How Heavy Should a Weighted Blanket Be

Choosing the correct weight for an anxiety blanket will depend on the individual you are purchasing the product for. Most occupational therapists suggest a weight of 10% of the idea body weight for a child, plus 1-2lbs, depending on the size and weight of said child. For an adult 10% of the ideal body weight is the average, not exceeding 15%.

Calculating the 10% which will be used to buy the right sized blanket takes a little more work than stepping onto the scale and multiplying that number by 0.10. First you need to determine what the ideal body weight is for your height and build. The reason therapists use an ideal body weight, rather than your current weight is because some adults are overweight, which may put your blanket weight measurement into an extreme weight category. For example, if you weigh 300lbs, you will end up with a 30lb blanket which could cause difficulties with breathing, or moving during sleep.

Your Ideal Body Weight

Your ideal body weight is determined by height, but can fluctuate based on your frame size, and other factors. Below we have outlined a chart from Rush University Medical Center1 which signifies your ideal weight by height, however, your doctor may be able to give you a more accurate reading of where your ideal weight should rest.

4’10”: 91-118lbs

4’11”: 94-123lbs

5’: 97-127lbs

5’1”: 100-131lbs

5’2”: 104-135lbs

5’3”: 107-140lbs

5’4”: 110-144lbs

5’5”: 114-149lbs

5’6”: 118-154lbs

5’7”: 121-158lbs

5’8”: 125-163lbs

5’9”: 128-168lbs

5’10”: 132-173lbs

5’11”: 136-178lbs

6’: 140-183lbs

For children, you should speak to a physician for the accurate weight reading and ideal weight. Once you have this number, you can determine the weight of your blanket.

Calculating Blanket Weight

Now that you have an idea of your ideal weight, based on height, or by asking your family doctor, you can calculate the perfect weight for an anxiety blanket. Begin by taking your ideal weight and multiplying it by .10. This will give you 10% of your ideal body weight. For example, if you are 5’8” with a large build, your ideal weight would be about 163lbs.

163lbs x .10 = 16.3lbs

You can round this number to 16, choosing the option closest to this weight when selecting a blanket. Not all blankets come in any size and weight you choose, which means you’ll need to make a choice from the available options. For this calculation, a blanket of 15-17lbs would be acceptable.

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What if I’m Not Choosing a Sleeping Blanket?

There are many styles of weighted blanket, from lap and shoulder wraps to full king-sized quilts. The way you plan to use your blanket can also impact the weight it should be measured at. If you plan to spread your blanket across your lap only, it could afford to be slightly heavier than the standard 10% of your ideal body weight. On the other hand, if it is being placed across your shoulders, slightly less than 10% will be more comfortable.

Fortunately, different manufacturers will provide you with a little more insight on weight and how to choose when it comes time to order, but it certainly helps to have an idea before you start shopping. If you suffer from muscle or joint weakness, which may prevent you from pushing a weighted blanket away from your body, you should consider choosing something lighter than the standard.

Choosing Weight for Function

Whether you’re choosing a weighted blanket for sleeping, anxiety issues, or to help calm a child with autism or ADHD, it is important to distribute the weight evenly throughout the blanket. There’s no real fluctuation between reasons for use, only between the user and your weight and height. Be sure to choose a blanket which is long enough for your purposes as well. It helps to have measurements of your body before ordering.

For more information on weighted blankets and how to choose the appropriate size for you or your family, visit our main site at You can also continue checking our blog for future updates about weighted blankets, their uses, and helpful tips.