What Are the Benefits of Bearaby's New Queen-Sized Hugger Weighted Blanket? We Found Out
I've been sleeping under a weighted blanket for about three years now, and I haven't looked back since.
I've never been a very restful sleeper, and while I didn't quite know the science behind it, I found that the pressure of a weighted blanket always helped me feel more relaxed, helping me with both an unquiet mind and my Restless Legs Syndrome come nighttime. While it hasn't entirely solved my bedtime woes, it's certainly helped.
Of course, the blanket I was using wasn't perfect. It could trap in heat on warm nights, making it not so comfortable in the summers, and I don't love knowing it's full of small (and sometimes noisy) plastic beads that aren't so great for the environment. That's why I was so excited when the team behind Bearaby reached out and asked if I'd want to try their new queen-sized Hugger blanket. I happily agreed—and discovered a new favorite blanket that I don't see myself ditching anytime soon.
So What's the Deal With Weighted Blankets?
What exactly are all of the benefits of weighted blankets? The team at Bearaby put us in touch with Su Lim, a psychologist who specializes in anxiety and stress management, so we could ask her and the Bearaby team all of our most pressing questions.
Sweety High: What are the noted benefits of using weighted blankets?
Su Lim: Weighted blankets are a soothing, tactile and very cozy way to decrease symptoms of anxiety and insomnia! The physical sensation of lying underneath gentle pressure both calms and encourages a restful night of sleep. There is a natural relief that comes from feeling "gently restrained." You can see this with newborns who are comforted by swaddling blankets as it makes them feel safe.
SH: Why does the weight of a heavy blanket impart these benefits?
SL: Weighted blankets help raise your levels of serotonin. This very important neurotransmitter and hormone is a precursor to the production of melatonin in your brain's pineal gland, and as you know, melatonin helps with your sleep cycle. Instead of resorting to more pills (even ones viewed as natural, such as melatonin supplements), it is more beneficial to turn to non-medication solutions such as a cozy heavy blanket or CBT-I (cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia). Creating an environment more conducive to a good night's rest along with lifelong skills to deal with sleep and anxiety are much better goals!
SH: What types of people can benefit most from weighted blankets?
SL: I believe anyone could benefit from a weighted blanket, including children. When I work through insomnia with clients, I always recommend trying a weighted blanket along with other sleep hygiene solutions. Many have reported back to me that it was helpful in creating a restful night's sleep. Even if you have no issues with sleep or anxiety, I believe there is a reassuring quality to snuggling up with a weighted blanket on the sofa to watch TV!
SH: What's the best way for someone to choose the right weight of weighted blanket?
Bearaby: As a general rule of thumb, a weighted blanket should weigh around 10% of your body weight. It can vary person to person, so we recommend taking some time to get a feel for the amount of pressure that will work best for you. As long as you're comfortable and feel cozy, going beyond the 10% rule is completely okay. It's safe for adults to sleep under a weighted blanket of up to 30 pounds, and some people find a heavier weight option more soothing for their needs. Overall, you want the blanket to feel like a warm hug, not a tight squeeze!
Bearaby's Hugger is the brand's largest weighted blanket yet. It's a queen-sized 100% cotton weighted blanket, made of certified fairtrade cotton, and woven in chunky hand-knit layers. It weighs in at a whopping 35 pounds. At the moment, it comes in one color called Hedge Hue, which is half-white and half-light grey. The blanket is 90 inches by 90 inches, and retails for $399.
From the moment this Bearaby Hugger arrived at my doorstep, I knew it'd be different from previous weighted blanket experiences. First of all, this blanket was heavy in its box, and came rolled up and tucked away inside of a big canvas bag. I had to ask for help to get the whole thing unfurled and up on the bed, but I was wholly impressed once I had.
Firstly, the blanket is gorgeous. The thick knit of the blanket is as unusual as it is aesthetically pleasing, striking a stark contrast to the grey, boxy and utilitarian look of the weighted blanket I was used to, and I love the way it makes my bed look. I also enjoy that it doesn't look like a weighted blanket. I was surprised by the weight of the chunky stout strands of the blanket, and once I cuddled up underneath it, I didn't want to get out! I also didn't expect the blanket to be so big. A standard queen is 60 inches by 80 inches, and this 90 by 90 blanket comfortably covered my entire king-sized bed.
And when I put it to the test on the first night, it did wonders for my sleep. The weight was just as soothing as I was used to, but my rest felt even deeper. For one, Bearaby's blankets don't trap in extra heat, as the knitted design allows it to escape. It's also silent, because it's not full of shifting beads, and it just feels better to be sleeping under something made of organic fabric. And, because it's a full-sized blanket instead of just a twin, it keeps me in place, so no matter how much I might toss and turn, I never wind up with the blanket kicked to the bottom of the bed, or even off its side. I don't know if I've ever slept better.
I'm not exaggerating when I say that Bearaby's Hugger blanket is my favorite blanket of all time. It helps me sleep comfortably and restfully at night without making me overheat, and the fact that it's made out of organic and sustainable materials is the icing on top of the cake. I've learned to love hanging out underneath it whether I'm chilling watching TV or actually tucking in for the night. Of course, that comes at a price—$399 to be specific. That's not going to be affordable for everyone, but at least they have a 30-day money-back guarantee if you're not totally satisfied with your purchase.
Looking for something smaller? Today, to celebrate Earth Day, Bearaby has also brought back their best-selling Tree Napper blanket— a moisture-wicking, cooling weighted blanket that's sustainable and 100% biodegradable, made with eucalyptus fibers. These come in a variety of colors and sell for $269.
Not ready to invest in a Bearaby blanket just yet? Click HERE for our review of Nodpod, the weighted blanket for your eyes.