What's the deal with weighted blankets? What to look for when you shop

Banu Ibrahim, CNN Underscored
Updated Tue August 7, 2018

Story highlights

  • Some studies show weighted blankets can help you sleep more soundly
  • When shopping, it's important to pay attention to price and overall weight

Restless sleepers know that the bedtime struggle is real. They've tried everything from meditation apps to white noise machines in their efforts to fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. But could the trick to better sleep lie with your blanket choice?

Those who swear by weighted blankets think so. True to the name, these are heavy blankets (usually from 10-25 pounds total) that are filled with pellets that help distribute weight evenly across your body while you sleep. The thought is that this weight mimics the pressure of being held, which helps release anxiety to let you fall asleep faster. Some studies, including a 2015 one from the Journal of Sleep Medicine and Disorders, back this up. The research found that weighted blankets did in fact provide a "beneficial calming effect" for those suffering from insomnia.

While they've been gaining popularity recently, weighted blankets have been around for a few decades now in the occupational therapy field, where they've been used as aids for children on the autism spectrum. They're even the basis for products such as Thundershirts, which help your pup stay calm during thunderstorms, fireworks shows or other anxiety-inducing events.

There are a few things you'll want to consider if you're shopping for a weighted blanket of your own. It's recommended that you buy a weighted blanket that's about 10 percent of your body weight, if you're an adult. Another major factor is cost, as these blankets usually don't come cheap.

A solid place to look for an affordable weighted blanket is Amazon, where many are under $200. Some top-rated picks there include Restorology's Weighted Blanket (starting at $129.99; amazon.com) which has garnered an almost-perfect rating from more than 120 customers, as well as Good Knight Weighted Blanket (starting at $74.98; amazon.com), YnM's Weighted Blanket (starting at $139.90; amazon.com) and Kpblis Premium Weighted Blanket (starting at $68.50; amazon.com), which is one of the more affordable options out there. While the price may seem steep at first, it does seem like a bargain if it gives you an easy, more restful night's sleep.

Insomniacs, get ready for some serious R&R.

Note: The prices above reflect the retailer's listed price at the time of publication.