The chances are that if you spend much time online you will have seen articles about, and advertisements for, weighted blankets, as they have become very popular very the last few years.
Once used only by therapists looking for alternative, drug free ways to help their patients dealing with anxiety, depression, ADHD or autism, these blankets are becoming mainstream. But many people have lots of questions about weighted blankets. What are they? What do they do? Are they safe? And if I choose to buy one which one is the best one?
In this article we hope to help answer those questions and more.
Our Top Picks of 2021
- Best Overall: PlushBeds
- Best Value: NapGuru
- Best Cooling: Nectar Sleep
- Best for Couples: Layla
- Best Budget Buy: Luna
How To Choose The Right Weight?
In very basic terms, a weighted blanket is just what the same suggests: a blanket with added weight. The weight is added by glass beds, poly fill or specialist foam.
Their purpose is to exert a gentle, continuous pressure on the body as a person sleeps, something some describe as the feeling of a light hug, which may help some people sleep better while relieving some of the symptoms of anxiety, chronic pain and more.
When people begin to shop for a weighted blanket, they quickly discover that not only are these blankets available in several different sizes (to fit different beds) they are also offered in a number of different weights.
Choosing the right weight is important.
Usually, the best way to do so is to choose a blanket that is roughly around ten percent of your own body weight in stated total weight.
In practice, on average this breaks down as follows:
|Body Weight (in lbs.)||Blanket Weight (in lbs.)|
You may notice that our chart includes weights that are common for a child.
Children can make use of weighted blankets – their use began in youth therapy situations – but only under careful supervision and never if a child is too young to remove the blanket from their body themselves. They should also only be used in consultation with a child’s doctor. Weighted blankets shouldn’t be used with infants and toddlers.
For adults though sleeping with a weighted blanket that is properly sized can be very helpful and very effective.
Couples sleeping together may choose to use two weighted blankets better suited to their individual weight – and needs – or, if they are of similar weights – choose one larger option for mutual use.
Many find more success with the former method, but if you prefer the latter there are some good options on the market, as we will discuss here in a little while.
Also Read: The 5 Best Sleep Aids of 2021
Best Weighted Therapeutic Blankets Reviews
When shopping for a weighted therapeutic blanket you will have an increasing number of them to choose from, which can quickly become very confusing. As these are not inexpensive purchases doing your ‘homework’ and researching the best choice for you before you buy can be very helpful.
To help you we spent time looking at –and testing out – some of the most popular therapeutic weighted blanket options available. We used our observations, as well as those of others who had purchased and used the same blankets, to come up with this shortlist of the best therapeutic weighted blankets to suit a number of different criteria and sleeping needs.
So, without further ado let’s take a look at what we came up with:
1. Best Overall Therapeutic Weighted Blanket: Plushbeds
Weight Options: 5 to 20-pounds for Queen and Petite
Why We Love It: Industry best standard glass bead fill, easy to wash and super comfy, this weighted blanket has it all.
You may have heard of Plushbeds in relation to the mattresses and pillows they sell – they are a big name in that space – but they also offer their take on a weighted therapeutic blanket that they have dubbed the Anchor Weighted Blanket.
Many of the blankets we looked at and tested were great, but this one really stood out. The weighted fill is made up of glass beads, something that means the blanket ‘moves’ more fluidly and makes the item itself far more durable. The cover is made from a lightweight silky microfiber that covers a cooling cotton inner blanket and the Anchor Weighted Blanket is available in four different sizes and three different weights, meaning there’s an option for almost everyone (in addition there is a kids’ option too!)
We loved the feel of this blanket, as well as the fact that it’s very attractive, something that is not always the case for weighted blankets. We also appreciated the money-back guarantee, as did many other reviewers.
It’s hard to tell if you are going to enjoy sleeping under a weighted blanket until you can try it out yourself for a few nights, so the fact that you are still able to easily return this blanket is another big plus.
PROS: available in lots of sizes and weights, machine washed, very durable, cool seeping cotton and microfiber cover looks great, money back guarantee lets you try the blanket out to see if it works for you with less risk
CONS: Not the most inexpensive option available
2. Best Value: NapGuru
Weight Options: 15 to 20-pounds for Twin and Queen
Why We Love It: This is a more than acceptable weighted blanket option at a great price
Not everyone wants – or can afford – to spend over $150 on a weighted blanket, especially if they are unsure that it will be the right choice for them in the long run. The NapGuru weighted blanket offers a high quality option at a more affordable price point – around $60 – and although it’s only available in two weights – fifteen and twenty pounds – that does cover lots of people in terms of the right weight for them.
We also like the fact that although this is a less expensive choice it still makes use of glass beads for its weighted fill. As these are more durable, odorless and move a lot more fluidly id you shift in your sleep than other options then this is another plus. We also like the fact that there are matching accessories available if needed, including a duvet cover and a specially shaped pillow.
PROS: great price point makes it very affordable, uses glass beads for its fill which is the best choice in a number of ways, additional accessories are available at the same reasonable price point
CONS: only available in two weight choices, is not machine washable
3. Best Cooling: Nectar BlanQuil
Weight Options: 15 and 20-pounds
Why We Love It: The removable cover makes it cool in summer, warm in winter and the lightweight feel is great for some.
Nectar is another company you may have heard of in relation to their mattresses, but they too make a weighted blanket in the form of their BlanQuil offering.
Available in two weights and two sizes, the BlanQuil makes use of no toxic, odorless glass beads as its fill and its cover is a synthetic blend cotton that is very cool. To make it even cooler you can remove the outer cover in the summer and that is washable too, meaning that you can keep the blanket clean and fresh easily all year round.
We loved how smooth and light this blanket slept, and it moved very well too, something a lot of other reviewers found to be a plus as well.
PROS: Sleeps super cool, makes use of non-toxic glass beads, cover is removable and machine washable.
CONS: only available in two weight choices
4. Best for Couples: Layla Weighted Blanket
Weight Options: Twin, Queen, King
Why We Like It: If your partner has agreed to try sharing a weighted blanket, this versatile option is a great choice for those of ‘average weight’.
As we’ve mentioned, sharing a weighted blanket with a partner can be hard, especially if you both weigh very different amounts. Many people prefer to make use of two weighted blankets and sleep Swedish style, but if you prefer to share then the Layla blanket is a good choice, as long as you both weigh roughly the same amount (or at least within 25-35 pounds of each other.)
In general, this a good weighted blanket. It is available in several weights and sizes – although weights change according to blanket size only – and uses glass beads for the weighted fill. The blanket itself is reversible, so you can choose between a cool smooth cotton side or a cozier fleecy side.
One thing we did like about this blanket a lot is the fact that the beads seem to be a little smaller than some other options and this helps them move more smoothly, something that is a real plus if you are sleeping with a partner who moves around a lot! You can also remove the cover to wash it, which is always a big help!
PROS: reversible cover for sleeping flexibility, glass beads are slightly smaller and move smoother, cover is machine washable
CONS: limited weight options that are tied to blanket size, one of the most expensive options on our list.
5. Best Budget Buy: Luna Weighted Blanket
Weight Options: 5 to 30-pounds for Twin, Full, Queen and King
Why We Love It: Reasonably priced economy weighted blanket that’s available in a number of cute patterns and colors that would be great for a college dorm.
Being away at college can be very stressful for lots of young people and this year, as even students who can return to campuses will be under a lot of extra restrictions due to COVID-19 , it will be especially so. A weighted blanket could be a big help, and this budget option from Luna might be perfect.
We love the fact that there are so many options – it is available in six different weights, including an XL 30lb option – and makes use of glass beads for the weighted fill. There are also lots of cute patterns and colors to choose from, which is why we think it’s such a great student choice.
It’s not machine washable but reviewers say it spot cleans well and can be carefully handwashed and line dried. We found it comfortable to sleep with, as did many others, and considering it’s low price we think this an excellent option for singles and couples sleeping with individual weighted blankets too.
PROS: very reasonably priced, available in a very wide range of weights, lots of colors and patterns to choose from
CONS: cannot be machine washed
Weighted Blanket FAQs
So, you’ve seen out top picks for the best weighted blankets, but you still have questions. Hopefully the following FAQs will answer many of them for you.
What is the purpose of a weighted blanket?
A weighted blanket is used for all kinds of great reasons. It was originally an idea used to help those suffering with anxiety get a calmer, more restful night’s sleep and also as an emergency comfort to be used during daytime anxiety attacks which can be very scary for all involved.
Occupational therapists also found that the blankets were helpful for children with spectrum disorders and ADHD.
Since then people have also found that they can help them get a better night’s sleep if they suffer from simple insomnia (sleeplessness without an underlying cause) chronic pain disorders and RLS (restless leg syndrome.)
Key Takeaway: Weighted blankets work in a similar way to an Occupational Therapy technique called deep touch pressure therapy.
How heavy should a weighted blanket be?
Ideally experts say that a weighted blanket should be about 10% of your body weight (see our chart further up.) However, some people do find that choosing a blanket that is, technically, heavy for their weight (a 20lb blanket instead of a 15lb blanket for example) is more effective for things like anxiety and restless leg syndrome.
Neurologist and sleep expert Jessica Vensel-Rundo, MD points out that some research suggests restless legs has a strong correlation with anxiety. So, if it helps you relieve anxiety, a weighted blanket may also help with restless legs, a common occurrence in pregnant women triggered by a lack of enough folic acid or iron.
Ideally you should be able to try a blanket and return it if it’s not quite right for you, as that is the only way you can really tell for sure if a weighted blanket is really going to help you.
That’s just one of the reasons we choose the Plushbeds Weighted Blanket as our overall top pick, it comes with a similar guarantee/trial as their mattresses and pillows, so you can try out a weighted blanket with limited ‘risk’ to your wallet.
What is in a weighted blanket?
There are different fills used in different weighted blankets. While you can find options that make use of plastic poly pellets or special foam pellets the best choice is glass beads, something all the weighted blankets on our best of list make use of.
There are a number of reasons why we say this.
Glass beads are non-toxic and odorless, they can be laundered (in their blanket cover) in many cases, and they shift very smoothly and hug the body very precisely, all of which is what helps make for the most effective usage of a weighted blanket.
How to use a weighted blanket?
Most weighted blankets can be used in place of standard comforter. Some people do choose to use both but most find that doing so is too hot and also not as effective as sleeping with the heavy blanket alone.
Is it ok to sleep with a weighted blanket every night?
Yes, as long as you do not experience any discomfort from sleeping with one in general. A number of those who have become fans of them, especially people suffering from anxiety, say that they would now find it harder than ever to sleep without a weighted blanket and even travel with one if going away.
Why do I sleep better with a weighted blanket?
There are a number of theories, but they all relate to the constant ‘deep pressure’ that a weighted blanket exerts on your body. For example, for those who suffer from restless leg syndrome it has long been known that applying a deep pressure can be very helpful for most.
Doing so all night however is not practical, unless your blanket is weighted.
Are there risks to using a weighted blanket?
If you are a person that cannot remove a weighted blanket yourself then you should not make use of one as it could, theoretically, become dangerous. Those who suffer from claustrophobia may also find that they dislike feeling so ‘closed in’ by a bed covering.
Can a weighted blanket help with insomnia?
Lots of people find that it does, especially if their insomnia is related to another condition like anxiety or some forms of chronic pain. For those who suffer from simple insomnia– insomnia without an apparent underlying cause – it may or may not be a solution, anecdotal evidence suggests this is a subjective, personal thing although lots of people report that they find them very effective.
How to wash a weighted blanket?
Different blankets need to be cared for in different ways and you should always follow the manufacturers instructions for the particular choice you make. Some can be washed as easily as your comforter can – which is the case for several of the blankets on our list including our top pick. Others may need to be hand washed only and there are some – although not any of our top picks – that can only be spot cleaned.
Who should avoid using weighted blankets?
Weighted blankets should not be given to small children – those under three – and if they are used by children under ten it should only be under parental supervision and guidance. As we mentioned earlier you should not use one if you are physically incapable of removing it yourself unless you have a full time carer who could do so for you, as is the case for some dementia patients for whom weighted blanket use has actually proved very helpful.
And there you have it. Our short, but hopefully helpful guide to weighted blankets, along with our top picks from the most popular choices available on the market right now.
Like many other things that are not technically medical in nature, and even some that are, there is no guarantee that sleeping with a weighted blanket instead of a comforter will help you. But there is lots of anecdotal evidence that they do help many people, and so if sleep is a problem for you, especially if you suffer from anxiety, restless leg syndrome or chronic pain issues, one may well be worth a try.
In terms of which option to choose there are lots of good ones out there and there isn’t a blanket on our list that we would say should be avoided. Overall though we do stick by our top choice. Although the Plushbeds Anchor Weighted Blanket is one of the more expensive options on our list, we think it more than justifies that price.
Not only is it durable and our testers found it to be very comfortable to sleep under – something many others backed up in their reviews it’s also super easy to care for and can even be tumble dried on a low setting, something that we know busy people – and people with no outdoor drying facilities – will love.
Then there are the looks. Weighted blankets do look more than a little different. Some look downright strange. The Plushbeds option looks like a luxury European duvet and would enhance any bed. We do have to give an extra shout out to the Luna blanket here though too, as some of the prints it is offered in are so super cute, they are hard to resist!
All that remains now is for us to wish you happy shopping and that you get a better night’s rest soon thanks to whichever weighted blanket you eventually choose!