This year weighted blankets are all the rage! We guess that puts us ahead of the curve, since Enabling Devices has been selling weighted blankets (as well as weighted vests, handwriting gloves, wraps, toys and our weighted kit) for years! Why are these items suddenly so popular? Here is the lowdown on this year’s coziest weighted products!
The history of weighted blankets:
According to various sources including The Atlantic, Tina Champagne, an occupational therapist who practiced sensory integration therapy, was the first to advocate the use of weighted blankets with victims of trauma in 1999. Since then, weighted blankets, vests and other products have been widely used by adults and children with autism spectrum disorders, ADHD and sensory processing disorders. It’s only recently that weighted blankets have gained popularity with the general public, many of whom use it to improve sleep and decrease their stress and anxiety.
How weighted blankets are made:
Weighted products are covered with fabric and filled with plastic beads or pellets, which are sewn into small fabric boxes to keep weight evenly distributed. The blankets come in different sizes, and should be selected based on the size and preferences of the individual who uses them. Enabling Devices’ weighted blankets are filled with non-toxic pellets and can be hand-washed.
How weighted blankets work:
Weighted products work by giving deep pressure sensory information to joints and muscles. According to Understood.com, deep pressure “can increase the release of serotonin in the brain. This neurotransmitter is sometimes called the “happy” chemical because it creates a sense of calm and well-being.” Weighted blankets create a cocoon-like feeling that helps many people relax and fall asleep.
Selecting your blanket:
Blanket size and weight should be chosen based on the weight and preferences of the individual who will use it. As a guideline however, this 2019 article in Forbes magazine, advises readers to choose a blanket “that’s roughly 10 percent of your body weight. For example, for someone who weighs 150 lbs., a 15 lbs. blanket would be best. If you fall in between the standard weights of blankets, it’s better to choose the heavier option.” Enabling Devices sells weighted blankets in two sizes. Our Large Blanket (Item #3990) measures 56″L x 42″W and weighs 7 lbs.; and our Medium Blanket (Item #3941) measures 28″L x 20″W and weighs 5 lbs. It’s also important to choose a blanket covered in a fabric that feels good next to the skin. Please keep in mind that weighted blankets are not safe for infants.
Other weighted products:
As mentioned above, Enabling Devices also sells weighted products other than blankets. Our popular Weighted Vests (Item #3953M) resemble typical fleece vests but contain inside pockets designed to hold weights of different sizes. Weighted Puppy (Item #3937) can be worn around the shoulders to help stabilize the regulatory system and improve attention and concentration. The Gel Lap Pad (Item #3142) made with sparkly gel inside, helps with regulation while it also provides visual and tactile stimulation. These items are often used by educators and therapists in their work with students and clients. Enabling Devices also sells a Weighted Kit (Item #7024) that includes a variety of weighted items and is perfect for the classroom.
For more great sensory ideas, visit Enabling Devices.com.