I had seen ads for Weighting Comforts’ weighted blankets on Facebook, and as somebody with lifelong anxiety, as well as chronic sleep issues, I had been considering whether or not to buy one.
So it was a happy bit of serendipity when the company approached me just a few weeks later, offering to send me a blanket to try out in exchange for a review in which I would give my honest opinion of their product. I readily agreed and used the blanket myself, and also gave it to two friends to try for a few nights. Fortunately the blanket is machine washable and easy to clean, making the whole testing process a lot easier and less expensive for me.
For those not familiar with weighted blankets, they are blankets made with several pouches sewn into them, that contain a filler to make the blanket heavier. The filler Weighting Comforts uses consists of tiny pellets made of an FDA approved, non skin irritating PVC blend.
The theory behind the blankets is that when layed across the body, their weight is soothing to the mind, body and nervous system. That made sense to me because I have always been the kind of person who sleeps better when I am underneath 2-3 blankets, even if I am hot. The weight makes me feel safer and cozier. It makes me think of how I swaddled my children when they were infants because the doctor said it mimicked the feeling of being in the womb. I wonder if a bit of that lingers on after we become adults causing us to appreciate that sense of something enveloping us.
To help explain the feeling that their blankets provide, Weighting Comforts’ website gives the example of feeling nervous at the dentist and then feeling safer and more secure when the heavy x-ray shield is placed over your chest. As somebody with a dental phobia, I have personally experienced that comforting sensation and it made me want to try out the blanket even more.
Studies have shown that weighted blankets increase a person’s levels of serotonin and melatonin, promoting a sense of calm, relaxation and a good night’s sleep. Those living with autism, anxiety, insomnia, mania, Restless Leg Syndrome, depression, and PTSD are said to be ideal candidates for weighted blanket therapy.
According to Karen Moore, OTR/L, an occupational therapist in Franconia, NH, “In psychiatric care, weighted blankets are one of our most powerful tools for helping people who are anxious, upset, and possibly on the verge of losing control.”
Weighting Comforts blanket run about the size of a twin blanket at 42″ x 74″. Their “Cool Max” blanket runs a bit larger at about 55″ x 74″. The blankets are made of 100% cotton, with the exception of the “Cool Max” blanket which is made with a cotton/polyester blend.
The suggested blanket weight to purchase is approximately 10% of your body weight.
History of the Company:
Weighting Comforts was founded by Donna, who began making the blankets while attending college to obtain her masters in marriage and family therapy. Originally making the blankets for her advisors’ clients, she had such a great response to the blankets that she partnered up with her son to form her own company.
Donna and her son partnered with the non-profit organization “Sew for Hope”, giving international refugees the chance to earn income by sewing the blankets.
Using the Blanket:
The blanket I was to review, the “Charcoal” flannel blanket arrived to me nicely packaged in just a few days. My first impression was that in appearance, it was very much as represented on the website. The blanket felt heavier than I had anticipated – a lot heavier actually – and I liked that. I thought instantly of the x-ray apron that is mentioned on the product website. It felt as if it were of very good quality. The material was very soft, not scratchy at all and overall I was pretty pleased and looking forward to trying it out.
Later that night I laid the blanket on my bed and climbed in underneath it. It felt amazing. As it was lying evenly distributed over my body, it didn’t feel as heavy as I had thought it would. But it was so soothing and nice, and I felt as though I was “one with the bed”.
I am typically a very restless person, especially when lying in bed at night. I am always fidgeting or feeling the urge to move my legs, and my absolute favorite thing about using the blanket was that I didn’t feel those urges anymore. It was strange at first – as if my brain was a little confused. But after a few minutes, I settled into the stillness and felt really relaxed. I am not sure that it helped me fall asleep any faster than I normally do, because honestly my mind was busy thinking about how great it felt, however I definitely slept deeper and in longer spurts than I normally do. I normally wake up every few hours and usually don’t remember my dreams, but using the blanket, I slept in a 6 hour stretch and remember having much more intense dream activity than I normally do .
I consider myself to be a “cold-blooded” person. I am usually that one person in the room who is always freezing. So I wasn’t surprised that the blanket didn’t make me feel too hot, despite being made of flannel. I stayed pretty comfortable actually – very snug.
I often let others sample the products I review because I like to give a fair and balanced report. So I let my 12 year old daughter, and two friends of mine try the blanket for a few nights, machine washing the blanket in between samplings.
My daughter was the first to try the blanket. She has no history of sleep troubles or mental health/medical issues but she wanted to try the blanket anyway. She really liked sleeping under it and said she slept great. She was hoping to keep the blanket for herself and was pretty peeved when I told her she had to give it up so that other people could test it out.
My friend Marilyn was the next to try the blanket for a few nights. Marilyn lives with multiple sclerosis and she also liked using the blanket. She said she fell asleep faster, and slept better. She even asked me for a link to the website because she wanted to recommend the blanket to a friend of hers. Her only complaint was that she got a bit too warm under the flannel.
Brooke was next to try the blanket out. She tried it for one night and also said that she liked the blanket and slept better with it. She said that the one negative she could come up with about the blanket was that changing positions or turning over in her sleep was a bit of a “workout” due to the weight of the blanket. Overall, however, her impression was favorable.
The price of Weighting Comforts’ blankets range from $269 for the CoolMax version, to $195 for the Quilting Cotton and Flannel versions. The company also offers a smaller lap pad for $60 which I have not tried, but after trying the blanket, I can see how the lap pad would be relaxing while watching TV or reading a book.
The company offers a 30 day money back guarantee if you are not satisfied with your blanket.
I was really satisfied with Weighting Comforts’ blanket. I slept better with it during my “testing week” and so did the people I let sample it for a night or two. I continue to use the blanket on nights when I am feeling particularly “keyed up” and I would definitely recommend this for people who struggle with insomnia, night-time anxiety, or who just simply want bedtime to be a more relaxing experience.
Weighting Comforts blankets can be purchased through their website.