Are Weighted Blankets Dangerous?

Explore the risks of weighted blankets, learn who should avoid them, and find safer solutions for relaxation and better sleep!
Are Weighted Blankets Dangerous?

Wondering if a weighted blanket is the right choice for you or your loved one with anxiety, insomnia, stress, or sensory overload? Before you dive headfirst into the trend, it’s important to consider safety.

Are weighted blankets dangerous? Unfortunately, they can pose risks for some users. Let’s take a look at the potential dangers of a weighted blanket, who should exercise caution, and how you can achieve the same benefits without the risk.

Why Are Weighted Blankets Dangerous?

The added weight of weighted blankets can make them dangerous for infants, young children, the elderly, and users with health problems affecting the heart or lungs. From potential suffocation hazards and the risk of overheating to increased musculoskeletal pain, there are multiple risks users should be aware of before purchasing a weighted blanket for themselves or a loved one. 

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The Dangers of Weighted Blankets

There are several factors to consider when it comes to the potential dangers of weighted blankets. Here’s what you need to know.

Suffocation and Entrapment

One of the foremost concerns surrounding weighted blanket use is the potential risk of suffocation and entrapment. Vulnerable users who lack the motor skills, strength, or awareness to free themselves can become trapped under the blanket or within its folds. If the blanket covers the user's face, it can inhibit their ability to breathe freely. 

The dense material of the blanket can also make it difficult for caregivers to detect signs of distress. Vulnerable users who roll onto their stomachs while under the blanket may also struggle to reposition themselves, leading to the risk of suffocation or positional asphyxia. 

Impaired Mobility

The added bulk and weight of a weighted blanket can restrict freedom of movement, making it difficult to change positions comfortably during sleep. This restriction of mobility can be especially problematic for people with mobility issues, joint pain, or existing injuries.

For those who toss and turn during sleep, the restrictive nature of a weighted blanket can hinder the ability to sift positions throughout the night. This limitation compromises comfort and disrupts the sleep cycle.

For users with existing mobility issues, being unable to get in and out of bed or change positions easily can also lead to an increased risk of accidents or falls, especially if the user has balance problems.


The dense material and added weight of a weighted blanket can restrict airflow and ventilation, causing body heat to become trapped underneath the blanket. This leads to an increased risk of overheating for individuals who are prone to overheating during sleep, have certain medical conditions, or live in warm climates.

For users who are already susceptible to overheating, such as those experiencing menopausal hot flashes or conditions like hyperhidrosis, the use of a weighted blanket can worsen existing discomfort and disrupt sleep patterns.

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Difficulty Breathing

The weight and pressure exerted by a weighted blanket can restrict chest movement and make it difficult for some users to breathe comfortably. While this isn’t an issue for healthy adults, it is especially problematic for users with existing respiratory conditions or compromised lung function.

The restriction of chest expansion is a concern for those who have asthma, sleep apnea, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) because it can worsen breathing issues or trigger symptoms such as shortness of breath or wheezing.

The weight of the blanket pressing down on the chest and abdomen can further impede breathing in users with reduced lung capacity or weakened respiratory muscles. This can lead to feelings of suffocation or shortness of breath, particularly during sleep when respiration naturally slows down.

Claustrophobia and Sensory Overload

The sensation of being tightly wrapped in a heavy blanket can lead to feelings of confinement or restriction in some users, especially those who are prone to claustrophobia or sensory issues.

Users who experience claustrophobia may find that using a weighted blanket causes feelings of anxiety or panic, making it difficult to relax and unwind. Those with sensory processing issues, like autism spectrum disorder or ADHD, may also find the sensation of a weighted blanket overwhelming or intolerable.

The added weight and pressure may amplify sensory stimuli, leading to feelings of agitation, restlessness, or discomfort, particularly if the blanket’s texture is aversive to the user’s sensory preferences. If the user is non-verbal, it can be difficult for caregivers to know if the blanket is causing discomfort.

Musculoskeletal Injury and Joint Pain

For some users, the added weight and increased pressure on joints and muscles can lead to pain or discomfort. Issues like back pain, joint stiffness, and worsening of existing conditions like arthritis and fibromyalgia are fairly common.

Sleeping under a weighted blanket can also make it difficult to change positions during sleep, which can lead to strain on muscles and joints. Users with weakened muscles or compromised mobility may have an increased risk of injury if they struggle to reposition themselves under the blanket.

Skin Irritation

Prolonged use of a weighted blanket, especially if it lacks breathability or is made from abrasive materials, can cause friction on the skin and lead to irritation, chafing, or pressure sores. This is particularly concerning for those who are bedridden, have sensitive skin, or have dermatological conditions like eczema or psoriasis.

Weighted blankets are often filled with synthetic fabrics or non-breathable fillers, which can worsen skin irritations by trapping moisture and heat against the skin. This leads to the potential for skin irritation, bacterial growth, and the worsening of wounds or skin irritation.

Never Hot or Claustrophobic
Never Hot or Claustrophobic
Easy To Move from Place To Place
Easy To Move from Place To Place
Hug it Or Let it Hug You
Hug it Or Let it Hug You

Who Shouldn’t Use a Weighted Blanket?

While weighted blankets offer potential benefits for many users, they’re not suitable for everyone. Here’s a closer look at who should approach weighted blanket use with caution, or perhaps even avoid using them altogether.

  • Infants: Weighted blankets pose a significant risk for babies due to their limited mobility and inability to remove the blanket if they become trapped. Weighted blankets should never be used with infants.
  • Young Children Under 4: Kids under the age of four may also be at risk of suffocation or entrapment under a weighted blanket. Small children may lack the motor skills or awareness to free themselves if trapped under the blanket, and should never use one unsupervised.
  • People with Respiratory Concerns: Users with respiratory conditions such as asthma or COPD may experience difficulty breathing under the pressure of a weighted blanket.
  • Individuals with Circulatory Disorders: Those with circulatory disorders may experience reduced blood flow and an increased risk of numbness or tingling in limbs under the weight of the blanket.
  • Those with Cognitive or Sensory Impairments: Users with cognitive or sensory impairments may find the sensation of a weighted blanket distressing or overwhelming, leading to discomfort or agitation.
  • Those Prone to Claustrophobia-Related Anxiety: Users who are prone to claustrophobia-related anxiety may experience increased feelings of confinement or restriction under a weighted blanket, worsening symptoms of anxiety or panic.
  • Elderly Users with Reduced Strength, Mobility Issues, or Cognitive Impairment: Older people with reduced strength, mobility issues, or cognitive impairment may be at increased risk of injury or discomfort due to the weight and bulkiness of a weighted blanket.
  • Those with Open Wounds or Skin Conditions: Those with open wounds or skin conditions may experience irritation or worsening of skin issues due to the potential abrasiveness and friction of a weighted blanket.
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Exploring a Safer Option

If weighted blanket use isn’t recommended for you or your loved one, there is a safer option that offers the same benefits without the risks. The Original Weighted Pillow by Quiet Mind provides Deep Pressure Stimulation, much like a weighted blanket, but with added advantages that make them a safer and more versatile option for many users.

Our weighted pillow is filled with small, recycled glass beads that are evenly distributed to provide targeted, gentle pressure. This pressure stimulates the body’s proprioceptive system and parasympathetic nervous system, triggering the calming effects of deep touch pressure and the release of feel-good neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin.

It also helps reduce overall cortisol levels, encouraging a state of relaxation. The benefits of using a weighted pillow include stress and anxiety relief, improved sleep quality, sensory regulation, and an overall more calm and focused mind. 

Weighted pillows also offer more targeted pressure application and portability for use in various settings and situations, by users with diverse needs. There’s no risk of overheating or claustrophobia with a weighted pillow, making them an ideal choice for most users. 

Whether you’re seeking relief from stress, anxiety, or sleep disturbances, weighted pillows are a portable and versatile solution that meets your needs without compromising safety or comfort.

So, why wait? Take the first step towards better sleep and relaxation with the Quiet Mind's Original Weighted Pillow. Enjoy the benefits of deep touch pressure without the risks!