The Best 2 to 5 lb Weighted Stuffed Animals for Anxious Kids

Best 5 lb weighted stuffed animal for anxiety by such a little while

Weighted stuffed animals have become an increasingly popular calming tool for children with anxiety or sensory processing needs.

They are adorable, calming, and easy to use at home, school, or on the go. Most importantly, weighted stuffed animals give kids a sense of control and empowerment in overcoming obstacles.

This post will take the stress and guesswork out of the equation and quickly match you with the perfect 2 to 5 lb weighted stuffed animal to meet your child’s unique needs.

The Best Weighted Stuffed Animals for Anxious Kids!  By Such a Little While
Text overlay stock image of young child smiling with mouth and eyes closed, hugging a plush stuffed animal.

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The best weighted stuffed animals to help kids with anxiety

Best Overall

“Theo the Therapy Dog”

Read our full review here!

Best on a Budget

“Warmies” by Intelex

Read our full review here!

As a former school counselor, I thoughtfully crafted the following list to help you find the best weighted stuffed animal for your perfectly unique child or student.

You can either read through our complete list of favorites or skip ahead to your preferred category below based on your child’s size and sensory needs:

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Best Adjustable Weighted Animals

If you suspect your child will be with their furry friend for the long haul or if you are looking to meet the needs of multiple children, you may wish to consider an animal with adjustable weight.

Harry the Sensory Hedgehog

Best 2 to 5 lb weighted stuffed animals for anxious kids: Best adjustable weighted stuffed animal (Harry the Hedgehog)

Weight: 1.8 lb Harry holds up to 10lbs of additional weight (insertable weights are sold separately here).

Size: 18″L x 14″W x 37″

Material: Harry’s fur is similar to a shag-style rug, which adds a sensory effect! Fill his zippered plush tummy with any weights of your choosing.

Why We Love Him: Harry is among the biggest weighted buddies on our list. And he can grow right alongside your child! While a bit pricier, there will be no need to replace Harry when your child requires more weight.

Snapping Turtles – Set of 3

Best 2 to 5 lb weighted stuffed animals for anxious kids: Best adjustable weighted stuffed animals (Set of 3 snapping turtles from Fun and Function)

Weight: Use individually or snapped together! The red turtle is .5 lb, the blue turtle is .75 lb, and the yellow turtle is 1 lb.

Size: Each turtle is 12″L x 12″W.

Material: Each turtle is made from safety-tested plush. All 3 have snaps that are oh-so-satisfying to click together!

Why We Love Them: These turtles provide the most versatility of all weighted stuffed animals on the market. They can be split up among multiple children, used as lap pads, or snapped together and slung over the shoulder for a deep-pressure calming effect.

Best 2 lb Weighted Stuffed Animals

Theo the Weighted Therapy Dog

Best 2 to 5 lb weighted stuffed animals for anxious kids: Best 2 lb weighted stuffed animals (Theo the Therapy Dog)

Weight: 2.5 lbs

Size: 12 x 6.5 x 6 inches

Material: Theo is plush on the outside and filled with lavender-scented ceramic beads. He can also be heated or cooled!

Why We Love Him: Theo has a loveable, lifelike appearance, similar to a Golden or Labrador Retriever. Kids easily connect with him! Theo is perfect for those who cannot otherwise access a real-live therapy dog.

Chloe the Comfort Cat

Best 2 to 5 lb weighted stuffed animals for anxious kids: Best 2 lb weighted stuffed animals (Chloe the Comfort Cat)

Weight: 2.5 lbs

Size: ‎11.5 x 6 x 5 inches

Material: Chloe is plush on the outside and filled with lavender-scented ceramic beads. She can also be heated or cooled!

Why We Love Her: For some reason, cats are almost non-existent in the weighted stuffed animal world. Cat-people, sweet Chloe is your girl!

Weighted Worm

Best 2 to 5 lb weighted stuffed animals for anxious kids: Best 2 lb weighted stuffed animals (Weighted worm from Fun and Function)

Weight: 1.7 lbs

Size: 65″L x 5″ circumference (at widest point)

Material: The worm is made from 88% polyester, 12% spandex, and stuffed with polystyrene pellets.

Why We Love It: Wrap-around animals can be incredibly soothing for anxious kids, but most are heavy and aim for deep pressure. If your child is small or does not love the extra weight, Fun and Function’s weighted worm is an excellent choice.

Best 3 lb Weighted Stuffed Animal

Weighted Teddy Bear

Best 2 to 5 lb weighted stuffed animals for anxious kids: Best 4 lb weighted stuffed animals (Weighted teddy bear from Fun and Function)

Weight: 3 lbs

Size: 14 inches tall

Material: This weighted teddy is made from 100% polyester and stuffed with 100% polyester fiber and 2-3 millimeter glass pellets.

Why We Love It: Fun and Function’s Weighted Teddy Bear is a classic choice that will appeal to diverse children. He is moderately priced and falls in the middle of the preferred 2-to-5 lb weighted stuffed animal range.

Manimo Weighted Snake

Best 2 to 5 lb weighted stuffed animals for anxious kids: Best 3 lb weighted stuffed animals (Manimo Weighted Snake from Discount School Supply)

Weight: 3.3 lbs

Size: 30 inches long

Material: This weighted snake is made from sparkly Lycra® (polyester/spandex blend) and filled with non-toxic polyethylene beads.

Why We Love It: This Manimo weighted snake from Discount School Supply is heavy and thick enough for your child to use as a lap pad, but versatile enough to sling over their shoulder.

Best 4 lb Weighted Stuffed Animals

Weighted Shimmery Turtle

Best 2 to 5 lb weighted stuffed animals for anxious kids: Best 3 lb weighted stuffed animals (Shimmery weighted turtle from Fun & Function)

Weight: 4 lbs

Size: 13.5″L x 10″W

Material: 100% polyester plush and PVC sequin exterior, stuffed with 100% polyester fiber and 1.5-2 millimeter glass pellets.

Why We Love It: Many children (and grown-ups!) love the calming effect of flipping two-toned sequins.

Leo the Weighted Lion

Best 2 to 5 lb weighted stuffed animals for anxious kids: Best 4 lb weighted stuffed animals (Leo the Lion from Fun and Function)

Weight: 4 lbs

Size: 14″L x 10″W

Material: Leo is made from polyurethane vinyl and stuffed with 100% polyester filling. He’s a rare breed in that he’s weighted with steel sand.

Why We Love It: Many of us know the hardship of having to wash a stuffed animal or favorite blanket your child is emotionally attached to! Leo wipes clean and never has to go out of commission.

Manimo Weighted Green Lizard

Best 2 to 5 lb weighted stuffed animals for anxious kids: Best 4 lb weighted stuffed animals (Manimo Weighted Green Lizard from Fat Brain Toys)

Weight: 4.4 lbs

Size: 12 in x 7 in

Material: This weighted lizard is made from sparkly Lycra® (polyester/spandex blend) and filled with non-toxic plastic micro-beads.

Why We Love It: Does your child loves reptiles? If yes, then Manimo is the brand to know! They are high-quality and provide sparkly, calming magic kids consistently love.

Best 5 lb Weighted Stuffed Animal

Weighted Lap Puppy

Best 2 to 5 lb weighted stuffed animals for anxious kids: Best 5 lb weighted stuffed animals (Weighted lap puppy)

Weight: 5 lbs

Size: 18 inches x 12 inches

Material: 100% PV fleece exterior (plus velcro), stuffed with polyester/cotton filling and glass beads.

Why We Love It: 5 lb weighted stuffed animals can be a tough find! This lap pad-style weighted stuffed dog is the clear winner. Its removable glass-bead weighted pad makes for easy washing and potential use inside an alternative exterior covers as your child matures.

Best Wrap-Around Weighted Stuffed Animal

Heavy Hugger Sloth

Best 2 to 5 lb weighted stuffed animals for anxious kids: Best wrap around weighted stuffed animal (heavy hugger sloth)

Weight: 4 lbs

Size: The sloth’s body is approximately 18 inches long and 11 inches wide with 13-inch long arms and 16-inch long legs.

Material: 100% polyester exterior is stuffed with 100% polyester filling and polyethylene pellets.

Why We Love It: My #1 choice of all the 2 to 5 lb weighted stuffed animals on this list! The heavy hugger sloth by Fun and Function provides the closest thing to a real hug with handy “snap-on” features and a hidden zippered compartment to store extra treasures.

Best Heatable Weighted Stuffed Animal

Marshmallow Bear by Warmies

If you’re specifically looking for a warmable (or cooling) weighted stuffed animal, it’s Warmies for the win!

Although we’ve chosen the classic Marshmallow Bear for our list, you can choose from well over 50 different Warmies friends to match your child’s interests.

Best HEatable Weighted Stuffed Animals: Marshmallow Bear by Warmies

Weight: 2 lbs

Size: 13”x8”x6”

Material: The marshmallow bear has a plush exterior and is filled with lavender-scented, all-natural grain.

Why We Love It: Warm him in the microwave or cool him down in the freezer for unique sensory experiences! Warmies by Intelex is a highly reputable and affordable brand. Remember, safety is essential with heatable weighted friends.

Best Weighted Lap Pad Animal

Hot Cold Llama Lap Pad

Best 2 to 5 lb weighted stuffed animals for anxious kids: Best weighted lap pad (Hot cold llama lap pad)

Weight: 3 lbs

Size: 20″L x 8.5″W x 9″H

Material: This adorable llama lap pad has a 100% polyester plush exterior (with polyethylene plastic eyes). The interior is stuffed with 100% polyester fiber filling, weighted glass pellets, and removable gel-filled PVC heating and cooling pack.

Why We Love It: Lap pads are an ideal calming tool for children to use while in a seated position (e.g., circle time). The additional heating and cooling options of this llama friend go above and beyond to help anxious children!

What are weighted stuffed animals?

Weighted stuffed animals are play-based sensory tools designed to provide pressure and comfort to children with anxiety, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), or other sensory-processing needs.

Weighted stuffed animals are often made with plush material and filled with plastic (polystyrene) pellets, glass or ceramic beads, grain or rice, steel sand, or removable bean bags.

For years, weighted sensory tools, such as blankets, have successfully reduced anxiety in children. Based on these findings, weighted stuffed animals have emerged as a kid-friendly coping mechanism for anxiety.

How much should a weighted stuffed animal weigh?

Safety is essential when considering a weighted blanket or stuffed animal for your child.

A sensory tool should never be too heavy for a child to lift or remove on their own. The goal is for a child to feel safe and secure, not trapped.

Sleepfoundation.org recommends sticking with weighted blankets no more than 1-2 lbs over 10% of a child’s body weight.

Reputable weighted stuffed animal manufacturers, such as Fun and Function, echo 10% as the gold standard, noting a maximum size of 15% of a child’s body weight. You can read their full safety guide for therapeutic weighted products here.

Size chart for weighted stuffed animals
Child's Weight > Suggested Stuffed Animal Weight > Maximum Stuffed Animal Weight
20 lbs > 2 lbs > 3 lbs
30 lbs > 3 lbs > 4.5 lbs
40 lbs > 4 lbs > 6 lbs
50 lbs+ > 5 lbs > 7 lbs
*Always check manufacturer guidelines on child's weight and age  and actively supervise children when using weighted stuffed animals. 
Infographic by suchalittlewhile.com

Most weighted stuffed animals designed for children will fall between 2 and 5 lbs.

Always check manufacturer guidelines and actively supervise children when using weighted stuffed animals.

How do weighted stuffed animals help with anxiety in kids?

Research reviewed by the National Occupational Therapy Association suggests that sensory integration tools that use deep pressure, such as weighted blankets, may serve as an effective coping mechanism for anxiety.

Furthermore, another weighted blanket study conducted with families of children with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and sleep problems revealed reduced anxiety and improved relaxation.

Weighted stuffed animals have emerged following the proven benefits of weighted blankets. They provide greater appeal for daytime use and on-the-go.

Best 2 to 5 lb weighted stuffed animals for anxious kids
Stock photo of teddy bear lying in bed.

Benefits of Weighted Stuffed Animals

Weighted stuffed animals:

  • Apply a similar pressure-based sensory experience as weighted blankets to relieve anxiety
  • Come in soft, lovable characters that children naturally connect with
  • Provide a great alternative to hugs (for children who do not respond well to physical touch or in professional settings where hugs are not an option)
  • Provide an opportunity to teach developmentally appropriate coping and calming skills
  • Can easily be incorporated into imaginative play or play therapy

How to choose a weighted stuffed animal for your child

Best 2 to 5 lb weighted stuffed animals for anxious kids by Such a Little While
Stock photo of white teddy bear sitting on a white couch in front of a white brick wall.

When deciding on the most ideal weighted stuffed animal for your little one, you will want to consider the following factors:

Type of Animal/Character

For best results, select an animal your child is naturally drawn to or connects with.

Size

Ensure your animal weighs no more than 10-15% of your child’s body weight.

Shape

Consider your child’s preferences such as long arms and legs that can wrap around them, or an animal that can be laid across their lap.

Material

Weighted stuffed animals are typically filled with permanent or removable:

  • Plastic pellets (typically polystyrene)
  • Glass pellets
  • Ceramic beads
  • Grain or rice
  • Steel sand
  • Bean bags

Generally, plastic pellets are most popular among affordable, lighter-weight stuffed animals. Higher-end, heavier friends are often stuffed with glass microbeads.

To learn more about the pros/cons and differences between each type of filler, you can find a complete guide here.

Additional Features

Many weighted stuffed animals provide additional features, including:

  • Removable weights that allow you to adjust based on your child’s growth
  • Microwave-safe heating elements
  • Cooling packs

Cost

Weighted Stuffed animals can range anywhere from $20-70.

A word of caution: You often get what you pay for when it comes to weighted stuffed animals.

I encourage parents of children with anxiety to think of this more as an investment in your child’s social and emotional development instead of a splurge on a new toy.

Where should I buy weighted stuffed animals?

In my experience as a former professional schools counselor and parent, I have found the following companies are reputable, trustworthy, and provide high-quality weighted stuffed animals:

The last thing you need to know about weighted stuffed animals

Weighted stuffed animals are adorable, comforting, and often an effective tool for children with anxiety.

At the same time, these toys should enhance, not replace, the love and support of caregivers.

To build a foundation in effective positive parenting that supports healthy social and emotional development in children, I invite you to join me in Such a Little While’s free 30-day positive parenting challenge:

Managing Routines & Transitions in Early Childhood: Positive Parenting Challenge PDF Workbook by Such a Little While
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    You’ve got this!

    My toddler refuses to brush their teeth blot post, written by Tana from Such a Little While
    Hi, I’m Tana! I’m a mom, certified positive parent educator, and former school counselor. It’s my mission to help you foster social/emotional wellness through positive parenting.

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