Who may benefit from a weighted blanket?

  • Autism
  • ADHD
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia and sleep disorders
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Chronic pain
  • Medical procedures


One of the symptoms of autism, especially in children, is trouble sleeping. In a study from 2014, researchers investigated the effectiveness of weighted blankets for sleep issues related to autism. The results found there was little improvement in sleep scores from the use of the weighted blanket.

However, both the children and their parents noted they liked the weighted blanket more, despite the lack of improvement. This is supported by a smaller research studyTrusted Source that found the positive benefits of deep pressure therapy in some people with autism. These benefits may extend to weighted blankets as well.


There are very few studies that examine the use of weighted blankets for ADHD, but a similar study was performed using weighted vests. In this study, researchers explain that weighted vests have been used in ADHD therapy to improve attention and reduce hyperactive movements.

The study found promising results for participants who used the weighted vest during a continuous performance test. These participants experienced reductions in falling off task, leaving their seat, and fidgeting.

In addition, further researchTrusted Source supports that a weighted ball blanket also has benefits for sleep issues related to ADHD.


One of the primary uses of a weighted blanket is for the treatment of anxiety. Past research has shown that deep pressure stimulation can help reduce autonomic arousal. This arousal is responsible for the symptoms of anxiety, such as increased heart rate.

In the study above, the researchers found that using a weighted blanket reduced anxiety in roughly 33 percent of the 32 participants.

The researchers also explain that for some of the study participants, lying down may also have helped reduce anxiety. This suggests that using a weighted blanket while lying down may further help reduce anxiety symptoms.

Insomnia and sleep disorders

In the 2014 crossover study on autism and weighted blankets, both the parents and children felt the weighted blankets were beneficial in reducing sleep issues.

In the ADHD studyTrusted Source using ball blankets, the weighted blanket helped reduce sleep onset time and number of nighttime awakenings in study participants.

These study results suggest an overall benefit of using weighted blankets to treat sleep disorders.


There are no research studies on the use of weighted blankets for osteoarthritis. However, one sTrusted SourcetudyTrusted Source utilizing massage therapy may provide a link.

In this small study, 18 participants with osteoarthritis received massage therapy on their knee for 8 weeks. Study participants noted the massage therapy helped reduce knee pain and improve their quality of life.

Massage therapy applies deep pressure to osteoarthritic joints, so it’s possible that similar benefits may be experienced when using a weighted blanket.

Chronic pain

One of the recommended at-home treatments for chronic pain is massage therapy.

In one small studyTrusted Source, researchers found that starting with light pressure, later gradually increasing to moderate pressure, and then using deep pressure during massage therapy may reduce pain reflexes in those with chronic pain conditions.

This indicates the extra pressure of a weighted blanket may help keep the legs in place and reduce feelings of pain in chronic pain conditions.

Medical procedures

There may be some benefit to using weighted blankets during medical procedures.

A 2016 study experimented with using weighted blankets on participants undergoing wisdom tooth extraction. The weighted blanket participants experienced lower anxiety symptoms than the control group.

The researchers performed a similar follow-up study on adolescents using a weighted blanket during a molar extraction. Those results also found less anxiety with the use of a weighted blanket.

Since medical procedures tend to cause anxiety symptoms like increased heart rate, using weighted blankets may be beneficial in calming those symptoms.