How to Choose the Best Weighted Blanket For Autism

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) affects the sleep quality of 50% of adult sufferers and up to 80% of children and teen sufferers. Part of the reason for this is that autism spectrum disorders are comorbid with a sensory processing disorder, which can make it different to fall asleep and stay asleep. Insomnia and restless leg syndrome are also experienced by autism sufferers, making quality sleep more elusive. [1]

It’s a difficult and often distressing situation to be in - coping with ASD and having trouble sleeping. Anyone trying to have a good night’s sleep will tell you that they’ve tried many remedies and found little lasting relief. 

But that’s not true with weighted blankets. A weighted blanket offers a non-prescription drug alternative for sleep, and it gets to the heart of the problem: the needed sensory input for the body to feel relaxed, safe and able to wind down. It provides something that occupational therapists have used to treat ASD symptoms for many decades - deep pressure stimulation

Deep pressure stimulation gives a person suffering from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder the feeling of a gentle squeeze when they lie under the blanket. It envelopes the body, pressing down on the skin, and soothes the irritability so often spoken of by ASD sufferers. 

But are all weighted blankets appropriate for ASD? What should you know to convince you that this is the best solution for your sleep disorders?  We will answer these questions and many more in this article, and encourage you to trust the therapeutic effects of a weighted blanket for sleep problems. 

How a weighted blanket can help autism spectrum sleep problems

Occupational therapy has provided much needed relief for ASD sufferers. Through the use of deep pressure therapy, a sufferer receives sensory integration help and body awareness exercises that mimic what the nervous system should be able to do on its own. With ASD, the nervous system is dysregulated but deep touch pressure has proven effective in aiding the body to relax. 

It’s not just adults that battle with this. Children with autism have an even harder time dealing with sleep difficulties. Part of the work of the occupational therapist with an autistic child is to use a weighted vest during therapy which gives the child the same benefits as a weighted blanket. However, we caution the use of overnight weighted blankets for children younger than 10 years old and that weigh less than 100lbs. 

In a nutshell, weighted blankets work because they feel like someone is giving you a reassuring hug without overloading your sensory capacity. 

A person tucked under a weighted blanket in bed

Gravid has developed a range of high-quality weighted blankets for all tastes. Made from several layers of fabric and filled with glass beads, which are evenly distributed across the blanket by sewing them into ‘pockets,’ our weighted blanket promises to deliver deep pressure therapy when you need it most. 

Our blankets reduce sleep onset latency (the time it takes you to fall asleep) and improve the quality of your sleep so you can get more REM sleep (the really deep kind you need to feel rested and for your body to calm down). 

Buy a Gravid blanket now.

Okay, now that you have a good idea of what a weighted blanket is and how it works, let’s move on to how you can choose the right blanket to suit your individual needs. 

Key factors in choosing a weighted blanket for autism


The right weight is important because ASD and comorbid sensory disorders can cause problems with sensory processing. If the blanket is not the right weight, you may have an adverse reaction to its weight, feeling anxious or stressed about the prolonged weight on your body. This is the opposite of what you need. 

We recommend that the weighted blanket be no more than 10% of individual body weight. Our ‘lightest’ blanket weighs 15lb, and the ‘heaviest’ blanket weighs 30lb. If you are particularly sensitive to the processing of sensory information, then you should use the 15lb blanket. 


Our blankets come in twin, queen and king size. The blanket should cover you without a large portion of the blanket hanging over the side of the bed. Usually, our blankets cover the top of the bed, and this is what we recommend so that you don’t have to wrestle with your weighted blanket at night, completely defeating the point of it. The effectiveness of the blanket doesn’t lie in the weight or size but in the comfort of the individual. For deep touch therapy to work, there should not be anything going on that detracts from that feeling of a gentle hug. 


The material of the blanket affects both comfort and sensory experience. An autistic person who also suffers from a mental disorder or accompanying physical conditions should take all these disorders into account when choosing the right weighted blanket. The reasons for this are varied but revolve around the feel of the material, its heat regulation properties, and physiological arousal. It should be a therapeutic tool whose goal is anxiety reduction.

We have three different types of weighted blankets, each one serving a different purpose. 

A weighted blanket


UltraPlush Weighted Blanket

This blanket is made from a plush microfibre. It is very soft and luxurious to the touch and provides a feeling of warm comfort to the sleeper. Customers who love this blanket have recommended it because it improved sleep quality, helped to improve sleep on most nights, and was effective at reducing anxiety. 

Breeze™ Cooling Weighted Blanket

This blanket is made from the fibers of the eucalyptus plant which is naturally cooling. Our blanket is thermo-regulating which means it responds to changes in temperature and keeps the sleeper cooler for longer. Customers who love this blanket say it has calming effects, can reduce anxiety, and helps them stay asleep for longer. 

Both these blankets are filled with glass beads, which are sewn into ‘pockets’ and provide evenly distributed weight across your body. This is a very important aspect of choosing a weighted blanket to achieve the therapeutic effect. The weight MUST be evenly distributed. Not all weighted blankets are made like this, and some are filled with sand or plastic pellets that can move around the blanket and cause discomfort when one side of the blanket becomes heavier than the other side. Check out the construction when you buy weighted blankets - it’s very important. 

15lb Chunky Knit Weighted Blanket

A cozy bedroom scene with a large knitted blanket lying on a bed next to a bench.

Made from our plush microfibre material and then stuffed to form ‘yarn.’ The Chunky Knit blanket is an alternative for those who want a lighter blanket. This superior quality knitted blanket gives sleepers all the benefits of our other blankets but provides a different aesthetic for your bedroom and can also be used in the living room.  

Why Choose Gravid Weighted Blankets for Autism?

Gravid is designed with quality, sleep comfort and therapeutic effect in mind. The key features of our blankets include:

  • Even weight distribution: As mentioned above, the construction of the weighted blanket matters. Our blanket is constructed from several layers of material and the glass beads are kept in place by pockets. It won’t move from its place and that means you’ll get your gentle hug all night long. The outer cover is also attached to the inner cover (which contains the beads) with a sturdy zip that is more than capable of holding it together. Unlike weighted blankets that are held together with ties on the four corners, you won’t find it coming loose. That means everything stays in place, where it should be, to give you the benefit of deep pressure therapy. 
  • Removable covers: As explained our blankets have an outer cover and an inner cover. This makes it possible to have extra outer covers and for you to wash the blanket in the washing machine. 
  • We don’t use bamboo, we use TENCEL™ LYOCELL: This natural fiber of the eucalyptus plant is hypoallergenic, temperature regulating and incredibly strong. The cover of your weighted blanket will not tear due to the weight and you can be sure the glass bead filling will also stay put. 

Buy a Gravid blanket now.

7 Steps to choosing the best Gravid blanket


Calculate the ideal weight you need. Start with 10% of your individual body weight or combined body weight if you are sharing with a partner. 


Consider personal comfort and needs according to how you are affected by ASD and sensory processing disorder. If in doubt, discuss your personal needs with your occupational therapist.


Measure your bed to get the correct size. Remember, you don’t want the blanket hanging excessively off the sides. 


Make your choice based on the use. If you want to use it when you’re resting on the couch, choose a lighter blanket or a smaller size. 


Consider additional covers for warmer or cooler months as the seasons change.


Consider additional accessories such as cooling sheets, pillowcases and eye masks.


Place your order and get excited about having a peaceful night’s sleep. 

If you’ve reached this point but aren’t ready to order your blanket quite yet, perhaps you’d like to know more about the benefits of weighted blankets for autism.

Sure thing! Let’s get into that. 

Benefits of Using a Gravid Weighted Blanket for Autism
A colorful construction paper rainbow with the words "Autism Awareness" written in black marker across the arch.

Improved sleep quality

Gravid blankets will make it easier to fall asleep as they provide that essential feeling of safety and comfort that is craved by the five senses before sleeping. The deep pressure stimulation will soothe the nervous system and reduce the number of nighttime awakenings, providing a more restful feeling in the morning. This provides a good start to deal with the challenges of the day ahead. 

Reduced anxiety and stress

Anxiety and stress occur when the body’s own stress response becomes imbalanced by too much cortisol and adrenaline being produced by the body in response to minor environmental triggers or life challenges. Feel like you’re about to jump through the roof when you hear a small but unexpected sound? Feel like a bear is about to eat you when the boss makes a simple and calm request? Now you understand why it’s difficult to fall asleep under this kind of stress reaction. 

The deep pressure therapy offered by the weighted blanket provides the feeling of reassurance that you are ‘held.’ The brain recognises this and sends signals to the body to turn down the fight-or-flight responses. You become calmer and are able to sleep faster and better. 

Enhanced focus and concentration

Using a weighted blanket is not just for nighttime. You can use it while you work (for the digital nomads) and study. The weighted blanket provides a feeling of being grounded, allowing you to feel calm and focus on the task at hand. A weighted blanket seems too simple to work, right? Well, the success is all due to the deep pressure stimulation and what that signals the brain to do - mostly tell the nervous system that you’re doing ok!


Thanks for sticking with us as we examined all the benefits of a weighted blanket for autism as well as how to choose one that suits your individual needs. 

If you’re battling with sleep problems and are looking for a natural way to alleviate night time restlessness, stress, anxiety, insomnia, restless leg syndrome, and waking up many times a night, then you need to seriously think about investing in a weighted blanket. 

The claims for its success are not baseless and are based on several research papers that can be found online. Weighted blankets are featured in a variety of studies on sleep disturbances, mental disorders, childhood behavioral difficulties and age-related sleep problems such as menopause. We believe in this product, and we think that once you try it, you will, too. 

There are so many challenges that we have to face every day, so why not gift yourself with good quality sleep and peace of mind that comes from knowing you won’t have to toss and turn around in your bed for 8 hours every night. 

Start your journey to better sleep now. 

Buy a Gravid weighted blanket