Do weighted blankets actually work and are they safe to use?
Last Updated on May 12, 2021
Today, weighted blankets have become a routine part of stress relief and healthy sleep habits for many people. They can be quite beneficial for individuals with anxiety, autism, insomnia and other similar conditions. In today’s article, we’ll answer the question: Are weighted blankets safe? Do they work? And are there any risks of using them?
Are weighted blankets safe for adults?
In general, weighted blankets are safe for healthy adults and teenagers. There is an emphasis on healthy individuals since this type of blanket should be avoided by people with certain health conditions, which may include asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and others.
If you’re having trouble sleeping and staying asleep during the night, opting for this type of product can be highly beneficial for the quality of your sleep. Overall, it would be best if you chose an option that weighs 10% of your body weight. However, nowadays, there are many brands with numerous products and if you don’t know where to start, take a look at our Top 5 Picks.
Are weighted blankets safe for children?
Let’s be honest, when you’re a parent, the safety of your child is a top priority. They are the first thing you think about when you wake up, and the last one before you fall asleep. That’s why it’s normal for you to wonder if a weighted cover is safe for your kid.
Usually, a weighted blanket provides what’s known as ‘deep touch pressure stimulation’, which is commonly referred to as the ‘calming effect’ that aids in falling asleep and staying that way. With that said, heavy blankets have raised some concerns regarding the possible damage they can do.
The truth is that weight can pose a risk to young children, especially ones with restricted movements. It can make the children feel stuck or trapped underneath, which can cause distress and other issues that can be way worst, like suffocation. That’s why we don’t recommend this type of blanket for young kids and toddlers.
With that said, a heavy blanket can also be beneficial to a child if used properly. But since we are talking about children, we highly recommend you consult a doctor before making your final decision.
Are weighted blankets safe for pets?
As we’ve already mentioned, you should pick a blanket that is around 10% of your body weight, but what happens when you have a pet wanting to snuggle up to you at night? Those 10% aren’t considered heavy for us humans, but they can end up being too heavy for our small furry friends.
Some dogs can panic underneath the blanket, which can cause a heightened sense of stress. In general, cats, small dogs, older dogs or dogs with underlying respiratory conditions shouldn’t sleep underneath a heavy cover since it can lead to respiratory distress.
Another issue can be the tiny beads that most options have, which can pose a choking risk to pets. If your dog tends to chew things, it can easily swallow the beads, and that can become a medical emergency.
The truth is, you don’t have to get rid of your weighted blanket if you have a small pet, but you should definitely be mindful about the way you use it. We advise you to keep it out of your pet’s reach to prevent chewing or distress.
Usually, weighted blankets are entirely safe and effective to use, but there are still things you need to know in order to use them correctly. Here is a quick list of safety measures you can take to avoid any injuries:
- Pick the right size and weight for the blanket (10% of your body weight)
- Ensure your (or the person you’re buying it for) can move freely underneath (especially if it’s a child)
- Don’t use one on infants younger than two years, so there aren’t any issues
- If your purchase is for elderly patients and young children, consult a doctor that knows the specific licensing regulations regarding the use of such products
- Don’t allow people with respiratory issues, COPD, or other lung disorders to use them
- Be mindful when choosing the filling of your blanket
- Make sure that the edges of the cover are adequately sealed with double stitches to prevent the filling from coming out
- Make sure your blanket can be washed before you put it in the washer
- Keep your cover clean and fresh since some fillings can be the cause of mould
Weighted blankets are safe to use and can provide similar benefits to deep pressure therapy. They’ve shown many positive results for several conditions, including autism, ADHD, and anxiety. Also, they can be an excellent aid in calming a restless body, reducing feelings of anxiety, and improving sleep troubles.
If you think we missed something and if you have a question or a concern, please drop us a line in the comments below, and we’d try to respond as soon as possible!
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