TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) Weighted blankets are not new to occupational therapists, but are becoming more mainstream to consumers. KMVT’s Morgan Rumpf investigated the science behind the hot item.
"Their name is out there, social media there's more companies that are online based and they're able to advertise a little bit more, and get the word out there a little bit more,” said occupational therapist Austin Robinson.
Typically these blankets are used for those with sensory disorders, and act as a deep tissue pressure to manage symptoms.
"So when we are applying that deep pressure, whether it be a massage or we can do sensory brushing, or things of that nature, that helps do the same thing that the weighted blanket does,” Robinson said. “The weighted blanket is just kind of a portable way of supporting that kind of deep pressure."
The additional weight has been shown to ease anxiety, and relax the body, when the correct blanket is used, which means finding the right weight.
"So you want to go about 10-20% of an individual's body weight," Robinson said.
These blankets may not work for everyone but if they work for you great.
"That's one tool in the toolbox that you can use,” Robinson explained. “There are many different things that you can use to help with calming, use different auditory input, you can use different tactile input that's just a tool you can use and if it works to help you calm down, then absolutely why not use it."
Robinson noted the only downside to these blankets are that they are expensive. An online search shows the average cost is around $100.
"There are actually some good tutorials online on how to make your own too. So that's a cheaper route if you're craftier," Robinson said.
Weighted blankets are not recommended to be used on or around infants.