Are you looking for the perfect weighted blanket made from safer materials and fabrics? Weighted blankets work to settle the nervous system by providing deep pressure stimulation. What does science say about weighted blankets and which products are the safest? You’ve come to the right place! You’ve trusted Mamavation to bring you safest bedding without PFAS “forever chemicals,” best organic mattresses, best air purifiers to clean your indoor air, now join us as we bring you our latest investigation on weighted blankets.
Disclosure: This post was medically reviewed by Sondra Strand, RN, BSN, PHN. Please make sure to do your own research because materials and products can change without notice. This post also contains affiliate links, including from Amazon. Mamavation uses the proceeds from these affiliate links to pay for our lab studies, research, and the daily running of our site. You can send a tax-deductible donation to Mamavation to support our work here. We thank you for your support!
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What Have Researchers Said About Weighted Blankets
I first came across the concept of weighted vests and blankets when my oldest child was diagnosed with Autism over a decade ago. At that time, there was very little science to back up the legitimacy of what I saw when I started using these products with my own children. But over the years, more and more studies have been released looking at the relationship between weighted blankets and better sleep and calming the nervous system. Today, there are several studies proclaiming weighted blankets may make a positive impact on the lives of people. Here are several studies we pulled to demonstrate how far that science has come.
- Occupational Therapy in Mental Health in 2015: This study published in Occupational Therapy in Mental Health looked at 30 adults admitted to the hospital for mental-health-related issues using 30-pound weighted blankets. In this study, 60% of the participants reported a “significant” reduction in anxiety when using the 30 lbs. weighted blanket.
- American Journal of Occupational Therapy in 2020: A study published in the American Journal of Occupational Therapy reviewed more evidence supporting weighted blanket use for anxiety over insomnia.
- Journal of Sleep Research in 2022: A study in the Journal of Sleep Research suggested that using a weighted blanket at bedtime can increase melatonin released within the body and can help insomnia.
- Journal of Pediatrics in 2014: A study in the Journal of Pediatrics suggested that weighted blankets do not impact the sleep of children with Autism, however, the parents responded that it did help them at home.
- International Journal of Therapy and Rehabilitation in 2016: Another study about children with autism and weighted blankets published in the International Journal of Therapy and Rehabilitation was inconclusive it had impacts on sleep when studying two children.
- Journal of Occupational Therapy in 2020: A study in 2020 published in the Journal of Occupational Therapy found that weighted blankets can “provide a powerful intervention tool for occupational therapy practice with autistic adults to address sensory and sleep issues and the stress from everyday life.”
- Scandinavian Journal of Occupational Therapy 2020: Another study in 2020 published in the Scandinavian Journal of Occupational Therapy also found a positive relationship between using weighted blankets to sleep by children and adults with ADHD and Autism and falling asleep, sleeping the whole night, and relaxing during the day.
In other words, according to studies, weighted blankets can promote relaxation by providing the body with a “hug” that also may lower symptoms of anxiety, battle insomnia, and possibly provide some relief from sleep disorders. However, the studies on how this works with children with Autism were mixed even though parents typically say it does help them at home. So the question is, are the clinical settings unable to see the benefits because of the uncomfortable settings, OR are the parents of children with Autism just believing it helps and the reality is it doesn’t? Overwhelmingly, studies point to a positive relationship between better sleep and weighted blankets in the overall population. You decide and shop accordingly.
Materials Used Inside Weighted Blankets
The materials used for the shell and fill materials of weighted blankets (also called gravity blankets) are not something most people are looking into when they want to lounge on the couch. Most of the time, people want to know about its machine-washability and care instructions, durability, even weight distribution, and whether it sleeps hot. These are all about your personal preference and that is fine, but we are looking primarily at what materials they are using instead.
Weighted blankets are full of a few layers with mostly the outer shell and the inner fill materials. The care of how it’s put together will impact whether you can wash it in the washing machine and dryer. Please pay close attention to that before you purchase, because not all weighted blankets can go into the washing machine and dryer and need to be hand washed instead. If you are a hot sleeper or you are in warmer months, you’ll want a more simple design. The fill materials are what create the weight and weighted blankets will vary on their weight options.
Here are the materials we found in the 65+ weighted blankets we analyzed with public disclosures:
Problematic Shell & Fill Materials
The most problematic materials are made from polyester (polyethylene terephthalate). This material is made from petroleum and most of the time is also processed with toxic heavy metal antimony and numerous other unknown chemicals. It does take some time to break down the polyester to be exposed to antimony, but it’s unknown how many washes that would take. However, it’s important to understand that polyester, in general, has also been linked to lowering sperm count and also specifically studied in dogs based on increasing exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals. Unfortunately, the vast majority of fabrics are either made from polyester or some type of polyester blend, so it’s impossible to completely avoid this. But being mindful of these issues and perhaps washing on “cold” instead of “warm” would be beneficial to you, in the long run, to delay exposure when purchasing weighted blankets made from this material.
- Microfiber (polyester)
- Polyester fiber fill
- Polyester beads
Okay Shell & Fill Materials
This realm of materials is better, but not “best.” It’s likely better for the environment or for public health in some ways, but perhaps not in all ways. OEKO-TEX would guarantee that the product as it’s sold is not off-gassing dangerous amounts of toxic chemicals into the indoor air. It does not guarantee, however, that this will continue through the entire life of the product because that is not how the certification works. It also does not mean the materials are good for the environment. Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) also uses mysterious additives in the production of things like water bottles. Recycling these bottles would not mean they are less toxic to your family, but they are being “re-used” and thus it lessens the need for more PET plastics in general. We’ve put this imperfect situation here where it belongs. Bamboo viscose is not necessarily toxic to consumers, but the manufacturing of most of these fibers is toxic to the environment and workers. Bamboo viscose can be made in a safer way and that type of bamboo viscose (Tencel) has been placed in “best” materials.
- Recycled down alternative made from plastic bottles (PET)
- Bamboo viscose
- Materials certified by OEKO-TEX made from petroleum
Best Non-Toxic & Eco-Friendly Shell & Fill Materials
These materials are less likely to off-gas problematic chemicals over time. They are also safer for environmental reasons. Because of the lack of cotton in weighted blankets, in general, we’ve placed both organic and conventional cotton in this category because it breaks down in the environment easily. Unfortunately, most materials used for making weighted blankets are either made from polyester or some type of polyester blend and do not break down in landfills. We only included 1-2 brands with non-organic cotton in the best category.
- Organic Cotton
- 100% Cotton
- 100% certified OKEO-TEX cotton
- Organic Hemp
- Glass beads
- Certified lead-free glass beads
- Organic bamboo viscose
- Tencel (more eco-friendly bamboo viscose)
Mamavation’s Investigation of Weighted Blankets
Mamavation ranked about 65 different weighted blanket products by looking at their publically available disclosure of materials. We also looked for certifications like OEKO-TEX and GOTS Organic. Products with full disclosure also did better than products that were less transparent about their materials.
Not Our Favorite Weighted Blankets
These weighted blankets were mostly made from polyester, polyester blends, or unknown materials and did not disclose enough information about the materials for us to bump them up to another category.
- Bare Home Chunky Knit Weighted Blanket
- Brooklyn Bedding Chunky Knit Weighted Blanket
- CapeAble Smartweight Weighted Blanket Throw Size
- Casper Weighted Blanket
- Degrees of Comfort Weighted Blanket (with Duvet Covers)
- Degrees of Comfort Weighted Throw Blanket
- Ella Jayne Weighted Anti-Anxiety Blanket
- Harkla Kids Weighted Blanket
- Helix Sleep Weighted Blanket
- Hush Iced 2.0 Cooling Weighted Blanket
- Layla Weighted Blanket
- Nectar Serenity Weighted Blanket
- Nest Bedding Weighted Blanket
- Nuzzie Knit Weighted Blanket
- Oodie Weighted Blanket
- Pure Enrichment PureComfort Weighted Blanket
- Quility Premium Weighted Blanket (with removable cover)
- Sensory Goods Standard Weighted Blanket
- Sleep Number True Temp Weighted Blanket
- Sunday Citizen Snug Crystal Weighted Blanket
- Tempur-Pedic Weighted Blanket
- TOPCEE Weighted Blanket
- Tranquility Blanket (with washable cover)
- Uttermara Sherpa Weighted Blanket
- Waowoo Weighted Blanket
- Yaasa Signature Weighted Blanket
- Yaasa Signature Mini Weighted Blanket (for Kids ages 5 & up + under 80 lbs)
- YnM Exclusive Bamboo Weighted Blanket
Better Weighted Blankets
These brands are in the middle of the road. Most of them contain OEKO-TEX certification which means they are not off-gassing chemicals into the air when they are purchased. However, if you wash these blankets many times, we don’t know if that would change. We are also unaware if the polyester blends contain antimony, so we recommend you do not wash them in hot water. Very few brands contain just cotton because they are mostly made from blends of polyester and cotton or bamboo. The fill in this category is mostly made from polyester. Additional products were put here because they were not clear enough about their materials. This category would be better for you the consumer, but not necessarily the environment.
- Aricove Weighted Blanket
- Bare Home Weighted Blanket
- Brooklinen Weighted Blanket
- Brooklinen Weighted Comforter
- Casaluna Knit Weighted Blanket
- Comma Home Minky Weighted Blanket
- Comma Home Bamboo Modal Weighted Blanket
- Gravity Cooling Weighted Blanket
- Gravity Basics Weighted Blanket
- LUNA Weighted Blanket
- Nolah Weighted Bamboo Blanket
- Nodpod Compact Weighted Body Pod (not a full blanket)
- Room Essentials 12 lb Weighted Blanket
- Silk & Snow Hand Knitted Weighted Blanket
- Slumber Cloud Weighted Blanket
- Sweet ZZZ Weighted Blanket
- Threshold Microplush Weighted Blanket
- TruHugs Solo Organic Hemp Weighted Blanket
- Uttermara Fleece & Cotton Weighted Blanket for Kids
- YnM Original Cotton Weighted Blanket
- ZonLi Bamboo Cooling Weighted Blanket
- ZonLi Cotton Weighted Blanket for Kids
Best Weighted Blankets
These weighted blankets are made from either cotton or organic cotton. No materials inside each product are made from petroleum. The fill would also be made of cotton and glass beads. Only brands that were clear about their materials made it to this list.
- Baloo Weighted Blanket
- Bearaby Cotton Napper (15, 20, & 25 lbs)
- Bearaby Cotton Napper (10 lbs)
- Bearaby Nappling (For Kids)
- Bearaby Light Weight Tencel Tree Napper
- Bearaby Queen Sized Weighted Blanket for Bed
- Bearaby Travel Blanket
- Luxome Weighted Blanket
- Mosaic Organic Cotton Weighted Blanket
- Saatva Organic Weighted Blanket
- Simple Being Weighted Blanket
- WeeSprout Weighted Blanket for Kids (not available presently)
- Yaasa Luxe Weighted Blanket
- Yaasa Serenity Knit Weighted Blanket