Weighting blankets are a fascinating invention. They were initially used in psychiatry clinics by therapists, who often called them gravity blankets. Today, they are available for purchase and have gone a bit mainstream and their benefits are an issue up for debate amongst skeptics who aren’t convinced about what they can really do. Even so, studies have been conducted on the topic, so we wanted to share a little bit about how a simple blanket is proven to have benefits on your sleep and health.
What Are They?
Just as the name suggests it, a weighting blanket has a few extra pounds. It can be made from different materials, which causes variation in its advantages. Some of the most common weighting blankets are made with plastic pellet, glass beads, millet or rice. Some of them are designed as a single piece. This means that the weighted layer is also the outer one. But today, the more popular weighting blankets are designed in a two-piece duvet style. The outer material of the blanket is important, a people often like to opt for something as light as linen.
An important question that a lot of people ask when they hear about this weighted blanket concept is just how heavy does this blanket have to be? As most manufacturers will recommend, the blanket should have 5 to 10% of your total body weight.
Weighted Blankets Research
Because they were an odd and sometimes miraculous product, studies have been conducted to determine if weighting blankets are actually any good. Back in 2008, the results of such a study were published in the journal called Occupational Therapy in Mental Health. During this study, 33 adults were required to rest under a 30-pound blanket for a period of five minutes. After analyzing the results, 33% of the participants displayed a drop in skin conductance. Even more, 19 of the participants said they felt more relaxed after having rested under a weighting blanket, while three of them declared they felt more anxious while doing so.
Another study that was published in the journal named Australasian Psychiatry discovered that patients from a mental psychiatric unit felt less distressed in the presence of their health care providers when using a weighting blanket. However, the study did not show a decrease in patient aggressiveness.
Benefits of Using a Weighted Blanket
All these studies have managed to bring a series of benefits to the surface, from sleep improvement to stress reduction.
In 2015, a study published in the Journal of Sleep Medicine and Disorders showed that these blankets can reduce insomnia and help people rest in a deep sleep. The results revealed that people were moving less when sleeping underweighted blankets and that the overall number of sleep hours increased. Because of the weight of the blankets, people found it easier to settle down and didn’t feel as restless.
Deep touch pressure (DTP for short) is a term often used when referring to the science of weighted blankets. By applying greater pressure on the human body, DTP increases the serotonin levels (serotonin is a chemical that induces relaxation). People that suffer from depression, PTSD, OCD or anxiety often have low serotonin levels.
Reduced Stress Levels
Another study that was published in 2012 in the Journal of Medical and Biological Engineering shows that patients’ nervous systems have a positive reaction under DTP. Other studies have revealed a direct correlation between the use of weighted blankets and the anxiety levels shown by study participants.
Improves ADHD Focus
It’s no secret that people who suffer from ADHD have trouble focusing. With the help of deep pressure stimulation, people are able to have reduced anxiety and sleep better which, in turn, leads to a great attention span and improves the lack of concentration caused by ADHD.
Alleviates Fibromyalgia Pain
A very odd thing about fibromyalgia is the fact that, despite being the second most common bone and muscle related health condition, there is still a great deal of mystery revolving around it. Sadly, it can sometimes take years for a patient to receive this diagnosis.
If you’ve never used or even heard of a weighting blanket, the whole concept may seem quite bizarre at first. A blanket that weighs so much can help you reduce stress, get rid of anxiety and makes you sleep better? It’s pretty counterintuitive, considering that all that pressure applied on your body would normally cause you to feel discomfort. The Weighting Comforts blankets are a solution developed by Donna Durham (Founder and President), a therapist who noticed the positive effect of the weighting blanket and decided to launch a successful business.
- Helps the body relax and fall asleep faster.
- Reduces the anxiety and induces a feeling of calm.
- CoolMax combination of fabric allows the body to breathe.
- Has moisture wicking properties.
- The blanket is suitable for all seasons.
- Available in three different weight options.
- Choosing the wrong weight can cause discomfort.
- Some people tend to sleep hot.
Features & Benefits
Long story short, the Coolmax blanket is made with 65% Cotton and 35% CoolMax®Everyday. First off, cotton is a great fabric for a blanket, being soft to the touch, sensitive on the skin and easy to wash in the washing machine. But what we really wanted to talk about the CoolMax. This is a brand name that gathers a variety of textiles with moisture-wicking properties. They were created back in 1986 by DuPont Textiles and Interiors and feature polyester fibers which have been specially engineered in order to allow the skin to breathe. Thanks to capillary motion, these textiles draw moisture away from the body, an important feature considering the blanket’s heavy-weight which will, most likely, cause people to sweat. The blanket’s weight is given by the PVC compound beads which are used in different quantities for each of the three available weight options.
From the moment you first unpack it, you will feel how soft the surface of the blanket really is. It’s almost unnatural to associate the pleasant material with the heavy-weight of the blanket. The cotton used in the construction of this product is comfortable and soft. In some cases, people may notice a pale colored line on their blankets. If you read the manual carefully, this is specified there as well. This line is a natural part of the fabrication process and it should fade after the first five washes.
Since the blanket is available in three different weight options, it’s important to pick the right weight if you want your blanket to give you all of its benefits. The standard dimension of the blanket is 55 x 74 inches and it’s made for individual use. The manufacturer presents us with a general rule for picking the right size. You have to multiply your weight by 0.10 (in other words, 10% of your total weight). By analyzing the resulted number, pick the appropriately sized blanket, as follows:
- If the resulted weight is 100 to 300 pounds, the best blanket is the one that weighs 15 lbs.
- For 140 to 170 pounds, the best option is also the 17 lbs. blanket.
- 180 to 200 lbs. is best matched with the 20 lbs. blanket.
- For results of more than 200 pounds, the 25-pound blanket is the best option.
In case your results fall at the limit of two of the aforementioned categories, go with the lighter version of the blanket.
This is the most important part that weighs in on your purchasing decision: the benefits given by such a product. As you’ve probably figured out from our introduction, the benefits of the Weighted Blankets brand are mostly scientific. Thanks to DPT, the serotonin levels inside your body will be greatly increased, while also decreasing the cortisol levels (main generator of the stress hormone). But let’s discuss each in particular.
Serotonin is responsible for your mood, but also has cognitive functions that are related to our abilities to learn and remember things. When your serotonin levels are low, you start feeling depressed and lacking energy and motivation. Serotonin is sometimes converted into melatonin, which is responsible for sleep. With cortisol, things are a bit trickier. Both a high and low level of cortisol can have negative effects on your body. When it’s balanced, cortisol can help control blood pressure and sugar levels. It also helps regulate metabolism and reduce inflammation. The Weighting Comforts CoolMax blanket works as a deep tissue massage, helping you feel more relaxed, reducing your anxiety levels and improving the quality of your sleep.
Even with all the benefits, it brings to the table, chances are you won’t accommodate with the blanket from the first night of sleeping under it. If you’ve never used a weighting blanket before, it’s quite difficult to get accustomed to it. We recommend taking full benefit of the 30-day return policy and allow your body to get acquainted with the blanket. To better see if the blanket fits your needs, try sleeping with it in different ways.
First off, try sleeping with the blanket covering your entire body, from your shoulders to your toes. Then, try using it on top of the sheet, without a comforter. Experiment by placing the blanket on the lower and then on the upper half of your body and see how it makes you feel.
The manufacturer recommends testing the blanket to see if it helps reduce your anxiety levels as well. The exercise involves analyzing how different parts of your body feel with the blanket placed on top of them. Start off by noticing how your feet feel, then your knees, torso, chest, and shoulders.
The Coolmax blanket is designed to provide all the major benefits that such a product has in store for its users. Since the manufacturer stands by the quality and use of its products, their return policy is also generous for its customers. Should you feel that the blanket does not deliver as promised, you can take advantage of the 30-day return window and get a full refund.
Returning the blanket requires thorough cleaning. Otherwise, you will have to pay a $25 cleaning fee. Even if you receive a full refund, you are responsible for the shipping taxes. The manufacturer recommends using USPS for all returns, as it is the cheapest shipping method. The billing name has to be written on the outside of the box if you want to receive your money faster.
Choosing a blanket that’s the wrong size for you can be a major deal breaker and customers’ statement are good proof of that. Those who’ve purchased the right size for their body’s weight don’t run hot and don’t feel any discomfort, but those who purchased a different size than the recommended one are not comfortable with the level of comfort provided.
The experiences told by customers are dazzling and push you one step further towards ordering a Weighting Comforts blanket for yourself. Testimonials speak of eight uninterrupted hours of sleep in more than 15 years. There’s no more tossing and turning, which often wakes people up.
People who suffer from anxiety have found that the Weighting Comforts blankets are capable of reducing anxiety-induced stress, diminishing the chances of panic attacks and calming the spirits.
The main question at hand is how useful this blanket actually is. First of all, due to its weight, it’s going to make you consider fussing in your sleep. Due to its size, it can cover an entire adult body, which means that it will keep you pinned down most of the time. While you still are able to move, it won’t be as easy as it was before. Liberating people from anxiety is one of the selling points of this products and if customer experiences won’t convince you that it’s good, nothing will. The stories are as numerous as they are convincing. The Weighting Comforts blanket does a really good job at keeping anxiety under control, causing people to wake up in a better mood. It also helps you fall asleep quicker and makes you sleep longer.