Last Updated on September 18, 2021 by Sandra Allens

There are various types of weighted blankets, each with a varied weight distribution. By adding weights, these blankets become heavier, provide pressure, and give the user a greater sense of security.

It is common practice for occupational therapists (OT) to use weighted blankets as calming or comforting tools for individuals with autism or other sensory processing disorders. People with autism spectrum disorder often struggle with sleep problems and anxiety.

Therapeutic SensaCalm Small

  • Child-friendly design
  • Options with bright colors

Weighted blanket by Harkla adults

  • Quite soft
  • The duvet cover is removable and washable

YnM Weighted Blanket

  • Up to 25 pounds
  • Soft, breathable fabric

There is no known cause for autism spectrum disorder, but genetics and environment are commonly thought to be contributing factors. There is no cure for many diseases, and diagnosing them can be difficult. It is a lifelong disease that can be managed and reduced through certain medications and therapies.

DPT is a gentle pressure therapy that is evenly distributed across the body that can help people with autism with sensory processing. Using a weighted blanket is the best method of administering this therapy.

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What are the Causes of Autism?

Autism spectrum disorder is characterized by several neurological and behavioral problems, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). It is common for people with autism to exhibit repetitive behaviors and restricted interests, as well as to have difficulty communicating and interacting with others. Autism symptoms can make it difficult for individuals to work, learn, or function properly in other areas of life.ther areas.

Autism spectrum disorders are characterized by a variety of symptoms that can vary depending on the type of disorder. It has been observed that the following behaviors can be seen in people with autism:

  • Poor eye contact or inconsistency
  • Responses to verbal requests for attention are slow
  • Enjoying activities and objects rarely together
  • A lack of regard for the feelings of others when talking about a favorite subject.
  • The words or movements you use don’t match your body language
  • It is difficult for you to understand someone else’s viewpoint
  • Repetition of actions, words, or phrases
  • Even tiny changes to a routine can upset someone
  • Light, noise, texture, and temperature are all sensory inputs that can be more or less sensitive to

A cause for autism spectrum disorder has not yet been identified. There is still more to learn about ASD, but certain genes and environmental factors may play a significant role in the disorder. Children born to elderly parents with ASD, those born to siblings with ASD, those born with a genetic condition such as Rett syndrome, and those born very small are associated with a variety of risk factors for ASK.

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What is the Benefit of Weighted Blankets for Autistic Children?

While autism does not have a known cure, certain therapies can be beneficial if started promptly. Early treatment can lessen a patient’s difficulties while developing their skills and strengths. There is no one treatment that is best for everyone suffering from ASD because the symptoms are so diverse. Medical professionals and school administrators need to work closely with parents to meet their children’s needs.

As with any medical condition, there might be medical management necessary for certain people with ASD. Psychological, educational, and behavioral therapies are also important. Weighted blankets are a great way to improve the quality of life for those with autism spectrum disorder, as treatment is lifelong.

Weighted blanket research on autism is extensive. With deep touch pressure, weighted blankets can provide therapeutic benefit for individuals with autism. A calming effect is created by gently applying pressure across the body evenly. It has similar benefits to hugging and massages, but it is especially helpful to autistic individuals who do not respond well to physical touch. Weighted blankets are thought to provide relief for autistic people from anxiety caused by their nervous systems being gently pressed.

Weighted Blankets for Autism Come in A Variety of Different Types

You might be wondering how to choose the right weighted blanket now that you know how weighted blankets help people with autism. Make sure you understand the basics of weighted blankets before shopping for one. The following are some common options:

  • Box Construction. As with down comforters, these blankets look like boxes containing weighted materials that are sewn together.
  • Channel Construction. Channels are used instead of boxes in this type of weighted blanket so the weighted material is evenly distributed within the fabric and can move freely.
  • Removable Cover. Weighted blankets have removable covers that can be washed. The cover can be connected using this feature, but some are difficult to connect. In addition, it should be washable.
  • Completely Sewn. An all-in-one blanket. Depending on the filling and the material, some blankets and fillings are still washable, but it is worth checking before buying.
  • Lap/Shoulder Blanket. They are also available in smaller sizes and are used as lap blankets or as sleeping blankets.

Consider the person’s preferences regarding weight and materials when choosing a weighted blanket for an autistic adult. Autism patients sometimes prefer blankets that stimulate their senses to those that do not. Consider the options available for weighted blankets as you read about their different components.

Weighted Blanket Components for Autism

Weighted blankets for autism must be selected keeping in mind the user’s preferences. Knowing how weighted blankets work is probably the best way to choose a blanket that will work for you. Weighted blankets are comprised of the following elements:

  • Weight. About five pounds to twenty-five pounds or more is the weight of a weighted blanket. You can choose a blanket for children that is between 1 and 2 pounds heavier than their body weight. Go with 10% for adults.
  • Size. Depending on how you intend to use your weighted blanket, you should choose the appropriate size. Weighted blankets can be very helpful for children with autism as a means of sitting or sleeping. Sleeping requires a larger blanket, and sitting requires a smaller blanket.
  • Filler. A certain degree of preference plays a role in which filler materials work best. There are different types of fillers in weighted blankets, such as glass beads, plastic pellets, and grains such as rice or millet. Whenever possible, stay away from anything containing lead.
  • Fabric. Several factors, including breathability, warmth, and thermal qualities, are dependent on the fabric used in the manufacture of a weighted blanket. The Minky fabric used in some weighted blankets is particularly attractive to autistic children, especially the ones that have dotted textures. Weighted blankets for adults with autism might not be breathable.
  • Cover. Weighted blankets with removable covers are washable. In the summer, there are two covers to choose from, one for winter and one for summer.

The only way to know whether or not a weighted blanket really works is to try it out. There may be certain materials or types of filling you prefer. There is no harm in trying a few different options until you find the right one.

Our Top 7 Weighted Blanket Picks for Autism

You now have a better understanding of symptom management, knowing how weighted blankets can help, and you are prepared to begin seeking a weighted blanket. You can use our recommendations as a starting point. As a result, here are the 7 best blankets for someone with autism:

Weighted Blanket by Harkla Adults

Weighted blankets are best for autism in general. A popular weighted blanket available on the market, the Harkla Adult Weighted Blanket is no exception. There is a tie at each corner that makes reattaching the cover simple. The cover is made in two pieces for easy washing. There are two sizes of blankets available, 65*80 inches and 5-25 pounds. A dotted Minky fabric provides excellent sensory input in this weighted blanket, which is soft and comfortable. Several colors are available, and the warranty is lifetime. This item is ideal for sleeping, because it comes in larger sizes as well as in child sizes.

  • Advantages. Two-piece duvet cover, very soft, 2 weights, more colors, and removable for easy washing. Sizes for adults and children.
  • Disadvantages. In larger sizes, it is very expensive, and some users may find it too warm because of the cotton filling

Weighted Blanket by Sensa Calm

Choosing a weighted blanket specifically created to meet the needs of children with autism is easy with the SensaCalm Therapeutic Small Weighted Blanket. Due to its small size, lighter weight, and colorful design, this blanket is suitable for children. Having a box-shaped construction, your child can add additional weight if more sensory input is required. Hypoallergenic fiberfill and poly pellets combine to create a pillow-like feel in SensaCalm. For convenience, the bag can also be washed and dried.

  • Advantages. Kids can add more weight to it, it can be washed and dried, and it comes in bright colors.
  • Disadvantages. It may not be appropriate for a medium-sized bed to use a fiberfill mattress because it is too hot, lacks a removable cover, and is too expensive

YnM Weighted Blanket

Weighted blankets are some of the most popular products from YnM, made of the best materials and available in different colors and weights. It provides even pressure and sensory stimulation thanks to a unique 7-layer layer system. There is minimal fiberfill in the box to allow better temperature control, and the box is properly constructed to contain premium glass beads. Select soft Minky material or lightweight cotton as a duvet cover.

  • Advantages. It has a 3-year warranty, is breathable and has fewer fibers to regulate temperature, and it is available in several cover options.
  • Disadvantages. Machine washing is not recommended, seams are likely to tear

2 Duvet Covers with Temperature Calming Weighted Blanket

If you’re looking for an inexpensive all-in-one option, the Degrees of Comfort Weighted Blanket is ideal. This weighted blanket is available in two covers, so it can be used year round. It is ideal for summer, and it also provides additional sensory stimulation in winter thanks to the soft, Minky fabric. This blanket weighs between 6 and 25 pounds and measures 60*80 inches long. For optimal therapeutic benefit, nano-ceramic beads are used and weight is evenly distributed.

  • Advantages. In addition to Duralast stitching for durability, this comforter comes in eight different weights and sizes.
  • Disadvantages. Some sections are too large to share, weighted materials may shift in sections, and attaching covers can be tricky

The ZonLi Adult Weighted Blanket

Weighted blankets for adults are great for comfort and value. Featuring a box design for even weight distribution, the blanket is made of 100% natural cotton and hypoallergenic glass beads. It is available in different sizes and weights, and it is perfect for sleeping. Sizes range from 80*87 inches to 5-30 pounds and weigh up to 30 pounds. Besides being environmentally friendly, it is also durable. You have the peace of mind knowing that the policy will last for three years.

  • Advantages. Featuring 100% cotton construction, non-toxic pellet filling, machine washing capabilities, and a 3-year warranty, the pillows come in a variety of sizes.
  • Disadvantages. It may be very hot in the summer, and there may not be many trees

Weighted Kids Blanket Calming Comfort by Allstar Innovations

This is a unique children’s blanket designed specifically by Sharper Image. Featuring plush velveteen material and evenly distributed weight, this weighted blanket is designed to calm your mind. Each comes in five different colors and weighs between 6 and 25 pounds. A BD-free microbead is evenly distributed over precisely stitched squares of the device to provide optimal stimulation. Duvet covers can also be machine-washed.

  • Advantages. This duvet cover is not nearly as durable as other models because it is not made of as soft and plush fabric, and it has box construction to distribute weight evenly, and BPA-free microbeads.
  • Disadvantages. There may be a weakness in the duvet cover as compared to other models

Weighted Blanket by Quality Premium Adults

A weighted blanket for adults should be a great choice if you’re looking for calming comfort and sensory input. It is possible to use this weighted blanket as either a cozy blanket or a cleaning cloth. The new technology combined with premium materials in a seven-layer blanket guarantees maximum functionality. The 100% cotton outer layer is surrounded by a polyester padding as well as the premium glass microbeads, which help the outer layer stay in place while preventing overheating.

  • Advantages. With breathable cotton, premium glass beads, even weight distribution, ease of removal without damaging bed sheets, and 100 percent satisfaction guarantee.
  • Disadvantages. Because the cover does not contain natural fibers, reinstalling the cover can be difficult

Frequently Asked Questions on Weighted Blankets for People with Autism

Weighted Blankets for Autism: How Do they Work?

Autism is helped in several ways by weighted blankets. Applying gentle pressure across the body is deep pressure therapy. Children or adults with autism, who have difficulty with physical contact, can mimic the feeling of a hug without overstimulating them. Weighted blankets also stimulate the brain to produce serotonin, which calms the nervous system.

What Weight Should a Weighted Blanket Have?

A blanket should contain 10% of a child’s body weight plus 1-2 pounds. 10% of body weight should be contained in a weighted blanket for adults. However, weighted blankets are generally selected primarily based on personal preference. If you desire, you can adjust the pressure.

Does Medicare Cover Weighted Blankets?

Weighted blankets are covered under different health insurance plans, but many do if they are prescribed by an osteopathic doctor. When a child’s pediatrician prescribes the weighted blanket as durable medical equipment, plans like Medicare and Medicaid may pay for it. A weighted blanket may be covered by your insurance plan when you obtain a prescription from a physician. Call your insurance plan and ask. If you cannot find a supplier in your area, you can try contacting an equipment supplier in your area.

It’s difficult to handle the fact that people with autism spectrum disorder find it difficult to communicate their needs. Research has shown how deep pressure therapy can calm children and adults with autism, and a weighted blanket can help deliver the therapy. Our 7 top rated weighted blankets will help you decide if a weighted blanket will be helpful to someone with autism.