I got my first weighted blanket on a whim at the end of 2018. My then-new apartment didn’t come with window shades and, considering New York isn’t exactly quiet at night, I was having trouble falling asleep. I’d seen infomercial-style Instagram ads touting the anxiety and stress-reducing benefits of the blankets, which average in weight from 5 pounds to 25 pounds. Options range from duvets that, in lieu of down feathers, are filled with glass beads to blankets knitted with hefty 100% natural cotton yarns that carry a surprising weight.
The website of popular weighted blanket-maker Bearaby explains that sleeping beneath a heavy comforter can “stimulate the production of serotonin (happiness hormone), reduce cortisol (stress-hormone) and give a sense of ease to help relax and fall asleep.” My interest was piqued. One night in, I was convinced—I haven’t slept without one since.
Lying beneath the blanket (I opted for Bearaby’s Napper), I feel like a toddler, wrapped in the loving embrace of my parents or the childhood blankie they swaddled me in. Most days, I looked forward to the hour when I could shimmy underneath, having its weight melt over me. It was beneficial to me under the most normal of circumstances, and now, during the self-isolation brought on by coronavirus, I’d call it an essential to my wellbeing.
So far, it’s been lulling me to sleep during the night. On the weekends to come, I plan on transplanting it from my bedroom to the living room so I can use it on the couch and shamelessly binge watch TV. Plus it’s turned making the bed into a light arm exercise! But most importantly, it seems to be keeping me company.
Who could have possibly predicted we would be asked to stay 6 feet apart from each other? While digital hangouts, phone calls, and Zoom meetings provide some facetime, it isn’t exactly the same as being together physically. Until we can all reconvene, and it’s safe to spend time with the rest of my family members and friends, my weighted blanket is the next best thing to the real-life hug I need from them right now. Below, some of the best weighted blankets, because whether you’re in isolation alone or with your loved ones, we could all use that kind of comfort.