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Weighted Blanket vs Comforter – What Are the Differences?

weighted blanket vs comforter what's the difference

The recent popularity of weighted blankets is giving strong competition to traditional comforters as bedtime accessories. While a comforter sends out warm sensations on a chilly night, a weighted blanket helps induce sleep by calming your anxious mind. Similar aspects set both apart, which I will be discussing soon in this article. You can read everything here, from the basic definitions of these terms to how they differ and things to look for when purchasing these top covers. 

Let’s take a closer look at weighted blankets vs comforters. Let’s begin!

Weighted Blanket vs. Comforter – What Are the Differences?

Weighted Blanket vs. Comforter: An Overview

Comforter

Brooklinen weighted comforter for treating anxiety

A comforter is simply a blanket with two fabrics stitched together. The thick covering keeps people warm and is used specifically in winters. Comforters come in alluring designs and colors, and many individuals utilize them to enhance the fashion value of their bedroom. Many people prefer to use comforters as primary blankets as they are more comfortable than typical quilts. 

Most people who own a comforter live in colder areas and experience extreme winters. The thick layer of fabric will work wonders to provide a warm experience at night. In contrast, its use is quite minimal in the population residing in warmer regions. However, older generations may use it for comfort. A comforter is also found as a piece of art in many houses that complement the interior design.  

Weighted Blanket

Silk & Snow’s Knit Weighted Blanket

A weighted blanket comprises two pieces of fabric that are attached. But the middle of both portions has several pockets with tiny glass beads, sand, or plastic balls filled inside them. The composition is the sole reason behind the heaviness of a weighted blanket and its name. 

Weighted blankets also come in varied weights and sizes, ideally chosen as per the user’s body weight and bed size. You should always choose a weighted blanket that is 10% the weight of your body. A weighted blanket keeps you warm and also provides an additional therapeutic effect. Many occupational therapists suggest their patients with sensory issues purchase these blankets. 

Despite their light weight, weighted blankets provide deep pressure therapy due to their weight, which contributes to their curative effect. DPT produces a calming sensation in the human body, letting go of all the stress and anxiety, which works like magic for a peaceful sleep. People who suffer from mental traumas, post-traumatic stress disorder, autism, hyper activeness can exclusively benefit from these heavy quilts. 

Weighted Blanket vs. Comforter: Pros and Cons

Pros and Cons of Comforters

Comforters have their typical use in keeping the user warm during low temperatures. There are several more positive aspects of this quill type. Let’s discuss them briefly before we shift our focus toward their cons!

Pros of a Comforter

  • Thermal Overall Grade Complied

Thermal overall grade, the abbreviation of TOG, is a measurement unit that determines the degree of heat insulation a product provides. Higher TOG ratings indicate warmer feelings by the comforter. The good news is that these coverlets are available in multiple thermal grading. You can select ones with optimum grading as per your region’s normal temperature. 

  • Budget-Friendly 

Comforters are available in varied sizes, designs, and fabrics, contributing to its broad pricing range. Hence, consumers can easily get an economical and comforting quilt according to their budget. Also, it is quite elementary to create a handcrafted comforter with the assistance of a Do It Yourself guide. These guides are available in bulk on the internet; you can save a lot of money by following them. 

  • Easy to Use

A comforter with an attractive design is one perfect choice for complimenting your bedding with the interiors of your room. The relatively lighter weight of this top sheet makes it easier to change it occasionally. Your room will look more vibrant than ever before with alluringly patterned comforters! 

  • Convenient Storage 

You may want to get rid of this warm sheet on summer nights, which demands their storage in a clean place. The thin framework accounts for convenient storage as it will take up the minimum space of your cupboard. 

  • Safe for Allery Sufferers

People who have allergies to certain materials may have difficulty settling with a safety blanket. Comforter comes as a sigh of relief in such a situation as its synthetic fiber material is safe for allergic individuals. 

Cons of a Comforter

  • Cleaning Issues

The material of this bedspread kind is typically unwashable in the household washing machine. You will have to send these for dry cleaning every time it requires washing, adding extra cost to your monthly budget.

Pros and Cons of Weighted Blankets

A weighted blanket also has pros and cons in terms of use, just like the comforter. Let’s explore both sides. 

Pros of Weighted Blanket

Induces Sleep 

Prior to their introduction on the market as a normal quilt type, weighted blankets have been widely used by people who had sleep issues. A weighted blanket produces similar relaxing feelings as a tight hug by your close one through deep pressure therapy. 

Most trauma sufferers have a spike in anxious feelings while they try to sleep, and this bulky blanket targets the exact problem. The release of serotonin, the happiness hormone, facilitates melanin’s activeness, responsible for inducing sleep.  

Versatile Use 

Besides being a good warmth source, a heavy blanket is used for multiple purposes. People who generally do not suffer from any sensory or mental disorder can also benefit from the working principle of weighted blankets. Many reports suggest that such people can also utilize this blanket type to get rid of everyday stress and have a comfortable night’s sleep. 

Harmless Substitute of Medicines 

The sensory conditions that see improvement with regular weighted sheets are also treatable through medications. However, not every pill suits every individual, and there are wide chances of side effects. Also, the medicines might have contraindications that may not go well with the patient.

Weighted blankets are an ideal choice to avoid these risks. The claim is not groundless as many scientific researchers support it. Hence, numerous therapists recommend their patients add these blankets to their nighttime regime.

Medical Insurance Support 

I hope the therapeutic benefits of a weighted blanket are clear within your mind. With that being said, you can purchase it under your health plan as a piece of medicinal equipment. You should also note that not every insurance company has this approach, and contacting them to know further details is a must before taking any step in this aspect. 

Customized Aspect

Heavy coverlets come in different sizes, weights, designs, and colors, just as a comforter. You can choose accordingly! It is also possible to order one with personalized patterns and other specifications as supported by many selling companies. 

Cons of a Weighted Blanket

Too comfortable

As they say, too much of anything is bad; the exceedingly comforting sensations of a weighted blanket have a similar effect. You might have the best sleep at night, and it is so good that you would not feel like getting up for work. 

Experiencing the menacing glares of your boss at work is not a good thought! However, I must say that this being a con can never outweigh the positive side of this comfortable blanket. 

Expensive 

As a weighted blanket has extensive usage areas, it also has high price tags. Unlike comforters, there are not many pricing options, but it depends upon the size and weight of the blanket you are buying. Also, this type of blanket has numerous details that a DIY would also not come in handy. 

Weighted Blanket VS. Comforter: What are the differences?

A weighted blanket and comforter are not relevant by any means. But a few differences between both blanket types set the foundation for this comparison. Both have such similar appearances that a person could not differentiate them visually. 

One separation factor is the weight, as a weighted blanket is bulkier than a traditional comforter. While a comforter is typically seen as a top sheet on the bed, a weighted blanket is more like a sheet covering you while you lay on a mattress or chair.  

Compared to a weighted blanket, a comforter has relatively lesser uses and is cheaper. Weighted blankets have extensive use in the medical world, alleviating stress from the bodies of anxiety sufferers. One could never ignore the therapeutic benefit of a weighted cover top as many therapists prescribe them instead of medicines to patients with sensory issues. In contrast, a comforter has its use limited to a bedding accessory and quilt with exclusive warmth providing attributes. 

To conclude the difference between both, I would state that a comforter is lighter and cheaper than a weighted blanket. However, the latter is accompanied by widely spread healing benefits depicted through deep pressure therapy. 

Comforters vs Weighted Blankets - Which One is Better?

There is no parameter to decide which blanket type is better, a weighted quilt or a comforter. People tend to use both depending on their needs. If you have any unfortunate mental condition that disrupts your sleep at night, a weighted blanket would be an ideal purchase for you. But if there are no such circumstances and you want a good fabric sheet to keep you warm in cold seasons, a comforter should be your go-to choice. 

Many fit and abled people prefer covering themselves with a weighted blanket at night to experience comfortable sleep. But if you are on a tight budget, a comforter would do the job perfectly. Overall, a comforter keeps you warm, while a weighted blanket has additional therapeutic benefits with the comfort factor. None has superiority over others in usage criteria as it all depends on the person using them.

Can a Weighted Blanket Replace Comforter?

The answer to this question again goes down to your personal preferences. You can either use both or ditch one, depending on the multiple factors. These influencing aspects include medical conditions, age, and the user’s body weight. 

For example, a weighted blanket is not ideal for asthmatic patients or individuals with claustrophobia, as heavyweight can aggravate the condition. Similarly, an infant or older adult would not be able to remove the blanket off themselves in an undesirable situation. In such cases, a comforter does the perfect job as it is lighter in weight and supplies ample warmth to the consumer. 

However, if you have trouble falling asleep or suffer from any of the following conditions, using weighted blankets is the last choice to avoid medications with serious side effects.

  • Autism
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder 
  • Insomnia
  • Depression and Anxiety
  • General Stress 
  • Sensory Disorders 

To sum up, both comforter and weighted blankets have potential benefits, and it depends on certain conditions surrounding the user that decide which one is more suitable. 

How to Select an Ideal Comforter?

There are a few crucial aspects to look for when purchasing a comforter. An ideal comforter must be able to keep you warm on a chilly night; it should also go well with your bed size—several more parameters like these guide you on the finer points of buying a comforter. Let’s have a look!

Material of the Covers

Hundreds of companies sell comforters commercially, and each one has different material preferences. It will help if you opt for a lightweight, soft, and thermal insulating item. If you suffer from allergies, check the comforter’s fabric before spending bucks on it. A few preferable materials include cotton, wool, silk, etc. 

Thread Count

The thread count of the external sheets of a comforter has an essential role in determining its quality. A higher thread count usually indicates robust construction of the cover. But if manufacturers did low-quality work, the increased threads can make the comforter feel thick. A general recommendation is to go for a minimum thread count of 300 but do not forget to run a thorough quality check of the material. 

Filler Stuff

The fluffiness of a comforter comes from the soft material present inside the sewed clothing pieces. The relevant stuff is categorized into two parts: down and down alternatives. Each of these has something to offer.

Down alternatives have a lighter weight, hypoallergenic nature, and better sustainability to machine wash. Hence we recommend you to go for filler material of cotton, rayon, or polyester. A down alternative is not a bad idea if you are short on budget.

Fill Power

The fill power aspect is important to consider as it allows you to purchase the comforter that goes best with the usual weather of your residence. Fill power is the measurement of air that filler material can trap in between them and is directly proportional to the quality of the comforter. 

Here is a rough chart on how much fill power is considerable for a supreme comforter. 

  1. 400 or below is for use on warm nights, and individuals with hyperhidrosis can also utilize it 
  2. 400 to 600 is ideal for use throughout the year 
  3. 600 to 800 is for use in subtle winter and mildly cold temperatures, people suffering from seasonal colds can also use 
  4. 800 and more are more areas that receive extreme winters 

Size

A comforter is available in a wide range of sizes, making it difficult to choose the perfect one if you are unaware of your bed size. It is ideal to go for a comforter that is a bit larger than your bed size to drape yourself under it, which means more warmth. While there is no point in buying a too-short comforter and one that perfectly fits your bedding would trap less heat than the earlier recommended method. 

Weighted Blankets: How to Choose the Right One?

If not selected properly, a weighted blanket can become more of a nuisance than a therapeutic aid. Let’s look at a few must exploring factors before you go on to buy a weighted blanket with dreams of sleeping peacefully.

Note: The below guide is for adults. If you are buying one for an infant or aged person, there are different criteria to cater to.

Weight

A weighted blanket should ideally weigh 10% of the bodyweight of whoever you are buying it for. Take a look at the examples below to learn more about this standard rule. 

  1. An adult who weighs 130 pounds should use a weighted blanket of around 13lbs 
  2. Similarly, individuals weighing around 150 can make an ideal choice by purchasing a 15lbs weighted blanket.
  3. Along the same lines, a person with 170 pounds can gain maximum benefits from a heavy blanket that weighs 17lbs and so on.

Size

Unlike a comforter, a weighted blanket should be of a size that covers your entire body but should not fall off from the sides of the bed. I recommend choosing a weighted blanket of a similar size as your bed. For example, if you sleep on a full-size mattress, the heavy quilt you are purchasing should also align with similar specs.

Height

Like the weight and size of a weighted blanket, determining an ideal height before buying is also necessary. For this aspect, I suggest you select a slightly larger blanket than the user’s height. Make sure that it is not too big to hang around the bed.

Filling

The material inside the tiny pockets between two sheets of a weighted blanket contributes to its heavyweight. Three popular material types are used for this purpose, each having different beneficial aspects with different user types. 

Have a look at all three material types, and then you can easily select the one that fits your demands the best. 

  1. Plastic Pellets are safe, wash-friendly, and cheaper.
  2. Glass Beads have exclusive hypoallergenic properties, and they are also safe to wash.
  3. Steel Beads are larger, inexpensive, and highly resistant

Final Verdict

Weighted blankets and comforters are two popular types of quilts today. It may seem that they are similar, but there are some key differences that account for the variations in usage. You should now have a clearer picture of which cover top is best for you after reading this comparison review of weighted blanket vs. comforter. Comforters are more affordable, while weighted blankets have versatile benefits, and both stand superior in their places!

Mike Horton (head of Weighted Living)

by Mike Horton

Mike is one of the lead editors at Weighted Living and the author of this article. He's become fascinated with weighted products (a bit too much we think) and loves to see all the different ways they can improve our loves. He's written quite a few weighted product guides as well.

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