How to Use A Weighted Blanket: A Beginner’s Guide

Weighted blankets are becoming so popular that people all over the world are asking: How do I use a weighted blanket? Of course, this may sound like a silly question because a blanket is a blanket, after all.

Well. Yes and No. 

A weighted blanket is a special type of blanket that is filled with micro glass beads or plastic pellets to give it more weight than a normal blanket.  Weighted blankets began their journey as therapy aids for people with anxiety, panic and neurological related disorders and have now found their way into the mainstream market.

This means more people are wondering if they should and can use a weighted blanket and if there is a specific way it works. In this article we take a look at the practicalities of using your weighted blanket to get the best therapeutic benefits from it. 

Snuggle up and let’s take a look. 

Getting used to that loving feeling

Woman unpacking packages on bed with weighted blanket

Fans of our weighted blankets have let us know that they fall asleep faster, get more restful sleep and love the gentle pressure that Gravid blankets provide. We’re very happy that our product is giving them a good night’s sleep and we want you to benefit from a weighted blanket too, so let’s continue.


As we’ve mentioned, these blankets are filled with micro glass beads, plastic pellets or even micro steel beads that make them heavier than a normal blanket.

When you lie under the blanket, your entire body is enveloped in this feeling of weightiness, which simulates a therapy known as deep pressure stimulation or deep touch pressure. To understand what this feels like, you can give yourself a big bear hug. How does it feel?  You get a level of comfort from that squeezing pressure around your body, right?

This is what a weighted blanket feels like. It places pressure on your body’s pressure points through contact with the skin and provides deep pressure therapy that soothes your nervous system and improves your sleep quality.

Now, as much as an all-night hug sounds like a great idea, it can take some getting used to. Sure enough, it’s a great feeling and does so much to soothe anxiety and insomnia, but you may want to take it slow and get used to the heaviness of the blanket by using our tips below.

Check it out for yourself.

Everyone is different, so you need to approach the use of your blanket from that perspective. 

If you want to see how you feel about it before sleeping under it for 8 hours straight, you can use the blanket when you have a short nap or perhaps sit under it while you’re watching TV or some other sedentary activity. Let your body get used to the increased pressure and also the feel of the material against your skin.

After this, you can try it out on your bed. Sleep under the blanket for a few hours and see how you respond to its weight, heat and materials. If you fall asleep easily and stay asleep for longer than normal, you’ll be able to spend all night under it. 

Does the weight of the blanket matter? 

As you test the blanket, you may have some problems with its weight. Give it two or three days, but if you haven’t gotten used to the weight by then, it may be better to get a lighter weighted blanket. 

You may think the heavier the blanket, the more benefit you can get from it. Unfortunately, that’s not how weighted blankets work, and less might be more, as the saying goes. Weighted blankets should not be more than 10% of your body weight (including the combined body weight of two people sleeping under it).

You see, deep sleep is not dependent on how heavy the blanket is. It’s about the evenly distributed weight that creates the deep touch pressure, activating your parasympathetic nervous system and thereby reducing the feeling of stress. This is what allows you to fall into deep sleep, and more specifically, REM sleep, which is the high grade sleep everyone needs. 

Therefore, adding more weight than necessary doesn’t achieve better results and can actually hinder your sleep. Instead of light pressure, you might feel like someone is sitting on your chest—that won’t relieve your stress at all!

Should you use the weighted blanket together with other blankets?

weighted blanket stack on top of other blankets

Unless it’s a sheet, our advice is that you don’t put any other blankets under or on top of your weighted blanket. Why?

Well our Gravid weighted blankets have been made from certain materials that have a purpose behind them. For example, our Breeze™ Cooling Weighted Blanket is made from a material called TENCEL™ Lyocell and provides hot sleepers and those going through anxiety disorder or menopause (both which can make sufferers feel extremely hot) with a gentle hug and lowers anxiety. This blanket is also ideal for restless leg syndrome and chronic pain related to inflammation because it relieves some of the unpleasant symptoms. 

Yeh! Give me one of these blankets.

Therefore adding other blankets may reduce the effectiveness of the weighted blanket. Also adding blankets increases the weight on top of your body and instead of experiencing a gentle pressure you could disrupt a potentially good night’s sleep. 

While we’re talking about weight, it’s not a good idea to have half or some of your blanket hanging off the bed. The weight pulling on one side will be very uncomfortable and again defeat the purpose of the blanket, which is to ensure an even weight distribution across the bed. 

If your partner does not want to sleep under the weighted blanket, it is advisable to buy a smaller size blanket (twin) to ensure a better night’s sleep. 

Can you put your head under the blanket?

Person sleeping with head under the blanket

Before you think we’re making some kind of joke - we never joke about serious sleep issues. People who suffer from sleep disorders often find ‘hiding’ their heads under the blanket comforting because it blocks out light and noise. However, with a weighted blanket, this can be dangerous, especially for people suffering from obstructive sleep apnea, where the combination of pressure and lack of air can result in problems with breathing.

For the benefit of our mental health and nerves, please don’t cover your face with a weighted blanket. It is designed to give you the feeling of gentle pressure from the shoulders downwards and not act as a bear hug for your face. Again, if you think we’re joking, just read sleep disorder forums. 

If you want to block out light, we recommend you try our Visage™ Weighted Sleep Mask. It's not just about darkness; the gentle pressure lowers stress and ramps up your sleep hormone, melatonin, nudging you into a deeper, more refreshing sleep faster.

Unboxing your blanket

Let’s stick our heads together in the box and see what’s going on inside. When you first get your blanket, you might want to give the outer cover and the inner weighted blanket a quick wash (see our care instructions below).

To use the blanket, unzip the outer removable cover and place one half of the cover on your mattress. Think of the cover as a book where one of the pages of the cover lies flat on your bed. Lie the inner weighted blanket down on top of the cover and zip all the sides up. Now you can flip over the other half of the outer cover and zip that up over the inner weighted blanket. 

Concerned about the zipper? We have a decent zipper, ZipperTech™, that keeps the inner and outer layers firmly together. It’s these superior design elements that make our Gravid blankets Canada’s much-loved weighted blanket. 60,000+ people are testimony to this fact. 

That’s it! Now you’re ready to try out your Gravid blanket. 

I don’t have a Gravid blanket yet, but I need one now!

Caring for your weighted blanket

Gravid weighted blanket

How to Wash Outer Removable Covers (Microplush Duvet & EcoBreeze)

  1. Open the zipper and remove the inner weighted blanket.
  2. The outer cover can be washed in your machine on a cool, gentle cycle.
  3. Use a small amount of liquid detergent, taking care that you do not use any bleach.
  4. Tumble dry on a cool setting. Before the outer cover is completely dry, take it out of the dryer and hang to complete the drying process.

How to Wash the Inner Weighted Blanket

  1. Unzip the outer cover and remove the inner weighted blanket. The inner weighted blanket can be washed in your machine on a cool, gentle cycle.
  2. Use a small amount of liquid detergent taking care that you do not use any bleach or whitening agent.
  3. Tumble dry on a cool setting. Before the inner weighted blanket is completely dry, take it out of the dryer and hang to complete the drying process.

Concluding thoughts

In this article we’ve given you all the information you need to wisely use a weighted blanket. We’ve discussed testing it out, how to use it correctly and what not to do. We’ve also given you help unboxing your blanket and how to care for it.

With this much useful information, it would be hard not to feel like you’re ready to enjoy your weighted blanket and get the best out of it. Some of our happy customers had this to say:

“The one thing I have noticed with the weighted blanket is that my mind is not as active and I tend to fall asleep faster, but I  don’t necessarily stay asleep.  I still wake up a couple of times a night, but I blame that on my age. The blanket was recommended by my daughter, who will not sleep without hers”. - Denise L (verified purchase)

“I love this blanket. Even on the first night, I have never slept deeper. I usually wake up multiple times in a night, but I typically don't wake up at all anymore. My husband has spells of insomnia, and he hasn't had one since we got our Gravid. Highly recommend!” - Katy C (verified purchase)

This should give you further encouragement that you’ve made a great decision to purchase a weighted blanket. 

Don’t have a Gravid blanket yet? Join 60,000+ satisfied Canadian customers today and get better sleep, than with traditional blankets. 


Further reading: Benefits of weighted blankets for sleep disturbances

Who shouldn’t use a weighted blanket? The truth behind the controversy.