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According to Dr. Shaun Nanavati a neuroscientist, psychologist and Chief Science Officer of the anxiety management app, AQ, symptoms of acute fanxiety could include sweaty palms, rapid breathing and, he jests, the “Urge to cover your eyes and hide behind the furniture.”
And while Nanavati says there are a number of stretches and breathing exercises that could help you relax, many people are also reaching for the covers — specifically a weighted blanket to help them stay calm.
If you’re having trouble falling asleep or are looking for a way to relieve some tension after a stressful day, you’ll want to consider curling up under a weighted blanket while watching soccer on the couch or in bed at night.
What Are the Best Weighted Blankets?
The best weighted blankets use light pressure to keep your body stable and supported in bed, preventing the dreaded tossing and turning that often keeps you awake. Most weighted blankets (sometimes referred to as “pressure blankets”) are constructed with a quilt-like design, with patches or “pockets” that contain thousands of tiny glass beads inside. Like a bean bag pillow or heating pad, the glass beads are evenly dispersed throughout the blanket, and help to form a gentle seal around your joints and limbs. (The beads are often surrounded by padding or extra fill, so they won’t make noise, even if you flip the blanket around).
These days, manufacturers are also making new weighted blankets that forgo the beads in favor of using the natural weight of the materials. One of our favorite blankets is made from a thick knit, that gets all its weight from the chunky cotton yard used in its construction.
A good weighted blanket should feel heavy, so it’ll take a few nights to get used to it. That said, the best weighted blankets are also made with breathable materials, so you’ll never feel suffocated or sweaty underneath. Look for blankets that are machine-washable too, so you can easily keep it clean.
What Are the Benefits of a Weighted Blanket?
The best weighted blankets do more than just keeping you still in bed. When wrapped around you, the weighted blanket can simulate the feeling of a hug (often referred to as “deep touch muscle simulation”), helping you feel coddled and held. The glass beads and stiffer construction of the blanket (you can’t just “fling” it around) could also help to ease muscle tension, the same way say, a hot compress helps after a workout. Manufacturers also claim that when an evenly dispersed weight is placed on the body, natural hormones are released that help to calm you down. A final benefit: a weighted blanket helps to block out stimulation, by keeping you and your limbs in place. You’re less likely to reach for your phone, for example, or slip out of bed to grab that remote.
What Size Weighted Blanket Should You Get?
There are two factors to consider when shopping for a weighted blanket: your personal weight and the size of your bed. The latest weighted blankets come in sizes for twin, queen and king beds. Keep in mind, a weighted blanket is meant to be smaller than your duvet, as it’s meant to cradle your body, not cover your entire bed.
Weighted blankets also come in different weights, typically ranging from 5-8 pounds for a weighted blanket for kids, and 10-20 pounds for adults. Most manufacturers recommend purchasing a blanket that’s about 10% of your body weight.
If you’re sharing a bed, and you and your partner greatly differ in weight, consider getting two separate twin-sized blankets. Otherwise, a king-size weighted blanket is best for sharing.
What Are the Best Weighted Blanket Brands?
As someone who’s always had trouble falling asleep — and staying asleep — a weighted blanket has helped me immensely in staying calm and relaxed at night. I get up less in the middle of the night, have stopped tossing and turning, and wake up feeling more refreshed and less groggy. Here are five of my favorite weighted blankets to try right now.
1. YnM Weighted Blanket
The original YnM weighted blanket is one of the best-selling weighted blankets online, with thousands of five-star reviews on Amazon. YnM says its unique “seven-layer” construction makes the blanket more flexible and promotes better airflow.
The blanket features the same quilted design as other weighted blankets, but the pockets are slightly smaller (about 4.7 x 4.7 inches). That helps the blanket better contour to the shape of your body. We like the durability of this blanket, which holds up to repeated use without losing its shape; it’s machine-washable too. Choose from more than a dozen weights and sizes — the 15-pound weighted blanket is a best-seller.
2. Gravity Cotton Weighted Blanket
All weighted blankets offer some degree of coziness but Gravity Blankets makes one that you can really snuggle up with. Their blankets feature a removable cover that’s made from soft and smooth 300 thread-count cotton. The material is also super breathable too, so you feel cuddled — not claustrophobic.
Gravity Blankets also makes the best-looking weighted blankets on the market. The company has teamed up with award-winning artist and designer Ron Chereskin (and his Modernist brand) in the past, and their current offerings include subtle prints, stripes and patterns to add a touch of modern flair to the traditional weighted blanket.
The removable cover makes it easy to wash — and easy to switch up your look, say, with a flannel weighted blanket in the winter and Gravity’s cooling blanket in the summer.
3. Casper Sleep Weighted Blanket
Casper has become a leader in the mattress space, so it makes sense that they would extend their expertise to blankets. I’ve been using a Casper weighted blanket for over a year now and I’ve found myself tossing and turning less in bed and generally sleeping more soundly (I say “generally” because if I’ve had a coffee before bed and can’t fall asleep, that’s really my own fault and has nothing to do with the blanket).
The cotton twill material Casper uses isn’t as soft and cozy as some of the other blankets on our list, but it feels more breathable, and at 15 pounds, I don’t find myself sweating under the weight during the hotter summer months. This blanket is only available in one size – 50 x 70 inches. It’s great for a single person but won’t be large enough to fit two people or cover a bed.
4. Bearaby Cotton Napper
I keep one of these chunky knit Bearaby blankets on my couch, and it works great as a weighted wrap for movie night, or as an extra blanket for when guests stay over. The blanket is hand-woven using organic cotton yarn that’s naturally weighted — no glass beads or artificial stuffing here. A touch of spandex helps the blanket stretch and mold to your body.
The Napper is fully machine-washable (though we recommend air drying to help maintain its shape). Choose from six different colors and four different weights. Sizing is on the smaller side, ranging from 40 x 72 inches to 48 x 72 inches.
What we like: Bearaby also just introduced a weighted blanket for kids. The kid-sized “Nappling” weighs just eight pounds and is available in four fun colors (we’re partial to the “confetti” colorway here).
5. Layla Weighted Blanket
Another weighted blanket from a mattress company, this one from Layla is one of our favorites. It’s made from a super soft fleece cover with a 300 thread-count cotton sheet backing. Like most weighted blankets, it’s made with tiny glass beads sewn into individual pockets. The difference though, is that Layla adds a polyester batting to fill in the little gaps between the beads. What that means: a quieter blanket with less “clicking and clacking” when you move the blanket around.
This is the softest blanket on our list and the mink-like fur (don’t worry, it’s vegan-friendly) goes a long way towards helping you doze off. We also like how well the weighted blanket stays put; even if you’re prone to kicking off the blankets at night, this one won’t budge. Choose from three sizes (twin to king) and weights from 15 to 25 pounds.
6. Nest Bedding Weighted Blanket
You already know Nest Bedding for their selection of top-rated mattresses, but the company recently introduced a weighted blanket that’s become our go-to for well, nesting on the couch.
The Nest Luxury Weighted Blanket weighs 18 pounds for the queen size, which in our testing, is the perfect weight for extra deep pressure stimulation — you feel held in place without feeling held down.
Unlike some blankets, which can be cheaply-made and scratchy, the Nest weighted blanket has a silky soft jersey material on one side and a bamboo-based blend on the other. Both are gentle on your skin and easy to cozy up to, no matter which side you choose.
What we like: Sewn-in corner loops let you quickly attach a duvet cover to the blanket, making it an essential part of your bedspread and bedtime routine.
7. Luna Weighted Blanket
Luna’s weighted blanket is one of the most beloved blankets in our book, thanks to its hypoallergenic material, wide coverage and versatile design. The blanket is made from a natural cotton fabric that’s Oeko-Tex certified to be free from chemicals, along with non-toxic glass beads. Smaller, denser pockets ensure that more of your body is supported by the blanket. The blanket is heavy enough to make you feel “hugged” but slim enough to throw it over your shoulders on the couch or to adjust around on the bed if necessary.
Choose from more than a dozen sizes, weights, and 14 different prints and patterns (including kids’ designs as well).