Weighted Blankets vs Heated Blankets – What’s Right For You?
When pitting weighted blankets vs heated blankets, the difference is in the names. Heated blankets add warmth, while weighted blankets can relieve stress and boost sleep via the extra mass. If you run very cold at night, you may choose one. If you want a relaxation boost, consider the other
Heated blankets have electrical wiring running throughout that allows the user to crank up the temperature if they want.
Weighted blankets use their weight to provide therapeutic deep touch pressure, delivering a stress-reducing effect.
Both blankets have very different purposes, but weighted blankets have more science that supports them being a sleep aid.
Did you know?
In addition to heated blankets, there are smaller products for those who are worried about overheating. For example, if you hve poor circulation, you might try a heated foot pad in bed.
Searching for bedding that will bring sleepy time to newer, comfier heights? Do you have weighted blankets vs heated blankets in the final rubber match?
The two bedding options are popular for very different reasons, and both can be a great choice depending on your needs. But if you’re looking to go with one over the other, there are a pile of factors to sift through, such as physical and mental needs.
What Are Weighted Blankets?
Weighted blankets began as a therapeutic tool used to help ground patients suffering the anxiety-inducing side effects of conditions like autism. In fact, the effect produced by these blankets is referred to as just that – grounding.
They’ve gone mainstream since then, coming in many shapes and sizes, but what they all have in common is that they’re heavy. And because of that extra weight they’re able to provide deep touch pressure, simulating the reassuring feeling of a nice hug
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What Are Electric Blankets?
Electric blankets, or heated blankets, are blankets with wiring running throughout that can be plugged into an electrical outlet. When hooked up, heat spreads throughout, keeping the user toasty warm.
These blankets are popular among those who have poor circulation, like the elderly. However, they can be used by anyone.
Other than the wiring that gets the party started, most heating blankets have another thing in common. They typically are made with a polyester cover that works as a mild flame retardant. Most heated blankets also come with adjustable gauges for those who want to change their heat level.
Benefits Of Using A Weighted Blanket
Put simply, the benefit of using a weighted blanket is that it provides a calming effect. Studies have shown that they help to reduce levels of the stress hormone cortisol and can even lower the user’s blood pressure and heart rate.
It can also boost serotonin levels, the feel-good hormone. Putting it all together, you have a tool that can benefit people of many backgrounds. Here are just a few of the people who may benefit the most from a weighted blanket:
- Those with anxiety symptoms, like what autistic people can experience.
- Those with depression.
- Those who have trouble falling asleep.
- Those dealing with chronic pain.
Benefits Of A Heated Blanket
When it comes to heated blankets, the main reason to use them is if you’re having trouble maintaining a comfortable temperature at night. This could be because you live in a colder climate and have little insulation. It could also come down to your biology since many people have poor circulation that leads to chills.
Which One Is Better For You?
Those trying to settle the weighted blanket vs heated blanket debate face an uphill battle. The two serve very different functions, so it’s hard to say once and for all which is better.
However, if your goal is to improve your sleep, you may want to stay away from the heated stuff. One study from 1999 found that heated blankets used during the night led to a significant decrease in sleep efficiency and increased awakenings. Another study found that they had a negative effect on stage 1 and REM sleep specifically.
In comparison, studies have shown that weighted blankets can improve sleep by increasing melatonin production. Their anti-anxiety effect may also help those who have troubles falling asleep to begin with.
With that said, heated blankets are a great option for watching TV on a chilly night, just as weighted blankets can be.
How To Choose The Right Size And Weight
When figuring out the right weighted blanket size, the general rule of thumb is to find one that’s roughly 10% of your body weight. For example, our Cotton Napper comes in 15, 20, and 25 lbs, making it ideal for 150, 200, and 250 lb people. Your weighted blanket can be a little bigger or smaller, though.
Our weighted blankets also come in different sizes, some meant for sleeping with and others meant for travelling with, like the Travel Napper that comes in a duffel bag.
Many people find weighted blankets to be most effective when the weight is evenly spread from shoulders to toes, so take a look at the dimensions if you have a blanket in mind.
How To Clean And Care For A Weighted Blanket
Every weighted blanket is different, but many have individual pockets with beads sewn in throughout the entire area. These blankets normally cannot be machine washed, so manufacturers advise using washable casings.
Our weighted blankets, like the Napper, are hand-knitted with weighted yarn that’s 100% machine washable. Just toss them in a cold wash and tumble dry on low – try to avoid hang-drying as it can stretch out the knitted loops.
Got more questions about weighted blankets vs heated blankets? We’ve got answers.
What Is The Difference Between A Weighted Blanket And A Heated Blanket?
The difference between a weighted blanket and a heated blanket is that heated blankets have electrical wiring that plugs into an outlet to keep the blanket toasty warm. Weighted blankets normally don’t involve electricity at all.
The purpose of each blanket is also different. Heated blankets are designed to keep the user warm while the purpose of weighted blankets is to provide a cozy anchor that delivers deep touch pressure throughout the body. This therapeutic force can have de-stressing effects.
Is A Weighted Blanket Warm Enough For Winter?
Weighted blankets can be warm enough for winter on their own for some, but it depends on the temperature of the house and the design of the blanket. Bearaby designed many of its weighted blankets to be breathable for the summer months, but there are also winter-friendly versions like the Velvet Napper. You can also toss a light duvet on just in case.
Other weighted blankets are often packed with heat-absorbing filler like plastic beads. These can lead to overheating in the summer but may be a warm enough cover on their own in the winter.
Is It OK To Use A Weighted Blanket All Night?
It’s totally okay to use a weighted blanket all night as long as it’s the right weight for you. In general, they should be 10% of your body’s total weight, but you can safely go a little heavier if necessary.
However, if not sized properly, weighted blankets can be uncomfortable, especially for younger children. Some less breathable weighted blankets can also become too hot throughout the night and lead to poor sleep.
Can You Use A Weighted Blanket With A Heated Blanket?
You shouldn’t use a weighted blanket with a heated blanket for sleeping because the combination is likely to lead to an overheated sleeping environment. Since the body’s core temperature needs to drop to get a good night’s rest, this could mean poor sleep efficiency and more nighttime wake-ups.
On top of that, it’s possible that the pressure from the weighted blanket may interfere with the wiring in the heated blanket if placed on top. This could end with a broken blanket at best, and a safety hazard at worst.
Comparing heated blankets and weighted blankets is a little bit like apples and oranges. The purpose of heated blankets is to provide warmth that can sometimes damage sleep patterns, but it can be a great comforter for the couch.
On the other hand, weighted blankets like the Napper can be used in both situations. The deep touch pressure they provide reduces cortisol and increases serotonin, allowing some to fall asleep faster. Using one could make falling asleep – and staying there – a breeze.