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If your toddler or teen struggles with sleep issues, you’re likely desperate to find a solution. (Let’s face it: If they’re not sleeping, you probably aren’t either.) Lack of sleep can have negative effects on your child, which in turn affects the whole family.

While there is more research to be done, therapists have used weighted blankets for many years to help calm autistic kids and children with sensory processing disorders.

Now, with the explosion of weighted blankets on the market — designed for both children and adults — many are finding they may enhance sleep.

Weighted blankets are exactly what they sound like — blankets that are intentionally made to be heavier than your average blanket. They may be made of an extra heavy, thick woven fabric, or filled with rice, glass beads, or poly pellets.

Weighted blankets come in a variety of sizes, and it’s important to pick the right weight for your child (more on this below).

If used correctly, the idea is that weighted blankets provide a sensation similar to deep pressure stimulation, which has been shown to have a positive effect on reducing anxiety, overstimulation, insomnia, and restlessness. The positive effects are similar to being held or hugged.

Before trying weighted blankets or any other sensory-based interventions with your child, make sure they’ve been evaluated by their pediatrician or an occupational therapist.

If you do want to try a weighted blanket for your child, most manufacturers state that these blankets should not be used for children under 2 years old. Children under 2 may still be too small to untangle themselves from the blanket if needed, and are at risk for suffocation.

However, there are weighted sleep sacks, if you want to discuss using a weighted blanket as a sleep aid for your infant with your pediatrician.

Weighted blankets are considered generally safe if your child is over 2 years old, does not have risk factors such as asthma or sleep apnea, and you choose the correct size of blanket (this is key!).

As a general rule of thumb, the correct weighted blanket will be about 10 percent of your child’s body weight, plus 1 to 2 pounds. This “little extra” gives some flexibility since blankets often come in fixed sizes, such as 3 pounds, 5 pounds, etc.

So for your 30-pound toddler, you would want a 3- to 5-pound blanket. For your 110-pound teenager, you’d want an 11- to 13-pound blanket. You can also judge whether to go slightly heavier or lighter based on your individual child (some prefer more vs. less pressure).

We talked with occupational therapists and parents, and read extensive reviews to gather this list of top weighted blankets for kids.

We know from experience how exhausting and emotionally draining sleep issues can be, so we hope one of these options is a great fit for your kiddo. Here’s to everyone in the family getting better rest!

Pricing guide

Typically the price of weighted blankets increases with size and weight.

  • $ = starting under $100
  • $$ = starting at $100–$150
  • $$$ = starting over $150

Best weighted blanket for toddlers

Harkla Kids Weighted Blanket

Price: $

This weighted blanket from Harkla is our favorite for toddlers for a number of reasons. For starters, it doesn’t break the bank, so if your toddler doesn’t benefit from a weighted blanket, or outgrows it in a year or two, you haven’t spent a small fortune.

It has a removable, super-soft removable duvet cover (because you know a toddler blanket is going to require frequent washing!) and all-over stitching to help keep the weighted beads evenly distributed. Plus, their customer service gets rave reviews. This blanket is available in weights as low as 5 pounds, so it’s suitable for toddlers over 2 years old.

Best weighted blanket for autistic kids

Southpaw Weighted Blanket

Price: $

This weighted blanket from U.S.-based company Southpaw is unique in its design. Rather than being fluffy or silky, or having beads that can shift around, it has layers of non-toxic steel shot between firm sheets of fabric. This gives it a very smooth, even texture as well as even weight distribution.

If your little one is bothered by shifting or uneven weight, or certain textures of blanket, this option may be more soothing to them. It’s highly recommended by occupational therapists, and used in many therapy and school settings. It’s also available as small as 3 pounds, so it’s suitable for the youngest users.

Best budget-friendly weighted blanket for kids

YnM Kids Weighted Blanket

Price: $

This top-rated (as in almost 20,000 positive Amazon reviews and recommendations from OTs) weighted blanket provides a ton of options. In addition to being the lowest-priced option on our list, it’s available in weights from 5 to 30 pounds and comes in a number of fun prints.

You can also purchase a duvet cover in cotton or soft minky fabric to increase washability and your child’s preferences. Fans of this blanket say the multiple compartment design keeps the glass beads evenly distributed for a soothing, even weight.

Most stylish weighted blanket for kids

Bearaby Nappling

Price: $$

This absolutely beautiful blanket looks more like an artisan-knitted afghan than any kind of therapeutic tool. If you want the benefits of a weighted blanket with the look of a stylish throw, this is a great choice.
Another fan-favorite feature of the Bearaby is that the heft comes purely from the weight of the cotton, rather than beads or other fillers. So if you’re concerned about breakage, or just uneven distribution of the beads over time, the Bearaby is a great choice.

It’s worth noting that due to the open-weave knit design, this blanket probably isn’t warm enough to be used as the only bed covering during cold weather. It’s also only available in an 8-pound weight (or you can check out their adult options for heavier weights), so it may be a little too heavy for the smallest kids.

Best weighted blanket for older kids

Mosaic Coolmax Weighted Blanket

Price: $$

One downside to weighted blankets is that they can be too warm for sleepers who run hot. As your child or teen gets older, they may find that the typical weighted blanket is just too warm.

This blanket from well-known weighted blanket manufacturer Mosaic offers a breathable, moisture-wicking fabric similar to athletic wear. It’s available in several sizes, and can provide your older child with the soothing benefits of a weighted blanket, while keeping them cool and comfortable.

Softest weighted blanket for kids

Magic Weighted Blanket Minky Dot

Price: $$$

Magic Weighted Blanket offers this super-soft minky dot blanket that any child is sure to love. The sleek design of Magic’s blankets make them easy to wash and durable over time (which is a big plus if they’re going to stand up to kid-level use).

While a little more expensive than some options, users say this blanket holds up well to daily use and washing. It’s available in a variety of sizes and colors, so you can find the right fit for your little one.

While there is still much research that can be done, there is some evidence that deep pressure can help reduce anxiety, insomnia, restlessness, night-waking, night terrors, and overstimulation.

Historically, weighted blankets have been used most often for autistic children or kids with sensory processing disorders.

Additionally, neurotypical children (and parents) have reported better sleep when they use a weighted blanket. A 2014 study found that while objective measurements of sleep did not improve when using a weighted blanket, both parents and children preferred to use a weighted blanket for sleeping.

When asked about the benefits of weighted blankets for children, Johanna Dix, MOT-OTR, stated, “Weighted products, such as blankets, vests, or stuffed animals, are a creative option for providing your child with a sensory experience that may produce a calming effect that can improve sleep, increase focus, and decrease anxiety for a variety of kids.”

However, it’s important to note that all of our brains have very specific sensory preferences, she adds. “If you choose to try a weighted blanket, be aware that weight may be too intense of a sensory experience for your child, based on their neurological system’s preferences. There are a myriad of recommendations for weight and size and length of use, but it’s truly individual to what each kid needs.”

Talking to your child’s pediatrician or therapists can help you determine whether a weighted blanket could be a helpful tool to improve your child’s sleep.

Whether your child has autism spectrum disorder, a sensory processing disorder, anxiety, or just struggles to fall asleep or stay asleep, an appropriately sized weighted blanket may be able to help.

Talk to your pediatrician about your child’s needs, and then use this handy guide to find just the right blanket for your child.