain sleeping pills have the potential for some odd side effects—like sleepwalking, sleep-online-shopping and sleep-eating. We’ll pass, thanks!
For children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), weighted blankets are amazing for ensuring better rest. A study from Denmark found that children with ADHD who slept with a heavy duvet were able to fall asleep faster and stay asleep. Incredibly, the heavy blanket allowed these kids to fall asleep and stay asleep at similar rates as children without ADHD, allowing them to be better rested for the next day.
The connection between overall health and sleep, stress and anxiety makes it clear that there’s plenty of opportunity for weighted blankets to help or treat conditions. That’s a wake up call for anyone in search of relaxation, rest or rejuvenation.
Are weighted blankets safe?
While the idea of sleeping under something heavy may sound potentially unsafe, these blankets are incredibly safe when used correctly.
Generally speaking, weighted blankets should weigh approximately 10% of the user’s body weight and, for children, 10% of their body weight plus up to 2 pounds.
Too heavy and the blanket may be uncomfortable and difficult to remove, too light and the blanket will not create enough pressure or have an effect. When in doubt, go for the slightly heavier blanket because it is sure to provide enough pressure.
As a rule, a heavy blanket should never be too heavy to lift easily, especially for a child or elderly person who may have more difficulty moving heavy objects. Additionally, infants should never use weighted blankets as they can pose a safety hazard.
For confidence, try one for the first time without the intention of going to sleep. If the weight is comfortable and calming, try it out for your first night’s rest and discover why weighted blankets have become a hit with so many people.
Are you ready to improve your sleep, lower anxiety and wake up feeling rested? Order your TUNE Blanket now!
Who do weighted blankets help?
Blankets that provide a sense of comfort and calm aren’t just for kids and Peanuts cartoon characters anymore, although plenty of kids benefit from using weighted blankets on a nightly basis.
Anyone with diagnosed or undiagnosed conditions may benefit immensely, especially those with:
- General Anxiety Disorder
- Mild Snoring
- Restless Leg Syndrome
- Sensory Processing Disorder
While there are likely more conditions that weighted blankets can affect or improve, these are some of the most common reasons why people choose weighted blankets.
As you discovered in the science lesson about weighted blankets earlier, there’s research and evidence that shows how effective a heavy blanket can be in treating conditions and disorders.
One bonus of weighted blankets? They offer a drug-free yet effective solution to sleep, anxiety, stress and other challenges that are often treated by methods with the potential for serious side effects.
While weighted blankets are never a substitute for doctor’s orders or recommendations, it may be worth discussing the use of one as an additional part of treatment with your doctor.
Who should not use heavy blankets?
While everyone should be free from stress, anxiety and sleepless nights, there are some people who weighted blankets are not quite right for.
For their safety, infants should never use a heavy blanket. Additionally, elderly people or those with limited mobility should test whether or not a weighted blanket is too heavy for them to lift or move. If a heavier blanket is too heavy, choose a lighter blanket, although the effects of the deep touch pressure may not be as noticeable.
Some doctors recommend that those with sleep apnea or claustrophobia should avoid using weighted blankets, too. When in doubt, always consult a doctor, however, for most children and adults, these blankets are extremely safe and effective.
Is a weighted blanket right for me?
If you’ve been reading along and nodding your head because you can relate to trouble sleeping or experiencing too much stress and anxiety it’s certainly an indication that a weighted blanket is right for you.
Additionally, if you have any of the common conditions that weighted blankets help, such as insomnia, depression, anxiety, restless leg syndrome or others, a heavy blanket could provide major relief.
Research shows that an overwhelming number of people who’ve tried weighted blankets prefer using them to destress, lower anxiety and sleep, so take the next step and get your own TUNE blanket with a 14-day guarantee.
What should I look for in a weighted blanket?
Not all heavy blankets are created equally and no blanket is exactly a one-weight-fits-all option, so being a savvy shopper is key to finding the right size, weight, construction and quality.
With so many options out there, it’s tough to find the right one and know which is best, so use this guide to find the perfect blanket for you.
What size weighted blanket should I buy?
Weighted blankets can vary when it comes to size depending on who they’re for. Some are small, which are ideal for children, while others are large and ideal for taller people or those who prefer to be fully covered.
Do you have a partner or spouse who also wants a weighted blanket? You should know that some brands make two-person weighted blankets which can cover an entire bed, however, think twice before purchasing a shared weighted blanket. A blanket of this size will cause the weight to spread across too great of an area.
The problem? Without the weight, the blanket will not create helpful pressure, which is the root benefit of weighted blankets. No weight, no deep touch pressure benefits!
That’s why the size of TUNE Blanket was chosen. At 48” x 78”, or roughly the size of a twin duvet cover, it fits a variety of people, the perfect size for users both tall and… not so tall.
The good news about buying two blankets instead of one? Not only is the blanket customized for your individual weight, but nobody has to lose the fight for the blanket at night, meaning even more peaceful rest.
Plus, if you purchase two TUNE Blankets, you can use coupon code TUNE4TWO at checkout to get an extra 10% discount!
How much should my weighted blanket weigh?
You have to have that deep touch pressure to experience the benefits of a weighted blanket, so this is by far the most important part of choosing your weighted blanket—so choose well!
You need a blanket that’s not too heavy and not too light—and it’s easy to figure out the right weight, even for those who had to repeat math class a few times.
The ideal weight is approximately 10% of your body weight.
In other words, if you weigh 150 pounds (68kg) your perfect weighted blanket is 15 pounds (6.8 kg). At this weight, you’ll experience the full effect of the blanket and its gentle pressure.
For someone whose body weight percentage does not exactly match the weight of a blanket, it raises the question: how do I choose the weight of a blanket if I’m between weights?
Don’t stress, there’s a blanket for you and an easy solution: when in between two blanket sizes, choose the heavier blanket.
If, for example, you weigh 180 pounds (81.6 kg), choose the 20 pound (9 kg) blanket because rounding down to the 15 pound (6.8 kg) blanket won’t give you the weight and pressure you need to experience deep touch pressure.
Still unsure about which weight to choose? Use this handy chart to decide:
100 to 160 lbs
160 to 200 lbs
If you have additional questions about which weight blanket is right for you, don’t hesitate to contact us and we can give you the guidance you need.
How is a quality weighted blanket made?
Although the overall goal and benefits of a weighted blanket may seem to be the same from brand to brand, the quality and construction of a weighted blanket matters almost as much as the weight you choose.
Weighted blankets, although fairly simple in their use, do have considerable design and thought put into how their made. Living with a poor quality vs. a high quality weighted blanket for even a few days will show you the difference!
Let’s talk about poor quality weighted blankets for a moment.
Poor quality weighted blankets will not last as long and you may find that, over time, the weight will become uneven, shifting around the blanket until you experience heavy spots which prevent even, firm pressure.
Poor quality weighted blankets may also lack tie ins or anchors which hold the interior weighted blanket to the outside cover, allowing the interior weighted blanket to slide around and bunch up. And nobody wants that!
If you’ve found a weighted blanket with cheap plastic beads as a source of weight, keep looking. This is a telltale sign of a weighted blanket you’ll soon be replacing as this is the cheapest way of constructing a weighted blanket.
Like all blankets, weighted blankets need to be washed. Poor quality weighted blankets are unlikely to wash well or stay soft because they’re made out of cheaper materials.
Instead, find a quality weighted blanket that offers years of great sleep and stress-free living.
So what does a high quality weighted blanket offer—and how can you tell it’s well made?
On the flip side, high quality weighted blankets are designed and constructed with more thought and expense so they stay nice for years and will not bunch or lose their even weight distribution.
The TUNE Blanket was specifically crafted to last and last because once you get used to sleeping with a weighted blanket, it’s tough to imagine not having one. The blanket is filled with non-toxic glass beads and soft padding to give you the pressure and softness you want. To keep the beads from shifting and creating those dreaded heavy spots, they’re sewn into small four-inch pockets that keep their shape and weight in place.
There’s also a soft, plush exterior blanket that can be easily removed and cleaned. If you live somewhere with warm weather, the exterior blanket can be taken off completely, revealing the inner weighted blanket that’s made for weight, not warmth.
Winter, spring, summer or fall, you’re going to love sleeping beneath the TUNE Blanket.
To combat the pesky bunching issue, the TUNE Blanket has 8 anchor points that keep the interior weighted blanket even and held in place within the exterior cover because nobody wants to wake up and adjust their blanket.
When shopping between lesser weighted blankets and the TUNE Blanket, you’ll definitely see and feel the difference.
Curious to see what a high quality weighted blanket is like?
It’s exactly why we have a 14-day guarantee. We’re so confident you’ll change how you sleep and feel with your TUNE Blanket, you have two weeks of sleep to test it out and make sure you’re in love.
How do I clean a weighted blanket?
Caring for your blanket is about as easy as keeping a plastic house plant and it’s nothing to lose sleep over!
Weighted blankets require very little maintenance or care aside from an occasional machine wash of the exterior cover in cold water and then hung to dry. To keep the interior blanket clean, wash by hand and hang dry.
A dryer may dry normal blankets quickly, but trust us: you won’t like the sound of weighted blanket bouncing around your dryer—and it’s definitely not good for the glass beads inside!
Where can I purchase a weighted blanket? I want one!
The short answer: you can buy one right here!
Not only are TUNE Blankets incredibly comforting and helpful, they’ll ship from Ottawa, Canada and arrive to your bed in 1-4 business days with forever free shipping.
That means, if you order now, you’re just a few days from a relaxing, restful night of sleep.
Have questions? Don’t be shy. Contact us and we’ll be happy to tell you more about TUNE Blankets, how to choose the proper weight, a wonderful pesto recipe or anything about weighted blankets!