Consumer Reports

Weighted Blankets Might Improve Your Sleep

Consumer Reports explores the rising sales of weighted blankets and what you should look for while shopping for one.

NBC Universal, Inc.

These days it feels like the list of things keeping us awake at night is never-ending. If you’re looking for a way to get some shut-eye, maybe you’re considering a weighted blanket.

Some say it’s an insomnia reliever, and it’s growing in popularity. Lots of people swear by them, but are they right for you? Consumer Reports has you covered with some shopping tips if you’re looking to buy.

What exactly is a weighted blanket?

It’s a quilted blanket that has little pockets filled with glass or plastic beads. The pockets keep the beads from shifting around while you’re sleeping.

Many find the weight comforting. The blankets have been used for years for kids with autism.

Sales of weighted blankets have been climbing. A sleep expert says although there isn’t a lot of evidence-based research on whether they work, her patients like them.

Will they work for you?

Consumer Reports’ testing looked at weight and warmth. It found that blankets sold with the same weight could vary in size, changing the pressure you feel. 

For example, the 70x48-inch Gravity blanket weighs about 10 ounces per square foot, while the larger YnM Weighted Blanket weighs about 7 ounces per square foot.

Are weighted blankets hot?

CR used a device dubbed the Tin Man to measure each blanket’s heat retention. Models with duvet covers were slightly warmer, but all the blankets add about the same amount of warmth that you’d get from a fluffy down comforter.

Manufacturers say you should pick a weighted blanket that’s around 10% of your body weight. So if you weigh 150 pounds, you should choose a 15-pound weighted blanket.

Sleep experts say that we spend about a third of our life sleeping. There are other ways to help make it great. They recommend avoiding caffeine at night and watching or reading anything that's agitating or disturbing to you. And don’t force yourself to go to bed when your body's not ready for sleep yet.

Consumer Reports says that a good reason to improve your sleep habits and get a good night of shut-eye is that good sleep is tied to your immune system. The better you sleep, the better your body’s ability to fight off viruses.

Contact Us