10 Cheaper Weighted Blanket Alternatives to the Gravity Blanket
Weighted blankets, aka 'gravity blankets', have experienced a recent surge in popularity, most remarkably since the renowned Gravity Blanket raked in over $4 million on its 2017 Kickstarter campaign. Most commonly used to alleviate symptoms associated with disorders like autism, anxiety, and ADHD, weighted blankets are swiftly becoming popular for treating insomnia, depression, and anxiety as well.
How weighted blankets work
According to Harkla, makers of special needs supplies including weighted blankets, the magic of the blankets is said to lie within a concept called Deep Touch Pressure, or DTP, which applies gentle but firm pressure to the body in order to release the neurotransmitter serotonin.
This, in turn, calms the user, allowing greater focus, less anxiety, sounder sleep, etc. Here's a bit from Dr. Temple Grandin, famous animal handler, facility designer, and Colorado State University professor with autism, on the subject.
Ok but, do weighted blankets really work?
Although some dismiss the weighted blanket insurgency as nothing more than hopeful hooey, evidence presented in the American Journal of Occupational Therapy and Connecticut Children's Medical Center provided further confirmation of the effectiveness of weighted materials.
The Center's PsyD Lynelle Schneeberg explained that gravity blankets, as well as other forms of compression, provide equal benefit, “It’s absolutely true that some kids benefit from compression, either from weighted blankets or stretchy Lycra sleeping bags [which also provide deep pressure].”
The Journal's article shared that weighted vests were proven to help elementary students focus more and fidget less. And another study from 2015 confirmed participants with insomnia who used weighted blankets lengthened their sleeping hours and diminished movements disruptive to sleep.
The problem is, not everyone can afford a $250 blanket (what a Gravity Blanket retails for) to see if it works for them. As we know, what works for one person on the spectrum may not work for another — and $250 is a pricey way to find out something doesn't work for you. We understand, and went in for the cheaper versions and alternatives. Come see our finds, and let us know which, if any, might work for you or your family!
Which weighted blanket is best for me?
There are a few things you should keep in mind when deciding on a weighted blanket.
- Who will be using the blanket
- What they'll be using the blanket for
Proper blanket weights can be chosen depending on individual preference, but, in general, 10% of the customer's body weight is recommended by Occupational Therapists, plus one additional pound.
Some have reported safety issues when using weighted blankets (or their alternatives) with children under age 2. These blankets should never be used with anyone who cannot remove them independently. They should never be used as punishment or as a restraint. As with anything we recommend here, please do check with your physician before purchasing or making your child a weighted blanket in order to make sure it's safe for them.
And now without further ado — here are our favorite affordable weighted blankets, as well as a few weighted blanket alternatives.
Affordable weighted blankets
Every option is 100% cotton in this cheap weighted blanket sale, as well as breathable, washable, and dryable on your 'cool' setting - and you can choose your size at time of ordering. Their weights are made of non-toxic, hypoallergenic poly pellets as well.
Apart from the Clearance section, you can also find weighted blankets at a little less than other brands in Mosaic's classic collection, here.
Price: Varies with size, starting with the 5-9 lbs. size at $79.95 on up to to $139.95 for 17-20 lbs. You can also get $5 off your order with one of these Mosaic promo codes.
Sizing: According to the website, the following sizes should work best:
- 5-9 lbs, best for kids. (mattress measurements may be: 38x50"or 38x60")
- 10-13 lbs, older kids up to 140-lb. adults (measurements may be: 38x60" or 42x72")
- 14-16 lbs up to 160 lbs, size will be 42x72"
- 17-20 lbs from 170 -220 lbs, size will be 42x72"
- These are built to last for years
- Weights are evenly distributed
- Affordable (when on clearance)
- Customers with ADHD and/or sensory processing disorder reported being able to stop taking sleep medication after using the Mosaic
- Maintains a solid 4 star rating on Trustpilot after 866 reviews
- Clearance items are non-refundable
Mosaic weighted blankets are high quality products, effective for most who've tried them to alleviate anxiety, restless legs, ADHD, bouts of aggression, and more. The clearance prices are nice with Mosaic, but have a backup plan or donation recipient (perhaps a special ed classroom or OT?) in mind in case it doesn't work for you — there are no refunds on clearance items.
SensaCalm offers small, medium, large, and full sized weighted blankets in their clearance section, with some clearance products ideal for children weighing as little as 30 lbs. Other items include weighted blankets for adults weighing up to 170 lbs.
Not sure exactly what to get? Check their detailed buying guide here.
Price: Ranges from $71.96 to $215.96 based upon size. You can get 10% off your purchase with one of these SensaCalm promo codes.
- Maintains a 4.7 star rating on FaceBook after 231 reviews
- Clearance weighted blankets ship the next day
- Most previous customers rave about how well their children have been able to sleep after starting with SensaCalm blankets
- Free shipping within the contiguous United States on orders over $100
- Can be expensive if full price
- Check each product to see why it's on clearance; most appeared "to have been washed" in our review (meaning they have possibly been returned)
SensaCalm makes everything from weighted blankets, vests, lap pads, duvet covers, belts, soothing snakes, waterproof sheets, and more. If you'd like a high quality weighted blanket but price is an issue, try their clearance section.
If a few dollars more won't bother you, you can get a customized weighted blanket on the SensaCalm site instead. This Finding Dory version, for example, is $94.95, is ideal for a 30-lb. child, and you can add a matching pillowcase, request it with or without Polyfil, upgrade to cuddle backing, and add snaps and monogramming.
Makers of weighted blankets, organic buckwheat pillows, aromatherapy sachets, and more, L-Oma is part of a non-profit organization called The Bridges Foundation. This affiliation ensures there is no tax charged on your order.
Filled with high quality non-fumigated, organic buckwheat hulls, the L-Oma Organic Buckwheat Weighted Blanket is designed for those with autism, ADD, or ADHD, but can be useful for almost anyone - including those suffering with restless leg syndrome, cerebral palsy, anxiety disorders, Alzheimer's, sleep apnea, and more.
And it's price without added tax or shipping fees makes it extra affordable. Be sure to check L-Oma's online shop for deals here.
Price: Varies according to size and material from $97 - $171.00.
- Comes in 4 sizes (crib, lap, square bed and rectangular bed) and 3 fabrics (cotton, organic cotton, and fleece)
- Available in solid colors or print patterns
- Free shipping
- No taxes
- 100% of sales proceeds support their non-profit for people with disabilities
- Some customers reported feeling refreshed and rejuvenated in the morning
- 4.8 star rating on FaceBook
- Some may still find prices too high
Skip the plastic pellets and go for L-Oma's organic buckwheat hulls! This is a great way to save on a weighted blanket while supporting a worthwhile non-profit endeavor at the same time — made with all natural materials to boot. Choose from 3 fabrics, 4 sizes, and several prints/colors.
The Amy Garden Weight Blanket is made of premium breathable cotton and filled with hypoallergenic, non-toxic glass beads instead of plastic.
- Great quality
- Available in several chic colors to match any decor
- Beads make what's been described as a 'soft waterfall' sound when you turn over
- Incredibly cozy for falling and staying asleep
- One of the best weighted blankets available on Amazon
- Weighted inner layer and the duvet cover are sold separately
- Not recommended for sick individuals, physically weak people, pregnant women, or babies under 2 years of age
- Some reported a fine dust or sand leaked out of theirs after some time
- Some did not like that the product was made in China
The Amy Garden weighted blanket is a decent choice if you don't mind products made in China. If yours starts to leak, be sure you contact customer service right away. It sounds like they'll replace defective merchandise, no problem.
If you want a beautiful and unique weighted blanket, give Etsy a browse. We found the following Etsy shop had lovely options with hundreds of rave 5-star reviews:
Namaste HandMade creates their own weighted blankets and lap pads. You can search for correct sizes by weight along the left side of the page. As you can see, there are numerous eye-catching styles within each weight category — and most are ready to ship at time of order.
The owners of Namaste HandMade started the business after their daughter was diagnosed with ASD and SPD, leaving long-time careers in public service and nursing behind them. Follow them on Instragram and Facebook for updates on their endeavors.
And, after 1,066 reviews, this spot still maintains a solid 5 stars on the Etsy site. Not too shabby!
Price: Varies according to size/weight.
- This 3 pound weighted dinosaur blanket is $45.00, for example, while
- this 8-pound moose flannel is $81.00, and
- this 12-pound rainbow tie-dye is $126.00.
- Maintains a solid 5 stars on both Etsy and FaceBook
- Handmade quality in gorgeous fabrics while also washing machine and dryer-safe
- A variety of sizes
- Great prices
- Still available for holiday shopping - but get in there fast if you want one in time for a gift!
- Could not find any
Namaste HandMade makes top of the line quality weight blankets, many of them cheap, in unique colors/designs for the reasonable price you've been looking for. Go ahead and grab one for your dear one, be they student, parent, teacher, or OT - they make a great holiday gift!
My Three Boys
Similar to Namaste HandMade, My Three Boys has a variety of sizes and styles of weighted blankets for both adults and children. Although My Three Boys' creator Katie Steffens originally made a larger variety of baby products, her popular weighted blankets became such hot sellers, they've now taken over as her only product!
And with My Three Boys, you can also select your size items from along the column on the left of the page.
Ready-to-ship weighted blankets with free shipping right now are here, lap pads are here, and dog blankets are here (yep, these work for anxious doggies sometimes too - i.e. a similar premise as the 'thunder shirt').
Price: Varies according to size and type; this child's 3-lb weighted blanket is 77.40, while this organic flight-of-the-birds print weighted throw at 5 lbs. is $83.70, and this poppy-printed weighted throw at 15 lbs is 153.00.
- Maintains a solid 5-star rating on Etsy after 964 reviews
- Exchanges are provided if contacted within 5 days of delivery & shipped back within 7 days of delivery
- Seller is very responsive to messages
- All blankets are machine-washable and dryer-safe
- Comfy, soft, and heavy blankets
- Will ship to Canada; contact seller for details
- No returns or cancellations
My Three Boys blankets are superb quality and nearly 1,000 reviews of solid 5-stars backs that up sufficiently on Etsy. Don't bother buying one if you plan on returning it — refunds aren't provided, only exchanges — and those are only available for about 7 days following delivery.
Weighted blanket alternatives
If you're searching for great gravity blanket alternatives, the SnugBug may be a great option.
Available in 6 vibrant colors, the SnugBug provides deep pressure through compression rather than weight. Modeled after the creator's child's sensory swing, the SnugBug's stretchy spandex fabric wraps and provides the child with all the endorphin-increasing and serotonin-producing effects of the swing while lying in bed. This enables them to finally relax and fall asleep on their own without any need for medication.
Price: $60.00 on Amazon.
- "Hugs tight" while user is sleeping
- Easy to use
- Children fall asleep much more easily with the SnugBug (when they've previously had trouble)
- Children who previously woke up several times per night hardly woke up at all after using SnugBug
- Creator has been willing to customize the fit of individual SnugBugs
- Fits Toddler through King size mattresses
- Maintains 4.7 star rating on Amazon
- Can take a month or longer for delivery
- Handwashing the SnugBug is recommended
The SnugBug is reported to be highly effective for children with sensory issues who have trouble falling or staying asleep. As noted on the site and above: This is a weighted blanket alternative, NOT a weighted blanket.
The Cozy Caterpillar Body Sock
The body sock applies deep pressure touch similar to weighted blankets, also beneficial to those with autism spectrum disorders, ADHD, sensory processing issues, anxiety, etc. at just a sliver of the price.
Wear the 100% spandex sock over your knees as shown, or around the shoulders, waist, or otherwise to find the perfect adjustment for your deep pressure needs.
- Free shipping with $75 order
- Available in sizes XS through XL
- Can be used at home or school
- Extra durable for long-lasting use
- None found
For the kid (or adult) who has a lot of trouble with anxiety or focus at school (or home), the Cozy Caterpillar Body Sock is an affordable option to try. Most found it extremely worthwhile and helpful in alleviating a wide range of symptoms.
DIY No-Sew Weighted Blanket
If you'd really rather make your own than buy one, you've got option. The first DIY weighted blanket How-To we found is for the less crafty among us, or those who can't sew to save our lives (or, in my case, both!).
The video walks you through step by step, and you'll need scissors, a glue gun, and your pellets for this one, and of course, your blankets. We recommend you watch the video all the way through before starting.
Here's the video.
- Can follow along on the video, pause, rewind as needed
- Seems like a simple, straightforward How-To for someone with an average level of understanding to complete
- It's possible the pellets would start leaking out in a short amount of time
- Handwashing only recommended
This is a fun project for a rainy day, or maybe a group project if you're starting a daycare or therapy group, etc. Perfect for OT or similar therapy groups. Not recommended for children younger than 3.
Now for a slightly more industrious version:
For the crafty ones who've mastered the sewing machine, there's this DIY how to make a weighted blanket — for which all supplies were purchased at JoAnn (even the pellets).
Here's the video.
Price: Free (for the instructional), plus reasonably priced materials from Joann.
- We liked how Alora Blu explained each step of her blanket, and it's definitely wise to go with the checkered pattern!
- Nice quality for a homemade DIY cheap weighted blanket
- Might be tricky for those without much experience
Good for the crafters and sewers in the bunch, or perhaps an occasional high achiever who is exceptionally good at following a video tutorial. Be sure you've got your materials measured out as suggested, and good luck!
Still looking for the right DIY for your weighted blanket? Wellness Mama has a recipe, and she'll put you to task here - you'll need to know the basics on a sewing machine for hers, just fyi. She recommends this one for a Weighted Rice Blanket also - but remember, you can't wash the blankets with rice in them.
Whatever you choose, we wish you the best, and hope you'll share your results with us below!