Do you want to know how to choose a weighted blanket in Hong Kong? Due to its myriad benefits, weighted blankets are recommended for adults who are looking for a way to deal with insomnia, anxiety, and stress. If you want to buy a weighted blanket, you probably want to understand weighted blanket science and how weighted blankets work. You’re in the right place! Read our weighted blanket buying guide 2022 to learn weighted blanket benefits and tips on where to find the best weighted blanket in Hong Kong.
A weighted blanket is a heavier therapeutic blanket filled with weighted fillings. Mimicking the feeling of a gentle hug, a weighted blanket utilizes the right amount of weight across the body to promote relaxation, relieve stress and create a sense of calmness for improved sleep.
Studies have shown that participants that sleep with a weighted blanket are 26x more likely to achieve a 50% decrease in sleepless nights. Sounds too good to be true? Let’s dive deeper into the science so you know how a weighted blanket actually works.
A weighted blanket works by applying firm but gentle pressure across the body, creating the sensation of being hugged and promoting deep pressure stimulation (DPS). In simple words, using a weighted blanket stimulates the production of serotonin and melatonin, the two hormones that bring you a good night’s sleep and a well-rested morning when they work in harmony. Cortisol levels will also be lowered, to relieve anxiety and promote deeper and more restful sleep.
Serotonin, also known as “the happy hormone”, naturally boosts your mood and makes you feel good. By increasing positivity and relaxation, serotonin helps you feel refreshed and rested after a night’s sleep. On the contrary, if your serotonin levels are low, you may be more susceptible to depression, stress and anxiety and less likely to sleep well.
It’s not hard to enhance your serotonin level during daytime, for example, by working out, getting a relaxing massage, or taking certain supplements after checking in with a doctor. However, it’s harder to achieve such at nighttime especially before sleep. And that’s when you can add a weighted blanket to stimulate the production of serotonin.
If you’ve come across tips on how to sleep better, melatonin must be one of those familiar keywords. Many sleep experts would tell you that it is the key to a restful sleep and letting your body get through the restorative process at night. Being “the hormone of darkness”, melatonin mediates dark signals and provides night information. Its production usually requires a dark environment and can be achieved by simply turning off the lights or wearing an eye mask to block out the light.
What’s so special about adding a weighted blanket to sleep is that the added weight triggers the melatonin production, calms your mind and naturally regulates your sleep cycle.
When a deadline is fast approaching or you are running late, you usually get that sense of excessive cortisol. Cortisol is crucial when it comes to waking you up, supporting your daytime activities and keeping you alert. However, late-night stress and anxiety could haunt one when the cortisol level doesn’t drop after the sun goes down, usually causing a restless night. Adding a weighted blanket is proven to reduce cortisol, let you fall asleep faster and promote a deeper sleep, especially if you are struggling with an inability to “wind down” before bed.
Now find out more about the benefits of a weighted blanket:
a. Creates a feeling of security
The most significant benefit of using a weighted blanket is an instant calming and soothing effect that helps you feel safe and secure, similar to swaddling and patting a baby to soothe them to sleep. Using a weighted blanket promotes gentle but firm pressure that goes deep within the body to ease stress and anxiety. It is the ultimate combination of all benefits that a weighted blanket could bring you - to make you feel better in bed.
b. Calms the nervous system and emotions of many people
A weighted blanket is a therapeutic blanket that uses “pressure therapy” occasionally used by therapists as one of the strategies because science-based research has shown that it helps activate the body’s proprioceptive sensory system. This helps people feel more emotionally regulated and relaxed when symptoms of anxiety disorder cause difficulty falling asleep, so you can get good shut-eye and put worries, fear and stress to rest.
c. Induces and improves sleep
Weighted blankets are also known as gravity blankets, which ground your body and reduce nighttime cortisol, as mentioned before. In certain situations when your cortisol levels don’t drop at night time, a weighted blanket can help so you could fall asleep faster.
The grounding effect also minimizes body movement when sleeping which eventually regulates your sleep cycle and improves sleep quality.
In addition, as we mentioned above, a weighted blanket naturally increases your melatonin level, helping with the timing of your circadian rhythms (24-hour internal clock) and hence improving your sleep.
d. Increases daytime activity level and improves well-being
Using a weighted blanket can also increase the stimulation of serotonin, which will help you feel happier in general. The result is an overall improvement in mood and energy levels to support your daytime activities. In addition, your weighted blanket can help you regulate cortisol so it stays at a higher level in the daytime and drops at night time. This type of cortisol regulation helps you stay alert for your day-to-day functioning and fall asleep when it’s time for bed.
Tossing and turning all night and a thought comes to your mind - do I need a weighted blanket? Is a weighted blanket worth the shot? According to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, participants experienced a decrease of 50% or more in their Insomnia Severity Index scores after using a weighted blanket for four weeks, compared with 5.4% of the control group. Weighted blankets have also been used in special-needs communities as therapy for years, demonstrated to help reduce symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
So the straight-forward answer is, yes you should give it a try.
Weighted blankets are not only designed for adults, but kids and seniors (just keep in mind that the weight of a weighted blanket for different people varies, please read on to find out how heavy a weighted blanket should be). So whenever you have a feeling that anxiety and stress are robbing your sleep or you are experiencing insomnia, you can probably try to add a weighted blanket and see how it works on you.
a.What is the best weighted filling?
As the most important component of a weighted blanket, the first thing to consider is the materials of the weighted fillers. Fillers are what make a blanket heavy enough to be a weighted blanket. These fillers are usually packed in precision-quilted channels to present an evenly distributed weight and hence promote deep pressure stimulation (DPS).
i. Micro glass beads
Glass beads are the most well-known and commonly used weighted fillings, and also more premium than other weighted fillings. The texture is smooth and the shape of each glass bead is consistent, promoting a more “comfortable” embrace across the body.
Tinier in size and heavier than many other filler materials, glass beads can make a thinner weighted blanket with less fillings to promote the same weight than other materials, or even heavier. Less is more and luxurious is how we describe this filler.
Glass beads are eco-friendly and completely hypoallergenic so you won’t have to be worried about irritation. Price could get a little higher than other weighted fillings but glass beads are also highly durable, safe and odorless.
ii. Plastic poly-pellets
Plastic poly-pellets are another common weighted filler. Usually made of polypropylene, these plastic poly-pellets are generally safe and toxic free. Washing and drying is relatively easy, all you have to do is check with the manufacturer or the brand selling the weighted blanket if the plastic fillers are washable.
Plastic is not an eco-friendly material. If you have such environmental concerns, it will be a matter of preference.
If you are sensitive to the touching of your bedding, you may find a weighted blanket filled with plastic poly-pellets rough to the touch and “noisy” since the shapes of the fillers are uneven. The size of each pellet is larger than micro glass beads, which will present a thicker and bulkier blanket with the same weight.
Sand is a weighted filler that is natural, inexpensive and easy to gather. However, as the most widely consumed natural resource on the planet after fresh water, the sourcing of sand is not a positive act.
Whilst sand is very fine and can promote a comfortable touch, it has a drying problem that could end up with clumping and uneven distribution of weight. Leakage can be another risk when you use sand as the weighted filler if the fillers are not well contained.
Rice is a common organic material when people decide to craft a homemade weighted blanket. Again, this material is inexpensive and easy to buy. Yet it doesn’t dry well after washing and the dampness could lead to growth of microbes, such as mould, fungi and bacteria. Eventually you may smell an odour due to that.
v. Aquarium gravel or river pebbles
Aquarium gravels or river pebbles are seen in homemade weighted blankets. The advantages of these materials are the fact that their price point is friendly and they are heavy.
However, the sharp edges and irregular shape of gravels or pebbles can cause lumpiness across the body when you use it. Most people will find it uncomfortable to use. They are also large in size, which may result in a bulky and hard-to-handle blanket.
b. How heavy should a weighted blanket be?
Choosing the ideal weight can be a big concern when you are shopping for a weighted blanket. It’s not like you’ve held a heavy blanket ever before, we understand. There are weighted blankets ranging from 5 to 30 pounds at the market, for adults and kids. And 10 to 20 pounds is the most common range for adults.
As a rule of thumb, a weighted blanket should be approximately 10-15% of your body weight. But typically, a slightly heavier weighted blanket is proven to have more benefits. The more important factor in determining the right weight is the ability of the blanket to create a hugging feeling and promote a sense of calmness, which results in deep pressure stimulation (DPS). So it depends on how you feel when you use the weighted blanket, in order to achieve deep sleep and feel well-rested after a good night’s sleep.
A hint for your weighted blanket shopping journey: Try it before you buy it. Reach out to retailers that sell weighted blankets at their store to let you try before you buy.
c. What fabrics should the cover be made from?
Polyester is an affordable and durable man-made material. Made from synthetic fiber, it is lightweight and can dry quickly. Yet most people find polyester bedding not breathable enough to use especially in summer. Besides, polyester can cause skin problems, like itching, redness, and some other irritations to your skin.
Cotton is a popular fabric used in not only weighted blankets, but also all sorts of bedding. This fabric is exquisitely breathable. With advanced ventilation, cotton bedding wicks moisture away quickly so you can sleep cool all night long. It is lightweight and soft to the touch, easy to wash and dry. Cotton is also commonly known to be very durable.
If cotton has become your preferred choice, go for certified cotton to ensure that the material is toxic free and safe. Hypoallergenic bedding would help you stay from irritation and other skin problems, so you can sleep soundly.
Flannel is inherently soft and gentle for skin, and promotes a comfy feeling when touching the fabric. Many find flannel a “warm fabric” for a reason - the fuzzy texture traps air and heat, providing the body warm insulation. In other words, this fabric might not be a good choice for all seasons.
Fleece is an inexpensive man-made synthetic material, which is fluffy and warm. This fabric is fuzzy to the touch to increase comfort since it actually feels like a sheep's coat. Similar to flannel, fleece is a fabric that keeps you warm. It is also lightweight, making it a fashionable and comfortable winter wear option, but not an all-season bedding choice.
Leaks are not common in well-made weighted blankets, but can happen if certain precautions have not been taken into consideration during the product development process. And when it happens, it can cause health and hygiene issues. Hence the question is, how to prevent leaking of weighted blankets? Things that you should check on include (i) the material of the weighted fillers, (ii) the stitching technology and (iii) the number of layers.
i.Weighted fillers that are too large in size cause lumpiness and discomfort, but too fine weighted fillers, e.g. sand, cause leakage.
ii.Most leakage happens through the stitches of the blanket. Therefore we suggest you choose a weighted blanket with more advanced stitching technology on the edges that could reinforce the edges, block the fillers from leaking and secure them in place. Double stitching, which is a special sewing process to create parallel seams that prevents leakage of fillers, is a good pick.
iii.A weighted blanket padded with extra layers of fabric may also successfully prevent leakage of weighted fillers. When extra inner layers are sewn together with double stitching, the extra inner layers will help prevent even the smallest leakage of fillers. What does that mean? Look for a weighted blanket with a multi-layer fabric construction!
b. Maximum comfort
i. Extra layers
Adding more layers in between the cover and the weighted fillings not only can prevent leakage of fillers, but can also add extra comfort. Aim for a weighted blanket cushioned with more inner layers so you won’t “feel” the weighted fillings while taking advantage of its weight. A weighted blanket is considered to be the best when it’s comfortable but not bulky and thick, so a good balance of extra layers and minimized thickness needs to be considered when designing a weighted blanket.
ii. Even distribution of weight
How a weighted blanket puts the body to rest depends on the distribution of the weight. To ensure that the weighted blanket promotes deep pressure stimulation and maximizes the result, an even and balanced distribution of weights is the key.
Comprised of pockets, or quilted channels, the added weight which comes from the weighted fillers could be distributed evenly and it’s less likely that the fillers would shift to the side of the blanket. Generally speaking, more pockets result in a better weight distribution, so usually smaller pockets will be a better choice. However, to ensure the weight contours to one’s body, the pockets can not be too small. Take it as a factor to consider when you are choosing a weighted blanket, but eventually how you feel when you use one should be the major factor on your final decision.
c. Durability and hygiene
Perhaps you’ve already been asking yourself, should I wash my weighted blanket? Or how do I wash my weighted blanket? Some would suggest you wash the weighted blanket directly following certain laundry symbols, but we’re all afraid of clumpiness or leakage! Despite the fact that you follow the care labels and wash on gentle cycle using cold water and mild detergent, washing a heavy blanket at home is not a good act for your home machine. Washing in a commercial-size machine can spare your home machine from wear and tear, but the fact that you need to carry the heavy blanket around is not preferable.
Using a washable duvet cover could save you from the trouble of cleaning and caring for your weighted blanket and increase the durability of the weighted blanket. All you have to do is detach the duvet cover from the blanket and throw it into your home machine for a wash. You may spot clean the blanket with damp cloth if you find any dirt on the blanket.
Big tip: Find a weighted blanket that fits in standard duvet covers, so that you don’t have to purchase a specific duvet cover only for your weighted blanket.
a. Try before you buy!
Whether the weighted blanket could promote deep pressure stimulation across your body is the key when you buy a weighted blanket, so you should take it very personally. Spend some time visiting a store and give it a try, you are the only one who could tell idf the weighted blanket helps you feel more relaxed and relieves your stress to improve sleep.
Psst, feel free to make a booking to our showroom and try out the Weighted Blanket!
b. Home trial is a must
Nothing is better than a home trial to let you evaluate your purchase of the weighted blanket and make sure you feel well using it. You may not have used a weighted blanket before, which is the reason why your body needs more time to see if this new heavy blanket is bringing you some benefits. If you find yourself sleeping better, congratulations, it’s a well-spent purchase! But if eventually you are not satisfied with the experience with the blanket, you could return it within the home trial.
c. Express delivery
A weighted blanket is heavy. It’s best for you to pick one that comes with an express delivery. With the weighted blanket delivered straight to your door, you could enjoy a hassle-free purchase of a weighted blanket and try it on as soon as possible.
d. A good warranty!
A well-made weighted blanket can be very durable but a good warranty is always a bonus! If you love using your weighted blanket, it’s an extra joy if it comes with a warranty so you don’t have to be worried about any uncertainty of situations that could happen to your weighted blanket.
e. Buy a weighted blanket online
Our final tip? Shop for the best weighted blanket online – in the comfort of your own home. Many reputable brands sell high-quality weighted blankets online and shopping online helps you compare specs and pricing. In addition, many online brands include a home trial so you may try the weighted blanket at home, too. Just remember: if you’re not certain the weighted blanket is suitable for you before you purchase, make sure you go in-store to try it in person.
Now that you’ve read through the weighted blanket guide, good luck shopping for the perfect weighted blanket, a blanket that will gently embrace you to deep sleep for many, many years!