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Weighted blankets may create a calming effect on children, particularly if they experience anxiety or sensory overload.
This article looks at the potential benefits of weighted blankets, points to consider when buying, and weighted blanket options for children.
- Best for children who sleep hot: Mosaic Coolmax Weighted Blanket
- Best for texture: Harkla Kids Weighted Blanket
- Best for weight distribution: YNM Kids Weighted Blanket
- Best for year-round use: Dream Weighted Blanket
- Best for use in therapy: Southpaw Weighted Blanket
- Best for custom weights and designs: SensaCalm Custom Weighted Blanket
- Best for older children: Bedsure Weighted Blanket for Children
- Best weighted sheet: Sensory Bed Sheet for Kids
A weighted blanket provides deep touch pressure, which may have a calming effect on some children. Many blankets use beads within quilted pockets to distribute weight evenly.
If a child gets too hot under a weighted blanket, people can look for blankets with cooling properties and breathable fabrics.
Although unsuitable for very young children or infants, weighted blankets might be a soothing addition for an older child to use when sleeping.
The study defines deep pressure as the sensation of being hugged, squeezed, stroked, or held. Weighted blankets may help provide a similar feeling.
Deep pressure may also help children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). A 2014 study found that wearing a weighted vest may help improve attention and behavioral problems of children with ADHD during tasks.
Researchers are studying whether weighted blankets may help children with ASD sleep better. A pilot study of two children with ASD and sensory over-responsivity looked at the effects of weighted blankets on quality of sleep.
The study reported improved overall quality of sleep, including time falling asleep, frequency of waking up in the night, duration of sleep, and behavior upon waking in the morning.
However, the researchers concluded they need larger-scale studies and further evidence to support these findings.
A study of 67 children with ASD found no measurable improvement in sleep quality with a weighted blanket than a control blanket. The use of the weighted blanket was safe, and parents and children participating in the study preferred the weighted blanket.
Weighted blankets may be an effective tool in helping to reduce anxiety, though this study was not specific to children. The study found there is not enough evidence to recommend them as a treatment for insomnia.
It is important to choose a suitable weight and size blanket for each child. Some children may find weighted blankets claustrophobic or get too hot sleeping under them.
Additionally, weighted blankets are unsuitable for young children and infants, as the beads inside these products could fall out and cause a choking hazard. A heavy blanket may also pose a suffocating risk for young children and infants, especially those under 1 year old.
It is important that a child only use a weighted blanket to cover their body and never their head.
Caregivers considering using a weighted blanket for children younger than school age should discuss safety with a pediatrician.
Medical News Today chooses mattresses, sheets, pillows, and other bedding that meet the following criteria:
- Size: MNT chooses products that are available in various sizes.
- Materials and fill: MNT selects products made from different materials and fills.
- Budget: MNT features products to suit a wide range of budgets.
- Weight: MNT selects blankets that are available in a range of weight options.
Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based and correct at the time of publication.
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Here are some of the best weighted blankets for children.
Best for children who sleep hot: Mosaic Coolmax Weighted Blanket
The Mosaic Coolmax weighted blanket provides an option for kids, measuring 38 by 50 inches (in).
According to the company, the Coolmax breathable fabric allows airflow and is quick-drying and moisture-wicking. This blanket comprises 65% cotton and has a soft feel.
The company claims that the quilting ensures an even distribution of weight.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the plastic pellets for weight.
- 5, 8, or 10 pound (lb) weight options
- light gray color or white
- BPA-free, hypoallergenic
A person can buy the Mosaic children’s blanket for $135.95.
Best for texture: Harkla Kids Weighted Blanket
According to the product website, the Harkla weighted blanket creates a calming effect by applying deep touch pressure.
This weighted blanket for kids has soft, textured fabric for sensory input.
- weight options of 5, 7, 10, or 15 lb
- three color options
- a removable cover for easy washing
- free from odors
- a breathable bamboo inner fiber
This weighted blanket features a two-piece, easily removable duvet-style cover consisting of Minky fabric, a soft form of fleece. The texturized surface provides another type of sensory input.
Prices range from $84.99 to $114.99.
Best for weight distribution: YNM Kids Weighted Blanket
The YNM Kids Original Weighted Blanket is 100% cotton.
- 7 lb weight, measuring 41 by 60 in
- gray, pink, or penguin pattern options
- hypoallergenic glass beads for weight
- small pockets for beads allow even weight distribution
- advanced sewing technology for durability
The hypoallergenic glass beads that give this blanket its weight sit within small inner pockets. This design helps ensure an even weight distribution across the blanket. It reportedly uses advanced sewing technology to keep the beads in place and enhance product durability.
The price ranges from $65 to $75.
Best for year-round use: Dream Weighted Blanket
According to the product website, the Dream Weighted Blanket is suitable only for children weighing 30 lbs or more, who can remove the blanket themselves.
It is best for children aged 3–8 years and not suitable for those under 3 years or still using a crib.
The company claims that the lightweight, moisture-wicking, breathable fabric is suitable for year-round use. The even distribution of pressure may mimic the feeling of being hugged.
- 4 lb weight
- measures 36 by 48 in
- dual fabrics, with a fleece side and a cooling side
- satin edge trim
- hypoallergenic, fine-grade glass beads secure inside the inner pockets of blanket
- OEKO-TEX Standard 100 certified, ensuring the product does not include harmful, allergenic chemicals or additives
- machine washable
With microfleece fiber on one side for a warm, cozy feeling and cooling Minky fabric on the other side, this blanket aims to provide soothing deep pressure stimulation in various temperatures. It is also moisture-wicking and breathable.
The Dream Weighted Blanket costs $99.
Best for use in therapy: Southpaw Weighted Blanket
According to the product website, Southpaw weighted blankets provide special input for the whole body to create a calming effect. This means a person can sense the whole of their body while they are using the blanket.
- a range of sizes and weights, starting from 3 lb
- a nontoxic steel shot between outer layers to weight the entire blanket
- soft texture, which Velcro attaches to
Therapists are one of the key markets for this weighted blanket. The manufacturer has laminated lead-free, nontoxic steel shot between two layers of fabric. People can fold and position the blanket strategically to meet therapeutic needs. Velcro hook materials attach easily to the fabric to help keep it in position.
Prices range from $91 to $380 for different sizes and sets.
Best for custom weights and designs: SensaCalm Custom Weighted Blanket
SensaCalm offers a range of 70 different fabric colors and designs. The blankets, which the company has made specifically for children, consist of 100% cotton or ecofriendly, waterproof polyester laminated fabric (PUL). Additionally, the waterproof blanket is wipeable and washable.
The company recommends blanket weights depending on the weight of the child. For instance, SensaCalm recommends its small, 4-lb toddler blanket for a 30-lb child. Weights for children and young people range from 4 to 15 lb.
A person can choose from six fabric categories, including:
- Child and youth: These fabrics have designs children may enjoy, featuring popular cartoon characters and animal themes.
- Pattern: This category includes fabrics with flower, food, animal, and nature designs.
- Gallery: The blankets in this category feature textured designs with muted colors.
- Supreme solid: These fabrics come in a range of plain, solid colors.
- Waterproof: This category includes solid-color designs in a waterproof fabric.
- Double-sided cuddle: Includes soft, Minky fabrics in a range of solid colors.
A person can also choose the fill of their blanket, with the option to add filling to make the blanket fluffier or remove it for a flatter blanket at an extra cost. Additionally, customers can add Minky cuddle fabric on the back, snap fastening to add a duvet cover, and a matching pillowcase. It is also possible to add a child’s initials to the blanket.
The costs of the blanket vary depending on the options a person chooses.
A waterproof blanket can cost between $174.95 and $284.95 with no additional features.
A cotton children’s blanket can cost between $99.95 and $204.95.
Best for older children: Bedsure Weighted Blanket for Children
Available in weights of 5, 7, or 10 lb, this weighted blanket can help provide older children with calming pressure. The manufacturer recommends that a person buys a blanket that is 10% of the user’s weight.
For example, the 7 lb blanket is suitable for children weighing 70–90 lb.
Adults should make sure children can lift the blanket off themselves easily to ensure it is safe for them to use.
The company uses nontoxic, odorless glass beads to add weight to the blanket. The blanket secures these beads inside quilted pockets in the insert, which reportedly helps with even weight distribution. There are also two layers of batting to stop the beads from making noise.
The cost varies depending on the size of the blanket, and prices range from $31.10 to $84.99.
People may wish to consider the following points when choosing a weighted blanket for a child:
- Find a texture that a child enjoys touching, especially if they are sensitive to textures.
- It is important a weighted blanket feels soothing for a child rather than too hot or heavy.
- Consider looking for hypoallergenic products if a child has allergies.
- Consider cost, as larger, heavier blankets may be more expensive.
- Look for a machine-washable blanket if easy washing is an important factor.
- Consider products that use sustainable, nontoxic fabrics and finishes.
The table below compares each of the weighted blankets in this article.
|Weight||Texture||Temperature||Fabric||Washable||Price (children’s size)|
|Mosaic Coolmax Weighted Blanket||5, 8, or 10 lb||soft||cooling||cotton, Coolmax||yes||$135.95|
|Harkla Kids Weighted Blanket||5, 7, 10, or 15 lb||soft, textured||cooling||Minky||cover only||$84.99–114.99|
|YNM Kids Weighted Blanket||5, 7, or 10 lb||soft||cooling||100% organic cotton||not stated||$65–75|
|Dream Weighted Blanket||4 lb||soft||all-year||microfleece, Minky||yes||$99|
|Southpaw Weighted Blanket||3 or 4 lb||soft||no information available||material not specified||yes||$91–380|
|SensaCalm Custom Weighted Blanket||3–15 lb||soft||no information available||cotton, PUL||yes||$99.95– 284.95|
|Bedsure Weighted Blanket for Children||5, 7, or 10 lbs||soft||warm||cotton||cover only||$31.10–84.99|
People looking for a lighter option to a weighted blanket may want to try a compression sheet.
Best weighted sheet: Sensory Bed Sheet for Kids
The Sensory Bed Sheet hooks over a mattress like a fitted sheet, with an open end for a child to slide into.
This weighted bed sheet reportedly helps relieve stress or anxiety, particularly in children with autism or ADHD. It provides deep touch pressure and proprioceptive input, meaning it responds to the body’s senses.
The material is soft and stretchy.
However, this product is unsuitable for children under 3 years.
- nylon and spandex blend
- available in twin, full, or queen size
- machine washable and air dry
The Sensory Bed Sheet for Kids costs $34.99–44.99.
People may also want to tailor their weighted blanket to a child’s specific needs and preferences. However, a DIY weighted blanket may be unsafe.
Below are some of the top frequently asked questions about weighted blankets for children.
How heavy should a child’s weighted blanket be?
Many manufacturers recommend that a weighted blanket be 10% of the user’s body weight. Often, there are recommendations on company websites that state which weights are suitable for children.
However, weighted blankets generally do not undergo safety testing for use by children. A person should speak with a doctor to discuss whether these products are safe for a child. They should also mention any health conditions, sensory processing needs, and sleep problems the child has.
People should never use a weighted blanket on toddlers under 12 months of age.
Should a child sleep with a weighted blanket?
Research into the benefits of weighted blankets for children is very limited. There is some
- help children fall asleep more quickly and stay asleep longer
- improve general well-being
- reduce anxiety
- enhance participation in school and recreational activities
A person should discuss weighted blankets with a doctor before buying them for a child. Additionally, a child may benefit from speaking with an occupational therapist, who can help them understand and manage anxiety, sensory issues, and more.
Infants under the age of 1 year should not sleep with weighted blankets due to the risk of suffocation.
Who should not use a weighted blanket?
People should also stop the use of weighted blankets if a child becomes stressed or uncomfortable.
Additionally, some individuals find weighted blankets too warm. Those who live in hot climates or children who tend to get too warm during sleep may not find a weighted blanket comfortable.
What happens if a weighted blanket is too heavy?
If a weighted blanket is too heavy, a person can feel hot, claustrophobic, and uncomfortable. Individuals may find that it negatively affects their sleep.
Weighted blankets that are too heavy can be dangerous for children. A child should be able to get out from under the blanket easily during the night, and it should not be so heavy that they find it difficult to move underneath it.
Some children may find a weighted blanket calming and relaxing. Early research suggests these products might help calm anxiety in children with ASD, ADHD, or sensory over-receptivity.
A weighted blanket should feel comfortable and not too heavy. They are unsuitable for young children who cannot remove the blanket by themselves.
If people are unsure whether a weighted blanket is suitable for their child, they can discuss options with a healthcare professional.