Weighted blankets have become very popular in recent years, particularly among those who have anxiety disorders. Many have touted their benefits in relieving stress and improving sleep quality, but there has been very little scientific research to back up these anecdotal claims.
Now, there’s more evidence that may support their value, thanks to a new study from the Swedish Brain Research Foundation.
The study—published in The Journal of Sleep Research—is the first to actually suggest that using a weighted blanket at bedtime may result in a greater release of melatonin.
Researchers examined the saliva that 26 “young and healthy” participants produced during sleep using either a weighted blanket or a normal-weight blanket. In particular, they were looking for increased levels of oxytocin and melatonin, which have been theorized to increase with the use of a weighted blanket.
Measuring concentration levels one hour after “lights out,” researchers noted an increase in melatonin of around 32%. While this is significant, it is important to note a few caveats of the study.
Beyond the limited sample size of participants, the study was conducted in a laboratory, so the setting as well as the duration of analysis could have been a limiting factor. Researchers noted the need for future studies on the matter, particularly how melatonin production is affected by the frequent use of a weighted blanket.
That said, the current research on the use of weighted blankets looks promising, coupled with the many positive first-hand accounts from people who use them regularly. Suggest’s CEO Kasey Grelle is among the fans of these trendy covers, which she admits wasn’t always the case.
“At first I thought it was kind of bogus, but I find that when I watch TV or read with [a weighted blanket], I am instantly sleepier and calm,” Grelle said. The impact is so noticeable that she also noted the instant she takes the blanket off to head to bed, she starts to feel more awake.
- Available in 10 lbs, 15 lbs, 20 lbs, and 25 lbs.
- Six color options: dark gray, light gray, navy blue, white, rose pink, and burnt orange.
- Made of breathable organic Fairtrade cotton.
In particular, Grelle was gifted this buttery soft chunky-knit weighted blanket from Bearaby. She loves it so much, it’s now her go-to gift to loved ones, especially anyone experiencing a health issue.
- Available in 5 lbs, 7 lbs, 10 lbs, 12 lbs, 15 lbs, 20 lbs, 25 lbs, and 30 lbs.
- Six color options: aqua, light gray, navy blue, bubblegum pink, cream, and white and dark gray pattern.
- 100% cotton removable cover for easy cleaning.
For a more affordable option, this soft cotton weighted blanket from Quility is a best seller on Amazon. Available in a number of sizes ranging from 36 inches x 48 inches to 86 inches x 92 inches, we like that there are also more weight options so you can get one optimized for your exact needs.
- Available in 5 lbs, 7 lbs, 10 lbs, 15 lbs, 17 lbs, 20 lbs, 22 lbs, 25 lbs, and 30 lbs.
- One color option: dark gray.
- Made of cooling microfiber and filled with glass beads.
Another affordable option is this no-fills weighted comforter from L’AGRATY. The cozy microfiber is great for seasonal use, and we love that it ranges in sizes perfect for everything from a twin to a king-size bed.
- Available in 12 lbs, 15 lbs, and 20 lbs.
- 11 color and pattern options: dark gray, pink, light gray, slate blue, white, navy blue, morocco gray, morocco blue, red reindeer, and wreath print.
- Made with plush sherpa fleece and ceramic beads.
If you prefer something a little plusher, this sherpa fleece weighted blanket from Cottonblue is a great contender. Available in two sizes, this dual-sided blanket is ideal for smaller beds or use as a throw blanket for relaxing evenings on the sofa.