Best product for anxiety

Reviews

The weight of gravity blankets range depending on your weight, and they are usually meant to compose about 7-to-12% of your body mass.

BestReviews is reader-supported and may earn an affiliate commission. Details.

Which product for anxiety is best?

Gravity blankets — otherwise known as weighted blankets — look just like an average comforter, but they’re actually a game-changing phenomenon revolutionizing the realms of sleep and mental health.

These are exactly what they sound like: blankets with a heavy filling intended to weigh them down and distribute pressure across your body. The idea is that this mimics the sensation of being held or hugged, creating a relaxing effect.

Gravity blankets were originally used as a tool by occupational therapists and psychiatric professionals to help with a range of mental and physical health issues, but they’re now available for purchase by anyone with sleeping troubles. Read on to learn the benefits of these blankets plus how to DIY your own.

How does it work?

Gravity blankets are shaped like typical comforters but are filled with glass or plastic pellets and usually weigh 15 pounds or more. They’re designed to improve sleep quality by providing pressure that stimulates serotonin release, which leads to decreased anxiety, feelings of calm, and more restful sleep.

Many find that the deep pressure the blanket applies is akin to a hug, providing calming “deep touch pressure.” Some people even go as far as comparing it to a return to the womb or a swaddling sensation. Overall, these blankets can be ideal for those looking for a respite from restless nights.

Benefits of gravity blankets

This deep touch pressure provided by weighted blankets has proven a successful anti-anxiety and relaxation assistant for many. The theory is that it stimulates the release of the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin.

Melatonin, a hormone that promotes sleep and relaxation, is also linked to the production of serotonin. Besides bringing a general sense of calm, other possible uses for gravity blankets include treatment for:

  • Nervous system disorders

  • Anxiety disorders

  • Insomnia

  • PTSD

  • Chronic stress

  • ADHD

  • Fibromyalgia pain

  • Sensory processing disorder

  • OCD

  • Fidgeting

While there are no major risks connected to gravity blankets, they should only be used by teens or adults and can be dangerous for children and infants.

Is it worth it?

Many enjoy the gentle yet firm sewn-in pressure of the beads within gravity blankets, but others find that the added weight feels more constrictive than comforting. Some professionals think that there needs to be a high baseline of anxiety or another disorder in order to see tangible physiological changes.

But if it could help you sleep better at night, what do you have to lose? Amidst the stress and chaos that we put ourselves under daily, something that could potentially lighten that load does appeal.

There are plenty of existing cognitive behavioral therapies for both anxiety and insomnia, and a weighted blanket might not be the cure to all your problems; ultimately, you can’t hack sleep. Gravity blankets aren’t a miracle cure for anything, but a nightly de-stressor can’t hurt.

DIY gravity blanket tutorial

As helpful as gravity blankets can be, the price tag can be daunting, and many also find that gravity blankets are smaller than desired. This is where DIY customizations can come in handy. Making your own weighted blanket can be challenging, but if you feel up to the task, it’s a cost-effective way to get in on gravity blankets.

Here is a tutorial for a standard, twin-sized (40 inches by 76 inches) weighted blanket:

Materials

  • 1 pound of plastic pellets per 10 pounds of body weight

  • 5 yards of durable fabric of desired width

  • Sewing machine

  • Thread

  • Sewing scissors

  • Measuring Tape

  • Pins

  • Ruler

Instructions

After you have your your fabric cut to the appropriate size — 2.5 yards long for the front and back respectively — place your fabric pieces one on top of the other, with the sides you want visible facing outward.

  1. Measure two inches in on both of the long sides and one of the short sides, leaving one short side open to place your pellets.
  2. Sew the front and back pieces of fabric together on the lines on three sides, leaving one short side open in order to add weighted beads. Then, turn the fabric inside out and iron the edges.

  3. Measure a grid for the remaining space on the blanket in order to prepare to add your pellets. Since 4 inches are being taken off each side to make room for edges, the weighted area will be 36 inches by 72 inches.

  4. Divide this area into even, 6-inch-by-6-inch squares so that it forms a grid, creating 12 squares up and 6 squares across.

  5. Now, divide your pellets into the right portion using this helpful formula: total weight in ounces divided by the number of squares.

  6. Sew along vertical lines to make channels with six inches of space between each other, which is where you will pour pellets.

  7. Once the channels are prepped, pour the accurate amount of fill for each square into each of the six channels, shaking to settle them properly.

  8. Then, sew a straight line across the fabric six inches above the bottom seam, closing the line of weighted squares.

  9. Repeat steps #8 and #9 until the last row of squares at the top is completed. Then, fold in the leftover two inches of fabric and stitch it shut, sealing your top row of squares.

Shopping list

Cooling Weighted Blanket

Gravity blanket: If you’re looking for a high-quality gravity blanket to match your home’s decor, the Weighted Idea Cooling Weighted Blanket comes in a variety of color options. You can also choose from different weights and sizes in order to get the perfect fit for your body and your bed. This is a particularly good choice if you’re worried about overheating beneath the weight of a gravity blanket because it’s made of 100% cotton so it stays cool and breathable even in the summer.

Sold by Amazon

these titanium tailor scissors

Sewing scissors: If you do decide to DIY your own gravity blanket, you want to make sure the edges are clean and even. A good pair of sewing scissors, like these titanium tailor scissors from LIVINGO, are a must-have for those with a knack for crafting.

Sold by Amazon

Heavy Duty Extra-High Sewing Machine

Sewing machine: A sewing machine is another necessity when it comes to making a gravity blanket from scratch. Singer’s Heavy Duty Extra-High Sewing Machine is easy to use and suited to beginners as well as more experienced sewers, plus it can create a variety of different stitch types.

Sold by Amazon

 

Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.

Naima Karp writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

Copyright 2021 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.