Best Weighted Blanket for Adults
Top 5 out of 70
Our list and ratings of the best weighted blanket for adults are fruit of over 5,000 work hours, and 11 months of testing and statistical analysis of 70 products.
Since the choice of a weighted blanket highly depends on the issue you’re trying to address; it’s the user satisfaction that had the most impact on the final overall rating.
We rated the blankets in a few objective categories like fiber & filling quality, craftsmanship & shape retention, but the most important quality aspect are the sensory qualities.
Last updated: August, 2018
What to look for – let Andy help
To maintain complete objectivity, we decided not to accept any free products and bought the blankets we tested at retail (like anyone would).
Also, to keep the information relevant, this guide is updated quarterly to include any new data available. With all that said, let us get straight to the results.
Best weighted blanket for adults – TOP 5
List of top picks last updated: August, 2018
CALMFORTER Premium sensory blanket for adults
What’s different about the Calmforter?
Since we put together the first results and ratings, the Calmforter weight blanket stood out along with a few products in each monthly update. This was only a few months into testing and gathering data for the user satisfaction category.
As the sample of data processed grew, the gap in user satisfaction rating grew, and a few products obviously stood out, with the “Calmforter” reaching an unexpected rating of 97/100 in owner satisfaction.
The interesting thing is that, when we did see it, it was with products that were significantly more expensive, which is not the case here.
- User satisfaction 97%
- Sensory impact 96%
- Positive sleep impact 94%
- Materials quality & craftmanship 94%
- Value for money 94%
We’d like to stress 3 things as the bottom line:
1. The Calmforter outranked some significantly more expensive products
2 . The statistical analysis of price vs. satisfaction brings is what gave this product a high rating in the “value for money” category, in spite of the fact that it is slightly more expensive that its closest competitors.
3. It is one of the most popular products in the niche with hundreds of review from users on Amazon.
On the subjective side, what we liked the most about the Calmforter is the non-therapeutic look and vivid color combos – from earthy creams, browns and grays to vivid green, blue and purple.
We can’t think of a space that the Calmforter (in one of the five colors) won’t work for.
2nd best weighted blanket for adults – The Magic sensory
Who will choose the Magic blanket?
- User satisfaction 95%
- Sensory impact 96%
- Positive sleep impact 92%
- Materials quality & craftmanship 94%
- Value for money 90%
Harkla sensory blanket for Anxiety, ADHD & Autism
Who will choose the Harkla?
- User satisfaction 93%
- Sensory impact 94%
- Positive sleep impact 91%
- Materials quality & craftmanship 94%
- Value for money 95%
ZonLi Cotton weighted sensory blanket
Who is Zonli a good choice for?
- User satisfaction 96%
- Sensory impact 93%
- Positive sleep impact 90%
- Materials quality & craftmanship 91%
- Value for money 91%
- User satisfaction 97%
- Sensory impact 96%
- Positive sleep impact 92%
- Materials quality & craftmanship 93%
- Value for money 90%
Inyard Premium (for teens and “smaller” adults)
With a user satisfaction of 93 % at the time of completing the last update of this guide, an honorary mention comes from Inyard – a company that’s famous for making specialized Therapy swings.
The product is primarily aimed at teens and “smaller “adults, with the sizes and weights (5, 7 and 15 lbs).
The Inyard is top-to-bottom made in the US, both the craftsmanship and materials quality are top-tier. If this reads like advertising, it’s not; it’s simply facts.
But we have to say that we liked the Inyard so much that it’s the only weighted blankets for teens we’re including here.
The initial concept of the guide was to pinpoint the top products for adults. The fact that we deviated from that “rule” to mention Inyard speaks for itself.
So, this month’s update brings slights change in ratings. However, the ranking of the top gravity blankets did not “budge” still. We continue to monitor and collect data and update our ratings accordingly.
An important upcoming update – a slight change in new-arrival weighted blanket reviews
One “series” of products we are currently working on are products from companies like Mosaic. Mosaic is one of the bigger players in the industry and, based on what we’ve seen so far, shows promise that at least one of their products will find a way to to the top.
Also, we are currently working on improving our rating system to make the stats more sophisticated and sensitive to any change in quality. It’s our hope that that new and improved methodology will improve the precision.
What changed in our rating process
Not much really, we’re simply looking into some new arrivals which are yet to meet the minimal requirement in terms of data volume we need (more on that in a second).
For those of you who are familiar with our website or a regular reader, you’ll notice that this month’s update brings only slight changes in ratings and no change in the order of Top 5.
As we mentioned, we did tweaking our reviewing and rating process a bit to adjust to new arrivals. We used to have a stricter “maturity” policy – meaning that we only included products with a certain numbers of experinces shared (typically it was 100). We brought that down a peg to rate the new arrivals faster.
We just took a moment here to explain the important parts of our updates and reviewing policy to help you understand what the bases are for the above ratings.
Reference info & FAQs
What is a weighted blanket?
Weighted blankets are products designed to offer relief to people with anxiety, sleep and sensory response problems. Initially they were designed as the therapeutic but have outgrown the concept and entered the mainstream of sleep aids.
Why do they work?
They work because they calm down the “fight or flight” response, lower the cortisol levels and increase mood and sleep hormones like serotonin and melatonin.
They can soothe the part of our nervous system that we can’t control (Autonomic).
Two parts of the Autonomic system are Sympathetic and Parasympathetic – the former is “responsible” for feeling anxious because its role is to prepare us for physical activity and the latter does the opposite – calms you down and prepares you to sleep or rest.
More on the differences between the two here.
Through Deep Pressure Stimulation, a good weighted blanket can calm the Sympathetic system down and switch to Parasympathetic responses.
If you’re a Friends fan and remember Chandler’s line, “It’s like a giant hug,” that probably explains it better than any scientific lingo.
Do they work for sleep and insomnia?
There is significant evidence in studies that weighted blankets do work for sleep disorders and insomnia.
A study conducted by the Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology of the Gothenburg University and the Clinical and Experimental Medicine Department of the Linkoping University showed that a weighted blanket has a measurable positive impact in people with insomnia.
You can see the full findings of the study reported here by the Journal of Sleep Medicine and Disorders.
The concept as we know it today can be traced back to Dr. Temple Grandin and her invention of the “squeeze machine”. She published the findings based on a decade of research in 1992 – you can see the full paper here.
Where can I buy a weighted blanket?
In our research for this guide, we had numerous sources we looked at. It’s our opinion that (for the ones that available on the site) getting a weighted blanket on Amazon has a few advantages. The main one is that you can read the reviews users shared and look for the ones that closely match your circumstances or condition.
For some of the brands (like Brookstone) were not available on Amazon. In the case of Brookstone, you could get one through their website or at Bed Bath and Beyond.
Some brands can be found both on Amazon and at Bed Bath and Beyond. In our research, we were left with the impression that the main benefit of getting one through Amazon is the wider range of the products offered as well as more user reviews shared.
How heavy should a weighted blanket be?
A weighted blanket should weigh about 10 % of your body weight plus 1-2 lbs.
This is the formula commonly used for kids and teens. For adults, this means that the weight goes as high as 25-40 lbs (Queen or King size designed for heavier people). Our research also shows that the weight adults found to be “just right” largely depends on the sensory condition.
The final choice of the blanket you use should always be a combo of the advice you get from your therapist, and your preference, the information we provide here are for educational purposes and reference.
You can get a good sense of how the blanket will feel in term of weight by simply gathering the blankets you have laying around and pilling them on. If you try this, ignore the feeling of the heat and focus on how the weight feels. The actual product will not be as warm; it should offer the calming effect of the added weight without heating you up too much and, in some cases, even cool you down.
Sizes range from smaller (dedicated sizes) to Queen and King weighted blankets.
When we say “Queen” and “King” we’re referring to sizes that are large enough for those bed sizes, not the size chart for blankets. Here’s what we mean by that – a classic Queen size blanket would be 96 x 108 “, none of these are that big – the largest one we found is Ynm King size, which is 80 x 87”.
The size is another important factor because the bigger the blanket, the more of it will be on the surface not directly pressing your body. For example, a 60 x 80″ size will press you more than 80 x 78 ” (of the same weight). It is common sense and pretty straightforward, but we found it to be a commonly overlooked aspect.
All of the best weighted blankets (including our top 5) come with recommendations on how to wash the product. So, the following analysis is included more for reference purposes than anything else, to help you in the initial process of choosing and if you to make a diy blanket and have dilemmas about the materials.
Fleece is a sensitive material, but we feel that there is misconception about washing it. The changes in texture and shape are, more often than not, a result of aggressive detergents or washing cycles.
To prevent fleece losing its “fluffy” quality, you’ll want to wash in using warm (not hot) cycles on your washing machine and go with low-heat drying cycles. It’s a good idea to rinse it twice before drying it. This will remove any remaining detergent that might change the texture in the long run.
Finally, fleece is one of the few materials used that handles softeners well in the long run without loosing shape.
If the weighted blanket is all-cotton (both the backing and finish), you have a bit more leeway when washing it.
The important part when washing cotton blanket is what we like to call “load control.” It comes down to not overburdening your washing machine and washing it separately.
The reason is two-fold – it’s gentler to the washing machine and the tear and wear of the blanket are lower.
Flannel is sub-type of cotton. Proper maintenance comes down to a few main rules:
- no hot cycles (wash it with warm or cold water)
- don’t over-dry it (as soon as the drying cycle is finished, remove the blanket)
- rinse twice to maintain the softness
Rayon and linen
Some of the best weighted blankets are made using a combo of rayon and linen because it has superb shape retention properties while remaining “on the soft side.” These fabrics include cellulose which doesn’t respond well to bleaching. You might not see it when washing, but in the long run, it will affect the lifespan of the fibers.
A brief history
The products that we mention in this guide and label as best weighted blankets in their respective categories are significantly different from the product that kick-started the industry, both in design, materials used and a range of people they’re intended for.
The origins go back to the sensory disorders. Psychiatrists experimented with weight as means of calming down the sensory response for far too long and pinpointing one person as the inventor is not straightforward.
Initially, the experiments were just about adding weight. The approach proved to have a “red line” because, at higher weights, the response has a negative in fact, it can exacerbate the sensory response and make the person even more anxious because they feel trapped.
The discovery that caused the most significant shift in the industry and led to the designs we know today is the even weight distribution. That’s when people stopped experimenting with (what now seems an obviously counterproductive practice) of attaching actual weights to the edges of blankets and lap pads (more trivia here).
Even the first modern designs had a similar issue because they relied on a one-chamber filling. This filling would move through the blanket and end up in the corners with prolonged use. The corners and edges would then become too heavy causing the blanket to slide or the used to feel trapped.
The evolution – DIY weighted blankets in the autism community
First attempts of addressing the issue were nothing to write home about because they relied on simply filling the blankets and pads with more of the same filling or adding other stuffing that was supposed to stop the beads from moving. It didn’t work as expected – it only made the blankets bigger and more cumbersome.
Here, we’re still talking about the DIY sensory blankets, hand-made for kids and adults with special needs. There was still no standard for the filling and people used whatever provided a similar effect (from rice and corn to pebbles). None of these were a lasting solution – the seeds can sprout and cause issues ranging from the change in the way the blanket feels to allergic reactions while the pebbles proved to be too rugged and would wear down the materials of the cloth.
Chambered (quilted) design
It was only when chambered designed and tight stitches that hold the beads in place was introduced that things changed. It seems like an obvious change, but it took years to get there.
The sectional designs pair the calming effects of weight with deep sensory pressure. We could get into the nitty-gritty of the science here but, for the purposes of this guide, it’s enough to explain as even weight distribution.
What the future holds
We don’t see any revolutionary changes happening in the designs anytime soon.
We do expect a more diverse market in terms of pellet and bead size. This would allow further personalization of the calming effect.
History and predictions aside, let us get back to where we are today and answer some of the frequently asked questions about weighted blankets.
Modern designs & cooling materials
What we know as a weighted blanket today combined the sectional design (usually quilted squares) with poly-pellets and glass beads. Both are spherical, and the main difference is the density of the materials.
As we mentioned in one of the reviews, poly-pellets make for a more “aerated” feel while the fine glass, sand-like spheres make for thinner blankets. This also means that, with other things equal, the bigger ones will perfom better at dissipating heat.
For example, 15 lbs doesn’t feel the same if distributed over a 60 x 80 and 48 x 72 inches, the former will feel cooler.
Lastly, some of the modern materials have cooling properties (like natural bamboo viscose) so that the added weight doesn’t feel hot – a good example of that is the YnM Cooling – you can see it on Amazon here.
In case you are the kind of buyer that likes to understand all about the product they’re buying of you want to make a DIY weighted blanket, you might want to know what kind of filling is most commonly used.
No. 1 filling are poly-pellets. When we say “no.1,” we’re primarily referring to how frequent the filling is used in the best weighted blankets we reviewed.
The poly-pellets are made from non-recycled, toxin-free pieces and look like round bits. The texture resembles that of a small pebble. If this is one of your concerns and you want something that feels more uniform, you’ll probably prefer glass beads of sand filling.
The glass-bead filling sounds different than it is. If you didn’t know it was glass-based, you’d have the impression that it’s sand. In fact, some of the glass beads feel even finer than the finest sand.
Because the weight is distributed more evenly and less likely to move to the corners of the blanket or cover, we’ve seen people reporting that the subjective feeling of glass-bead or sand filling “feels” like it has more weight that one filled with plastic pellets.
Volume of the filling
You’ll probably need about two times as much (in terms of volume) of plastic pellets than glass beads to fill a “pocket” of the same weight.
This means that the plastic filling will feel more “rackety” and uneven and will be thicker, while glass or sand makes for a thinner weighted blanket.
In our experience, we’ve seen that people preferred the “aerated” feel of the poly to sand or glass and most of our top have this type of feeling. The exception is the category of a king size weighted blanket, for a few reasons.
We found the glass filling to be superior in larger sizes.
Besides the most important factor (the user satisfaction) we found that some products have too big of a surface to keep the filling in place. As a result, most of the products in “King size” we looked at had the issue of too much movement inside the quilting.
Gravity blanket review
After the launch through Kickstarter, Gravity blanket became one of the most popular brands.
It’s so popular, in fact, that there’s even a confusion in the terminology and we’ve seen many people confusing the name of the brand with the product (weighted blanket).
- Weight (sizes) available: 25, 20 and 15 lbs
- Technology: Gravity calls it “Deep Touch Pressure Stimulation.”
- Inner material: cotton
- Filling: premium grade, toxin-free
- Outer finish: Micro-fleece, super-soft
At the time of the last update to the Gravity blanket review, there wasn’t enough data for us to rate it. We hope we’ll get there by the next update.
Queen size weighted blanket for adults
ZonLi is the 4th highest rated product overall and out top pick in this size category. It’s 60″ wide, 80″ long and weighs 20 pounds. The pellets are standard (poly) and are packed inside a cotton “chambers” (square quilt stitching). It comes in 4 colors: Black, Navy Blue, Dark Gray and Brown – you can skip back to its analysis by clicking here.
With Queen sized linen being more popular (thank King), the choices you have in the size are similar to our top overall picks.
ZonLi is the 4th highest rated overall and out top pick in this size category. The size closest to Queen is 60″ wide, 80″ long and weighs 20 pounds. The pellets are standard (poly) and are packed inside a cotton “chambers” (square quilt stitching). It comes in 4 colors: Black, Navy Blue, Dark Gray and Brown – you can skip back to it’s analysis by clicking here.
Product closest in size to a King size weighted blanket with the highest satisfaction ratings (84/100) comes from YnM. It measures 80 x 87 inches and weighs 25 pounds.
The filling is sand pellets while the finish is 100 cotton. It comes in a range of colors and patterns but the “issue” we’ve seen here is that not all of them are available in the largest size.
King weighted blankets are scarce and cost a peg more, which is to be expected, especially of this quality. They’re made for adults, and that’s one of the reasons the YnM in King size is not available in all colors and patterns (because some of the patterns are playful, colorful and obviously intended for kids).
The sand pellets used are certified to be free of any odor and completely non-toxic.
Weighted lap pads
Besides the standard sizes used for sleeping, the product is also available in specialized sizes, like weighted lap pads for adults and kids. We found the former to be scarce and only a few high-quality products in this size category had a satisfaction rating if over 80% in user reviews.
Our top pick in the category is Sensory Goods weighted lap pad.
Sizes and weights of the weighted lap pad available:
- Small: 12 x 16 inches (3 pounds)
- Medium: 14.5 x 19.5 ” (5 pounds)
- Large: 17 x 23 inches (7 pounds)
- Materials used: fleece and flannel
- User satisfaction rating of the weighted lap pad: 93 %
It’s available in 7 neutral colors with no patterns (green, blue, burgundy, pink, navy, tan & denim). The sizing, weight and colors make it an option for adults and kids both.
An issue that we’ve seen with other similar products is uneven weight distribution of the filling (usually glass/sand beads). They tend to shift and move around if the stitching of the parts is not deep or tight enough.
The filling in this weighted lap pad is deep and tight, and the beads can only move within their “section” and not throughout the lap pad.
Updates of the guide on best weighted blankets for adults
Our standard update schedule is monthly for the parts of the ratings that are data-driven (like the satisfaction ratings and user reviews). You can always see when this guide was last updated under the table of TOP 5 (click here to skip back to it) as well as at the very end of the guide (below).
Finally, we encourage you to ask any question that comes to mind in the comments below. We respond within 24 hours, but since we consulted 3rd party experts for this guide, it might take us a day or two to answer some questions. In other words, if we don’t know the answer, we’ll let you know, find out and get back to you.
Sleep well and stay calm,
The Sleep Studies review team