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4 Things to Consider Before Buying a Weighted Blanket
Weighted blankets come in different materials, sizes, weight and some even have special features. Follow these tips to choose the best one for you,
Sarah MitroffManaging Editor
Sarah Mitroff is a Managing Editor for CNET, overseeing our health, fitness and wellness section. Throughout her career, she's written about mobile tech, consumer tech, business and startups for Wired, MacWorld, PCWorld, and VentureBeat.
Weighted blankets are touted as a helpful tool for managing stress, anxiety and insomnia. But these heavy blankets come at a steep price. Most of them are at least $100 (usually more) and that's a steep price for a product that you'll likely be buying online without the chance to try it first. Before you order, learn about the key factors to consider when shopping for a weighted blanket.
The first step in buying a weighted blanket is determining the right weight for you. It's best to pick one that's 10% of your bodyweight. So if you weigh 150 pounds, you'd get a 15-pound blanket. If you are closer to 200 pounds, a 20-pound blanket is a good fit, and so on.
Most adult weighted blankets are 10, 15, 20 or 25 pounds -- kids blankets are lighter, starting around 5 pounds. If your weight is in between sizes -- for instance, you weigh 130 pounds -- I personally recommend sizing up.
I weigh around 135 pounds and bought a 10-pound blanket only to find that it didn't feel heavy enough to create a calming sensation. I swapped it for a 15-pound blanket, which is heavier than 10% of my bodyweight, but it ended up feeling just right.
The caveat is that while my 15-pound blanket provides a soothing effect, it's also requires a bit more effort to kick it off in the middle of the night if I get too hot. If you're buying a weighted blanket for a kid or anyone with mobility issues, it's important for them to have a blanket that they can easily push off, so err on the side of a lighter blanket.
Unfortunately, most weighted blankets are sold exclusively online, so it's hard to try before you buy. If you want to adhere to the 10% rule, check out the companies that offer a wider range of weight options. Start with SensaCalm, YnM and Harkla.
Should your weighted blanket have glass beads or plastic pellets?
When shopping, you'll see that most weighted blankets use either plastic poly pellets or glass beads. Glass beads are usually the same size as grains of sand or smaller, and are heavier than plastic pellets. Since they're smaller, they take up less space in the blanket, making the finished blanket a bit thinner than those made with plastic pellets.
Plastic pellets are bigger, which means blankets made with them are a bit more bulky. Between glass beads and plastic pellets, there's no obvious winner. Some blanket companies simply opt to use plastic pellets because they are cheaper.
Some weighted blankets also include polyester fiberfill -- like a comforter -- which adds warmth. If you want a cooler, more breathable blanket, opt for one without fill.
Does the weighted blanket have a removable cover?
Weighted blankets can be tough to wash because they are so heavy. For blankets that are 10 pounds and above, you'll want to use a commercial washer and dryer.
If you're worried that your blanket will end up with stains or pet fur, look for one with a removable cover. Most covers are available in cotton or a soft minky fabric.
Cotton is the coolest option, since it's so breathable, while minky is cozier and warmer. Some companies sell their weighted blankets with a cover included, while others offer it as an add-on.
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Weighted blankets should cover your body from the neck down, without a lot left over. For most people, that means getting a twin-size blanket. For kids, look for a child's weighted blanket, which usually comes in a smaller size and weight.
It's important to note that if you plan to sleep under it, your weighted blanket shouldn't hang over the sides of your bed. That can cause the blanket to slide off the bed, and on to the floor during the night.
Not sure what size to get? Try sizing down from your mattress. If you have a queen or full bed, get a twin-size weighted blanket. If you have a king mattress, you can get away with a full or queen-size blanket.
The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.