We are often asked if the effectiveness of weighted blankets has ever been scientifically proven. The answer turns out to be complicated. Let us briefly explain why below. It is difficult to clearly prove the effectiveness of weighted blankets. FIrstly, this is due, to the high demands placed on scientific research and, secondly, to the challenge of being able to measure a person’s well-being in tests. The human body with its various emotional states is dynamic and complex, therefore the results of such studies could be used only partially as evidence of the effectiveness of weighted blankets.
Weighted blankets are therefore recommended by both: therapists and patients, mainly because of their positive experiences. We also refer to the opinions of our customers, so we always observe how we can optimize our products and improve the well-being of their users.
Nevertheless, there are studies that have dealt with this topic and are showing solid results.
The largest study to this day assessing the safety and effectiveness of an adult weighted blanket during hospitalization in the field of mental health, which examines the safety and effectiveness of an adult weighted blanket, was published in 2015 by the scientists’ team composed of T. Champagne, B. Mullen, D. Dickson, and S. Krishnamurty. The psychiatric examination was performed in a facility, 30 people were examined, and the weight of the weighted blanket used was 13 kg.
The scientists came to the following conclusions:
Study 1: 63% of the surveyed adults were able to notice a reduction in anxiety symptoms after using a 13 kg blanket.
Study 2: 51% of study participants said their feeling of fear decreased when they were covered with a 13 kg blanket. 77% of the respondents preferred the weighted blanket if it had a weight matched to their bodyweight.
Study 3: To the question “When do you feel more relaxed?” 91% of respondents answered “When do I use a weighted blanket”.
According to Tina Champagne, the success of the weighted blanket therapy can be attributed to the so-called self-organization, which is the ability to independently regulate internal processes, either through self-control or through sedation. These important processes of reducing fear and increasing relaxation occur by themselves and contribute to the balance of human relationships. A weighted blanket not only helps with acute crises, but can also be used preventively.
Weighted blankets are often recommended for people who suffer from sleep problems or struggle with various forms of autism. There are two notable studies on this topic:
The first study looked at the effect of a weighted blanket on sleep in children with an autism spectrum disorder. The main emphasis was on sleep duration. The study found that the weighted blanket had no effect on sleep duration. However, researchers noted that the weighted blanket was the preferred choice of children and parents. What the study did not analyze was the effect of the blanket on improving sleep quality.
The second study showed that the weighted blanket subjectively and objectively influenced the sleep of the subjects. The sleep was calmer and the body movements were weaker during it, which is an indicator of better quality of sleep. Study participants said they felt they slept better and deeper.
Professor Temple Grandin found that stimulation with deep pressure calms the nervous system, while light touch stimulates the nervous system. Most people are familiar with the feeling of physical and mental relaxation that comes with massage. The weighted blanket works in a similar way. The deep pressure exerted by weight relaxes the body, which causes the body to produce more serotonin. The serotonin is then converted into melatonin (the sleep hormone). The body receives a clear indication that it is now possible to sleep.
More interesting articles on therapeutic quilts can be found here:
Below is a list of other studies that have been carried out: