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According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, every year around 40 million American adults suffer from anxiety disorders. This comprises around 18% of the country’s entire population. (You can see the exact findings here.)
Different factors put people at risk for having an anxiety disorder, including:
- Predisposition/personality type
- Chemical makeup of the brain
- Events in a person's life
Anxiety disorders are common, but the good news is that they are extremely treatable.
In fact, in addition to behavior-based therapies and medications that are used to treat anxiety, there are other options to overcome or learn to cope with the condition.
One option is meditation. Another is sleeping with weighted blankets for anxiety.
Not so long ago, weighted blankets were one of the many therapy tools used by health professionals and occupational therapists to help reduce patients’ anxiety. This kind of therapy was known as “deep pressure stimulation,” and it works by applying gentle pressure on different parts of the body to encourage relaxation.
The blanket that the therapists used was called a “gravity blanket.” These days, the gravity blanket is being used outside of therapy. Owners have credited their use of a weighted blanket with lessened anxiety, improved mood, and better sleep quality.
Today, we review the three best weighted blankets for anxiety. We wanted to see which of the products in the market today truly live up to their claims of reducing a user’s anxiety while providing comfort and better sleep quality.
Before we get to know which brands are considered to be the best, let’s briefly discuss how a weighted blanket is beneficial for overcoming anxiety.
What You Will Learn
- How Does It Work to Curb Anxiety?
- How Do I Choose a Weighted Blanket?
- What Are Other Features I Should Look Out for?
- The 3 Best Weight Blankets for Anxiety
Don't have time to read the entire review?
If you're a busy person who doesn't have time to read this entire review, we've simplified everything. Here is a list to show you a quick rating of the best weighted blankets for anxiety.
How Does It Work to Curb Anxiety?
Weighted blankets are great for both children and adults who are suffering from anxiety. They're designed to be heavier than your usual blanket or comforter. Glass, ceramic, or plastic pellets or chains are used to safely add weight to the blankets. The added weight simulates deep pressure touch, which is a therapeutic method that uses firm pressure to reduce chronic stress and anxiety.
By providing users with deep pressure touch, weighted blankets can lead to a deeper sense of relaxation, which may trigger the release of the brain's feel-good hormones (dopamine and serotonin), which help reduce stress, anxiety, and depression.
The weight gives a feeling of being hugged or held tight. The use of a weighted blanket is similar to the sensation of being hugged, which slows a person’s heart rate and releases a flood of serotonin (which is the body’s chemical that is responsible for the feeling of happiness). As the blanket simulates the feeling of a hug, it also releases positive feelings in the form of dopamine and oxytocin, which promote feelings of pleasure, joy, and connection (which all reduce the presence of adrenaline and cortisol). These harmful chemicals are released during times of stress and anxiety, and when often present in the body, can lead to chronic tension that can be toxic.
It gives you “grounding.” The blanket pushes your body downwards, which has a deeply calming effect. People claim that this position relaxes them and makes it easier for them to fall asleep. Studies have shown that grounding helps reduce levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which is produced when your brain thinks there is an imminent threat, activating the fight-or-flight response. Stress increases cortisol levels, which can decrease the effectiveness of the immune system, increase blood sugar levels, and negatively impact the digestive tract. Overall, stress can wreak havoc on your body, and using a weighted blanket can mitigate these negative effects.
Weighted blankets also help you sleep better. Since you are more relaxed when you use a weighted blanket for sleeping, you will fall asleep faster. One study found that grounding your body while you sleep can synchronize your cortisol secretion with its natural daily circadian rhythms, which improves sleep and reduces stress, insomnia, and general pain.
Sleeping with a weighted blanket can also help you feel rejuvenated when you wake up. A deeper, more comfortable sleep usually translates to an improved mood and a refreshed feeling upon waking up. It also helps keep your immune system in check, helps you stay at a healthy body weight, and fights depression.
Using weighted blankets can help reduce anxiety in the following ways:
- Induces calm and lessens distress
- Improves sleep quality
- Alleviates pain
You don't need to wait until you go to sleep to use your weighted blanket. You can use it during the day when you are lounging around the house to reduce your anxiety as well. It can help you take naps during the day or offer you a cozy atmosphere to snuggle up with a book.
Now that you know about weighted blanket benefits, how do you know which one is right for you?
How Do I Choose a Weighted Blanket?
When looking for the best gravity blanket, it is important to find one that is the right size and weight for your body. Choose a blanket that is at least 10% of your body weight, and then add one pound or two pounds. Professionals agree that 10% of your body weight is the ideal amount for a weighted gravity blanket to achieve maximum soothing and comfort. Due to its weight, the blanket can end up sliding off of your body if it is too small, so you want to make sure to get one that is large enough to allow you to comfortably fit under it.
Weighted blankets were one of the many therapy tools used by health professionals and occupational therapists to help reduce patients’ anxiety.
You also want a blanket that is made from quality materials that are washable. Because these blankets are more expensive than your typical blanket, you want them to be durable and last you several years, while still being able to clean them when you need to. There are a variety of material options ranging from plush to polyester, so you have to find what works best for you. In terms of the filling, glass beads tend to be quieter than plastic ones. Also, because it can be tough to wash a weighted blanket, consider looking for one that comes with a removable cover.
Finally, choose a blanket that’s appropriate for your size and weight. Consult the blanket manufacturer’s sizing chart for the right size and weight for you so you don't end up with a blanket that is too light or too small, rendering it ineffective.
What Are Other Features I Should Look Out for?
The blanket should accommodate your pre-existing medical issues (e.g., menopause, respiratory or circulatory system issues, and issues in regulating body temperature). You may need to get a fabric that is breathable and relatively cooler than others, so as to not exacerbate existing medical problems and make your quality of sleep even worse.
It is also important to choose your filler wisely. Sands tend to retain more heat, and almost all organic fillers will absorb and conduct heat effectively. However, glass beads and plastic pellets conduct less heat than sand does, making them much cooler. If you have breathing issues, you may want to get a weighted blanket that is a bit lighter than the recommended 10% of your weight, especially if this amount of weight makes you feel constricted in any way.
A neutral filling is ideal for those with allergies to certain materials used in making the blanket. Some companies use food such as dried rice or barley to fill their weighted blankets. However, if you have allergies or sensitivities, you’ll want to get a blanket with a more neutral filling. One good neutral filling consists of part cotton and part glass beads. This combination eliminates possible food sensitivities.
In terms of weight, you want to get a blanket that is 10-12% of your body weight. Blankets usually come in a range of weights from 5 to 25 pounds, and should not be used by children who are under 40 pounds. They also come in a variety of sizes in order to fit your bed.
A duvet that is detachable can be useful in warmer or colder weather, and is also very helpful when it comes to washing your blanket. This way, you can wash your blanket at home without having to take it somewhere that has a washing machine to accommodate it. You can also remove the duvet during the warmer months if it makes the blanket too hot.
Some blanket manufacturers provide customization services so you can personalize your blanket according to your preference in design and fabric. Because you will be using this blanket so much, you want to make sure it is just right for you. One issue with one-size-fits-all weighted blanket companies is that they don't offer personalized features like different fabrics, duvet snaps, or monograms. You want your blanket to be just right for you.
Let’s look in detail at the three best anxiety blankets that are on the market so you can determine which one may be the right option for you.
The 3 Best Weight Blankets for Anxiety
This seven-layered blanket is the best overall choice for its premium-quality materials, numerous size and weight choices, and the wide selection of colors available. It's designed to offer the utmost in comfort through the use of advanced sewing technology and top-quality materials.
This blanket has an ultra-breathable outer layer that is made of 100% cotton, and it is lined with a non-glue polyester padding, along with an extra double layer of polyester that is made up of millions of micro glass beads. This design offers effective temperature control and is guaranteed to never leak beads.
This blanket comes with a removable duvet cover that is both comfortable and soft to the touch. This cover can easily be thrown in the wash, or taken off the blanket during warmer months when you don't need the extra layer, which makes this a convenient blanket to use all year long.
This all-natural weighted blanket gives you the warmth and general feeling of a hug. It will help you get a good night's sleep and wake up in the morning feeling rested and refreshed.
This is the best option if you are most concerned about being comfortable. It is made from 100% cotton, which is great for breathability, durability, and comfort. This blanket also comes in several colors and patterns that you can choose from to best match your room's decor.
On the inside of the blanket, there is segmented cotton to ensure an even distribution of the weighted material. These blankets are weighted using a sand-based glass material to create their proprietary seven-layer blanket.
This multi-layered system is designed to encompass your body and mold to your shape while still offering superior temperature control. Not only is the weight even, but the material is also hypoallergenic.
There are nine weight options available in this product, ranging from 5-25 pounds, making this blanket perfect for the vast majority of users. This blanket also comes in at a low price due to the fact that it is an imported model. This can be an issue for people who need a wider range of personalized options for the size and weight of the blanket, but isn't usually a problem for most buyers.
This weighted blanket offers the best value for the materials used and the sizing options available. It is a broad-spectrum option that caters to as many users as possible, but lacks the slight variations that you can get by purchasing a custom blanket. However, most people value the cost of this blanket over the ability to personalize it in some way.
The cover material is made out of 100% pure cotton, which makes it porous and breathable. It is available in a wide variety of colors to suit any taste, which also makes it a versatile option to use around the house.
The hypoallergenic filling is made from environmentally friendly polyester padding and non-toxic, odorless glass beads.
One of the best things about this weighted blanket is its improved technology. The squares are made to be smaller than they previously were, which makes the distribution of weight more even inside the blanket. This process fixes the issue of the glass beads moving around, which would render the blanket ineffective. Also, to prevent the glass beads from falling out of the blanket, the company added a double layer of breathable microfiber inside.
These blankets go through a professional quality control process before being sold. The blankets are checked during each step of the manufacturing process to ensure you're getting a high-quality product. ZonLi weighted blankets are machine washable if you use a cold, gentle setting. To increase the lifespan of your blanket, you can use a spot cleaner as needed and a duvet cover so the blanket itself does not need to be washed too often.
The three weighted blankets reviewed today are all ideal for their intended purposes. They will all offer you relaxation while you sleep and help your body get the restorative rest that you need. However, the Quility Premium Adult Weighted Blanket and Removable Cover comes in on top of today’s review for its premium-quality materials and the wider choices available in terms of color and blanket weights. This blanket is suitable for the most users, and the quality is such that it will last for years to come.
Finally, if you want a simple way to reduce your stress and anxiety, then try writing these 35 mindfulness journaling prompts to live more in the present moment.