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As someone who has always been a bit of a worrier, it still came as a surprise when I was hit with waves of panic and anxiety following a health scare back in 2018. Since then, I’ve been learning how to deal with these feelings through a whole slew of lifestyle changes, including a complete dietary overhaul, therapy sessions, as well as incorporating more yoga and meditation into my daily routine.
While I’m a little late to the club, my newest relaxation technique is one that’s been gaining in popularity in recent years: a weighted blanket. I recently received a Cotton Napper from Bearaby, and haven’t looked back since incorporating it into my nightly routine.
SHOP IT: Bearaby, from $249 USD/$311 CAD
How do weighted blankets work?
Long used by therapists to help calm children with autism or behavioural disturbances, weighted blankets may help provide an added layer of comfort for people who have trouble falling asleep or deal with anxiety. While not a cure for insomnia or trouble sleeping due to mental health, one study did reveal that of 32 adult volunteers, 63 per cent reported lower anxiety after lying under a 30-pound blanket for five minutes.
Another recent study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine found that after four weeks of use, participants who slept with a weighted blanket (8 kg) reported significantly better sleep, higher daytime activity levels, and reduced symptoms of fatigue, depression, and anxiety than their counterparts who slept with an average-weight blanket (1.5 kg).
How does it feel?
While I haven’t been sleeping with my weighted blanket, I have been consistently using it as part of my evening routine to help wind down before bed. Instead of staying up too late watching YouTube videos, I’ve created a calming corner in my living room to relax and unwind in the evening. It’s become my favourite place to sit back and read for an hour or so, and has helped immensely in creating a calming environment before bedtime.
As for my blanket, the Cotton Napper is made entirely from a hand-knit organic cotton weave, and weighs in at 15 pounds (it’s also available in 20 or 25 pound weights). Unlike some other weighted blanket brands, it has no beads or glass filling — making it extremely quiet, comfortable and cozy. Curling up underneath it lends an instant calming effect, similar to the way I’ve felt after a long relaxing soak in the tub.
It'e entirely machine washable and doesn't lead to overheating, so I can definitely see myself continuing to use the Cotton Napper well into the summer.
Starting at $249 USD/$311 CAD, Bearaby’s weighted blankets are certainly an investment, but are well worth it in my opinion if you’re looking for a way to relax at the end of a long day. They’re also a great option if you’re a restless sleeper, and even comes in a new queen-sized version that’s large enough for two people.
If you’re considering adding a weighted blanket to your life, you can shop five of the most popular versions online.
Rating: 4.8/5 stars, 1,650+ reviews
Promising review: “I was a weighted blanket naysayer [but] I am here to say that I am going to eat my words. Is it expensive? Yes. Is it worth it? A million times yes. After a day of work it helps me decompress like nothing ever has. I also sleep through the night most days of the week where I usually would get up 2-3 times.”
SHOP IT: Bearaby, from $249 USD/$311 CAD
Rating: 4.5/5 stars, 90+ reviews on Amazon
Promising review: “This blanket checks all the boxes for me. It’s extremely comfortable and seriously curbs any anxiety or unsettling feeling the second I pull it over me. I’m 130lbs and found the 10lbs blanket was perfect for me. It provided the right amount of weight against me and wasn’t a burden to adjust myself throughout the evening.”
SHOP IT: Casper, from $179 USD/$229 CAD
Rating: 4.7/5 stars, 30,000+ reviews
Promising review: “I've used the blanket for a week now, and have slept better than ever. The quality of this blanket is superb, the stitching is strong and the weighted portion of the blanket stays evenly distributed in the removable cover. I'm very glad that I opted to spend a tad more to get a product that is well made and looks great.”
SHOP IT: Amazon, from $94 USD/$118 CAD
Rating: 4.5 stars, 1,000+ reviews
Promising review: “It's a great price, looks nice and feels fantastic. It washes well which is awesome and while I'm not the hugest fan of the black cotton side, the microfibre side is so soft that I sometimes have to fight my cat for it!”
SHOP IT: Layla, from $129 USD/$161 CAD
Rating: 4.5/5 stars, 700+ reviews
Promising review: “The blanket is extremely soft and comfortable. The weight distribution is equal throughout the entire blanket. It is also easy to move after folding it a few times. The cover is very easy to remove, allowing for frequent washing. I understand why it is rated so high and it is well worth the investment.”
SHOP IT: Amazon, from $166 USD/$267 CAD
The reviews quoted above reflect the most recent versions at the time of publication.