What happened to the Monday post?
I set out last Friday to write this post, and everything went well ’til I got to the bottom of the first column, where I include the question, What is the Science behind it? Turns out, that’s taking me a lot longer to complete; including the process of requesting full-text PDF copies of research papers from their authors and making sure that each fact and quote I give you is properly linked and sourced. Sooo…. I need to put a bit more work into it before I release it into the world wide web.
So I finally decided today that I shouldn’t delay this post any longer.
There are two questions I haven’t added information to yet: the science piece in column 1, and the “What else do I need to know?” piece at the bottom of column 2. You can expect to see both of those very soon.
What you see below is a copy of what is on the FAQ page linked in my top navigation. That is where I will make updates, but to save you the extra click, I’m including it below.
So here’s MY frequently asked question:
Are there any other questions you have?
Comment here or on the social media post you came from and let me know. I’m happy to answer any and all of your questions.
A. What is a weighted blanket?
In it’s simplest form, a weighted blanket is just that: a blanket that is intentionally heavier than a standard blanket.
B. What does it do?
Do you remember sleeping under your great-grandma’s quilt and how the heaviness of it felt comforting? It’s kinda like that.
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.
C. Who benefits?
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 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.
D. 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.
E. What are the benefits?
Weighted blankets can be used:
- to help a child make transitions from one activity to another, to avoid or settle down after meltdowns.
- to help a child who has difficulty sitting still for reading or focusing.
- to teach your child appropriate coping strategies, as they learn to manage their emotions.
If a weighted blanket is too large to be appropriate for the setting (like in school) a weighted lap pad is the perfect substitute.
The truth is that adults find them helpful for these kinds of things, too.
- Lap pads for focusing at work.
- Blanket 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
But the top reason that my customers 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. Kids and adults who have struggled with sleep for years report finally being able to sleep ALL NIGHT after beginning to use a weighted blanket.
F. How do I know if I might need one?
Do you or your child pile blankets and pillow on in order to sleep? Do you crave pressure similar to a person laying on top of you but don’t actually want anyone touching you? Does the weight of the dentist’s x-ray apron feel really comforting to you? Then a weighted blanket is what you’re looking for!
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.
G. What is the science behind it?
A. 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.
- Do not use with children under 2yo.
- Use caution using a blanket designed for someone else
- Weighted blankets are not to be used as restraints.
B. What are they weighted with?
- Poly-pellets (on right) which have the texture of tiny plastic pebbles
- Glass beads (on left) which have the texture of sand
C. Is it washable?
All the blankets I make are washable. While both the blanket material and the poly pellets or glass beads I use are rated for use in the dryer. I recommend that the blankets be hung to dry.
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.
D. What fabrics do you use?
- Kona cotton broadcloth (a high-quality, smooth cotton),
- soft fleece,
- minky (extra-soft — you’ve probably seen this used for baby blankets),
- linen-rayon blend,
- and a silk-cotton blend.
E. Can you make it with _____ print? It's my son/daughter's favorite.
Possibly; it depends on the character/fabric combination you’re looking for. Almost any character can be found on quilting cotton, but not as many on fleece or minky.
F. My OT says I need a very heavy weight (20+lbs). Can you make that?
Yes. Over half the blankets I make are for adults, and many of those are larger than 20lbs. I will weight them with poly-pellets but I highly recommend using glass-beads as they have a lower profile and are less bulky.
G. Can you make the blanket _____ size?
I have made king-size blankets as large as 86×86.
H. What else do I need to know?
A. How do I place an order?
- Add the item to your cart,
- click “checkout”
- provide shipping information
- provide payment information
- confirm the purchase
If you are requesting a custom item, use the Custom Request form to contact me, answer the questions, and I will create a unique listing just for you. After I send you the link, you can checkout as outlined above.
B. Can I order for my son/daughter, spouse/friend?
Yes. Be sure that you’re getting a fabric that they would find texturally pleasing, and an appropriate amount of weight.
C. How heavy should I weight it?
When ordering a weighted blanket, always follow the recommendations of your occupational therapist. A general recommendation is that the blanket be weighted to 10% of the user’s body weight + 1-2lbs; at the same time, the user 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.
D. How long does it take for the blanket to be ready?
All blankets are weighted after the order is placed.
- For non-custom orders, I will have the blanket finished and shipped within 5 business days.
- For custom orders where I have to special-order fabric, I will have the blanket finished and shipped within 2-3 weeks.
E. How long does it take for the blanket to arrive?
- I ship domestically via USPS Priority and UPS Ground, with delivery tracking and insurance.
- 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.
Take care in opening your box! You don’t want to cut your new blanket!
F. Do you take _____ payment method?
G. Do you do refunds or exchanges?
Ever 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 have never had to file an insurance claim for a blanket damaged in transit, but in the unfortunate event that this ever takes place, here is the refund process:
- Notify me immediately: lorasweightedblankets AT gmail DOT com
- I will file an insurance claim; this process will require
- pictures from you of the damaged product & the damaged box,
- and will 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!