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/ Source: TODAY
By Jessica Migala

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Who doesn’t like to be snuggled when they sleep?

Weighted blankets are becoming a trendy way to release stress and snooze more soundly.

What are weighted blankets?

Filled with materials like glass beads or polly pellets, weighted blankets are simply blankets that weight anywhere from seven to 25 pounds. They are meant to help people relax.

Weighted blanket benefits

Adding one to your bed can offer a sense of calm to your nighttime routine. “Many people like the feeling of pressure against their body and do find this pressure to be quite relaxing,” said Lynelle Schneeberg, Psy.D., a sleep psychologist who is also a fellow of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. She likens it to a hug or massage, and compares it to why we swaddle newborns. “Lying under a heavy blanket can, indeed, be very soothing,” she added.

Do weighted blankets work?

While there is preliminary research that weighted blankets can help increase sleep time, Schneeberg said that it’s unlikely to be the magic bullet for insomnia. Buy one to bliss out, but see a doctor if you are suffering from insomnia.

Weighed blankets for kids

You might consider it for your little ones, too. “Kids who experience stress or anxiety in different situations, or who struggle to fall asleep at night may find a weighted blanket useful,” said Heather Forst, an occupational therapist at Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare in Saint Paul, Minnesota. The pressure they offer may help children with ADHD remain focused when doing schoolwork, and might aid those diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, she added.

If you’re thinking about buying one, Schneeberg recommends huddling up under a pile of blankets or quilts to test out how much you like the heavy sensation. If you’re ready to try one out, here are seven great options — and one alternative for the littlest members of your family:

The best weighted blankets, according to doctors and experts

Sleep specialist Dr. Raj Dasgupta, likes Baloo for its quality products, and said this is a good option when you’re looking for comfort from a blanket that provides a feeling of warm cuddles. (If you’re grappling with pain, a weighted blanket may also soothe discomfort, he added.) Available in 15 and 20-pound weights and measuring the top of a queen-sized bed, it’s made with breathable fabric and can be tossed into the washing or drying machine. The quilted sections also keep the fill balanced, so it can properly lay on the pressure points of your body.

Hayden C. Finch, Ph.D., a licensed psychologist based in Des Moines, Iowa, recommends this well-priced option. This one’s great because it comes in a range of sizes and weights for folks with different needs. Finch advises that blankets should generally be about 10 percent of your body weight, and they should be big enough to cover your body (but not necessarily your entire bed).

This consistently well-rated 12-pound option is available in two neutrals — gray or ivory — and is a small throw size, making it ideal to keep in your living room to snuggle up with on the couch.

Another good option, said Finch, this best-selling weighted blanket on Amazon is filled with glass beads and wrapped in a breathable fabric to improve temperature control. (After all, no one likes to sweat while they sleep.)

The Minky cover offers softness anyone would love to cuddle with as they sleep. Plus, it comes in kid-friendly 5 and 7-pound sizes, suitable for little ones who weigh more than 42 pounds. If you’re using one for kids, you should always consult your child’s pediatrician first, said Finch.

If you want the feel of a weighted blanket and have little kids:

Bed wraps, which fit over the entire mattress like a pillowcase and provide gentle but snug pressure, are a great alternative to weighted blankets, especially for kids, said Schneeberg. They’re also easy to take with you when you travel. This option from the handmade section on Amazon comes in a variety of colors and sizes.

After a hugely popular Kickstarter campaign, this weighted blanket is available on Indiegogo. Reviv is meant to be eco-friendly: It’s made with soft Lyocell bamboo fabric and glass beads. Plus, it’s designed to be hypoallergenic and antibacterial and available in five colors and in weights between eight and 25 pounds.