Suffering from anxiety?
If so, have you thought about trying a weighted blanket?
As a clinical psychologist I will be happy to share all of the ins-and-outs with you, so you can determine if these blankets are just what you have been looking for.
I have also included the benefits, weight, and purchase location for each blanket with the goal of helping you decide which is the best one for you.
Ready to get started? Great, let’s go!
Table of Contents
A weighted blanket is a very heavy blanket that can reduce anxiety symptoms for some people. It can also improve insomnia and autism symptoms.
These blankets usually weigh between 2 and 35 whopping pounds. Way heavier than your average bedspread, down, quilt, or comforter.
Mental health professionals are starting to tout this type of blanket as a safe and effective alternative or supplement to anti-anxiety meds or other anxiety-based treatments.
Note: It is important to consult your physician, psychologist, or psychiatrist before substituting (or adding) weighted blankets to your prescribed treatment plan.
In other words, weighted blankets can be used with your existing treatment plan – with your doctor’s permission. The good news is researchers have found that these blankets can actually help reduce symptoms, so you can better manage your condition.
Listed below are the top 5 weighted blankets for 2018:
YnM has a stellar reputation for producing therapeutic, weighted blankets. This 100% cotton blanket is designed to account for 10% of your body weight, and unlike other weighted blankets, it consists of hypoallergenic, non-toxic, odorless sand pellets. As a result, it is both comfortable and cooler than weighted blankets that contain plastic or glass pellets.
It has a precise weight distribution that allows the DPT (deep touch pressure) to reach all parts of your body. The goal of the YnM weighted blanket is to minimize your movements while you sleep, so you can achieve a deep REM (rapid eye movement) cycle.
It is available in 21 color combinations and in 8 different sizes.
The inside part of the blanket can be washed on a low setting. However, to preserve its quality, it is recommended that you get it dry cleaned. It is also recommended that you air dry the blanket instead of machine drying it.
• It is great for a variety of conditions, such as anxiety, autism, ADHD, OCD, and sensory processing disorders.
• It is available in a variety of weights, colors, and sizes (ranging from 7lbs. to 25lbs. and 41”x60” to 80”x87”).
• Its inner layer is made up of 100% cotton.
• It contains hypoallergenic, non-toxic sand pellets.
• It can wear quickly if you decide to machine wash it.
This weighted blanket is affordable, versatile, and highly comfortable. It has the ability to ease pressure, reduce stress and alleviate anxiety, so you can rest better. All-in-all, it is definitely the “best bang for your buck.”
If you suffer from high levels of stress and anxiety, the Huggaroo Weighted Blanket offers the best value.
This 36”x 48” blanket only covers your upper-to-mid regions (i.e. chest, abdomen, and thighs) and weighs 6.5 lbs.
It is especially good if you travel a lot, because it is multi-purpose, compact, and easy to carry in a car and on a train or plane.
The Huggaroo Weighted Blanket is a natural therapy alternative for or supplement to anti-anxiety meds for both children and adults. It also acts as a natural sleep aid that eases tension and stress while promoting sound sleep. In other words, this blanket prevents you from tossing and turning all night so you can get uninterrupted sleep.
Moreover, “pressure” is applied evenly throughout the blanket so you always feel “balanced.”
This blanket feels like a warm, cozy hug when placed on your body that stays with you long after it has been removed. It is the “warmness” that lowers your stress and anxiety levels, triggering a sensation of peace in your body.
The continuous DPT (deep pressure touch) lowers your cortisol level and triggers the production of neurotransmitters (chemical brain messengers), thus leading to improved mood and fewer aches and pains.
While, the inside of this weighted blanket is made with 100% cotton and hypoallergenic, non-toxic, odorless, polypropylene pellets, the outside of the blanket consists of chenille (polyester).
All-in-all the Huggaroo weighted blanket is extremely soft and incredibly calming, which is perfect for someone suffering from anxiety. It is also easy to wash and take care of, which is also a plus.
• It is most effective for children who weigh between 40-and-80 lbs.
• It’s not a full-length blanket, so adults who only want to cover a portion of their body (for example: chest, abdomen, and upper thighs) can also use it.
• It’s super easy to carry around and take on trips.
• It’s extremely soft and pleasing to the eye.
• The weight of the blanket is evenly distributed across it.
• It can be uncomfortable if it is not tied properly. More specifically, the knots should be tied at six different locations, once washed, to avoid discomfort and pain.
The Huggaroo Weighted Blanket is a soothing option for both children and adults. In addition, it works well with all bed sizes, from twin to king. It is also available in a variety of colors (chocolate brown, deep purple, royal blue, hot pink and dark grey) and is machine washable.
Additionally, Huggaroo offers a weighted lap pad (puppy) – just for children. This lap pad can help with your child’s concentration, focus, and attention. It can also provide sensory therapy to help ease your child’s anxiety.
It is 29”x 8”in. and 3.6 lbs., and you can find this item at Amazon.
The Quility Weighted Blanket is a premium compression blanket designed for adults. It comes with a removable cover, and is approximately 15 lbs. and 78” x 48” (for a 90 to 150 lb. person). It is aimed at adults who suffer from a variety of ailments and aches and pains.
It consists of 100% cotton and is filled with hypoallergenic non-toxic plastic poly-pellets. Inside of the blanket is a small square seam that prevents the pellets from moving around inside of it.
Each weighted blanket comes with a removable fleece duvet cover that is held in place by 10 buttons along the edge of the blanket. The purpose of this heavy blanket is to trigger the release of sleep hormones – serotonin and melatonin. As a result, you are able to fall asleep more quickly, sleep more soundly, awaken in a better mood, and function more calmly during the day.
The Quility Weighted Blanket uses DPT (deep pressure therapy) to combat mild-to-severe stress, anxiety, ADHD, sensory processing disorders, insomnia, restless leg syndrome, and even PTSD.
It is available in 15lbs. and 25lbs. and 48”x78”.
• You can use this blanket in the spring and summer simply by removing the comforter.
• It is easier to wash this blanket because you can remove different parts of the blanket (i.e. the duvet). Machine wash the various parts of the blanket and air dry.
• There is a 100% satisfaction guarantee.
• It is only available in grey at this time.
• It is expensive.
The Bottom Line
This blanket is a bit on the pricey side primarily because of the expertise and premium quality materials used. The pouch is both innovative and durable. As a result, the pellets are less likely to “leak.” It is also easy to clean and dry. If you want a high quality weighted blanket, this blanket is for you.
The Brookstone Weighted Blanket applies the same comforting sensation as a cozy hug, triggering calmness, tranquility, peace, and relaxation.
The evenly distributed pressure provides ample coverage and a safe, warm feeling. This blanket is good for children and adults who suffer from anxiety and stress. It is designed to trigger DPT (deep pressure touch), so it feels like a really snug hug around your body. It is made of really smooth fabric that feels lush against your skin.
The goal of this weighted blanket is to ease your stress and anxiety by helping you relax and sleep more soundly at night. It is machine washable and ultra-soft and cozy, which is perfect for snoozing at night or napping during the day. It consists of EPS pebbles (expanded polystyrene pebbles) that are contained inside of a pouch for even distribution. It is 12 lbs. and 54” x 72” in and is available in taupe, grey, and ivory.
• This blanket is super fuzzy, lush, and warm.
• It helps to reduce anxiety and stress, so you sleep better.
• It’s not too heavy where you feel weighed down.
• It’s good for anyone who is looking for a stress-reliever.
• It can reduce anxiety symptoms.
• It has a removable cover that is machine washable.
• It takes a while for your body to get adjusted to the weight, which means you may get hot at first.
• There is a chance that your dog(s) may be attracted to the scent of the blanket and try to eat it.
• It is made of small plastic pellets
• The pellets move within the blanket, so if you are side-sleeper you may not feel the complete pressure from the “weight.”
• It has an odd chemical smell, but it eventually goes away.
The Bottom Line
This is one of the more expensive weighted blankets, but it is super soft. The downside is that it can be a little too heavy for some, leading to overheating. It can also have a plastic-chemical smell that can permeate throughout the room at first. But that smell usually goes away fairly quickly. You probably won’t find a more comfortable and luxurious blanket. So if you are experiencing anxiety that is made worse by a lack of quality sleep, this blanket is perfect for you.
Red Barn Weighted Blankets are high-quality handcrafted weighted blankets that are made from top-notch materials. In fact, each blanket is crafted just for you, in hopes that it will provide you with peace, comfort, and sweet dreams.
These cotton/minky, cotton/fleece, and cotton/flannel blankets come in a variety of sizes and weights and can be customized to fit your preferences. Moreover, the blankets can be made with a specific design or pattern in mind.
The blankets are not only cozy and calming, but also ease stress, ADHD, anxiety, restless leg syndrome, PTSD, sensory processing disorders, and more.
Red Barn Weighted Blankets are made of non-toxic plastic pellets (for weight) with pockets inside of it that are filled with synthetic polyfill. As a result, these blankets are not only super plush; they also have even weight distribution – without causing you to overheat from the weight.
Red Barn Weighted Blankets are machine washable. They should be washed in a front-loading machine in cold water and on a gentle cycle. In addition, they should be dried on a cool or warm delicate cycle. However, do not use bleach or liquid fabric softener on these blankets.
• You can customize these blankets to fit your preferences for just $15 extra dollars.
• These blankets are some of the most high-quality, affordable weighted blankets available.
• Red Barn Weighted Blankets come in a variety of sizes (37″ x 52″ – Small, 40″ x 63″ – Teen, 40″ x 82″ – Twin, 57″ x 82″ – Full, 62″ x 82″ – Queen, 76″ x 82″ – King) and colors (grey, teal, ash grey, mint, salt water, platinum, seafoam).
• Great for people suffering from anxiety, autism, a sleep disorder, heavy stress, and neuro-developmental/sensory disorders.
• It may take several hours for this blanket to dry if it is filled with goose down.
• The creators are unable to guarantee that the colors you see on the website will match the colors of actual fabric.
• There may be some colored lines along the seams when you receive your blanket. Note: This is simply the non-toxic chalk they use to mark the fabric for cutting and sewing. These lines can be removed with a damp cloth or when washed.
• The company will only do cancellations for two days post order. Any cancellation requests after 48 hours will garner a 20% cancellation fee.
The Bottom Line
The best thing about this weighted blanket is that you can customize it to suit your preferences. It is also homemade and affordable. The company has a good reputation both from previous customers and at the BBB (Better Business Bureau). Previous customers rave about how well made the blankets are and how quickly they received their orders, so if you are looking for a blanket that is handcrafted and made with love, you may want to consider a Red Barn Weighted Blanket.
Weighted blankets can help ease anxiety symptoms in children, teens, and adults. And, the good news is these blankets are generally safe to use. These blankets can also help you relax and sleep better at night.
How do they work?, Weighted blankets help reduce symptoms by using pressure to “weigh” your body down. This technique is called “grounding” or “earthing” and its intended effect is to relax your body – i.e. mind, muscle, blood pressure, joints, and more.
Weighted blankets are also good for triggering DPT (deep pressure touch) – a therapeutic approach that uses steady and direct pressure to ease high levels of stress, tension, and anxiety. (1)
In fact, recent studies suggest that “earthing” or “grounding” may even help lower nighttime levels of the stress hormone, cortisol.(2) Your brain tells your body to produce excess amounts of cortisol when you are highly stressed and/or when it feels that something is about to attack you.
As a result, your body responds with a “fight or flight” reaction. High levels of cortisol can, in turn, lead to a compromised immune system, elevated blood glucose (blood sugar levels) and gastrointestinal distress.(2)
Moreover, high cortisol levels, especially when they do not quickly return to “normal”, can cause a host of health conditions such as: (3)
The pressure from the weighted blankets can promote calmness and encourage relaxation, thus reducing symptoms. In addition, it can trigger the release of dopamine and serotonin, hormones responsible for the “feel good” sensation in your body. Dopamine and serotonin can help alleviate emotional distress like stress, anxiety, and depression.
A study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine suggests that “grounding” the human body during sleep is an effective way to regulate cortisol production in the body. (2) These researchers found that “grounding” provides normal, 24-hour circadian rhythms for those who have so much stress and anxiety that it is affecting their ability to sleep soundly at night.
Research results also indicate that “grounding” helps decrease cortisol production in some people during their sleep cycles. And, as a result, they not only experience better sleep, but also a reduction in chronic pain, lower levels of stress, happier moods, and/or fewer anxiety and depression symptoms. (2)
As mentioned above, the actual weight of a weighted blanket can vary from 2 to 35 pounds. However, your own weight is a major determinant of how heavy your blanket should be to garner maximum results. Some manufacturers suggest that adults purchase weighted blankets that are no more than 10% of their own body weight.
For children, on the other hand, manufacturers suggest using blankets that are at least 10% of their body weight with one or two extra pounds added to them. Consult your doctor as to how heavy your weight blanket should be to receive the best possible results (i.e. a reduction in anxiety symptoms).
Note: You may also want to choose a blanket that is composed of natural fibers, like 100% cotton. Why? Because they are breathable, so you won’t sweat as much. Avoid synthetic fabrics like polyester, because they are usually much hotter.
A recent study found that 30-pound weighted blankets are safe and effective for easing anxiety. In fact, out of the 32 adult participants, approximately 63% reported a reduction in anxiety symptoms. (4)
It is important to remember that weighted blankets aren’t for everyone, especially if you have a health condition that is negatively affected by heat or pressure. Therefore, before purchasing a weighted blanket, discuss this option with your doctor.
If you have one (or more) of the health conditions listed below take caution and consult your doctor before using a weighted blanket:
You can find weighted blankets both online and at some traditional retail establishments.
Tip: Some health insurance plans actually cover the cost of weighted blankets – provided that you have a prescription from your doctor. So, if you are interested in a weighted blanket and your doctor as given you a “thumbs up,” call your insurance provider to see if this option is available to you. In addition, in some cases, the purchase of a weighted blanket may be tax deductible, so also consult your tax preparer for a possible deduction.
The truth is that most people have never heard of weighted blankets, especially for conditions like anxiety.
They are the mental health field’s little-known secret.
However, with more and more people searching out ways to ease or cure their conditions, this little-known secret is becoming more and more popular. And, although weighted blankets are not for everyone, for some it may be just what they need to reduce their symptoms and resume a healthy and happy life.
The good thing about these blankets is that both children and adults can benefit from them, especially if they suffer from high levels of stress, sensory processing disorders, autism, ADHD, or anxiety. And, even better is the fact that they are generally safe and effective and can be used with your current treatment plan. Moreover, weighted blankets use DPT (deep pressure touch) to apply pressure to your body, and that pressure, in turn, relaxes you and relieves a host of ailments.
It is important, however, that you consult your doctor BEFORE altering your treatment plan. Note: In addition, these blankets should never be used in cribs or with infants and young children.
If your doctor feels like it could be beneficial for you, and you want to try it – then go for it! You may be surprised how much better you feel after spending the night cuddled up with a weighted blanket.
1. Fletcher, J. (2017). Do weighted blankets work for anxiety? Medical News Today.
2. Chevalier, G., Sinatra, S. T., Oschman, J. L., Sokal, K., & Sokal, P. (2012). Earthing: Health implications of reconnecting the human body to the Earth’s surface electrons. Journal of Environmental and Public Health, 2012(291541).
3. University Health News. (2018). How to recognize high cortisol symptoms.
4. MacMillan, A. (2018). Can a weighted blanket really help treat anxiety and insomnia? Health.
Dr. R. Y. Langham holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Fisk University, a Master of Marriage and Family Therapy (M.M.F.T.) in Marriage and Family Therapy from Trevecca Nazarene University, and a Ph.D. in Family Psychology from Capella University.
She is currently a child and family psychologist, medical, health & wellness contributor, copywriter, researcher, and psychological consultant for Livestrong magazine, Upwork, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, and Disorders.org.
Dr. R. Y. Langham has over a decade of experience writing, and editing medical, health & wellness, dating, marriage, love, and psychological articles for a variety of popular magazines, newspapers, companies, and websites.
Moreover, she worked as a Medical Analyst and Copyeditor for CIGNA for over 3 years. In 2011, she published her first psychological thriller, “Fallen Apple.” She has gone on to publish a children’s book and three other books in the “Apple Series.”