Best weighted blanket 2021: Combat anxiety and insomnia

We walk you through the best weighted blankets around, plus your guide to what to look for and how weighted blankets can benefit you

best weighted blankets: Silentnight Wellbeing Weighted Blanket
(Image credit: Silentnight)

If you're looking for the best weighted blanket, you've come to the right place. We've examined blankets of all weights and prices from the key manufacturers and retailers to identify which ones are worth their weight in gold, and which ones are just lightweights.

A weighted blanket is exactly what it sounds like: a blanket with weights sewn in (usually in the form of tiny glass beads) to create a gentle, even pressure. As well as having specialist uses, weighted blankets have hit the mainstream as a solution for anyone who has trouble sleeping, or suffers from stress in general. The slight pressure is meant to be soothing, almost like a full-body hug, to reduce restlessness and aid relaxation. 

They can be used as a replacement for one of the best duvets, or for occasional use, like a regular blanket. (If you're here because you have trouble sleeping, it's worth investing in one of the best mattresses, too.) 

The market for weighted blankets is an interesting one right now. It began as a niche market for people with anxiety and sensory issues, but it really began hitting the headlines in 2017 with the incredibly successful Kickstarter campaign for the Gravity Blanket: in just a year it racked up sales of $15 million. When TIME magazine called weighted blankets one of the best inventions of 2018, sales of Gravity blankets went into orbit.

Gravity may have popularised the weighted blanket, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's the best weighted blanket for you. There are all kinds of models in all kinds of fabrics at all kinds of prices, and the most famous names may not be the best blankets. Let's discover which blankets should be on your shopping list. But first, let's take a look at exactly how these blankets work, and their benefits.

What is a weighted blanket?

A weighted blanket is just like a regular blanket, but it has tiny weights inside it so it may weigh as much as 11Kg or more, the equivalent of five heavy woolen blankets. Like normal blankets they come in a range of fabrics. Some of them have removable, washable covers so you don't need to worry about getting the whole thing into the washing machine.

What are the benefits of a weighted blanket?

The main one is better sleep quality. A weighted blanket uses the same principles as baby swaddling or the wraps that have helped people with ADHD, autism and similar sensory issues: by limiting movement without being uncomfortable, it can help us feel more secure and help us sleep more soundly for longer. 

Many people with insomnia or general trouble sleeping say they're life-changing. Some people find that weighted blankets also help with anxiety and other mental issues by helping them relax and feel safe. In general, they can be an aid to reduce restlessness and promote relaxation.

So do weighted blankets really help you sleep better? Thousands of people say that yes, weighted blankets really do help you sleep better. But you need to consider the wider environment too: your room lighting, its temperature, ambient noise and other factors that may negatively affect your sleep.

How does a weighted blanket work?

The best weighted blankets are made from a mesh of little sealed pockets filled with tiny beads or pellets. That means the weight is consistent across the whole blanket. The weight is enough to make you feel secure but not so heavy that you're uncomfortable. The weight creates something called Deep Pressure Stimulation, a similar sensation to being hugged.

How heavy should a weighted blanket be?

This is really down to personal preference, but as a rule of thumb for adults the weight of your blanket should be about one-tenth of your body weight. We wouldn't recommend going lower than around 7 per cent of your body weight or above 12 per cent. Weighted blankets aren't suitable for children aged three or under, and for children above that age err on the side of caution in terms of weight. 

You'll find that some retailers and manufacturers offer a wider range of weights than others.

Are weighted blankets safe?

For most of us, yes. But there are some circumstances in which weighted blankets shouldn't be used. If you have respiratory issues or a chronic medical condition you should speak to your doctor first, and you should never give a weighted blanket to children under three or use one if you have symptoms of COVID-19.

The best weighted blankets available now

Best weighted blanket: Silentnight Wellbeing Weighted Blanket

(Image credit: Silentnight)

1. Silentnight Wellbeing Weighted Blanket

The best weighted blanket for most people

Dimensions: 150 x 200cm
Weight: 6.8kg
Material: Microfibre (cover); polyester with glass beads (filling)
Reasons to buy
+Hypoallergenic and machine washable+Strokable, microfibre cover+All-in-one design for easy maneuvering
Reasons to avoid
-Only one weight available

We think the best weighted blanket right now is the Silentnight Wellbeing Weighted Blanket. The fabric has a nice, strokable feel without being either slippery or too plush and warm. Because it's all one piece, with the beads sewn into the cover in a grid pattern for even distribution, you won't find the inner slipping around when you're moving this blanket around. Surprisingly, it's also machine washable (on a gentle 40°C cycle), beads and all – but if you're using it as a permanent duvet, it might be best to have a sheet underneath so you don't need to wash it as often. 

The only real down-side here is the lack of different options: you've got one size, one colour and one weight only on offer here. The 6.8kg weight is not the heaviest, nor the lightest available in this list, and is a good middle ground for most adults.

best weighted blanket: John Lewis & Partners Specialist Synthetic Weighted Blanket

(Image credit: John Lewis & Partners)

2. John Lewis & Partners Specialist Synthetic Weighted Blanket

Dimensions: 150 x 200cm
Weight: 2.5, 3.5, 4.5, 7, 9 or 11.5kg
Material: Cotton (cover); glass beads, polyester (filling)
Reasons to buy
+Variety of different weight options+Stylish design+All one piece for easy maneuvering
Reasons to avoid
-Spot-clean only

Another great choice is the John Lewis & Partners Specialist Synthetic Weighted Blanket. Although there's only one colour to choose from, we think the design here is especially stylish, with a nicely textured 100% cotton cover and all-in-one design that give it the appearance of a regular blanket. There's a slight down-side here – as there's no removable cover, and the blanket itself isn't machine-washable, this option is spot-clean only. There's a wide range of weights and two different sizes to choose from, so you can pick one to suit your exact needs.

best weighted blanket: Gravity Weighted Blanket

(Image credit: Gravity)

3. Gravity Weighted Blanket

The snuggliest weighted blanket

Dimensions: 135x200cm / 155x220cm
Weight: 4, 6, 8, 10 or 12kg
Reasons to buy
+28-day trial sleep+Cosy fabric+Machine washable+Wide variety of sizes and weights
Reasons to avoid
-Inner only attached around the edges

The original pioneers of the weighted blanket trend, Gravity Blanket still makes some of the most popular options around. These blankets are designed to be super-cosy, with one plush side and one velvet side. They're hypoallergenic and available in a wide range of weights and two different sizes. 

The cosy cover is separate from the weighted inner, and attached to the outside edges using ties. This means it can be removed to be washed (cover is machine washable at 40 degrees), but it can mean the inner slips around a little as you're maneuvering it. These weighted blankets are incredibly well reviewed, with an average of 4.72 out of 5 stars across over 600 ratings. If you're not sure it'll be for you, you can take advantage of the 28-day trial period.

best weighted blanket: John Lewis & Partners kids weighted blanket

(Image credit: John Lewis & Partners)

4. John Lewis and Partners Kids' Weighted Blankets

The best weighted blanket for kids

Dimensions: 90 x 120cm / 90 x 120cm
Weight: 2kg / 3kg
Material: BCI cotton and micro plush (cover); polyester wadding, glass beads (filling)
Reasons to buy
+Range of kid-friendly prints+Two different sizes/weights for different ages
Reasons to avoid
-Not machine washable

John Lewis & Partners sells a range of kids' weighted blankets in different prints. As well as this Marvel Spider-Man design, there's a Pixar Toy Story blanket, a Disney Frozen blanket, and a more subtle star print option, so you can pick one depending on your child's preferences. The blanket is made from breathable cotton on the top side, with a micro plush underside. A word of warning though, it's spot-clean only, so you'll need to be wary of spillages and accidents.

All of these designs are available as either 2kg, 90x120cm blanket, designed for younger children, or a 3kg, 25-40kg blanket for older and bigger children. Remember, weighted blankets are not suitable for children aged 3 or under, and make sure you read through the guidelines on the John Lewis website before purchasing. 

best weighted blankets: Nectar Sumo Weighted Blanket

(Image credit: Nectar)

5. Nectar Sumo Weighted Blanket

An eco-friendly weighted blanket with a silky feel

Dimensions: 135 x 200cm
Weight: Not stated
Material: Bamboo (cover); cotton, polyester and glass beads (filling)
Reasons to buy
+100 night trial and 2-year warranty+Eco-friendly, washable bamboo cover
Reasons to avoid
-Cover only attached around the edges-Fabric creases easily

Nectar makes some of the best mattresses around right now, and a newer addition to its sleep accessory offerings is the Sumo Weighted Blanket. This eco-friendly option has a natural bamboo cover, and comes with Nectar's 100-night trial, so you can make absolutely sure it's the right choice for you.

The design of this weighted blanket comes in two parts: the weighted inner section can be taken out of the cover. There are pros and cons to this. On the plus side, you can easily strip off the cover to wash it in the washing machine, which is great if you want to use it as a permanent duvet. On the down side, it does mean the weighted section can slip around a bit when you're maneuvering the blanket – an issue that's exacerbated slightly by the silky texture of the cover. Overall, we'd say this is best suited to someone who's planning on having their weighted blanket out on their bed the whole time, rather than for occasional use as a blanket.