Weighted Blanket Alternatives
Weighted blankets are a type of blanket that is filled with materials such as plastic pellets or glass beads. The weight of the blanket provides deep pressure stimulation, which has been shown to be beneficial for sleep and stress relief.
However, weighted blankets can be expensive, and they’re not always practical (for example, if you live in a hot climate or travel a lot).
If you’re looking for a weighted blanket alternative, here are some options to consider:
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Are there negatives to weighted blankets?
Some of the downsides of sleeping with a weighted blanket include: potential risks for those with respiratory and circulatory conditions, suffocation risk for young children and infants, decreased circulation risk when the weighted blanket is too heavy, overheating due to increased temperature especially in hot climate. Elderly, those with neuromuscular disorders and those with difficulty lifting heavy blankets should avoid using weighted blankets.
Alternatives to weighted blankets
1. Adult Swaddle Blanket
An adult swaddle blanket is a lightweight blanket or wrap used to provide comfort and calming effects to adults. It is typically made of soft, breathable fabric that is wrapped around the body, much like a baby’s swaddle blanket, providing a cozy and secure feeling.
The adult swaddle blanket provides gentle pressure and support around the body that can help to reduce stress and improve mood. It can also help improve sleep quality and reduce the symptoms of anxiety and insomnia.
The wrap-like design of the adult swaddle blanket makes it more comfortable and easier to move around in than a weighted blanket, making it a great option for people who may find sleeping with weighted blankets too restrictive.
2. Body Sock
A body sock is a type of clothing that applies deep pressure touch, similar to a weighted blanket, to help those with autism spectrum disorders, ADHD, sensory processing issues, anxiety, and more. It is comprised of 100% spandex, and is designed to easily be worn around the shoulders, waist, and knees.
It is an affordable alternative to a weighted blanket, and it is extra durable, making it ideal for long-term use. It can also be used at home or school and is available in a range of sizes. The body sock is an ideal option for those who want to enjoy the calming effects of deep pressure touch without the hefty price tag that comes with weighted blankets.
3. Anxiety Hoodie
The Anxiety Hoodie is an alternative to the weighted blanket that provides calming warmth to help ease anxiety and stress. It is specially designed to fit tightly around the wearer’s head, neck and shoulders, creating a snug, soothing cocoon and providing a sense of security.
Unlike the weighted blanket, which is designed to provide deep pressure all over the body, the Anxiety Hoodie focuses the calming touch to the head and neck. It is made from a breathable fabric and has adjustable straps to ensure the perfect fit. It is also more discreet than a weighted blanket, making it perfect for those who want to remain inconspicuous.
4. Sleep Pod
A Sleep Pod is a cocoon-shaped, breathable sheet that covers the entire body and is available in a small, medium, or large size. Unlike a weighted blanket, it applies pressure all around the body instead of in just one spot. It also has an opening in the bottom for temperature regulation and allows for more freedom of movement. When compared to using a weighted blanket, the Sleep Pod is lighter, breathable, and more travel-friendly. It also provides a more even and subtle pressure, allowing the user to feel more comfortable.
5. Travel Neck Pillow
The purpose and functionality of a travel pillow is to provide comfort and support for the neck and shoulders during travel. The pillow is typically contoured to hold the head and neck in a comfortable, ergonomic position.
Travel pillows are usually smaller and lighter than weighted blankets, and can be taken on a plane or in a car. They also provide an alternative to a weighted blanket if you’re not looking for the extra weight.
Weighted blankets can be more difficult to transport due to their weight, but can be better for providing consistent pressure. Ultimately, the choice between a travel pillow and weighted blanket will depend on your individual needs and preferences.
6. Wearable Blankets
Wearable blankets are a great alternative to weighted blankets because they provide the same type of deep touch pressure stimulation without the bulk and heavy weight of traditional weighted blankets. Normally, weighted blankets are filled with heavy materials like glass or plastic beads to provide pressure, but wearable blankets use fabrics and compression to provide the same effect.
Wearable blankets come in cocoon shapes with openings at the feet, so you can control the temperature inside the blanket, making them great for all seasons and all types of climates.
They are also lightweight and travel-friendly, so you don’t have to worry about lugging a heavy blanket with you when you’re on the go. Additionally, many come with extra features like duvet covers and loops at the sides and corners for attaching to a duvet cover.
7. Hug Sleep
Weighted blankets have been invented to provide comfort and security. Weighted blankets and Hug Sleep both work by providing pressure to the body to help reduce anxiety, but they accomplish this in different ways. Hug Sleep provides pressure without the weight, using a cocoon-shaped, breathable sheet that covers the entire body. This sheet is stretchy and clings to the body like a soft hug, providing a more lightweight and portable alternative.
8. Stacks of Blankets
Stacks of blankets, also referred to as ‘layering’, are an alternative to weighted blankets that provide similar amount of pressure and warmth that a weighted blanket does. Weighted blankets are typically loaded with glass beads or other heavy material to create the desired pressure, while stack of blankets are simply multiple blankets layered on top of one another.
Stacking blankets is an easy and cost-effective way to add pressure and warmth to your sleep space. You can use any type of material, from quilts to wool blankets to micro-plush duvets.
This method is especially useful for those who wish to adjust their blanket weight without having to purchase a new weighted blanket. You can also remove or add layers as needed for temperature regulation.
Additionally, using a combination of materials can be beneficial for those looking for more cooling or breathable options. For example, mixing flannel with cotton or wool can create a breathable, temperature regulating blanket that still provides the same pressure and warmth as a weighted blanket.
9. Traveling Blanket
Unlike a weighted blanket, a traveling blanket is lighter and more easily transported, allowing you to take it with you wherever you go. It provides the same comfort and relaxation that a weighted blanket does, but without being too bulky and heavy. Plus, its shape and size make it the perfect companion for all types of travel, from car trips to plane rides.
10. Meditation Blankets
Meditation blankets, also known as yoga blankets, are used for yoga, meditation, and mindfulness practices. They are typically made of thick, heavy fabrics like cotton or wool and are designed to provide warmth and comfort while practicing. Meditation blankets are similar to weighted blankets in that they both provide gentle pressure to the body.
Both types of blankets can be used to provide comfort, relaxation, and stress relief.
11. Stress Balls
Stress balls are small spherical objects made of rubber or foam which can be squeezed in the palm of one’s hand to relieve stress and tension. They are also an effective alternative to weighted blankets since they also provide deep pressure stimulation. Squeezing the stress ball works to stimulate pressure points in the hand, and this can help to relax the body and mind.
Additionally, the squeezing motion can help to release endorphins which can further reduce stress and anxiety. Stress balls can be used anytime, anywhere, and come in various colors, sizes, and shapes. They are a more convenient and portable option to weighted blankets and can be used for multiple people.
12. Bean Bags
Bean bags are like small, weighted sacks filled with varying amounts of material that can be used for a variety of recreational activities, such as cornhole or fair games. They are often used as a cheaper alternative to weighted blankets, as they provide the same amount of pressure to the body and can be just as comfortable.
Bean bags can weigh up to 20 pounds and can be inserted into a duvet cover or sewn between two blankets. Alternatively, they can be filled with round glass marbles or pebbles and placed strategically between two blankets.
13. Weighted Lap Pads
If you want to experience the benefits of a weighted blanket but don’t want to make a full one, you may find that a weighted lap pad is a good solution. However, there are other alternatives that you can consider. One option is to use a lycra bed sheet, which won’t provide additional weight but can give a deep pressure effect. Other alternatives include weighted toys, lap bags, vests, and compression garments.
14. Compression Vest
Compression vests are often made of a stretchy material and provide a hugging sensation, which can help to reduce anxiety and stress. Compression garments can be worn day or night, and are often less visible than weighted blankets. Compression vests can also be worn underneath clothing for discreet calming.
Compression vests are also more discreet than weighted blankets, as they can be worn under clothing.
In comparison to weighted blankets, compression vests are more portable and easier to take off and put on. However, weighted blankets provide more of a calming effect than compression vests, and are more comfortable.
15. Weighted Pillow
A weighted pillow is a U-shaped pillow filled with small beads, usually glass or plastic, that adds weight to the pillow for added comfort and relaxation. They usually weigh between 3 to 5 pounds, and provide deep pressure to the neck and shoulders to reduce tension.
Weighted pillows also have the added benefit of being microwavable to apply heat or can be placed in the freezer to reduce soreness, making them an appealing option for athletes or workout enthusiasts.
Compared to the weighted blanket, weighted pillows are a lighter option that is more portable and generally more affordable. While weighted blankets can range from 3 to 30 pounds, weighted pillows are typically much lighter and can provide a similar deep pressure feeling without the added weight.
16. DIY Weighted Blanket
Making a DIY weighted blanket for yourself is a great way to save money and to get a custom-made blanket that fits your needs exactly.
17. Heavy Comforter
A heavy comforter is a type of bedding that is designed to provide extra pressure and warmth. A heavy comforter can be made of down, woven cotton, thick cotton quilts, or even a combination of blankets and duvets. It should weigh around 10% of the user’s body weight in order to provide the desired effect.
18. Squeeze machine
A Squeeze machine or Hug Machine is a therapeutic device like a weighted blanket invented by Temple Grandin that uses deep pressure to simulate the feeling of being held. This device has been known to help people relax and even reduce the symptoms of some mental illnesses.
19. Service dog
Deep pressure therapy service dogs are an alternative to weighted blankets as they provide a similar calming effect as deep pressure touch – using your dog! Service dogs can help those with sensory processing disorder feel grounded and safe, as well as improve sleep by providing the comfort of being held.
20. Deep pressure calming activities
Deep pressure calming activities such as swaddling a baby or a full-body massage can help calm and relax people who have difficulty with anxiety or stress. This type of deep pressure therapy has been used by occupational therapists for years and provides the same calming and relaxing effect as a weighted blanket.
Activities that can provide deep pressure calming include yoga, breathwork, and meditation.
21. Hug yourself
A great long hug from a friend is priceless. But if you’re looking for a way to simulate the feeling of being held without relying on someone else to provide the wished hug, you can try to hug yourself instead!
22. Heavy or tight clothing
You can try wearing heavy or tight clothing to get the same effect. Whether it’s a winter sweater or an extra pair of pants, the feeling of being hugged can help reduce anxiety and may even help you sleep better. Just be aware that you may sleep warmer than usual if you opt for this method, so you may need to adjust the temperature of your room or sleep with a light blanket.
What are the different types of weighted blankets available?
There are two main types of weighted blankets available, both of which can provide a calming effect that helps ease anxiety and stress. The first type is made from poly pellets or glass beads and is then wrapped in a soft fabric cover such as cotton, bamboo, or minky touch. The second type is knitted with a combination of cotton and polyester material.
Are there any other products that can help with stress relief or sleep issues?
Yes, there are other products that can help with stress relief or sleep issues. These include ergonomic trigger point massage guns, cooling weighted blankets, and weighted blanket sets. Additionally, deep pressure can help reduce feelings of anxiety and also calm and relax people with autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and pervasive developmental disorders.
Weighted blanket alternatives for travel
Purchase a travel-friendly weighted blanket. Weighted blankets that are specifically designed for travel are typically made with a lighter material than traditional weighted blankets.
If your weighted blanket is light enough, you can even try wearing it as a scarf or wrap. This is great for when you are walking around an airport or for when you want to stay warm in a chilly airplane cabin.
You can also use a light blanket or wrap as a top layer and a weighted blanket as a bottom layer for extra pressure. This is a great way to get the benefits of a weighted blanket without having to lug it around.