Can A Weighted Blanket Help Me Sleep?

If you have anxiety or insomnia, then you know how miserable sleepless nights can be. You may have even tried all sorts of remedies in your quest for better sleep, such as herbal tea or meditation. It’s less likely you’ve tried a weighted blanket, but some people swear this growing bedding trend helps them sleep better.

Weighted blankets and vests are conventionally used as a therapy tool, particularly for children who have autism or sensory issues. The idea is that weighted blankets provide something called deep pressure stimulation or deep touch pressure.

“Deep touch pressure is the type of surface pressure that is exerted in most types of firm touching, holding, stroking, petting of animals, or swaddling,” autism expert Temple Grandin explains on her website. “Occupational therapists have observed that a very light touch alerts the nervous system, but deep pressure is relaxing and calming.”

The idea is that a weighted blanket or vest gives your body a feeling that it’s enjoying a “warm hug,” which can be soothing. This helps explain why one study found deep touch pressure helped people feel less anxious at the dentist’s office while they were awake.

[Editor’s Note: The content provided on this site is for general informational purposes only. Any medical information provided is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with the appropriate health expert if you or a family member have concerns.] 

Do They Help With Sleep?

Research on weighted blankets for sleep isn’t particularly conclusive.

One study (which focused on children with autism) concluded that weighted blankets didn’t help the subjects sleep any better — but that the participants liked the feel of the blankets anyway. Another study (which was funded by a weighted blanket manufacturer) found the use of a weighted blanket at night helped participants sleep more soundly.

Experts generally agree that a weighted blanket will rarely if ever cause adverse effects, so trying one probably isn’t a risk. But if you have any breathing or circulation problems, it’s a good idea to check in with your doctor before using a weighted blanket.

RELATED: Natural Remedies That Can Help You Sleep

Where Can I Get One?

grey weighted blanket wrapped up
a weighted blanket from mosaicweightedblankets.com

There are various brands of weighted blankets available. Most of them contain little plastic pellets inside them that conform to your body and provide the “weighted” feeling. The blankets may weigh anywhere from four to 25 pounds.

The weight of the blanket should be proportional to the weight of the person using it. One blog recommends selecting a blanket that weighs roughly 10 percent of the user’s body weight.

Weighted blankets for adults range in price from about $90 to over $300, depending on the size and weight of the blanket and its materials.

While it’s not guaranteed that a weighted blanket will help you sleep better, most users do agree that weighted blankets can have a calming effect. And calming down before bed is always a good thing for folks looking to enjoy a sound night of sleep.

[Editor’s Note: The content provided on this site is for general informational purposes only. Any medical information provided is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with the appropriate health expert if you or a family member have concerns.] 

The following two tabs change content below.
Gravatar for Katie Golde

Katie Golde

Katie manages the day to day operations of the Mattress Clarity news site and reviews sleep products in addition to writing and editing sleep news.She hails from Austin, where she lives with her growing family. She is a Certified Sleep Science Coach and has a master’s degree in Journalism from Northwestern University and has a background in health and science content. Her work can be found in print and online publications like Discover Magazine, USA Today and The Huffington Post.