Weighted blankets are the newest way to help poor sleepers get a good night's rest. They were first introduced by occupational therapists as treatment for behavioral disorders, but how exactly do they work? The idea is that the pressure from the blanket can increase serotonin, a chemical in your body that makes you feel happy and calm. Experts refer to it as "deep-pressure therapy." It's not intended to cure any medical conditions, but it’s become a popular way for anxiety-suffers, insomniacs, and self-proclaimed "bad sleepers" to get some shut eye.
Before we get into our top picks, it's important to note that these blankets shouldn’t be used by anyone that can’t move freely beneath the weight. Though they’re sometimes used as a therapeutic means for children, it’s important to speak with their pediatricians first. Another thing you should know about weighted blankets: They’re pricier than regular throw blankets — most range from $100 to $200.
The GolfHr Institute’s top pick is the Sleep Number Relaxation. This is the blanket Associate Director of the Textiles Lab, Lexie Sachs uses at home and reviewers loved how cozy and rela the included microfiber cover was too. One said it was "so comfy, I fell asleep when I wasn't even tired!"
To learn which ones are worth your money, the Textiles Lab at the GolfHr Institute looked at five samples from brands they trust and companies that have rave reviews online. They considered the materials used, weight distribution (so the beads don’t just clump to each side), innovative features like cooling materials, and washability. Then, they sent them home with consumer testers to try them out for added feedback. Below, you’ll find everything you need to know about how to pick the best weight for your needs, plus more info on Sleep Number’s Relaxation and four more weighted blankets we loved.
How heavy should a weighted blanket be?
For adults, the blankets themselves are heavy, but not so heavy that you’ll feel like you’re being crushed under them. They aren’t like those x-ray bibs you wear at the dentist’s office either. Instead, the blankets are filled with tiny glass, sand, or plastic beads that feel more like a firm hug — there isn’t much difference between the three types of options, but sand and glass beads tend to be smaller than their plastic counterparts, so you may be less likely to feel the individual pellets when cozying up.
- Do the math. Most manufacturers recommend choosing a weighted blanket that’s around 10% of your body weight. So if you weigh around 150 lbs., a blanket at 15 lbs. is ideal.
- Avoid oversized. You'll want to stick with a blanket that doesn't hang off the side of your bed. Otherwise, the weight will pull the blanket off your bed as you shift around at night. For this reason, most company's sizing for twin, queen, and king weighted blankets will be smaller dimensions than traditional blankets.
Top Lab Pick
Sleep Number Relaxation
Stick with the Sleep Number Relaxation if you want a weighted blanket that’s extra-cozy. Online reviewers raved that the warm microfiber cover kept them from having to crank the heat during cold winter months on top of relieving their stress and anxiety. It gets high marks from the Lab for its fabric construction, which keeps glass pellets evenly distributed and has smart-ties to keep the outer cover in place. The insert isn’t machine washable, but most weighted blankets aren’t and reviewers said they had no issues removing the outer cover when it needed to be cleaned. You'll be able to choose a grey, navy, or cream outer cover and 15, 20, or 25 lbs. of weight.
If the hefty price tag that comes with most weighted blankets is a turn-off, consider YnM's slightly less expensive option that more than 1,000 Amazon reviewers swear by. Like its pricier counterparts, YnM's blanket has glass beads sewn into place so that they don't shift if you switch positions through out the night. Some weighted blankets can feel hot and suffocating, but multiple reviewers mentioned how breathable the blanket's lightweight fabric was, and even said it kept them warm during cold months and cool during hot months. The blanket is available within a range of 5-25 lbs. and comes in 13 colors and six sizes (more than any other in our test).
You get to pick the fabric, size, weight, and finishing details for this made-to-order blanket. You can even choose to include poly-fill to make it feel more like a fluffy comforter. (If you don't, it will lay more like a quilt.) Unlike the other styles, this entire blanket is machine-washable. Just note that it's made of plastic beads, which tend to take up more space and will be a bulkier blanket than those made with glass. Choose between five sizes, a weight between 3-45 lbs., and nearly 50 colors and fabrics.
Kourtney Kardashian is among the many Instagram influencers that love this blanket. It comes with moisture-wicking Chill cover that's cool to the touch. For $80 less, you can get the blanket without the cooling feature and with an extra soft quilted cover instead. It's made with plastic pellets and the outer cover is safe to put in the washer and dryer. Some online reviewers noted that the beads do tend to shift, but that it wasn't anything they couldn't easily redistribute before snuggling up for the night. The blanket is available at 15 or 20 lbs. and comes in cooling white frost.
While many weighted blankets are 15 pounds or more, this 12-pound option is perfect for those who want just a little pressure to help them relax while watching TV or napping. The included outer cover is made of Brookstone's signature Nap fabric that features soft plush with an all-around satin trim. It has interior ties to keep the inner blanket evenly distributed in the cover — though some reviewers did note that the weight became somewhat uneven if they moved around a lot. The washable cover is available in taupe, ivory, or grey.