gifts they might actually want

What’s the Best Weighted Blanket to Gift?

Photo: Bearaby

While occupational therapists have used weighted blankets for years to treat patients with sensory processing or autism spectrum disorders, it wasn’t until the introduction of the widely popular Gravity Blanket in 2017 that they became mainstream options for dealing with occasional insomnia or everyday anxiety. Since then, dozens of brands have popped up with their own versions of the weighted blanket. And in these stressful times, they’re in even higher demand than normal — and can be an even more useful gift.

Dr. Raj Dasgupta, an assistant professor of clinical medicine at the University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine, compares sleep to a puzzle, with factors like light, temperature, sound, and physical comfort as the pieces. It’s with that last puzzle piece that weighted blankets make a difference. “People want that snuggly effect,” he says. Dasgupta explains that while there hasn’t been a perfect, double-blind study (there’s no version of a weighted blanket you’re oblivious to sleeping under), self-reported questionnaires support claims that weighted blankets may prolong sleep times and relieve anxiety. Ideally, a weighted blanket should weigh in at around 8 to 12 percent of the user’s body weight in order to provide enough heft without being uncomfortable.

To find out which weighted blanket is truly the best to gift, we consulted with sleep experts and tested out a few on our own. To rank their giftability, we considered how each functioned but also how nice they look, and what sort of impression they’d make right out of the box. Ultimately, we named two winners as the most giftable weighted blankets. But in case your giftee is looking for something slightly different, we also included several runners-up on this list, which we’ve grouped by like characteristics. If you’re looking for even more options after reading this list, check out some of the best-reviewed weighted blankets on Amazon and the ones experts recommend for kids.

Best overall weighted blankets to gift

When Bearaby launched in 2018, it introduced an entirely new kind of weighted blanket. While most weighted blankets are filled with glass or plastic beads to add heft, Bearaby’s weight comes entirely from knit layers of sustainable cottoncooling Tencel, or upcycled velvet (each material comes in a 15-, 20-, and 25-pound version, and the cotton blanket is also available in a 10-pound weight). Instead of a therapy device, it just looks like a handmade, chunky throw blanket. Writer Kase Wickman calls it “deceptively heavy” and likes that the weight distribution stays consistent, as there are no little beads to shift around during the night. Joe Auer, the founder of sleep-product review site Mattress Clarity, says he was “especially impressed” with Bearaby’s unique design. And Bill Fish, a certified sleep-science coach and co-founder of the review site Tuck, says it’s “one of the most unique weighted blankets we have ever tested.” Actress Kathryn Hahn is also a fan. In addition to being “aesthetically pleasing,” she says it’s “breathable and good for all seasons.”

I had a chance to try out their Tencel blanket, and I’m happy to report it more than lived up to all the hype. As someone who sleeps hot, I liked that the open weave and smooth material kept me much cooler than any other weighted blanket, while still making me feel enveloped in its calming, soft pressure. It’s been on my bed for over a year now, and I still enjoy falling asleep under its gentle, comforting weight. Plus, the bright white blanket (it also comes in a handful of other pleasing shades) looks crisp and elegant on my bed.

From $159

As for the best traditional-style weighted blanket out there, Baloo stands out among the rest of the bunch for its thoughtful design. Available in 12, 15, 20, or 25 pounds, it gives you that soothing, grounded sensation while still being aesthetically pleasing. Besides feeling calmed and relaxed underneath it, I never needed to adjust it during the night and it has a surprisingly thin profile for a heavy blanket. It’s filled with tiny glass beads that stay concentrated in their quilted pockets so the weight never feels unevenly distributed. In comparison to other bead-filled blankets that are noisy when their beads shift around inside, it’s totally quiet and the beads are barely noticeable. Because it isn’t superthick and is made from breathable cotton, I felt cooler sleeping under the Baloo than most of the other blankets. The blanket has loops on each corner to conveniently secure a duvet cover — either the company’s linen ones (in pretty shades like blush pink, dove gray, and oatmeal) or your own favorite. While it was previously only available in white, Baloo recently released new blanket colors — including terra-cotta clay and pewter silver — so you can also just drape it on your bed as is.

Best (less expensive) weighted blankets to gift

We first discovered the affordable YnM blanket while searching for the highest-rated weighted blankets on Amazon, and sleep experts agree that this is one of the best. “It conforms well to the curves of your body, so you really feel like you are getting hugged,” says Auer. He likes that YnM offers lightweight, bamboo blankets for hot sleepers in a range of weights (from 7 to 30 pounds) and colors. Strategist writer Jenna Milliner-Waddell told us her YnM blanket helps her fall asleep faster and wake up feeling refreshed. “Using the blanket, I couldn’t tell you how long it takes me to fall asleep, because I’m actually sleeping instead of having nightly staring contests with my ceiling,” she says. The brand also makes one of the only truly couple-sized weighted blankets. But if you are sharing your blanket with a partner, bear in mind that you’ll only feel the effect of half the blanket’s weight.

Another blanket that’s both expert- and reviewer-approved, the ZonLi uses breathable, 100 percent cotton to keep sleepers cool. “It’s one of the cooler sleeping weighted blankets,” says Auer. With lots of size options (from 5 to 25 pounds) and many under $100, it’s also one of the best values.

While it costs a lot more than the other YnM weighted blanket on this list, if you’re looking for an affordable dupe for the Bearaby, this option would be worth considering. It ditches the traditional bead-filled construction for a chunkier, knit one made of 100 percent hollow fiber that is long-lasting and breathable. The price shown is for the lightest (10-pound) blanket — but the heaviest (20-pound) one, at $200, still costs a lot less than a Bearaby.

Note: This blanket may arrive after Christmas.

Like the Baloo blanket above, this option from Luna is also 100 percent cotton and filled with glass beads sewn into quilted compartments for an evenly weighted feel. It’s also a bit cheaper, with most sizes costing under $100.

Best luxury weighted blankets to gift

Available in 10-, 15-, 20-, 35-pound weights, the Sunday Citizen blanket isn’t the cheapest option, but it’s certainly unique. Along with your standard glass beads, this blanket is filled with tiny amethyst and quartz crystals that, at least according to the brand, have certain healing properties and can ease anxiety. It’s a good pick if you’re shopping for someone who’s into that sort of thing, but even if they’re not, it’s still a cozy, nice-looking weighted blanket with a plush, microfiber cover.

Also on the expensive side (starting at $295), the Saatva blanket is for the discerning recipient who will appreciate that it’s made with 100 percent organic velvet, and not the velvet-esque polyester you’ll find on many other blankets. It’s one of the few blankets that comes in a supersized, 20-pound version that’ll drape over a king-sized bed, and its diamond-shaped quilting keeps the interior glass beads in place for even weight on both sides of the bed.

Best cooling weighted blankets to gift

Casper’s weighted blanket eschews the fleecy (and oftentimes too warm) cover common among its competitors in favor of crisp cotton, which promotes air circulation and keeps you cool. According to Casper, the quilted design was inspired by “performance outerwear,” and it keeps the inner glass beads from shifting around. While this weighted blanket comes in 10-, 15-, and 20-pound weights, all three are throw-blanket size, so it’s a good option for those who want to use it on the couch rather than in bed. In case the blanket isn’t right for you, Casper offers a 100-night trial during which you can return it at no cost.