A Hug in Blanket Form

Weighted Blankets Burn Away Anxiety. Here Are the Best Ones


April 9, 2020 Buying Guides By Photo by Gravity blanket
Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.

Sleep is an integral part of immunity, and yet, trouble sleeping is something we’re likely all struggling with. If your mind starts racing as soon as your head hits the pillow, a weighted blanket could be your solution. The calming effect of the weight will slow things down, comfort you while keeping cozy. They feel like a hug, so whether you can’t remember the last time you had human contact, or you’re getting sick of hugging your S.O., this blanket can help you.

What Are Weighted Blankets Good for?

For those who have insomnia, weighted blankets “can provide a beneficial calming effect,” according to a study published in the Journal of Sleep Medicine & Disorders. The study found that movement during sleep decreased, and participants subjectively liked sleeping with the blanket. If you enjoy the process of going to sleep, you’re more likely to sleep, basically.

In addition to helping you sleep, weighted blankets can also help decrease anxiety and stress. “Weighted blankets were first used for patients with an autism spectrum disorder, who found the weight of the blanket served as a grounding mechanism and helped them calm down,” Dr. Nina Vasan, MD, chief medical officer of Real and Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Stanford, says.

How Do Weighted Blankets Work?

The reason it works is found in the deep touch pressure effect. “Deep Touch Pressure, where firm touch is applied to the body either by the self or by a machine, has been shown to improve functioning and reduce symptoms of anxiety,” according to a study published in the Journal of Psychiatric Practice. It relaxes the nervous system and makes you feel calm, according to Dr. Vasan. If you have anxiety or stress, studies show that a weighted blanket can help.

Whether you have trouble falling asleep or feel stressed during the day, a weighted blanket can provide the relief you need to feel better.

What’s the Best Weight for a Weighted Blanket?

When shopping for a blanket, you’ll likely have to figure out what size. While some brands separate by your bed size (twin, full, queen, king), many provide just weights. Consensus says the blanket should be about 10 percent of your body weight, so for a 150-pound individual, 15-pounds is best. However, if you and your partner share a bed, it’s easier to get one that’s for a Queen or King bed, which more and more brands are creating to make it a no-brain decision as to what to buy.

Weighted blankets are intended to be heavy, and with that comes heat. It’s like being wrapped in a flannel sleeping bag — you might go to bed cold, but you’ll wake up sweating in the middle of the night. To prevent that, many brands offer materials that cool while compressing, but if you’re a hot sleeper, it’s worth trying a lighter weight.

The Best Weighted Blankets You Can Buy

Best Overall: Gravity Blanket

Weight Options: 15, 20, 25-pounds

Gravity weighs you down, so logically, a blanket with the same name is the heavyweight of this competition. Its soft and plush, and what we dream of wrapping ourselves in while we’re at work. A duvet-like cover with two types of internal clips means the weighted piece stays put, even if you go from your stomach to your side to your back all in one night. The external cover is machine washable, while the interior is hand-wash only.

Runner-Up: Layla Weighted Blanket

Weight Options: Twin, Queen, King

Layla dropped its weighted blanket in early 2019, and it quickly rose to the top of the charts thanks to its bonus touches. Instead of having 15, 20, and 25-pound blankets based on customers’ weight, Layla opted to go with the bed size instead: twin, queen and king. Being a mattress company first, the brand used those insights to inform its first weighted blanket design. Just like the mattresses, the blanket is reversible — one side is a soft mink-like fur, and the other is 300 thread-count 100% cotton that’s more smooth. Microglass beads weigh the blanket down, but don’t make any noise, which is a common complaint about weighted blankets. And best of all, Layla’s blanket is machine-washable.

Best Looking: Bearaby Tree Napper

Weight Options: 15, 20, 25-pounds

Whether you live in a studio apartment and your bed is in full view all day long, or you like having a dual-purpose blanket that doesn’t just live on your bed, the Bearaby Tree Napper is as chic as it is functional. A woven design looks like a more cozy (and less hot) afghan blanket. It’s like a chunky knit sweater with just the right amount of stretch and zero itch. The plant-based fabric, Tencel, is naturally weighted and hand-knit. Bonus: it’s machine-washable.

Best Cooling Blanket: YNM Cooling Weighted Blanket

Weight Options: 15, 20, 25-pounds

As someone who can’t sleep when hot, I’m especially appreciative of this YNM blanket. Made from 100 percent bamboo fabric, it’s cool to the touch and stays that way all night long. The glass beads are sandwiched between multiple breathable fabrics. You have to spot clean this one, and sadly there’s no laundry option.

Best Budget Buy: Luna Weighted Blanket

Weight Options: 5 to 30-pounds for Twin, Full, Queen and King

The lightest weight starts at 5-pounds for just $40, so you can keep your kids calm, too. The plethora of options for all bed types and weights are the most we found. Luna’s seven-layer blanket is washable, breathable and affordable.

Best for Athletes: Bedgear Hyper-Cotton Weighted Blanket

Weight Options: 15-pounds

Bedgear makes some of my favorite pillows — just the right amount of firm, somehow always cool and squish-proof. Dr. Lorenzo Turicchia, a sleep scientist, developed this blanket to eliminate the common problem areas: the weight moves (think when your duvet gets bunched in one corner), overheating, and inability to wash. There are no beads, so no noise and no bunching. A cover that unzips makes it easy to clean, and the silky Hyper-cotton is lightweight and breathable. If you treat sleep like it’s your job, this is the blanket for you.

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Note: Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.

Meg Lappe

Meg Lappe is Gear Patrol's Creative Project Manager, coordinating across teams to bring all our creative projects to life. She can typically be found running around.

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