The Best Weighted Blankets for Anxiety
Can a simple weighted blanket help with anxiety?
We examine the evidence in-depth, considered the pros and cons and took a look at some of the products available on the market today, to answer that very question.
If you don't have time to read our full guide, check out our very favorite weighted blankets for anxiety in the table below, or continue scrolling for the full details.
Our Favorite Weighted Blankets for Anxiety:
Quility Premium Adult Weighted Blanket & Removable Cover
Most popular choice
ZonLi Sensory Weighted Blanket
Budget friendly option
CMFRT Cozy Weighted Blanket for kids
Our favorite for kids
40 million adults in America suffer from anxiety, making it more than 18% percent of the overall American population. The levels of anxiety differ from person to person, with some suffering only mild episodes while for others the episodes can be truly crippling.
However, the difference in levels does not justify the fact that only around 36.9% of adults suffering from anxiety receive treatment for a condition that is, in fact, highly treatable.
In young people between the age 13 and 18, the number of individuals affected by anxiety is even greater: 25.1%. Unfortunately, many see this simply as a part of growing up but if left untreated, anxiety can negatively affect school performance and social life, both of which are very important for further development of a young individual into a grown-up with opportunities. Moreover, untreated anxiety can lead to violence.
Having witnessed so many people left without help, experts became dedicated in exploring the ways in which people can ease their anxiety without medication. There are now food supplements to be combined with good nutrition; meditation and yoga practices; and… a weighted blanket.
What even is a weighted blanket?
A weighted blanket is a new alternative way to treat anxiety. These blankets are heavier than any regular blanket, being at around 10% of the user’s body weight.
They do not provide only heat, but also pressure – resulting in the so called ‘grounding’. ‘Grounding’ has been shown to reduce the symptoms of anxiety by reducing the levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
Once under the blanket, the user can relax under comfortable pressure that provides the sensation as if someone were hugging you. This type of pressure is thought to trigger the release of feel-good hormones dopamine and serotonin as well as endorphins.
The science behind weighted blankets is called “Deep Touch Pressure” or DTP for short. It is used in treatment of not only anxiety, but also depression, insomnia and autism.
DTP (weighted blanket, hug, squeezing, stroking) increases the activity of the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for unconscious activities when body is at rest, and lowers the activity in the sympathetic nervous system responsible for our fight-or-flight response.
As a result of this switch in the activity of the two respective nervous systems, our body releases more endorphins.
To put it in a simpler way, since we are all sensory beings that get a lot of our information via touching, the pressure that mimics that of being hugged, cuddled, squeezed sends to our brain the information that we are safe.
As a result, our body calms down the heart-rate and blood pressure, and releases happy hormones.
Different weights of the blanket
Weighted blankets come at different weight so that the user can choose the most appropriate one. For adults, the weighted blanket should best be between five and ten percent of the user’s own body weight.
For a child to use the blanket, it is recommended that it is ten percent of their weight plus an additional one or two pounds (that is, an extra 0.5 or 1 kg). If you are unsure, your doctor should be able to help you decide which is the one correct for you. Just remember to have a calculator with you and be honest about your weight.
This is very important because the blanket should not be uncomfortably heavy for you, meaning that, for example, a mother and a young child are not to share mother’s blanket.
Even though the idea might look tempting, especially since the blankets are quite big, the very goal of the blanket is for the user to relax and be comfortable -if the weight of the blanket is too heavy, there won’t be any benefits and the user is likely to be better off without it.
Pros and Cons of weighted blankets for anxiety
It is better to start with the negatives, to get them quickly out of the way.
1. The weighted blankets are expensive. Medium and large weighted blankets can go between $100 and $200, whether you are buying on Amazon, eBay or in a therapy store. The small ones are somewhat cheaper.
In other words, these blankets are definitely an investment. However, the responses from people who have bought them have really been amazing, showing that what they really did get their money’s worth.
2. They are big and difficult to carry, so the usage is very much tied to your home. Transport when going for holiday can be very difficult, especially if not going with a car. Nevertheless, this still leaves a lot of times when the blanket can be useful – especially for those who get their worst episodes during the night.
Weighted blanket seems to really help with insomnia due to anxiety and will provide comfort on those days when the anxiety is so paralyzing that the person has to stay at home.
And now onto the positive:
1. IT HELPS! That is really the biggest positive one could name. The weighted blankets have received remarkable acclaim because they work. They were developed through rethinking how practices such as hugging and cuddling affect our physical and mental health because it is exactly those tactile sensations that can, and could through history, calm us best.
Weighted blankets ensure we have access to that calming effect of comfortable pressure whenever we need them, which can be especially useful for students in dorms or professionals living alone.
2. Unlike when you take pills, treating anxiety with a weighted blanket works on the principle of getting your body to secrete happy hormones. It is also due to our body feeling at ease, under now comfortable conditions, that it decreases the heart rate and blood pressure.
In other words, weighted blanket is much more natural and thus safer way of treating anxiety.
Warning: Weighted blankets are not recommended in the following cases:
- You are recovering from a surgery
- You have a chronic health condition
- You have circulation or respiration issues
- You have temperature regulation issues
- You are going through menopause
If you would really like to try the blanket regardless, please discuss with your doctor if there is any way in which you could do it safely.
What are the Recommended Weighted Blankets for Anxiety?
Quility Premium Adult Weighted Blanket & Removable Cover (optional weight/size)
This blanket, easily available through Amazon Prime, immediately notes its usefulness to people suffering from anxiety, ADHD, stress or Insomnia. It helps with both falling asleep and staying asleep as well as providing a sense of comfort.
It is made from pure cotton and filled with non-toxic and hypo-allergenic plastic poly pellets. The blanket also comes with a cover that is extremely soft to touch. The cover is easily removable for washing.
The blanket comes in various weights and the price varies according to the weight. Although not amongst the cheapest ones, it holds one of the highest ratings amongst customers.
Weighted Gravity Blanket for Adults or Kids (15 lbs, 60" x 80")
This blanket, by Gafly Therapeutics, is 15lbs which is the right weight for many people. It is also one of the softest weighted blankets out there, with a soft minky duvet cover that’s adored by both children and adults. To make it even better, the cover is washable!
What makes this blanket so perfect is that it is designed by experts whose fields of study include mental health. Thus, although definitely concerned with the appearance of the product, the design puts great emphasis on the usefulness to relieve symptoms of mental health issues such as anxiety.
ZonLi Sensory Weighted Blanket for Adults Women, Men, Youths
Having in mind that not everyone can afford to spend between $100 and $200 on a blanket, ZonLi have created more accessible weight blankets, such as this one.
This blanket brings the full experience of premium pure cotton and the non-toxic pellets. However, it does not include a duvet cover. That being said, the blanket works perfectly alone, and can always be used together with a sheet underneath.
For people who really want a cover but need to wait a bit until they can afford it, covers can usually be bought later!
Weighted Blanket Adult Size-For Heavy Stress Relief, Autism, Restless Leg Syndrome & natural calm for anxiety
This blanket another of Amazon’s Choices: both visually beautiful and extremely useful for anxiety relief. It makes a perfect gift, whether for a loved one or - and remember, this is equally valid - for yourself as an example of self-care.
The blanket comes with a duvet cover (available in different colors) that is cashmere-soft on one side, while the other has sensory-sensitive "minky dots". The fabric used is hypo-allergenic to ensure safety!
One of the important things regarding this blanket is that it provides less heat than many others, making it much more comfortable to use.
Hiseeme Weighted Blanket
Hiseeme is another of the ‘more affordable’ blankets on the market.
As opposed to the previous one, where the materials used were written as 100% cotton and the price was lower due to exclusion of a soft cover, in this case the blanket is very soft but the fabrics used remained unnamed.
Hiseeme is available on a number of weights and colours, so the user can choose the right combination for themselves. The reviews are very generous in their compliments as to how the blanket improved their sleep.
Last but not least, the blanket comes with a year-long guarantee and a life-time after sale service!
Recommended Weighted Blankets for Anxiety for Children?
Weighted Sensory Lap Pad
This is a very small weighted blanket, properly described as a ‘lap pad’. The reason why it is first on the list is because it is extremely portable and useable on the go, which for children can be crucial. A very good example of using this outside of the house would be when travelling with children by plane.
It is made with cotton and mink, and is beautifully decorated. There are Star Wars blankets and doughnuts blankets and a hippy design: whatever takes your child’s fancy.
This ‘lap pad’ is available in various weights, all of them affordable.
Roore Children's Navy Blue and Gray Weighted Blanket with Dotted Minkey Cover
This is a bigger blanket than the first one, perfect for using at home for a quiet nap or a peaceful full-night’s sleep.
The blanket comes with a minkey cover which is perfect for easier washing. The cover is super soft and will easily provide comfort to young children without putting too much pressure on them. This blanket will not only calm them down when they need to sleep, but can also be used for such activities as story time. Grown-ups might want to snuggle under it, too.
If the child does not like the blanket, there is a promise of money refund upon return, “no questions asked”. Definitely worth a try!
CMFRT Cozy Weighted Blanket Set with Duvet Cover for Kids
CMFRT’s blanket comes in a much bigger size compared to its weight, so it is perfect sharing between kids. Moreover, there has always been something very cozy in extra-large blankets that take the whole bed.
This blanket is Amazon’s choice! It comes with a duvet cover that has two different sides: minky for cold winters and clima-cool cotton for hot summers! This is very important to note, since many blankets can be almost unusable in summer heat.
Last but not least, it guarantees evenly distributed weight to ensure maximum comfort for the children!
Weighted Blanket for Kids Autism & Anxiety
This blanket is made with pure cotton and tiny glass beads. Don’t let the glass part scare you, the beads are small enough to be impossible to break, instead the glass works as a great choice of recyclable material that is safe for the environment.
It also comes with a cover made of mink that guarantees the child will love the feel of the blanket.
Available in many different weights so you can choose the best suited one. The blankets are generally big so children can sleep in whatever pose works best for them, and they can also share it with a sibling sleeping next to them!
Weighted Blankets Plus - Weighted Blanket - Cotton
Our final choice is another blanket where the design matches its extraordinary comfort and usefulness. This blanket comes in variety of weights and designs so a perfect combination can easily be made. It is a perfect gift for an anxious child!
Unlike many other blankets, this one does not use mink but rather cotton and flannel. Flannel is a great natural choice for keeping warmth. It is again made with tiny, tiny glass beads, which makes it an overall great option for ecologically-conscious parents who do not want synthetics around their children.
Although no additional purchases are needed, it is to be kept in mind that these blankets do not have a removable cover to simplify the washing process. However, the blanket is washable.