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Weighted Blankets For Autism: Ultimate Guide

Did you know that weighted blankets can be beneficial for individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD)?

mark elias
Mark Elias
October 31, 2023

What Are Weighted Blankets For Autism?

Weighted blankets for autism have become increasingly popular in recent years as a way to promote relaxation and better sleep. But did you know that they can also be beneficial for individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD)?

How does a weighted blanket help autism?

Weighted blankets are designed to provide deep pressure stimulation, which can have a calming effect on the nervous system. This can be especially helpful for individuals with ASD, who may experience sensory overload or have difficulty regulating their emotions.

Research has shown that the use of weighted blankets can lead to improved sleep, reduced anxiety, and decreased agitation in individuals with ASD.

One study found that 63% of participants reported lower anxiety levels after using a weighted blanket, while another study found that the use of a weighted vest led to improved attention and task completion in children with ASD.

It's important to note that weighted blankets should be used under the guidance of a healthcare professional, as they may not be appropriate for everyone. They should also be properly sized and weighted to ensure maximum effectiveness and safety.

Who should not use weighted blankets?

While weighted blankets can be beneficial for many individuals with autism, there are some who should not use them.

Those with respiratory problems, such as asthma or sleep apnea, should avoid using a weighted blanket as the added pressure can make it difficult to breathe.

Similarly, those with claustrophobia or other anxiety disorders may find the sensation of being trapped under the weight of a heavy blanket to be triggering and uncomfortable.

As always, it's important to consult with a healthcare professional before incorporating a weighted blanket into your or your loved one's routine.

Is it OK to sleep with a weighted blanket every night?

Many people wonder if it's safe to use a weighted blanket every night for sleep.

While there is no definitive answer, it's important to listen to your body and pay attention to any changes in your sleep quality or overall well-being.

Some individuals may find that using a weighted blanket every night helps them fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer, while others may experience discomfort or difficulty breathing under the added weight.

It's important to start with a lighter weight and gradually increase as tolerated.

It's also worth noting that weighted blankets should not be used as a replacement for other therapies or treatments prescribed by a healthcare professional. While they can be helpful in promoting relaxation and improving sleep, they are just one tool in a larger toolbox of interventions for individuals with ASD or other conditions.

How heavy should a weighted blanket be for autism?

When it comes to selecting a weighted blanket for someone with autism, the weight of the blanket is an important factor to consider.

Typically, weighted blankets should weigh approximately 10% of the person's body weight plus one or two pounds. For example, if someone weighs 100 pounds, their ideal weighted blanket would weigh between 11 and 12 pounds.

However, this is just a general guideline and each individual may have different preferences when it comes to the weight of their blanket. It's important to listen to their feedback and adjust accordingly.

Some individuals may find a heavier or lighter blanket to be more effective in promoting relaxation and reducing anxiety.

It's also worth noting that not all weighted blankets are created equal.

Some may be filled with plastic pellets while others may use glass beads or other materials.

The type of filling can impact the overall weight and texture of the blanket, so it's important to select one that feels comfortable and soothing for the individual using it.

Overall, finding the right weighted blanket for someone with autism can take some trial and error.

But with patience and careful consideration of their individual needs and preferences, a well-chosen weighted blanket can be a valuable tool in promoting relaxation, improving sleep quality, and reducing anxiety.

In summary, weighted blankets can be a helpful tool for individuals with autism spectrum disorder who struggle with sensory overload and emotional regulation.

If you or a loved one is considering using a weighted blanket, be sure to consult with a healthcare professional to determine if it's the right choice for you.


  1. https://karmara.co.uk/blogs/learn/weighted-blankets-for-autism
  2. https://psychcentral.com/autism/weighted-blankets-and-autism
  3. https://www.autismparentingmagazine.com/weighted-blankets-autism/
  4. https://www.healthline.com/health/autism/weighted-blanket