This Weighted Blanket Is the Best Pandemic Purchase I’ve Made Thus Far
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For many people, a silver lining of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has been money saved from not traveling, commuting, or eating/ordering out with the same frequency as in the Before Time. Many people put more energy and money into outfitting their new home office setting, but I’d already been working from home as a freelance writer for three years at that point and had a quality desk and comfortable chair setup. With the uncertainty and anxiety that the pandemic has brought, what I did end up splurging on was a weighted Gravity Blanket, which I firmly believe has been worth every penny.

I often struggle with not getting enough sleep or not getting quality sleep—a problem that’s only been compounded by an ongoing global health crisis. I looked to weighted blankets a couple years ago as a remedy because they’ve been touted as one way to improve sleep quality, enhance relaxation, and even help alleviate anxiety, like a thunder jacket for dogs. 

The actual evidence for this is mostly anecdotal, and not supported by a ton of scientific evidence, but the way this might work is through a mechanism called deep pressure touch stimulation, also called DPTS or deep pressure, as Justin Scanlan, Ph.D., professor of occupational therapy and mental health clinician-researcher at the University of Sydney, previously told SELF. Deep pressure describes the pleasant, warm, and fuzzy sensation that you feel when experiencing various forms of tactile compression—like swaddling, massaging, and hugging.

Weighted blankets are typically filled with poly pellets or glass, plastic or steel beads, and usually weigh anywhere from 5 to 30 pounds. How much weight people prefer in a blanket is a personal choice, although many experts advise using one that is about 10% of your body weight.

And though I already owned a weighted blanket from a couple years back, I found that it was too short for my body, more stiff than soft, and didn’t come with a cover (which made it hard to wash and keep clean). Once the pandemic stress hit, I decided it was worth researching and potentially splurging on something on something of better quality. 

After reading other testimonials and reviews, I settled on a 15-pounder from Gravity Blanket, the company behind the first mass-market weighted blanket to take off, sparking a craze for weighted blankets from then on. A 2017 crowdfunding campaign for the Gravity Blanket raised $4.7 million in pledge money, and lots of other models have followed suit from brands like Casper and this SELF-approved Layla one—versions filled with glass beads, some that are reversible, and others that come in aesthetically pleasing woven styles.

But while the Gravity Blanket may be the first, I’m still convinced that it’s one of the best. It comes in a single size (72″ by 48″, ranging between 15 and 25 pounds) and one for queen/king beds (90″ x 90″, 35 pounds), each with gridded stitching that keeps the glass beads within from shifting around, anchoring you in place.

The smaller size I settled on was long and wide enough to comfortably cover my body, but not large enough to take up my whole bed. This was good news for my husband, who hasn’t jumped on the weighted blanket train quite yet. And for more even weight distribution, Gravity Blanket doesn’t suggest sharing a blanket with a partner, anyways. The heaviness of it doesn’t feel like a crushing load, but rather like a soothing and relaxing embrace.

Another plus of the Gravity Blanket is that it comes with an easy-to-remove, velvety soft washable cover. Not only has my Gravity Blanket helped me usually fall asleep fast and stay asleep through the night, but it’s also helpful for afternoon naps after the occasional not-so-great night of rest. If I just need a short break to feel refreshed and recharged, I can lie down on the couch, swaddled underneath my Gravity Blanket, and sink into a solid 30-minute power nap. There’s a cooling option for warmer months that can help reduce any unpleasant sweatiness (these blankets can run hot), and you can even bundle a Gravity Blanket with a year-long subscription to the Calm meditation app. 

One small caveat I’ve found is that after removing the duvet cover to throw in the wash, it can be a bit tedious to spend time fitting the blanket back inside the cover and buttoning and tying it back in place (the blanket also comes in a zippable cover, if that helps). But the 10 to 15 minutes it takes to do so is really worth it in exchange for the blissful hours of deep, uninterrupted sleep.

Gravity Blanket Original Weighted Blanket

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