What’s inside this article: A comprehensive guide to using weighted blankets for children. This article covers the benefits of weighted blankets, answers many frequently asked questions, and recommends several different types of weighted blankets, to meet every individual need.
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.
Are you thinking about buying a weighted blanket for your child? Continue reading this complete guide to weighted blankets for kids to have all your questions answered before making a purchase.
Weighted blankets are fiercely growing in popularity with no sign of slowing down. More and more retailers are stocking them on their shelves so you have endless options when it comes to purchasing a weighted blanket.
Before you purchase one, you probably have some important questions, like:
All of your questions will be answered here.
Benefits of Weighted Blankets for Kids
They Improve Sleep
Weighted blankets provide “deep touch therapy”, which stimulates the proprioceptive system.
Studies show that this improves sleep because similarly to a hug, the pressure from the weighted blanket causes the brain to release serotonin which regulates sleep and mood.
Getting enough sleep is crucial to childhood development. Many kids with autism and ADHD have trouble sleeping, particularly avoidance of bedtime.
Sleep deprivation in children can cause difficulty concentrating, hyperactivity, defiant behavior, increased appetite, and overly emotional reactions.
It’s important to get a good handle on your child’s sleep to support their cognitive development.
Weighted Blankets Reduce Anxiety
As mentioned above – serotonin regulates both sleep and mood.
Research shows that deep pressure from the weighted blanket alerts the body’s parasympathetic nervous system (PSNS), bringing a sense of calm to the mind and body.
This may help children with anxiety disorders, autism, or ADHD:
Meets Sensory Needs
Children who are sensory seekers are under-responsive to sensory input. They seek extra stimulation so they can stay regulated and calm.
Sensory seeking behaviors often stand out because, in the process of seeking extra stimulation, kids may engage in a lot of disruptive behavior.
Using a weighted blanket provides kids with an appropriate way to get the extra stimulation they need without being disruptive.
They achieve this similarly to heavy work activities or yoga.
How Heavy Should a Kids Weighted Blanket Be?
Before you purchase a weighted blanket for your child it’s important to consider their age, height, and weight.
Your child’s blanket should weigh 7-10% of their body weight and they must be able to take the blanket off without any help.
Calculate the weight you need for your child’s blanket using these formulas:
(child’s weight in pounds) x 0.07 = 7% of body weight
(child’s weight in pounds) x 0.10 = 10% of body weight
This will give you an idea of what weight range to look for when you make a purchase.
Are Weighted Blankets Safe for Kids?
In short, yes.
However, there are a couple of things to be aware of.
What is In Weighted Blankets?
The most common fillings are polypropylene (plastic) pellets or glass beads but there are other types of fillers, too.
Some other weighted blanket fillers include steel beads, sand, smooth pebbles, and even dehydrated corn, beans, rice, or barley (in DIY blankets – wouldn’t recommend because they can’t be washed).
Glass beads are the best option. They’re heavier than the plastic pellets a blanket with glass beads will have less filling and it will be smoother.
Plastic beads work well but may make some noise when the blanket moves around which can bother kids with sensory issues.
Steel beads are strong and easy to wash, but they can be a bit noisy and lumpy.
Will a Weighted Blanket Make you Hot?
Weighted blankets come in many different materials, sizes, thicknesses, etc. so it depends on the blanket you’re using.
If you are concerned about heat, or if your child is sensitive to overheating, there are weighted blankets available that are made with cooling bamboo fabric.
Can you Wash a Weighted Blanket?
Weighted blankets need to be washed, just like any other bedding.
Many come with a duvet cover which is easily removable and machine washable.
Carefully read the care instructions for your particular blanket. As you research which weighted blanket to buy, keep in mind the cleaning instructions because you definitely don’t want a blanket that’s going to be extremely hard to clean.
Can they go in the dryer?
Some blankets are able to be tumble dried but the beads would get too hot to actually dry a weighted blanket in the dryer.
The covers are typically dryer safe but carefully read the care instructions for your blanket.
What are the Best Weighted Blanket Brands
There are so many brands out there now and a wide range of prices. When choosing a weighted blanket for your child it’s important to choose one that is high quality, and easy to clean.
I’ll list a few good brands, but if you decide to purchase a different brand look for the following information:
A good weighted blanket will have:
- 4″ x 4″ pockets for the evenest weight distribution
- glass beads
- A removable, machine washable cover (or you may purchase one sold separately)
This is a high-quality brand that’s available on Amazon. They often offer coupons for their blankets and are reasonably priced.
They sell adorable 3 piece sets for kids that include the blanket, cover, and a weighted stuffed animal.
These ones are very easy to care for because the whole thing can go in the washer. It can only be air-dried, however – the glass beads would get extremely hot.
They have some great patterns for children, plus one side of the blanket is the super-soft Minky material.
If you’re looking for a weighted blanket for a toddler these ones are your best bet. They are only 4.5 lbs, most brands smallest size is 5lbs.
This means smaller children can use them safely.
They also have fun designs for toddlers like Paw Patrol, Ryan’s World, Baby Shark, and PJ Masks.
This blanket has a slightly higher price point but it’s still affordable.
They included the blanket and cover, and a travel bag.
The covers are dual-sided: one side is a cooling bamboo fabric and the other side is an ultra-soft Minky material.
Do you have any other questions about weighted blankets for kids that weren’t covered?
Let me know in the comments below and I’ll get them answered and added into this guide for you!