Whether you’re shopping for a child struggling with anxiety or an adult who needs help sleeping better, a weighted stuffed animal can provide the comfort and relief they need. These special plushies look like traditional toys, but they pack a little extra weight—averaging between 1 and 5 pounds. That extra weight is meant to replicate the feeling of being hugged by someone who cares. This sensation is called deep touch pressure (DTP) and it’s what makes these animals a calming choice for people who struggle with sensory overload, anxiety, or ADHD.
Weighted stuffed animals are different from weighted blankets in that they’re smaller (making them easier for kids to carry) and more appealing to kids due to their cute appearance and tendency to become a steadfast companion. Additionally, they’re much easier to take with you on trips (like doctor visits and airplane flights) than a blanket, which isn’t as portable.
Many weighted stuffed animals are machine washable and come with removable covers, which is helpful for keeping them clean. However, some weighted stuffed animals only feature spot-cleaning guidelines, meaning you’ll need to remove their insides and clean them by hand. While there’s limited clinical guidance on how heavy a weighted stuffed animal should be, most of the options on our list weigh less than five pounds and are therefore safe for kids. If you’re unsure about the weight of a particular option, we suggest trying a small handful of rice or flour that’s close to the same size as the one you’re considering. weighted stuffed animal