Occupational therapist on the subject - weighted blankets
Due to many questions about the weight of the weighted blanket, use, size and type of filling, we decided to ask a specialist for advice and more specialized information about the weighted blankets.
We are convinced that the answers to the most frequently asked questions will help you to select the most suitable weight of your weighted blanket for your needs and personal requirements.
In the first part of the text you will learn more about the characteristics of a weighted blanket and you will get more information about their functioning from the ergotherapist. In the last part of the article you will find answers from the manufacturer to the most frequently asked questions.
- What is the most common use of the weighted blankets? To whom do you recommend them?
Weighted blankets are often used by people who have difficulty switching off and calming down in the evening. The weight creates pressure on the skin and joints which helps people to feel their own body more and thus to be in better contact with themselves.
You can compare it with giving a strong hug that gives you a calm and good feeling. In children the blankets are often used when there is autism or ADHD. The blankets are often used to support sensory integration therapy or senso-motor therapy.
- How to choose the weight and size of an weighted blanket?
This is very individual. As a rule we take 10 to a maximum of 25 % of the body weight. When choosing the right weight, the size of the blanket also plays an important role. The larger the size, the higher the weight of the blanket should be. The weight is evenly distributed over the entire size of the blanket. In practice I see better results with slightly heavier weight than with the bottom range (10%).
- Which blankets are recommended for small children who have difficulty falling asleep due to too many stimuli?
In addition to the weight and size rule, it is important to realize that therapy compliance is increased if there is motivation to use the product. A nice print appeals more to children than for example a plain black blanket. The FUN en JOY series is especially popular with children.
- Are these blankets used on another blanket or directly on the body?
Weighted blankets are basically used directly on the skin for the best effect, but it is also possible to place a normal blanket in between.
- What do you recommend for an adult person with an autism spectrum, 170 cm high and about 70 kg. What is the best blanket weight and size for such a person?
The choice of weight is a very individual question. Each person reacts differently. Some need a stronger pressure and the 25% bodyweight weight blanket works fine for them, others will be satisfied with a 10% body weight blanket. However, you can take the rules into consideration. In terms of size, the blanket should be able to cover the body from the shoulders to the foot. As a rule, this means that for an adult of 70kg, a weighted blanket of at least 7kg or heavier is recommended.
- And as for children, do you recommend using larger blankets during growth or a smaller size to fit the children to their current height?
For children, it is important that the child cannot get entangled in the blanket. Therefore, supervision is always necessary! A child should never use a blanket that is too big, and it should fit the size of the child, and the bed or crib.
In addition to the use of heavy blankets, there are also good results known with the use of weighted vests or weighted pillows. These have the advantage that they can be used multiple times during the day, and can therefore also be used in the school setting. An environment where children often have a lot of stimuli around them, and where they often benefit from a way to relax.
- Are there risks associated with the use of the weighted blankets? Are there age limits, e.g. for babies?
There is always a need for supervision in the use of weighted blankets because the effects can vary for everyone. It is important that the blanket is never too heavy for the user or too big for the child.
We would like to thank you for sharing your knowledge and experience with us. All the advice is very valuable for us and certainly for our future customers.