The popularity of weighted stuffed animal has skyrocketed, thanks to a slew of TikTok videos praising their cute designs and effectiveness for soothing anxiety. But the soft, squishy critters aren’t just a fad—they’re used in schools and by therapists for sensory kids and adults, especially those with ADHD and other emotional regulation challenges.
The key is the deep pressure therapy they provide, similar to a bear hug. This tactile sensory input triggers the release of neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin, which help people regulate their emotions. For children with autism spectrum disorder, the cuddle-time also helps improve attention and social skills.
There’s limited clinical guidance on how much a weighted stuffed animal should weigh, though general guidelines often suggest that they should not exceed 10% of the user’s body weight. But a weighted animal should also be comfortable, and this can be a matter of trial and error. If the stuffed animal feels too light to provide the desired sensory input, it may be helpful to add more weight, but it’s equally important to monitor how the person responds to any added stress and make adjustments accordingly.
If you’re interested in trying out a weighted stuffed animal, Warmies offers a wide selection of high-quality options that come in several sizes and shapes to meet your sensory needs. You can even build your own, using the technique that people use to make weighted blankets by attaching little pouches of filling to different points on a plush animal’s body, like a dragon. weighted stuffed animal