Weighted blankets are becoming a very popular sleep accessory for both adults and children. Developed for the purpose of relieving stress and anxiety, the blankets provide the sensation of being hugged or embraced. They use the power of “deep touch” pressure stimulation, a well-regarded therapeutic treatment that stimulates pressure points found in the body. Scientific studies have shown that sleeping beneath a weighted blanket contributes to a reduction in cortisol levels and increases in the production of serotonin (happiness hormone) and melatonin. This contributes to an improvement in mood, aids relaxation and can help improve sleep quality and duration. They have also been shown to help those with autistic spectrum disorders, ADHD and high anxiety.
I was curious therefore to see if the seemingly simple — albeit heavy — Gravity Weighted Blanket would have the same effect that is usually found with pharmaceuticals or meditation. Could it really reduce stress and anxiety and most importantly, could it help me sleep?
The first and most important thing you need to know about the Gravity Blanket is that it comes in varying weights and not surprisingly, weight is the most important consideration when buying a weighted blanket – the right blanket should be equivalent to about 10% of your body weight.
The second thing to know about the blanket is that it’s not the size of a full duvet, it’s a therapeutic tool based on each individual’s weight and is not meant to be shared as this will lessen the effect. Generally, heavier weighted blankets are wider and longer than lighter ones. It won’t replace your bedding and it won’t cover both you and a partner at the same time. I would recommend purchasing two separate blankets if you’re thinking of sharing it with your partner as this will then allow you both to receive the benefits of the blanket.
I really like the fact that Gravity Blankets are completely handmade in Europe, using 100% organic, hypo-allergenic and certified cotton (Öko Tex Standard 100 seal). Being made from natural fibres they are more breathable and tend to sleep cooler, crucial if you are someone who tends to get hot during the night and being hypo-allergenic, they’re suitable for those individuals who struggle with allergies. Gravity also promotes a sustainable production process with only environmentally friendly products being used in the manufacture of its blankets.
The blanket itself consists of two parts; the soft outer cover shell, which is plush on one side and velvet on the other side (also hypo-allergenic) – this felt very luxurious and ultra-soft, and the weighted blanket insert. Both can be washed in the washing machine at 30 ° C. The blanket is stuffed with extra soft filling which makes it even cosier and a bit warmer, but not so warm that it can’t be used therapeutically all year round.
Whilst I really enjoyed the sensation of the blanket, finding it cocooning and comforting, I would point out that certain individuals may feel less comfortable under a weighted blanket, such as people with claustrophobia or with respiratory and/or circulatory issues and women who are going through the menopause nor are they designed for use by children of eight years or younger.
I tested the blanket (which arrived beautifully boxed with explanatory literature) for two weeks. And the verdict? I really liked the sensation provided by the blanket, it looked like a high-quality product, felt wonderfully soft, and over the two week trial period I found myself sleeping really well and definitely feeling more rested.
Shop Gravity Blanket here