Frequently Asked Questions

before you get started

1. Intro

What is a weighted blanket?

In its simplest form, a weighted blanket is just that: a blanket that is intentionally heavier than a standard blanket.

Remember how it felt to crawl underneath one of your great-grandmother’s quilts and how the heaviness of it felt comforting? It’s kinda like that.

What does it do and who uses it?

I know, I know — that’s really two questions. But it’s hard to answer one without addressing the other. So I’ll give it a go.

The deep pressure sensation of a weighted blanket covering the body is like a massage, and has been described by some to be like “a big hug”. The deep pressure is relaxing and calming, which is especially useful for sleep. Special attention is paid to the texture of the blanket for those who are particularly touch-sensitive. Weighted blankets first gained their popularity among children and adults with sensory processing disorder (SPD). A person can have SPD alone or alongside other diagnoses.

Additionally, weighted blankets have been helpful for those affected by insomnia as well as chronic pain such as fibromyalgia and restless leg syndrome. The use of a weighted blanket is an excellent coping strategy for decreasing stress, increasing focused thought, and combating cravings for those who live with depression, mania, anxiety, psychosis, paranoia, trauma or who are undergoing detoxification.

Hands down, weighted blankets have a profound and effective non-pharmaceutically-based effect on the user that helps them “self-organize”, decrease anxiety, and relax. They can be used both during a crisis state and as a preventative.

If you’re looking for more information, check out some of these blog posts:

What is sensory processing disorder?

One person describes our senses (sound, taste, touch, smell, vision, proprioceptive, and vestibular) as being like cups — some of us have big cups and some of us have small cups, and we can have big cups and small cups in different senses at the same time. When our cup is large, we can’t get enough stimulation or input, and continue to seek that input. When our cup is small, we are easily overwhelmed by that input and can react to that very strongly. One of the things that an occupational therapist will do is work with someone to help them find the input they are seeking and/or help them grow their ability to handle stimulation that overwhelms them.

When and where could I use my weighted blanket?

Weighted blankets and lap pads can be used:

  • for focusing at work.
  • during non-sleeping hours as a coping strategy,
  • to avoid or settle after meltdowns (admit it — we have them, too).
  • for coping with and working thru emotions associated with a traumatic event and/or PTSD
  • for stress and anxiety relief

By far, the top reason that my customers (that’s you!) purchase a weighted blanket is SLEEP. The calming properties, the relaxation, the sense that all is right in the world: all those things promote sleep — getting to sleep, getting to a deep sleep, staying asleep. Customers who have struggled with sleep for years report finally being able to sleep ALL NIGHT after beginning to use a weighted blanket.

If a weighted blanket is too large to be appropriate for the setting (like at work or in school) a weighted lap pad is the perfect substitute.

 

How do I know if I might need one?
  • Do you already sleep with a ton of blankets on because you enjoy the weight/pressure?
  • Do you have that problem where you pile up so many blankets for the weight/pressure but then you get too hot?
  • Do you press your body into the couch in an attempt to find that pressure?
  • If you placed a heavier pillow on your shoulders while you laid down, does that help you relax and/or sleep better?
  • Do you find blankets to be a thing of comfort and can’t imagine how someone ever sleeps with just a sheet?

If you answered yes to any of those questions, then chances are you would really enjoy a weighted blanket.

If the thought of being under a heavy blanket increases your anxiety or all you can think about is getting it OFF, then a weighted blanket would not be your best option.

Click here for more ways to test and see if a weighted blanket is right for you

What is the science behind it?

One of the quirks of my personality is that I prefer to base my decisions on information, not just gut feelings. If this were the Gilmore Girls, I’d be Rory, with her pro/con lists and data-driven, research based decisions. So, in the back of my mind, as I have answered questions from customers or others interested in what I do, I’ve always wondered about two things:
– How can someone know if a weighted blanket is right for them before buying?
– What does the research say about the effectiveness of weighted blankets?

I decided I needed to have the answer.

And I know that some of you are like Shannon:

Shannon is skeptical of solutions that are widely touted as natural problem solvers, but have little to no scientific backing.
Not because she doesn’t want to believe them; she does. 

She simply has very strong feelings about companies with claims that over-reach and are unsubstantiated, particularly when those promises and products come with a high price-tag. 

If the claims are true, a weighted blanket would be worth its weight in gold… but she wants to see the research—and so she should.

So I thought I’d write a blog post about it.

I started to do some research, and all the sudden, my blog post was 14 pages long!

Apparently, the answers to my questions were worth writing home about, because once I got started, I wrote, and wrote, and wrote some more.

I know that not everyone is like me… not EVERYONE wants to be instantly transported back to college and actually READ peer-reviewed research (I know, what a nerd I am).

I switched gears.

Instead of [just] a blog post, I went ahead and turned it into a short e-book. BASED on peer-reviewed research (complete with references and links in case you want to check my work) you can find out research supports the use of weighted blankets (do they really work?) and if a weighted blanket is right for YOU. All that BEFORE you buy. How cool is that?

You can download the e-book for free from this post

But what if you don’t really want to read an e-book, either? ‘Cause let’s face it. You might not really have the spoons/energy for all that until AFTER you get your weighted blanket. But you don’t want to buy a weighted blanket until you know what the research says….
Yeah, that could be a problem.

Except it’s not.

In the back of the book (and a couple of other bonus spots sprinkled throughout), I included a link to an Assessment that asks all the pertinent questions to help you assess whether or not a weighted blanket would be a good fit for you. (If you skip the e-book and head straight to the Assessment, I won’t be mad, I promise!)

Who should NOT use a weighted blanket?

Weighted blankets are inappropriate for users who have

  • breathing difficulties (like asthma or sleep-apnea),
  • difficulty regulating blood pressure,
  • fragile skin,
  • circulation problems,
  • or diabetes.

 

  • Do not use while a child has a skin rash or open wounds.
  • Use caution using a blanket designed for someone bigger and heavier.
  • Do not use with children under 2yo — the results could be fatal.
  • Weighted blankets are not to be used as restraints — the results could be fatal.

Also see: 5 Safety Tips for When you Use your Weighted Blanket

2. Options

How is it weighted?

  • Poly-pellets which have the texture of tiny plastic pebbles
  • Glass beads which have the texture of sand

There are two things to consider when choosing between poly pellets and glass beads: bulk and texture.

Most adults don’t need a blanket weighted to 30lbs, so bulk may not be too much of an issue. Because of the size of the glass beads, using glass beads instead of poly pellets totally changes the thickness of the blanket, making for a slimmer, less bulky blanket.

Glass beads also have a different texture in the finished blanket. While thicker fabrics like fleece and minky can hide the texture of the poly pellets (which is similar to that of tiny pebbles), and that texture is not a problem for everyone, glass beads are the perfect alternative for those who would be irritated by the feeling of tiny pebbles in their blanket.

Glass beads are my favorite, in terms of the final product. For those who have texture aversions, it is worth the investment.
Poly-pellets continue to be the more economical choice.

Is it washable?

The basics (the TL;DR) are these: All the blankets I make are washable.

To keep your blanket in tip-top shape, wash separately, in a cool wash with gentle detergent (no chlorine bleach or fabric softener) and either hang dry or tumble dry on low.

Very large adult blankets (over 20lbs) must be washed in a commercial machine. To avoid extra trips to the laundromat, I recommend using or purchasing a duvet cover.

 

What fabrics/prints do you use?

There are a lot of fish in the sea, or, rather, fabrics in the proverbial fabric shop. All the choices could really get confusing!

There are 6 fabric types, in my experience, that are really good for weighted blankets:

  • Kona cotton broadcloth (a high-quality, smooth 100% cotton),
  • flannel
  • soft fleece
  • minky (extra-soft — you’ve probably seen this used for baby blankets)
  • silk-cotton blend

If you would like to take a look at what pros/cons each one brings to the table, and what you should consider as you choose, head on over to this post.

Almost any style print can be found in a cotton print; the variety of minky & fleece options continues to grow. If you are looking for a particular print, contact me here.

Can you make a very heavy/large blanket?

Yes. and Yes. Most of the blankets I make are for adults, and many of those are larger than 20lbs. For very heavy blankets, I can weight them with poly-pellets; I highly recommend using glass-beads as they have a lower profile and are less bulky.

The largest blanket I have made to date is 90×90″. I’m pretty sure I’ve got you covered. If the size you need isn’t listed in my shop, contact me.

What else do I need to know?

A lot of people at least temporarily consider making their own blanket. If this is you, here are 8 questions you should consider before you start.

One of the other considerations is regarding cost. Most likely, if you’re here, you’ve done your research. You’ve tried all the things. You are are sick and tired of being sick and tired, and you are ready to INVEST in your health. If this is you, here are my thoughts on what you should pay for a weighted blanket.

3. Ordering

Can I get a sample?

It is important to me that you are 100% satisfied with your fabric and weight choices before you purchase. If you are interested in swatches or a set of sample squares to compare poly pellets versus glass beads, contact me.

How do I place an order?
If you are ordering an item that is in-stock, or a custom item that is already listed, just follow the checkout process.
  • Add the item to your cart,
  • click “checkout”
  • provide shipping information
  • provide payment information
  • click to receive emails — I’ll send you helpful information about your new blanket
  • confirm the purchase

If you are looking for something special, contact me, and I will create a unique listing just for you. After I send you the link, you can checkout as outlined above.

Can I order for my son/daughter, spouse/friend?

Yes. Be sure that you’re getting a fabric that they would find textually pleasing, and an appropriate amount of weight.

How heavy should my blanket be?

You can select a weight for your weighted blanket with confidence!

After you’ve read that ^^ post, here a few of the highlights:

First off (and because I’m not a health care provider): when ordering a weighted blanket, always follow the recommendations of your occupational therapist.

Studies have shown that adults can handle up to 30lbs with no additional safety concerns, provided there are no other contraindications (see: Who should NOT use a weighted blanket?) and that adult can manipulate and remove the blanket at will.

Due to the lack of safety studies for children, a general recommendation is that the blanket be weighted to 10% of the user’s body weight. The child should be able to manipulate and remove the blanket at will (which makes weighted products inappropriate for very young toddler & babies).

Children should use the weighted blanket under adult supervision. When using the blanket as a sleep aid, the blanket should be removed after the child falls asleep, and reapplied if the child wakes during the night.

You can find additional safety information in my e-book, which you can download [free] here.

When will my blanket be ready?

All blankets (even those listed as in-stock) are weighted after the order is placed.

  • For custom orders where I have to special-order fabric, I will have the blanket finished, packaged, and to the shipper within 4-5 weeks.

I ship domestically (to the US) via USPS Priorityand UPS Ground, with delivery tracking and insurance.

  • Shipping to the US is FREE
  • Depending on where you live within US, the package can take 2-6 days to arrive after it is shipped out.
  • I will send an email when your package ships, and include your tracking number, so you can be on the lookout for your package.
  • I am willing to ship internationally; keep in mind that due to the heavy weights, the shipping prices are quite prohibitive. If you would like me to ship internationally, please contact me prior to purchase. International shipping costs will be charged in addition to your purchase.
What payment methods do you take?
I accept credit card, debit card, and Paypal purchases.
If you are ordering thru a school or OT’s office and need to mail a check, contact me prior to purchase.
I will begin working on your project as soon as payment has been received.
What about refunds or exchanges?

Every order is a custom order:
Cancellations made prior to shipment will receive a 75% refund.
The only condition eligible for full refund is if your blanket is damaged in shipping.

I have been shipping blankets via UPS and USPS since 2012 and only once have I had to file an insurance claim for a blanket damaged in transit. In the unfortunate event that this takes place again, here is the refund process:

  • Notify me immediately: lora AT lorasweightedblankets DOT com with pictures of the box, the blanket, and a written description of each.
  • I will file an insurance claim; this process will require
    • pictures from you of the damaged product & the damaged box,
    • and may also require a signed buyer’s affidavit
  • After you ship the item back to me (I will email you a label to print with delivery confirmation & insurance), I can either replace the blanket or process a full refund.

Take care in opening your box! You don’t want to accidentally cut your new blanket!

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