I Was Skeptical About The Weighted Blanket Trend—And Then I Tried This Blanket

updated May 13, 2020
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Credit: Erin Derby

A good description of my personality is that if there’s nothing to worry about, I’ll find something. I’ve had anxiety about everything from work to health issues since my early 20s, and while I’ve found a few ways of dealing with it that have worked for me, there are still days when my mind won’t seem to stop racing through “what ifs” at hyperspeed.

One thing that does help me, though, is hearing from other people who deal with anxiety and learning about what helps them. About a year ago, I started hearing people (in real life and on the internet) talk about weighted blankets and how they help ease symptoms of anxiety. I immediately dismissed the trend—there was nothing more anxiety-inducing to me at the time than being trapped under a heavy blanket. I thought I would feel overheated at best and claustrophobic at worst.

When I started seeing targeted ads for chunky woven weight blankets from a brand called Bearaby, though, my curiosity was piqued. After all, I had been wanting that style of chunky-woven blanket for my living room for a while. Maybe a weighted blanket that looked great would be enough to get over the apprehension of trying one. I didn’t know what to expect, but I figured if all else failed, at least it would look good on my couch.

It got back to the brand that I was curious to try the product, and they were nice enough to send a sample of their 20-pound blanket called The Napper. As soon as it arrived, I was shocked at just how heavy it was. Of course I know how heavy 20 pounds is, but for some reason feeling it in blanket form is surprising. I loaded the blanket out of its canvas bag, lugged it over to the couch, draped it on top of me, and that was it. I was hooked. I immediately understood what everyone couldn’t shut up about. The feeling of weight didn’t make me feel claustrophobic, but supported and safe. It felt peaceful. Plus, the plush velvet material of the blanket was glorious; I couldn’t stop petting it (for lack of a better word).

Now, I use the blanket just about every day—mostly at the end of a long day while lounging on the couch, though I know many people use it as a way to improve sleep quality. I look forward to the sensation of being cuddled under the blanket and know that it’ll almost instantly take the edge of anxiety off. It doesn’t cure anything, but it certainly helps me calm down—and I’ll take that wherever I can get it. 

Credit: Olivia Muenter
Enjoying my weighted blanket over the holiday break.

I’m not the only one who’s obsessed with the Bearaby, though. The Velvet Napper has sold out multiple times leading up to the holidays, and is currently out of stock for the warmer months. In fact, nearly all of Bearaby’s blankets are currently sold out, except for a few size/color combinations of the Tree Napper. You can, however, still find the Tree Napper at West Elm in all the colors and sizes.

Using a weighted blanket is a bit like falling in love. At first it feels a little odd, but eventually you don’t know what you would do without your new favorite person—er, blanket. Granted, the blanket may not be for everyone. It took my fiancé trying it half a dozen times before admitting that it was relaxing (he thought it was too heavy and cumbersome the first few times), and I can imagine that some people would be annoyed by lugging it around a room. However, for me, the Bearaby blanket is officially a staple (and one of the best parts) of my daily self-care routine.