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A Weighted Blanket Could Be The Secret To Helping Your Child Sleep — Here’s Why

Author:

Jamey Powell

Medical reviewer:

Scott Nass, M.D., MPA, FAAFP, AAHIVS

November 12, 2022

Contributing writer

By Jamey Powell

Contributing writer

Jamey Powell is a writer and editor living in Brooklyn, NY. Previously the senior market editor at Healthline.com, she has years of experience scouring endless product reviews and testing out the latest and greatest products in the sleep, fitness, and nutrition markets.

Medical review by

Scott Nass, M.D., MPA, FAAFP, AAHIVS

Board-certified Family Physician

Scott Nass, M.D., MPA, FAAFP, AAHIVS is a family physician and HIV specialist in California. He takes a holistic approach to healthcare, incorporating principles of functional medicine and using food as medicine when working with patients.

Image by mbg creative

November 12, 2022

Our editors have independently chosen the products listed on this page. If you purchase something mentioned in this article, we may earn a small commission.

Hailed as a tool to reduce feelings of anxiety and improve sleep, weighted blankets have skyrocketed in popularity over the years. Although research is limited, early studies and feedback from parents and caregivers suggest that kids in particular may benefit from the grounding sensation these hefty quilts provide. If your little one has sensory needs, trouble settling in bed, or you’d simply like to teach them mindfulness, a weighted blanket might be the ticket.

We spoke with the experts to better understand the benefits and potential drawbacks, and how to pick the best weighted blankets for kids.

A peek at the best weighted blankets for kids:

Best cooling weighted blanket for kids

Luna Cooling Bamboo Weighted Blanket for KidsGo to review

Best affordable weighted blanket for kids

Sivio Kids Weighted BlanketGo to review

Softest weighted blankets for kids

Quility Weighted Blanket for KidsGo to review

A peek at the best weighted blankets for kids:

Best organic

Best overall

Baloo Mini Blanket

From $130 on Baloo

Go to review

Best cooling weighted blanket for kids

Luna Cooling Bamboo Weighted Blanket for Kids

From $75 on Luna

Go to review

Best affordable weighted blanket for kids

Sivio Kids Weighted Blanket

From $35 on Amazon

Go to review

Softest weighted blankets for kids

Quility Weighted Blanket for Kids

From $49.99 on Amazon

Go to review

Best for kids with autism

Sensacalm Weighted Fidget Lap Pad

From $59.95 on SensaCalm

Go to review

Best washable

Harkla Kids Weighted Blanket

From $85 on Harkla

Go to review

Show More

Benefits of weighted blankets for kids

Whether for children or adults, weighted blankets are designed with a similar intention, to mimic the feel of a soothing hug, by using deep pressure stimulation, or deep pressure therapy (DPT). One recent study1 suggests weighted blankets may be helpful for encouraging sleep and relaxation, especially among children with ADHD or autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

While these blankets have only recently started to be studied for their benefits and impact, there is a ton of anecdotal evidence from parents, psychologists, and educators confirming that weighted blankets make a big difference in the day-to-day lives of children–especially (but not limited to) those who have ADHD or ASD, or who are highly sensitive.

Benefits include:

Teaching self-care: According to therapist Lily Thrope, LCSW, the comfort children experience from a weighted blanket can be helpful in developing their own coping strategies. “It is similar to an adult mindfulness practice–when the child chooses to utilize the weighted blanket, they are consciously choosing to care for themselves, which is a valuable lesson to teach them at a young age. Self-care routines [early on] can lead to a stronger sense of confidence and allow them to set better boundaries in adulthood.”

Reduced feelings of anxiety: “Many times, children with anxiety, ADHD, and autism have sensory needs that are unmet throughout the day,” explains psychologist Anjali Ferguson, PhD. “Some of these kids can experience a sense of calm with deep pressure, which may stimulate the release of serotonin to calm the nervous system. This calmness can allow better focus, more regulation, and improved mood.”

Improved sleep: “Given the deep pressure effects, these blankets can calm the nervous system and stimulate relaxation to promote sleep,” says Ferguson. In one small study from 20212, parents of children with ADHD reported a significant improvement in their child’s sleep routine after implementing a weighted blanket. If your child runs hot, you might want to consider a cooling weighted blanket specifically.

Things to consider when picking a weighted blanket for kids:

Both Thrope and Ferguson recommend speaking with a medical professional before making a purchase, to confirm that it’s safe for your child to use. Weighted blankets are not recommended for children under 50 lbs, and most manufacturers recommend waiting until your child is 3 or 4 years old before trying one out. These blankets should never be used on infants.

Thrope says that, in addition to picking a safe weight for your little one, the best type of weighted blanket for a child is one that they enjoy. “Try to find a blanket the child will identify with positively, such as their favorite color or in the shape of an animal they love. If the weighted blanket feels like a favorite object, the child is more likely to turn to it when things feel challenging and learn to lean into taking care of themselves when they have big emotions.”

How we picked:

Quality

We prioritized blankets that are high quality and durable, paying close attention to any sustainability certifications. This is a tough category in terms of eco-friendliness, but our “best organic” pick delivers.

Variety

Whether your priority is keeping your hot sleeper cool or your sensory kiddo engaged, we found the best weighted blankets to fit these different needs.

Reviews

We read countless reviews and included blankets that are well-loved by parents, caregivers, and of course the kiddos that use them.

Weighted blankets can be expensive, but we made sure to include a range of price points, without sacrificing quality.

Our picks of the best weighted blankets for kids:

Best organic: Bearaby Nappling

view on Bearaby | From $139

Pros:

100% organic cotton2 weight options

Cons:

Knit design may not be warm enough

Available weights: 6 lbs8 lbs

Materials: Organic cotton

Colorways: 4 options

Return policy: 30 days

This 100% organic cotton blanket gets its 6 or 8 pound weight from the heavy (hand-knit) cotton, versus beads, which is an environmental win since many other brands use plastic. The bead-free design might also be a pro if you’re concerned about your child’s weighted blanket tearing and making a mega mess (it can happen!). This pick is pretty light for a weighted blanket, and very breathable, making it a great blanket for naps–it is called the Nappling after all. However, it may not be warm enough on its own for sleeping in cooler temperatures.

Another consideration: The brand offers 30 days for returns, but there is a $15 processing fee.

What customers say:

The Nappling gets great reviews from parents and caregivers. Most reviewers love the quality, breathability, and the lack of beads in this blanket. One person says, “This is a lovely, well-constructed blanket. Love that it is cotton; perfectly cozy and also stylish. Will likely be purchasing an adult version!” Some negative reviews are from adults who thought it was too heavy for their liking.

Best overall: Baloo Mini Blanket

view on Baloo | From $130

Pros:

Handmade in New YorkExpert recommendedNatural, chemical-free materials

Cons:

Only 1 weight option

Available weights: 9 lbs

Materials: CottonGlass beads

Colorways: 3 options

Return policy: 30 days

This New York based brand makes a variety of weighted blankets ranging from 9 to 25 pounds–and they come highly recommended by health experts such as Dave Asprey, who has praised the non-toxic materials, breathability, and the company’s environmental efforts. The mini blanket weighs in at 9 pounds, is recommended for people from ages 5 to 100, and comes in three adorable colors: Petal Pink, Indigo, and Aqua. A weighted blanket should not weigh more than 10% of the person’s body weight, so this blanket is best for children who weigh 90 pounds or more.

What stands out about these blankets is the quality materials the brand uses to make them. They’re even dyed with natural materials like indigo, mahogany leaves, bamboo, and clover. The entire blanket is made from chemical-free 100% natural cotton that’s soft, breathable, durable, and machine washable–an especially desirable quality for accident-prone kids.

What customers say:

“This small blanket (but not too small) is a “starter” weighted blanket for my 15-year-old, who wanted to test it out to relieve anxiety. She loves this blanket! The bright, cheery color just makes it better. Wonderful blanket. Have only washed it once, but it went through washer/dryer fine!”

Best cooling weighted blanket for kids: Luna Cooling Bamboo Weighted Blanket for Kids

view on Luna | From $75

Pros:

OEKO-TEX 100 CertifiedBreathable material for cooler sleep

Cons:

Only two color optionsNo kid-friendly designs

Available weights: 5 lbs10 lbs12 lbs15 lbs

Materials: Glass beadsBamboo lyocell shellPolyester fill

Colorways: 2 options

Return policy: 30 days (free)

Luna makes weighted blankets for adults and children. This quilted option uses a cool-to-the-touch bamboo lyocell fabric, designed to keep your little one cool. It contains glass beads, with four different weight options, two colors to choose from. There’s also an option for a cooling bamboo cover.

The brand says you can pop the whole blanket in the washing machine on a low, gentle setting and either hang it to dry or machine dry on low heat.

What customers say:

There aren’t any reviews specifically for this kid-sized blanket, but the larger, adult version has over 3,900 reviews, the majority of which are glowing. Many reviews speak to the blanket’s cooling properties, with one saying, “Usually I wake up in the night a few times sweaty and needing water; this has not happened with this blanket. It does keep me way cooler overnight!”

The only negative comments we found were from people who don’t like the feel of a weighted blanket in general.

Best affordable weighted blanket for kids: Sivio Kids Weighted Blanket

view on Amazon | From $35

Pros:

Several fun prints to choose fromLoops for duvet coverRave reviews from parents

Cons:

Fabric is slightly slipperyOn the smaller side

Available weights: 2 lbs3 lbs5 lbs7 lbs10 lbs

Materials: Glass beadsPolyester fillCotton shell

Colorways: 16 options

Return policy: 30 days (free)

With a straightforward design, this weighted blanket uses a cotton shell, polyester fill, and tiny glass beads distributed across many four inch squares. Where this pick shines, though, is its significantly lower price and multiple fun print options to choose from. Whether your child loves unicorns, dinosaurs, or is an aspiring astronaut, one of the 16 fun patterns available is sure to make it a fast favorite. Or, if you’d rather pop a duvet cover on this blanket, there are loops on each corner for ties.

What customers say:

With a 4.8 out of 5 stars overall, and over 6,300 reviews on Amazon, this blanked gets a lot of love. Parents rave about how much it’s helped their children, and one says, “It helps to ground my son when he’s struggling, and gives him the security he needs when he sleeps. It’s like a constant, gentle hug; just the right size and weight, with a great distribution and such fun patterns.”

Some reviewers warn that it’s a little slippery and can slide off the bed easily. And a few wish the dimensions of the five pound blanket (36 by 48 inches) were a little larger.

Softest weighted blankets for kids: Quility Weighted Blanket for Kids

view on Amazon | From $49.99

Pros:

Rave reviews on AmazonWashable fabricTons of size and weight options

Cons:

Too hot for someSome quality concerns

Available weights: 5 lbs7 lbs10 lbs12 lbs15 lbs20 lbs25 lbs30 lbs

Materials: Glass beadsCotton shellPolyester (minky) duvet

Colorways: 6 options

Return policy: 30 days

Another lower-priced pick, this weighted blanket is a favorite for its snuggly soft, dotted minky cover. The duvet-style allows you to unzip the outer cover and toss it in the washing machine, which is especially helpful if your child sleeps with this blanket every night. It comes in a wide variety of weights and sizes, too, so if you start to get envious of your kid’s weighted blanket, you can get one of your own.

What customers say:

With over 44,400 reviews and 4.7 out of 5 stars, this pick gets really great reviews on Amazon. Most people comment on the softness of this blanket, including one parent who writes, “As soon as my son tried it, he LOVED it. He says it makes him feel safe and calm. The cover itself is soft, like a stuffed animal, and the weight is so evenly distributed, I can’t even find the beads (and we’ve tried!).”

On the con side, some people say that, while it is super snuggly, their kid gets too hot in this blanket. A few others complain about some quality issues, particularly with the duvet zipper.

Best for kids with autism: Sensacalm Weighted Fidget Lap Pad

view on SensaCalm | From $60

Pros:

Seven fidget pointsPortableMade in the USA

Cons:

Not many reviewsNo free shipping

Available weights: 2 lbs5 lbs

Materials: Glass beadsFleeceDotted minkyBuckleZipperPoly fill

Colorways: 2 options

Return policy: 30 days, customer pays shipping

This weighted lap pad doubles as a fidget pad. The top layer has seven tactile fidgets for your child to engage with, while the bottom layer provides 2 or 5 pounds of evenly distributed weight from small glass beads. With a zipper, several soft minky fidgets, and a buckle to engage with, this is a great pick for any child who enjoys tactile stimulation. The brand also offers a one year warranty on this lap pad, as well as a 30-day return policy. Just note that you’ll have to pay a discounted fee for return shipping.

What customers say:

There are only a couple of reviews for this lap pad on the brand’s website, but most people are happy with their purchase. One person praises the portability of this pad writing, “Would recommend. One of the fleece fabrics has a marble you can move inside that’s fun to fidget with.”

Some folks wish there were more size options available, but SensaCalm also makes weighted blankets beyond this fidget pad that are worth looking into.

Best washable: Harkla Kids Weighted Blanket

view on Harkla | From $85

Pros:

Removable, washable duvet-style coverGenerous return policy

Cons:

Duvet corner ties could be improvedNot many color options

Available weights: 5 lbs7 lbs10 lbs15 lbs

Materials: Glass beadsDotted minky outerBamboo shell

Colorways: 3 options

Return policy: Lifetime returns

With a soft, dotted minky duvet cover, this is a great washable weighted blanket, designed specifically for kids. The company provides specialized products, courses, and an online community for parents of children with sensory challenges, autism, and ADHD. Plus, a percentage of sales go to the University of Washington Autism research center.

The duvet uses corner ties to hold a weighted bamboo and glass bead inner blanket, so it’s easy to untie the outer shell and toss it into the washing machine. There are four weight options, with three colors to choose from. The fabric is soft and snuggly, and the dotted texture is stimulating for kids with sensory challenges.

What customers say:

With over 600 reviews on the brand’s website, this blanket generally gets awesome feedback. Parents have been using these blankets for years, with rave reviews about the quality, too. “We find the blanket maintains equal distribution of weight consistently, high quality materials that maintain over time. The first blanket we bought is now 7 years old and is used by another family member. Very happy with overall quality and benefits.” Another person comments on the washability, saying “I appreciate the high quality materials used in this product and how easy it is for me to clean and re-assemble.”

However, a few folks complain that the duvet ties are slippery and that the blanket can slide out of alignment easily.

What size weighted blankets do kids need?

When it comes to measuring a weighted blanket, the general recommendation for both children and adults is to pick a weight that’s 10% of your bodyweight. For little ones, it’s extra important that they can lift the blanket off themselves without your help–so, depending on your child, you may consider going slightly lighter than 10%.

You’ll likely find most kid-sized weighted blankets in 5- or 10-pound weights. However, there are some in-between weights available, too, or lower weights for lap pads. Here’s a weighted blanket size guide so you can begin to gauge the appropriate weight for your child:

Children 50 to 60 pounds: Blanket 5 to 6 pounds

Children 60 to 80 pounds: Blanket 6 to 8 pounds

Children 80 to 100 pounds: Blanket 8 to 10 pounds

Children 100 to 120 pounds: Blanket 10 to 12 pounds

FAQ:

Can weighted blankets benefit kids with anxiety?

According to Thrope, a weighted blanket can help calm the sympathetic nervous system and reduce feelings of stress and anxiety. “For children with anxiety, it is important to empower them to develop their own coping strategies,” she says. “Children often have a stuffed animal or baby blanket that they find deep comfort in. A weighted blanket is another version of that same coping strategy.”

Can weighted blankets benefit kids with autism?

Thrope adds that, for children with autism, feeling the weight of something like a weighted blanket can be incredibly helpful in managing symptoms. “When infants are swaddled there is a certain amount of safety and security that allows them to relax and sleep,” she says. “The weighted blanket, for an appropriately aged person, can also provide that feeling of safety and comfort. We all find safe spaces and comforts that help us during difficult times; a weighted blanket is another option for gaining a feeling of security and safety.”

Who shouldn’t use a weighted blanket?

Ferguson explains that some children with sensory needs may be sensory averse, meaning they don’t like the feeling of touch or deep pressure. “These children may not like the feeling of hugs or holding hands, so they may not like the feeling of a blanket for sleep. Here, the weighted blanket may not be as effective in meeting those individual needs,” she says. When in doubt, speak with your child’s pediatrician before trying a weighted blanket.

The takeaway.

Early research and significant anecdotal evidence suggest that weighted blankets can help your child fall asleep easier, feel less anxious, and maintain a positive mood. If you’re interested in introducing a weighted blanket to your child’s routine, Ferguson and Thrope agree that it’s smart to ask your pediatrician for guidance–and Ferguson emphasizes that it’s important to remember that every child is different. “As with many things in childhood and development, you may have to try a few to find the right fit for your child. Remember each child has individual needs that may be different from the next,” she says. If reading this has made you want a weighted blanket for yourself, check out our full list of the best weighted blankets for every budget and preference.

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