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We investigate whether or not weighted blankets actually help with anxiety.

We include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Here’s our process.

Weighted blankets are heavier than the kinds of blankets people usually buy. They typically weigh anywhere from 4 to 30 pounds, making them heavier than the average comforter or down quilt.

For many people who have health conditions, such as anxiety, insomnia, or autism, weighted blankets may be a safe complementary treatment to traditional methods like medication.

Although more research needs to be done in the area, weighted blankets have been found to be an effective and safe coping mechanism for insomnia and mental health conditions like generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).

A weighted blanket is a heavy blanket — usually one that weighs between 4 to 30 pounds — that’s used as a therapeutic tool to invoke calm and reduce stress.

Weighted blankets simulate deep pressure touch therapy (DPT), which provides the same physiological response people get when they’re hugged or held.

The blanket itself can be made from various materials, from cotton to bamboo to flannel, and the fill (which provides the weight to the blanket) is usually micro-glass beads, although it can also be sand, grains, or steel beads.

Weighted blankets can help reduce anxiety in both children and adults, and they’re typically safe to use. They help many people achieve a relaxed state, allowing them to sleep more deeply.

Grounding

Weighted blankets help ground your body during sleep by pushing it down. This process, known as “earthing” or “grounding,” may have a deeply calming effect. The blankets also simulate DPT, a type of therapy that uses firm, hands-on pressure to reduce chronic stress and high levels of anxiety.

Older research from 2014 shows that grounding may help reduce nighttime levels of cortisol, a stress hormone. Cortisol is produced when your brain thinks you’re under attack, eliciting the fight-flight-freeze response.

Stress can escalate cortisol levels. This can have a negative impact on the immune system. It can also increase blood sugar levels and adversely affect the digestive tract.

Elevated cortisol levels, especially those that don’t drop back down to normal levels naturally, can cause multiple complications. These include:

  • depression
  • anxiety
  • insomnia
  • weight gain

Pressure touch

By providing deep pressure touch, weighted blankets can promote relaxation and help break this cycle. This may trigger the release of the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin, which are feel-good hormones produced in the brain. These hormones help combat stress, anxiety, and depression.

A 2020 review of studies indicated that weighted blankets may be helpful in relieving anxiety. More research is needed to determine whether they can also help with insomnia.

According to the review, grounding helped reduce cortisol production in the participants during sleep. This improved their sleep and alleviated stress, insomnia, and pain.

A study from 2008 found that 30-pound weighted blankets are a safe and effective way to reduce anxiety in adults. Of the 32 adults who participated in the study, 63 percent reported lower levels of anxiety.

Sleep improvement

Because weighted blankets can reduce stress and calm you down, they may also lead to improvements in sleep quality.

In a 2020 study, researchers found that people who slept with weighted blankets reported reduced insomnia, better sleep, and more energy during the day. They also said they had fewer feelings of fatigue, depression, and anxiety.

It’s worth noting that, in addition to insomnia, all participants in this sleep trial either had major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, GAD, or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

In a 2015 study, participants with mild to moderate insomnia who used a weighted blanket for 4 weeks experienced better sleep with less tossing and turning. The participants also reported that they were more comfortable.

When choosing the best weighted blankets for anxiety, we took pricing, material, and weight options into account. We included a variety of blankets, each with unique features, to help you find one that fits best with your individual needs.

  • Pricing. While weighted blankets are typically more expensive than regular blankets, there are still options for most budgets. We included blankets at several different price points to offer options for everyone.
  • Material. Weighted blankets are made with a variety of materials, from microfiber and fleece to knitted cotton. Some have cooling technologies worked into the fabric to keep you at a more comfortable temperature. Others are made to be warm and cozy. We included a variety of blankets made of different materials to provide options for all preferences and climates.
  • Weight. A weighted blanket should weigh about 10 percent of your body weight. Because of this, different people will have varying needs. We included blankets with a range of weight options so you can find one that’s suitable for your needs.

Pricing guide

  • $ = under $100
  • $$ = $100–$200
  • $$$ = over $200

Best overall weighted blanket

Gravity Cooling Weighted Blanket

  • Price: $$$

Gravity was one of the first companies to make weighted blankets mainstream. This cooling weighted blanket has a machine-washable, removable duvet cover and comes in three weights: 15, 20, or 35 pounds.

The weight is evenly distributed thanks to fine-grade glass beads, gridded stitching, and an inner layer that’s secured to a duvet cover with ties and elastics that prevent clumping.

Pros

  • gridded stitching evenly distributes weight
  • removable, washable duvet
  • cooling and moisture-wicking cover

Cons

  • expensive
  • only comes in three weights, which may not be suitable for all people

Best splurge

BlanQuil Chill

  • Price: $$$

If you have a more generous budget, the BlanQuil Chill has a lot to offer. This blanket has an eco-friendly glass bead fill that’s spread out through 77 independent baffles to prevent it from shifting and clumping.

The specialized cover, which is removable and machine-washable, has cooling technology that absorbs body heat and wicks away moisture, so even hot sleepers stay at a comfortable temperature when using it.

One note: BlanQuil recommends this blanket for single users only, so it may not be the best option if you’re planning on using your weighted blanket with a partner.

Pros

  • independent baffles keep the fill from clumping
  • cooling technology
  • cover is removable and machine-washable

Cons

  • expensive
  • best suited for one person
  • only comes in two weights

Best knitted weighted blanket

Bearaby Weighted Blanket

  • Price: $$$

Sold by mattress, pillow, and sleep accessory retailer Purple, Bearaby’s weighted blanket is a unique option on our list. It doesn’t contain glass beads or other moveable fill — instead, it’s made with several layers of hand-knit organic cotton that provides a natural weight that’s evenly distributed throughout the blanket.

Because of the open-knit design and the breathable cotton fabric, this blanket doesn’t trap heat like some blankets can. However, it’s only available in one size: 20 pounds.

Pros

  • comes in 5 colors
  • made with organic cotton
  • open knit stays cooler

Cons

  • only comes in one size
  • expensive
  • doesn’t have a removable cover, so cleaning may be tougher

Best for the bed

Baloo Weighted Blanket

  • Price: $$

You can use any weighted blanket in bed, but the Baloo Weighted Blanket was designed to fit the top of a full, queen, or king bed with minimal or no overhang. This ensures even weight distribution without pulling.

This weighted blanket comes in five sizes, from a 9-pound mini to a 25-pound king size. Each blanket is made with 100 percent cotton and a glass microbead fill, without synthetic dyes or materials.

Pros

  • comes in five weights
  • made with 100 percent organic cotton and plant-derived dyes
  • machine-washable
  • option to monogram it

Cons

  • doesn’t have a removable cover

Best cooling weighted blanket

Luxome Bamboo Cooling Weighted Blanket

  • Price: $$

The Luxome Bamboo Cooling Weighted Blanket was specifically designed for hot sleepers. The inner part of the blanket is made of 100 percent percale cotton, which is highly breathable and doesn’t trap body heat.

Meanwhile, the outer cover, which is removable and machine-washable, is constructed of Lyocell from bamboo, a breathable and soft fabric.

The blanket is stitched to distribute the beads evenly and ensure an ideal weight per square foot without clumping.

Pros

  • comes in several colors
  • very breathable
  • beads don’t clump
  • great for hot sleepers
  • cover is removable and machine-washable

Cons

  • only comes in three weight options

Best budget buy

Syrinx Cooling Weighted Blanket

  • Price: $

The Syrinx Weighted Blanket is a more budget-friendly option that has a lot to offer. This cooling weighted blanket has a quilted design and a five-layer structure that ensures even distribution of the glass fill.

The breathable cover doesn’t trap heat, making this a suitable option for hot sleepers. The downside is that it’s not machine-washable. You have to hand wash it or spot clean it if it gets dirty.

Pros

  • comes in 10 weights
  • less expensive than other options
  • breathable, cooling fabric
  • no clump design

Cons

  • cover isn’t removable
  • not machine-washable — hand-washing or spot cleaning is recommended

Best beadless weighted blanket

Nuzzie Knit Weighted Blanket

  • Price: $$

The Nuzzie Knit Weighted Blanket is a beadless option that’s filled with down-alternative material recycled from plastic bottles. Because this blanket doesn’t have beads, the weight is always evenly distributed across every inch of the surface.

The open weave design allows for more airflow, making it suitable for hot sleepers and all seasons, while the jersey knit offers a touch more breathability.

Pros

  • comes in four weights
  • comes in 8 colors
  • beadless design is best for even weight distribution
  • machine-washable

Cons

  • no removable cover

Best weight range

Weighted Idea Cooling Weighted Blanket

  • Price: $

One of the things that makes the Weighted Idea Cooling Weighted Blanket stand out is its weight and size range. This weighted blanket comes in 14 weights and sizes, from 7 pounds to 30 pounds.

There are also different sizes at the same weight — for example, the 25-pound blanket comes in a 60 by 80-inch size or an 80 by 87-inch size.

Each blanket is also quilted to keep the glass beads evenly distributed in each pocket.

Pros

  • comes in 14 weight options
  • comes in 7 colors
  • budget-friendly
  • machine-washable

Cons

  • no removable cover

PriceSizes availableCustomer ratingMaterial
Gravity Weighted Blanket$$15, 20, and 35 pounds4.3 out of 5 starsmicrofiber, microfleece, and glass beads
BlanQuil Chill$$$15 and 20 pounds4.8 out of 5 starsproprietary outer cover, glass beads
Bearaby Weighted Blanket$$$20 pounds3.8 out of 5 starsorganic cotton yarn
Baloo Weighted Blanket$$–$$$9, 12, 15, 20, and 25 pounds4.9 out of 5 stars100 percent cotton, glass beads
Luxome Bamboo Cooling Weighted Blanket$$–$$$15, 18, and 30 pounds4.5 out of 5 starsbamboo from lyocell, glass beads
Syrinx Weighted Blanket$–$$5, 7, 12, 15, 20, 25, and 30 pounds4.6 out of 5 starspolyester, glass beads
Nuzzie Knit Weighted Blanket$$8, 15, 20, and 25 pounds4.5 out of 5 starsjersey knit polyester, recycled down-alternative filling
Weighted Idea Cooling Weighted Blanket$–$$7, 10, 12, 15, 17, 20, 22, 25, and 30 pounds4.6 out of 5 stars100 percent cotton, glass beads

Your doctor or an occupational therapist can help you to decide which weighted blanket will be the most comfortable and efficient for you.

Your own weight should help you determine the weight of the blanket. The general recommendation is to choose a blanket that’s 10 percent of your body weight, adding or subtracting a pound or two depending on your preference.

It’s also a good idea to choose a blanket that’s made from a natural fiber, such as breathable 100 percent cotton. Polyester and other synthetic fabrics are typically much hotter.

Weighted blankets aren’t for everyone, since they may add some heat as well as weight. Before using a weighted blanket, you should discuss it with your doctor if you:

  • have a chronic health condition
  • are going through menopause
  • have circulation issues
  • have respiration issues
  • have temperature regulation issues

Can I use a weighted blanket every night?

Yes, you can use a weighted blanket every night. If you’re new to weighted blankets, you might want to start with a short duration, around 30 minutes at a time, until you get used to the feel of it.

Do weighted blankets help anxiety?

Weighted blankets may help anxiety. While more research is needed, 2020 research reported that weighted blankets may be helpful in relieving anxiety by helping with emotional and physical regulation.

In another study, 63 percent of participants reported lower levels of anxiety after using a weighted blanket.

Can weighted blankets make anxiety worse?

Weighted blankets have been shown to help with anxiety. However, if you’re nervous about using one, it may make your anxiety worse in the short term.

To ease yourself into it, you can start with short durations, like a few minutes at a time, until you get used to how the weighted blanket feels. From there, you can work your way up to using it for a couple of hours or overnight.

If you find that using a weighted blanket makes your anxiety worse, check in with your healthcare professional to discuss whether it’s a useful therapeutic tool for you.

Who should not use a weighted blanket?

Weighted blankets aren’t for everyone. Pregnant women and children under 50 pounds should not use a weighted blanket.

Weighted blankets may not be suitable for people with certain health conditions, including:

  • asthma or other respiratory issues
  • low blood pressure
  • circulatory issues
  • type 2 diabetes
  • claustrophobia

You should also avoid using a weighted blanket if you have mobility issues or you’re unable to lift it off yourself.

Research shows that weighted blankets can elicit a calming effect that mimics a type of therapy called deep pressure touch (DPT). Like DPT, weighted blankets can ease stress, promote relaxation and feelings of calm, and improve sleep.