We all have days where we can’t seem to catch our breath or nights where sleep simply refuses to come. Worries and doubts are simply part of the human existence – or so it seems. In reality, feelings of restlessness, worry, and doubt that have a significant impact on your daily function and your quality of life could be something more – it could be anxiety.
Anxiety disorders are characterized by intense, excessive, and persistent feelings of worry and fear, typically about everyday situations. These feelings can come out of nowhere to bring you down, or they might be your constant companion, always hovering in the back of your mind.
If you experience anxiety, you’re not alone. In fact, anxiety disorders are the most common form of mental illness in the United States, affecting roughly 40 million adults each year.
Anxiety takes many forms, and it can come and go throughout the course of your day, or throughout your life. Though it may not be a life-threatening condition, it can certainly impact your quality of life, and it could prevent you from accomplishing or experiencing the things you want to. Treatment options are available, but they come with their own risks.
If you experience anxiety on a daily basis, you may be looking for a solution to help you cope with your symptoms on a day-to-day basis – something to help calm you down when your brain is operating on overdrive. If this sounds like you, it might be time to consider a weighted blanket for anxiety.
What is the Best Weighted Blanket for Anxiety?
What Causes Anxiety?
It’s completely normal to experience anxiety from time to time. Whether you’re anxious about a big presentation at work or you’re trying to work through a major life decision, it’s natural to be experience some worry and doubt. When anxiety starts to take over your life, however, it’s time to seek help.
There are many different forms of anxiety, though they are all characterized by a similar group of symptoms which may include the following, according to the Mayo Clinic:
- Nervousness, restlessness, and tension
- A sense of impending danger or doom
- Increased heart rate
- Rapid breathing, hyperventilation
- Sweating or trembling
- Difficulty concentrating on anything other than the anxiety
- Trouble falling or staying asleep
- Gastrointestinal symptoms
- Sensation of smothering or choking
- Irrational or excessive worry about an object or situation
- Recurrent, unwanted thoughts and/or repetitive behaviors
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services identifies the top five anxiety disorders as generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and social phobia or social anxiety disorder. The causes of these disorder are not fully understood, though some are triggered by traumatic life events (as is the case with PTSD). For some people, anxiety may be linked to an underlying medical problem such as heart disease, diabetes, thyroid problems, respiratory disorders, or chronic pain disorders. Anxiety may also be linked to substance abuse or withdrawal from substances such as drugs and alcohol.
Do Weighted Blankets Help with Anxiety?
There are many treatment options available for people with anxiety, though a solid diagnosis is the first step you need to take. With your doctor’s help, you can develop a treatment plan for managing and coping with your anxiety symptoms which, over time, may help you feel less anxious and more in control on a daily basis. Because treatments can take time to work, however, many anxiety sufferers seek a more immediate solution for day-to-day symptoms.
Weighted blankets are an excellent way to ease anxiety symptoms in the moment, and their benefits for anxiety sufferers are backed by science.
A weighted blanket is precisely what it sounds like – a blanket that incorporates weight, typically in the form of small beads or pellets that are sewn into pockets in the blanket material. Weighted blankets often look like normal blankets or comforters, but they contain materials like glass, plastic, or even natural materials like grains which are distributed evenly throughout the blanket to give it some weight. To use a weighted blanket, all you have to do is drape it across your lap or shoulders.
There are numerous studies that show the benefits of weighted blankets for anxiety. In one study, a sample of 32 adult anxiety sufferers used a 30-pound weighted blanket before undergoing various biological tests. The results of the study revealed that 33% of those who used the blanket experienced a decrease in nervous system activity (such as reduced blood pressure and heart rate) and 63% reported a decrease in anxiety symptoms.
We won’t bore you with a list of study results, but we do want to get into the science of how weighted blankets work for anxiety so you can decide whether it might be worth trying one for yourself. The benefits of weighted blankets for anxiety all have to do with something called deep touch pressure.
Deep touch pressure or DTP is a gentle, even distribution of pressure on the body that provides a soothing or calming sensation. Here are some of the science-backed benefits of DTP:
- It increases serotonin production in the brain which works in conjunction with other hormones to decrease heart rate, blood pressure, and anxiety while also regulating mood.
- It helps to reduce cortisol levels in the body – cortisol is a hormone closely linked to the body’s stress response.
- It decreases nervous system activity by impacting the vagus nerve – the nerve responsible for regulating blood pressure and heart rate.
In addition to providing these benefits, weighted blankets have been shown to improve sleep which is another major benefit for anxiety sufferers. In one study, people who used a weighted blanket on their bed at night reported a calmer night of sleep and reduced movement during sleep. They also reported a deeper, more comfortable sleep.
Different Types of Anxiety Weighted Blankets
Though everyone’s experience is different, there is plenty of science to support the use of weighted blankets for anxiety. If you’re considering this option for yourself, you may be wondering about the different types of anxiety weighted blankets.
Here is a quick overview of the different types of anxiety weighted blankets:
- Channel Construction – This type of weighted blanket features numerous compartments sewn in a channel design, each filled with the weighted material. This design offers more even distribution of the material than other designs and allows the material to move.
- Box Construction – This design is similar in appearance to a down-filled comforter – it is covered in individual boxes, each filled with the weighted material.
- Fully Sewn – These weighted blankets are all one piece – they do not have a removable, washable cover. They usually come in a wide range of sizes, however, and offer even distribution of the weighted materials.
- Removable Cover – Many weighted blankets feature a removable cover that you can throw in the washing machine. Pay attention to the way the cover is attached to the blanket as some designs are easier to get on and off than others.
While some weighted blankets are specifically marketed toward anxiety sufferers, you don’t necessarily have to purchase one of those. As long as you choose a blanket that is weighted appropriately for your size and for the desired benefit, it should help with your anxiety. Keep reading to learn what you should look for when shopping for weighted blankets.
Key Components of a Weighted Blanket for Anxiety
If you’re shopping for a weighted blanket for anxiety, you don’t necessarily have to purchase one that is marketed that way. In fact, it may be better to choose your blanket based on the individual components. Here are some of the components to look for in a weighted blanket for anxiety:
- Size – The size of the weighted blanket should be determined by the way you want to use it. If you’re simply using it to sit with on the couch, as small blanket may be sufficient to drape across your neck or shoulders. If you’re sleeping with the blanket, you may need to get one the size of your bed.
- Weight – The ideal weight for a weighted blanket is usually 5% to 10% of your bodyweight. For relieving anxiety symptoms, it’s generally best to be closer to the 10% end of the spectrum. For children, the blanket should weigh 10% of the child’s body weight plus 1 to 2 pounds.
- Filler – Weighted blankets can be filled with a variety of materials, both natural and synthetic. Glass beads are a popular option, as are plastic pellets. You can also find blankets filled with grains like millet or rice but avoid any made with lead.
- Fiber – The materials from which the blanket is made are definitely worth considering. Natural fibers like cotton and linen work well for people with sensitive skin and if you’re concerned about being too warm. If you’re looking for a blanket that offers added warmth, thick or synthetic materials might work. There are also blankets made from very soft materials like chenille or fleece.
Now that you know a little more about weighted blankets and the different types and features, you are ready to start shopping! Keep reading to learn about our top 7 picks for the best weighted blankets for anxiety to help you get started.
The 7 Best Weighted Blankets for Anxiety
Every weighted blanket is different, and it is up to you to choose the one that best suits your needs. If you’re looking for a little help getting started with your search, here are our top 7 picks for the best anxiety weighted blankets:
|Our Picks: Best Anxiety Weighted Blankets in 2019|
Overall Best Weighted Blanket for Anxiety: If you’re looking for an anxiety weighted blanket that comes in a wide range of weights, sizes, and colors, the Weighted Idea Cotton Weighted Blanket is an excellent choice. It comes in nine different weights ranging from 5 to 25 pounds in four different sizes – it also comes in five different colors or color combinations. This weighted blanket is made from 100% cotton materials with a weighted inner liner filled with premium materials. It is eco-friendly and made with small, evenly filled pockets to ensure even weight distribution and maximum comfort.
- Pros: Comes in a wide range of sizes and weights, premium cotton materials, eco-friendly, smaller pockets for even weight distribution, sand-sized pellets, extra lining for warmth
- Cons: Extra lining may make the blanket too warm for some, doesn’t come with a removable cover
6 More Top Rated Weighted Blankets for People with Anxiety
If the weighted blanket above doesn’t seem like the right fit, don’t worry – there are plenty of other options. Here are six more top rated weighted blankets for anxiety that we recommend:
The YnM Weighted Blanket is one of the more affordable anxiety weighted blankets on the market. This blanket comes in 10 different sizes and in weights ranging from 5 to 25 pounds, so there are plenty of options to choose from. It is made with a unique 7-layer design that conforms to the wearer’s body for maximum comfort, and the box construction ensures even distribution of the weighted material. This blanket utilizes premium glass beads and comes in a breathable cotton or soft minky fabric.
- Pros: Even distribution of weight, 5 to 25 pounds, breathable fabric, less fiber means better temperature control, comes with 3-year warranty
- Cons: May not withstand machine washing, seams may tear easily
Though the Good Knight Weighted Blanket is only available in three weights, it comes in a large 60×80-inch size that is perfect for teens and adults. This blanket is made from 100% premium cotton and features a box construction with each square filled with tiny non-toxic poly-pellets. It offers even distribution of the weighted material, and you can purchase a removable, washable duvet cover as well. Plus, it comes with a risk-free, 100% money back guarantee so you can return it if you’re not satisfied.
- Pros: Large 60×80-inch size for all ages, 100% premium cotton, box construction for even weight distribution, removable, washable duvet cover available, risk-free money back guarantee
- Cons: Only three different weights to choose from, only comes in one size, may be too warm for some
If you’re looking for a weighted blanket for anxiety that will be comfortable no matter what time of year it is, consider the Degrees of Comfort Weighted Blanket. This blanket comes with two different duvet covers that are both removable and washable. One is made from a cozy fleece material to keep you warm in winter, and the other is made from CoolMax microfiber to keep you cool in summer. This weighted blanket comes in five different weights from 6 to 25 pounds and four different sizes. IT features nano-ceramic bead technology as well, to ensure even distribution of comforting weight.
- Pros: Nano-ceramic bead technology, even distribution of weight, comes with two duvet covers, comes in five weights and four different sizes, durable materials with duralast fiber stitching
- Cons: May not be wide enough to share, sections are somewhat large which allows the weighted material to shift, covers are somewhat tricky to attach
What makes the Sonno Zona Weighted Blanket unique is that it is specifically designed for sleep. It is made from an ultra-soft minky fabric that is textured on one side and cashmere-smooth on the other so you can choose your sensory experience. This blanket comes with a cotton blanket and a duvet cover, so you stay comfortable all year-round, and it is machine-washable for easy cleaning. This weighted blanket is hypoallergenic and weighted with sand-like pellets in a quilted design for even weight distribution.
- Pros: Ultra-soft minky fabric, quilted design for even weight distribution, tiny sand-like pellets, two-sided for dual sensory experiences, comes with a cotton blanket and washable cover
- Cons: Only available in two weights (10 and 15 pounds), very expensive
If you’re looking for a weighted blanket that comes with a removable, washable cover for convenience, the Quility Premium Adult Weighted Blanket is an affordable option. This blanket comes in a wide range of sizes and in weights from 5 to 25 pounds. It is made from 100% breathable cotton fibers and filled with premium glass beads in a box construction to ensure even weight distribution. You’ll also be glad to know that it comes with a 100% customer satisfaction guarantee.
- Pros: Premium materials, 100% breathable cotton, premium glass beads, even weight distribution, duvet cover removable for cleaning and temperature control, 100% satisfaction guarantee
- Cons: Putting the cover back on can be difficult, cover is not made from natural fibers
For a weighted blanket that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg, consider the ZonLi Soft Weighted Blanket. This blanket comes in sizes ranging from 36×48-inches up to 80×87-inches and in weights from 5 to 30 pounds. It is available in a wide range of colors as well, and it is made from premium materials including 100% premium cotton with non-toxic pellets. This weighted blanket features a box construction for even distribution of weight and it can be used for sleeping or for daily use.
- Pros: 100% cotton materials, wide range of sizes, non-toxic pellet materials, box-construction for even weight distribution, machine washable
- Cons: Can be very warm in the summer, may be thinner than expected
FAQ regarding Anxiety and Weighted Blankets:
- Do weighted blankets really work for anxiety? – Though individual experiences vary, there is a great deal of scientific research that supports the use of weighted blankets for anxiety. A weighted blanket is not designed to be a replacement for medical treatment, but it can help you manage and cope with your symptoms on a day-to-day basis.
- How much weight should be in a weighted blanket? – The right amount of weight for a weighted blanket varies depending on several factors, but mostly your size. For children and young teens, therapists recommend a weighted blanket that is 10% of the child’s body weight plus 1 or 2 pounds. For adults, it should be about 10% of your body weight.
- Are weighted blankets safe for children with anxiety? – Children aren’t always able to identify or explain what they’re feeling, so when your child starts exhibiting signs of anxiety it may be up to you to seek the help they need. Though weighted blankets are not a substitute for medical treatment, they can help your child feel calmer and more at ease. Many children benefit from sleeping with a weighted blanket at night or sitting with one during the day.
Anxiety is an incredibly common condition and not something you should be ashamed of. Even if you’re not ready to talk to your doctor about your symptoms, you can still find relief with a weighted blanket. Take what you’ve learned here and try one of our top-rated weighted blankets for anxiety – you just might find the relief you’ve been craving.