The Difference Between a Weighted Blanket and a Heavy Blanket
The Original Weighted Blanket - Best Invention Award vs. Heavy Knit Blanket
Weighted Blankets - the name alone has become a trend, phenomenon, a buzz word used to gain more clicks all over the internet.
Because of the hype surrounding weighted blankets, many businesses are trying to monetize on the trend. One of the latest trends is heavy-knit blankets that usually weigh up to twenty pounds. While these two products may sound similar, they don’t offer quite the same effect in terms of benefits.
The concept of having heavier and lighter blankets has existed for as long as blankets themselves. After all, there’s less need for a thick, heavy blanket in the summer, but during the colder months that extra weight may just be the only thing that can help you get to sleep at night (they also work well for a cozy afternoon nap). Many people have stories of going to grandmas house and using one of her home sewn, heavy-knit blankets to help them sleep. And the need for a feeling of pressure on your body to help you relax is a well-studied concept. But weighted blankets, the way that we designed them in the 90’s take the concept of deep pressure therapy to a different level. Newer companies that sell these chunky heavy knit blankets are calling their products weighted blankets, but they really aren't.
The original weighted blanket was designed in the 90s and nothing like it could be found on the market before it (fun fact: we originally called it a Beanie Blanket)
In order to be considered a weighted blanket, the blanket must have an inner liner inside, holding whatever material is being used for weight. For example, we use Polly Pellets in our Magic Blankets to create the weight. A pocketed inner liner ensures that the weight is not only evenly distributed across your body, but is also able to shift and mold to your body. A heavy knit blanket is not the same as a weighted blanket because, rather than using pellets that can shift and conform to you as you move, it just uses a thicker thread that actually makes the blanket less malleable than a normal blanket.
The Original Weighted Blanket in Silver Grey Chenille
And the ability to mold to the user’s body is important. The goal is for the weighted blanket to wrap around the user like a hug, causing the brain to produce serotonin. That’s why we call it “the blanket that hugs you back.” You’re going to get a better, tighter hug feeling with weighted blanket that molds to you as you move, than you will with a blanket that is unable to conform to your body due to the thickness of the threads. Basically, you’re going to want a blanket that conforms to your body rather than a blanket that just sits on top of you, if you’re looking for the full benefits of deep pressure therapy.
Something else to consider if you are trying to decide between the original weighted blanket and the new chunky-knit design, besides getting the full effects of deep pressure therapy, is sensory input and sensory needs.
The Magic Blanket first became a success because of its usefulness in the autistic community, and especially for those with sensory processing disorders. Side note: the pellets inside the Magic Blanket also make for a great stimming toy. Many people find it therapeutic and satisfying to their sensory needs to feel, fidget, or play with the pellets inside while the blanket is on top of you. This is why the Magic Blanket has been the most popular choice for weighted blankets in the autistic community for over 20 years. The benefits and soothing effect of deep pressure therapy and being able to stim has been a game-changer for many and can even help ease anxiety. So be sure to think about what you’re looking to gain from your new blanket when you decide between the original weighted blanket and the heavy-knit version.