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If your toddler or teen has sleep issues, you may be 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 can affect 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 people are finding they enhance sleep.

Weighted blankets are exactly what they sound like: blankets intentionally made to be heavier than an average one. They may be made of an extra heavy, thick woven fabric or filled with rice, glass beads, or poly pellets to give them heft.

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, in adults, has been shown to have various positive effects.

A 2017 study found these blankets may have a positive effect on reducing anxiety, overstimulation, insomnia, and restlessness in autistic children and children with developmental conditions. The benefits 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 (OT).

If you do want to try a weighted blanket for your child, most manufacturers state that these blankets shouldn’t be used for children under 3 or 4 years old. Very young children may still be too small to untangle themselves from a heavy (especially a too heavy) blanket if needed and could be at risk of suffocation.

Be careful if using blankets with filling for children, as small pieces are a choking hazard. Seams should be sturdy, and the filling shouldn’t be easy to access.

Weighted blankets are considered generally safe if your child is more than 3 years old or more than 50 pounds (lbs.), doesn’t have risk factors such as asthma or sleep apnea, and you select the correct size of blanket (this is key!). Many weighted blanket manufacturers specifically say their blankets are for children 4 years and older.

It’s general knowledge that weighted blankets should be 10 percent of your body weight. We couldn’t find research or the origin of this recommendation, but it gives you a solid starting point. What’s most important is making sure your child can move beneath the weighted blanket and feels comfortable under it.

So for your 40-lb. preschooler, you’d want to try a 4- to 6-lb. blanket. For your 110-lb. teenager, you’d want an 11- to 13-lb. blanket. You can also judge whether to go slightly heavier or lighter based on your child’s preferences, as some kids prefer more pressure versus less pressure.

Consider giving the blanket a try and seeing if your child is able to comfortably move around with it over them.

Child’s weight rangeOptimal weighted blanket range
30–40 lbs.3–6 lbs.
40–50 lbs.4–7 lbs.
50–60 lbs.5–8 lbs.
60–75 lbs.6–9 lbs.
75–100 lbs.7–12 lbs.
100–125 lbs.10–15 lbs.
125–150 lbs.12–17 lbs.
150–175 lbs.15–19 lbs.
175–200+ lbs.17–20 lbs.

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

We avoided companies that make unsubstantiated health claims that their products aid with stress, restless leg syndrome, or other conditions.

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.

  • $ = $50–$100
  • $$ = $101–$150

Best weighted blanket for size and weight selection

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 a layer of nontoxic steel shot between firm sheets of fabric. This gives it a very smooth, uniform 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 OTs and used in many therapy and school settings.

It’s also available in sizes that start at 3-lbs, but it’s also available in 4 lbs, 5 lbs, 10 lbs, and 20 lbs, too. The smallest sizes could be suitable for children who are smaller than average, but at an age where weighted blankets could be useful.

Pros

  • The blanket is available in a variety of weights, ranging from 3 lbs to 20 lbs.
  • It provides a unique, smooth texture and even weight distribution.
  • It’s used widely in schools and therapeutic settings.

Cons

  • The heavier blankets are on the pricier side.
  • This option may not suit children who prefer a comfy or cozy feel to their blankets.

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 lbs. and comes in a number of fun prints.

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

Pros

  • The YnM blanket is affordable, compared with other well-rated options.
  • The blanket comes in a wide range of weights, from 5 to 30 lbs.
  • It’s available in a variety of prints and patterns.
  • The company also offers duvet covers to increase washability.

Cons

  • Repeatedly washing the blanket itself could cause damage. Duvet covers must be purchased separately.
  • Some users say they had to order a heavier weight — like 10 percent of their body weight plus 5 lbs. — to feel a soothing effect.
  • Some users say that the beads seem to be poly rather than glass.

Most stylish weighted blanket for kids

Bearaby Nappling

Price: $$

This beautiful blanket looks more like an artisan-knitted afghan than a potentially therapeutic tool. If you want the benefits of a weighted blanket with the look of a stylish throw, it’s a great choice.

Another fan-favorite feature 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 uneven distribution of the beads over time, the Bearaby is a solid contender.

It’s worth noting that due to the open-weave knit design, this blanket likely isn’t warm enough to be used as the only bed covering during cold weather. It’s also only available in a 6-pound or 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.

Pros

  • The blanket is aesthetically appealing and has a soft cotton feel.
  • The knit material means there aren’t synthetic fillers or shifting weight.
  • The open weave will help prevent kids from getting too hot at night.

Cons

  • This blanket is on the pricey side.
  • It’s only available in two sizes: 6 and 8 lbs. The company has non-kid versions that start at 10 lbs.
  • It’s probably not thick enough to be the only blanket in colder months.

Best weighted blanket for older kids

Baloo The Mini Weighted Blanket

Price: $$

This soft blanket is sewn with a quilt-like design, with stitched, square compartments that hold what the company calls “glass microbeads.” The fabric and the fill are 100 percent natural cotton, which should allow for greater breathability (a common complaint about weighted blankets is that they run hot) and cooler sleep.

The Mini is available in three solid colors, all of which are created with natural vegan dyes. It’s also machine washable and dryable. However, the company says it dries quickly, so you’ll have to take extra care to promptly remove it in order to prevent damage.

This blanket only comes in one size: 9 lbs. As such, it’s suitable for children who are about 75 lbs. or more. Older children may appreciate a personalized, monogrammed blanket, which you can get for a small additional fee.

Pros

  • The blanket has a super soft cotton fabric and fill for a smooth, comfortable feel.
  • It’s breathable and cooler than some other weighted blankets.
  • The company offers monogramming.
  • Baloo has a 30-day, 100 percent satisfaction guarantee.

Cons

  • The blanket is only available in one size and weight.
  • Over-drying may damage the blanket, and you need to promptly remove it from the dryer to prevent that from happening.

Best weighted blanket for children with sensitive skin

Silk & Snow Knit Weighted Blanket

Price: $$

If the name alone doesn’t give it away, this blanket is luxuriously soft and comfy. It’s a chunky knit blanket made of natural cotton and our top pick for children with sensitive skin. That’s because it won’t trap heat under the covers the way other weighted blankets might.

The soft, natural cotton yarn may be nonirritating for kiddos with sensitive or eczema-prone skin. Available in nine solid colors, this is also a blanket you won’t mind finding draped around your house.

The Silk & Snow Knit Weighted Blanket comes in one size for kids. In the kids’ size, it weighs 8 lbs., making it suitable for children weighing 75 to 100 lbs. The company does have heavier versions at 15 lbs., 20 lbs., and 25 lbs., which could be good options for teenagers or adults.

Pros

  • It’s made of soft, natural cotton yarn.
  • The chunky knit design will be more breathable than solid blankets.
  • The blanket’s weight comes from yarn alone, not beads or fillers.
  • The texture is aesthetically pleasing.
  • The blanket is machine washable.

Cons

  • The blanket weight starts at 8 lbs. and goes up from there.
  • Silk & Snow recommends drying the blanket flat after washing.
  • The company warns the blanket — especially in larger sizes — could be too heavy for washing machines.

BlanketPriceFill typeWeights availableTextureBest for
Southpaw Weighted Blanket$–$$nontoxic steel shot3–20 lbs.smooth, soft, slightly fleecy fabricwide range of weights and sizes, texture that won’t have a shifting sensation
YnM Kids Weighted Blanket$glass beads, fiber fill5–25 lbs.cotton, quiltedwashability (with duvet cover), affordability
Bearaby Nappling$$heavy cotton yarn6–8 lbs.chunky knit, cottonaesthetic appearance, breathability
Baloo The Mini Weighted Blanket$$glass beads9 lbs.smooth, cotton, quiltedolder kids, cold sleepers
Silk & Snow Knit Weighted Blanket$$heavy cotton yarn8–25 lbs.chunky knit, cottonolder kids, people with sensitive skin, warm sleepers

While there is still a lot of research to be done, there is some evidence that deep pressure can help reduce anxiety, insomnia, restlessness, night-waking, night terrors, and overstimulation in autistic children and those with developmental disabilities.

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

Additionally, neurotypical children and their parents report better sleep when they use a weighted blanket. A 2014 study found that while objective measurements of sleep didn’t 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 with 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.

At what age can a child use a weighted blanket?

In general, children over age 3 can safely use a weighted blanket if it’s the correct weight and doesn’t pose a choking hazard. However, many manufacturers state their blankets are for children ages 4 and up.

While some products, including sleep sacks, are purportedly designed for and marketed as options for babies and infants, there’s little to no research on the use of these products for children in those age groups.

If you settle on a weighted blanket, look for weight guidelines. Manufacturers often provide these in charts or product descriptions. The safety of a weighted blanket is more related to the ratio of the blanket’s weight to the child’s weight, which makes this an essential consideration when shopping for one.

What is the best weighted blanket for an 8-year-old?

In short: It depends on your child’s weight. The average 8-year-old weighs somewhere around 55 lbs. Of course, each child is different, and there is a wide range of what’s “normal.” For most 8-year-olds who are in the ballpark of 55 lbs., a weighted blanket of 5 to 8 lbs. should be suitable.

Your child’s preferences will also play a role in determining what blanket is “best.” Some may prefer a smooth, cottony blanket, while others could like a chunky knit option that sleeps cooler.

Can a 10-year-old use a 12-pound weighted blanket?

It depends on your child’s weight. In general, a 12-pound weighted blanket should be suitable for a person weighing 100 to 120 lbs. But individual preferences should be a factor.

What is the best weighted blanket for kids?

The best weighted blanket for kids is one that is around 10 percent of their body weight, plus a pound or two. It should also be somewhat breathable, washable, and have an appealing texture. Bonus points if it comes in fun colors or patterns, or if you can put your child’s name on it.

As children come in many different sizes and with their own preferences, we found some of the best weighted blankets for kids so that you can find just the right fit for that special kiddo in your life.

Whether your child is on the autism spectrum or has a sensory processing disorder, anxiety, or a hard time falling asleep or staying asleep, an appropriately sized weighted blanket may be able to help.

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