We’re Calling It—Sauna Beds are the New Weighted Blankets

updated Oct 11, 2022
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Credit: Higher Dose

My weighted blanket has zero flaws, save for its cost (not cheap) and how much space it takes up when I’m not using it (lots). Hand-woven in Los Angeles by artisans out of dusty mauve deadstock jersey fabric, she fits into my decor seamlessly and gets her heft from the density of her knotted construction—not plastic pellets.

And yet, when I stumbled upon the words ‘sauna bed’ while reading in a New York Times article about a fashion designer, I had to Google it immediately. “What sorcery is this?” I thought. Turns out, there’s a new way to get those cozy, anxiety reducing feels, and it’s from a contraption that’s essentially a heated sleeping bag. I was intrigued—and yes, I’m fully aware that I’ve become the millennial version of my mother, only “as seen on the internet” is my kryptonite, as opposed to late night TV infomercials.

So, what makes a sauna bed different from an electric blanket or oversized heating pad? Well, sauna beds (or sauna blankets, as they’re sometimes also called) are powered by infrared heat, which has been used to treat chronic health problems like high blood pressure and rheumatoid arthritis through the use of infrared saunas.

Although there haven’t been studies on the benefits of these particular beds, as someone who’s always cold, I’m into the idea of a sauna blanket for warmly snuggling solo to wind down before bed.

Credit: Amazon

So while I’m still a little skeptical, I did some comparison shopping. For just under $100 on Amazon, I can be the proud owner of sauna bed, but, of course, the Amazon’s Choice 4-star option costs closer to $450. Higher Dose, a boutique infrared sauna business in New York City, is sold out of their $499 sauna blanket in the U.S. for the holiday season and won’t be taking any new orders before 2020. The Sharper Image has their own version, which seems a little more like an oversized heating pad and thus more portable, and Walmart is selling a style in two colors through a third party vendor.

Writes one Amazon reviewer of the Amazon’s Choice 4-star option: “I broke my back several years ago. I have tried everything. Pain pills, ibuprofen, cortisone shots, needles, etc. I do one hour every other day. No more pain and I always always sleep all night. Worth every penny.”

If I were the betting type, I’d say you just might be looking at the next weighted blanket. Prices are still high, but big box stores have been hip to the weighted blanket game for a while now, so it’s likely only a matter of time until they hop on this trend, too. Will a sauna bed replace my weighted blanket as my favorite way to unwind and fall asleep? Stay tuned—I’m willing to find out.