Even if you’ve been told to expect miraculous results, the first time you slip under one of the best weighted blankets is still a surprise. They really do have an almost magical calming effect. Wrap yourself up in one, and you’ll feel like you’re getting a tight bear hug from your best friend. These heavy blankets, typically filled with glass beads or plastic pellets, may technically be pinning you down—but it sure feels like they’re holding you tight. And as you give in to the weight, sinking deeper into your bed or your couch, you’ll find yourself reaching new levels of serenity and coziness.
Don’t just take our word for it. Almost every online review of a weighted blanket is laced with superlatives about better sleep and alleviated anxiety: “I have never slept so deeply in my life.” “It felt like I was getting a hug all night long.” “You feel so snug, like a little nut wrapped up.”
Like a little nut wrapped up! What more could you ask for?
The same as massage guns or memory foam mattresses, weighted blankets have proven so popular that dozens of companies want a piece of the cuddling action. What can seem like a sea of similar products actually have some meaningful differences in the details. And because we take your rest and relaxation as seriously as we take our own, we’ve been hard at work testing the best weighted blankets on your behalf. Soft, peaceful work. Our goal was to find high-quality weighted blankets, weighted throw blankets, and weighted comforters that were soft enough for swaddling, yet breathable enough to avoid feeling locked in.
The Best Weighted Blankets, at a Glance
If you simply can’t weight (sorry) to get to our top recs… All prices are the brand’s 15-pound model, unless otherwise noted.
What are weighted blankets?
The hyper-popular Gravity Blanket launched on Kickstarter in 2017 and was the first weighted blanket to really take off. Weighted blankets were initially developed to help soothe, and provide a better night’s sleep to, people who have autism or are suffering from PTSD or high anxiety. Now, they’re also used to also help people with insomnia, restless leg syndrome and periodic limb movement disorder, and other issues. They work through deep pressure stimulation of our nervous system, with the firm-but-gentle squeezing or pressing helping to your lower heart rate and blood pressure, among other things. It’s why many people say that snuggling up under a weighted blanket just feels calming.
Do weighted blankets actually work?
From a scientific perspective, the actual benefits of weighted blankets remain wholly unconfirmed (double blind tests are hard to pull off when any tester can immediately tell whether a blanket is weighted or not). Still, the anecdotal evidence is loud and clear. Beyond the rave reviews littering the Internet, multiple GQ editors swear to the comfort-enhancing, anxiety-reducing power of weighted blankets. And even if you don’t end up feeling any benefits for anxiety (no blanket can take the place of therapy, after all), isn’t it nice to feel like you’re swaddled under something cozy?
How to choose the right weighted blanket
Because there are so many weighted blankets to choose from, we recommend making your choice primarily on two criteria: construction and fill. Construction includes the fabric used on the blanket’s exterior, care and washing requirements, and the overall breathability of a blanket. By “fill,” we mean the type of material used to give the blanket its heft.
Some blankets are plush or fleece-lined, for the people among us who tend to get cold easily (or share a thermostat with someone who prefers to keep things at arctic temperatures). Others bill themselves as cooling weighted blankets and, similar to cooling sheets, are sewn from breathable fabrics like Tencel and bamboo, which can help alleviate some of the heat that comes with being sandwiched under such a heavy topper. Aesthetically, you prefer a chunky-knit weighted blanket that looks more like a luxe throw, or something comforter-esque that will blend in with the rest of your bedroom setup.
Some blankets are filled with plastic poly pellets. They’re cheap and safe to wash, which helps with long-term care, but can feel rough—and they can also bunch up after a while. Most of the mid-price range blankets use micro glass beads, which are both comfier and considered more environmentally friendly (since there’s no plastic eventually added to a landfill). They’re smooth in texture, machine-washable, and naturally heavier than plastic, which means you won’t need as many glass beads within a blanket to match weight. More rarely, blankets are filled with sand, steel shot beads, or organic materials. We even tested a weighted blanket from Sunday Citizen that was filled with crystals like rose quartz (it was softer than it sounds, we promise), if you’re into that sort of thing.
Finally, thanks to the popularity of the luxe Bearaby weighted blanket, more knitted blankets have come along that don’t require any fill whatsoever. Instead, they lean on the weight of their fabrics, like chunky cotton or Tencel, woven together with airy holes that form a heavy web of material. These are designed with airflow in mind, to keep you cooler than the average blanket.
How To Choose the Best Weight for a Weighted Blanket
Weighted blankets come in weights ranging from five pounds (largely for kids) to extra-heavy 50-pounders (for stressed-out weightlifters, we assume). Most weighted blanket brands recommend picking a blanket that’s about 10% of your body weight (e.g., a 200-pound man should start with a blanket weighing 20 pounds). You can size up if the math puts you between sizes, but size down if you’re considering giving a weighted blanket to a child who might not have the strength to wriggle themselves free. (And this is obvious, but bears saying: never ever give a weighted blanket to a baby or a toddler.) When in doubt, a 15-pound blanket is usually a safe choice.
How We Test Weighted Blankets
To find the best, most-relaxing weighted blankets, we tested the most popular options from brands like Brooklinen, Bearaby, Saatva, and Layla, as well as popular Amazon brands like Quility. We’ll freely admit that our testing process for weighted blankets is less scientific than it is subjective. We kept all of the above factors in mind, of course, as well as value for the price. We also considered quality and potential longevity, as a blanket should last for a reasonably long time. We tested a wide range of weighted blankets to figure out the best in certain shopping categories. Whether they were weighted throw blankets or full-size comforters, we also slept under each blanket we tested.