If you’re someone who has struggled with anxiety (hi, me), weighted blankets are probably on your radar. You’ve probably been thinking about investing in one for a while now, but the hefty price tag has made your eyes weep and your browser window close.
Well, mates, I’m here to convince you to bash that add to cart button bc this little baby might just be the game-changer you’ve been looking for.
Me during lockdown with my weighted blanket.
First up, what is a weighted blanket exactly?
A weighted blanket pretty much does exactly what you think it does. They’re designed to use deep touch pressure stimulation to help ease stress and sleeplessness. When you snuggle up in one, it provides a deep, calming pressure that helps to relax the body’s nervous system.
How do they work?
The science behind weighted blankets is pretty simple. By combining evenly distributed weight, soft fabrics for comfort and a sufficient amount of weight, weighted blankets help to ease our body’s proprioceptive input, the sense that informs the brain about our position in space — e.g. how uncomfortable or comfortable you are. When you’re in a comfy position and covered with a weighted blanket, the additional pressure effectively takes away those questions, allowing both the mind and body to relax more — kind of like when you’re swaddled as a bb.
Traditionally, weighted blankets, like this one from Calming Blankets, use eco-friendly glass beads that are sewn in separate blanket pockets to disperse the weight evenly over your body. But you can also get woven ones too, if you’re after something more ~aesthetically~ pleasing yet still functional.
What are the benefits of sleeping/napping/binge-watching tv with one?
Weighted blankets are said to offer a range of benefits like anxiety relief, deeper sleep and calming effects.
How do I know if it’s for me?
Weighted blankets work to varying degrees for different people, so we decided to put them to the test. Three PTV staffers spent a week snuggling up in weighted blankets (thank you, lockdown) to see what all the hype was about…
Offt, this was a game-changer for me. As someone who struggles with anxiety, especially at night — my brain just won’t quit — I found the weighted blanket to be a godsend. I haven’t slept without it since I got it, and I’m sleeping 10x better than I usually would. I feel like I’m actually hitting that blessed REM sleep I’ve heard so much about. I even find myself snuggling up with it when I’m binge-watching TV on the couch for that added level of relaxation and comfort. Winter BF anyone?
The only downside I can see so far is that I’m going to miss it terribly in summer because it will be far too hot and heavy. Luckily for me, they have a cotton cover that I can trade the velvet one for in the hotter months.
I’ve never used a weighted blanket before, so I was keen to try this out. After sleeping with it for a couple of nights, I don’t think it’s for me. I found myself waking up with my legs shifted out from underneath the blanket and one morning I woke up with back pain, because I tried to roll over in the night, but only one half of my body could manage.
The inners of the blanket aren’t sewn into the cover, but secured at each corner. So when picking up and moving it, gravity can cause the entire thing to slump to one end. While there is a zipper enabling you to redistribute the inside, it was a bit of a hassle for me personally when laying it out.
As someone who doesn’t suffer from anxiety and who doesn’t have any issues falling asleep, I didn’t feel the need for it. However, my partner who does have anxiety problems found the blanket a bit stressful, with the crunchy sound making it hard for her to settle. That being said, she did find the blanket itself to be lush and pretty, so if anything it’s become an aesthetic addition to our place.
You know when you’re hungover (or still intoxicated) and you get a serious case of the scaries? This blanket is perfect for that. I popped it on while trying to wind down after a big night and it fairly instantly calmed me down. To give you context, I’m someone who will regularly sleep with a pillow, not under my head but on top of my body. It calms me.
Did I wake up sweating and confused with the Calming Blanket? 100%. It’s not as easy to throw off you like a pillow is. But the sweats and confusion were how I knew I had the nap of a lifetime. That being said, naps are where I’d draw the line with this blanket, as it can be quite heavy and warm for an entire night. But when it comes to day naps or TV-watching (and actually watching it without thinking about what I said to that one person 7 years ago), it’s a damn dream.
How much do they cost?
Weighted blankets can set you back anywhere from $100-$400. We tried this one from Calming Blankets, which are currently on sale for $189, usually $299. So I’d be getting around that if I was you, mates.
If you’re still not 100% sold on a weighted blanket, Calming Blankets offer a 30-day zero hassle money-back guarantee. Nice!