Dismantling 7 Common Myths about Weighted Blankets
You’ve had your eye on weighted blankets for awhile, but you haven’t made the decision to buy yet. There’s a lot of information out there about weighted blankets, but none of it feels concrete. You’ve heard weighted blankets are all the rage, but you keep thinking, how do I know if it will work for me? You’ve heard weighted blankets are supposed to weigh 10-15% of your body weight, but boy that seems awfully heavy. If you weigh 200lbs, that would mean your blanket needs to be 20-25lbs. So, that’s probably what you’re going to buy, but what if that’s not actually what you need? What if it’s too heavy? What if it feels claustrophobic? What happens if you get your blanket and hate it? Why does this need to be so complicated? Easy answer? It doesn’t.
We’ve heard your plight, in fact, we’ve been exactly where you are. So today, we’re going to do some myth busting and break down 7 of the most common weighted blanket myths to help clear up some confusion.
Myth #1 - Your Weighted Blanket Should be 10% of Your Body Weight
Not only is this myth antiquated, it’s wrong. More weight does not equal more effectiveness. Unfortunately, this old formula isn’t using current neuroscience, but is still being used by most novelty weighted blanket companies on the market -- Novelty, because they’re being mass produced and have no medical proof of effectiveness. Their blankets are made up of large, evenly sized squares, each filled with tiny beads of shifting sandglass.
What you want is a blanket with very small squares and larger round glass beads in order to control the exact amount of concentrated weight, measured in precise ounces per square inch (vs. total weight of blanket).This controlled and even weight distribution maintains gentle contact with more nerves, activating the release of endorphins.
Having a “heavy blanket” does not ensure Deep Touch Pressure and therefore cannot ensure your nerves are being activated. Having large, evenly sized squares holding tiny sandglass beads is not the same thing as having an even distribution of weight that conforms to your body and effectively activates your nerves, releasing the endorphins that cause you to relax.
Myth #2 - Weighted Blankets are Hot
Most mass-produced weighted blankets are hot for several reasons.
One reason is... in an attempt to stop the shifting of the sand glass beads, they’ve added several layers of compressed polyester, or fluffy polyester fibers.
The additional filling blocks nerve activation, does not effectively solve the bead shifting problem, and makes the blanket increasingly hot.
Essentially, they have created a heavy winter comforter. If you add a duvet cover on top of the weighted blanket, which many mass-produced weighted blankets do, you’re going to trap even more body heat under the blanket.⠀
Here at CapeAble®, we have chosen fabrics that are cool to the touch and breathable, even with their luxurious feel. Our larger glass beads also allow for more airflow than sand glass. Many have noted that our blankets are so breathable, they do not provide adequate warmth.
However, it is important to remember, if you are a hot sleeper, your body heat will be trapped under any blanket or sheet you use, whether weighted or not.
Myth #3 - Weighted Blankets are Only for People with Special Needs
If weighted blankets are only for people with extreme cases of ADHD, anxiety, mental illness, PTSD, etc - Then we all must have an extreme need. The reality is that every single human benefits from the release of endorphins and the calming of our sympathetic nervous system.
We are an overworked, over-stressed, and exhausted society. We are more connected and disconnected than ever and because of this, we’re lonely, anxious and depressed.
Our muscle memory keeps us tense. It keeps our shoulders up by our ears, our buttocks clenched and our posture hunched over day in and day out. The evenly distributed weight of therapeutic weighted blankets allows the nervous system to send a signal to the brain that tells your entire body to relax. The consistent deep touch pressure acts as a massage on your muscles to release the tension and reminds you to breathe. Our central nervous systems need to be decompressed. They need that deep level of relief that comes from the release of stress and tension.
If you are someone with stress and have tense muscles, you would benefit from an effective therapeutic weighted blanket.
Myth #4 - Weighted Blankets are all the Same
Most weighted blankets are the same in that they’re focusing on the overall weight of the blanket. Everyone is operating under the belief that weighted blankets are heavy blankets, but that’s not what it’s all about. A weighted blanket should have weight to it, but overall weight isn’t good enough, and basing the quality of the blanket on overall weight, is missing the point. When you’ve got a weighted blanket made with large squares and plastic or sandglass beads, you’re going to be dealing with constantly shifting weight, rendering it ineffective.
Rather than asking, “How heavy is the blanket?” ask instead, “What is the overall size of the blanket and what is the distribution of weight per square inch of that blanket?”
CapeAble® weighted blankets utilize the smallest squares in the industry, coupled with the correct size and number of glass beads and no extra fillers, allowing for the effectiveness of the 3 C’s of Deep Touch Pressure - Conformity, Compression and Consistent Contact with every nerve, making it the most effective therapeutic blanket on the market.
Myth #5 - Weighted Blankets are Restrictive
This is both true and false. A 20-25lb sand bag is absolutely restrictive and can easily become a restraint. Anything that restricts freedom of movement is a restraint. For someone with previous trauma, that heavy, sand-laden blanket will cause the vagus nerve to send a signal to the brain that they’re being restrained and therefore, can cause a panic response.
If you’ve ever laid under a weighted blanket and felt claustrophobic or experienced any level of discomfort, this is likely why.
However, if the weight per square inch is controlled to maintain gentle and even nerve contact, you will be able to move freely while still experiencing a positive neurological release.
Myth #6 - Duvet Covers on Weighted Blankets are Superior
The reason many novelty weighted blankets are put inside duvet covers is because the blanket itself is too heavy to put in a standard washing machine. The solution to this was to add a duvet cover that can be removed and washed.
The reason these duvet covers are a burden is because:
- The ties and zippers that hold these duvet covers in place rip or break almost instantly under the pressure of the heaviness and shifting weight of the blanket. These ties and zippers also put a strain on the seams, causing the threads to pull, allowing the tiny sandglass beads to either leak out of the blanket and into your bed, or into other squares, causing further imbalance in the distribution of weight.
- They increase the amount of body heat trapped by the blanket, making you feel hotter.
- They are a nuisance to get on and off, easily tangling and causing a great deal of frustration.
A better solution, is a quality, weighted blanket that can be thrown in a standard washer and dryer without needing to be dismantled, which is exactly what CapeAble® has created in our weighted products.
Myth #7 - Sandglass Beads are Best
Much of the sandglass used in novelty weighted blankets is sourced from overseas and full of lead and other contaminants. Additionally, the size of the glass beads matter. Sandglass beads can only effectively activate your nerves when there is a lot of sandglass in each square. But adding that much sandglass would make the overall weight of the blanket unmanageable. It would also cause the blanket to become too dense and not allow for enough flexibility to conform and compress properly to your body shape and size.
The ideal is to have smaller squares and slightly larger beads. When we have the ideal size bead, we can make a blanket that doesn’t need to be jam packed and therefore lose it’s flexibility. The blanket will deliver true and precise Deep Touch Pressure for more nerve activation.
When founder and CEO of CapeAble® Weighted Products, Marna Pacheco, created the first CapeAble® weighted cape for her daughter Millie, she was looking for something that was not only effective, but attractive. She accomplished this by a great deal of trial and error. What does this mean for you? It means she has created an entire line of therapeutic weighted blankets and wearables that have broken a 30-year-old, antiquated formula and releases products that are providing the deep touch pressure Dr. Temple Grandin was looking for when she discovered the benefits of Deep Touch Pressure back in the early 90’s.
Our blankets come in a variety of colors, styles, and sizes in only the best quality, luxuriously soft, yet still breathable, fabrics. Browse through our store and choose your favorite.