Weighted Blankets – What is better - Cotton or Polyester (Minky) Fabric?
You have heard that a weighted blanket can help kids, teens and adults with better relaxation and downtime. They also help other issues, like Anxiety, Insomnia, PTSD, Restless Leg Syndrome and other disabilities like Autism Spectrum Disorder/ADD/ADHD and Sensory Processing Disorder.
And you have decided that you are going to try a weighted blanket for you or for someone else, but where do you start, and what do you look for in a weighted blanket?
First, it’s important to realize that weighted blankets are quilted fabric that will hold weight. Plastic beads, called poly pellets, are a popular stuffing for the pockets. And that weight should be divided evenly among each pocket in the blanket so that the blanket will be weighted evenly.
Weighted blankets are sewn. This means that someone made your blanket by hand. Some companies sell manufactured blankets from overseas, so you don’t know what conditions that they were made under, or much about the environment. Other companies, like Mosaic Weighted Blankets, are sewn in the USA. (Mosaic Weighted Blankets is located in a commercial facility Austin/Cedar Park, TX). Weighted blankets are popular on Etsy, many independent crafters make them. Some Etsy crafters make their blankets out of a studio or at home. Again with an independent crafter (Etsy) you might want to check where the blanket is made, in a facility or their home.
You will make two important decisions that will affect the weighted blanket that you want to buy:
The weight of the blanket
The fabric that you choose for the blanket
For adults, the weight is usually 10% of the ideal body weight of the person who is getting a blanket, and for children, the formula for the correct weight is 10% of body weight plus 1-2 lbs.
Why ideal body weight? Let’s say a person is 5 foot 4 inches and weighs 170. If this person orders a blanket that is 17 lbs, that blanket can be too heavy for the person who has a body frame that can comfortably hold 130 to 140 lbs of weight. 10% of the ideal body weight would make the blanket 13 to 14 lbs. So figure out what the person’s ideal body weight is and order the blanket based on that number.
Laura LeMond, the owner of Mosaic Weighted Blankets says, “When customers call about a blanket and that they are not happy and want to return it, they usually say it’s because the blanket is too heavy. One lady said that she felt like she was laying under a fence.” All of the good sensory feelings that come with having the right weight on your frame is crushed if the blanket is too heavy. So choosing weight carefully is important and realize that any weight usually will make you feel better, it doesn’t have to be 20 lbs, and heavier is not always better.
For a home test, Laura advises customers to get under a bed cover and pile soup cans, or magazines, or books to see if the weight makes you feel good. A lot of customers will know that they loved the feeling of the dentist xray apron, or that they had an old heavy quilt at grandma’s house. Many people know that they will gravitate to extra weight. For others, you can try the “soup can/book” piling test.
Kids are pretty easy to buy a weighted blanket for, if it works, it keeps them from the wandering syndrome at night. Mosaic Weighted Blankets owner Laura LeMond says “If a child wakes up in the middle of the night they go hunting for someone warm and big to sleep with, the weighted blanket is warmed up to their body temperature, many times they will just pull it back on them to go to sleep rather than finding mom or dad. We have many reports of parents sleeping better because since the child got a weighted blanket.”
What Fabric To Choose
As far as fabric goes, plush fabrics, including minky dot or flat plush fabrics are 100% polyester. They are soft and cuddly – many people like plush fabrics. The thing to note is that although soft, 100% polyester blankets do not breathe very well, they maintain the heat close to your body. A child or adult who is hot natured, or for those who live in a very warm climate, a polyester blanket can keep you too warm to sleep comfortably. For plush/polyester, those who run cool or who aren’t very sensitive to temperature or live in a cold climate should do well with a minky or polyester weighted blanket. In short, it really depends on the person. Some people (a lot of times older people) tend to be cold and a minky blanket would be great for that person.
Cotton is the other choice for a weighted blanket. Mosaic Weighted Blankets uses 100% cotton in a pattern or solid fabric to construct the blanket. If you do order a cotton blanket, make sure that the manufacturer is making it from 100% cotton material. Cotton blankets filled with poly pellets are more breathable and will reflect the temperature in the room. If the room is kept cool, the weighted blanket will not be hot and the 100% cotton will better release body heat while the person is sleeping. For people who are sensory or have to sleep at a certain temperature, and wake easily if the bed isn’t just right, that person would benefit from a more breathable 100% cotton blanket.
When it comes to the time of year (summer months being hotter) using air conditioning and a ceiling fan can work well as the beads will cool to the temperature in the room. Be sure to note if you have a child who has Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) or who runs warm, be sure to order a 100% cotton fabric it will help the child to use the blanket more.