Just like parents (and plant moms) can’t stop gushing over their precious little ones, anyone who’s ever tried the best weighted blankets can’t stop talking about how wonderfully life-changing they are. We’ve heard everything from: “I’m so comfortable and so relaxed” to “I’m having the most bizarre, deep dreams—and waking up feeling incredible.” But it’s hard to judge a weighted blanket’s sleep-inducing powers without ever having cozied up under one. Can you be a hot sleeper and not sweat to death with a weighted blanket? Are these dense, grey contraptions going to ruin your bedroom’s Scandi-cool vibes? Is a weighted blanket nothing but hype?
So. Many. Questions. So we went to the experts to answer them. Then, we put the blankets to the test ourselves. For weeks, Glamour staffers tossed and turned under weighted blankets to find the ones actually worth your money. Ahead, the 12 best weighted blankets to shop in 2020—and answers to questions flooding the Internet about them.
What is a weighted blanket?
“Weighted blankets are essentially heavy blankets initially designed for therapeutic uses,” says Eddie Huai, CEO and co-founder of Luna Wellness. He explains that most weighted blankets get their weight through a fill of small glass beads or tiny plastic pellets that are distributed evenly across tiny squares. It basically means you’ll never have a saggy corner—or limp edges hanging off the side of your bed.
Can weighted blankets help with anxiety?
The jury’s out on whether a weighted blanket actually works but the gist is that it can be a calming strategy for anxiety, stress, and sleepless nights. The blanket’s evenly-distributed weight is a form of “deep pressure stimulation,” which Dr. Michael Breus, a.k.a. The Sleep Doctor says is the same gentle feeling you get when you’re being hugged or massaged. (If you ask us, it’s the next best thing to a big fluffy cat sinking into your lap.)
“As research shows, deep pressure stimulation decreases the activity of the body’s sympathetic nervous system—that’s the system that promotes alertness and vigilance and responds to stressful stimuli. It’s the “fight or flight” division of the nervous system,” Breus says. “At the same time, deep pressure stimulation increases activity of the parasympathetic nervous system, which is sometimes called the “rest and digest” system. When it’s activated, it lowers heart rate and blood pressure and increases relaxation and feelings of calm.”
Do weighted blankets work?
The science is limited, but the most quoted study is one from 2015, which examined the effects of deep pressure stimulation from weighted blankets. “[The study] found a 33% reduction in stress, as measured by a test of physiological signs of arousal,” says Breus. “Among the participants, 63% reported feeling a decrease in anxiety, and 78% said they found using a weighted blanket a preferable way to increase their level of calm.”
Are weighted blankets hot?
They can be—but if you tend to wake up dripping in sweat, there are cooling ones. “People who sleep hot should choose a weighted blanket made with glass beads, which do not retain heat (as opposed to plastic beads),” says Adam Tishman, co-founder of Helix Sleep. He also recommends getting a blanket that has an outer cover made of breathable fabric (i.e., organic cotton or cooling bamboo) as they’re lighter and more breathable than polyester.
How do you choose a weighted blanket?
The blanket should feel snug or cozy, like a teddy coat. Tishman recommends selecting a weight that’s around 8 to 12% of your body weight. So if you’re less 125 pounds, you’d pick a weighted blanket that’s 10 pounds. If you’re between 125-200 pounds, you’d go for one that’s 15 pounds—you get it. “If you’re in-between sizes, we recommend selecting the lower of the two weights,” Tishman adds.
How do you wash a weighted blanket?
Try as you might, you’re going to have to wash your weighted blanket at some point. So if you want it to stay as fresh as the day you first slipped under it, consult the care tag. Some have removable covers that you can easily toss into the machine, but how you go about washing it really depends on the weight and filling.
Weighted blankets with glass microbeads and plastic poly pellets can be washed on a gentle cycle with cold water, but anything over 20 pounds is probably better off at the cleaners. Avoid using fabric softeners and bleach since that’ll make your blanket itchy. When all is said and done, you can dry your beloved weighted blanket on low heat because the fill doesn’t absorb a lot of water.
Where do you buy weighted blankets?
Online. Some of the best weighted blankets are sold on Amazon (hi, two-day, free shipping), but you can also check out individual brand websites, like the ones below. These things can weigh up to 35 pounds, so unless you’re trying to get in two workouts a day, just have it delivered to your doorstep.
Whether you want a weighted throw blanket for binge-watching Love Is Blind on the couch or a weighted duvet that’ll turn your bed into cozy headquarters, shop the 12 best weighted blankets Glamour staffers have ever tired.
Sleep is a $70 billion industry—we throw our money at a dreamier night’s rest, promise ourselves we’ll prioritize it, and then gripe when we’re still, inevitably, so tired. Despite our collective obsession with sleep, we seem totally unable to get more of it. In fact, we’re clocking fewer hours than ever. So, this month, we’re taking a look at what’s getting in the way—and what to do about it.