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What’s the Best Weighted Blanket to Gift?

Photo: Courtesy of 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.

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 we also included several runners-up on this list, which we’ve grouped by like characteristics. And if you’re looking for more options, check out some of the best-reviewed weighted blankets on Amazon and the ones experts recommend for kids.

Best overall weighted blankets to gift

Photo: David Luo

Bearaby launched late last year with 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 cotton, cooling Tencel, or rich velvet (each material comes in a 15-, 20-, and 25-pound version). 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.”

Recently, Bearaby collaborated with West Elm, bringing their colorful and stylish blankets to a wider market. 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. Plus, the bright white blanket (it also comes in light blue and gray) looked crisp and elegant on my bed. Those who sleep cool will probably love the plush velvet version, available in shades like dusty pink and sunny yellow.

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 15 or 20 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. It’s only available in a soft white color, which looks crisp and clean on a minimally styled bed, but it also 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.

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 junior 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.

From $37

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. ZonLi also makes a king-size blanket, and sells lots of unique colors like mint green and navy blue. And with lots of size options (from 5 to 30 pounds) and many under $100, it’s also one of the best values.

Best warming weighted blankets to gift

I first tried Holden & Hay’s weighted blanket last year when the company launched on a crowd-funding site, and it was one of my favorites. Since then, the brand has dropped its price by $100, made the blanket’s cover removable for easier washing, and introduced two new cover colorways — a heathered gray and ombre blue — in addition to the original Pendleton-esque style I tried. The reverse side of the cover is a fluffy faux shearling that borders on being too warm (save this one for the winter), but is generally soft and cozy. Like the Bearaby, this one stands out for not using weighted beads. Instead, the Holden & Hay blanket is stuffed with shredded, recycled denim, which is both ecofriendly and quite comfortable. The shredded fabric doesn’t shift and move like beads, so the weight stays evenly distributed, which feels nicer than lying under what’s essentially a flattened-out bean bag chair. Since the stuffing varies between blankets, each one weighs somewhere between 16 and 18 pounds.

Photo: Helix

New this year, the Helix blanket (from the makers of one of our favorite mattresses) has already garnered lots of praise. Fish says it’s “quite the value play with all weights [10, 15, and 20 pounds] coming in at $115 or below.” He also likes that the brand offers a 100-night sleep trial, so you can easily return it if it doesn’t work for you. The Helix blanket is very well-made, with glass beads (an ecofriendly alternative to plastic), grid stitching for even weight distribution, and a removable, washable cover that’s velvety on one side and sheared fleece on the other. While the blanket helped me fall asleep quickly, it ended up being too warm for me, as I’d often wake up in the middle of the night sweating and need to toss it off. If your bedroom is especially cool, though, or you know you get cold at night, you’ll likely love this warm and hefty blanket.

Best cooling weighted blankets to gift

From $99

In sharp contrast to the Helix blanket, the Luxome (another well-regarded newcomer) excels at keeping you cool, thanks to its thin weave and bamboo covering. “The bamboo kept me quite cool while I was sleeping,” raves Auer, and I had a similar experience. The blanket’s exterior feels like a silky sateen that glides over the skin without absorbing any heat. It’s available in three sizes (8, 15, and 18 pounds), and as the weight increases, so does the surface area of the blanket, which isn’t the case with every brand. The 8-pound version is more of a throw, the 15-pounder would cover a twin bed, and the biggest size would fit a queen. According to Auer, this means “all their blankets provide the same amount of pressure, no matter what [weight] you choose,” so even the larger blanket is thin enough to not feel hot or suffocating. If you prefer a fleece-like feel, the brand also sells their blankets with removable covers in a “minky” fabric (sort of like a velvety fleece) that’s nice to snuggle up in and found in many weighted blankets.

An all-around satisfying blanket, this one from Nest Bedding is very soothing to sleep under. It’s grounding and warm — without being too hot — and I felt calm and at ease as I fell asleep. Nest offers three weights (15, 20, and 25 pounds) and like Luxome, heavier blankets correspond with more surface area, which is probably why it felt so balanced. Its 25-pound blanket is one of the few that’ll cover a king-size bed. Like some of the other blankets, this one has double-sided (but nonremovable) cover that’s mink-y on one side and cooling on the other. The cool side is made from cotton, which keeps the blanket from getting too hot during the night.

Best starter weighted blanket to gift

Since it’s only available in one weight (a relatively light 10 pounds), Comphy’s mink-y blanket would be a good introductory option if you aren’t sure how a recipient might take to sleeping under a weighted blanket. After testing blankets that were twice as heavy, I still found it comforting, with the lighter weight offering a more subtle pressure. It’s a gentle embrace instead of a bear hug, but it managed to help me fall asleep faster and stay asleep, just like some of its heftier competitors. To help match your bedding, it comes with a zip-up microfiber cover (we’ve written about Comphy’s signature synthetic blend sheets before) in three color options: white, gray, or cream. But the cover wasn’t very breathable, so I actually preferred using the blanket without it.

Best double-sided weighted blankets to gift

While Brooklyn Bedding’s weighted blanket is pretty standard (a 15- or 20-pound quilted blanket with weighted beads), its unique duvet cover sets it apart. One side of the machine-washable cover is a silky, smooth, and cooling fabric; the other is mink-y with raised dots like those found on a lot of kids’ weighted blankets (therapists say that feeling these little bumps can help with sensory processing issues). Even as an adult without any sensory issues, I thought it was incredibly soothing to rub my hands over the dotted side, while the cooling side rested against my skin so I wouldn’t overheat. The cover has 12 ties to secure it to the blanket, so it is very easy to put on, which is great for someone like me who’s terrible at getting duvet covers to stay put. The ties also ensure the blanket doesn’t shift around inside of the cover and cause uneven weight distribution. Overall, the comforting weight of the blanket and the fleecy-yet-cool cover helped me sleep very soundly.

Even with the explosion of new brands on the scene, Logan Block, director of content at mattress review site Sleepopolis says, “Gravity is still the big name on the market when it comes to weighted blankets,” and it’s the one he uses himself: “It is a great product,” he says. “I have the 20-pound version and was surprised by how much it actually felt like it weighed me down.” Former Strategist deputy editor Jason Chen reported that the original Gravity blanket (which is mink-y on both sides) felt too hot in warmer weather, but this year the brand is collaborating with the mattress brand Purple on a dual-sided one that pairs the mink-y fabric with a moisture-wicking material for a cooler feel.

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What’s the Best Weighted Blanket to Gift?