Weighted Blankets - The Most Comprehensive Guide

Weighted Blankets - The Most Comprehensive Guide

21 minute read

About the best weighted blankets and everything else you should know about the gains and thrill of sleeping with a little extra weight.

Explore our first-hand knowledge of what weighted blankets are, what is their best use, and their benefits for children, teens, and adults.

You need to know these industry secrets before buying a weighted blanket that will last you for years, preserving its quality and comfort.

What are weighted blankets?

How do weighted blankets work?

Top ten benefits of weighted blankets

How to sleep better with a weighted blanket

Weighted blankets for insomnia

Can weighted blankets reduce anxiety?

Can weighted blankets help with restless leg syndrome?

Can weighted blankets help with migraines?

What is the best weighted blanket for kids?

What are the benefits of weighted blankets for children?

What weighted blanket weight is right for me?

Do weighted blankets make you hot?

What are weighted blankets made of?

Are bamboo weighted blankets better?

How do you wash a weighted blanket?

When a weighted blanket is not recommended?


What are weighted blankets?


Weighted blankets are designed to help provide soothing relief after a stressful day and comfort your body into a night of good restful sleep.

They do so by gently stimulating pressure points across your body allowing you to relax and feel safe and secure while recreating a feeling of being gently hugged.

Over the past 2 years, the market demand for weighted blankets grew incredibly fast, and even though the world has just started catching up on good sleeping habits, weighted blankets have been first introduced as a calming therapeutic device in the 1970s.

The science behind their use was rather simple – they were helping patients to relax by simulating a rather calming ‘hugging’ sensation. First weighted blankets effectively delivered the ‘grounding’ effect and were used for sensory-seeking children.


How do weighted blankets work?


Weighted blankets work by applying science-backed principles of Deep Touch Pressure Stimulation in regulating mood and improving sleep.

Contouring touch of a quality weighted blanket activates pressure points across the body to help us effectively rebalance our hormones during sleep – leaving us to be a better version of ourselves for the whole day. 

At Aricove, we believe that a weighted blanket is the most powerful natural sleep and recovery device, and it must be made perfect to deliver better sleep quality through exhibiting effective deep pressure stimulation and also by providing the user with the utmost comfortable sleeping environment.


Top Ten Benefits of Weighted Blankets



Help with insomnia


There are a lot of studies and practical evidence suggesting that weighted blankets can reduce insomnia in patients.

According to Swedish researchers in the sleep study published earlier this year, participants sleeping with a weighted blanket for 4 weeks reported significantly reduced insomnia severity, improved sleep routine, higher levels of daytime activity, and reduced symptoms of fatigue, stress, and depression. 

Researchers are pointing towards existing evidence indicating that deep pressure stimulation increases parasympathetic arousal of the autonomic nervous system while reducing the sympathetic arousal, which is believed to be causing the deeply calming effect.


Help get enough REM sleep


During the Rapid Eye Movement cycles of our sleep, we process information from the previous day’s events while detoxing our brain.

REM sleep, during which we’re also often dreaming, is considered to be the lightest sleep cycle. Missing this vital element during the night will leave you feeling tired the next morning and affect your memory and concentration.

One of the main benefits of a good weighted blanket is helping you sleep through the night without disturbing your sleep cycles and letting you hang on to the right amount of incredibly important REM sleep.


Bring on a tailored sleeping microclimate


Our body temperature naturally lowers for sleep and should usually be between 60-68⁰F. A smart weighted blanket design will allow you to maintain your ideal microclimate during sleep.

Made with the hot sleepers in mind, Aricove has been voted to be the best cooling weighted blanket of 2020 by Forbes – “The Aricove Cooling Weighted Blanket is made from twill-woven bamboo viscose that helps regulate body temperature and keep you cool by wicking away moisture from your skin.”


Help reduce stress and anxiety


Weighted blankets for stress and anxiety have proven to be effective in calming our senses. The evenly distributed weight of the blanket covering the body delivers pleasantly relaxing sensations and helps release tension from both body and mind.

On the hormonal level, the positive effect of deep pressure stimulation exhibited by the blanket stimulates the release of ‘happy hormones’ serotonin and dopamine, while helping to minimize the extreme presence of cortisol in our body.


Help improve your mood and wellbeing


Tons of research demonstrates that our emotional and physical wellbeing is a direct outcome of the quality of sleep we have been getting. We often find ourselves being lazy, a little cranky, or even irritable if we feel tired during the day.

Using a quality weighted blanket for sleep will set you up for a good night’s rest and will help you re-energize more effectively to feel fresh and look sharp in the morning.



Help you focus and relax


The successful use of weighted blankets for children with ADHD to help improve their focus and concentration during the learning process made them popular also among school, university students, and adults.

Draping a naturally soft and fresh bamboo weighted blanket over your shoulders or across your lap while studying or working at your desk will aim at reducing minor anxiety and improving your ability to focus and concentrate.  


Provide effective ‘grounding’ for sensory seeking people


Research also shows that using a weighted blanket is an effective way to make children and adults with autism, ADHD, or sensory disorders calm down, relax, and sleep through the night.

The proprioceptive input of weighted blankets makes both children and adults feel extremely comfortable, safe, relaxed and protected.

No two people with autism have the same condition – symptoms vary and so does the medical treatment. For most of them, however, a weighted blanket therapy has been proven to be beneficial.

The ‘grounding’ effect of weighted blankets also helps children and adults during a voyage to forget about travel anxiety and make adventures more enjoyable.


Help ease feeling of nerve and muscle pain


One of the key benefits of using a weighted blanket for pain relief – it naturally helps lower the amount of cortisol present in our body.

A good weighted blanket will be soothing and reassuring, providing you with a pleasant feeling of being hugged.

The more tense and anxious you are when pain is present – the worse it feels. Let your weighted blanket take the tension away and calm your senses.


Can be used for restless legs


A well-designed weighted blanket will provide a pleasant constraint to leg movement when at rest and gently apply relaxing pressure to stimulate restless leg muscles.

People even with minor restless leg symptoms may experience difficulties going to sleep and end up tossing and turning for hours at night.

Using a weighted blanket for sleep regularly will help develop more balanced sleeping habits, effortlessly fall asleep, and wake up fully recovered.


Deliver a luxurious sleep comfort


Those who have ever tried using a weighted blanket would know what the hype is all about.

The reassuring feelings of calmness and peace that it brings upon you gently contouring your body are indeed powerful and deserve to be offered with a touch of luxury.

Aricove weighted blankets are made of 100% bamboo fabric, which makes them extremely indulging and comforting when used for sleep. 7 breathable blanket layers give it superior moisture-wicking and temperature regulating attributes to keep anyone indulged in magnificently soft and cool comfort. 


How to sleep better with a weighted blanket


Weighted blankets perform better when not shared with another person, but contour your body from chest to toes and evenly activate all accessible pressure points to produce natural soothing sensations.

For the same reasons, we believe weighted blankets are more effective when the majority of their weight is falling on you, rather than on your bed, or your partner.

Intended to indulge you in the most comfortable individual sleeping environment, Aricove crafts twin-size weighted blankets for teens and adults, which have been extremely popular among nurses to professional athletes, or hot sleepers to children with severe eczema symptoms.  

For many people, a good weighted blanket will start doing wonders from the first night of use, while others may take some time to adopt the new sleep routine.

We’ve been told that it takes at least 18 days to develop a new habit. However, a well-tailored weighted blanket will ease your body and mind for better sleep in no time.

When choosing the weight for your weighted blanket also consider your sleeping position. People sleeping on their back might want to enjoy soothing sleep under a heavier 15 to 20-pound weighted blanket, while most people sleeping on their stomach or side will find it more comfortable under the lighter 10 or 12-pound blanket.

As a rule of thumb, if you’re a stomach sleeper – you can choose most weighted blankets to be roughly 10% of your body weight. But if you prefer falling asleep on your side or stomach – consider reducing the weight by 5-10 lbs; we guaranty you will still enjoy all the weighted blanket benefits.


Weighted blankets for insomnia


Among the primary benefits of weighted blankets for adults is in reducing insomnia. The effect of Deep Pressure Stimulation ‘grounds’ the body by stimulating a sense of calmness and security. This is why many adults also prefer using a weighted blanket during travel or when experiencing stress.

Recreating a feeling of being gently hugged, using a weighted blanket stimulates our vagus nerve and triggers a natural increase in melatonin and serotonin levels.

Melatonin is important for getting quality sleep and controls our natural circadian rhythm. Individual circadian rhythm, your body’s internal clock that helps you avoid sleepless nights, determines when we go to sleep and when our bodies wake up. When you find it difficult to fall asleep, quite likely it’s because your melatonin level is low.

Serotonin often called the happy hormone, is what makes us feel good. Increasing serotonin levels improves time spent in the restorative non-REM sleep stages of the night – when we’re at our best in recovering and repairing ourselves. The best way of raising your serotonin is by improving your body’s natural ability to produce it.

Allow your weighted blanket to take care of this alchemy while you’re restfully asleep.


Can weighted blankets reduce anxiety?


Another benefit of your weighted blanket will be in calming anxiety. The mentioned above weighted blanket qualities of supporting the release of the happy hormones and giving your body a better rhythm of life will support you in feeling calm and relaxed before bedtime.

Having low serotonin levels have also been linked to conditions such as anxiety and depression. However, the key weighted blanket therapeutic element is helping reduce the level of cortisol in the body.

Cortisol is a stress-response hormone and an abundance of it may have unwanted health and behavioral outcomes. If your cortisol levels remain high when it's time to relax or sleep – you will find it extremely hard to settle down or switch off.

The calming effect of your weighted blanket will help you reduce the cortisol level during rest time and will make it easier for you to drift off to sleep.   

Unfortunately, high levels of cortisol are responsible for more than stress and anxiety, they’re also common triggers of:

-       Headaches

-       Depression

-       Poor memory and concentration

-       Problems with digestion

-       Weight gain

-       Heart disease

A study measuring the biological effects of weighted blankets on adults during sleep found a significant reduction in cortisol levels, lowering sleep dysfunction, pain, and stress levels for the experiment group. Researchers observe an overall improvement in physical and mental wellbeing when our cortisol levels drop.


Can weighted blankets help with restless leg syndrome?


For people with minor restless leg symptoms and who prefer treating this condition naturally research suggests trying the following:

·      If you have a bathtub, regularly take care of your body by soaking in warm salt baths

·      Do cardio and physical workouts early, avoid stressing your nervous system and muscles late in the day as this might trigger having more restless leg symptoms during bedtime

·      Avoid alcohol, nicotine, caffeine, and sugar

·      Establish a good sleep routine and maintain a fresh, tidy, and gadget-free bedroom ambiance

·      Try easing your symptoms with soothing and ‘grounding’ weighted blanket benefits to promote better sleep

If you’re buying a weighted blanket for restless legs, you may find it helpful to use the folded blanket below the waist to increase the applied weight pressure on the larger and more dense leg muscles.

A twin-size weighted blanket from Aricove delivers better weight distribution compared to other blankets. Twin weighted blankets guarantee that most of the blanket weight will be contouring your body, rather than your bed, thus delivering a slightly firmer and more effective pressure stimulation – one of the main reasons why Aricove twin cooling weighted blanket is sought out by professional athletes and people in sports.   

Can weighted blankets help with migraines?


One of the most ordinary causes of migraines are headaches triggered by having insufficient sleep time. Migraines are a warning for you to look after the health of your body, and taking care of your sleep will always be a good starting point.

Stress is another big trigger of migraines caused by increased levels of cortisol in your body. A good soothing rest under a weighted blanket will help restore your hormone balance and help clean your brain from the debris of stress and worry.

Read more firsthand advice on how to sleep better with migraines and why sleeping with a weighted blanket is an advanced form of self-care in your pursuit of a healthier lifestyle.


What is the best weighted blanket for kids?



If your restless dreamer is almost impossible to put to nap- or bedtime, a good kids weighted blanket could be exactly what they need. Bamboo weighted blankets provide natural calming and ‘grounding’ to help children settle down to sleep faster and deliver better quality, more restful sleep.

Research suggests that well-rested children find it easier to focus on any task, which helps them to better advance in social and academic development. Much research on weighted blankets for children also suggests they help treat symptoms of autism and ADHD in younger children and teens, with studies pointing out the great benefits of deep touch pressure stimulation.

A 5lb weighted blanket 36”x48” is designed for children of 3 years old and more, who at this age will easily be able to handle the extra weight of their new snooze-time companion.

Production of Aricove weighted blankets is STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX® certified, guaranteeing that there’re no harmful substances used or left in the blanket material after the manufacturing process. Moreover, it is because of the natural breathable and antimicrobial properties of the bamboo fabric why Aricove weighted blankets help soothe the most sensitive and susceptible to allergic reactions and eczema skin, allowing little dreamers to receive plenty of restorative sleep. 


What are the benefits of weighted blankets for children?


Weighted blankets are well-known for helping children with sensory issues feel more comfortable and relaxed under a heavier blanket.

Most children are hyperactive in their early childhood and often require a little extra effort in calming down before going to sleep on time. A good weighted blanket will provide them with a sense of security while cocooning their restless minds into dreaming deep. 

The benefits of a good night’s rest for children are the same as they are for adults – better focus, energy, mood, and appetite. Children spend a lot more energy during the day and are required to have good eating and sleeping habits to better perform in studies, sports, and society.

If you have used a weighted blanket for yourself you will know exactly why your child will benefit from having one.



What weighted blanket weight is right for me?


Almost all possible sources suggest your weighted blanket weight should be approximately 10% of your body weight for you to seamlessly handle and enjoy the benefits of this natural sleep device.

We find this recommendation to be rather broad and not taking into account important factors such as the blanket dimensions, your height, muscle tone, joint sensitivity, and even your best sleeping position. 

Based on more than one hundred customer responses on how comfortable the weight of the twin-size Aricove weighted blanket feels on their body, we have compiled the below recommended weighted blanket weight chart to better guide you in your purchasing decision.

For a detailed guide on how to choose the right weighted blanket weight and size for yourself or your child, please visit our blog on How Heavy Should A Weighted Blanket Be.


Do weighted blankets make you hot?


Very few bedding brands use high-quality fabric in their weighted blanket design. Most big brands make their weighted blankets from 100% polyester fabrics and wrap them in a micro-fleece duvet cover – of course, they will make you hot

With an evenly distributed weight contouring your body, weighted blankets fit tighter compared to regular duvets and leave less room for air to pass through. Which is why it is so important for your weighted blanket to be breathable and have moisture-wicking qualities to provide you with a comfortable sleep environment.

Only good fabric selection combined with smart weighted blanket design can give your weighted blanket outstanding temperature-regulating and breathable attributes necessary to deliver the natural cooling effect essential for restful sleep.


What are weighted blankets made of?


Most weighted blankets, even in the higher price range, are typically made from polyester, fleece-type fabrics, or cotton and are filled with plastic pellets or glass beads in large-size pockets or compartments throughout the blanket surface.

Unlike most weighted blankets, every Aricove weighted blanket has a smart 7-layer design with premium bamboo fabric finishing to deliver you a luxurious experience every time you choose your weighted blanket for sleep or cuddling while watching Netflix or reading.

When selecting a weighted blanket for sleep make sure its design allows for very limited beads movement while delivering an extremely soft and smooth feel. Also, keep in mind to check if your weighted blanket is machine-washable and can be easily dried and it will proudly serve you thousands of restful nights.



Are bamboo weighted blankets better?


Bamboo bedding products, including bamboo weighted blankets, poses remarkable natural super-qualities to beat cotton and the rest of the prevailing bedroom fabrics in any way possible.

Textile guides suggest that bamboo viscose fabric feels 2-3 degrees cooler than cotton, and most importantly, this freshness stays throughout the night. We don’t want you to believe that it can replace air-conditioning on a warm night, but your bamboo weighted blanket will also work by wicking moisture away from your body to keep you feeling fresh and crisp whenever you need it.

Bamboo fiber has a much higher vapor transmission rate and actively encourages moisture to transfer from your skin, through your covers, and to the exterior where it evaporates. Add just the two together and you will find it more likely to stay cool and comfortable during a hot night if you’re under the bamboo weighted blanket with the cover or without.

It doesn’t end just there for bamboo, as bamboo fibers are implanted with a natural special agent ‘bamboo-kun’ to give your Aricove weighted blanket and cover antimicrobial properties to fight off bacteria, mold, and dust mites that tend to accumulate on most other fabrics. This also means that your bamboo blanket and cover will remain odor-free for much longer and require much less detergent to wash.


How do you wash a weighted blanket?



Not all weighted blankets are machine washable and it is important to follow the manufacturer’s care instructions before giving your blanket a proper clean. Weighted blankets made out of lower quality material can shrink, fade, or discolor after wash.

A quality weighted blanket will prove to be a good investment decision if you can wash it repeatedly without any deterioration.

Be careful as some weighted blankets can only be washed by hand or even spot cleaned, while others might be so heavy you will be searching for an industrial laundromat, perhaps after breaking your own washing machine first.

It is not recommended to use a laundry detergent with strong stain-removal attributes or any fabric softener when washing weighted blankets of almost any material. Washing them in hot water can also make most of the fabrics shrink or cause damage to their solid weave structure.

Generally, if your weighted blanket can be machine washed, it can also be tumble dried on low heat. Practice shows, however, it is best to line dry your weighted blanket, avoiding direct exposure to the sunlight, to give it a fresh and wrinkle-free appearance.

In the How To Wash A Weighted Blanket blog we discuss all possible weighted blanket fabric and filling variations and how to take the best care of your new sleeping partner.


When a weighted blanket is not recommended?


Despite their widespread popularity for natural soothing, weighted blankets will not always work for everyone. The least you should consider when buying a weighted blanket for someone is whether they will be able to effortlessly handle the extra weight of the blanket and whether the design of the blanket you’re buying is optimized for safe and comforting sleep.


Will it carry the same snug embrace for toddlers and people of elderly age?

With that being said, we recommend not to use the 5lb kids weighted blanket for children under the age of 2 years old or avoid using the heavier 20-25lb blankets for the elderly. Heavier blankets are also not recommended for people with sleep apnea or those sometimes experiencing breathing difficulties during sleep.


Are weighted blankets safe for people with skin allergies?

Unfortunately, the material and fabric selection of most weighted blanket brands will not be suitable for people experiencing eczema and other skin allergies. A cheap weighted blanket, comforter, or cover material could only worsen allergic reactions and negatively affect a person’s sleep.

Aricove weighted blankets are made with 100% bamboo viscose fabric, which gives them natural hypoallergenic and bactericidal qualities. All 7 weighted blanket layers use only STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX® certified material, which guarantees that your weighted blanket is a ‘chemical-free’ product.

Many of our kids weighted blanket customers got back to us with extremely positive feedback on the smooth structure and design of the Aricove weighted blankets, allowing their children with sensitive skin to soundly sleep through the night without waking up.

There a few more occasions when using a weighted blanket is unlikely to benefit a person, which we uncover in more detail in our weighted blanket blog, along with the critical design features you should be looking for in a safe and durable weighted blanket.

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