A close-up photo capturing a weighted stuffed animal sitting on a shelf in a toy store, surrounded by other cuddly toys, invitingly waiting for someone to find comfort and companionship.

Looking for a weighted stuffed animal to help with anxiety, sensory issues, or just for comfort? You’ve come to the right place. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about finding the perfect weighted stuffy.

What Are Weighted Stuffed Animals?

Definition and purpose

Weighted stuffed animals are plush toys filled with plastic poly pellets or glass beads that make them heavier than regular stuffed animals. The added weight, usually 1-5 pounds, provides gentle pressure that can have a calming and soothing effect.

The purpose of weighted stuffed animals is to aid relaxation, reduce anxiety, and promote better sleep, especially for people with sensory processing disorders, ADHD, autism, or anxiety disorders. The deep touch pressure of the added weight helps stimulate the production of serotonin and melatonin hormones to improve mood and sleep.


There are many potential amazing benefits of using weighted stuffed animals:

  • Induce relaxation and reduced anxiety
  • Improve sleep quality and duration
  • Provide comfort and security
  • Increase focus and attention
  • Decrease symptoms of sensory processing disorders

Weighted stuffed animals offer a drug-free and convenient way to experience these benefits. They are portable and versatile -usable anywhere, anytime for children and adults alike.

What to look for when choosing

When selecting a weighted stuffed animal, consider the following features:

Weight Aim for around 10% of user’s body weight
Size Match to user’s build; not too small or large
Fabric Soft, high-quality materials for durability & comfort
Filling Evenly distributed glass beads/poly pellets for proper weight balance
Design Fun colors/patterns to suit user’s preferences

Browse popular retailers like SensaCalm, Squishable or Etsy to find the perfect weighted stuffed critter friend!

Where to Buy Weighted Stuffed Animals

Online retailers

The most popular place to buy weighted stuffed animals is from online retailers like Amazon, Bed Bath & Beyond, or Target. They offer the largest selections, low prices, fast shipping, and easy returns. As of 2023, about 73% of weighted stuffed animals are purchased online. 😊

The advantages of buying weighted stuffed animals from online retailers include:

  • Huge selection across brands, styles, animals, weights, fabrics
  • Discounted prices and promotions with free shipping
  • Convenient shopping and quick delivery to your door
  • Detailed product descriptions, images and reviews
  • Easy exchanges and returns if not fully satisfied

Brick and mortar stores

Some people may prefer seeing and touching weighted stuffed animals in person vs online. Brick and mortar stores to find them include major retailers like Walmart, Kohl’s and Costco, along with thrift and discount stores like TJ Maxx and Marshalls.

The selection is smaller than online stores, but you can test products on the spot. Prices also tend to be higher in stores due to extra overhead costs. An estimated 19% of consumers still buy weighted stuffed animals in-store as of 2023.

Etsy Shops

For special weighted stuffed animals that are handmade or custom, Etsy offers one-of-a-kind options. Skilled crafters and small business owners on Etsy can make weighted animals out of premium fabrics like minky or fleece, and can customize shapes, colors, textures that aren’t mass produced.

This allows for more unique weighted stuffed animals. Prices are typically higher on Etsy because the products are handmade and materials can be more expensive, but the quality and custom work is worth it for many shoppers. Around 8% of weighted stuffed animal sales happen on Etsy as of recent data.

How to Choose the Right Weighted Stuffy

Age recommendations

It’s important to choose a weighted stuffed animal that is an appropriate weight for the intended user’s age. Most experts recommend the following guidelines:

  • Ages 3-5: Around 1-3 lbs
  • Ages 6-12: Around 4-7 lbs
  • Teens & Adults: Around 7-12 lbs

Choosing the right weight helps ensure safety and maximum benefit. For young kids under 3, weighted stuffies are usually not recommended.

Fill material

Common fill materials used in weighted stuffed animals include:

  • Poly pellets or micro beads – These tend to be budget-friendly but can make noise when moved.
  • Glass beads – Offer a more premium feel and move silently, but cost more.
  • Plastic pellets – Similar to poly pellets but more lightweight.
  • Steel shot or metal beads – Dense for better weight distribution, but more expensive.

Consider noise, weight distribution, and cost when selecting fill material.

Size and shape

Weighted stuffed animals come in all shapes and sizes! When choosing size, make sure it’s easy to hug and snuggle with. Preferred shapes often include:

  • Round/cylindrical – Easy to spoon and sandwich between arms and legs.
  • Classic teddy bear shape – Comforting and familiar.
  • Unusual animals like sloths or dragons 🐉 – Fun and playful!

Consider the intended user’s height, arm span, and usage such as bedtime cuddling vs. couch snuggling.


Since weighted stuffed animals are often used for emotional comfort, they can get dirty over time. When choosing your weighted stuffy, consider:

  • Removable covers that can be machine washed – More hygienic and convenient 👍
  • Spot clean only with specific instructions – Works but less convenient
  • Non-washable – Not ideal for long-term use

For children especially, being able to clean their special stuffed friend easily helps ensure it stays part of their bedtime routine.

DIY Weighted Stuffed Animal Tutorial

Supplies Needed

To make your own weighted stuffed animal at home, you’ll need just a few supplies:

  • Stuffed animal of your choice – opt for a larger size for adding weight
  • Poly pellets/beans or rice to add weight – amount will vary based on size of stuffed animal
  • Funnel for filling stuffed animal
  • Sewing needle and coordinating thread
  • Fabric glue or hot glue gun & glue sticks (optional)
  • Scissors


Follow these steps for a DIY weighted stuffed animal:

  1. Choose a stuffed animal to weight. Make sure it’s machine washable. Larger stuffed animals around 15-20 inches work best.
  2. Determine amount of poly pellets/beans to add. A general guideline is 10% of the stuffed animal’s weight. For a 1 lb stuffed animal, add 2-4 ounces of pellets.
  3. Locate a concealed opening in the stuffed animal. Unstitch a couple inches of an existing seam if needed to access the stuffing.
  4. Funnel pellets into opening, periodically stopping to distribute evenly. Do not over stuff.
  5. Once the desired weight is added, hand stitch the opening closed. Make sure the seam is secure.
  6. Alternatively, fabric glue or hot glue can close the opening if hand sewing is difficult.
  7. Trim any excess threads when finished. Enjoy your weighted stuffed friend!


Adding some extra touches can make your DIY weighted stuffed animal even better:

  • For an even distribution of weight, periodically shake the stuffed animal while filling.
  • If desired weight isn’t reached, funnel more pellets into ankle or limb openings instead of the body.
  • Consider adding dried lavender or essential oils along with poly pellets for aromatherapy benefits.
  • Hand wash gently and air dry your weighted stuffed animal to maintain quality.
Type Amount
Poly Pellets 2-4 oz per 1 lb stuffed animal
Rice 3-5 oz per 1 lb stuffed animal

Adding weight to a beloved stuffed animal can make it even more comforting andusable for weighted therapy. With some basic supplies and sewing skills, you can customize the weight perfectly.重

Caring for Your Weighted Stuffed Animal

Washing Tips

Taking good care of your beloved weighted stuffed pal involves regularly washing them to keep them clean and huggable. Most weighted stuffed animals have a removable cover that is machine washable, making cleaning a breeze.

Simply unzip the outer cover and throw it in the washing machine on a gentle cycle using a mild detergent. Avoid using fabric softener as it can damage the inner weighted beads. Let the cover air dry completely before placing it back on your plushie.

For the inner weighted section, refer to the care instructions, as methods vary. Often, surface washing by hand with a small amount of gentle soap and water is recommended, taking care not to submerge the entire weighted section. Thoroughly air dry the inner part before inserting back into the cover.

Follow these washing tips and your weighted stuffed critter will stay super snuggly and clean!


Proper storage helps preserve weighted stuffed animals for the long haul. When not being hugged, the best place to store them is on a shelf, bookcase or open bin. This allows air circulation so they fully dry out after washing.

Avoid storing in sealed containers or plastic bags, as moisture can accumulate and breed mold or mildew.

For travel, use a mesh laundry or shoe bag to prevent the weighted stuffie from getting dirty or lost. Never leave them sitting compressed under heavy items for extended periods, as this can misshape the filling.

Treat your weighted stuffed pet with care and they’ll retain their comforting presence for years of cuddles!

When to Replace

With frequent love and affection, weighted stuffed critters eventually show signs of wear. Visual cues that it’s time to replace your snuggly companion include:

  • Fading, thinning or ripped outer fabric
  • Exposed bead filling or ripped seams
  • Misshaping that cannot be reversed
  • Unpleasant odors unable to be washed out
  • Growth of mold, mildew or bacteria

Safely discard weighted stuffed animals that can no longer be cleaned or contain hazardous microbes. For others that are just getting tattered from too many cuddles, consider repurposing the filling to make a new stuffed friend!

With proper care, your weighted stuffed pet can stick it out for 3-5 years or more before needing replacement.

Washing Tip Why It Matters
Use gentle cycle and mild detergent Prevents damage to fabrics and filling
Line dry thoroughly Avoids moisture accumulation that breeds microbes

Give your weighted stuffed critter some TLC and they’ll give you years of unconditional comfort and love right back! Check out the Sensory Goods weighted care blog for more expert cleaning and storage advice.


We hope this guide gave you all the information you need to find the perfect weighted stuffed animal. Whether you buy one ready-made or decide to make your own, a weighted stuffy can provide comfort, sensory help, and snuggles for years to come. Happy weighted stuffy hunting!

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