Research suggests the evenly distributed pressure of a weighted blanket can help with anxiety and insomnia. Here, the weighted blanket benefits for adults, and the 12 best weighted blankets for anxiety, according to customer reviews.

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Weighted blankets are exactly what they sound like: comforters with tiny pellets or metal chains woven throughout, so that weight is distributed across the body when a person lies underneath them. They come in a variety of weight ranges—weighing upwards of 40 pounds—and make you feel like you're being swaddled in a cozy cocoon. Why would you invest in a weighted blanket, you ask? Because it's calming AF.

Weighted blankets have become the bedding accessory to have, as well as a super popular gift to give this season. A quick glance at their online reviews shows that plenty of people really do rely on them to help with conditions like anxiety and insomnia. It may sound a bit pseudo-scientific, but it's actually true: the potential weighted blanket benefits for adults and children alike include helping to improve mood, reduce stress, and promote restful sleep.

So what's the real story here? Could a weighted blanket really be the answer to your sleep or anxiety problems? It might be worth a try, says Jeneane Solz, PhD, an instructor of psychology at Columbia University Medical Center—but there are a few things you should know before making your purchase.

What are the benefits of a weighted blanket?

First, there aren't a lot of studies to back up weighted blanket claims. Most of the research on these products has been on people with developmental disorders, like children with autism, Solz explains. "From those studies, we're finding that there aren't significant differences in terms of objective measures like how quickly kids fall asleep and the total time they spend asleep," she adds.

What those studies do show, however, is that participants who use weighted blankets seem to like it better than a regular blanket, she points out. "It can feel nice and luxurious—like a big hug—and that may be helpful for some people."

A few small studies have looked at the effect weighted blankets have on anxiety and insomnia in adults. A 2015 study in the Journal of Sleep Medicine & Disorders, for example, found that participants' sleep time increased and nighttime movement decreased when they used weighted blankets, compared to regular blankets. They also reported that it was easier for the study participants to settle down to sleep with the weighted blanket, and that they felt more refreshed in the morning.

In 2006, a 32-person study in Occupational Therapy in Mental Health found that 63% of participants reported lower anxiety after using a weighted blanket (compared to lying down with no blanket at all), and 78% said they felt more relaxed with the blanket than without. That study also found that weighted blanket use was safe for healthy adults, having no effect on vital signs like pulse and blood pressure.

How to choose the best weighted blanket for you

If you want to try a weighted blanket, read online reviews first and look for features that you think will help you relax, says Solz: Maybe material softness or breathability is important to you, or maybe you want a blanket with built-in aromatherapy to evoke a spa-like environment, for example.

Many of us carry around anxiety, which can cause trouble sleeping, so it's important to have healthy coping habits you can turn to when you're stressed, she explains. "You might do deep breathing or take a hot shower or cozy up in your favorite sweater, and a weighted blanket might be another part of that arsenal."

You'll also want to consider choosing a blanket that's about 10% of your body weight: The authors of the 2006 study wrote that, in their clinical experience, patients preferred blankets that weighed at least this much. (Too much more, however, could become uncomfortable and difficult to move under.)

Weighted blankets shouldn't be a substitute for proven therapies for anxiety or insomnia, warns Solz—and if you're currently in treatment for a mental health condition, get the okay from your doctor or therapist before buying one. "For some, like people with panic disorders or agoraphobia, the sensation of a weighted blanket could have a counter-effect and make anxiety even worse," she adds.

Ready to give them a try? Here, the 12 best-weighted blankets for anxiety, according to customer reviews.

Best Overall: The Gravity Blanket

The Weighted Blanket for Sleep
Credit: Amazon

To buy: $196 to $249; amazon.com

This weighted blanket comes in 15-, 20-, 25, and 35-pound versions, and measures 4 feet by 6 feet or 7.5 feet by 7.5 feet, depending on your preferred weight. While king and queen sizes are available, the company recommends the blankets not be shared by couples who might disrupt each other's sleep, since using one is supposed to be a "grounding" experience. It's made of breathable fabrics, and both the weighted inner layer and outer duvet cover are machine-washable.

"It literally feels as you're being snuggled and it's a pretty awesome feeling, to say the least," shared one customer. "I'm tickled that a friend recommended this item to me as I suffer from severe anxiety and panic disorder along with insomnia and this blanket truly helps with these conditions. I was in doubt when purchasing the Gravity Blanket due to the price but I have to admit it's well worth the money spent."

Softest Cover: Blanquil Quilted Weighted Blanket

The Weighted Blanket for Sleep
Credit: Amazon

To buy: $169; amazon.com

This 48-by-74-inch cotton blanket is encased in an ultra-soft polyester microfiber that makes it look and feel incredibly luxurious. Tiny plastic pellets are distributed evenly across the blanket in stitched pockets, which gives it a stylish, quilted look.

"No, seriously the cover is so soft! If you never pet a bunny before you'll know what it feels like after you buy this blanket," raved a shopper.

Best for Cold Sleepers: Uttermara Sherpa Fleece Weighted Blanket

The Weighted Blanket for Sleep
Credit: Amazon

To buy: from $42 to $130; amazon.com

Soft sherpa fabric is a game changer for cold sleepers who want a little extra warmth, whether they're napping or dozing off at night. You can consider this super-soft weighted blanket the bedding equivalent of a big, warm hug. It comes in seven weights, from 5 pounds (ideal for a child) to 25 pounds. One side of the blanket is made with velvety fleece and the other nubby sherpa, so you can reverse it according to your preferences. "

I love that it starts keeping you warm quickly, and it seems to breathe well too," wrote one customer. "The white side has the perfect texture too! I have only used the white fleece side, but the other is very soft but I prefer the white side on me."

Top Rated: YnM Weighted Blanket

The Weighted Blanket for Sleep
Credit: Amazon

To buy: $45 to $159; amazon.com

YnM's best-selling, top-rated weighted blankets (which have over 34,000 five-star ratings) come in various sizes and weights—ranging from 5 pounds to 30 pounds—and are some of the most popular weighted blankets on Amazon Made with 100% cotton material, they're filled with tiny, evenly distributed glass beads that are designed to comfortably hug your body You can opt to enjoy the blanket as is, or purchase a duvet cover separately for easy cleaning. Despite the smaller size options, the instructions state not to use these blankets "on your little ones or people who can't move the heavy blanket themselves"—a warning that should be heeded for all brands of weighted blankets.

"I haven't slept through the night for almost 6 years, thanks to a difficult pregnancy and baby," wrote one customer. "It trained my body to only sleep a couple hours at a time. I tried everything, and am shocked that a weighted blanket worked so magically! From restless legs, insomnia, anxiety, it is an instant fix!"

Best for Kids: Sivio Weighted Blanket for Kids

The Weighted Blanket for Sleep
Credit: Amazon

To buy: $30 to $44; amazon.com

Weighted blankets are beneficial for kids, especially those with ADHD, according to research. The catch: Your little one shouldn't use the same weighted blanket as an adult. Instead, a 3-pound, 5-pound, or 7-pound option will be better suited to their body size. This kids weighted blanket not only comes in fun, colorful patterns that children are sure to love, but it's also received more than 4,000 five-star reviews from shoppers. Bonus: A 100% cotton cover makes it breathable, even in warmer seasons.

"The first night we used it for my daughter she slept SO WELL!" said a shopper. "She has a very difficult time falling asleep for quite some time now, [so] we started seeing a slew behavior specialist, and she recommended a weighted blanket for her. I purchased this one when we got home from our initial appointment and I have NOT been disappointed with this blanket yet, and I don't think I ever will be."

Best Removable Cover: Quility Weighted Blanket

The Weighted Blanket for Sleep
Credit: Amazon

To buy: $30 to $130; amazon.com

With more than 31,000 perfect 5-star Amazon reviews, this is truly a weighted blanket to beat. It'll keep you surprisingly comfortable while you sleep, and it also includes a removable cozy cover you can use if you want added warmth in the winter.

"The weight is very evenly distributed so that it sort of cocoons around me without my feeling constrained or confined. The 'minky' cover feels great but I get too hot under it so I ordered the smooth cotton cover. I sleep more soundly under this blanket and my restless leg symptoms are dramatically reduced," wrote one customer.

Best Cooling: YnM Bamboo Weighted Blanket

The Weighted Blanket for Sleep
Credit: Amazon

To buy: $60 to $169; amazon.com

You don't have to rule out weighted blankets if you're a hot sleeper—just opt for one made out of a naturally cooling material, like this bamboo weighted blanket from YnM. Available in 6 weights, ranging from 7 pounds to 30 pounds, the blanket is also made with a greater proportion of glass beads to fiber fill, making it more breathable than alternatives. It comes in 20 colors and patterns, including some vibrant options.

"I'm a very hot sleeper and I was concerned that I would overheat quickly in such a thick, heavy blanket," said a five-star reviewer. "But the cooling blanket is remarkable—I'm never too hot or too cold. It retains very little or no heat. It always feels cool to the touch and while it's heavy it doesn't make me warm. I didn't believe it would work this well, but it does."

Best Lightweight: Luna Weighted Blanket

The Weighted Blanket for Sleep
Credit: Amazon

To buy: $45 to $170; amazon.com

This lightweight weighted blanket is made of super-soft, 100% organic cotton and is filled with durable-yet-comfortable glass beads that are carefully woven into the blanket fibers for even weight distribution—so you'll never have a saggy corner. Plus, this blanket is a number one best-seller and has nearly 5,000 five-star Amazon reviews, so it's a total no-brainer.

"The weight has stayed evenly distributed. No worries about leaking beads, the edges of the blanket have a secure binding all around. The material is lovely, I have both a gel cooling bed and pillow as I am sensitive to excess heat, and I don't find this blanket to hold more heat than the blanket it replaced," said a buyer.

Best Weight Range: Weighted Idea Weighted Blanket

The Weighted Blanket for Sleep
Credit: Amazon

To buy: $40 to $130; amazon.com

Available in multiple size and weight options for you to choose from, it's made with breathable, lightweight cotton, which helps to regulate body temperature and keep you from getting night sweats. Choose from nine different weights—and be prepared to be soothed to sleep.

"I have generalized anxiety and going to sleep is a challenge for me. But putting this on me was instantly soothing and comforting, like someone is giving you a nice hug. I didn't get too warm under it. It's like turning your pillow to the cool side at night," wrote one customer.

Most Versatile: Degrees of Comfort Weighted Blanket

The Weighted Blanket for Sleep
Credit: Amazon

To buy: $28 to $113; amazon.com

Ideal for hot and cold sleepers, this temperature-regulated weighted blanket is great if you tend to heat up at night while your partner runs cold. It includes two washable duvet covers that you can swap out depending on the season: warm fleece to keep you toasty on chilly evenings, and cooling microfiber fabric to ventilate heat away from your body.

"It's a heavy blanket, but the weight is distributed evenly so it's not crushing," pointed out a shopper. "I also love how cool feeling it is. I live in the south and was fearful a weighted blanket would lead to many sweaty, insomniac nights. So glad I was proven wrong."

Best for Lounging: ZZZhen Weighted Blanket

The Weighted Blanket for Sleep
Credit: Amazon

To buy: $50 to $68; amazon.com

This quilt-like blanket is perfect for napping or couch lounging, and won't look out of place folded at the end of your bed or draped over a chair in your living room. It's offered in three calming weights—15, 20, or 25 pounds—and features box stitching that helps prevent the beads from shifting, so the weight is uniform all over your body when you're ready to catch a few Z's.

"Within just a few minutes of draping this beautiful blanket over myself, I was feeling more relaxed than I had in months. Anxiety is awful, and sometimes you even have anxiety when you don't realize it, so you don't relax as much as you think you are. But this blanket... This blanket is like a warm hug all over. I have suggested this blanket to every person I know. Get it for your own mental wellbeing," said a reviewer.

Most Luxurious: Uttermara Faux Fur Weighted Blanket

The Weighted Blanket for Sleep
Credit: Amazon

To buy: $65 to $74; amazon.com

You'll see proven results with this weighted blanket, according to shopper reviews. Swaddle yourself in this luxurious throw, boasting faux fur on one side and soft sherpa on the other. Bonus: Even the largest, heaviest weighted blanket from this brand is priced under $100, so this option is a total bargain. And when you're not wrapped up in this blanket, it looks great draped on the back of your couch, thanks to the trendy faux fur fabric.

"I have never had a weighted blanket before, but kept hearing how great they are. This blanket is amazing. It's so comfy and warm, perfect for winter. It seems to be really good quality, no loose fuzzy, no beads falling out, and is holding up to my cat making biscuits on it which is the most impressive part. I would highly recommend this to anyone," shared a customer.

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By Amanda MacMillan and Susan Brickell