You've probably heard a lot of good things about weighted blankets. These blankets, also known as calming blankets, have been growing in popularity over the past few years. These special blankets are used for a variety of different reasons. Some people use them to help manage the symptoms of medical issues. And the blankets were often used as a form of sensory integration therapy. This was particularly useful for people who have trouble focusing on sensory experiences.
Over time people began to realize that the blankets are tremendously useful for almost everyone.
The extra weight from a weighted blanket can keep you from tossing and turning at night. And people often report that they both fall and stay asleep easier when using a blanket which has some weight to it.
However, this popularity means that there's quite a few different variations on weighted blankets on the market right now. They primarily differ by which material is used to give the blankets that extra weight. While there are always new variations appearing on the market, the following are the most popular.
This is because the material is also commonly used as a method of weighing down stuffed animals and similar items. Any stuffed toy with weight and a bean-like consistency inside probably makes use of these pellets.
There's good reason to use the pellets besides cost effectiveness. The plastic itself is considered totally safe and non-toxic. Material using these pellets will usually be safe in the wash as well.
- Easy to wash
Steel shot consists of small round objects made of steel. The rounded beads usually have a totally smooth consistency on the surface area. This weighted material benefits from the intrinsic properties of steel. Steel is a very heavy substance which means that a little can go a long way within blankets. It takes a much smaller amount of steel beads, than say plastic, to produce the same amount of weight.
The blankets pick up another advantage from the steel filling. Steel is intrinsically strong and durable. This means that the beads won't wear out or warp over time.
However, the material also necessitates a larger than average size for the filling. This can result in slightly more wear and tear on a blanket's stitching. In turn, this can mean a chance of the weighted filling falling out of the blanket. However, this shouldn't be a case for higher quality stitchwork.
- Less volume
- Might wear down some stitching
The glass beads in a weighted or calming blanket shouldn't be confused with standard beads. You'll find that the main difference comes down to size. Blankets making use of glass usually use micro glass beads. The beads are small enough that they tend to look more like salt than a standard bead. Despite such a granular appearance the micro glass beads are incredibly smooth. This makes them a great alternative for people who might find plastic to be too grating.
Micro glass beads are also one of the quieter options. Some materials can make noise under some circumstances. However, the small size and material of these beads ensures that it'll remain quiet and suitable for people with auditory sensitivity issues.
The micro glass beads are also considerably heavier than plastic pellets. In general this means that the total volume is reduced by about 1/3rd when compared to plastic pellets. This also ensures that the blankets are typically less bulky. However, there is one downside to micro glass beads. They're typically pricier than other options.
- Less noise concern
- More expensive
If glass is a good choice than perhaps you can go back even further into the manufacturing process. And in fact, sand is occasionally found as a weight in blankets. One of the most interesting things about sand is that it can be an organic option. However, it's important to stress that this isn't always the case. It's quite common for sand used in blankets to only be semi-organic. This is common for sand in most craft products.
Additionally sand tends to clump when wet. This can mean that even a hot summer night can have unintended consequences. It also makes cleaning the blanket a lot more difficult. However, there are benefits in some cases. When one ensures the sourcing it can prove to be a fully natural and organic option. Additionally it's often one of the more inexpensive options.
- Often only semi-organic
- Prone to clumping when wet
Grains, Beans And Pasta
The description might be enough to make you hungry. But there's quite a few people out there who use grains, beans and pasta in their blankets. These weighted or calming blankets have some unique features not found with any of the other options.
One of the first things you might think of is price. Dry beans, rice and pasta are typically quite inexpensive items when cooking. Likewise, this tends to mean that blankets weighted with them are going to be inexpensive as well. And anyone who buys rice in bulk can attest to how much it weighs. Likewise, people who use a lot of rice are usually familiar with how quickly it distributes that weight within a pliable container.
The biggest downside to this type of filler is that it's essentially edible. This means that it might be subject to insects or mold under certain conditions. The filling also tends to absorb moisture. It usually does better than sand if you're sweating under the summer heat. However, it does make washing the blankets a bit more of a chore.
Finally, an earlier potential negative can also be seen as a positive. The fact that it's fully organic can make it subject to molds or insects. But at the same time it means that there's little to no environmental impact from using it.
- No environmental impact
- Difficult to wash
- Subject to insects and mold under certain conditions