Buying a weighted blanket needn’t be a complicated affair. In this guide, we uncover what you need to know and what to look for.
What is a weighted blanket?
In a nutshell, it’s like a big, warm cosy hug. That’s because a weighted blanket applies gentle pressure to your body in a similar way to a hug.
The Koala blanket is designed to be around 7 to 13% of your weight, as this creates the optimum amount of pressure to reduce your level of physiological arousal.
Research has found that if the blanket is less than 7% of your body weight, the product may not be as effective, so choosing the right weighted blanket is important.
Preparing your body for sleep
To achieve the therapeutic effect, make sure you spread the blanket evenly across your body, as this will apply just the right amount of pressure to help you relax and sleep.
What is a weighted blanket made of?
The Koala blanket is filled with BPA-free, non-toxic glass beads and is hypoallergenic, which means it's unlikely to cause an allergic reaction. What's unique about Koala's premium, round micro glass beads is that they are more breathable than the lower quality plastic beads that are often used by other brands and can make the blanket hot, especially in the warmer months.
The cover is also machine washable and suitable for dry cleaning, although the weighted insert should only be washed by hand in cold water.
Weighted blanket pros and cons
- Helps with relaxation and sleep improvement
- Can reduce anxiety and stress
- Can improve duration of your sleep
- One of the main weighted blanket cons is that, for safety reasons, they are only suitable for adults unless you purchase a child blanket
- A weighted blanket may not help with all sleeping problems
- Weighted blankets can be too thick to use during hotter months
Who can benefit the most from weighted blankets?
If you’re wondering whether weighted blankets can help you, research has indicated that they can improve sleep for people with the following:
Stress and anxiety
Weighted blankets can reduce stress and anxiety because of the Deep Touch Pressure, which is responsible for reducing cortisol, boosting serotonin, and making you feel more relaxed.
Autism spectrum disorder
The National Autistic Society states that people on the autism spectrum often suffer from sleep problems such as difficulty in winding down, increased anxiety, or waking up regularly during the night.
Although there is still some debate about whether weighted blankets help people with autism sleep better, deep pressure through weighted vests and blankets has been shown to calm and relax people with autism in clinical environments. This is according to research referred to in the Journal of Sleep Medicine & Disorders in 2015.
The Journal of Sleep Medicine & Disorders also suggested that weighted blankets could reduce insomnia by improving tactile and proprioceptive inputs, both of which can make you feel calm. This research found that choosing a weighted blanket resulted in decreased movements and increased sleep time. People with insomnia also said the blanket made it easier to settle down to sleep and that they felt more refreshed in the morning.
Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS)
Sometimes caused by chemotherapy or the menopause, RLS often disrupts sleep because of the strong urge to move your legs.
Weighted blankets can reduce the unpleasant crawling sensation that typically occurs in the thighs, calves and feet, which may make it easier for you to fall asleep.
Weighted blankets could improve the quality of sleep for people with fibromyalgia, a condition that causes widespread, chronic pain. They can also help reduce the anxiety associated with this condition.
Sensory integration disorders
The deep pressure therapy of weighted blankets may help people with sensory integration disorders become calmer, as it can relax the nervous system.
Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s
Weighted blankets may reduce anxiety, calm nerves and improve sleep for people over the age of 65 who have Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s.
In 2015, the Journal of Sleep Medicine & Disorders revealed that many nursing homes have experimented with weighted blankets, as some elderly people with anxiety and dementia can benefit from deep pressure touch.
Choosing the right blanket for you
Before you buy a weighted blanket, make sure you know which size and weight you’ll need.
Weighted blanket weight guidelines:
Your blanket should be between 7 and 13% of your bodyweight. So, for example, if you weigh between 60kg and 84kg, the recommended blanket weight is 6.8kg, and if you weigh between 85kg and 110kg, the recommended blanket weight is 9kg.
How to choose a weighted blanket that’s right for your bed
It’s important to choose a blanket that’s appropriate for the size of your bed. If in doubt, get the larger option, as you want to make sure that the blanket covers all of your body.
Koala's therapeutic weighted blankets come in two sizes. The 48-inch x 78-inch blanket is best suited to a single- or double-size bed, while the 60-inch x 80-inch blanket is ideal for a double- or king-size bed.
Please consult your doctor or physician and check the weighted blanket guidelines if you:
- have heart problems or grade 2 diabetes
- are pregnant
What if you need to return your weighted blanket?
If you're unhappy with your blanket, you should be entitled to a refund. Koala offers a 30 Night Guarantee and full refunds for customers who are not satisfied with its products.
If you’d like more tips on how to choose a weighted blanket, please don’t hesitate to contact us.