Safety Considerations When Using Weighted Blankets: Who Should Avoid Them?

Should you avoid a weighted blanket? From infants to pregnant women, read our latest article to learn expert insights on these useful blankets.


Weighted blankets are a popular option for many as they lay down to take a nap or get sleep overnight, but are there people who should avoid them? Unfortunately, as comfortable as these blankets may be, they are not always the best for those who may have specific conditions or even those who may be expecting a child. If you’re curious about weighted blankets and if they could help you, then you’ve come to the right place!

In this article, we’ll explore who should avoid weighted blankets and why. From vulnerable populations to those with specific circulatory and respiratory conditions, you'll discover precisely if and how you can use these blankets or if you should find an alternate source of warmth and comfort for when the time comes to get some rest.

Who Should Avoid Using Weighted Blankets?

While many people think that weighted blankets are for everyone, there are some people who should not use them. Weighted blankets are only supposed to be as heavy as 10% of your body weight and should be pretty easy to pull off from your body (Source: Scandinavian Journal of Occupational Therapy).

However, even if you can pull off the weighted blanket with ease, you may have a condition that makes using this blanket dangerous to your health. Let's explore the ordinary people who should avoid these comfortable sleep accessories.

Young Children and Babies

As expected, some of the most vulnerable populations should avoid using weighted blankets, including young children and babies. Because they are so young, and their bodies are still growing—often more fragile than older kids and teens—babies and young children under the age of five should be careful with using weighted blankets. A good rule of thumb is if your child cannot physically remove the blanket without help, then they should not be using it.

If you have a fussy child or baby who needs more comfort to go to bed, try swaddling them or rocking them back and forth. This will still provide them with some comfort without the added danger of the weighted blanket potentially threatening their health and safety.

Individuals with Respiratory Conditions

For those diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea or other respiratory conditions, a weighted blanket might feel comfortable, but it could be harmful to their health. Because sleep apnea already disrupts breathing, you'll likely feel increased pressure on your body with a weighted blanket, potentially worsening your ability to get adequate air while you rest.

Additionally, if you have asthma or other respiratory conditions, you should avoid using weighted blankets. Interestingly enough, many studies that have been conducted in the past on weighted blankets have excluded those with respiratory conditions for the sole reason that they could pose a risk to their overall health (Source: Occupational Therapy International). So, if you have a respiratory condition, it’s best to use another source of support for restful nights.

People with Poor Circulation

Much like those with respiratory issues, those with poor circulation should also be mindful of using weighted blankets. Weighted blankets work by providing heavier weight to the body to enhance relaxation. Still, in some situations, this tool can actually limit blood flow for those who have blood circulation challenges. This is especially true for those who have a diagnosed condition that states that they already struggle with adequate blood flow to all areas of their body.

So, if you or your child has been told by a doctor that they have abnormal circulation or have a blood circulation condition, it's best to put away the weighted blanket and opt for something else. As comforting as they are, your health is far more critical to protect.

Those with Sensory Disorders

If you have a sensory disorder, you may not find weighted blankets that comfortable. Here’s why: many people have complained in the past that their weighted blankets made odd, “disturbing noises." In contrast, others said that they were too hot for them and they were unable to sleep soundly. Even if you’re a sound sleeper, you may find that weighted blankets do not have the same effect on you as with others you know.

While the weighted blanket will not pose any sort of threat to you, it still is a matter of comfort. If you find that the weighted blanket hinders your ability to rest as opposed to supports it, it may be time to find another option for sleeping that enhances your level of comfort.

Pregnant Woman

For those who are pregnant and expecting a new bundle of joy, the comfort of a weighted blanket may seem enticing, but it is not always recommended. Because you and your baby are vulnerable, it is essential to reduce the potential risk of unsafe environments, including weighted blankets over your body. When you put a weighted blanket over your body, this can limit your movement and also put extra and unnecessary pressure on your belly.

If you’re looking for some added comfort while you await your due date, try a pregnancy pillow or a non-weighted blanket of your choosing. This will not only protect your baby, but it will also allow you to sleep without losing out on adequate rest.

Will You Use a Weighted Blanket When You Sleep?

Now that you know who should avoid a weighted blanket, you can take steps to protect your health—and potentially even the health of your young children and your babies. If you qualify to use a weighted blanket, you can enjoy some extra relaxation and some potentially better rest.

For those who cannot use a weighted blanket, there are so many other alternatives: fleece blankets, pregnancy pillows, and more. No matter what you choose, as long as you practice good sleep hygiene, you’ll be able to rest even more peacefully than before.


Written by

Marie Soukup

Marie Soukup is a seasoned copywriter, editor, and Integrative Nutrition Health Coach with a certificate from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition (IIN). With years of experience working with brands across diverse industries, Marie is passionate about holistic health and crafting compelling content.

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