Occupational therapist on weighted blankets
Following many questions about the weight of the weighted blanket, its application, size and type of the filling we decided to ask a specialist for advice and more specialized information about the weighted products
We are convinced that the answers to the most frequently asked questions will help you select the most appropriate weight of your weighted blanket that meets your personal needs.
In this interview you will learn more about the characteristic features of a weighted blanket and get more information about how it works from the occupational therapist.
1. What is the best application of the weighted products? What do you recommend?
Weighted products are often used by people who have difficulty tuning out and resting.
The weight creates a pressure on the skin and joints which helps people feel their own body better and thus to be in a better contact with themselves.
You can compare it to a firm hug that makes you feel quiet and good. As for children, the blankets are used with autism or ADHD. The blankets are used to improve the sensory integration therapy or sensory-motor therapy.
2. How do you choose the weight and size of a weighted blanket?
This is very individual. As a rule, we take 10 to 25 % of the body weight. When choosing the right weight, the size of the blanket also plays an important role. The bigger the size, the higher the weight of the blanket. The weight is evenly distributed over the entire surface of the blanket. In practice I see better results with slightly heavier weight than with the lower margin (10%).
3. Which blankets are recommended for small children who have trouble falling asleep because of too many stimuli?
In addition to the weight and format rule, it is important to realize that the effect of the therapy is increased if the motivation to use the product is bigger. With children, a nice print is more appealing than, for example, a plain black blanket. The FUN series is particularly popular with children.
4. Should these blankets be applied on another duvet or directly on the body?
Weighted products are in principle designed to be used directly on the skin for the best effect. However, a sheet or a normal blanket / duvet can also be placed between them. For some people, however, the effect is too intense, and the body first has to get used to the pressure.
5. What do you advise an adult person with an autism spectrum, 170 cm high and weighing about 70 kg. What's the best blanket’s weight and size for a person like that?
The choice of weight is a very individual question. Each person reacts differently. Some people need a stronger pressure and the weighted blanket of 25% body weight works fine for them, others will be satisfied with a blanket of 10% body weight. As for the size, the blanket should cover the body from shoulders to the foot. This generally means that a weighted blanket of at least 7kg or greater is recommended for an adult of 70kg.
6. And as for children, would you recommend using larger blankets during the period of growth or a smaller size to make the children fit their current height?
As for children it is important that the child cannot get caught up in the blanket. Supervision is therefore always necessary! A child should never use an oversized blanket, and this should fit the size of the child, and not the size of the bed or cot.
In addition to the use of weighted blankets, good results are also known with the use of weighted vests or weighted cushions. They have the advantage that they can be used multiple times during the day, and therefore also in the school environment. An environment where children often have many stimuli around them, and where they often benefit from a way to relax.
7. Are there any risks associated with the use of the weighted blankets? Are there age limits, for example for the elderly or for babies?
There should always be a supervision as for the use of weighted blankets because the effects can be different for everyone. It is important that the blanket is never too heavy for the user or too big for the child.
We would like to thank you for sharing your knowledge and experience with us. All the pieces of advice are very valuable to us and certainly to our future customers.