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Complete Guide to Weighted Blankets for Kids

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:

  • What are the benefits of weighted blankets?
  • How heavy should the weighted blanket be?
  • What is inside weighted blankets?
  • Can you wash them?
  • Can you put them in the dryer?
  • Will a weighted blanket make you hot?
  • What brand should you buy?

All of your questions will be answered here.

Everything you need to know before you purchase a weighted blanket: what are the benefits? how heavy should it be? can you wash it? what is the best brand? etc. #WeightedBlankets #SPD #Anxiety #Autism

Benefits of Weighted Blankets for Kids

There are numerous benefits of weighted blankets for all ages, but here are some ways using a weighted blanket can specifically benefit your child.

1. They Improve Sleep

Weighted blankets provide “deep touch therapy“, which stimulates the proprioceptive system.

Similar to a hug, the pressure from the weighted blanket causes the brain to release Serotonin which regulates sleep and mood, according to studies.

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 mood, physical health, and cognitive development.

2. 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 to:

  • Feel calm, even after they are no longer using the blanket
  • Experience an overall decrease in anxiety levels
  • Improve focus
  • More success at school
  • Increase in social interactions due to minimizing social anxiety
  • Lessen self-injurious behavior

3. 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. However, you can’t always get up and move around, so a weighted blanket, or even a lap pad, can help at times when your child needs to stay calm.

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, to make sure you choose a weighted blanket that is safe for your child.

  • Your child needs to be able to lift the blanket on their own, being able to take it off if they want to.
  • Make sure the weighted blanket is well constructed. If there are any tears allowing the filling to leak there is a possibility of your child ingesting or choking on them.
  • Make sure it’s filled with appropriate fillers – with more and more options on the market and some of those options coming in at low price points it’s important to carefully read product descriptions to know what is inside your kid’s weighted blanket.

What Are Weighted Blankets Made Of?

You may be wondering what’s inside a weighted blanket?

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?

Some kids are sensitive to temperature and don’t tolerate feelings to hot or cold.

Luckily, weighted blankets come in many different materials, sizes, thicknesses, etc. so whether or not you’ll be too hot 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 which can help keep the user feeling cool.

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.

Cleaning instructions will vary based on the fabric, and the filler inside the blanket.

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 from the same brand)

Mosaic Weighted Blankets

Mosaic weighted blankets are all 100% machine washable, making them very easy to care for.

Their blankets are designed and hand-made in the US, there are lots of different children’s patterns available and they offer a variety of fabric choices:

  • 100% Cotton
  • Minky – 100% polyester, this is the softest, most comfortable fabric – many kids love running their hands over these soft balnkets
  • COOLMAX – 65% cotton & 35% polyblend, COOLMAX is a patented cooling fabric
  • Waterproof hospital fabric – A specialized, anti-microbial fabric that comes with a matching cotton cover

Sweetzer & Orange

Sweetzer & Orange weighted blankets are the most affordable blankets I’ve seen yet. There are only a couple pattern options, but they come with a machine washable cover that has the soft, minky fabric on one side.

They also use the high quality glass beads that are typically found in more expensive weighted blankets. Plus, you can find these blankets on Amazon.

Sweetzer and Orange Weighted Blanket for Kids

Best Weighted Blanket for Toddlers

If you’re looking for a weighted blanket for a toddler these are your best bet. Their smallest size is 3lb, while with most other brands the smallest size is 5lbs.

This means smaller children can use them safely. Their 3lb blanket is suitable for kids weighing 30-40lbs.

Florensi Weighted Blanket for Kids

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.

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