Hypoallergenic glass beads are encased in little pockets to prevent shifting, making this a great option for those with auditory sensitivities or anyone who doesn't enjoy the sound of shifting sand/plastic pellets. High-quality construction is more durable than most and is far less likely to “leak.” Includes a luxuriously soft cover for easy cleaning.
Expensive. Mastering the technique of attaching the blanket to the cover takes a little practice.
Lower weight ranges and smaller sizes make these weighted blankets perfect for little ones. Dual sides consist of soft flannel on the back and resilient polyester on the front. Quality stitching does a good job of keeping the hypoallergenic plastic pellets in place. Excellent craftsmanship delivers superior durability.
Limited size and weight options are better suited to children or those with smaller frames. Only available in one color.
Rather than the typical plastic pellets, these blankets have smaller sand pellets that provide a more delicate feel. Available in a refreshingly wide variety of sizes and weights. Soft enough to use alone, but the option to purchase covers in multiple colors and patterns from the same manufacturer is convenient.
Sizes run a few inches small. Getting the blanket secured to the cover can be a challenge.
Weighted inner layer comes with an indulgently plush cover that's durable and easy to care for. Works especially well for restless leg syndrome, insomnia, and anxiety. Stitched to ensure even distribution. Available in just about any size and weight. Great customer service.
Expensive. The plastic beads aren't secured, and although the stitching helps keep them in place, you can expect some shifting.
Comes in multiple weights and sizes. Warm and cozy with good insulation. Most owners find these blankets highly effective for treating insomnia and anxiety, and they may be helpful for a number of other conditions such as ADD, ADHD, and autism.
Stitched segments are larger than some which may lead to increased shifting and gathering of the plastic pellets.
We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.
We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.
Looking for a natural, non-drug treatment for insomnia? The cure just might come in the form of a weighted blanket. As the name suggests, these blankets are much heavier than regular blankets. The pressure they provide has been used to help soothe symptoms associated with the following problems.
Sensory processing disorder
Originally targeted towards children and adults who struggle with autism, sensory processing disorder, and ADHD, weighted blankets have expanded their borders and are now helping a wide range of people settle down, feel good, and sleep better.
If you’re wondering how to buy a weighted blanket, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve done the hard work for you. We gathered information from experts on development, wellness, and sleep, and we listened to feedback from owners of these heavy bed toppers. We combined this information to create a helpful, accurate, and unbiased buying guide and product recommendation matrix to simplify your decision
So if you’d like to buy a weighted blanket and start sleeping more soundly, check out the five recommendations in our matrix, above. If you want to expand your knowledge of weighted blankets, read on.
Occupational therapists have used weighted blankets and vests for years to help soothe the anxiety of patients with various developmental and physical conditions and to calm children with sensory processing disorders. But over the past several years, weighted blankets have spread beyond the therapist’s office and into the home.
While there is not extensive research on weighted blankets, the assumption is that they work by providing deep pressure that stimulates the release of serotonin, a hormone that helps regulate mood. This leads to decreased anxiety, a feeling of calm, and an easier time falling asleep. It’s similar to the good feeling you get while hugging a loved one or the calming effects of swaddling a newborn.
While there isn’t a lot of research on the effects of weighted blankets, several small studies have shown a reduction in anxiety, stress, and insomnia with their use.
While weighted blankets aren’t complicated, there are still a few things to consider when purchasing one.
Weighted blankets come in a range of sizes, including the usual twin, full, and queen, but it’s important to realize that a weighted blanket is not meant to cover your bed the way a regular blanket does. Weighted blankets normally cover the top of the bed without hanging down at the sides. Otherwise, the weight would tend to pull the blanket over the edge as you shifted during the night.
You’ll also find small weighted blankets meant to wrap around the shoulders, lap blankets that help fidgety children sit still, and even weighted vests.
You’ll find weighted blankets ranging from five to 25 pounds. As a general rule, the heavier the blanket, the larger it will be.
Most custom makers of weighted blankets let you select the fabric you like best. This is mostly a matter of preference; if you’re just looking for a heavy blanket to help you sleep, you’ll probably prefer a soft fleece or flannel fabric. Children with sensory issues can be quite specific in their preferences: fabrics that are satiny, fleecy, chenille, slightly rough, or nubby are all possibilities.
Color and pattern are also a matter of preference. Pre-made blankets sold for adults are often gray or another neutral tone. Custom blanket makers typically offer a very wide range of kid-appealing patterns and colors as well as adult-pleasing options.
If you’re buying a pre-constructed blanket intended for adults, you’ll mostly find options made of heavy cotton or flannel.
There are a variety of fills used in weighted blankets, including sand, plastic pellets, rice, and glass beads. One type of fill isn’t necessarily better than another, but it’s generally easier to wash blankets filled with plastic pellets.
Unless the blanket has quilted baffles or boxes sewn through the full thickness of the blanket, the pellets or sand will shift to one side. Just about every weighted blanket is baffled to prevent this and keep the weight in place. If you come across a product option without this feature, move on.
Protect your weighted blanket and keep it clean with a matching cover. Many blanket makers offer them.
Because many weighted blankets are difficult to wash and dry, duvet covers that slip over the blanket and protect it from body oils, fluids, and general grunge are quite common. When the duvet cover needs cleaning, you simply remove it from the blanket and wash it. Be aware that some weighted blanket manufacturers offer the blanket and duvet cover separately, not as a set.
Some weighted blankets have poly-fil along with the weighted material to give the blanket more of a “traditional” blanket appearance. This may be important for children who are embarrassed about their weighted blanket and want a bed cover that doesn’t draw attention.
If you prefer a blanket with less height or warmth, choose a blanket without poly-fil.
When shopping for weighted blankets, you’ll find a wide range of weights. That’s because there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to these therapeutic and comforting blankets.
As a rough rule of thumb, most blanket makers and occupational therapists recommend that a blanket for an older child, teen, or adult should weigh 10% of that person’s body weight, plus a pound or two if a bit of extra weight is desired. So for example, if you weigh 150 pounds, your blanket should weigh between 15 and 17 pounds.
However, this formula isn’t written in stone, and some people prefer blankets that are lighter or heavier than 10% of their body weight. Still, it’s particularly important to watch the weight if buying the blanket for a child; if your child is heavy for his age, go with a slightly lighter blanket. Also, while it’s true that your child will “outgrow” his weighted blanket eventually, it’s not a good idea to buy a heavier blanket with the idea that he will “grow into it.”
Never use a heavy blanket in a crib, on a baby, or over a toddler.
Weighted blankets are not safe for babies or toddlers. Never use a heavy blanket on anyone who is not able to easily remove the blanket if they desire.
A weighted blanket should never be used as a restraint or punishment.
Keep your adult-weight blanket away from your kids.
If the blanket is for someone elderly or with limited strength, go with a lighter blanket, not the full 10% of their body weight.
If you are looking for relief from anxiety, you may find a blanket that’s a few pounds above the usual guideline helps you the most.
Sufferers of restless leg syndrome often find relief with a small weighted blanket covering their legs at night.
If you are seeking relief from anxiety or insomnia, you’ll want to spend the night under a blanket sized to fit your bed. If you are hoping for better focus or calm during the day, a small blanket that wraps around your shoulders might be all you need.
Many children with sensory disorders or ADHD find it easier to focus and sit still with a small weighted blanket across their lap.
You might be surprised at the price of a weighted blanket; these therapeutic blankets are far more expensive than regular blankets. Generally, weighted blankets cost between $100 and $200, with custom-made blankets hovering at the higher end of the range. Depending on the vendor, you might also pay quite a bit to ship the blanket to your home because of its weight. Don’t scrimp, however; a cheap weighted blanket is likely to fall apart quickly.
Q. Are weighted blankets safe for everyone?
A. While the majority of people are perfectly safe with a weighted blanket, there are a few exceptions. Babies and toddlers under the age of two should never be given a weighted blanket. Avoid heavy blankets with anyone who has limited upper body strength or general weakness that would make it difficult to remove the blanket when desired. And if you have a respiratory illness, high blood pressure, breathing difficulties, or diabetes, check with your doctor before buying a weighted blanket.
Q. Can I wash my weighted blanket in the washing machine?
A. It depends. Some blankets are washer-and-dryer safe and some are not. The blanket maker will specify washing directions. If you want to buy a blanket that isn’t safe for the washing machine, consider purchasing a duvet cover to protect the blanket. That way, you simply wash the cover, not the blanket itself.
Q. For what conditions are weighted blankets helpful?
A. Weighted blankets are helpful with a wide range of conditions, including anxiety, insomnia, PTSD, sensory processing disorders, autism spectrum disorders, restless leg syndrome, and chronic pain conditions such as fibromyalgia.