Weighted blankets are exactly as they describe – regular blankets with the addition of some extra weight sewn in. And they might just be the item you never realised you needed, especially if you suffer from anxiety.
“Weighted blankets are particularly popular and some individuals – particularly those with anxiety disorders or ASD [Autism spectrum disorder], say they gain immense benefit from using one,” Dr Becky Spelman, Psychologist and Clinical Director of Private Therapy Clinic tells Marie Claire.
Sound interesting? We’ve answered all your questions and rounded up the best weighted blankets available to buy below, so keep reading and get ready for an unbeatable night’s sleep…
Best weighted blankets 2022: Quick Links
- Eucalyptus Silk Weighted Blanket,
was £150now £120 | Mela
- John Lewis & Partners Specialist Synthetic Weighted Blanket, from £80 | John Lewis
- Wellbeing Weighted Blanket, £60 | Silentnight
- Simba Orbit Weighted Blanket Single 9kg, £101.40 | Amazon
- The Lounger, from £199 | Remy
- Grey Cotton Weighted Blanket, £90 | ESPA
- Rest Easy Sleep Better Navy Weighted Blanket, from £40 | Matalan
- Luxe Weighted Blanket, £109.99 | Echor
- Weighted Blanket,
was £117now £69 | Kudd.ly
- Gravity Weighted Blanket, £199.95 | Beauty Bay
What is a weighted blanket?
Weighted blankets are believed to help soothe stress and anxiety because of the ‘deep touch pressure’ they exert on the body. “Using a weighted blanket is like having a big hug, giving you the feeling of calm and security,” explains Gail Marra, Clinical Hypnotherapist and author of Health, Wealth & Hypnosis.
Glass or plastic beads are usually stitched inside to provide the extra weight that many people find so comforting. Ideally, the blanket should weigh somewhere between 7% – 12% of your body weight.
Just like any other blanket, they’re usually made from soft materials such as cotton or velvet.
How can a weighted blanket help anxiety?
It’s important to note that there aren’t currently many research studies around this, meaning evidence is more anecdotal and not necessarily scientifically proven. But the theory is that weighted blankets can improve anxiety because the brain registers them in the same way it would a hug.
“I often use weighted blankets for clients who come into clinic particularly nervous or anxious, and for young people with hyperactivity disorders such as ADHD and ASD, who find it difficult to self-soothe or to sit still for any length of time,” Marra tells Marie Claire. “It promotes the release of your feel-good hormones, dopamine and serotonin, boosting your sense of happiness and overall well-being,” she adds. With this, “levels of adrenaline and cortisol (our fight and flight hormones) dissipate, further reducing symptoms of stress and anxiety and so helping to centre the mind.”
It’s also suggested that weighted blankets and the cosiness they create can help to improve sleep and feelings of relaxation. Dr Becky Spelman believes these feelings of being “grounded and secure” can make people “feel more embodied, which means that they’re in the present moment – less focused on their thoughts and more in touch with the relaxing sensation that a weighted blanket can bring.” She adds that this is “a more mindful way to be.”
“I therefore believe that they are useful and eagerly await scientific study which will support what is being reported,” says the psychologist.
So, time to invest in a weighted blanket, curl up and rest easy?
Which are the best weighted blankets to buy?
If you’re curious about the potential anxiety-quelling properties of a weighted blanket, now seems as good a time as any to invest in one with some amazing options available. We’ve scoured the internet and chosen our top picks below, so all the hard work is already done. While you’re here, why not check out our guides to the best silk pillowcases and the best sunrise alarm clocks, too? Happy shopping…