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.
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.
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, Ph.D. "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:
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.
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.
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 overall: Baloo Mini Blanket
- Handmade in New York
- Expert recommended
- Natural, chemical-free materials
- Only 1 weight option
New York–based brand Baloo designs weighted blankets using nontoxic materials that come in weights between 9 and 25 pounds. Already a favorite of health expert Dave Asprey, the company focuses on creating environmentally friendly weighted blankets that emphasize natural materials. For example, the 100% cotton blankets are dyed with indigo, mahogany leaves, bamboo, and clover rather than chemicals.
Due to the inclusion of small glass beads, the brand recommends this blanket for children who are at least 5 years old. We also suggest limiting use to kids who are at least 90 pounds, due to the 10% rule for weighted blankets. As long as your kid meets both requirements, they'll get a handful of fun neutral colors to choose from: Petal Pink, Indigo, and Aqua.
What's more, the breathable blanket is also machine washable, making it a standout choice for accident-prone kiddos. It can even go into the dryer—but the company warns to keep an eye on the blanket, as the design can dry in as little as 20 minutes.
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!"
- OEKO-TEX 100 Certified
- Breathable material for cooler sleep
- Only two color options
- No kid-friendly designs
While weighted blankets may feel like a plush hug, they often run extra warm due to the added materials needed to create the sensation. Luna reduces the user's risk of overheating by using a cool-to-the-touch bamboo lyocell fabric designed to keep your little one cool. Available in four weight options from 5 to 15 pounds, the downsized version of the brand's beloved full-sized blanket contains glass beads dispersed in quilted pockets to retain even weight distribution.
Choose from two colorways: navy blue or light gray. While both do a great job of hiding spills, the blanket is also machine washable and safe to toss in the dryer on low heat. It also has eight corner ties, so you can easily cover it with a duvet for added personality.
What customers say:
There aren't any reviews specifically for this kid-sized blanket, but the adult version has more than 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: Sivio Kids Weighted Blanket
- Several fun prints to choose from
- Loops for duvet cover
- Rave reviews from parents
- Fabric is slightly slippery
- On the smaller side
With a straightforward design, this weighted blanket uses a cotton shell, polyester fill, and tiny glass beads distributed across many 4-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 blanket 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 5-pound blanket (36 by 48 inches) were a little larger.
Softest weighted blankets for kids: Quility Weighted Blanket for Kids
- Rave reviews on Amazon
- Washable fabric
- Tons of size and weight options
- Too hot for some
- Some quality concerns
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
- Seven fidget points
- Made in the USA
- Not many reviews
- No free 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
- Removable, washable duvet-style cover
- Generous return policy
- Duvet corner ties could be improved
- Not many color options
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 body weight. 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
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.
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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