How to Use a Weighted Blanket to Catch Better Zzz’s

December 18, 2020 | Casper Editorial Team
a weighted blanket a weighted blanket a weighted blanket

Sleeping with a weighted blanket (also called a gravity blanket) is like receiving a hug all night long. The gentle pressure of a weighted blanket helps relax and calm the body, allowing you to slip into the perfect slumber. 

If anxiety, insomnia, or stress impacts your sleep, it’s the perfect night time companion to help you achieve the deep sleep you’re longing for. If you’re not sure how to use a weighted blanket, the tips below will guide you to make the most of its calming benefits.

Using a Weighted Blanket: Tips + Guidelines 

A weighted blanket can be used similarly to any other blanket. How you choose to use it will depend on your preferences and personal sleep habits.

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Think about what your goals are for sleep, then consider these general tips to use a weighted blanket in your nighttime routine.

  1. Test it out for comfort: There’s no right or wrong time to use your weighted blanket, however many people choose to use it overnight. Tailor it to your sleep routine, ensuring it’s cozy and calming.  
  2. Replace your current comforter or use both: A weighted blanket can replace the comforter or duvet you currently use, or you can use them both. If you choose to use both, the weighted blanket can be placed either on top or below your bedding. It’s all about your preference! 
  3. Cover your entire body: For full relaxation, cover your entire body from your shoulders down to your feet. If needed, you can use just half of the blanket (over your legs) for the first few days to let your body adjust. Lying on your back can help evenly distribute the weight, but by no means is it required.  
  4. Use the blanket consistently over time: To achieve the long-term benefits, make it a regular part of your routine. 
  5. Track improvements in your sleep patterns: Consider tracking your energy levels or sleep cycles as your body and mind adapts to using the blanket.

Can You Use a Weighted Blanket All Night?

illustration of a woman sleeping with a weighted blanket

The amount of time you use your weighted blanket is up to you. Some sleep consultants recommend using it for 20 to 30 minutes at a time, while others sleep with it overnight. As you test it out, decide based on your preferences and what you find is most comfortable.

 How Long to Use a Weighted Blanket

The light pressure will help you feel instantly more relaxed, so there’s no specific time frame on how long to use a weighted blanket. For long-term benefits, it depends on how often you use it. Some people may need consistent use over time to develop healthier sleep patterns. We’re all wired differently, so just like with any other habit — consistency is key.

Are Weighted Blankets Good for Side Sleepers?

Sleeping with a weighted blanket can offer benefits no matter how you like to sleep. If you’re a side sleeper, consider purchasing one on the lighter side since the weight won’t be as evenly distributed if you were to sleep on your back. 

Who Should Not Use a Weighted Blanket?

When used properly, weighted blankets are safe for most adults and kids. While there are very few risks, below are a few groups and exceptions to consider.

  • For young kids: Weighted blankets can pose a safety hazard for small children under the age of three or that weigh less than 50 pounds. Always consult with your pediatrician for their recommendations and use adult supervision. 
  • For pregnant women: Weighted blankets can be helpful during pregnancy if you’re having trouble getting a good night’s rest. Check with your doctor for any risk factors specific to your pregnancy beforehand.  
  • For seniors: When it comes to sleeping as you age, a weighted blanket may offer relief for sleep problems. If you have any health conditions, always consult your doctor before use. 
  • For those with health concerns: If you have sleep apnea, respiratory issues, or other concerns, err on the side of caution and confirm with your doctor that it’s safe to sleep with a weighted blanket.

How to Choose a Weighted Blanket

No one wants to feel overheated or trapped by a blanket in their sleep. To find the perfect fit, consider these factors when shopping for a weighted blanket.

three weighted blankets stacked on top of each other
  1. Weight: For optimal comfort, your blanket should be the correct size for your body weight. The ideal size is what’s closest to 10 percent of your body weight. Usually, a weighted blanket should be between 10 to 20 pounds for adults.
  2. Fabric: The fabric should be both breathable and comfortable. Casper’s cotton cover helps circulate air away from your body, keeping you comfortably cool.
  3. Construction: The material in the blanket that makes it weighted (such as Casper’s microbead fill) should be evenly distributed.

If you feel like you can’t move under your blanket, look for one that is lighter. What’s most important is your comfort, so feel free to test out different sizes to find the perfect fit.

Can a Weighted Blanket Be Too Heavy?

Yes, it can be too heavy if you don’t use the correct size. Aim for one that’s 10 percent of your body weight or read the manufacturer’s guidelines. When testing it out, think about the Goldilocks principle. It should be heavy enough to exert gentle pressure, but not too heavy that it’s uncomfortable or restricts any movement — it should feel just right!

Benefits of Using a Weighted Blanket 

If you’re a cozy blanket person, the benefits of a weighted blanket are tenfold. The weighted blanket uses deep pressure stimulation (DPS) to hug your body and help you relax. The light pressure is known to calm the nervous system, trigger the release of natural chemicals like serotonin, and reduce stress.   

Because of the amazing benefits, weighted blankets are a popular alternative therapy solution for people with anxiety, insomnia, restless leg syndrome, ADHD, or autism. Think of it like an aid to help you fall (and stay) asleep, achieving a better night’s rest. 

Choose a weighted blanket that promises a better night of sleep all year round. When using a weighted blanket, it can be helpful to include cozy sheets to complete the perfect, dreamy sleep set.