Anxiety is debilitating, disorienting, and often very hard to shake. If you've experienced it (as more than 30% of US adults have), you know just how persistent it can be. With that in mind, you may be skeptical that something as simple as a heavy blanket can make anxiety melt away.
But there are good reasons to think weighted blankets really work. For one, a small — but growing — body of research has shown great results for people who use a weighted blanket for anxiety, stress, and insomnia. Plus, unlike most anxiety medications, weighted blankets don’t tinker with your brain chemistry. They act on your central nervous system through gentle pressure, with no side effects unless you have difficulty breathing at night.
This article will explain the science of weighted blanket use, both in theory and practice. We'll explain why and how a heavy blanket helps your mind and body release stress. And we'll look at some of the best weighted blankets for anxiety that you can get right now. Hopefully, we’ll help you figure out whether a weighted blanket is the right choice for you.
(Just looking for a quick recommendation? You can't beat Hush weighted blankets for quality, price, and sizing options. The Iced 2.0 version also offers amazing temperature regulation for hot sleepers.)
At a glance:
How Effective Are Weighted Blankets For Anxiety?
Let’s start by looking at the existing research on weighted blankets. Since they were first invented as tools for occupational therapy, most tests of their effectiveness have been done in clinical settings. Here are a few representative studies:
Clinical Trial Shows Good Results From Weighted Blankets
This experiment was written up in 2020 in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. Researchers at the Karolinska Institute, a medical university in Sweden, followed 120 patients for 4 weeks. Half of the participants received weighted blankets, while the other half got blankets with a similar shape and feel but much less weight.
The result? Those with weighted blankets showed a significant drop in anxiety symptoms. They also slept better and reported less fatigue, which may well be related. After all, insomnia often goes hand in hand with a diagnosis of anxiety or depression.
It's worth noting that the researchers continued the study for another 12 months, this time giving all the patients the option to use weighted blankets. The results were very similar to those in the experimental phase, hinting that the benefits of weighted blankets hold up in the long term.
Two Studies Show Weighted Blankets Reduce Stress
The study above is far from the only experimental test of weighted blankets. They've proven helpful even for people in extremely anxiety-provoking situations. For example, a 2020 randomized controlled trial found that weighted blankets reduced cancer patients’ feelings of stress and fear.
Another study looked at patients who had been involuntarily committed to psychiatric care. As in the chemotherapy study, patients who used weighted blankets showed significant drops in anxiety. Though this wasn't a fully randomized trial, it strengthens the view that these blankets help calm feelings of worry and fear.
Systematic Review Confirms Weighted Blankets Have Potential
Researchers at the Denver Health Medical Center decided to take a look at the overall state of weighted blanket research. In March 2020, they published a paper analyzing the existing scientific research. The conclusions they could draw were limited since only 8 studies met the criteria to be included. That's not surprising - as we noted, this type of treatment is still fairly new.
Still, the results showed promise. The authors found that the early research points toward real benefits for weighted blankets. The evidence for reduced anxiety was even stronger than for reduced insomnia, but more research could strengthen the case for positive effects on sleep. The overall conclusion was that weighted blankets have shown enough benefit to merit deeper study.
How Weighted Blankets Help With Anxiety
Weighted blankets use a method called Deep Pressure Touch, AKA Deep Pressure Stimulation. This method makes use of the human body's inborn craving for contact. We have built-in pressure sensors that help us calm down when we snuggle, hug, or otherwise press against other people. Scientists call them “deep touch receptors”, and they work by reducing the activity of your sympathetic nervous system. That's the collection of nerves and hormones that create the famous "fight or flight response".
In other words, your body feels less stress when you're being gently squeezed. It makes sense - social behavior runs deep in human evolution. Cuddling is a powerful signal that we're safe and cared for.
A weighted blanket taps into that response by simulating the sensation of a long, steady hug. That triggers feelings of security and comfort in your body. Ever tried to talk yourself out of anxiety? It's almost impossible. Using a weighted blanket for anxiety bypasses your rational mind and acts directly on your physical responses.
Additional Positive Effects of Weighted Blankets
Deep pressure may have other benefits that can reduce anxiety indirectly. For example, there’s some evidence that weighted blankets can help you sleep better. And a 2007 study in the journal Sleep showed that chronic insomnia is a risk factor for anxiety and depression. If weighted blankets help reduce insomnia, that's a plus for your long-term mental health.
Another example? Persistent pain. This often goes hand-in-hand with anxiety, according to a 2008 paper in the research journal Depression & Anxiety. But a recent randomized trial found that using a weighted blanket reduced sufferers' perceptions of chronic pain.
It's easy to see how this could help with anxiety in the long run. When you're dealing with constant or recurring pain, you're likely to feel a lot more stress and worry. It would be strange if your anxiety didn't drop a bit after a weighted blanket relieved some of that pain.
Choosing the Best Weighted Blanket For Anxiety
You might think there's not much difference between one weighted blanket and another. Actually, there are tons of brands to pick from, and they can vary quite a bit in quality. If you're going to use a weighted blanket to help with your anxiety, you want it to feel comfortable, provide the right pressure, and hold up well over time. We've put together a list of the best weighted blankets you can get right now.
#1: Hush Weighted Blankets
That's right, we make the best weighted blanket on the market. 😊 What kind of company would we be if we didn't think so? We've put years of effort into crafting exactly the weighted blankets we'd want to snuggle under. Here's what makes them special.
High-Quality Glass Filling
The way a weighted blanket is put together has a huge impact on how it feels on your body. If the filling is too loose, it can form big clumps or get weighed down at the edges. Instead of offering even, steady pressure, it feels like you're covered in heavy lumps.
To avoid this, we fill Hush Blankets with tiny grains of glass sand. This filling is finer than the glass beads most weighted blankets use. (And much finer than the tiny plastic pellets in the cheapest models.) Those tiny grains pack together tightly, so it doesn't shift around and get lumpy. As a bonus, glass sand retains less heat than bigger microbeads, meaning our blankets let you stay cooler at night.
Even Weight Distribution
Other companies try to keep their glass beads from shifting around using glue-like fiber filling. They spray a layer of sticky plastic and cotton between their blanket layers before adding the pellets. In theory, this is supposed to keep the glass beads evenly distributed. In practice, the spray-on process doesn't allow much precision, and it often results in uneven, lumpy layers. The vapor is also highly toxic until it dries, which made us think twice about including it in our blankets.
Instead of the quick-and-dirty approach, Hush uses a purpose-built machine to sew a fabric membrane over the glass sand. The web-like fibers trap the filling so it can't slide around and bunch up. A Hush Blanket contains more than 100 tiny pockets, each one packed so tight with glass and fabric that there's no room for slippage. This approach creates an incredibly even weight distribution without adding any toxic chemicals. Thanks to this design, our weighted blankets wrap around you in a perfect soothing hug.
Great for Hot Sleepers
Many weighted blankets have one unfortunate drawback: they get very hot. The thick layers of fabric and filling can trap body heat and leave you sweating. This can be a serious obstacle to restful sleep, not to mention comfort. But Hush blankets are much cooler than the competition. The ultra-fine grains of glass sand have more surface area by volume than larger beads, which lets them dissipate heat much faster.
Seriously hot sleepers can also opt for the Hush Iced 2.0 weighted blanket, which keeps you even cooler. The bamboo fabric duvet cover naturally wicks away heat and sweat. The porous, airy weave won't trap body heat. And the proprietary Iced finish keeps the surface cool to the touch even after hours of cuddling.
Tons of Options
We've already mentioned that you can choose between our classic weighted blanket and the ultra-cool Iced 2.0. But you can also choose both, with a 2-in-1 bundle that includes both duvet cover styles. You can swap them as needed, beating the summer heat with a cooling weighted blanket but snuggling under minky fabric in the winter.
The choices don't end there, though. We also offer a huge range of sizes and weights. Some people get more anxiety relief from an extra-heavy blanket, while others prefer a more mild pressure. You might also have a partner who always wants to share your weighted blanket. That's why we offer everything from a breezy 8-pound throw to a king-sized 35-pound blanket that will fit even the largest beds. No matter your body weight, you should be able to find a Hush blanket that works for you.
Try The Hush for 100 Nights, No Risk
You won't find a better weighted blanket for anxiety. Once you try a Hush blanket, we'll sure you'll fall in love.
That's why we offer you a 100-night trial period to get to know them. If you decide our blanket isn't for you, we'll take it off your hands and refund your money. So there's no reason not to order a Hush today and experience the incredible calming power of weighted blankets.
Gravity sparked an explosion of popularity for weighted blankets with their 2017 Kickstarter. The original version wasn’t very high-quality - it used bulky plastic pellets as the filler. Since then, the company has upgraded to fine-grade glass beads. This glass microbead fill isn't quite as fine and uniform as Hush's glass sand, but it's better than many competitors.
Gravity Blankets use gridded pockets and spray-on polyester batting to keep the filling evenly distributed. They also anchor the inner blanket to the duvet cover with a combination of ties, snaps, and zippers to make sure it can't bunch up. This can make it a little tricky to remove the cover so you can wash it, but does anchor the inner blanket nicely. The outer surface is cozy and velvety, unless you opt for the cooling weighted blanket, which is made of a moisture-wicking material that feels more like sportswear.
You can order the Gravity Blanket in weights of 10, 15, 20, 25, and 35 pounds. That's almost as many weight options as the Hush. It's less versatile in terms of size, though. The only choices are a small "Kids" or "Travel" size, a slightly bigger "Single", or a Large "Queen/King".
These sizes don't always quite match the bed they're meant for, either. For instance, a standard full bed is 54 by 75 inches. A single-person Gravity Blanket won't reach the edges, since it's only 48 inches wide and 72 inches long. You might want a little extra material to wrap yourself up in, especially if you're using a weighted blanket for anxiety.
If you like a larger blanket, or you want the evenest weight distribution possible, we'd go with a Hush. Otherwise, Gravity weighted blankets are a good runner-up choice.
There's no question that Bearaby's style stands out. Most weighted blankets look more or less like quilted comforters. That's because they're typically made by sewing glass beads into lots of small pockets. Bearaby's blankets get their weight a different way: from the sheer thickness of their bulky knit cables.
That gives the Bearaby Cotton Napper a cozy, rustic appearance. It also allows for a decent amount of airflow, though not as much as you'd think - the thick cables can squish together in places and trap body heat. The eucalyptus-fiber "Tree Napper" option is a little better in this regard because of its sweat-wicking fabric. But hot sleepers are probably better off with a cooling weighted blanket like the Hush Iced 2.0.
On the plus side, there's no need to worry about weight distribution with the Bearaby. There's no filler material that can slide around inside! This does restrict their size options a bit, though, since the only way to change the weight is to change the size.
Bearaby weighted blankets are also fully machine washable, though that fabric absorbs a lot of water. You'll need multiple rounds in the dryer before it's usable again. (You can't hang it to dry without the weight bending it out of shape.)
If you like the style, don't mind the heat, and can live with the added headache on laundry day, the Bearaby weighted blanket could be worth a try.
Layla Weighted Blanket
The Layla is a dual-sided blanket. One surface is covered in smooth cotton, while the other features a softer fleece-like material. In theory, this is supposed to make one side cool and the other warm, letting both hot and cold sleepers enjoy it. In practice, the thick plush layer mostly cancels out the breathability of the cotton. We wouldn't rely on this weighted blanket for temperature regulation.
That doesn't mean it's uncomfortable, though. It's nice to be able to switch between different textures. The weight also stays evenly distributed, thanks to double layers of batting that sandwich the glass beads. Layla doesn't mention how they apply their batting, but it is a polyester material, which usually means it's sprayed on as we described above.
What about the hexagon pattern of the pockets? It's definitely interesting, but it's not clear that it makes any difference to the weight distribution (or anything else that might affect anxiety.)
You'll probably like the Layla if the dual-textured design appeals to you. However, hot sleepers should stay away.
Luna Cotton Weighted Blanket
The biggest standout feature of Luna's weighted blanket is the price. It's noticeably more affordable than most of its competitors. Despite the lower cost, Luna didn't cheap out by using plastic pellets instead of glass beads. Their blankets are also 100% Oeko-Tex Certified for their use of sustainable and non-toxic materials.
Before you start thinking it's too good to be true, let's look at the drawbacks. First of all, the weight distribution could be better. The quilted pockets containing the filler material are larger than most. That allows the glass pellets to shift around, which can result in an unbalanced feel. You might also find the noise of moving beads a little annoying.
This problem can get worse if the stitching between the pockets breaks down. Unfortunately, a number of customers have reported this happening to their Luna weighted blankets. You'll definitely be sacrificing some durability for the bargain price.
Shoppers hunting for a budget-friendly weighted blanket may still want to consider the Luna. But if you want something you can be sure will last for years to come, you're probably better off with a Hush.
Brooklinen Weighted Comforter
Brooklinen calls this a weighted comforter instead of a weighted blanket to emphasize what they call its "comfort-first" design. And there's no denying that it's quite soft and fluffy. The cotton sateen shell has a silky texture, and the pockets are heavily padded for extra softness. This extra filling also helps to keep the glass beads firmly in place. You'll experience very little weight shifting under this comforter.
All that fluff does trap body heat, however. If you run hot at night, you'll probably find that Brooklinen's comforter is too much for you. Each comforter size also has just one weight option, which tends toward the lighter side. If you prefer a heavier weighted blanket to help with your anxiety, the Brooklinen might not provide enough deep pressure for you.
We should also note that Brooklinen's comforter is quite expensive. The Queen-size model has a base price of approximately $480 CAD. And unlike most weighted blankets, that doesn't include a machine washable duvet cover, which costs at least ~$200 CAD more. Compare that to Hush: our Queen-sized blanket, with the duvet cover included, is just $299 CAD. Brooklinen does offer a less expensive throw blanket, though there's only one size and weight choice.
Luxome Removable Cover Weighted Blanket
You've got a lot of choices with Luxome weighted blankets. Along with several size and weight options, they let you choose between a built-in or removable cover. And the material varies between plush minky fabric, heat-wicking bamboo, or a dual-sided combination of both. Some of the plush blankets also have an interesting texture covered in fuzzy dots. Customers prone to fidgeting might appreciate that last option.
The lighter Luxome blankets are also fully machine washable. Many competitors can't say the same - in many cases, the duvet cover is washable but the inner weighted blanket isn't. (In case you were wondering, Hush blankets can handle some light machine washes, but spot treatments are generally best.)
Despite their wide array of choices, there's an odd gap between the 18-pound Queen size and the 30-pound King. The ideal weight for weighted blanket use is usually around 10% of your total body weight. That means Luxome doesn't offer much for customers or couples heavier than 180 pounds but lighter than 300. If you (or you and your partner combined) fall within that weight range, you might want to find another blanket.
YnM Original Cotton Weighted Blanket
Here's another possible option for bargain hunters. YnM's weighted blankets are fairly inexpensive. They also come in several different sizes and a huge range of weights. YnM offers some interesting patterns and color choices, too. If you're picky about your decor or you're after a very specific weight, you'll appreciate that variety.
The weight distribution is a little dicier. If you get a YnM blanket with a duvet cover, you may find that the ties don't always hold it in place. This can cause the inner blanket to clump up.
The glass microbeads also don't stay solidly in place as they do in the Hush blanket. They often wind up gathering at the edges. Even if that added weight doesn't pull the blanket off your body, it can lead to an uneven balance of weight. That works against the soothing hug sensation you're looking for. Luckily, YnM does give you a 30-day trial period - not as long as the 100-night Hush sleep trial, but hopefully enough time to spot any serious issues.
Casper Weighted Blanket
Casper is most famous for their mattresses, but they've also branched out into weighted blankets. Currently, Casper's blanket is only available in one size, 50 x 70 throw suitable for a single person. And there are only three weight options, ranging from 10 to 20 pounds.
If that fits your size and weight preferences, there's plenty to like about the Casper. The blanket's weight stays fairly even, and the polyester batting does a good job of muffling any noise from the glass bead fill. Also, the breathable cotton fabric on this weighted blanket feels nice and crisp. If you want a smoother texture than the usual plush cover, you might like the Casper.
It's not a true cooling weighted blanket, though. Compared to something like the Hush Iced 2.0, the Casper is on the hot side. There's also no washable duvet cover to protect against stains. This might not be the best blanket for eating milk and cookies by the fire!
Blanquil Quilted Weighted Blanket
This weighted blanket from Blanquil has a similar design to the Gravity Blanket. There's an inner weighted section, divided into pockets full of small glass beads, and a removable cover. The two layers are anchored by eight reinforced connective ties to avoid shifting, and the outer segment is machine washable. Blanquil also offers seven different color choices, making it easy to match your bedroom decor.
The options are more limited when it comes to size and weight. Much like the Casper, the Blanquil is only available in a single size which isn't big enough for more than one person to share. It does come in three weights, but the lightest is 15 pounds. That could make it a bit too heavy for lighter-weight customers. Some users also found that the weight can pool at the center, which only adds to the problem for small sleepers.
We wouldn't recommend the Blanquil for petite customers or those who are very sensitive to bunching. But average-weight sleepers who like its color options might want to check it out.
Tranquility Essentials Weighted Blanket
Originally created by Target, the Tranquility weighted blanket got a lot of attention for its super-low price. You can get it today for only $25, which is about as cheap as you can get for a weighted blanket. Tranquility offers it in three weights - 10, 15, and 20 pounds. And the glass microbeads help it stay relatively smooth.
The sizing is much more restrictive. Tranquility's largest weighted blanket is only 48 x 72 inches. For comparison, the smallest Hush blanket - our 8-pound throw blanket - is 42 x 72. You won't be able to spread out or snuggle with someone else under the Tranquility weighted blanket. That may be an issue if you and your partner both want to reduce anxiety with a weighted blanket.
Durability is a bigger concern. A number of users complained that the beads quickly started slipping between pockets or even leaking out of the sides. This is obviously bad for weight distribution as well as long-term use.
Not everyone had these issues, but it's a risk you take when going for a cheaper weighted blanket. Still, the Tranquility could be a good choice if you want to see how you like weighted blankets before spending a lot of money on one.
What Do Customers Say About Weighted Blankets For Anxiety?
Maybe you're still not sure if a weighted blanket is right for you. Facts about material choices and weight options are nice, but they can't convey how using a weighted blanket feels. So let's look at what some customers have said after trying these blankets out.
Weighted Blankets Improve Sleep
"From the first night I’ve had it I’ve found my sleep to be deeper and in the morning I feel more rested."
- Chantal P.
"Loved this product and helped me get through a stressful time in my life. Literally feels like a hug and I found myself falling asleep earlier every night."
- Shawn O.
"I am a lot less restless than I used to be and I sleep longer and deeper."
- Margot A.
Weighted Blankets Help with Anxiety
"My therapist had suggested this weighted blanket as a way to manage my insomnia and panic attacks...in a couple of days of using the blanket, I was able to sleep like a baby. It helped me with my anxiety and stress levels. Now I wake up with more energy, which increased my quality of life."
- Thais T.
"I love my new blanket; I’ve slept so much better since I’ve had it. Less anxiety, less moving around. Definitely a game-changer for anxious sleepers."
- Sophie L.
"Life-changing! Diagnosed with PTSD, anxiety, depression, social anxiety, agoraphobia. Life can be exhausting and I slept for 20 hours under this amazing blanket!"
- Susan P.
"It has proved to be a huge improvement to my husband's sleep. He normally jumps up out of bed from anxiety and night terror, this blanket has literally stopped his night terrors completely."
- David S.
Weighted Blankets Are Comfortable
"I love how soft it is. It's like a cloud. I was worried I would feel the weight but you don't feel it. I can't sleep without it."
- Emiko A.
"We have never used a weighted blanket before and have quickly gotten used to the comfort and reassuring feeling the weight gives. The cover is so soft and we look forward every night to the deep sleep we enjoy."
- Andrea P.
"I love how comfortable the blanket is. It’s not as heavy as I assumed it would be. It adds weight, but is easy enough to move under."
- Margaret H.
" The softness of the cover is amazing and the weight of it makes you feel secure and cocooned. It’s relaxing and warm, we really love it."
- Marta K.
The Hush Weighted Blanket is the Real Deal
You've probably figured out by now that the quotes above all come from users of our own Hush Weighted Blanket. Our list includes some other great options, but we really do believe that the Hush is the best weighted blanket for anxiety. It's even weight distribution, durable construction, and supreme comfort help you stay cozy and stress-free. Want to read more customer stories or start your own 100-night trial? Check out our product page today!