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While the pressure of a weighted blanket can help reduce stress and help you stay asleep a little longer, that heaviness may seem like a nightmare to a hot sleeper. Thankfully, you don’t have to sweat through the night with one, since an ever-expanding category of late is cooling weighted blankets. According to the panel of sleep experts, health specialists, and sleep-product reviewers we spoke to, the cooling factor usually comes from the outer-cover material, though some may rely on innovations like “hydro-powered technology” (or, in layman’s terms, water — more on that later).
“Ultimately, a weighted blanket isn’t necessarily cooling just because it’s advertised as such,” says Sarah Riccio, senior writer and bedding expert at Sleepopolis. She says you’ll want to look out for what part of the blanket’s construction is the actual cooling part. “If there are no special textiles or cooling fabrics to be found, chances are it’s just a regular, temperature-neutral weighted blanket.” Those special textiles include Tencel, Lyocell, viscose, and wool, experts tell us. But Ben Trapskin, founder of Sleep Sherpa, explains that it’s important to temper your expectations: “There’s only so much cooling that fabric can provide.” Regardless of how they keep you from heating up during the night, a weighted blanket should be one that’s 10 percent of your body weight, as our experts note. If you fall between weight options, the recommendation is to size up, says Meghan Hunter, senior editor at Mattress Nerd.
What we’re looking for
Weight and cover material
Weighted blankets are typically made of two components: the inner weighted portion (typically filled with plastic pellets or glass beads) and a cover. (There is one major exception, which you will see below, that has neither a cover nor a filling.) As with cooling sheets, what type of fabric the cover is made with will dictate its ability to promote airflow and keep you comfortable. Most of the weighted blankets on this list are made of naturally derived fibers like lyocell (which also goes by the brand name Tencel), a type of rayon made from wood cellulose. Lyocell, like bamboo (another type of rayon), is known to be soft, lightweight, and temperature regulating, making it a good choice for those looking for a weighted blanket with cooling properties. While cotton-covered weighted blankets may be comparatively cooler to blankets made of fleece, for instance, they won’t be actively cooling.
Scientifically speaking, while “more extensive research is needed before we can pinpoint the effectiveness of weighted or cooling blankets,” says Dr. Sanam Hafeez, a neuropsychologist in New York City and faculty member at Columbia University, “anecdotal evidence shows those who purchase either or a combination feel very happy with its effect on their sleep.” Over the years, we’ve heard from all sorts of sleep specialists about how the right temperature can make the difference between sleeping through the night and tossing and turning. Dr. Michael Grandner, the director of the Sleep and Health Research Program at the University of Arizona, probably put it best when he previously said, “Your body’s ability to regulate temperature is a big part of how it regulates sleep.”
What a weighted blanket is filled with is also important. The two most common fillers are plastic poly pellets and micro-glass beads, as mentioned above. Most of the blankets on this list are filled with glass beads, which, in addition to being more environmentally friendly and denser than plastic, have the added benefit of being more cooling as well. They’re also more expensive and therefore considered more high-end, laying smoother on the body and providing more even weight distribution.
Most of the blankets come with a removable cover (separate from the weighted insert) that can be machine-washed or at the very least hand-washed.
Best overall cooling weighted blanket
Weight and cover material: 15, 20, 25 pounds; Tencel lyocell jumbo yarn | Filling: None | Maintenance: Machine washable
The Tree Napper is the weighted blanket we heard about most, even though it’s unlike most weighted blankets because it doesn’t have a cover and isn’t filled with pellets or beads. Almost every sleep-product reviewer cited it as among their top two picks (the only one who didn’t prefers the brand’s almost identical but slightly more affordable Cotton Napper). This blanket features an ultrathick knit design that gets its heft from jumbo-size yarn (and not with actual weights, unlike other weighted blankets) made of organic Tencel Lyocell fiber, a material that’s known to be silky, smooth, moisture-wicking, and cooling.
The chunky knit weave of the blanket also plays a significant role in keeping you cool, because it “allows a lot of air to get through, making you feel less trapped in your body heat,” explains Logan Foley, managing editor at Sleep Foundation. Riccio similarly raves that the open-loop-weave design is breathable and distributes weight evenly over the body, something most duvet-covered weighted blankets (cooling or not) don’t do. The effect feels “soothing on the skin and can help stave off night sweats,” Riccio says. Robert Pagano, co-founder of Sleepline, compares it to the cool side of a pillow. And Hunter says it has almost a massaging feel thanks to the weave.
This one is also sustainably made and biodegradable, in contrast to the synthetic cover materials and plastic pellet or bead fillings of many weighted blankets. And one of the writers of this story, Alexandra Ilyashov, finds poking and curling her fingers through the holes between the yarn strands to be anxiety quelling. There’s a downside to all that yarn, though. Although you can wash the entire Bearaby blanket — unlike most other weighted blankets, which have a cover that has to be washed separately — it takes a long time to dry, and you’re better off with line drying, Trapskin tells us.
Best (less expensive) overall cooling weighted blanket
Weight and cover material: 10 and 15; polyester jersey shell filled with polyester yarn | Filling: None | Maintenance: Spot clean only
If you like the idea of a chunky knit weighted blanket but want to spend a little less money, check out Brooklyn Bedding’s throw blanket, which, like the Bearaby above, is made from thick, hand-knit yarn. It’s recommended by David Rubin, a certified sleep-science coach and director of product testing at the Sleep Doctor, who says it’s ideal for people who sleep hot, as the open weave design “promotes airflow in contrast to many weighted blankets that can feel too warm after a while,” he says. “The loose, open-knit construction naturally allows heat to escape through open spaces. This should also help with heat buildup.” The blanket is made of a polyester jersey-knitted fabric that Rubin says is “generally lighter weight, which makes it even more breathable than a standard textile, such as a heavier cotton.” He says it’s more absorbent as well, “making it ideal to wick away any moisture from sweat.” As far as maintenance, the manufacturer recommends spot cleaning it only.
Best moisture-wicking cooling weighted blanket
Weight and cover material: 15, 20, 35 pounds; polyester | Filling: Glass beads | Maintenance: Machine-washable cover
Gravity’s cooling weighted blanket was created based on customer feedback that reported the brand’s original version was too warm. Now the cooling variety outsells the original during hotter months, according to Mark Wynohradnyk, Gravity’s former brand director. The inner layer is the same as the company’s regular weighted blanket, filled with special glass beads designed to be breathable. What sets this one apart is the technical polyester that wicks moisture away from the skin. “It’s covered in the brand’s proprietary fabric that’s designed to actually cool the body down and relax you at the same time,” Riccio says. Hunter says you can tell the fabric wicks moisture because you don’t wake up sweaty and hot, and she recommends it “for anyone looking for a cooling weighted blanket with a luxurious feel.” Ilyashov says at first this blanket is a little like sliding under a sheet that has been stored in a freezer, but the effect becomes subtler after an hour or so. Foley seconds this, saying that you won’t overheat with this blanket, and she echoes Hunter, explaining that it has a more traditional blanket feel than Bearaby’s.
Best bamboo cooling weighted blanket
Weight and cover material: 12, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35 pounds; Organic viscose bamboo-cotton blend | Filling: Glass sand | Maintenance: Machine-washable cover
This Kickstarter-fueled blanket has a bamboo-cotton blend cover that feels like a really soft set of T-shirt sheets and promises to be “the coldest fabric in your house.” Riccio tried the Hush Iced at a friend’s house and was impressed by the “soft and breathable” feel. “The bamboo-cotton blend is moisture wicking and airy,” though she notes that it doesn’t actually feel cold to the touch, unlike some other cooling blankets. Susan Murphy, a digital-marketing entrepreneur and weighted-blanket enthusiast, loves this Hush version so much, she raved about it on Twitter. In just a week, Murphy says the Iced had “already made a huge difference” on her sleep quality. “I suffer from anxiety, and this blanket really helps me to fall asleep fast and stay asleep,” she explains, adding that it’s “remarkable how temperature regulating it is.” As for how it’s weighted, it’s filled with glass sand, which is even quieter than glass beads.
Best (less expensive) bamboo cooling weighted blanket
Weight and cover material: 7, 12, 15, 20, 30 pounds; Bamboo viscose | Filling: Glass beads | Maintenance: Hand-wash
For a much more affordable weighted blanket made from bamboo viscose, check out this Amazon-reviewer favorite from YnM that Dani Donovan, creator of ADHDDD, a community platform for adults with ADHD, says is “one of the best purchases I’ve made in a long time.” She calls it a “game changer” because it “gently cools me off without being too cold,” and she likes that she “can control the amount of cooling by putting it above or below my sheet.” She’s also sleeping better: “My husband told me he’s noticed I don’t move around in sleep anymore,” Donovan says. “All in all, it exceeded my expectations and has significantly improved the quality of my sleep.” The manufacturer recommends hand-washing the blanket, which does not come with a removable cover, and also suggests pairing it with one of its bamboo duvet covers for easier maintenance.
Best lyocell cooling weighted blanket
Weight and cover material: 10, 15, 20, 25, 30 pounds; Lyocell bamboo | Filling: Glass beads | Maintenance: Machine washable
Alex Savy, founder of Sleeping Ocean, prefers this cooling weighted blanket from Luna, calling it well made. Made of lyocell bamboo, it’s antimicrobial and Oeko-Tex certified (meaning it’s made without harmful chemicals), with a silky feel and smooth texture that Savy says is cool against the skin. He also notes that he felt fresh when he slept under it, as the bamboo let air circulate and didn’t trap heat.
Best hydro-powered cooling weighted blanket
Weight and cover material: 15-21 pounds; Poly-blend fleece cover with hydro-powered chambers | Filling: Glass beads and silicone tubing for water channels | Maintenance: Machine-washable cover
Trapskin calls this one a “a completely different take on weighted blankets.” He notes that it’s quite expensive, with prices starting at $412, but it may be worth it for those who “live in a very hot climate and don’t want to run the AC all day.” The fuzzy fleece cover and heftiness are similar to most weighted blankets, but that’s where the similarities end.
The inside layer of this blanket is laced with silicone tubing that circulates channels of water to help regulate temperature and prevent trapping heat. In other words, because water has a high heat capacity, it can absorb and transfer heat away from the body. (While the name might be misleading, the ChiliBlanket is not like an ice pack. It can also be used to warm you up.) Once the control unit’s water chamber is filled, you plug it in, power it on, and set it to the exact temperature of your choice, between 55 and 115 degrees Fahrenheit (which you can do on the buttons of the unit itself or from the included remote). Riccio praises its hydro-powered tech as “super-innovative,” though she says “it requires much more maintenance than other weighted blankets on the market,” such as cleaning and refilling the water chamber.
Fans say it’s worth it, though. Juliet Starrett, co-founder of online fitness platform the Ready State, has used this blanket for six months and says her sleep quality “immediately improved.” She has tried weighted blankets in the past, “but even as a colder sleeper, it would feel like 1,000 degrees. I’d be sweating and would have to take it off immediately.” With this one, “I don’t necessarily feel like it’s cooling me, but it makes me not hot.” The control unit’s gentle whirring took her a few days to acclimate to, but ultimately the white-noise effect became an “extra bonus I didn’t really anticipate.” In Ilyashov’s experience, the ongoing water flow inside the blanket creates a hypnotic, slightly tingly sensation that takes some getting used to but that ultimately becomes soothing. You can also use it as a regular weighted blanket — it weighs 15 pounds without water and 21 pounds total with water — on days you don’t want (or need) to use it with the water connection.
Some more cooling bedding we’ve written about
• Dani Donovan, creator of ADHDDD
• Logan Foley, managing editor at Sleep Foundation
• Dr. Sanam Hafeez, neuropsychologist and faculty member at Columbia University
• Meghan Hunter, senior editor at Mattress Nerd
• Alexandra Ilyashov, Strategist contributor
• Susan Murphy, digital-marketing entrepreneur
• Robert Pagano, co-founder of Sleepline
• Sarah Riccio, senior writer and bedding expert at Sleepopolis
• David Rubin, director of product testing at the Sleep Doctor
• Alex Savy, founder of Sleeping Ocean
• Juliet Starrett, co-founder of the Ready State
• Ben Trapskin, founder of Sleep Sherpa
Additional reporting by Alexandra Ilyashov and Ambar Pardilla
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