Weighted blankets are being hailed as the cure for bad sleep—even better than your favorite smart mattress. Review after review swears that they’re here to completely revolutionize the way we catch Z’s, and that they’re a guaranteed way to reduce stress and keep us sleeping soundly.
It seems too good to be true. But is it?
What Are Weighted Blankets?
The first question we need to answer is: “What the hell are they?” Weighted gravity blankets are incredibly comfortable blankets made from a variety of different fabrics, and specifically weighted to strategically target different pressure points on your body.
Basically, in not so many fancy words, the blankets are engineered to distribute weight to the places your body needs most to help you decompress and relax after a long day at the office, in the shop, on the street, or anywhere else life is stressing you out.
Hell, even un-scientifically engineered blankets are usually pretty comfy. But these puppies take it up a few notches.
The Science Behind Weighted Gravity Blankets
Of course, there has to be more to it than just weight shifting, right?
Well, as we said before, there’s a lot of science involved. The technology itself has been used in hospitals and the medical industry for years, and it’s rooted in the idea of Deep Touch Pressure Stimulation, a medical term that essentially explains why living things—like cats, dogs, and even people—like to be pet and touched.
Clinical studies have shown that while light touches can alert and even panic the nervous system, deep pressure is actually calming and very relaxing.
Blankets and studies vary, but the rule of thumb is that a weighted blanket is most effective when it’s roughly 10 percent of a person’s weight, plus a couple pounds. There are weight charts that you can use to determine your ideal weight, but you’ll find that a lot of manufacturers sell them in increments of five, ranging anywhere from 10 to 25 pounds.
What Can You Expect From Yours?
According to the guys over at Gravity, 70 percent of Americans have trouble falling asleep at least one night a week, and of the people they tested, 90 percent said they felt more relaxed and better rested than before. The pressure created by the weight of the blankets increases the level of serotonin in your body, which is then converted to melatonin, the hormone that regulates sleep. Basically, from day one, you can expect to fall asleep faster, get a better quality of rest, and wake up ready to rock, roll, and kick the day’s ass.
Where Can You Get One?
Weighted blankets are pretty easy to come by because of their widespread use in treating certain medical disorders (Think PTSD, autism, severe anxiety). And don’t let their medical history stop you from getting one—these things are good for everyone.
Gravity – $169
The team at gravity noticed how effective weighted blankets were in treating various medical and sleep disorders, so they decided to put a massive amount of time and care into developing a product that they thought could help everyone. They were right. When they launched their KickStarter earlier this year, they raised over $4.7 million on a project whose original goal was just $21,500 goal. The feature micro plush outers and 100% cotton inner shells, and come in 15-, 20-, and 25-pound weights.
YnM Weighted Blanket for Adults – $140
These weighted blankets come in everything from five- to 25-pound weights, and are made with sand instead of the plastic pellets used in other blankets. They’re a little smoother to the touch, but not drastically different. The removable duvet cover is made from either organic cotton or ultra-soft microfiber, and the inner is 100 percent cotton.
The Magic Blanket – $109
If you’re looking for something a little more luxurious, The Magic Blanket comes everything from insanely soft chenille and minky, to the more typical cotton and fleece. You can even mix and match fabrics, too. The cotton ones start at $79, and the chenille ones start at $109—but also go as high up as $269 for the massive 24-pound 54-inch-by-78-inch blanket. Either way, their customers swear by them.