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Sometimes you just want a hug—or, at the very least, a big, fluffy cat to curl up in your lap. When neither is available, there’s the weighted blanket—a heavier-than-usual throw or comforter that’s meant to wrap the body in a soothing embrace. It’s hard to say which weighted blanket (if any) is the best, because one person’s “gentle pressure” is another’s “Help, I’m trapped!” But quality and washability are good starting points. We tested 16 weighted blankets by chilling out under them, heaving them into the wash, and hauling them out of the machine to dry—and we found five that are notably comfortable, solidly constructed, and easy to care for.

Initially designed as therapeutic tools for people with autism, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress and sensory disorders, weighted blankets are now gracing the couches and bedrooms of folks who simply like the feel of them. The science is squishy, but if you find the sensation of lounging under a pile of blankets or an X-ray smock relaxing, a weighted blanket might be worth considering.

If you have respiratory problems or joint issues, or if you feel claustrophobic or hot under heavy bedding, you’re better off sitting out this trend. And keep in mind that many experts don’t recommend weighted blankets for children who are under age 5 or weigh less than 50 pounds.

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The research
Why you should trust us
Our picks
An adult-size lovey: Nest Bedding Luxury Weighted Blanket
A low-maintenance “quilt”: Baloo Weighted Blanket
A loosely woven coverlet: Bearaby Cotton Napper
A serviceable budget option: Luna Weighted Blanket
A trusted option for kids: Sommerfly Sleep Tight Weighted Blanket
How heavy should a weighted blanket be?
Do weighted blankets live up to the hype?
What about weighted blankets for kids?
How we picked and tested
Care and maintenance
Other good weighted blankets
What to look forward to
The competition
Sources
Why you should trust us
As the senior staff writer for sleep coverage at Wirecutter, I closely follow bedding trends and developments in sleep science. For this guide, I spoke with weighted-blanket makers, and I read scientific papers on using deep pressure touch (such as hugging, cuddling, or massage) and weighted blankets as sensory tools. I also consulted Wirecutter senior staff writer Jackie Reeve—who wrote Wirecutter’s guide to regular blankets—about bedding materials and quality. And I interviewed sleep doctors, occupational therapists, and a pediatrician about what to expect from a weighted blanket.

Our picks
The “best” weighted blanket is a matter of personal preference. But durability, responsive customer service, a reasonable trial period, and machine-washability are factors everyone can appreciate. You’ll find all of the above in our picks.

An adult-size lovey: Nest Bedding Luxury Weighted Blanket
A person sitting on a bed beneath our favorite weighted blanket, the Nest Bedding Luxury Weighted Blanket.
Photo: Sarah Kobos
Our pick

Nest Bedding Luxury Weighted Blanket
A giant lovey to snuggle in
Cotton on one side, fleece on the other, this machine-washable comforter allows you to choose which material feels better against your skin. No duvet cover is available, so you also need to like the look of the naked light-gray comforter.

$129* from Nest Bedding
(queen)
*At the time of publishing, the price was $160.

Best for: Those looking for a cozy option for the bed or the couch, and people who don’t sleep hot.

How it feels: Like a cuddly throw you’d keep by the fireplace.

Why it’s great: The Nest Bedding Luxury Weighted Blanket has smooth, soft cotton on one side and a “minky,” cozy fleece on the other. “I see myself sleeping against the fuzzy side in the winter and on the cotton side in the summer,” said one tester who liked this blanket best. He also liked that the cotton side felt “really soft.” The fleece side of the blanket is similar in feel to the popular, hand-wash-only Gravity Weighted Blanket.

We machine-washed the Nest Bedding blanket in cold water, as directed, and then tumble-dried it on low. The blanket came out damp after one cycle, but after a second go, the fleece side was back to its fluffy self.

There’s no duvet, which keeps the total cost down, but that may mean the blanket requires more washing. “I don’t mind that, though,” said one tester. “Blankets tend to bunch up under a duvet cover anyway.”

Flaws but not dealbreakers: The Nest Bedding blanket is weighted according to bed sizes—and it gets heavier only as the dimensions get bigger. So you don’t feel much difference on your body from size to size because most of the weight is distributed around—not on—the body. People who like a lot of direct pressure (say, in the 20- to 25-pound range) might find this blanket to be too light. Also, the fleece is polyester, making this blanket a less suitable choice for people who run warm. Though most of our testers liked it, one tester was put off: “It feels a little ‘sticky,’ like the fabric upholstery you might find in a car,” she said.

The Nest Bedding blanket comes only in a washed-out shade of gray, which some testers liked but others did not. (One said that the blanket’s hue “looks like white socks after you’ve worn them a while.”) It’s also frequently out of stock in some or all sizes. If you’d like a queen-size blanket and the Nest Bedding one is unavailable, consider the Layla Weighted Blanket.

A close-up of the fleece underside of the Nest weighted blanket.
The Nest Bedding blanket’s fleece underside reminds us of the furry lining of a jacket you might wear in late fall. Photo: Sarah Kobos
Size: 20 pounds (queen), 25 pounds (king)
Materials: glass microbead filling, poly-fill batting, fleece and cotton cover
Color: light gray
Return policy: Returns accepted within 30 days of receipt (in original packaging).

A low-maintenance “quilt”: Baloo Weighted Blanket
A person reading while using the best low-maintenance weighted blanket, the Baloo Cool Cotton Weighted Blanket.
Photo: Sarah Kobos
Our pick

Baloo Weighted Blanket
A low-maintenance “quilt”
This well-balanced, crisp, quilt-like blanket holds its own on a well-dressed bed, and it can go in the washer and dryer. The linen duvet cover, sold separately, is gorgeous—but it’s pricey, and the buttons could be better reinforced.

$169* from Baloo Living
(queen, 15 pounds)
$179 from Amazon
(queen, 15 pounds)
$179 from Huckberry
(queen, 15 pounds)
*At the time of publishing, the price was $170.

Best for: People looking for a weighted blanket that has a bedroom vibe as opposed to a living-room one, and those who prefer the easiest possible upkeep.

How it feels: Like a cross between a quilt and a comforter.

A close-up of the quilt-like stitching on the Baloo weighted blanket.
Photo: Sarah Kobos
Why it’s great: The cotton cover of the Baloo Weighted Blanket feels sturdy, soft, and smooth. Like most weighted blankets, this one gets its poundage from small glass microbeads sewn into “pockets.” But rather than rows of 5-inch-or-so squares, the Baloo’s pockets are a mix of three geometric shapes, including smaller squares that keep the beads from pooling. The result is a crisp, smart-looking weighted blanket that looks almost like a quilt.

Testers liked the smooth feel of the blanket’s covering, and we appreciate that the stitching is sturdy and close compared with that of cheaper options. “It feels like a nice-quality cotton compared to the Luna”—the least-expensive blanket we recommend—said one tester who picked the Baloo over all the others.

The Baloo’s best feature, though, is that it is machine-washable and machine-dryable—a rarity for weighted blankets made with glass beads. Baloo’s founder told us that sturdier cotton, as well as cotton lining and cotton batting, makes this possible. We put the blanket through a wash-and-dry cycle, and it emerged in good shape; as with all of our picks, we’ll continue to long-term test it and provide ongoing updates. If you have kids, pets, or a penchant for eating under your blanket, you may want to save your strength and curtail how often you wash this blanket by covering it with its machine-washable and machine-dryable duvet cover, sold separately. Linen is your only fabric choice, but the duvet cover does come in an array of soothing shades (cool neutrals and pretty pastels), and it feels nice on the skin.

Finally, Baloo accepts returns within 30 days, even if you’ve used the blanket. The company also offers a lifetime guarantee on materials and workmanship.

The Baloo blanket has garnered some of the most enthusiastic reviews among testers who have tried it for an extended period of time. One long-term tester reports that the blanket, including the duvet cover, has remained in good shape over the past three months, even after a machine-wash-and-dry cycle. Another tester says that he even used the Baloo during the summer, and it didn’t feel hot.

Flaws but not dealbreakers: The cotton batting in all of Baloo’s weighted blankets prevents the weight from hugging your body as closely as that of blankets without such filler. But on the plus side, the filler can help prevent the beads from tumbling out in the event of a rip. It can also help keep the blanket from feeling like a beanbag, a common complaint our testers had about many of the other bead-filled blankets we tested.

Unlike the similar Luxome blanket, which comes with a duvet cover, Baloo’s blanket and duvet cover are sold separately, and the duvet cover, at $130 for the full/queen size, is expensive. For that price, we expected the buttons to be stitched more securely and the ties to fray less. Some testers complained of bunching in an earlier test, but thanks to a recent redesign, a middle tie at the short sides (not just the long sides) keeps the blanket—now with eight corresponding loops—in place more effectively. (One tester found that the YnM Duvet Cover for Weighted Blankets—which comes in a range of materials and has eight ties to match the number of loops on the current design of the Baloo blanket—does a good job of keeping the Baloo blanket in place.)

You save even more money if you go for the 12-pound, 42-by-72-inch throw blanket ($159 at this writing). Though it’s smaller, it feels about as heavy on your body as the 15-pound queen blanket. With its smaller size and lighter weight, the roughly twin-size blanket is less cumbersome to wash and dry.

You can try the blanket for 30 days before returning it for a refund, but returns involve an $18 processing fee.

A person reading on a couch while using the Baloo weighted blanket shown in a pink linen duvet cover.
A button on the Baloo linen duvet cover, showing large spacing between buttons.
A person tying a bow to secure the Baloo weighted blanket to the Baloo linen duvet cover.
Our testers preferred the look and feel of the Baloo blanket with its duvet cover, which is sold separately. But the cover is pricey at $130 for a queen (though we’ve found it on sale for about $115). Photo: Sarah Kobos

A person reading on a couch while using the Baloo weighted blanket shown in a pink linen duvet cover.

A button on the Baloo linen duvet cover, showing large spacing between buttons.

A person tying a bow to secure the Baloo weighted blanket to the Baloo linen duvet cover.
Sizes: 12 pounds (throw, 42 by 72 inches), 15 or 20 pounds (full/queen, 60 by 80 inches), 25 pounds (king, 80 by 87 inches); kids blanket is 9 pounds (40 by 60 inches)
Materials: glass microbead filling; cotton lining, batting, and cover
Colors: white; kids blanket available in peach, aqua, indigo
Return policy: Returns accepted within 30 days of delivery ($18 return-shipping cost applies for refunds; free return shipping for store credit).

A loosely woven coverlet: Bearaby Cotton Napper
The best woven weighted blanket, Bearaby The Napper, shown in dark blue, folded on a couch.
Photo: Sarah Kobos
Our pick

Bearaby Cotton Napper
A loosely woven blanket
The Bearaby blanket is stylish and well balanced. But it’s not exactly warm (which you may find to be a good thing), and it’s more cumbersome to wash and dry than our other picks.

$249* from Bearaby
(15 pounds)
*At the time of publishing, the price was $250.

Best for: Design lovers, people who run warm, and people who have space to air-dry a large (and heavy) wet blanket.

How it feels: Like a chunky, loose-knit cotton sweater.

Why it’s great: For those who want a weighted blanket that looks as soothing as it feels, the Bearaby Cotton Napper is hard to beat. Its weight comes entirely from the fat cotton yarn, which is knit loose and loopy, as on a chic oversize sweater. With five color options, this hefty throw is an Instagram-worthy accent to a well-appointed couch.