Hayley Glatter

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September 24, 2022

Best Weighted Blanket on a green background with shapes

September 24, 2022

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Failing to get a good night’s sleep is more than just a nuisance: For the 70 million Americans who suffer from chronic sleep conditions, lack of sufficient shut-eye can lead to cascading health problems, ranging from lost work productivity to negative impacts on cognitive function.

There are many factors that could be contributing to poor sleep—and small changes in your routine, like the adding the best products for insomnia, could help. One remedy for sleeplessness that’s exploded in popularity in recent years are weighted blankets with people, especially those suffering from stress and anxiety, boasting about their positive impact on sleep quality.

As sleep expert and psychiatrist Nishi Bhopal, M.D., previously told mbg, “It’s thought that weighted blankets provide deep pressure stimulation, which activates the parasympathetic, or ‘rest and digest’ part of the nervous system.” When this system is activated, it reduces heart rate and relaxes muscles to restore calm.

Below, we uncover the science behind this sleep accessory—and how to determine if it’s the right option for you.

Do weighted blankets really work?

The science around weighted blankets is scant, says Fiona Barwick, psychologist and director of Stanford Medical School’s Sleep and Circadian Health Program. Randomized control trials are typically seen as the gold standard in research, and Barwick said that very few have been conducted on the product thus far; those that have been completed failed to find evidence that weighted blankets had a significantly different effect on sleep than sham blankets.

That said, there is evidence that weighted blankets can positively influence sleep among children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and autism spectrum disorder (ASD), helping them fall asleep more easily, stay asleep for the whole night, and relax throughout the day. And people who use weighted blankets say they’re sleeping well, which matters even if experts have yet to pinpoint a specific reason for their experience.

“The subjective reports of better sleep using weighted blankets almost certainly reflect the placebo effect, at least in part,” Barwick said. “It can be an important effect to harness, so I personally don’t have a problem if parents and children are using weighted blankets and subjectively reporting better sleep.”

Weighted blanket advocates often suggest that the products are a form of deep-pressure touch, mimicking the soothing, anti-anxiety effects of a hug and resulting in a more restful night’s sleep. Though Barwick said the science behind this experience is flimsy, the self-reported relaxation is not.

What to look for:

Weighted blankets are not one-size-fits-all—literally. Some versions weigh as few as 5 pounds while others, such as those for king-size beds, weigh more than 40 pounds. When selecting a product, the general rule of thumb is to pick a blanket that’s about 10% of the sleeper’s bodyweight, per a previous interview with naturopathic sleep doctor Catherine Darley, N.D. (However this differs with children, who should be able to lift the blanket themselves.)

And, of course, you want to select a product that will fit into your lifestyle, whether you plan to use it on the bed or couch. Ultimately, because the science behind weighted blankets is less robust, the factors to consider when making a purchase have less to do with health and wellness and more to do with personal sleep preferences.

How we picked:

Our selections are heavy enough to apply the right amount of pressure to your body, but not so heavy that you feel like you can’t breathe.

Weighted blankets are an investment, so we chose durable options designed to hold up over time (and countless sleep-filled night).

We took product reviews into consideration, reading the good and the bad, to ensure that we selected weighted blankets that are well-loved by many.

The price of weighted blankets can vary a lot, so we picked blankets within a wide range of budgets.

Our picks for the best weighted blankets:

Pros:

  • Cooling to counteract added weight
  • Hypoallergenic & OEKO-TEX 100 certified
  • Multiple weights & sizes available

Materials: 100% lyocell bamboo; filled with 100% polyester and glass beads

Sizes Available: 36×48, 41×60, 48×72, 60×80, 80×87

Weights Available: 5 lbs, 7 lbs, 10 lbs, 12 lbs, 15 lbs, 20 lbs, 25 lbs, 30 lbs

Warranty: 2-year warranty

Washability: Cover is removable and machine washable

How it’s made:

The Luna weighted blanket comes in more sizes and weights than most options on the market, allowing buyers to customize the product to their personal needs. Already a best-seller on Amazon, the popular pick is antimicrobial, hypoallergenic, and especially soft to the touch. It’s also made from an OEKO-TEX 100 certified, 100% lyocell bamboo exterior—a pro for those seeking a more environmentally friendly pick—and filled with glass and polyester beads. These minuscule beads better evenly distribute weight across the body to provide that feeling of a warm hug. But unlike many weighted picks that may leave you hot and sweaty, this top-rated pick stays cool-to-the-touch thanks to the breathable lyocell fabric.

What customers are saying:

The Luna bamboo blanket has received a staggering 8,000 five-star ratings on Amazon with customers describe it as a blissful experience, especially for sleepers who tend to run warm. One especially passionate reviewer who previously dealt with anxiety raves, “This blanket feels breathable without sacrificing the weight. … It has helped when I feel an anxiety attack coming on, or when I am experiencing one. This has been a great purchase for me so far! I would recommend this if you are experiencing anxiety and need to feel secure and safe without the excessive warmth!”

Pros:

  • Three weights available
  • Breathable

Cons:

  • Spot-clean only
  • Only one size

Materials: Polyester, cotton

Sizes Available: 50×70

Weights Available: 10 lbs, 15 lbs, 20 lbs

Trial Period: 30 days

Warranty: 1-year limited warranty

Washability: Spot-clean only

How it’s made:

Anyone struggled with anxiety should turn to this This weighted blanket is a great pick because it can be tailored specifically to your needs to ensure it provides the relief desired. It comes in three weight options: 10-pound, 15-pound, or 20-pounds, as well as four colors to match your decor. Designed after performance outerwear, it features a quilted exterior with a breathable cotton outer shell that’s keeps you comfortably cool by helping circulate air away from your body.

What Customers Say:

The Casper weighted blanket has over 4.5 out of 5 stars overall, with 64 reviews on the company’s website. Reviewers say it “feels like a hug” and has a pleasant cooling effect. One happy customer said the product has benefited their entire family: “I bought one for my son on the autism spectrum. He has a history of using a weighted vest at school to reduce his anxiety. It has been tried by everyone in the family. We will be getting one for everyone in the house! The positive pressure does so many things. It not only relieves stress, it soothes sore muscles, and provides comfort for snugglers.”

Pros:

  • Lightweight
  • Machine-washable

Cons:

  • One size only
  • Some say it runs warm

Materials: 99% cotton, 1% spandex

Sizes Available: 48×72

Weights Available: 12 lbs

Trial Period: 365 days

Warranty: 1-year limited warranty

Washability: Commercial machine washable and dryer safe; spot clean recommended

How it’s made:

When shopping for elders, it’s important to find a weighted blanket they can maneuver themselves. Designed as a throw, this lightweight pick weighs just 12 pounds and comes in four muted colorways. We love that it filled with glass beads rather than plastic, making it a better choice for those trying to limit their environmental footprint. It also features two different textured exteriors, allowing shopping to find the material that works best for them.

What customers are saying:

The Brooklinen pick has a 4.5 out of 5 stars rating aftear nearly 100 reviews. As one shopper raves, “This blanket makes me never want to get up again, and that is exactly what I was hoping for. Color: gorgeous. Weight: heavy without being repressive.” Some customers say the limited weight and size options are a bit of a drawback, and the blanket is a bit warm. Ultimately, though, the reviews are overwhelmingly positive, with many people describing the product as cozy and high quality.

Pros:

  • Less expensive
  • Removable cover for washing

Materials: 100% polyester; filled with 50% glass beads and 50% polyester

Sizes Available: 48×72

Weights Available: 12 lbs, 16 lbs, 20 lbs

Trial Period: 90 days

Warranty: Limited lifetime warranty

Washability: Cover is removable and machine washable

How it’s made:

Unlike many other weighted blankets, this one features a removable cover that makes for easy washing at home. The machine-washable, jersey-knit exterior is soft to the touch with a 50/50 fill of glass beads and polyester; this breakdown ensures the beads fall evenly across the body, applying a deep pressure to help you feel more relaxed in no time. Although significantly less expensive than some other models, it still comes in multiple weight and colors.

What customers are saying:

This blanket earned 4.8 out of 5 stars from 49 reviewers on the Bed, Bath, and Beyond website (where it’s exclusively available). Customers—many of whom rated the product via a promotion—say that the blanket is easy to clean, and calming for people who typically struggle to stay asleep: “I have a daughter that has anxiety and trouble sleeping at night,” wrote one reviewer. “With the Therapedic 16-pound Weighted Blanket, it seems to have a calming effect on her and she sleeps soundly and throughout the night, without waking up.”

Pros:

  • Machine-washable
  • Science-backed

Cons:

  • Some say it runs warm

Materials: Microfiber, cotton, polyester fill

Sizes Available: 72×48, 90×90

Weights Available: 15 lbs, 20 lbs, 35 lbs

Trial Period: 30 days

Warranty: None mentioned

Washability: Cover is removable and machine washable

How it’s made:

The Gravity weighted blanket comes in three colors and sizes, and it can be personalized with your initials. According to SleepScore’s 2019 study, roughly 3 in 4 product users reported falling asleep more quickly after using the blanket. Further, more than half of users said they felt less anxious after using the Gravity product. As an added bonus, Gravity is transitioning all of its products to a zipper close—rather than button and tie one—for added security and easier cleaning. Though this version is pricier than competitors, the Gravity blanket is consistently lauded for its quality and calming effects.

What customers are saying:

The reviews for the Gravity weighted blanket are mostly positive, with an average of 4.5 out of 5 stars after more than 1,600 reviews on the company’s website. Ultimately, Gravity users report looking forward to sleeping with it and one person who described the product as a “new way to cuddle” say it “changed [their] sleeping habits completely. … It’s amazing how manipulating your physical world can change your psychological mind. Definitely has reduced anxiety.” It’s worth noting that a few reviews mention that this blanket runs warm.

Pros:

  • Multiple weights & sizes available
  • Made from sustainable materials

Cons:

  • Dry-clean only
  • Expensive

Materials: Organic cotton, glass beads

Sizes Available: 38×75, 76×80

Weights Available: 12 lbs, 20 lbs

Trial Period: 45 days

Warranty: 1-year limited warranty

Washability: Dry clean only

How it’s made:

Made from fair-trade, sustainably-sourced organic cotton velvet, this is definitely a luxurious pick—and one that you can feel good about. This blanket is available in multiple weights and sizes and comes in two colors. The quilted surface is plush and cozy, and the glass beads on the interior create the weighted feeling that’s meant to help you slip into a more relaxed state. This is also one of the only options that comes in a Queen/King size, so you can even use it as a quilt on your bed.

What customers are saying:

No one has reviewed this product yet, but Saatva boasts an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. The brand has earned an average of 4.8 out of 5 stars from 4,408 reviewers of its other products.

Pros:

  • Multiple sizes & weights available
  • Manufactured in U.S.A.
  • Made with sustainable materials

Cons:

  • No warranty mentions

Sizes Available: 38×50, 38×60, 42×70, 54×75

Weights Available: 5 lbs, 8 lbs, 10 lbs, 12 lbs, 15 lbs, 18 lbs, 20 lbs

Trial Period: 30 days

Warranty: None mentioned

Washability: Machine washable

How it’s made:

The Minky Weighted Blanket gives a true body-hugging feeling that makes it a great fit for kids. Available in a ton of weights, colors, and sizes available—with one size specifically for kids—each pick is handmade in Austin, Texas with 100% BPA-free, hypoallergenic, and FDA-compliant plastic pellets. A perk of these tiny weighted pellets is that they better distribute the weight of the blanket, but it’s important to keep an eye out for any wear and tear to ensure the small beads don’t get into small hands.

What customers are saying:

With hundreds of reviews on the Mosaic website, this blanket has an astounding 4.9 out of 5 star rating overall. Reviewers mention the blanket’s incredible quality, lush fabric, and the brand’s amazing customer service. One writes, “Absolutely LOVE this blanket-Got the throw for my 9 year old daughter. It is so well made and super comfy, will be purchasing one for my husband as well! HIGHLY RECOMMEND for anyone who needs just a little more security while sleeping!”

FAQ

Can a weighted blanket be too heavy?

Weighted blankets should typically be roughly 10% of the user’s body weight to generate that warm swaddled feeling without being overwhelming.

Should you use a weighted blanket every night?

We have not found research to suggest that you can overuse a weighted blanket.

Can children use a weighted blanket?

It is not recommended that children under 50 pounds use weighted blankets.

The takeaway.

People who use weighted blankets tend to report feeling calmer and sleeping better after their purchase. Though some studies suggest these outcomes are the result of a placebo effect, others have shown that a positive impact in children with ADHD and ASD, as well as effectiveness in treating insomnia. If you’re looking to soothe achy muscles or just relax after a long day, one of the options above may be the key to your next great night’s sleep.