With so many weighted blanket options out there, finding the right one for you can feel impossible. Keep these weighted blanket characteristics in mind, though, and you’ll be curling up under your ideal weighted blanket in no time.

By Lauren Phillips
Updated March 12, 2019
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Katherine Frey/The Washington Post/Getty Images

Weighted blankets are undoubtedly having a moment. Everyone from Amazon to Target is selling the weighted sleep aids, and tons of new companies have popped up with their own takes on weighted blankets for adults and kids alike. You can grab a weighted blanket on your next Walmart visit or order one online from dozens of different retailers—but all these options mean you have some decisions to make.

Knowing which weighted blankets are good quality and which ones are right for you and your needs can be difficult, especially when you realize that the so-called best weighted blankets also tend to be the priciest ones. Weighted blankets can improve sleep, decrease stress and anxiety, and otherwise boost your mood and attitude, but that still doesn’t mean you want to break your monthly budget to purchase what is, at the end of the day, a blanket—even if it is a weighted blanket for insomnia.

Katherine Frey/The Washington Post/Getty Images

Katherine Frey/The Washington Post/Getty Images

As with any purchase, you’ll want to do your research before committing to a weighted blanket. Ask around for recommendations from people who use weighted blankets, and look carefully at the product descriptions of potential options for the factors outlined below. These major weighted blanket characteristics—weight, size, filler type, cover material, and price—can help you find a weighted blanket that will work with your sleep preferences and budget while (hopefully) making sure you’re getting a good deal.

Whether you’re shopping for yourself or scoping out weighted blankets for kids, keeping an eye out for these elements will help you make the best decision possible. Once that’s finished, you just have to figure out how to wash a weighted blanket.

As the name would imply, a weighted blanket is all about heaviness. The whole concept behind them is that they exert just enough pressure on the body to soothe the central nervous system, similarly to how a hug can help you relax, and lead to deeper, more restful sleep.

The general rule of thumb is to find a weighted blanket that is 10 percent of your body weight. (A 150-pound person would want a 15-pound blanket, for example.) The weight likely won’t be exactly 10 percent, but you want it to be close; whether you err on the side of too light or too heavy is up to you. Too light, and you may not get the benefits you’re hoping for; too heavy, and you might feel constricted.

Weighted blankets that weigh as little as five pounds are available for children weighing 50 pounds and more. (For smaller children, consult a doctor before purchasing a weighted blanket.) Going a little heavier, so children can grow into their blankets, may be a good option, especially if you hope to use the blanket for years to come.

Most blankets are made for a single user at a time and are about the size of a throw blanket. Some companies do offer larger weighted blankets for couples wanting to sleep under the same blanket, but double-check the dimensions before purchasing to be sure there’s room for both of you underneath. Taller-than-average individuals may want to check the dimensions of blanket options carefully to make sure they’re long enough.

Weighted blankets can be filled with plastic, glass, or foam beads. (Glass beads are the current pick for best weighted blanket filler for their durability, but every blanket is made differently.) A filler is the most common weighting mechanism, though some weighted blankets—such as those from Bearaby—use weighted weaves, instead.

Picking a blanket with a good filler is key: Low-quality fillers can get squished or end up bunched on one end of the blanket. Look for blankets with a durable filler material that has mechanisms like gridded stitching or clasps to keep the weight evenly distributed. The downside of these more durable blankets is that they tend to cost more, but they’re likely to last much longer.

Weighted blankets with fillers tend to have a detachable duvet-like cover. These covers serve several purposes, including easier washing (the actual weighted blanket will need to be washed less than the exterior cover), temperature control, and the option to swap duvet colors and materials without having to purchase a whole new blanket. In the summer, the cover can even be removed, to make sleeping under the blanket cooler.

The classic weighted blanket cover is a soft microfiber, but bamboo and specially made cooling covers are also available. Anyone who tends to get hot at night will want to look for a cover with some sort of cooling or moisture-wicking material—weighted blankets can trap a lot of heat even when the covers are removed, and the last thing you want is to buy a blanket that you can’t sleep under.

Any well-intentioned weighted blanket shopper can be scared off by the surprisingly high prices. Many high-quality options—including some of our favorites, Reviv, Bearaby, and Gravity—regularly sell for around $250 or more. (The highly reviewed Quility weighted blankets cost around $150, which certainly seems more moderate.) More affordable options are out there, many of which cost less than $100, but be sure to check their materials carefully if you’re prioritizing durability and longevity.

When purchasing a weighted blanket for a child, consider how long the child will be able to use the blanket as he or she grows—if it’s a relatively short amount of time, it may be worth it to purchase a budget blanket, because it won’t matter quite as much if the blanket doesn’t last years.