- What are the Best Weighted Blankets for Restless Legs?
- What Causes Restless Leg Syndrome?
- Do Weighted Blankets Help Restless Legs?
- Different Types of Restless Leg Weighted Blankets
- Key Components of a Weighted Blanket for Restless Leg Syndrome
- The 7 Best Weighted Blankets for Restless Legs
- 6 More Top-Rated Weighted Blankets for People with Restless Legs
We all have days where it is nearly impossible to sit still. Whether you’re anxious about a significant event happening the next day or you’ve had too much coffee, restlessness is typically a temporary issue linked to a specific trigger. For some people, however, it’s something more – an uncontrollable urge to move accompanied by uncomfortable, even painful sensations in the legs.
This is called restless leg syndrome. Restless leg syndrome (RLS) affects anywhere from 4% to 15% of the American population and it is more common in women than men. Your risk for developing this disorder increases with age and, unfortunately, it is a lifelong disorder for many.
Though medical treatments for this disorder do exist, pharmaceutical drugs come with a risk of side effects and they may not completely eliminate your symptoms. If you’re looking for a more natural remedy to mitigate your restless leg symptoms, consider using a weighted blanket.
What are the Best Weighted Blankets for Restless Legs?
What Causes Restless Leg Syndrome?
Restless leg syndrome is also known as Willis-Ekbom disease and it is a condition that causes an uncontrollable urge to move the legs. In addition to that uncontrollable urge, many people also experience an uncomfortable sensation in their legs that beings after an extended period of sitting or lying down. These sensations have been described as creeping, crawling, pulling, throbbing, aching, and itching – for some, it may even have an electric quality to it.
In many cases, the cause of restless leg syndrome is difficult to determine, and, for some, it is related to another underlying condition. Generally speaking, RLS is considered a neurological problem but it is also classified as a sleep disorder or a movement disorder because movement is typically required to relieve symptoms. Some of the factors that may increase your risk of developing RLS include the following:
- Low iron levels in the blood
- Renal disease and hemodialysis
- Use of alcohol and/or caffeine
- Smoking cigarettes, tobacco use
- Certain medications
- Sleep deprivation, sleep disorders
Some people with restless leg syndrome experience brief periods of remission in the early stages of the disease. Unfortunately, the severity of symptoms tends to worsen over time and treatment becomes more of a concern. Keep reading to learn about weighted blankets as a potential treatment for restless leg syndrome.
Do Weighted Blankets Help Restless Legs?
Weighted blankets are exactly what they sound like – blankets that have a little extra weight to them. They look like your average blanket, but they are weighted with certain materials such as glass beads, plastic pellets, even rice or millet. These materials are evenly distributed through the blanket which makes them easy to use and easy to wash.
If you’re already familiar with weighted blankets, you may know of their benefits for anxiety disorders and for children with autism. Weighted blankets have a long history of use for these disorders, but new evidence suggests that they may be beneficial for sleep disorders including restless leg syndrome.
When it comes to the benefits of weighted blankets for restless legs, it is not an exact science. Some people with RLS find that the gentle, steady pressure of the weighted blanket on their legs helps calm the irritated nerves and soothe away uncomfortable sensations. This benefit is known as deep pressure touch stimulation (DPTS) and it has been proven effective in relieving aches and pains caused by various disorders which may interfere with healthy sleep.
Weighted blanket therapy has also been shown to promote serotonin and dopamine production in the brain, helping to relieve anxiety and promote more restful sleep. This benefit is particularly important for RLS sufferers because some studies suggest that low levels of iron in the brain can lead to dopamine deficiency. Because dopamine plays a role in producing smooth muscle movements, insufficiencies of this brain chemical may contribute to restless leg syndrome.
Different Types of Restless Leg Weighted Blankets
As weighted blanket therapy increases in popularity, more and more options become available. Today, weighted blankets are available in different weighs from 5 to 30 pounds (or more) and they are made with a variety of materials. Choosing the right weighted blanket depends on what you are using it for and what features are most important to you.
Here is a quick overview of the different types of restless leg weighted blankets:
- Box Construction – This type of weighted blanket looks similar to a down-filled comforter in that it consists of numerous boxes sewn into the blanket. Each of these boxes is filled with the weighted substance.
- Channel Construction – A channel-construction weighted blanket features a channel compartment design which distributes the weighted materials more evenly than a box-construction blanket. It also permits less movement of the weighted material for a softer, more soothing effect.
- Fully Sewn – These weighted blankets come fully sewn together which means that there is no removable cover. Most fully sewn weighted blankets offer even distribution of the weighted material and they come in a wide range of sizes.
You are unlikely to find a weighted blanket designed specifically for restless leg syndrome, so you’ll need to understand the basic components of a weighted blanket before you start shopping around. Keep reading to learn what you need to look for when shopping for weighted blankets.
Key Components of a Weighted Blanket for Restless Leg Syndrome
When shopping for weighted blankets, there are a few different components to look for. Once you know what the options are, you can start shopping around for the best weighted blanket to meet your needs. Here are some key components to consider in weighted blankets for restless legs:
- Weight – Weighted blankets range from 5 pounds to 30 pounds. For adults, it is recommended that you choose a blanket 5% to 10% of your bodyweight. For children, choose a blanket that is 10% of the child’s body weight plus 1 to 2 pounds.
- Fiber – The fiber from which the weighted blanket is made is very important. Natural fibers like cotton are important because they won’t irritate sensitive skin and they tend to breathe better. Synthetic fibers like polyester can become very hot when combined with the weight of the materials in the blanket. Minky weighted blankets are also very popular because they are soft.
- Material – The materials used to weight the blanket vary in size and weight. Common materials include glass beads, plastic pellets, and natural grains like millet or rice. Avoid blankets made with potentially hazardous materials like lead.
- Size – Weighted blankets come in a wide range of sizes, often dependent on their primary purpose. For example, weighted blankets for children are much smaller than weighted blankets for adults. These blankets may come in sizes big enough to use in bed while others are more like throw blankets. You can also find small blankets designed to drape over your shoulders.
- Comfort – In the end, choosing a weighted blanket is about which one makes you feel the best. Some people prefer soft materials like fleece or chenille while others prefer the lighter feel of linen. Try out a few different blankets to see what you like best.
Every weighted blanket is unique, so it’s up to you to decide which features are most important to you. Keep reading to learn about our top 7 picks for the best weighted blankets for restless leg syndrome.
The 7 Best Weighted Blankets for Restless Legs
Now that you understand the benefits of weighted blankets for restless leg syndrome and you’ve learned about the different types, you may be wondering where to go next. Now it’s time to start shopping for a weighted blanket! If you’re not sure where to begin, try one of our top 7 picks:
|Our Picks: Best Restless Leg Weight Blankets in 2019|
Overall Best Weighted Blanket Restless Leg Syndrome: Available in 10 different sizes and in weights ranging from 5 pounds to 25 pounds, the YnM Weighted Blanket is a popular choice. This blanket features a unique 7-layer design which conforms to the body, creating an even distribution of weight and warmth. It comes in a variety of colors and patterns as well, all in a breathable cotton or ultra-soft minky fabric. This blanket features the box construction with each box filled with more premium glass beads and less fiberfill to ensure optimal body temperature control. Plus, it is covered by a 3-year customer satisfaction guarantee.
- 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
6 More Top-Rated Weighted Blankets for People with Restless Legs
If the YnM Weighted Blanket doesn’t seem like the right choice for you, there are plenty of other options out there! Here are 6 more top-rated weighted blankets for people with restless leg syndrome:
If you’re looking for a breathable weighted blanket that comes in a wide range of sizes and is easy to clean, look no further than the ZonLi Breathable Weighted Blanket. Available in weights ranging from 5 to 30 pounds, this blanket also comes in sizes small enough for children and large enough to cover a king bed. This blanket comes in an assortment of neutral colors including brown, black, beige, and grey, featuring a box-construction design for even distribution of non-toxic pellets. Best of all, this blanket consists of a weighted inner blanket made from 100% premium cotton with a removable, washable duvet cover. It is 100% machine washable for easy cleaning.
- 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
If comfort is your primary concern, the Harkla Weighted Blanket for Adults is a great choice. This weighted blanket features a soft, minky fabric with tiny glass beads sewed directly into the material. It feels just like a regular comforter and can be used for sleep at night or for comfort during the day. This weighted blanket is easy to wash with a 2-piece removable duvet cover and it comes with a lifetime guarantee. Choose from six different weights ranging from 5 pounds to 25 pounds in a variety of color combinations including blue, green, grey, purple, and black. In addition to providing weighted comfort, this blanket also creates multiple sensory inputs with the minky fabric and bead filling.
- Pros: Very soft, removable 2-piece duvet cover for easy washing, even weight distribution, sensory input, several weights and multiple color combinations
- Cons: Very expensive for the larger sizes, cotton filling may make it too warm for some users
Available in a wide range of sizes for kids and adults, the Quility Premium Weighted Blanket is a great option for people with restless leg syndrome. Choose from six color combinations, eight sizes, and weights ranging from 5 to 25 pounds. This weighted blanket is constructed from premium materials including 100% breathable natural cotton fiber with premium glass beads. The beads are sewn into tiny polyester pockets for even weight distribution with two layers of microfiber to keep them in place. The blanket itself is soft to the touch with a polyester duvet cover that is removable for washing or to keep you cool on hot nights. Plus, 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
If you’re going to spend the money to buy a weighted blanket, you want to get the maximum benefit possible which is exactly what you get with the Rocabi Luxury Weighted Blanket. This weighted blanket features a weighted cotton blanket and not one, but two removable covers. One cover is made from an ultra-soft minky material and the other from 100% organic cotton. Choose the minky cover when warmth and comfort are the order of the day and the cotton cover when you want to keep cool. The weighted blanket is filled with premium glass beads for superior weight distribution and the ultimate in sensory feedback. Choose from two different sizes and three different weights to suit your needs.
- Pros: Weighted blanket and two removable covers, heavy glass bead filling, even weight distribution, minky cover for warmth, cotton cover for breathability, covers easy to remove and wash
- Cons: Limited array of sizes and weights, expensive to purchase the bundle
Weighted blankets can be very expensive, but the CuteKing Weighted Blanket is an affordable option that still offers quality and comfort. This weighted blanket is made of 100% breathable cotton fibers filled with glass beads for an even distribution of calming weight. The blanket doesn’t come with a removable cover but is washable on a gentle setting. This weighted blanket comes in three sizes and two different weights, primarily geared toward adult users. It features unique sewing technology to keep the beads where they belong and to create a more reliable experience.
- Pros: Affordable price, 100% breathable cotton fibers, glass beads for weight, even weight distribution
- Cons: Limited availability for sizes and weights, no removable cover, not as durable as some models
Designed specifically for sleeping, the Deluxe Calmforter Premium Weighted Blanket features exclusive Evenflor technology that makes you feel as if you are being hugged to sleep. This blanket comes in five different color combinations with a two-sided exterior. One side features a soothing, silk-like material and the other is covered in SensaDot for sensory input. This weighted blanket features a 2-part construction for easy washing and for durability, plus the cover is easy to zip on and off. The only problem is that it only comes in a 12-pound weight and 60×80-inch size.
- Pros: Two-sided exterior, SensaDot texture provides sensory input, 2-part construction for washing and durability, even weight distribution, 7 color choices
- Cons: Only available in one size and weight, may be too warm for some users
If you or a loved one suffer from restless leg syndrome, you may be desperate to try anything that might relieve your discomfort. Weighted blankets have been clinically proven to reduce anxiety and to soothe symptoms of restless leg syndrome, all without the side effects and risks that come with pharmaceutical treatment. If you’re curious to try weighted blankets for yourself, try one of our top-rated picks above!