As the nights start to draw in, and there’s a chill in the air, there’s nothing like snuggling under a blanket on the sofa. And weighted blankets are becoming increasingly popular thanks to their calming effect. While adult weighted blankets are not suitable for children, weighted blankets designed specifically for kids can help reduce anxiety and aid sleep.
What is a weighted blanket?
A weighted blanket is a blanket that has filling inside that makes it feel heavy. You can get different weights of blankets (more on this later). These blankets should create an even pressure across your body, which stimulates the release of serotonin and melatonin, and reduces cortisol. Serotonin is a hormone which boosts mood, while melatonin helps you regulate sleep. Cortisol is a stress hormone.
Weighted blankets probably aren’t going to solve all your stress and anxiety woes. But used as part of a roster of treatments, they can help. Those with autism and ADHD have also found weighted blankets have helped restlessness and promoted calmness.
What weight of blanket should I get for my child?
Children are not as good at regulating their temperatures as adults, and therefore are prone to overheating. So you want to be sure the blanket you pick is not going to be too heavy or hot for them. It’s recommended you choose a weighted blanket that’s between 5-10 per cent of their body weight. And they’re not recommended for children under three.
A blanket should allow for comfort and movement. You don’t want your child pinned to the sofa in one position.
What else should I look for in a weighted blanket for kids?
Let’s face it, kids are messy. You want a blanket that either has a removable cover, or one that can go in the washing machine in its entirety (check the weight limit of your washing machine).
We found cotton blankets to be more breathable, but often the polyester ones are more fleecy and plush. So you will want to check your child likes the texture and also that the fabric isn’t going to make them a sweaty mess.
Other than that, the print – many are grey, presumably as they blend with almost any interior. But some kids’ weighted blankets have fun designs. Get your child involved in the choosing of the design and they are more likely to want to use it.
Shop the best weighted blankets for kids below
Aeyla kids weighted blanket
We were so impressed by this weighted blanket from the moment we opened the outer packaging. It comes in a kid friendly, fun gift box. There’s even a little activity book inside the box, which is such a nice touch.
The sleep companion itself is fine fleece on one side, and cool, smooth cotton on the other. This is great as your child can choose between textures. The filling is glass micro beads that are almost imperceptible when you use the blanket, unlike some others we tried in testing. This means it feels hefty but not lumpy.
You can wash the whole thing at 30º in the machine, which is very handy indeed when messes predictably occur. At 100x150cm, it’s one of the most generous blankets in our round up and it comes in 2kg or 3kg.
Buy now £95.00, Aeyla
Little Blanket Shop weighted blanket for kids
This blanket feels incredibly well made. It comes in a premium gift box and you can also get it personalised - although this does cost an extra £15. The removable, washable cover is a gorgeous grey-cloud print, but there are sailboats or rainbows to choose from too.
On the other side is luxurious quilted soft plush, which feels super snuggly with a silky texture to combat any potential sensory processing issues your child may have. Made from 100 per cent cotton, this blanket has seven layers, with non-toxic glass beads providing the weight. These are sewn into internal pockets so the weight is evenly distributed.
The dimensions on this are 90x120cm for younger children (both in the 1.5kg and 2kg weights), which our (very tall) five year found didn’t cover his toes. It also comes in 100x150cm in a 3kg weight for older children, though.
Buy now £99.00, The Little Blanket Shop
Remy The Junior weighted blanket
We liked that this blanket had a distinct duvet feel to it, rather than a blanket. At 120 x 180cm, it feels big enough for older children. While we tested the 3kg blanket, suitable for 3-7 year olds, there’s also a weighter 5kg blanket for 7-12 year olds.
The soft, quilted cover comes in three non-offensive pastel shades and it looks as good draped over a sofa as it does in a child’s bedroom. The weight here comes from non-toxic glass beads. Thanks to the larger size of this blanket, it somehow feels a bit weighter than others. It’s certainly too heavy for a young child to heft around the house.
Buy now £54.50, Remy Sleep
Happy Linen Company kids weighted blanket
Our child gave this a double thumbs up as they loved the glow-in-the-dark space-themed cover we opted for. But you can also choose from a huge range of covers for your blanket – fish, dinosaurs and tropical cats, it’s all there for the taking.
The cover is machine washable at 30º and is made from a polycotton blend. The insert is filled with non-toxic glass beads, sewn into the pockets in the quilting. This blanket comes in three weights – 1.3kg, 2.3kg and 3.3kg. All of them are 90cm x 120cm, which won’t entirely cover older children unless they want to curl up underneath it. This is a really fairly priced option.
Buy now £40.00, Happy Linen Company
Slientnight Wellbeing kids weighted blanket
OK we admit it, we were pretty jealous of this blanket. It’s made from plush fabric on both sides, making it extremely tactile and, dare we say it, strokable. At 3kg as standard, it’s a good mid weight for kids of all ages over three - and the 100x150cm dimensions make it a pretty generous size, too.
Perfect for either being tucked up in bed underneath or for snuggling on the sofa in front of the TV, the whole thing is 100 per cent polyester, so it’s not the most breathable. Something to bear in mind if your child is prone to overheating at night.
Buy now £40.00, Amazon
Bullabaloo weighted quilt blanket
This blanket is designed for younger children, and so is different from all others on this list. There’s no glass beads or other weights used here - just four layers of buttery soft muslin, which provides a slight weight without weighing down a baby.
Perfect for tucking into the sides of a cot on colder nights as it’s made from muslin, which is the optimal fabric for temperature regulating and is also antibacterial. The animal themed prints are absolutely adorable, and would look fabulous in any nursery with a versatile and pared-back black and white outline design.
At 120x120, this blanket is also great for snuggling up on the sofa under, or for children who are transitioning away from sleeping bags.
Buy now £38.00, NOTHS
We were so impressed with the Aeyla blanket. Everything from the packaging to the finish on the blanket is premium. It’s also large enough to cover most kids, if they so wish. If the Aeyla is a bit of a stretch pricewise, then the Silentnight blanket is great value for money.