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Best Weighted Blankets for Restless Leg Syndrome: Top 4 Options and a Shopping Guide

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Written by: Alex Savy
Read 20 minLast updated on May 29, 2022

Living with restless leg syndrome isn’t easy, especially when the night comes.

People with this condition rarely enjoy quality sleep, but some tools can help improve the situation. And weighted blankets are among them.

Today’s guide will share the 4 best weighted blankets for restless leg syndrome (and tips on how to choose one). Each of them can potentially alleviate the symptoms of this condition and, thus, help sleepers enjoy restful slumber every night.

A Quick Preview

Puffy Weighted Blanket
Best Overall – Editor’s Choice

Puffy Weighted Blanket
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Organic Weighted Blanket by Saatva
Runner Up

Organic Weighted Blanket by Saatva
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GhostBed Weighted Blanket
Best for Hot Sleepers

GhostBed Weighted Blanket
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Dual Therapy Weighted Blanket by Brooklyn Bedding
Best Value for Money

Dual Therapy Weighted Blanket by Brooklyn Bedding
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Our Reviews of the Best Weighted Blankets for Restless Leg Syndrome

Best Overall – Editor’s Choice — Puffy Weighted Blanket

Puffy Weighted Blanket

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Highlights

  • 3 weight options to accommodate more types of sleepers;
  • 101-night trial to make sure every customer is satisfied;
  • hypoallergenic materials, safe even for sensitive individuals.

The first model that deserves to be among the best weighted blankets for restless leg syndrome is the Puffy. This is one of the most balanced blankets I have tested, so the Puffy feels like a big hug (gentle but persistent). It redistributes its weight and applies even pressure across the body. As a result, the Puffy blanket made me feel calm after just a couple of minutes, which may really come in handy for people with restless leg syndrome.

I was also surprised to discover that the Puffy blanket included an in-home sleep trial. This bonus is quite rare for weighted blankets. A sleep trial can come in handy for hesitant shoppers, as choosing a suitable blanket weight can sometimes be challenging. The Puffy allows sleepers to test how this blanket works and return it if they aren’t 100% happy.

Runner Up — Organic Weighted Blanket by Saatva

Organic Weighted Blanket by Saatva

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Highlights

  • small diamond quilting to keep glass beads secure and evenly distributed;
  • 100% cotton cover, natural and safe even for sensitive skin;
  • 45-day return window to guarantee customer satisfaction.

The best weighted blanket for restless leg syndrome has to be well-made, gentle on the skin, and nicely balanced in terms of weight. Luckily, the Saatva can offer all of that. This blanket has a natural cotton velvet cover, so it is both breathable and safe. It also feels heavenly soft to the touch, which is always a nice bonus. I, for one, was using my Saatva blanket without a duvet cover because of its silky smooth feel. And I believe it can contribute to the relaxing experience, making people with restless leg syndrome feel calmer and sleep better.

I also appreciate that the Saatva weighted blanket comes in two size/weight variations. Therefore, it can make more sleepers happy. For example, I tested the Single model alone but also shared the King blanket with my wife. Both applied even pressure and made us feel super chill.

Best for Hot Sleepers — GhostBed Weighted Blanket

GhostBed Weighted Blanket

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Highlights

  • 100% Tencel cover to ensure improved breathability and cooler sleep;
  • tiny glass beads for a smooth feel and improved conforming;
  • moisture-wicking materials to aid thermoregulation.

Another top-rated weighted blanket for people with restless leg syndrome I’d love to share is the GhostBed. This is a perfect example of a blanket that can keep you comfortable all year long. The GhostBed is breathable and moisture-wicking, so it does an excellent job of keeping sleepers comfortably cool. Great news for restless leg syndrome sufferers who often have to deal with night sweats!

It’s also worth mentioning that this weighted blanket feels very smooth to the touch. The GhostBed uses extra-small glass beads, so they aren’t likely to cause nighttime disturbances. I didn’t feel a thing even when using this GhostBed blanket without a duvet cover.

Best Value for Money — Dual Therapy Weighted Blanket by Brooklyn Bedding

Dual Therapy Weighted Blanket by Brooklyn Bedding

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Highlights:

  • dual-sided design to offer more comfort variations;
  • 2 weight options to work for different body types;
  • washable cover for easy maintenance.

Being among the best weighted blankets for restless leg syndrome, this model by Brooklyn Bedding has a lot to offer. However, the best part is its value, in my opinion. The Dual Therapy blanket doesn’t cost that much but combines multiple great features. For instance, it has a cooling side and a warm side. Therefore, sleepers can calm their restless leg syndrome regardless of the season and the weather outside.

I also appreciate the number of ties and loops this weighted blanket has. Since people with restless leg syndrome can be quite active during sleep, their blanket has to guarantee a secure fit. And that’s exactly what the Dual Therapy model can offer. Those ties made it stay within my duvet cover no matter how much I tossed and turned.

What Is Restless Leg Syndrome?

Restless leg syndrome is a condition that causes uncomfortable, unpleasant sensations in one’s legs, typically resulting in an irresistible urge to move them (1).

This syndrome is classified as a sleep disorder, as the symptoms are usually triggered when the person sleeps or rests. Additionally, the symptoms may aggravate during prolonged periods of rest.

Naturally, restless leg syndrome can affect one’s sleep quality. People suffering from this condition often experience daytime fatigue, exhaustion, and low energy levels. Chronic sleep deprivation caused by restless leg syndrome often leads to impaired cognitive function, higher stress levels, decreased ability to manage one’s emotions, and an increased risk of certain diseases (including cardiovascular issues).

That’s why it is crucial to address this issue as soon as possible and use all the available tools that may alleviate the symptoms of restless leg syndrome. Luckily, weighted blankets are among those tools.

What Is Restless Leg Syndrome

Source: https://www.verywellhealth.com/restless-legs-syndrome-multiple-sclerosis-2440812

How a Weighted Blanket Can Help People with Restless Leg Syndrome Sleep Better

Do weighted blankets help with restless leg syndrome?

To answer this question, readers first need to understand the mechanism of this condition and why it occurs.

The most common cause of restless leg syndrome is a dysfunction of dopamine production. Dopamine is responsible for smooth movement and purposeful muscle activity (among other things). Additionally, restless leg syndrome symptoms tend to worsen when a person is dealing with high stress levels.

Here’s the good news, though: using a weighted blanket can help tackle both issues.

First of all, this simple bedroom accessory can help the body regulate its dopamine and serotonin levels. A weighted blanket applies even pressure all over the body (Deep Pressure Therapy). It boosts the production of the famous “happiness” hormones – dopamine and serotonin. And since the lack of dopamine often triggers restless leg syndrome, increasing its levels using a weighted blanket can help alleviate the symptoms of the unpleasant sleep condition.

Now, restless leg syndrome symptoms may aggravate due to stress and anxiety. And that’s another problem a good weighted blanket can combat. By inducing the production of “feel good” hormones, weighted blankets also work to reduce the levels of cortisol (the so-called stress hormone). That’s why they help people feel calmer and more relaxed. Naturally, this leads to decreased stress levels and, in many cases, alleviates symptoms of restless leg syndrome.

Another cool thing about weighted blankets is that they can serve as a distraction. When the pressure is redistributed all over the sleeper’s body, they can’t help but shift their attention to the hugging sensation of the blanket. Often, this allows sleepers to forget about the unpleasant sensations in their legs (at least for some time). Ideally, this can also help them fall asleep easier.

It’s also worth mentioning that Deep Pressure Therapy can help individuals with restless leg syndrome sleep better. Using a weighted blanket often leads to improved sleep quality and deeper, more restorative slumber (2). Therefore, even though weighted blankets can’t cure restless leg syndrome, they can counteract the sleep-disruptive abilities of this condition.

So, do weighted blankets help with restless leg syndrome? They do, in many cases. There’s not enough scientific evidence on their effectiveness, but countless sleepers can attest to it.

Are There Different Types of Weighted Blankets for Restless Leg Syndrome?

When searching for a top-notch weighted blanket for restless leg syndrome, shoppers can sometimes get lost among the various types, blanket sizes, and weight options presented on the market.

To make the shopping process easier, it’s better to understand the main differences between weighted blanket types.

Generally, they can be divided into two categories based on the filling type – glass beads and plastic pellets.

Glass beads are typically small (almost sand-like), making them more discreet under the blanket’s fiber layers. Because glass beads are small, such blankets are also quite thin in most cases. Nonetheless, the beads are heavy and can offer an even weight distribution.

Plastic pellets are typically bigger than glass beads, making such weighted blankets look thicker and bulkier. They also tend to be slightly cheaper, as plastic is more affordable.

That being said, there’s no obvious winner when choosing between glass beads and plastic pellets. Both can deliver proper weight redistribution and deep pressure needed to calm one’s restless legs. The main differences lie in the price and looks, so shoppers can choose based on their budgets or how thick they want their weighted blankets to be.

How to Choose a Weighted Blanket for Restless Leg Syndrome: Key Considerations

While it’s clear what weighted blanket types shoppers can encounter on the market, some aspects might require more attention. After all, details make a great product.

And here are the details shoppers should consider when looking for a good weighted blanket for restless leg syndrome: 

  • Weight. This is the most crucial consideration when it comes to weighted blankets. Generally, shoppers are advised to choose models that comprise around 10% of their weight. Going for something heavier can cause sleepers to feel trapped and uncomfortable. And selecting a more lightweight model could mean not enough pressure and, thus, little to no effect when it comes to alleviating restless leg syndrome symptoms. Later, sleepers can gradually increase the weight if needed, but it’s safer to start with 10%.
  • Size. Luckily, weighted blankets come in a wide range of sizes. Shoppers can choose based on their height (larger blankets for taller users) or personal preferences (for instance, many solo sleepers prefer using Queen blankets for a deeper hug).  
  • Partnered sleep. Now, there’s nothing wrong with sharing a weighted blanket. However, sleepers need to remember that they might not enjoy all the benefits in this case. When the blanket is shared between two people, it’s less likely to hug each person and deliver even pressure. That’s why people with restless leg syndrome should try using individual blankets first. If they do choose to share a weighted blanket with a partner, they need to make sure the blanket is large enough for two. 
  • Cover. The first thing shoppers need to pay attention to is the cover material. Synthetic fabrics are less breathable and can sleep hot, which may be a problem for people with restless leg syndrome who are also prone to overheating during the night. In this case, it would be good to choose natural fabrics like cotton, bamboo, viscose, or Tencel. 
  • Ease of cleaning. Some weighted blankets are fully washable, which makes maintenance much easier. Other models come with removable covers that users can wash regularly. As an alternative (if the cover is not removable), sleepers might want to use their weighted blankets with duvet covers only.
  • Layers inside. The number of inner fiber layers can determine how smooth the blanket will feel. Not enough padding can cause the beads to poke through the cover, disturbing sleepers and causing discomfort. Typically, top-quality weighted blankets use around 5-7 layers in total to achieve a more balanced feel.
  • Pocket size. The rule here is simple: smaller pockets are more likely to ensure an even weight and pressure redistribution. Larger pockets would give the beads more room to move around. This can make them cluster in one of the corners of the square and shift the weight, making the blanket feel ill-balanced and less effective for restless leg syndrome.
  • Ties and loops. They are necessary to keep the blanket secure inside the duvet cover. This aspect is especially important for people with restless leg syndrome, as they tend to toss and turn a lot during the night. So, shoppers need to remember that more ties can guarantee a more secure fit.

F.A.Q.

Do weighted blankets help restless sleepers?

Weighted blankets can potentially help people with restless leg syndrome sleep better. This bedroom accessory has a calming, relaxing effect that may soothe restless sleepers and help them enjoy improved quality slumber.

How heavy should a weighted blanket be for restless leg syndrome?

A weighted blanket for a person with restless leg syndrome should comprise around 10% of their weight.

Do weighted blankets make restless legs worse?

No. A weighted blanket can calm one’s nerves and anxiety, create a distraction from the unpleasant sensations in the legs, and promote deeper, more restorative sleep. Therefore, weighted blankets can be very beneficial for people with restless leg syndrome.

Wrapping Up


Sleeping with restless leg syndrome shouldn’t feel like a trial, as a good weighted blanket can make things much easier. However, shoppers need to be careful with the weight and choose according to their bodies. It’s also crucial to get the right size to enjoy gentle pressure all around one’s body. And of course, shoppers shouldn’t ignore the materials used for the weighted blanket, as they may result in a slightly different feel and, consequently, comfort levels.

If you’re open to suggestions, allow me to share a model that will be very likely to make you happy - Puffy Weighted Blanket. The Puffy feels balanced and applies even pressure all over the body, resulting in instant relaxation. It’s also quality-made and comes with a lifetime warranty for your peace of mind. Plus, the Puffy is a two-sided model suited for both colder months and warmer nights. To me, it seems like the Puffy has everything a sleeper with restless leg syndrome can wish for!

How long have you been dealing with restless leg syndrome? And have you ever tried sleeping under a weighted blanket before? Share your experience in the comments!

References:

  1. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (November 15, 2021). Restless Legs Syndrome Fact Sheet. Retrieved from https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/Patient-Caregiver-Education/Fact-Sheets/Restless-Legs-Syndrome-Fact-Sheet
  2. Bodil Ekholm, Stefan Spulber, and Mats Adler (September 15, 2020). A randomized controlled study of weighted chain blankets for insomnia in psychiatric disorders. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32536366/

Our research

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Blankets Considered

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Hours of Research

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Sleep Experts Consulted

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