Over the years, a lot of things have been dubbed ‘the best thing since sliced bread’ but, for our money, the one object that takes the cake is the weighted blanket. Here’s why.
A weighted blanket is basically what it says on the tin: it’s a blanket with sewn-in weights. It is often also referred to as a therapeutic blanket, and its aim is to mimic deep pressure stimulation (DPS).
As their weight helps relax your nervous system, sleeping under a weighted blanket – or using it while watching TV or reading – is akin to being held or hugged. This gives rise to plenty of benefits, including reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression, reducing the perception of physical pain, and improving sleep quality all round.
While research on how weighted blankets affect different groups of people is still in its infancy, the blanket’s mimicking of the DPS technique has led to them being recommended for a wide variety of users.
For example, DPS is often recommended for anxiety, with the physical touch from the therapy helping to lessen some of the physical effects, such as the increased heart rate. The same therapy is sometimes used for some people with autism, who experienced positive results following DPS. The weighted feel of the blanket, therefore, could help calm and soothe – a benefit that could also extend to those who live with ADHD or have sleep disorders, like insomnia. Meanwhile, a 2021 study at UC San Diego actually found a correlation between the use of weighted blankets and the users’ reduced perception of pain.
Due to the way they are created, weighted blankets are often more expensive than a traditional blanket, starting at around €80 for a single-sized one. Moreover, don’t just go and buy the first weighted blanket you come across as there is a bit of a science behind choosing the right one for you: a weighted blanket’s weight should be approximately 10% of your body weight for it to properly fulfil its functions, so you’ll find them in a variety of weights!