What’s so great about weighted blankets? The appeal stems from Deep Touch Pressure Stimulation (DTPS), a technique that applies firm, gentle pressure to the body, relaxing the nervous system, quieting the mind, and inducing a sense of calm.
But, like all good things, weighted blankets come with some pretty significant drawbacks. For example, they trap heat against the body while you sleep, they’re bulky and don’t travel well, and washing them at home is nearly impossible.
If the idea of a weighted blanket appeals to you, but doesn’t quite fit your needs and lifestyle, you’ve come to the right place! Today, we’re exploring weighted blanket alternatives that promise similar calming and comforting effects without the weighty issues. Let’s dive in!
13 Weighted Blanket Alternatives for Relaxation and Comfort
Weighted blankets are a type of blanket that’s filled with materials like glass beads or plastic pellets. They’re designed to provide the effects of DTPS, but they’re not ideal for everyone. Here are 13 weighted blanket alternatives to explore, each tailored to different needs and lifestyles.
Try a Weighted Pillow
If you’re on the hunt for a versatile and travel-friendly alternative to a weighted blanket that won’t turn your bed into a furnace, you’ll love a weighted pillow! Made specifically to mimic the positive effects of a weighted blanket, the Original Weighted Pillow from Quiet Mind comes in three different sizes: small (6 pounds), medium (9 pounds), and large (12 pounds), so there’s an option for everyone.
One of the best things about a weighted pillow is its versatility compared to a weighted blanket. They’re easy to take from room to room or place to place, and you can use them in so many ways. Hug the pillow while you sleep for comforting sensory feedback, or use it as a lap desk for your laptop to help you stay focused and quiet your mind while you work.
Children with ADHD, autism, or sensory issues can easily carry their own weighted pillow wherever they go - no more wrestling with a cumbersome weighted blanket. They’re soft and portable for endless options anytime you need to calm down, decompress, or simply need the comfort of a hug when a human touch isn’t available.
Pile Up Regular Blankets
One of the simplest ways to imitate the effects of a weighted blanket is to pile several blankets on top of each other. Sometimes called layering, stacking blankets is an easy and cost-effective way to add pressure and weight while you sleep.
You can use any type of blanket, from wool blankets and quilts to comforters and duvets. You can also customize the type and amount of layers as needed to achieve the right amount of pressure for you.
However, be cautious, as this method will retain body heat, making it less suitable for hot sleepers, young children, or the elderly. It’s also not the ideal “grab-and-go” choice for those who are looking for calming effects on the move.
Get Creative with a Comforter Cover
If you have a comforter with a cover, you can use it to replicate the weighted blanket effect. For example, you could put an extra blanket or two inside the cover to add some additional weight. This added layer can mimic the gentle pressure of a weighted blanket.
But here’s the real talk: while these items can be distributed throughout the cover for a weighted blanket effect, we can’t promise that it will be all that comfortable. The effectiveness may not match the experience you’d get with a specialized solution like a weighted pillow. While it’s a fun experiment, it might not be the coziest or most practical choice in the long run.
Crafting Your Own DIY Rice or Bean Bag
For those who enjoy a bit of hands-on creativity, making your own DIY rice or bean bag can be a fun project. This weighted blanket alternative allows you to experience some of the soothing qualities of weight, and you can easily adjust it to suit your preference.
All you need is a sturdy fabric pouch or a clean sock, some uncooked rice or dried beans, and a bit of sewing know-how. Fill the pouch or sock with the rice or beans, and sew it shut. It’s really that easy!
While this simple DIY can offer some benefits, it probably won’t be as soft and huggable as you might like. It also won’t be as effective as a professionally designed and crafted weighted pillow, but if you’re looking for a quick and cheap solution, it’s worth a shot!
Add Warmth and Weight with a Heavy Wool Blanket
If you’re looking for a simple solution that mimics the cocooning warmth of a weighted blanket, consider opting for a heavy wool blanket. The weight of the wool can offer some of the security and warmth you would get from a weighted blanket.
It’s important to note that this alternative won’t offer the same even weight distribution, so the benefits probably won’t be as profound. Additionally, wool can be quite toasty, so it’s not the best choice for summertime or for those who are prone to overheating during sleep.
Finding Comfort with Compression Garments
If you’re searching for a portable and discreet alternative to weighted blankets, compression garments might be an option. These stretchy garments are designed to provide a gentle, hugging sensation and can be worn under clothing during the day or at night while you sleep.
However, it’s important to have realistic expectations. While compression garments offer a similar sense of comfort, they may not deliver the same level of effectiveness as a weighted blanket. Some people find them difficult to put on and remove. They can also be warm and uncomfortable for extended wear - which can be an issue if you’re on the go.
Relax with a Deep Pressure Massager
Another alternative to the traditional weighted blanket is a deep-pressure massager. These devices are designed to mimic the sensation of a soothing, deep-pressure touch, similar to a weighted blanket.
Deep-pressure massagers can provide comfort and relaxation, making them a good option for those seeking a different kind of sensory experience. They come in various shapes and sizes, from hand-held units to body wraps, so you can choose what suits you best.
While these massagers offer a unique way to unwind, it’s important to note that they won’t provide the same experience as a weighted pillow or blanket. Keep in mind that they can also be noisy, require power, and aren’t discreet or travel-friendly.
Finding Peace with Mindfulness and Meditation
For those who are seeking relaxation and tranquility, mindfulness and meditation are invaluable. While not a physical replacement for a weighted blanket, these practices can be a wonderful supplement for those who experience chronic stress and anxiety.
Mindfulness and meditation can help you find a sense of calm, and they’re easily accessible to anyone, anywhere. You don’t need any special equipment, just a quiet space and a willingness to practice.
Mindfulness and meditation can beautifully complement the physical comfort offered by Deep Touch Pressure. Consider exploring these techniques alongside our weighted pillow for a holistic approach to well-being.
Soothing Stress with a Warm Bath or Shower
Taking a warm bath or shower might be just the thing to wash your worries away! A warm bath or shower can be a therapeutic experience that eases stress and helps you relax. The gentle warmth envelops your body, soothing tense muscles and helping you relax.
It’s a budget-friendly, easily accessible way to find some tranquility without any special equipment. However, it’s important to understand that a warm bath or shower provides a different kind of relaxation compared to deep pressure stimulation.
A warm bath or shower can be a wonderful addition to your relaxation routine. While it’s an excellent self-care practice, it can’t fully replicate the benefits of a weighted pillow or blanket. But when combined with physical touch, it’s a powerful combination for peace and relaxation.
Finding Focus with Fidget Toys
Fidget toys, often thought of as stress relief or sensory tools, offer a unique approach to relaxation that’s worth considering as a weighted blanket alternative, depending on your needs. They are designed to provide tactile and sensory feedback, making them a wonderful option for those who need to channel restless energy.
Fidget toys are handheld gadgets that come in various shapes, textures, and styles. They’re easy to carry around, fitting in your pocket or bag, making them convenient for use anytime, anywhere. They’re ideal for keeping the hands busy when you simply can’t sit still.
Of course, fidget toys don’t provide the same sensation as a weighted pillow or blanket. While they can be a helpful tool for managing stress and anxiety, they serve a different purpose. Pair them with deep touch pressure for a well-rounded approach to relaxation and calm.
Create Your Own Stress Ball
Making your own stress ball can be an enjoyable alternative to a weighted blanket. DIY stress balls are easy to create and can provide sensory comfort through tactile sensations. They are perfect for squeezing, kneading, or simply keeping your hands busy.
To make one, all you need is a balloon and the filling of your choice, such as rice, sand, or even flour. Simply fill the balloon with your chosen material and tie it off. You can create stress balls in various sizes and textures.
While they won’t provide the same deep-pressure stimulation as a weighted blanket or pillow, they offer an interactive way to manage stress and anxiety. Mix and match different tools and techniques to create a personalized alternative that works for you.
Embracing Yourself for Comfort
When it comes to finding comfort, sometimes all you need is right there in your own two arms. The simple act of hugging yourself can be a surprisingly effective alternative to a weighted blanket. Hugging yourself is an instant source of comfort that you can access anytime.
It’s a reminder of the love and care you craved as a child. This self-soothing technique can help alleviate stress, anxiety, or a sense of loneliness. You can embrace yourself by crossing your arms and hugging your own body. Take a few deep breaths and feel the warmth and security of your own touch.
The power of self-love and self-comfort can’t be overstated! Pair it with a weighted pillow for a comprehensive strategy to combat stress and anxiety, and quiet your mind.
Finding Serenity with Gentle Music or White Noise
Consider enveloping yourself in the soothing embrace of gentle music or white noise as a calming alternative to a weighted blanket. These auditory experiences can create a serene atmosphere that calms your mind and helps you unwind.
Gentle music, like soft piano melodies or calming nature sounds, can transport your mind and body to a more relaxed state. The power of music to ease stress and anxiety is well-known, offering a sense of comfort during the day or while you sleep.
White noise, on the other hand, provides a constant, unobtrusive background sound that can help drown out other noises and reduce sensory overload. It can also be very useful for light sleepers or those who need to focus in noisy environments.
The beauty of these auditory alternatives is their accessibility. You can enjoy them through headphones, speakers, or even specialized sleep machines. Gentle music and white noise don’t offer the same tactile experience as a weighted, but they’re an excellent tool for a comprehensive approach to serenity and calm.
Who Should Look for a Weighted Blanket Alternative?
While weighted blankets offer comfort to many, there are situations where they may not be the best choice. It’s important to consider alternatives, especially for those who face challenges in using them safely or comfortably.
Some people simply shouldn’t sleep with a weighted blanket overnight, especially those who lack the mental or physical dexterity to lift the blanket off themselves to prevent issues like suffocation, entrapment, or overheating. This includes young children, the elderly, and those with certain mental or physical challenges.
People with specific health conditions should also seek weighted blanket alternatives, such as those with asthma, chronic respiratory or circulatory issues, type 2 diabetes, low blood pressure, or claustrophobia. The heaviness of a weighted blanket could also restrict airflow, so they should be avoided by users with obstructive sleep apnea.
If you or someone you love experiences stress, sensory overload, or struggles to stay focused, at work, school, or when traveling, dragging a bulky weighted blanket wherever you go might be more hassle than it’s worth.
Considering Your Needs and Lifestyle
As you consider weighted blanket alternatives, it’s important to keep in mind your individual needs and lifestyle. Start by reflecting on what you’re looking for in an alternative. Are you seeking physical comfort and pressure, an auditory, or tactile experience?
Do you need a solution you can take wherever you go? Do you have health conditions to consider, or are you caring for someone with unique needs? Once you’ve taken all of these factors into account, you’ll be better equipped to choose the best solution for you.
Today, we’ve explored a range of options to suit various needs. The Original Weighted Pillow from Quiet Mind stands out as the best weighted blanket alternative for safety, comfort, and mobility. Pair it with any of the techniques discussed above for a holistic approach to stress management and overall well-being.