Have you been hearing about weighted blankets lately and wondering what the heck all the hype is about? I remember when I first heard about weighted blankets and was instantly intrigued.
I’m always up for anything that will help with anxiety, but I was also skeptical. I couldn’t help but wonder, do weighted blankets really work? How do they work? There are so many different brands. Where do I even begin?
If you have similar questions, don’t worry, my friend. I’ve done all the work to answer those questions, so you don’t have to!
How Do Weighted Blankets Work?
Weighted blankets are thought to work by resetting your central nervous system and allowing it to decompress, and get out of the fight-or-flight response. The gentle pressure is said to increase serotonin production and allow you to get into a state of deep relaxation almost instantly.
After I read about the benefits of weighted blankets, I set out to research my options. I was surprised by how pricey some of the blankets were, so I wanted to make sure that I was getting a high-quality product if I finally decided to purchase one.
The Baloo Weighted Blanket
After a lot of research, I stumbled upon Baloo. This was the first brand that I found that actually seemed to care about the materials used in their blankets, and I was super impressed. Baloo’s fabric is free from harmful dyes and chemicals.
I didn’t realize this at first, but many popular brands use plastic beads to fill their blankets. Baloo uses lead-free glass microbeads, which are quieter and better for the environment. I’ve been on a quest to remove toxins from my life recently, so this was important to me. They really seem to have put a lot of thought into the materials, manufacturing, and mission of their company.
Their blankets are made of breathable cotton, certified by the Oeko-Tex 100 standard to be free of harmful chemicals. They can also go in both the washing machine and the dryer, which was a huge plus for me. Especially when compared to other, more expensive, brands that are not machine washable.
And my favorite part? The blanket itself is actually gorgeous. I’m not sure why I wasn’t expecting that, but it is quite lovely. It looks extremely similar, in both beauty and quality, to my own West Elm linen quilt. And although they’ve recently come out with a French linen duvet cover for the Baloo blanket, I’m not sure that we even need one because it’s beautiful even without a cover.
My First Experience
When my blanket first arrived on my doorstep, I was in the middle of cooking dinner, but I wasn’t going to let that stop me. I instantly tore open the packaging and asked my husband if he would help me cover myself up. I could have done it myself, but with a 15-pound blanket, it was just easier to get it all spread out with his help.
Like Being In The Womb
As he was standing there, asking me how it felt and if it was heavy, I could barely hear him. I had already closed my eyes and was wondering how dinner would turn out if I never emerged from my cocoon. I think I may have even mumbled something about being in my mother’s womb.
But, after envisioning a zoodle bowl drizzled with burnt Thai cashew butter sauce, I finally decided that I should get out from underneath the blanket and get back to my adult responsibilities.
When I emerged less than two minutes after putting the blanket on, my eyes were heavy and I was ready for a nap. “Ok,” I thought. Maybe these things do actually work!
All Night Long
I had envisioned using my blanket mostly in that way. Just for an hour or two here or there while reading and winding down for the night. But, after my initial relaxing 2-minute experience, I started to wonder if I could sleep through the entire night with my weighted blanket!
I soon found out that the answer was a hard no. While I found it to be great for winding down before I fell asleep, trying to sleep with it on for the entire night proved to be more than I could handle. It started to feel a little claustrophobic and I had to take it off within about ten minutes of shutting off my light.
That being said, when I found myself awake at 3 am and reaching for my essential oil sleep roller, I suddenly remembered that there was a weighted blanket at the foot of my bed. “Hmm, it’s worth a try,” I thought. So I put the blanket on, but this time just up to my knees, so that only about 1/3 of my body was covered. Suddenly, I was transported back into dreamland for a few more hours.
The Insomnia Cure
Two weeks later, I found myself in the midst of an anxiety attack, the likes of which I hadn’t seen for months. After sticking on my body vibes patch and slathering my feet with essential oils, I immediately pulled my weighted blanket all the way up to my chin so that it was covering my entire body. After two hours of total panic, I suddenly started the feel somewhat normal again after less than 5 minutes of using the blanket.
So, while I don’t sleep with the blanket on for the entire night every single night, I’m definitely still on board for this somewhat newfangled product. The important thing is that when I needed it to work all night? It definitely did.
As someone who has suffered from anxiety and insomnia for years, I can use all the help I can get. So, do weighted blankets really work? In my humble opinion, the answer is yes. I think, based on my experience, that it’s safe to say that this blanket definitely helped me with both anxiety and restful sleep.
Which Weight To Choose
If you’re trying a weighted blanket for the first time, I would definitely choose the lighter of the two options. I’m glad I went with the 15-pound version because I think the 20-pound option may have been too much for me.
I actually had originally ordered the 20-pound size and emailed Baloo customer service in a tizzy requesting to change my order to the lighter weight option. They have a great resource on their website if you aren’t sure which one to order. Obviously, I should have read that first. But, they were super nice about making the swap for me quickly and easily.
As it stands, my blanket feels like a warm (and maybe kind of intense) hug. Like the best kind of hug that you get from your Mom when you haven’t seen her for several months. (Hi, Mom!) I’m thinking about it now and looking forward to cuddling up with it tonight as I read my book and get ready for bed.