How to Select a Weight for your Weighted Blanket with confidence

The first thing you need to know when selecting a weight for a weighted blanket is who you are shopping for: a child or an adult. best weighted blanket The second thing you need to know is what size you plan to purchase: a lap pad, a throw size, or one to fit a particular size bed.

In order to make this information the most useful for you, I’ve divided this post into three sections — feel free to scroll directly to the section that applies to you: Selecting a Weight for a Child’s Blanket, Selecting a Weight for an Adult’s Blanket, and Selecting a Weight for a Lap Pad (for either a child or an adult).

Selecting a Weight for a Child’s Blanket


Consult your occupational therapist


Always, always, always consult your child’s occupational therapist (OT) when selecting a weight for your child’s blanket. Sometimes another healthcare provider, such as a pediatrician or behavior therapist, will recommend that you get a weighted blanket for your child: get their feedback about what weight they recommend for your child’s needs. They may even have a blanket on hand that you can borrow or try out before you get ready to order.

The 10% Rule

The safety studies that have been conducted and published so far have studied adults and not children. In the absence of safety studies on children, experts in occupational therapy have devised guidelines to ensure the safety of children using weighted blankets. You can read more details about that in this post and in my free e-book, How to Know if Weighted Blankets Really Work.

(It is always worth repeating that weighted blankets are never to be used as a restraint, and are only to be used voluntarily).

According to the guidelines set forward, the rule for selecting weight for a child’s blanket is fairly straight-forward. Weight the blanket to 10% of the child’s body weight. Some websites recommend 10% of the child’s body weight plus one pound. Although it does seem to be fairly standard practice in the US, I cannot find that particular information in the peer-reviewed research or posted/published by someone who is not also selling weighted blankets, so I’m not entirely sure where that came from.

Less is more

It’s important to remember that, especially in the case of a weighted blanket, less is more. Many parent worry about their kids outgrowing the blanket, and having to purchase a new blanket every year or so. In my experience, this is not the case. I encourage you to purchase the blanket that is appropriate for them now: in most cases, children continue to use the same blanket for several years, even if they gain more than 10lbs.

Again. Less is more. Aside from the fact that a too-heavy blanket could be potentially dangerous, it may also desensitize them to the heavy weight. IOW, you want to meet their current need for pressure, but you don’t want to teach their body to require MORE pressure that it’s craving.

So for a child, order a blanket equal to 10% of your child’s body weight (or 10% + 1lb), or LESS (unless otherwise instructed by your child’s OT).

As you make your selection, you may have many other questions as you shop for your weighted blanket! Plug your name and email address in the box below, and I will send you a printable PDF with a summary of what you need to know, as well as a series of emails explaining everything in greater detail. Get everything you need to know about weighted blankets, at your fingertips:

Selecting a Weight for an Adult’s Blanket

Consult your occupational therapist



Always, always, always consult your occupational therapist when selecting a weight for your blanket. Sometimes another healthcare provider, such as a doctor or therapist, will recommend that you get a weighted blanket: get their feedback about what weight they recommend for your needs. They may even have a blanket on hand that you can borrow or try out before you get ready to order.

Ignore the 10% rule

According to the safety studies that have been published so far, adults can handle up to a 30lb blanket without experiencing a negative impact on their blood circulation, heart rate or pulse rates regardless of the body weight of the adult. In other words, adults don’t have to worry about the 10% safety rule.

(It is always worth repeating that weighted blankets are never to be used as a restraint, and are only to be used voluntarily).

That said, 30lbs is a heavy blanket. Not every adult will want a blanket that heavy and many adults are quite happy with a 15lbs blanket. So let’s look at how to go about selecting the correct weight.

Selecting the weight that is right for you

Option 1: Weigh what you are already using


Many of my customers are already sleeping under a pile of blankets at night. If that is something you are doing, I recommend weighing them to give you an idea how much more weight you’d like. It’s fairly simple:

Get out your scale.

Stand on your scale, and note the number

Pick up your blankets, stand on the scale, and note the number.

Calculate the difference between those numbers, and you’ll know the weight of the blanket.

From there you can gauge if you’d like to add some additional weight to your weighted blanket (many customers do) or if you’d like to stick to what you’re already using in terms of weight.

Tip: Some of you are arranging your dogs or cats over your body, or a series of pillows, in your effort to get the pressure you seek, and then when they move in the middle of the night, you can’t get back to sleep. Keep their combined weight in mind when selecting a weight for your weighted blanket.



Option 2: Test run


If you are not already sleeping under a pile of blankets, gather together as many as you can find. Hop on a bed, and spread the blankets out over your body.

Keep adding blankets until you reach a weight you are happy with OR run out of blankets. THEN, using the instructions above, weigh your blankets.

Once you have a number, consider if you’d like to add additional weight to your weighted blanket or if you were satisfied with the sensation that weight provided.



Tip: Often, one of the reasons a person is looking for a weighted blanket is because once they get underneath the weight of enough blankets, they can’t sleep because they overheat. For this particular experiment, do what you can to ignore the heat and focus solely on the sensation of pressure the blankets are creating.



Option 3: Make an educated estimate


It is worth noting that many adults are quite happy with a 15-20lb blanket, and often will order something somewhere in the middle — like 17 or 18lbs.

It is very rare for an adult customer to purchase a weighted blanket, and then purchase another one because the first one wasn’t heavy enough.



Tip: In my experience, if you need a very heavy blanket (20+) you already know that.

Other factors to consider

If you are ordering a small blanket, more of the weight will be directly on your body. If you are ordering a very large blanket, less of the weight will be directly on your body, and will instead rest inside the portions of the blanket that are on the bed. Keep in mind, though, that that weight is still impacting your body, because it holds the blanket in place, and pulls down on you.



It is best for the blanket to not hang over the edge of the bed [very much]. The force created by the blanket hanging is much greater than when the blanket is resting on the bed around you. If you share a bed, we might make some adjustments to that. All of my bed-sized blankets are designed to come very close to lining up with a standard sized non-pillow-top mattress.

Tip: Keep in mind that holding dumbells in your hands or two 10lb sacks of potatoes in your arms feels a lot different than having a 20lb blanket spread out over your body.

Most people are surprised at the feeling of initially picking up a weighted blanket, because it can look just like a regular blanket.

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