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Sometimes you just want a hug—or, at the very least, a big, fluffy cat to curl up in your lap. When neither is available, there’s the weighted blanket, a heavier-than-usual throw or comforter that’s meant to wrap the body in a soothing embrace. We tested 19 weighted blankets by chilling out under them, heaving them into the wash, and hauling them out of the machine to dry—and we found six that are notably comfortable, well constructed, and easy to care for. We also have three recommendations for weighted blankets for kids. Non-woven Finished Product
We evaluated every inch of the blankets, looking for soft, high-quality fabrics, strong seams, and well-distributed fill.
We gave points to blankets from companies that offered generous return periods, long warranties, and responsive customer service.
We cuddled, lounged, and napped beneath each blanket in Wirecutter’s test space and in our homes.
We put each blanket through a wash cycle, measuring how much water it retained and how long it took to dry.
Initially designed as therapeutic tools for people with autism, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress and sensory disorders, weighted blankets are now gracing the couches and bedrooms of folks who simply like the feel. The science is squishy, but if you find the sensation of lounging under a pile of blankets or an X-ray smock relaxing, a weighted blanket might be worth considering.
If you have respiratory problems or joint issues, or if you feel claustrophobic or hot under heavy bedding, you’re better off sitting out this trend. And keep in mind that many experts don’t recommend weighted blankets for children who are under age 5 or weigh less than 50 pounds.
As a staff writer at Wirecutter, Caira Blackwell has covered topics that relate to sleep in direct and indirect ways, including writing about the best cheap mattresses, silk pillowcases, and meditation apps. Aside from the fact that Caira is an avid sleeper, napper, and health nut, a big part of her job is to keep up to date on science- and evidence-based advice to help Wirecutter readers get a better night’s rest.
Wirecutter’s Joanne Chen conducted research and testing for the previous versions of this guide. She spoke with weighted-blanket makers and read scientific papers on using deep pressure touch (such as hugging, cuddling, or massage) and weighted blankets as sensory tools. She interviewed sleep doctors, occupational therapists, and a pediatrician about what to expect from a weighted blanket.
Wirecutter senior staff writer Jackie Reeve—who wrote our guide to regular blankets—contributed her expertise about bedding materials and quality.
The “best” weighted blanket is a matter of personal preference. But durability, machine-washability, a reasonable trial period, and responsive customer service are factors that everyone can appreciate. You’ll find all of the above with our picks.
This elegant machine-washable comforter features polyester jersey on one side and bamboo-based rayon on the other. Its glass microbeads, which give it its heft, are nearly imperceptible.
Best for: Those seeking a cozy but elegant option for the bed or the couch, as well as people who don’t sleep hot.
How it feels: Like a smooth, slightly silky, heavy comforter.
Why it’s great: The redesigned Nest Bedding Luxury Weighted Blanket features polyester jersey on one side and bamboo-based rayon on the other, but the two materials feel very similar: smooth, soft, and slightly satiny to the touch. This new version in a queen size weighs 18 pounds, about 2 pounds less than the previous version we tested.
Like most weighted blankets, the Nest Bedding blanket gets its poundage from small glass microbeads sewn into “pockets.” But in contrast with the fill in other weighted blankets, its beads are nearly imperceptible; you really have to massage the quilted pockets to feel them, and they’re as small as grains of sand beneath your fingers. Because the beads are so minute and so neatly packed into the detailed stitching, this Nest Bedding blanket makes no noise when you move it about. Other weighted blankets we tested have more noticeable beads that rustle when they shift.
With its bold herringbone-pattern stitching and neutral color combination (deep indigo on one side and gray-toned ombré on the other), this Nest Bedding blanket has an elegant, understated look that is likely to blend well with various bedroom or living room styles. The blanket has loops at each corner to attach a duvet cover, though it doesn’t come with one (it looks great without a cover). You can purchase one of Nest Bedding’s duvet covers, which are pricey, or use any standard-size version.
This Nest Bedding blanket is machine washable and dryable—somewhat of a rarity among weighted blankets with glass beads. We machine-washed it in cold water, as directed, and then tumble-dried it on low for 90 minutes. The blanket retained 5 pounds of water out of the wash and dried just fine after one cycle. You can return the blanket within 30 days of purchase, in the original packaging.
Flaws but not dealbreakers: The queen-size Nest Bedding blanket weighs 18 pounds, so people who like a lot of direct pressure (say, in the 20- to 25-pound range) might find it too light. Nest Bedding weights the blanket according to bed size—it gets heavier only as the dimensions get bigger. As a result, you don’t feel much difference on your body from size to size because most of the weight is distributed around—not on—the body. Also, since polyester and rayon are less breathable than cotton, this blanket may be a less suitable choice for people who sleep hot.
This Nest Bedding blanket comes in just one color combination: indigo on one side, gray ombré on the other. Those hues should work well with most decor, but if you prefer another color on your bed, you’ll have to add a duvet cover. Nest Bedding doesn’t make kid-size weighted blankets—or even kid-friendly weighted blankets—at this time. The company’s lightest option is the 15-pound twin-size blanket, which is too heavy for small children but could be suitable for most teens. If you want a queen-size blanket and the Nest Bedding one is unavailable, consider the Layla Weighted Blanket.
Size: 15 pounds (twin, 48 by 72 inches), 18 pounds (queen, 60 by 80 inches), 25 pounds (king, 80 by 86 inches)
Materials: glass microbead filling, poly-fill batting, polyester jersey and bamboo-based rayon cover
Color: indigo and gray ombré
Return policy: Returns accepted within 30 days of receipt, in original packaging.
This well-balanced, crisp, quilt-like blanket holds its own on a well-dressed bed, and it can go in the washer and dryer. The linen duvet cover, sold separately, is gorgeous—but it’s pricey, and the buttons could be better reinforced.
Best for: People who want a weighted blanket with a bedroom vibe as opposed to a living room feel, as well as those who prefer the easiest possible upkeep.
How it feels: Like a cross between a quilt and a comforter.
Why it’s great: The cotton cover of the Baloo Weighted Blanket feels sturdy, soft, and smooth. Similar to the Nest Bedding blanket, the Baloo blanket gets its weight from small glass microbeads sewn into “pockets.” But rather than rows of 5-inch-or-so squares, the Baloo’s pockets are a mix of three geometric shapes, including smaller squares that keep the beads from pooling. The result is a crisp, smart-looking weighted blanket that almost resembles a quilt.
Our testers liked the smooth feel of the blanket’s covering, and we appreciate that the stitching is sturdy and close compared with that of cheaper options. Said one tester who picked the Baloo blanket over all the others: “It feels like a nice-quality cotton compared to the Luna [a less expensive quilt-like weighted blanket].”
We put the Baloo blanket through a wash-and-dry cycle, and it emerged in good shape; as with all of our picks, we’ll continue to long-term test it and provide ongoing updates. If you have kids, pets, or a penchant for eating under your blanket, you may want to save your strength and curtail how often you wash this blanket by covering it with its machine-washable and machine-dryable duvet cover, sold separately. Linen is your only fabric choice for the duvet cover, but it comes in an array of soothing shades (cool neutrals and pretty pastels), and it feels nice on the skin.
Finally, keep in mind that Baloo accepts returns within 30 days, even if you’ve used the blanket. The company also offers a lifetime guarantee on materials and workmanship.
The Baloo weighted blanket has garnered some of the most enthusiastic reviews among testers who have tried it for an extended period of time. Guide co-author Caira Blackwell has used the Baloo blanket with its duvet cover for a year now, and the blanket has held up nicely over time. The duvet cover washes and dries well, and she hasn’t noticed any tears or snags in the fabric.
Flaws but not dealbreakers: The cotton batting in all of Baloo’s weighted blankets prevents the weight from hugging your body as closely as that of blankets without such filler. But on the plus side, the filler can help prevent the beads from tumbling out in the event of a rip. It can also help keep the blanket from feeling like a beanbag, a common complaint our testers had about many of the other bead-filled blankets we tested.
Compared with knit-style weighted blankets, the Baloo blanket can feel less breathable and even hot. (Caira stores her Baloo away for the summer months.) Unlike the similar Luxome blanket, which comes with a duvet cover, Baloo’s blanket and duvet cover are sold separately, and the duvet cover, at $150 for the full/queen size, is expensive. For that price, we expected the buttons to be stitched more securely and the ties to fray less. Some testers complained of bunching in an earlier test, but thanks to a redesign, a middle tie at the short sides, not just the long sides, keeps the blanket—now with eight corresponding loops—in place more effectively. (One tester found that the YnM Duvet Cover for Weighted Blankets—which comes in a range of materials and has eight ties to match the number of loops on the current design of the Baloo blanket—does a good job of keeping the Baloo blanket in place.)
You save even more money if you go for the 12-pound, 42-by-72-inch throw blanket ($180 at this writing). Though it’s smaller, it feels about as heavy on your body as the 15-pound queen blanket. With its smaller size and lighter weight, the roughly twin-size blanket is less cumbersome to wash and dry. The 12-pound throw is the lightest full-size weighted blanket that Baloo offers, but since it feels roughly as heavy as the 15-pound blanket, it isn’t light enough for children. The company does make a Baloo Mini weighted blanket especially for kids, which comes in three colors and weighs 9 pounds.
You can try the Baloo blanket for 30 days before returning it for a refund, but returns involve an $18 processing fee.
Sizes: 12 pounds (throw, 42 by 72 inches), 15 or 20 pounds (full/queen, 60 by 80 inches), 25 pounds (king, 80 by 87 inches)
Kids blanket: 9 pounds (40 by 60 inches)
Materials: glass microbead filling; cotton lining, batting, and cover
Colors: white; kids blanket available in peach, aqua, indigo
Return policy: Returns accepted within 30 days of delivery. $18 return-shipping cost applies for refunds; free return shipping for store credit.
The Bearaby blanket is stylish and well balanced. But it’s not exactly warm (which you may find to be a good thing), and it’s more cumbersome to wash and dry than our other picks.
Best for: Design lovers, people who run warm, and those who have space to air-dry a large and heavy wet blanket.
How it feels: Like a chunky, loose-knit cotton sweater.
Why it’s great: For people who want a weighted blanket that looks as soothing as it feels, the Bearaby Cotton Napper is hard to beat. Its weight comes entirely from its fat cotton yarn, which is knit loose and loopy, as on a chic oversize sweater. With five color options, this hefty throw is an Instagram-worthy accent on a well-appointed couch.
Because it’s so loosely woven, the Bearaby blanket is less likely to trap heat than bead-filled, comforter-style throws. And because the weight comes from the layers of cotton yarn rather than from pouches of glass microbeads or plastic pellets, this blanket exerts pressure equally across the body. One long-term tester has been using the Bearaby both as a lap blanket while working from home and as a topper for her duvet at bedtime. “It’s not super hot,” she said, “and I like the weight.”
Finally, because this blanket is 100% cotton, you can machine-wash it with zero fear that tiny pellets or beads will get loose and ruin your machine. The blanket is also available in Tencel (as the Tree Napper), though we haven’t tested that version yet. In addition, the Bearaby blanket comes in a smaller size designed for kids, in 6- and 8-pound versions, called the Nappling.
Flaws but not dealbreakers: The Bearaby weighted blanket has a faint synthetic smell right out of the box, which might tempt you to wash it right away. But because its weight comes entirely from the blanket itself, it soaks up lots of water during the wash cycle; our 20-pound blanket turned into a 36-pound one when wet. It took some muscle for us to heave the blanket into the dryer, where we tumble-dried it on low for three cycles before it thoroughly dried, but it emerged in decent shape. (If you have no patience for that kind of thing, you might take a look at the Casaluna blanket, which is less dense and therefore easier to wash and dry.) Also, after one wash the midnight-blue Bearaby blanket we tested lost a bit of its luster.
If you’re looking for a fluffy blanket to keep you warm, the Bearaby isn’t it. “I don’t like the holes,” said one tester. (However, as another colleague half-jokingly pointed out, the blanket’s open weave allows you to poke your fingers through and type on your smartphone from underneath it.) Another tester noted that she loved how it conformed to her body, but the 15-pound blanket (recommended for her weight) wasn’t as heavy as she expected, perhaps because the weight was more widely distributed. This is a characteristic of all knit-style weighted blankets, as they’re designed to offer heft without trapping heat.
The Bearaby blanket isn’t super soft; it has a slightly rough feel, a little like a T-shirt. In comparing it side by side with some other knit-style weighted blankets, we found that the Bearaby, though made of quality cotton, just wasn’t as plush or sleek as the significantly cheaper Casaluna blanket, both of which are made from polyester-and-cotton blends. But the all-cotton Bearaby is likely to feel more breathable and cooler than similar blankets made with synthetic blends.
After three months of using the Bearaby weighted blanket, one long-term tester reported that it had elongated, but she said the effect was subtle. Another tester, who used the blanket for four months, hadn’t seen any such changes (she reported that she was especially diligent about avoiding any stretching). She did note some fuzzing, however, after the first wash, something we didn’t see in our own wash test. She also vacuums and uses a lint brush on the blanket regularly because of the pet hair that gets caught in the weave.
You can return this blanket to Bearaby within 30 days for a refund, but you have to pay a $20 processing fee.
Sizes: 10 pounds (40 by 72 inches), 15 pounds (40 by 72 inches), 20 pounds (45 by 72 inches), 25 pounds (48 by 72 inches)
Kids blanket: 6 pounds (36 by 48 inches), 8 pounds (40 by 60 inches)
Colors: asteroid (dark) gray, midnight blue, moonstone (light) gray, cloud white, evening rose (pink); kids blanket available in midnight blue, moonstone (light) gray, evening rose (pink), confetti (multicolored)
Return policy: Returns accepted within 30 days ($20 processing fee for refunds; free for exchanges).
Smooth against the skin, the Luna blanket looks and feels more balanced than most weighted blankets, especially with the duvet cover (sold separately). But the duvet cover, though soft, isn’t as tightly stitched as others we’ve seen, and its zipper looks cheap.
Best for: People seeking an affordable weighted blanket for the bedroom.
How it feels: Like a standard comforter but heavier.
Why it’s great: At $72 or so for a 60-by-80-inch, 15-pound blanket, the Luna Weighted Blanket is one of the least expensive weighted blankets we’ve found, yet many testers preferred it over pricier options. Yes, you can run across even cheaper weighted blankets on Amazon and at discount stores, particularly if you catch them on sale, but the Luna blanket offers reliable quality for the price, as well as a responsive customer-service team. And though its glass microbeads aren’t as evenly dispersed as those in the Nest Bedding and Baloo blankets, they don’t pool as much as those in other cheap weighted blankets we’ve seen.
One tester said she liked the Luna best because “it seems more like an actual blanket.” She continued, “The weights didn’t jiggle around, and yet the blanket didn’t feel stiff.” Another tester added that the surface “felt smooth and high-quality.”
We machine-washed and air-dried the blanket, as the label instructed, without too much effort. It retained only 3 pounds of water, which made the transition from washing to drying and then back to the bed an easy task. The blanket air-dried completely overnight and maintained its looks after one cycle. The company says the blanket can be infrequently tumble-dried, too.
If you order the Luna blanket from Amazon, you get a range of color and size options. Luna also offers several kid-appropriate blankets: a 7- or 10-pound twin blanket and a 5-pound toddler blanket. In addition, if you buy the Luna blanket through Amazon, you can return it for a full refund within 30 days of delivery, no need to pay for shipping. (The situation is a little trickier if you buy the blanket directly from the Luna website, though; see below.)
Flaws but not dealbreakers: Although the cotton fabric on the surface of the Luna blanket and the duvet cover (sold separately for about $45) is soft, it also feels thinner than the fabric on the Baloo blanket. Then again, the Luna blanket is half the price. “It feels like a nice but inexpensive shirt you get from Target,” said a tester, and indeed, in our tests it dried a little wrinkly like a shirt, too. The Luna blanket’s stitching isn’t as precise and tight as that of the Nest Bedding blanket or Baloo blanket, and the duvet cover’s zipper felt cheap. After covering and uncovering the Luna weighted blanket a few times, we found that the duvet cover’s zipper had already begun to detach from the seams.
If you buy the blanket from the Luna site and then want to return it, keep in mind that it must be in new condition and its original packaging, and you must pay a shipping fee, which is typically around $10 for a 15-pound blanket. The company also sells and ships through Amazon, which has a less fussy return policy.
We spotted a couple of Amazon customer reviews that complained of glass beads leaking out at the seams. We reached out to the company, which said that on the off chance this happens (with normal use), the blanket is covered by a lifetime warranty and eligible for a replacement at no cost.
Sizes: 12 pounds (48 by 72 inches), 15 pounds (48 by 72 inches or 60 by 80 inches), 17 pounds (60 by 80 inches), 20 pounds (60 by 80 inches), 22 pounds (60 by 80 inches), 25 pounds (60 by 80 inches or 80 by 87 inches)
Kids blanket: 5 pounds (36 by 48 inches), 7 pounds (41 by 60 inches), 10 pounds (41 by 60 inches)
Materials: glass microbead filling, polyester fill, cotton cover
Colors: dark gray, light gray, dark blue, white, blue stripe, gray stripe, light blue, pink, ivory, lavender, mint green, various prints; kids blanket available in dark gray, light gray, white, various prints
Return policy: Returns for purchases from the Luna site are accepted within 30 days of delivery ($15 processing fee, no exchanges). Free returns within the same time frame if bought on Amazon.
If you like the style of the Bearaby blanket but not the price, the Casaluna blanket is a more affordable option. It feels sleek and looks great draped on a bed or couch. But it comes in only a 12-pound weight, so it’s not suitable for those who want a lot of pressure.
Best for: People who are seeking a more affordable knit weighted blanket, who prefer a lighter-weight option, or who want to try a low-cost (and easily returnable) blanket.
How it feels: Like a smooth, drapey, chunky-knit sweater.
Why it’s great: The inexpensive, lighter-weight Casaluna Knit Weighted Blanket surprised us straight out of the box. It didn’t emerge with an overwhelming synthetic smell, it felt soft and sleek, and its chunky knit looked almost handmade. When we lined it up next to the other knit-style blankets in our test group, including the much pricier Bearaby blanket, we had difficulty differentiating between them. The Casaluna weighted blanket blended in well next to the Bearaby blanket—the only difference was that the Casaluna felt silkier than the Bearaby and its T-shirt–like texture. As with the Bearaby blanket, we found that the weight of the Casaluna blanket was evenly distributed throughout. But at 12 pounds for a 50-by-70-inch blanket (it comes in just one size), it’s much lighter in weight. (Depending on your needs and preferences, this may be a good or bad thing.)
Washing the Casaluna blanket was light work in our tests. We easily tossed it into the washer on a light cycle, and it air-dried quickly when we laid it on a flat surface. It weighed a manageable 18 pounds when wet, in contrast to the 20-pound Bearaby blanket, which weighed 36 pounds after a wash and felt impossibly heavy and unwieldy to carry for any amount of time or distance.
The Casaluna blanket is available only through Target. It comes in one size (50 by 70 inches) and weight (12 pounds) and in three colors: blush pink, neutral, and dark gray. It’s subject to Target’s generous return policy: You can return this blanket within 365 days of purchasing it.
Flaws but not dealbreakers: As noted above, the Casaluna blanket is available in just one size (50 by 70 inches) and weight (12 pounds). If you prefer more pressure from a weighted blanket, consider one of our other picks, which come in heavier weights.
Considering the low price, it’s not surprising that the Casaluna blanket is not made of the same premium materials as the Bearaby blanket. Whereas the Bearaby is made of 100% cotton, the Casaluna is made of a blend of 80% polyester and 20% cotton. Because polyester is likely more prone to trapping heat, the Casaluna blanket may not work well for people who run hot when they sleep; that said, its loose knit design may mitigate some of the heat retention.
Colors: blush, natural, dark gray
Return policy: Returns accepted within 365 days of purchase.
Cotton on one side and faux mink on the other, the honeycomb-stitched Layla Weighted Blanket is perfect for those who want a super-comfy weighted quilt for cooler weather. But it might be too warm for people who run hot.
Best for: People who want a warm, fuzzy weighted blanket to burrow under.
How it feels: Like a heavy, velvety quilt.
Why it’s great: At $70 to $80 (on sale, which it always is) for a 48-by-72-inch, 15-pound blanket, the Layla Weighted Blanket rivals only the Luna Weighted Blanket as one of the least expensive models we’ve found. That’s about where the similarities end, though: Whereas the Luna blanket is a plain quilted comforter, the Layla blanket features soft faux mink (or “minky”) on one side and breathable cotton on the other. The furry material—similar to the velvety velour of the Gravity blanket—is perhaps the most pleasingly buttery kind we’ve felt on a blanket. Considering its plush feel, we thought we’d be overly hot under this blanket, but one tester noted that the smooth, sleek texture actually cooled them down. The honeycomb stitching keeps the beads from pooling to one side of the blanket, which also helps it stay in place instead of getting unbalanced and slinking its way off the bed. The beads of this blanket are more noticeable than those of the Nest Bedding blanket and about on a par with those of the Baloo blanket; they don’t make a lot of noise during movement, but they’re not entirely undetectable, either.
In our testing, the Layla blanket was one of the easiest blankets to wash; it took on only an extra 2 pounds of water, and it went back to its normal, smooth state after one cycle in the dryer.
Layla’s customer service is easy to navigate and helpful, so if you have a problem with the blanket it shouldn’t be a hassle to correct. Layla offers a five-year warranty and a 120-day free trial, at the end of which you can return the blanket free of charge if you don’t like it.
Flaws but not dealbreakers: Although our testers said the faux-mink fabric on one side was a nice cozy touch, some people may not like the feel—or the look—of it. This weighted blanket comes in just one, silvery gray color. Even though one of our testers said the Layla helped them cool down, we think it could have the opposite effect on people who tend to run hot at night. Layla doesn’t offer a kids blanket.
Sizes: 15 pounds (48 by 72 inches), 20 pounds (60 by 80 inches), 25 pounds (80 by 87 inches)
Materials: glass microbead filling, cotton, polyester
Return policy: Layla offers a 120-night free trial to try a blanket and return it for a full refund. (Shipping fees are non-refundable in Alaska, Hawaii, and Canada.)
The Luna Weighted Blanket comes in several kid-appropriate sizes.
This 9-pound weighted blanket, a small version of our Baloo pick, comes in three kid-friendly colors.
This kid-size version of our chunky-knit weighted blanket pick comes in 6- and 8-pound weights.
Occupational therapists were using weighted blankets for kids with autism, ADHD, and sensory issues long before stressed-out or sleepless grown-ups started reaching for them. Children without any of those conditions may find weighted blankets comforting, too.
If your child kicks off the blankets when they sleep or squirms away from bear hugs, they may not find a weighted blanket appealing. But kids behave in mysterious ways. A kid who finds their bed’s comforter stifling may very well enjoy settling under a kid-size weighted blanket while reading on the couch.
As for the appropriate weight of a weighted blanket for kids, there are no hard-and-fast rules. “Ten percent of a kid’s weight is a general guideline and a good place to start, but you may have to play around with that,” said occupational therapist Teresa May-Benson, executive director of the Spiral Foundation at OTA The Koomar Center in Newton, Massachusetts, at the time of our interview.
Most weighted blankets designed for adults tend to weigh 15 to 20 pounds, which is too heavy for most kids. But several of the companies behind our picks—Baloo, Bearaby, and Luna—offer smaller, lighter versions of their blankets. These blankets weigh 5 to 9 pounds (appropriate for kids weighing between 50 and 90 pounds) and come in colorful pastels and, in some cases, fun prints that are likely to appeal to kids. Although we haven’t tested these blankets specifically with children, considering our experience with the adult versions, we think they’re good options.
Weighted blankets should not be used with infants or, according to many experts, with kids who are under age 5 or weigh less than 50 pounds. They’re also not a good choice for kids who like to chew on things, because the fabric could rip or wear down, allowing the microbeads to escape. Always pay special attention to a weighted blanket’s seams to make sure that nothing is leaking. And don’t leave small children alone with a weighted blanket. For children 7 and younger, take off the blanket once they’re asleep, especially if they tend to get wrapped up in their covers, said May-Benson. When in doubt, ask a pediatrician or an occupational therapist to determine whether a weighted blanket is appropriate for your child.
A weighted blanket should feel comfortably heavy—not so heavy that you have a hard time crawling out from under it. For most healthy adults, that’s around 15 to 20 pounds. With few exceptions, weighted blankets are filled not with down or fiber but with beads or pellets. As a result, weighted blankets meant for adults tip the scales at around 12 to 25 pounds. You can find plenty of varieties to choose from, now that every other bedding and home-furnishings company has jumped on the trend. Here’s what to consider:
Poundage: Weighted blanket makers often advise that you choose a blanket of a weight equivalent to 10% of your body weight. Really, the correct weight is what feels comfortably heavy to you. Weighted blankets of any weight are not recommended for people who have breathing or joint conditions, nor for children who are under age 5 or who weigh less than 50 pounds.
Type of weights: To add heft, companies fill their weighted blankets with different materials, but most use plastic pellets or glass microbeads—tiny spheres the size of sand grains. These particles are stitched, in various ways by various makers, into smaller compartments to help distribute the weight evenly across the entire blanket. The smaller the compartments, the more even the weight distribution tends to be.
Batting and added fibers: These materials give the blanket more shape, making it look, feel, and sound less like a wearable beanbag. The more filler material that’s added, the less floppy the blanket—but also the less “huggy” the feel.
Duvet covers: Some blankets come with a duvet cover, while others have none (or the cover is sold separately). You may not need a cover, especially if the blanket itself is machine-washable (all of our picks are). But using a cover is likely to reduce how often you need to wash the blanket—thereby literally lightening your laundry load. Most companies offer cotton, “minky” (think fleece crossed with velour), and ultrasoft chenille (“like petting a puppy’s fur,” as one company describes it) duvet covers. Thicker duvet covers can trap more heat.
Dimensions: Weighted blankets have conventionally been designed to cover the body, not the bed, so the typical dimensions tend to be around 42 by 72 inches—enough to cover you and still provide room for you to shift around. Usually these blankets are promoted as single-person throw blankets. However, many companies, particularly bedding companies, now sell weighted blankets according to standard bed sizes (twin, full, queen, king); these generally cover the top of the bed but don’t drape over it like a regular blanket does. If you share a bed, you need to consider your partner’s preferences when choosing a bed-size blanket. Consider, too, that larger blankets can distort the feeling of how the weight is distributed: A 12-pound twin-size blanket, for example, can feel heftier than a 15-pound queen-size one because the weight of the former is more concentrated on the wearer’s body.
For some people, weighted blankets do offer benefits—but the scientific jury is still out. Sellers of weighted blankets try to convince you that you’d be a better-rested, calmer, happier, healthier person if only your bedding were heavy enough. Of course, it’s not that simple. Deep pressure touch can be calming to some people, as it’s thought to quiet the sympathetic (“fight or flight”) nervous system and help with relaxation. That’s why hugs and massages feel so good and why some babies cry less when they’re swaddled. But from a scientific standpoint, the research on the effects of deep pressure touch, in the form of massage, on anxiety is limited and mixed. For instance, a 2016 Journal of Clinical Psychiatry paper noted that Swedish massage could be helpful for generalized anxiety disorder, but a 2010 study published in Depression & Anxiety found that therapeutic massage was no better than other calming techniques.
The science on weighted blankets in particular is even iffier. In a 2015 Occupational Therapy in Mental Health study (PDF), in which researchers tested 30-pound weighted blankets on 30 adults admitted to the hospital for mental-health-related issues, 60% of the study participants self-reported a “significant” reduction in anxiety when using the weighted blanket, although physiological markers (based on the assessment of sweat-gland activity) were inconclusive. A March/April 2020 American Journal of Occupational Therapy review paper suggested that more evidence supports weighted blanket use for anxiety over insomnia, though the authors also noted that more research was needed overall. A small 2022 study in Journal of Sleep Research suggested that using a weighted blanket at bedtime may increase the amount of melatonin released but cautioned that more investigation is needed to determine whether this could have a therapeutic effect on insomnia.
All of the above is not to say that you shouldn’t try a weighted blanket. You’ll like what you like, and you don’t need scientists to tell you that. “People need to be clear about what to expect from a product,” said Susan L. Hyman, MD, division chief of developmental and behavioral pediatrics at the University of Rochester Medical Center. “If you think you’re sleeping better with a weighted blanket, even if it’s a placebo effect, then it may be worth it for you.” But you won’t know unless you try one, which is why we focused on weighted blankets from companies that allow for a trial period or have a generous return policy.
For the first edition of this guide in 2019, writer Joanne Chen scanned Amazon, bedding sites, and articles on weighted blankets. She also interviewed doctors, therapists, and public-relations folks who specialize in bedding before arriving at the 12 blankets we called in for testing. Except for the Gravity Weighted Blanket, perhaps the best-known name among weighted blankets, we focused on those that could tolerate machine washing. This meant that blankets from many popular mattress brands, including Casper, Helix, and Saatva, did not qualify.
A panel of 14 testers tried all the test blankets on a bed or a couch, and we shared our thoughts on how each one looked and felt. Joanne took pictures of the stitching and zippers and then consulted with Jackie Reeve, Wirecutter’s senior staff writer of bed-and-bath coverage, about the workmanship of the blankets that we most favored. Afterward Joanne washed and dried the top picks according to the label instructions and took notes on how the blankets fared after one cycle. She also contacted customer-service departments to assess responsiveness and pored over the scientific research on the use of weighted blankets as a therapeutic tool. She interviewed experts in the medical and weighted-blanket communities and spent many hours working on her laptop from under the blankets.
In fall 2022, we tried eight new weighted blankets with five testers, in tandem with testing for our guide to the best massage chairs. Each tester picked a chair, grabbed a blanket, and rested away—sharing their thoughts on the blankets’ texture, comfort, weight distribution, and breathability. Staff writer Caira Blackwell then assessed the stitching and, if applicable, the beading of the blankets before washing and drying all of them separately, taking notes on how much water they retained and how well they emerged from the process.
Ultimately, we made our picks based on comfort, quality, value, the responsiveness of customer service, the reasonableness of the trial period, and the ease of care and maintenance. Because we realize that the true durability of a blanket reveals itself only over time, we’ll be long-term testing our picks and updating this guide as necessary.
Cleaning instructions vary widely across brands. Follow the care instructions on your blanket’s label, or, if the instructions are confusing (we often found conflicting directions between the FAQ, the product blurb, and the label for the same blanket), contact customer service.
The instructions for many weighted blankets we’ve seen insist that you spot-clean them only. The blankets often come with duvet covers that you can throw in the washer and dryer, which cuts down on how often you need to clean the blanket itself. But putting a duvet cover on a weighted blanket isn’t exactly a walk in the park. If you know how frustrating it is to wrestle a regular comforter into a duvet cover, it’s like that—only more exhausting.
If you have a major accident on a weighted blanket that’s not machine-washable (say, a puppy pees on it, or you spill a pot of coffee), you have to hand-wash it, which involves considerable labor. Some companies advise dry cleaning. We called a random sampling of dry cleaners around the country and found that several were unsure what a weighted blanket even was. Most dry cleaners charge by size and material; some add fees for weight. Estimates for dry-cleaning a 15-pound, twin-size fleece weighted blanket ranged from $25 (in Chicago) to $50 (in Jersey City, New Jersey).
Of the blankets that can be machine-washed, some can be machine-dried and others need to be air-dried. If yours is in the latter category, make sure to have plenty of space in your home or yard to accommodate it. Either way, most blanket instructions specify a cold-water wash. If a blanket does tolerate machine washing, the instructions often call for a low tumble-dry, which means you could need to run a couple of cycles to get the blanket back to its original fluffy state. Keep in mind, though, that if a blanket has extra batting and fibers in the pockets, those elements increase the drying time (even if the outer parts of the blanket seem ready), so consider throwing fluffier blankets in for another, partial cycle just to be safe.
If you want a dedicated kids blanket that will survive daily wear and tear: The Sommerfly Sleep Tight Weighted Blanket is a durable, thoughtfully designed blanket co-created by an occupational therapist, Kristi Langslet, who has worked with children and adolescents for 30 years. Although the large beads in the large blanket size felt distracting to most of our adult testers (one likened the blanket to a bunch of bean bags stitched together), they were less annoying in the smaller version for kids. Sommerfly told us that it ships these blankets to various medical institutions. Weighted blankets in clinic settings can have multiple users and may be washed weekly (if not more), so we believe that the Sommerfly blanket should hold up to serious kid use at home. We like that the company’s customer-service department is available over the phone; this is helpful, especially when you’re buying something for a child. In our tests, this blanket emerged out of the washer and dryer without a hitch, but if you want to minimize that chore, you can add a duvet cover for an extra charge. Neither the blanket nor the duvet cover is “kid”-priced—the starting cost for an extra-small blanket is about $135 at this writing. Extra-small duvet covers start at about $55. Customers can return the blanket within 30 days but are responsible for the shipping costs.
If you want a less-bulky version of the Nest Bedding blanket with a machine-washable duvet cover: Consider the Gravity Weighted Blanket. More than half of our testers gravitated toward the Gravity’s soft fleecy/velvety cover and balanced feel. Arguably the biggest name in weighted blankets, Gravity makes a 48-by-72-inch throw (weighing 15, 20, or 25 pounds) featuring glass microbeads stitched into fabric-lined square pockets and secured within the included duvet cover. The blanket also comes in a 35-pound queen/king size. The Gravity blanket is well constructed, complete with tidy stitching and a new button-tie-and-zipper system to keep it from bunching inside the duvet cover. Although the blanket itself is not machine-washable, the cover is. According to our long-term tester who uses a 15-pound Gravity throw: “Sometimes it’s perfectly cozy, and sometimes [the weight] is too much.” Customers have 30 days from delivery to claim a refund (with the blanket in its original packaging) but are responsible for the shipping charges.
If you’re looking for a budget option with a machine-washable dual-sided duvet cover: The Tranquility Weighted Blanket is a good value at $50 for a 15-pound, 48-by-72-inch blanket (about $65 for a 20-pounder of the same size). It’s less expensive than the budget YnM Weighted Blanket (an Amazon best seller), and the removable duvet cover (with a “minky” side and a smooth side) feels adequately soft against the skin. Sixteen attachment sites hold the weighted insert to the duvet cover, but as with most tie-and-loop systems, weeks of use—dragging it from bed to couch and back—will likely cause loosening and eventually lumping from within. The beads shift more noticeably inside the pockets of this blanket compared with others we’ve tried; some owners complain that it’s too heavy and awkward to move around as a result. We wouldn’t say it’s meaningfully “temperature regulating,” as the company claims. Although the duvet cover is machine-washable, the blanket itself is spot-clean only. Sold mainly at Target, the Tranquility blanket is refundable within 90 days of the ship date or in-store purchase.
We liked the Luxome Cooling Weighted Blanket and Removable Bamboo Cover, but only after a few washes. Both the blanket and the duvet cover did feel cool at first, but as we expected, they ultimately warmed up due to body heat. Out of the box, the lyocell bamboo duvet cover felt off-puttingly like a rayon slip, and the cotton of the weighted blanket itself was a bit too crisp and rustle-y for bedtime. Its batting bunched up slightly after one cycle in the washer and two runs in the dryer (with tennis balls, as the company recommends). We found Luxome’s customer service inconsistently responsive, too. On the plus side, the duvet cover is included, so overall the Luxome offering is cheaper than the softer Baloo blanket we recommend, which does not come with a duvet cover. In addition, the Luxome blanket secures to its included duvet cover better than the Baloo blanket does to its add-on cover, thanks to an extra tie on each long side and a sturdy zipper instead of buttons. Repeated washing and drying softened the Luxome blanket’s materials and enhanced its appeal. If you purchase on Amazon, you can return this blanket for a refund within 30 days of receipt. (Luxome’s own site requires that you pay the shipping costs for returns.)
Both the chenille and cotton versions of the Magic Weighted Blanket suffer from the uneven sandbag feel and noise that are characteristic of blankets containing plastic pellets stitched into pockets without fabric batting. (The thicker texture of the chenille covering masks these issues somewhat.) We threw each blanket into the washer and dryer, as directed on the tag, and each came out just as soft and fluffy. We like the lifetime warranty and responsive customer service. The company’s founder told us that if something goes wrong, including with the stitching, the company will send a prepaid shipping label, fix the issue, and send the blanket back. However, the trial period is only 10 days. Our long-term tester, who has the chenille version, reported that although she initially loved the blanket (“It was like getting a hug from a very friendly bear,” she said), she now keeps the blanket in the living room untouched, more often than not, because sometimes she feels overwhelmed by it. In our experience, the cotton version traps less heat.
We tested a cotton version of the Mosaic Weighted Blanket. Testers gave this blanket low marks for overall feel, noting that it was too beanbag-like, similar to the adult-size Sommerfly blanket and the cotton Magic Weighted Blanket. But if you don’t mind that, you have dozens of designs in cotton and “minky” (a fleecy fabric) to choose from; all are machine-washable and machine-dryable.
We were disappointed to see the Nuzzie Knit Weighted Blanket’s stitching (which anchors the end of the “yarn” to the blanket itself) loosening up over the course of the few weeks we tried it. We also noticed a bit of T-shirt–like fuzzing after drying this blanket. The Nuzzie blanket comes in bed sizes (twin, full, queen, and king), each heavier than the next size down, so the feel of the weight on your body isn’t drastically different with any given size because the pressure is dispersed. And yet the 15-pounder we tried—which was the size of a full-size bed, as opposed to a throw, in the case of the Bearaby Cotton Napper—still required a full-size machine to wash it. The Nuzzie is a beautiful blanket, though, and some people may prefer it to the Bearaby blanket. Instead of cotton yarn, it’s made of a sleeker-feeling microfiber encasing filled with recycled plastic. As a result, in our experience it was less heavy and wet going from washing machine to dryer, and it took less time to dry. We tried the redesigned Nuzzie blanket in our 2022 testing but found that the new version was heavy and unwieldy. One tester described it as being “comically large.” We ordered the 20-pound queen blanket in sky blue, which enveloped every tester who tried it, looking like a scene out of a Dr. Suess book. The Nuzzie blanket also became nearly impossible to carry from the washer to the dryer, as it held 9 pounds of water, and it took nearly three full cycles in the dryer (and even then it still had some damp spots here and there). If you try the Nuzzie blanket and don’t like it, you can return it within 30 days of arrival for a refund; a $20 processing fee applies (but is waived if the packaging is unopened).
The SensaCalm Weighted Blanket is the puffy coat of weighted blankets. We previously recommended this model, noting that it felt “fluffy … like a normal comforter, only heavier.” But some 2019 panel testers found it too narrow. Whereas most adult blankets are 40 inches wide, the SensaCalm blanket is only 38. Those 2 inches seemed to make a difference, as even one tester who liked this blanket best because of the “comforting nice fabric” thought that it was “much too small.” But one long-term tester, who is 5 feet 3 inches tall, finds that it suits her just right. Size aside, the blanket’s fluffiness makes it less drapey, which for some people is the whole point of a weighted blanket. We do like that the SensaCalm blanket is machine-washable and machine-dryable, and that the company’s customer service is responsive. If you’d like a wider, huggier blanket, you might consider the Economy version, which we haven’t tried. It usually costs about $45 less than the regular SensaCalm blanket for a 15-pound version, and it has a soft fleecy fabric with less filling and wider dimensions (42 by 72 inches or 58 by 72 inches). The company’s return policy is less generous than most: Customers can return a SensaCalm blanket within 30 days, but if the company “determine[s] the blanket has been used,” it will refund no more than 80% of the cost depending on the blanket’s condition.
The inexpensive YnM Weighted Blanket is a best seller on Amazon and comes in more than a dozen design options. In our tests, its weight felt nicely distributed (more so than that of our budget pick, the Luna blanket), and it emerged from both the washing machine and the dryer in decent shape (though it required a second drying cycle). But testers preferred the overall feel of the Luna blanket, which is typically less expensive than the YnM blanket. A dealbreaker: Our attempts to reach YnM’s customer service were never answered.
The 6.5-pound Nodpod Body blanket is smaller than the smallest throw-size blankets we’ve considered. At 29 by 24 inches, it more closely resembles an X-ray smock than any of our picks. We haven’t tested it.
We chose not to test weighted blankets from Brooklyn Bedding, Casper, and Saatva, which required either hand-washing, dry cleaning, or spot-treating.
This article was edited by Courtney Schley and Ingrid Skjong.
Alexis Clare and William LaCourse, professors, Alfred University, Alfred, New York, email interview, October 21, 2019
Teresa May-Benson, occupational therapist and executive director of the Spiral Foundation at OTA The Koomar Center in Newton, Massachusetts, phone interview, October 17, 2019
Susan L. Hyman, MD, professor of pediatrics and division chief of developmental and behavioral pediatrics, University of Rochester Medical Center, phone interview, October 15, 2019
Chris Winter, MD, president of Charlottesville Neurology and Sleep Medicine and author of The Sleep Solution, phone interview, October 10, 2019
Brian Mullen, BS, Tina Champagne, MEd, OTR/L, Sundar Krishnamurty, PhD, Debra Dickson, APRN, BC, Robert X. Gao, PhD, Exploring the Safety and Therapeutic Effects of Deep Pressure Stimulation Using a Weighted Blanket, Occupational Therapy in Mental Health, September 8, 2008
Megan Thielking, The ‘Gravity blanket’ raised $3 million online with a claim to treat anxiety. Then that promise was deleted, STAT News, May 12, 2017
Anxiety and stress weighing heavily at night? A new blanket might help, Harvard Health Publishing, March 1, 2019
Caira Blackwell is a staff writer at Wirecutter covering sleep and mattresses. Her work has previously been published in Okayplayer, The Knockturnal, and Nylon magazine, and her book A Lullaby for the End of the World is available on Amazon.
Joanne Chen is a former senior staff writer reporting on sleep and other lifestyle topics. Previously, she covered health and wellness as a magazine editor. After an assignment forced her to sleep eight hours a day for a month, she realized that she is, in fact, a smarter, nicer person when she isn’t sleep-deprived.
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