Weighted blankets can be a source of great comfort for people who struggle to sleep or feel anxious at night. A weighted blanket is similar to a regular blanket or duvet, except it is filled with glass beads to make it feel heavier. Don’t worry – they don’t ‘clink’ in the night!
So what does a weighted blanket do? A weighted blanket can provide ‘deep pressure therapy’ which, according to research, relaxes the user, giving them a feeling of comfort and safety. This can help users to fall asleep more quickly, and improve their overall sleep time and quality.
Weighted blankets are increasingly popular for older people who find it difficult to fall asleep —or struggle to sleep through the night— including people with dementia. We have identified six of the best weighted blankets for older people looking to get a better night’s sleep.
1. Mela Weighted Blanket
The Mela Weighted Blanket is Mela’s flagship weighted blanke product and has won numerous awards including the Evening Standard’s weighted blanket of the year award in both 2019 and 2020. The Mela blanket is filled with anti-rustle glass pellets, which mould to a person’s body shape with minimal noise. It comes with a double-sided removable cover.
The Mela Weighted Blanket is available in 3 sizes (single, double and king) and up to 4 different weights. This means you can choose a size and weight that is perfect for your elderly relative. The Mela blanket costs £109.99.
Age Space likes: The Mela Weighted Blanket is of supreme quality, as proven by its awards.
Most weighted blanket providers agree that the best weight for a weighted blanket is approximately 10% of a person's body weight. For example, if a person weighs 60kg then a 6kg weighted blanket would be best.
2. Gravity Weighted Blanket
Gravity Blankets are one of the biggest names in the world of weighted blankets. Their Gravity Weighted Blanket is designed specifically for reducing anxiety and stress for adults who struggle to sleep. There are 2 cover options: a ‘year-round cover’ which has 1 warmer and 1 cooler side, or a ‘summer cover’ for people who prefer to be a little cooler throughout the year.
The Gravity Weighted Blanket impressively comes in 5 different weights (from 4kg up to 12kg) — so you should be able to find a suitable weight for you or your elderly relative. They offer a 28 night good sleep money back guarantee if you decide it’s not what you were looking for. Prices start from £149.00
Age Space likes: The range of colours and sizes available with the Gravity Weighted Blanket
There are dementia products and aids to help with all sorts of problems, including falls and remembering to take pills. Read our guide to the best aids and products for people with dementia.
3. Simba — Orbit Weighted Blanket
The Simba Orbit Weighted Blanket is stylish and well-designed for a good night’s sleep. The cover is made from 100% breathable cotton to keep you cool despite its weight. It also uses glass nano-beads inside which ensures the weight is spread comfortably across the body even if somebody tends to move around in their sleep.
Simba’s weighted blanket is available in 2 different sizes: 6.8kg and 9kg. The price of the Orbit Weighted Blanket start from £169.00
Age Space likes: the sleek and stylish design of the Orbit Weighted Blanket; it would look good in any bedroom.
4. The Koala Blanket
The Koala Blanket from Koala is a therapeutic weighted blanket that incorporates deep touch technology to help people sleep better. It is made up of a weighted duvet and a light cover made of bamboo. The bamboo cover is double-sided, so that your relative can choose a feel that suits them on a given evening: silky eco bamboo for the warmer days, or the softer minky side for colder nights.
The Koala therapeutic weighted blanket is availble in 2 sizes and 3 weights, ranging from 4kg to 9kg. Prices start from £109.99
Age Space likes: The use of super-light bamboo to keep you cool on summer nights.
5. Remy Sleep — The Sleeper
Remy Sleep’s most popular weighted blanket — The Sleeper is designed to aid the perfect night’s sleep, and is customisable. You can choose between a smooth bamboo cover or a quilted plush cover for those that feel the cold more. Unlike most of the others brand who only offer various shades of grey, The Remy Blanket is also available in Midnight Blue.
The Sleeper is available in 2 sizes and 4 different weights. Remy Sleep also offer a generous trial period; if it is does not improve sleep after 30 days then you can return it. Prices start from £129.00.
Age Space likes: The ability to choose between a bamboo or quilted plush cover, depending on if someone is warmer or cooler at night.
If you have a respiratory illness, you should speak to your GP about whether or not a weighted blanket is appropriate.
6. Nectar — Sumo Sleep Natural Weighted Blanket
The Sumo Sleep Natural Weighted Blanket is a tasteful and smooth weighted blanket from mattress specialists Nectar. Made of bamboo it boasts moisture-wicking materials to keep the blanket cool on warmer nights. The Sumo Sleep blanket is filled with eco-friendly glass beads, making it a good environmental choice.
Unlike the other weighted blankets in this list, the Sumo Sleep weighted blanket comes in a single size: 10kg. This means it is more appropriate for larger people. Nectar offer a 100 night trial on the Sumo Sleep blanket. Prices start from £169.
Age Space likes: The use of environmentally-friendly glass beads.
Age Space thoroughly researches all products and services based on the following criteria: Cost, availability, reviews/recommendation, company accreditation and regulation (where possible).
We have a panel of older reviewers and where possible will review products in more depth for usability. These can be found in our Reviews section.
Frequently Asked Questions about Weighted Blankets
Are weighted blankets suitable for the elderly?
In most cases, weighted blankets are suitable for the elderly. They are only recommended to weigh around 10% of a given person's body weight, so the blanket should be easy enough for them to navigate.
Elderly people who have respiratory conditions or are frail should speak to their GP before using a weighted blanket.
Can weighted blankets help people with dementia?
Research suggests that weighted blankets can alleviate anxiety and make sleeping easier. People with dementia, particularly sundowning dementia, tend to struggle to sleep at night and can wake up feeling anxious. For this reason, weighted blankets can help people with dementia to sleep through the night.
Are weighted blankets suitable for people who are frail?
Weighted blankets are not recommended for people who are very frail. Although they are not so heavy that they are difficult to move for most elderly people, it is not a good idea for people who are frail.
Will my relative be too warm with a weighted blanket?
If they are prone to being warm when they sleep then they might want a lighter weighted blanket or a cool cover. Most of the weighted blanket companies listed have different weight and cover options.
How do you wash a weighted blanket?
You wash the weighted blanket cover in the same way as you would wash a normal duvet cover. The weighted blanket duvet itself does not need to be washed.
What are weighted blankets made from?
Most weighted blankets are filled with small glass beads that give the blanket its weight. These small beads move easily, meaning that the weight of the blanket is spread evenly. The covers of weighted blankets tend to be made from cotton or bamboo.
Should a weighted blanket immediately improve my elderly relative's sleep?
Most companies suggest that it can take up to a month for a weighted blanket to improve a person's sleep. Thankfully most also offer at least a 28 day trial period. This should be enough time to know whether or not it is improving sleep.
Do weighted blankets help with anxiety?
Studies on weighted blankets have not yet definitively confirmed that weighted blankets help with anxiety. Many product reviews from people with anxiety would indicate that weighted blankets have been helpful.
My partner struggles to sleep but I don't. Should I buy a double or single weighted blanket?
If only 1 of the 2 people in the bed struggle to sleep then a single weighted blanket may be the best idea.
Many people that do not struggle to sleep still enjoy the comfort provided by a weighted blanket, though. It might be worth trialling a double weighted blanket first and seeing if it works for you both.
Can you feel the glass beads?
No, you can't feel the individual glass beads. The glass beads are extremely small, and have a similar texture to sand. This allows them to spread out across the duvet.
What is 'deep pressure therapy'?
Deep pressure therapy is based on deep pressure stimulation: firm but gentle squeezing, hugs, or holding that relaxes the human nervous system. This then makes it easier to sleep.