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They say that a good night’s sleep is key for a healthy lifestyle, and may even help boost your immune system, making it more important than ever to maintain a regular bedtime routine.
If stress and anxiety have been keeping you awake, rather than turning to medication, you may want to consider adding a weighted blanket to your arsenal. Long used by therapists to help calm children with autism or behavioural disturbances, weighted blankets may help provide an added layer of comfort for people who have trouble falling asleep.
How do weighted blankets work?
While not a cure for insomnia or trouble sleeping due to mental health, one study did reveal that of 32 adult volunteers, 63 per cent reported lower anxiety after lying under a 30-pound blanket for five minutes.
Another recent study published this month in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine found that after four weeks of use, participants who slept with a weighted blanket (8 kg) reported significantly better sleep, higher daytime activity levels, and reduced symptoms of fatigue, depression, and anxiety than their counterparts who slept with an average-weight blanket (1.5 kg).
Since they’re generally a low-risk alternative for many people struggling to fall or stay asleep, they’re a great option if you’re looking to improve the quality of your sleep. Typically filled with glass beads, plastic balls or sand, the additional weight provided by the blanket is thought to provide a calming sensation similar to being hugged.
Choosing the right blanket
Before diving into the world of weighted blankets, there are a few important considerations to keep in mind. They do come in many sizes, but it’s recommended to choose a blanket that’s roughly 10 per cent of your body weight in order to enjoy its benefits.
Children under the age of three or kids under 50 pounds should not use weighted blankets due to increased risk of suffocation, and people with sleep apnea or asthma may want to avoid the blankets as well since they may make breathing more difficult throughout the night.
Where to shop
Luckily there are plenty of weighted blankets on the market if you’re looking to try one out, but you should note that they often don’t come cheap. Ranging in price from $75 to over $300 depending on the size, they’re certainly an investment in your sleep hygiene.
We’ve rounded up some of the most popular versions that you can find online, just in time for a seasonal update.
What: An affordable option that may be worth testing out if you’re looking for a better night’s sleep. Available in a huge array of sizes and colours, you’ll find these blankets anywhere from 5 to 25 pound weights.
Promising review: “Love, love, love this blanket. Super soft cover and the weight is oh so comforting. I weigh 155lbs and the 15lb blanket is the perfect weight. The sewn in quilting prevents the beads from bunching...Very high quality and I’d highly recommend.”
SHOP IT: Amazon, from $50
What: Inspired by performance outerwear, quilted channels keeps the microbead filling found inside this blanket evenly distributed to hug your body while you sleep. Choose between three sizes (10, 15, or 20 pounds) in this sleep-inducing blanket.
Promising review: “As soon as I got this, it went on my daughter's bed. She suffers from anxiety and usually tosses and turns all night. This is not a great sleep pattern to have. From the first night with this blanket, she slept quietly and woke up actually refreshed the next morning.”
SHOP IT: Casper, from $219
What: One of the very first weighted blankets to hit the market, the original Gravity Blanket is available in single or double sizes large enough to fit even a king size bed. A micro-fleece duvet cover adds an extra cozy factor, so you may never want to leave bed again.
Promising review: “It’s soft, warm, and heavy! Exactly what I was hoping for in a weighted blanket! This has help my ptsd and sad tremendously, when I curl up under the blanket I can feel myself begin to slowly relax and calm down my nerves.”
SHOP IT: Gravity Blanket, from $257
What: Unlike other weighted blankets, this comforter from Brooklinen offers the soft padding you’d expect to find in a comforter, in addition to the benefit of weight. Shop either by weight (15-35 pounds) or bed size (Twin to California King) to find your perfect fit.
Promising review: “As soon as I climbed into bed under the Brooklinen Weighted Comforter, it felt like my whole body just heaved a big sigh. The 20-pound queen-size blanket fits my bed perfectly, and because the weight is spread out across the whole mattress, it doesn’t feel as heavy as a “regular” 20-pound weighted blanket.”
SHOP IT: Brooklinen, from $333 ($249 USD)
What: A dual-sided cover lets you choose between plush warmth or cooling cotton for your best night’s sleep. Rather than choosing by weight, shop this comforting blanket exclusively in bedding sizes tailored to fit your bed frame.
Promising review: “I really like my new Layla blanket for the main reason that I feel its improved my sleep. The weight is substantial and once the covers are pulled, the blanket allows me to completely relax. Not waking up as much and feeling more rested!”
SHOP IT: Layla, from $133 ($99 USD)