Weighted Blanket Side Sleeper

Scott Gurfein
Updated: 17, September, 2020

Can Side Sleepers Use A Weighted Blanket?

When most people buy a weighted blanket, they want one that's 10 percent of their body weight. However, if you sleep on your side, then you want a blanket that's 5 to 10 pounds lighter than that. The reason is that the blanket puts its weight on less surface area, which could put more stress on your hip and joints.

What is a weighted blanket?

Weighted blankets, also referred to as anxiety or gravity blankets, help many people sleep better at night. They accomplish this by applying even pressure across your body. Some blankets weigh up to 30 pounds, and they're made out of comfortable, breathable materials.
Snuggle Pro makes cotton and bamboo bedding. But other materials you might find include:
  • Minky/Plush
  • Silk
  • Flannel
  • Fleece
The filler material also plays a crucial role. This is the material inside the fabric that gives the blanket its extra heft. Snuggle Pro incorporates glass beads into its blankets. And you may find other options that utilize steel shots, plastic pellets, corn, rice, or even sand.

How does it work?

The benefits of weighted blankets are based on a type of therapy known as Deep Pressure Stimulation. Science has found that when people receive touch, such as through a hug, certain chemicals in the brain get released.
Serotonin, oxytocin, and dopamine all help you feel relaxed. Oxytocin, in particular, provides a sensation that you're safe. This helps you relax and subsequently go to sleep better at night. Some therapists even recommend weighted blankets for people with certain health problems.

What medical conditions do weighted blankets help?

Anyone who suspects they have any of the following should consult with a doctor. You may require additional treatments to feel better. But a weighted blanket that helps you sleep more soundly at night can provide short-term relief.


Depression consists of a constant feeling of loss of interest or sadness. Many people who experience depression have problems with concentration, appetite, and sleep. Over time, it can lead to thoughts of suicide.
Oxytocin and serotonin help you feel happy. Many antidepressants focus on helping the brain release these chemicals. And you can release them in a natural way thanks to the Deep Pressure Stimulation offered by weighted blankets.


Depression, chronic illness, and poor sleeping habits can result in insomnia. This is a common sleeping disorder where a person has issues falling and staying asleep.
In addition to improving your nighttime habits, insomniacs may want to try a weighted blanket. DPS also helps release melatonin, which is the chemical that regulates your body's sleep cycles. Your body has its own internal clock, but an imbalance of melatonin throws that clock out of whack. Additional melatonin can help get it back on track.


Anxiety is normal in stressful situations, such as giving a public speech. However, some people feel anxious pretty much all the time. An anxiety disorder requires therapy and medications to treat.
Your therapist may also recommend a weighted blanket, particularly if your stress keeps you up at night. Serotonin and oxytocin tell your body it's okay to relax. Your body exits its "panic mode" and rests peacefully.

Autism Spectrum Disorder

Doctors generally diagnose autism spectrum disorder in early childhood. This is a neurological and development disorder that affects how a person interacts and communicates with other people. Some children with autism also have anxiety, which makes it difficult to sleep.
When anxiety keeps you up at night, you may fidget around and kick your legs. But the chemicals released through DPS tell your body to relax. The pressure on your muscles makes you more aware of your movements. If your child has autism, then talk to your doctor about whether a weighted blanket is recommended.

ADHD (in children)

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is commonly diagnosed in early childhood. Kids with ADHD may suffer from forgetfulness, constant fidgeting, and having issues paying attention in school.
Fidgeting and anxiety can make it tough to go to sleep at night. This lack of sleep only makes it harder to pay attention the next day. But with a weighted blanket, the child can have an easier time falling asleep and staying that way all night.

Chronic Pain

Chronic pain involves any discomfort that lasts for weeks, months, or even years. It can be a mild or severe pain. But either way, the discomfort can make it tough to rest soundly.
Lack of rest can make the pain feel even worse. But when you sleep peacefully with the aid of a weighted blanket, your body becomes better equipped to deal with the discomfort.


Individuals who experience or witness a horrific event may develop post-traumatic stress disorder. Years after the event, people still suffer from chronic nightmares as well as depression and anxiety.
Serotonin from DPS helps your body and mind relax at night. And the release of melatonin helps get your sleep cycle back to normal. Both of these are crucial for individuals with PTSD to feeling better. However, medication and therapy may still be recommended.

Other benefits of using a weighted blanket

Weighted blankets have helped numerous people with illnesses feel better. You may not have a health problem. But you may find yourself waking up repeatedly every so often. You may not have a diagnosis, but you shouldn't discount all the ways a weighted blanket can assist you.

Better Quality Sleep

There are several stages to sleep, including the REM stage when your brain becomes more active. For restorative sleep, you need to go through every stage over the course of the night. By relaxing your body under a weighted blanket, you're more likely to stay asleep for the entire evening.

You Sleep Longer

Many people wake up during the night for no real reason. At 3 in the morning, it's tough to go back to sleep, especially if you're anxious about how much rest you can truly get before you have to go to work. A weighted blanket keeps you comfortable for hours on end, which decreases your chances of waking up before your alarm goes off.

Helps You Fall Asleep Quicker

You should try putting away the smartphone and turning off the television if you have trouble going to sleep. If that still doesn't work, then a weighted blanket can help you rest more easily. The influx of chemicals tell your brain it's time to sleep, so you doze off quicker.

Alleviates Stress

Stress isn't fun. And even once you get home from a tough day at work, the stress from the day can keep you up for hours. Fortunately, a weighted blanket helps your body feel calmer due to the release of oxytocin.

Does sleeping position matter?

Weighted blankets work for any sleeping position. However, you should know how you usually sleep so that you can buy the best weighted blanket for you. You don't want your weighted blanket to be too heavy or too light or else you can't reap all of the amazing benefits.

10 percent rule doesn't apply to side sleepers

When it comes to buying weighted blankets, you generally want to follow the 10 percent rule. This states that your weighted blanket should weigh 10 percent of however much you weight. That means if you weigh 250 pounds, then your weighted blanket should be about 25 pounds.
However, side sleepers need to follow a different rule. Side sleepers should take 10 percent of their weight and then subtract 5 to 10 pounds.
The reason for this is that when you're on your side, the blanket distributes weight over a smaller surface area. It puts more pressure on that side. You may end up with sore hips and joints over time. Follow the table below so that you can buy the best weighted blanket for your needs.

Weighted blanket weight guide for side sleepers

Individual Weight
Blanket Weight
Side Sleepers Blanket Weight
Blanket Size
48"x72" Twin
60"x80" Queen

Additional things to look for in a weighted blanket

Weight is merely one factor to look at. Make sure you take a comprehensive approach to your blanket purchase so that you end up 100 percent satisfied.

1. Fillings

The filler material gives the blanket its additional weight. But you want a material that still suits your sleeping habits. Steel beads tend to make a lot of noise while plastic materials melt when it's too hot. Glass beads, such as the ones used by Snuggle Pro, remain quiet and feel smooth across your body. They're also safe for machine use.

2. Fabric

Ideally, you feel comfortable snuggled underneath your blanket. Fleece and flannel are common, but cotton is ideal for most sleepers. This is why Snuggle Pro uses Oeko-Tex certified organic hypoallergenic cotton in all of its weighted blankets. It's soft to the touch and breathable, so you can actually use it all year round.

3. Machine Washable

You should wash your weighted blanket quarterly. But not all weighted blankets are safe to put in household washers. For example plastic pellets aren't safe for washing machines because they melt in high temperatures. Additionally, linen-covered blankets need to be dry-cleaned, which can get expensive.
Fortunately, cotton blankets filled with glass beads are safe to put in your washing machine. But you may need to go to a laundromat to use a commercial washer if you have a large or excessively heavy blanket. In general, if your blanket weighs more than 20 pounds, you need a heavier-duty washer.

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