Weighted Blankets 101

What are weighted blankets?

Weighted blankets are made from a variety of fabrics —

  • cotton (for breathability)
  • denim (for durability)
  • plush velour (for comfort)
  • flannel (for warmth)
  • or fleece

They are weighted with small glass beads or plastic beads. Glass beads are preferred for their safety, sustainability and evenly distributed weight. These fillings are then sewn into individual pockets in a grid pattern and then covered in your choice of cloth between 4 and 25 pounds.

It is recommended that the blankets’ weight should be approximately 10% of the body weight of the person who will use the blanket. Everyone has their own ‘perfect fit’; some people prefer low comfort, while others may like high comfort. Sensory Goods representatives are eager to help you find your perfect blanket. The blankets provide gentle pressure and emulate the warmth and comfort of a hug. We do not recommend using a weighted blanket for a child under 2 years old.

Who needs a weighted blanket?

The short answer – pretty much everyone could benefit from a weighted blanket. Sensory Goods initially kick-started their website with the needs of children with autism in mind. However, several studies have taken place that revealed Deep Touch Pressure benefits a variety of people, even those who simply want to experience a more restful sleep. Before the weighted blanket trend took off, Sensory Goods had years of experience crafting custom weighted blankets for children in need of gentle, comforting products that are made with the highest care, that are also durable and easy to care for.

Weighted blankets offer a constant security that is not stifling or restraining — they’re intended to quieten the body and mind. That’s why weighted blankets are often looked at as an alternative therapy for anxiety, stress, mood disorders, insomnia, fibromyalgia, SPD, ADD, ADHD, PTSD and people with dementia.

These handcrafted blankets are unique in that they mimic the comforts that associate with a hug, swaddling, or massage. They are perfect for those who are sensitive to touch, and the weight choices allow for individual preference of pressure level. Coupled with choosing your fabric style and colors, your new weighted blanket will truly be made just for you

Research

Studies have been conducted to determine how effective weighted blankets are in reducing stress, improving sleep and mood, calming the mind, and what physiological benefits there may be. The current studies behind the science of why weighted blankets have the effect that they do, are not definitive, but the proof of the benefits is concrete. Whether they mimic the oxytocin/serotonin-releasing warmth of a hug or are a placebo effect of imagining the aforementioned hug, the results are the same. The science says weighted blankets effectively soothe and calm.

Studies by the Journal of Sleep Medicine and Disorders, the Danish Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, New Zealand’s University of Canterbury, and the Journal of Occupational Therapy in Mental Health concluded that weighted blankets reduce anxiety and improve mood in adults and children. A study by Pediatrics on children with autism determined the effectiveness of weighted blankets on sleep was inconclusive, but did result in the parents and children preferring to use the blanket, rather than go without.

*To be clear, weighted blankets are not a prescription or treatment, but a recognized therapeutic method to boost health, like meditation or essential oils or a massage.

Where We Began

In 2002, the founder of Sensory Goods started a small family business making products for friends and family that focused around children with sensory challenges. This enterprise was the predecessor to Sensory Goods. Personally having two children with special needs and being frustrated with the lack of affordable, high quality, reliable products, he decided to start his own business that made these types of goods available to everyone. He began his journey by educating himself about therapies and products that might help his children in their daily lives. He used the knowledge he gained and his experience with these products to determine which were the most effective.

In 2011, we launched Sensory Goods with the desire to build a business as a family, for family.

Sensory Goods’ blankets are unique in that the quilted layer holding the weighting is discreetly hidden between the outer layers of fabric. He did this with the intention of others not being able to distinguish the difference between a normal blanket on his kids’ beds and a weighted blanket.

As more research has been conducted on how weighted blankets are beneficial, Sensory Goods has expanded to include products for specific areas of the body, for adults, and even pets. Weighted vests and belts can be used to attach weight to the torso or waist to give that “weighted blanket feeling” while being able to walk around. Weighted lap pads provide stability and focus while on the go. A neck wrap offers soothing targeted comfort to the shoulders to help relieve built-up tension, and a weighted dog blanket helps your furry friends deal with anxiety and stress.

We hope we can count you as one of the Sensory Goods family soon!

How to Care for Your Weighted Blanket

Caring for our blankets may vary based on the filling and fabric you choose. Every Sensory Goods blanket comes with its own washing instructions. Its hassle-free design allows you to machine wash right in your home. 

Weighted blankets do require a little more care than regular blankets, due to their weight. We don’t recommend hanging them over the edge of the bed, or along a drying rack — because the weight is distributed in individually sewn pockets and hanging it over an edge may add tension to the seams, damaging the blanket.

1 thought on “Weighted Blankets 101

  1. Have you been thinking about a weighed blanket, but still feel a bit lost? 😱
    Comment with your questions!

    Liked by 1 person

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