Are weighted blankets good for fibromyalgia? Some say yes, some say ‘sometimes’. If so, what are the Best Weighted Blankets for Fibromyalgia? We are about to dig into these questions in this Selection Guide of Weighted Blankets for fibromyalgia.

Do you often feel bone-tired? Even after sleeping? It’s as if you are feeling a constant dull ache or pain all over your body or at some areas of your body. Well, you might be fighting with fibromyalgia.

This illness is often hard to understand or even explain. Some might even say you are faking tiredness or trying to avoid work, but you know it isn’t true.

This article explains all about Fibromyalgia, weighted blankets and how weighted blankets might help manage this illness. You also get to know the 5 best weighted blankets for fibromyalgia, so you can choose one that is best suited for you.

Before jumping into the weighted blankets, let’s cover some background about fibromyalgia.

Table of Contents

What is Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is a chronic (or long-term) neurologic condition that commonly results in widespread pain all over the body.

It is a common condition, affecting about 2 to 4% of people all over the world.

This condition often changes the way the brain processes pain, making us more vulnerable or more sensitive to pain and touch.

According to the National Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain Association, Fibromyalgia affects approximately 3%(roughly 10 million) of people in the United States itself. They also reported that women are more prone to fibromyalgia (FM) than men in the ratio of 8:2.

This condition starts to occur more at middle age; however, there are cases of it occurring in teens and in old people as well.

Nevertheless, what you should know is, the symptoms of this condition tend to come and go. They can also gradually migrate over the body. The intensity of the symptoms varies from individual to individual.

Tip: Biofeedback and Neurofeedback can help with fibromyalgia too.

What are the Symptoms of Fibromyalgia?

They are a few classic symptoms of fibromyalgia.

This is often felt as dull ache all over the body and not just one side of the body.

The pain can sometimes be described as a stabbing or shooting pain.

Muscle stiffness, twitching, throbbing, numbness and tingling are often among the complaints. These symptoms are often constant and long term.

People with Fibromyalgia feel overly tired even after sleeping or resting. You can say they feel tired for no reason at all.

  • Sleep issues

This often presents as sleep apnea (temporary cessation of breath during sleep) and insomnia (inability to sleep).

  • Cognitive problems

This often occurs as trouble concentrating, remembering (memory issues), paying attention. This condition is sometimes termed ‘fibro fog’.

  • Regular infections and inflammations

This condition may coexist with other diseases like arthritis, infections etc.

What are the Causes of Fibromyalgia?

Doctors and scientists are still in the dark on what could be the cause of this condition.

However, while studying how fibromyalgia works, they listed some pointers on what could be the cause of Fibromyalgia or what are the risk factors could be.

  • Genetics

If a family member or relative has fibromyalgia, you are more likely to have it.

Women are more likely than men.

How Can Fibromyalgia Impact Your Life?

People with fibromyalgia or other chronic pain often find it hard to cope. In the sense that people usually dismiss their pain as “imaginary” or as “nothing”. So, this coupled with the constant fatigue, family pressure and other range of symptoms, it easily can lead to depression, suicidal tendencies etc. It can also affect your social, family and work life.

It is advised to lean on family, friends and doctors who not only believe in you but understand your condition.

Joining a support group, especially people dealing with fibromyalgia, other chronic pain and diseases can help you not to feel alone.

How To Diagnose Fibromyalgia?

For an accurate diagnosis of Fibromyalgia, your physician needs to look at your past medical history, family medical history, current symptoms and complaints.

Also, they will do physical examinations and tests to rule out the possibility of other illnesses, note that Fibromyalgia can coexist with other conditions.

Essentially, the accurate diagnosis of fibromyalgia is often difficult and frustrating as it often resembles other diseases.

Therefore, there are two criteria developed by the American College of Rheumatology(ACR) to guide your physician.

They are:

  • 1990 American College of Rheumatology Fibromyalgia Diagnostic Criteria
  • 2010 American College of Rheumatology Preliminary Fibromyalgia Diagnostic Criteria.

Tip: TENS, EMS and IFC technologies can help you manage the pains too.

How is Fibromyalgia Treated? Treatment for Fibromyalgia

As of today, yet there is no cure for Fibromyalgia.

What available is a combination of treatment approaches which include:

  • medications,
  • aerobic exercise,
  • sessions with a therapist,
  • use of therapeutics like weighted blankets,
  • lifestyle changes etc.

All these will help in the treatment and management of this condition.

Tip: Did you know regular massage can help you with body pains? Here are the best massagers.

Now, let’s turn on the weighted blankets. And, what do they really are?

What are Weighted Blankets?

Weighted blankets which are also called gravity blankets, are blankets that are known for their heaviness. The weight is often because these blankets are filled with glass beads, poly pellets, discs etc. to create a comfy feeling and the feeling of being hugged.

Tip: Weighted blankets are not the same as the heating mats.

These weighted blankets are highly beneficial, and they have long been leveraged by therapists as a tool to help people with sensory processing disorders like autism etc.

They are said by therapists and psychiatrists to work by providing deep touch pressure or leveraging the principle of deep pressure stimulation.

Deep pressure stimulation or touch works by stimulating the various pressure points in the body leads to the release of serotonin and dopamine. These two neurotransmitters help soothe and relax the user, and that is why it is useful for people who are autistic etc.

However, weighted blankets have also been found to be beneficial for both people who are suffering from other disease conditions and normal healthy people alike.

What are the Benefits of Weighted Blankets?

Here is a complete list of weighted blanket benefits.

  • Reduce stress and anxiety levels

When we are stressed out, worried or nervous, our body produces a stress hormone called cortisol. Using weighted blankets at the end of the day or when we are stressed, it calms and soothes our body.

  • Reduces restless leg syndrome

This is a condition where you feel a tingling or crawling feeling or sensation running along your leg, which results in the urge to move your leg.

Those who suffer from it often have interrupted sleep.

Compression socks and weighted blankets can be helpful for those suffering from this restless leg syndrome.

  • Improves sleep

As mentioned earlier, weighted blankets can stimulate hormones like serotonin and dopamine, which helps in relaxation and often induce sleep.

  • Helps the behaviour of people with ADHD

People with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
have attention problems. With weighted blankets, the goal is to stimulate the feeling of security which the weight of the blankets can induce, thereby helping them focus more.

Another alternative is the use of weighted vests which works the same way.

  • Another benefit of weighted blankets is that it lifts mood and acts like a hug.

Do Weighted Blankets Work for Fibromyalgia?

Yea, weighted blankets have been found to relieve the symptoms of fibromyalgia.

However, weighted blankets do not cure Fibromyalgia, this therapeutic blanket is meant to be combined together with other treatment options like exercise, drugs etc. These blankets are used to cope and provide some relief when the symptoms flare-up.

What you should note is that the effectiveness of these blankets also depends on features like weight, material that the blankets are made up of.

A particular brand of blanket might work for others but may not work for you.

How Weighted Blankets Relieve Fibromyalgia Symptoms?

Now, let’s look at possible mechanisms of weighted blankets in relieving fibromyalgia symptoms.

  • Decreased Stress and Fatigue

There is no greater feeling than staying under a blanket after the end of a stressful day. Well, just imagine how much helpful weighted blanket can be with that extra heaviness. For a start, they help your brain stimulate serotonin which helps in relaxation.

  • Assist in managing pain

Through deep pressure stimulation, weighted blankets can help people with fibromyalgia manage their pain. As mentioned earlier, it applies gentle pressure to the pressure points in your body, helping provide some relief.

  • Reduce anxiety and depression

People with this condition tend to feel anxious and depressed. However, weighted blankets provide pressure that is evenly distributed so that one tends to feel less anxious, they also notice a general mood lift.

  • Aid in sleeping

The condition of poor sleeping often goes hand in hand with insomnia. This is due to the fact that the individual is feeling so much pain that they find it hard to sleep.

Weighted blankets create that snug feeling that tends to make one fall asleep faster.

What Does The Research Say About Weighted Blankets?

There is not much research on the use of weighted blankets to manage Fibromyalgia.

Here is a little research on it.

  • In a research published in the Journal of Occupational Therapy in Mental Health, the participants used a 30-pound weighted blanket or gravity blanket. It reported that 63% of adults who participated in the research showed a decreased anxiety level. Overall, 78% of the participants said they prefer the blankets “as a calming modality”.
  • In another research, the participants were asked to use a conductive mattress which can be likened to weighted blankets. It found out that the “grounding” effects of the conductive mattress
    caused the participants to have reduced levels of cortisol and increased level of serotonin (relaxation hormone).

Can Weighted Blankets Make You Sore?

No, weighted blankets do not make you sore.

The few instances where people have complained that it increases their pain, is only when the blankets are heavier than it should be.

As a general rule of thumb, it is advised that the weight of the blanket should be 10% of your total body weight.

For example, if you weigh about 100 pounds, you should buy a weighted blanket that weighs about only 10 pounds.

Is It OK To Use a Weighted Blanket Every Night?

If it helps you sleep better or relaxes more, by all means, you can go ahead to use it daily. However, you should avoid using these blankets for babies and children as it may cause them to suffocate. Or, you can use them only if your doctor recommends.

Who Should Not Use Weighted Blankets?

You should not use a weighted blanket in the following circumstances.

  • Babies because it may suffocate them
  • Children under the age of 6 years
  • People with open wounds as it may further aggravate those wounds
  • If you are feeling claustrophobic, severely depressed or miserable.
  • Pregnant women unless recommended by a doctor

How To Choose Your Weighted Blanket?

Here are a few important criteria to keep in mind while sourcing for the right blanket for you.

  • Size

It is recommended to buy weighted blankets that are a bit smaller in size than your bed. This is so that the weight of the blanket won’t pull it off your bed.

You can also choose the ones that wrap around your body comfortably. There are various sizes in the market, so choose one that is best suited for you.

  • Weight of the weighted blanket

Like mentioned earlier, the weight of the blankets should be 10% of your total body weight.

  • Material

Weighted blankets come in different types of material. They range from microfiber to cooling fabric.

Keep in mind to choose ones that are cool to your skin, especially if you easily sweat and also the ones that are not scratchy.

Some come with a duvet cover that is machine washable. Keep in mind to buy ones that can be washed easily.

This video shows how to effortlessly change a duvet. Enjoy.

The 5 Best Weighted Blankets

Searching for the right weighted blankets that suit your condition can be overwhelming. The reason is that there are numerous brands out there all touting the efficacy of their products. Therefore, here are the 5 weighted blankets that our experience suggest they are as the best.

  • YNM Weighted blankets
  • Quility weighted blankets
  • Zonli weighted blankets
  • Luna weighted blankets
  • Weighted Idea blankets
  • Secura weighted blankets

Let’s review them one by one.

1. YNM Weighted Blankets Review

Looking for a weighted blanket that comes in a wide range of options? YNM weighted blankets are the right plug.

Since launching in 2017, YnM are committed to providing quality blankets that leverage the deep pressure stimulation to ease anxiety, sleep etc.

Features of YNM

  • They are available in a wide range of colors and patterns
  • They are made up of 100% cotton
  • Filled with hypo-allergens glass beads
  • Available in different sizes and weights
  • Are attached with loops at the ends for easy fitting with a duvet

Pros of YNM

  • Machine washable
  • Made up of seven layers of materials for comfort and conforms to your body
  • They are very durable
  • They can be fitted with a duvet (bought separately), for easy washing and comfort
  • The price is modest
  • Helps in sleeping and reducing anxiety

Cons of YNM

  • The glass beads tend to shift
  • Size issues. So, make sure you have the correct size in mind before buying
  • Can be too hot.

Verdict

4 stars out of 5 ratings

2. Quility Weighted Blankets Review

This weighted blanket company is committed to making the world a healthier and happier place to live in. Their mission is to deliver quality blankets that pass through a thorough production process.

Features of Quility weighted blankets

  • Available in colors like: Navy, Ivory, Pink, Aqua, Chevron, Gray
  • Available in different sizes
  • The outer covering is made of 100% breathable cotton while the filling is made of polyester paddings
  • Non-toxic glass beads
  • Comes with duvet
  • There is a loop attached to the sides for easy fitting of duvet

Pros of Quility weighted blankets

  • 30-day refund or return policy
  • It comes with a duvet, no need to spend extra money.
  • Dry clean
  • Aids sleeping and mimic a hug
  • Seven layered construction for comfort

Cons

  • Can feel hot sometimes
  • Size discrepancies

Verdict

4.0 stars out of 5 ratings

3. Zonli Weighted Blankets Review

The Zonli company is committed to always improve the physical and mental well being of their customers through products backed by science.

Features of Zonli Weighted Blankets

  • Available in different colors
  • Available in different sizes and weights
  • Are seven-layered: comprising microfiber, 100% cotton fabric, non-glue padding, glass beads
  • The glass beads are lead-free, non-toxic, hypoallergenic and odorless
  • Loops attached at the ends to fit with the duvets

Pros of Zonli Weighted Blankets

  • They have a 30-day return or refund policy
  • They provide a discount if you buy a duvet together
  • They are soft and comfortable
  • Resembles
  • Modest price

Cons of Zonli Weighted Blankets

  • The seams sometimes unravel spilling out glass beads. Don’t know if it’s factory damage.

Verdict

4.0 stars out of 5 ratings

4. Luna Weighted Blankets Review

Features of Luna Weighted Blankets

  • 100% soft cotton fabric and 400 thread count. The cotton fabric is Oeko-Tex certified.
  • Available in 11 colors
  • Available in different sizes
  • 7 layered construction
  • Variety of sizes and weight

Pros of Luna Weighted Blankets

  • Small dense pockets so that the glass beads don’t shift
  • There are different weight options starting from 5 pounds to 30 pounds, which makes it accommodating for children.
  • Super soft with cloud-like fabric
  • Uniform weight distribution
  • One year warranty
  • 30-day return policy

Cons of Luna Weighted Blankets

  • The beads move around and can settle one side causing uneven weight distribution.
  • Too heavy to be washed in a standard washing machine, can only be washed with a heavy-duty machine.
  • You can buy a duvet cover to lessen the time spent on cleaning.

Verdict

4.0 stars out of 5 ratings

5. Weighted Idea Weighted Blankets Review

The company was launched in 2016. They are committed to making blankets that solve various issues like sleep problems, anxiety etc.

Weighted Idea Blankets

Features of Weighted Idea Weighted Blankets

  • The outer layers are 100% natural cotton
  • Breathable fabric
  • Available in different colors and patterns
  • It can be fitted with a duvet cover (bought separately)
  • Available in different sizes and weights

Pros of Weighted Idea Weighted Blankets

  • 30-day return policy
  • 1-year warranty
  • It is soft and often resembles a comforter
  • The different sizes indicate that it is versatile. It is used in reading or sleeping on the couch or bed.

Cons of Weighted Idea Weighted Blankets

  • Beads

Verdict

4.0 stars out of 5 ratings

Honestly, I feel that there is not much difference between the above quality brands regarding the materials and the way the blankets are constructed. Buy what works for you in terms of price, size, beauty and weight ranges.

Conclusion

In summary, Fibromyalgia is a disease whose symptoms often overlap with other disease conditions making it difficult to diagnose. However, it can be managed by a combination of treatment approaches which include exercise, drugs, therapeutic products like weighted blankets etc.

What’s more, you don’t have to deal with it alone, having loved ones close by and even joining a support group can help.

Remember to source for weighted blankets that are the right fit and won’t aggravate your condition.

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