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Anyone who’s ever tried to put a kid to sleep knows it’s not always rainbows and unicorns. There’s the tossing, the turning, and the endless requests (can I have some more water? where’s Mr. Boo Bear?!). And some kids have trouble staying asleep—they’re just plain restless sleepers. Others might have anxiety or ADHD that make winding down difficult. When a glass of warm milk or a good bedtime story just isn’t cutting it, consider a weighted blanket.
“Many children find the pressure of a weighted blanket to be very calming,” says Dr. Lynelle Schneeberg, a sleep psychologist and author of Become Your Child’s Sleep Coach: The Bedtime Doctor’s 5-Step Guide, Ages 3-10. “Think about the last time you received a massage, or consider the fact that many parents swaddle their babies to improve their sleep. Many of us relax on the sofa under a blanket reading or watching a movie so lying under a heavy blanket can, indeed, be soothing.”
Thanks to a cocoon-like effect, weighted blankets can help kids relax when they’re over-stimulated, and may promote deeper and longer sleep. And children can turn to their favorite weighted blankets any time they want comfort, whether it’s for TV time, while on a road trip, or during a sleepover.
Just make sure to use the proper weight. “The blanket should weigh about ten percent of the person’s body weight, so a 70-pound child would use a seven-pound blanket,” says Dr. Schneeberg. Weighted blankets can be too heavy for small children, so check with your pediatrician first.
Fair warning: Your kid might love a weighted blanket so much, it might be tough to ever get rid of it! Says Dr. Schneeberg: “It’s similar to how some people fall asleep with the TV on each night and soon have trouble falling asleep without it.” But, hey, if a kid wants to take his weighted blanket off to college, that’s ok in our book.
Check out our picks below:
At 43 precent off, this cool shark-infested 6-pound blanket is a no-brainer. Made of polyester, it reverses to solid blue and features stitched squares to keep its glass beads in place. “Quality is great for the price and my grandson loves it!” raves a fan.
Shop it: Shark Weighted Blanket for Kids by Heritage Club, 6lbs, $24 (was $40), walmart.com
Like a warm hug, this irresistibly cozy weighted blanket is ideal for kids (ages 4 and up) who have trouble sleeping. Filled with tiny beads, the 36-by-48-inch cover offers a feeling of security and comes in a soothing gray and pop-y pink.
The sewn squares create a nice quilted look and the texture helps it stay put. “I love that this blanket doesn't slide off during the night,” says a happy customer. “I've noticed my child is less restless at night when using this blanket which is exactly what I hoped for. It looks great and feels great. I'd recommend one of these to anyone for both children and adults!”
Massive sale alert! This colorful option is more than half off! Recommended for unicorn-obsessed kids 50 to 100 pounds, the polyester blanket is a winner. “Helps my anxious kids,” says a happy customer. “They have big feelings often and I wanted them to be able to have their own blanket for when they’re overwhelmed. This has been great. They use it when they need to take some time for themselves.”
Shop it: Bell + Howell 7 Lb. Quilted Plush Pleasure Pedic Unicorn Design Weighted Blanket, $51 with code PRES (was $106), macys.com
Dinosaur lovers will go wild for this lightweight, 3-pound blanket, which provides just the right amount of pressure for a soothing sleep. Made of 100 percent cotton, with non-toxic glass beads, it’s ideal for kids weighing 25 to 40 pounds. And the quality is top-notch: “With the price being so affordable, I was very much expecting it to be cheaply made,” says an Amazon reviewer. “This blanket has turned out to be one of the best quality ones on the market! I have purchased seven weighted blankets and this one is undoubtedly five stars—my six year old loves it!”
Shop it: Sivio Kids Weighted Blanket, 3 lbs, 36 x 48 inches, $40, amazon.com
Mickey Mouse to the rescue! Filled with glass beads, this 4.5-pound blanket is happy, cozy, and gets high marks for adorableness: “This weighted blanket is so cute!” says a reviewer. “It has a super vibrant, colorful shell. And the inside lining is a faux fur that's very soft.”
Shop it: Mickey Red Faces Weighted Blanket 4.5 lb, 36" x 48", $35 (was $50), walmart.com
This is Amazon’s #1 best seller in kid’s weighted blankets—and for good reason. An adorable addition to a children’s room, the hypoallergenic nautical-themed blanket is Oeko-Tex certified, so it’s free of harmful substances and chemicals. Plus it’s made in the good ole USA.
It gets high marks for restless sleepers and parents of kids with sensory issues alike. “I bought this blanket as a recommendation from my son's occupational therapist—he is autistic and has several sensory issues,” says a five-star reviewer. “He requires deep pressure to feel comfort and calm. This blanket has been a lifesaver for him! He used to have trouble falling asleep and would fight the bedtime routine. Now he actually goes into his bed on his own most nights. It has helped tremendously!”
Shop it: LUNA Kids Weighted Blanket | 7 lbs - 41x60 - Twin Size Bed, $47, amazon.com
The reviews quoted above reflect the most recent versions at the time of publication.
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