Stuffed animals aren’t just for small children anymore. Now, older kids and even adults are turning to them to help cope with a number of issues ranging from anxiety, insomnia, ADHD and more. Much like weighted blankets, weighted stuffed animals rely on a deep pressure touch to calm the nervous system and trigger the release of serotonin and dopamine to calm the body. While more research is needed into this rising therapy, preliminary research shows significantly lowered anxiety and a calming effect when weighted blankets and stuffed animals are used.
Before buying a weighted stuffed animal, keep in mind that it could take several tries to find the right one for you. When searching for the right weighted stuffed animal, consider:
- Weight: A good weighted stuffed animal should weigh between two and five pounds.
- Size: As a personal preference, decide what makes you feel calmer, a large weighted stuffed animal that feels like a giant hug or something smaller that you can hold in your hands.
- Other features: Some weighted stuffed animals come with different fidget options, others are scented to further the calming effect and still others can be heated or cooled if one of those helps you feel calmer.
Not only are weighted stuffed animals therapeutic, but they are also cute and make the perfect addition to your emotional escape room or any calming spot in your home where you go to de-stress. Cuddle up with our recommendations.
Hugo Warmkins Original 18-Inch Weighted Sensory Plush Monkey
What you get: Hugo Warmkins weighs in at three pounds. It comes with straps to wear as a backpack, and its paws cover the straps and buckles. An insert is included that can be cooled or heated for a therapeutic effect.
Why we chose it: This weighted stuffed animal option feels just like a warm hug and truly provides a sense of calm. We love that it doubles as a backpack with a secret storage pocket, proving that traveling with Hugo is easy so you’re never without your weighted stuffed animal.
Price: $59.99 at Amazon.com
Weighted Teddy Bear
What they’ll get: This weighted teddy bear stands at 16 inches tall and weighs three pounds of calming pressure. It has plush soft fur to encourage sensory seekers.
Why we chose it: This weighted teddy bear is just the right combo of weight and fur to calm anxieties, mood and attention issues. It’s a great size for travel so kids will feel comfortable in any overstimulating environment, and we think it’s pretty cute to boot.
Price: $57.05 at Walmart.com
Intelex Marshmallow Bear Warmies
What they’ll get: The Marshmallow Bear by Intelex weighs just under two pounds and is filled with flax grains. The entire bear can be heated up and emits a soft lavender scent that instantly soothes. It can also be frozen if needed.
Why we chose it: This soft plush bear is perfect for those needing a warming touch. Heat it and use it to warm up the bed at bedtime or place it on the tummy to calm colic or upset stomach. When heated, the bear emits a soft lavender scent that further improves calm and relaxation. The soft fabric is perfect for calming fidgeting. We appreciate that you can also place this bear in the freezer to soothe bumps and bruises.
Price: $23.72 at Amazon.com
Disney Frozen 2 Olaf Weighted Stuffed Toy
What they’ll get: At 14.5 inches tall, Olaf from the Disney hit Frozen weighs two pounds. The fabric is soft and stretchy for a calming sensory experience. If a different character suits your needs better, other Disney characters are available, including Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Moana and Stitch.
Why we chose it: Combine the magic of Disney with a magically calming stuffed animal. “Hi, I’m Olaf, and I like warm hugs.” Bring that magic home with this perfect huggable weighted stuffed Olaf. This weighted stuffed animal so closely mimics the feel of a warm hug that your child will want to take it everywhere, and you’ll be OK with that.
Price: $18.09 at Amazon.com
What they’ll get: Select from five different Moon Pal characters, each with its own inspiring and encouraging message. Moon Pals weigh five pounds each and measure 22 inches long and 16 inches wide. They are made from a tactile, cuddly fabric with a gradient fabric design on the ears.
Why we chose it: Moon Pals are weighted not only in their body but in the arms and legs, so you can wrap the malleable arms and legs around your neck and body to get the feeling of a full hug. At the same time, the weighted spots strategically target stress points producing instant calming effects. The gradient fabric on the ears allows hands to fidget quietly. Cuddly, soft, and therapeutic, you can’t go wrong with any of the five Moon Pals characters.
Price: $69.95 at MoonPals.com
WILD BABY Microwaveable Stuffed Animal
What they’ll get: The WILD BABY stuffed animals are about 10 inches and weigh just under one pound. They have a removable lavender-scented insert that can be heated or cooled.
Why we chose it: While not weighted as heavy as some others on our list, the WILD BABY stuffed animals are especially good therapeutic travel companions. At only 10 inches, they are easy to take anywhere and everywhere – even little hands can hang on tight to them. When heated, they let off a relaxing lavender scent, and when cooled, they provide refreshing relief to bumps and bruises. There are six therapeutic stuffed animals from which to choose, and you can’t go wrong with any.
Price: $19.99 at Amazon.com
Huggaroo Weighted Lap Puppy – Sensory Stuffed Animals
What they’ll get: The plush lap pad puppy weighs just over three and a half pounds and is extra-large at 29 inches long and eight inches wide. It is an IBCCES Certified Autism Resource to promote better sleep and focus. The cover is washable.
Why we chose it: A cross between a weighted blanket and a weighted stuffed animal, we like the lap pad puppy because it is heavy and lengthy, so it easily hits all the anxiety pressure points. We also love that the cover is washable.
Price: $49.99 at Amazon.com
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