Do you know the difference between a weighted blanket, a comforter and a duvet?
Some people assume that these items are just variants of the same thing, but they’re actually quite different.
This article makes a comparison between weighted blankets, Comforters, and Duvets based on their uses, benefits, and cost. Weighted blankets were found to be the most beneficial item of the three.
What are comforters?
A comforter is a kind of bedding with fabric sewn together and filled with another material to make it soft and comfortable.
The fabric used could be cotton, bamboo, wool, or silk or any other insulating material. The filler material used in comforters are feathers, silk, fur or wool. The primary use of a comforter is to provide warmth for a user.
What are duvets?
Duvets are a little different from comforters. They are constructed by covering a bag containing the filler material, which just like with comforters could be feathers, fur or wool with a duvet cover.
A duvet cover is to a duvet what a pillowcase is to a pillow. Duvets covers may be made of the same fabric as the duvet itself, and they can easily be removed and laundered like you would a bedspread.
As you can see there is only a slight difference between a comforter and a duvet. They are so similar that in the UK, comforters are known as duvets and some dictionaries even refer to them as synonyms. They have quite similar uses.
Comforters vs. duvets: which is better?
There are already extensive debates on which is the better choice for buyers; duvets or comforters and we won’t bore you with more of those. However, the most important thing to consider is that the duvet covers, easily removable, enable you to easily care for your duvet.
Because of these, instead of looking at both weighted blankets vs. duvet and weighted blanket vs. comforter separately, we are going compare weighted blankets against duvets and comforters as a pair.
What are weighted blankets?
Weighted blankets are just like your regular sleeping blankets, but much heavier. The weight primarily comes from tiny filler material embedded in the fabric, and they are designed to give you a ‘hug-like’ effect when you use them.
Weighted blankets are excellent tools for comfort and also aid night-time sleep. They work by causing your body to release “endorphins”, your body’s feel-good hormones, and serotonin, which is converted to melatonin in the presence of darkness – a body chemical that helps you to fall asleep.
In addition to inducing relaxation chemicals, a weighted blanket also reduces the secretion of Cortisol, your body’s stress hormone. A weighted blanket does this by stimulating the deep touch pressure zones of your body, forcing it to relax.
Except when weighted blanket vs. duvet or weighted blankets vs. comforter comparisons are made, they haven’t been around for long. They first came into popular use in the special needs community, especially in autistic children.
Since then, extensive research has revealed additional benefits of weighted blankets for Fibromyalgia, Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), Asperger’s syndrome, depression, anxiety, Insomnia, and a host of other medical conditions.
The main difference between comforters/duvets and a weighted blanket is their purpose. While weighted blankets can be used for medical purposes, comforters simply provide comfort to the user.
What are weighted blankets made of?
Weighted blankets are constructed by embedding small weighted solids such as glass beads and plastic pellets into a blanket made of a range of fabric such as Mink, Silk, Cotton, Polyester etc.
How much should they weigh?
Weighted blankets weigh anywhere from 5-30 lbs., although Occupational therapists (OTs) advise that you purchase weighted blankets that are at least 10% your body weight and large enough to swaddle you in a sitting or prone position.
Common sizes of weighted blankets include:
- Small size which typically has dimensions of about 38 inches by 50 inches. The small size is well suited for toddlers and young children.
- The Medium size which is usually about 38 inches by 60 inches
- Large-sized blankets around 42 inches by 72 inches and above.
Pros and Cons of using comforters and duvets
Comforters and duvets are primarily used as insulators to keep you warm when you’re cold. They do this really well.
Also, there is something called the TOG rating, which stands for Thermal Overall Grade. It tells you what the level of insulation the blanket provides. This is a good thing because you can easily change between different comforters and duvets based on their TOG rating.
Comforters and duvets of high quality are available in a wide range of prices. This means that these products can be reliably purchased by buyers with different budget sizes. Also, there are excellent DIY guides that could instruct you on constructing your own comforters and duvets.
Hard to clean
The major cons of comforters have to do with the ease of care of the product. They are not easy to wash in a home washing machine and sometimes have to be taken to laundromats or dry cleaners with the necessary bigger equipment.
This problem, however, is solved in the duvet. Duvets can easily be used with a duvet cover with or without a top sheet since the cover can be removed and laundered separately.
Pros and cons of using a weighted blanket
Weighted blankets are quite useful. While they can act like normal blankets, they are way more than that. As we have earlier seen, they have been seen to improve sleep in insomniacs, reduce the pain in fibromyalgia, and relieve anxiety in anxiety disorders and so much more.
If you have none of these conditions, weighted blankets can also be used for stress relief. They are thus very versatile in the number of things they can be used for.
Alternative to drug-based treatments
Although treatment with medication can alleviate the symptoms of many of the medical conditions we mentioned earlier, they may have contraindications.
Weighted blankets, on the other hand, work pretty well with no side effects. The benefits and uses of weighted blankets are backed by extensive research published in peer-reviewed scientific publications.
This shows the amount of thought that has gone into weighted blanket innovation. It’s actually considered a medical device by some specialists. Nowadays, weighted blankets are recommended by physical therapists, occupational therapists, psychologists and even doctors.
Could be covered by medical insurance
Moreover, since they are considered medical devices, the cost of purchasing weighted blankets can be reimbursed by a medical insurance company.
However, not all medical insurance companies list weighted blankets among the medical devices they can reimburse for. You can contact your healthcare insurance provider to find out.
Lastly, they are highly customizable. In fact, the customization of weighted blankets is the norm rather than the exception.
Weighted blankets are not entirely without cons. Although they don’t have side effects like prescription medications, they could be a bit addictive and could make it more difficult to get off bed each morning. However, the benefits outweigh the potential risks.
Also, weighted blankets can be more expensive and it’s not always a good idea to try to make them on your own.
The verdict: Weighted blankets vs. comforters & duvets
From the pros and cons we just discussed, we can deduce that weighted blankets are more versatile and beneficial than comforters and duvets.
They can be classified as medical devices because they can induce the release of neurotransmitters (e.g. Endorphin and Serotonin) to combat stress, while comforters and duvets simply help a user to keep warm.
While the cheaper option is the comforter or duvet, depending on the material desired, they are not interchangeable with a weighted blanket since they have different uses. If you’ve to get just one, the weighted blanket may be the right choice.
Weighted blankets are also insured by some healthcare insurance providers, unlike comforters and duvets.
Another advantage of weighted blankets vs. comforters and duvets is the ease with which they can be customized – from weight to size and material. Many manufacturers allow you to specify all these before manufacturing or supplying.
However, when it comes to pricing, comforters and duvets are usually not as expensive as weighted blankets.
This is not always the case and depends on the material used for the comforter or duvet or, in other cases, the manufacturer. Comforters and duvets can also be constructed using DIY guides.
In the weighted blanket vs. comforter and weighted blanket vs. duvet argument, it’s obvious that the purpose of the blanket will be the most crucial factor.
Weighted blankets are great for people who suffer from medical conditions while comforters and duvets are more appropriate for general use. If you neither have problems sleeping nor any special needs and you have a limited budget, a comforter or duvet might be the thing for you.
A weighted blanket is a worthwhile investment if comfort is important to you. However, be sure to choose a weighted blanket that suits your body dimensions to give you the optimum benefits. Consider factors such as weight, size, and type of material before buying one for yourself or a loved one.