I tried the new $250 Gravity Blanket, a weighted blanket that's designed to have a cooling effect, and it kept me from overheating at night
- Weighted blankets create deeper, more restful sleep and reduce anxiety and stress by using deep-touch therapy - similar to the comfort created by swaddling babies.
- Gravity Blankets makes one of the most popular options, and the company recently released a version of its blanket specifically designed to have a cooling effect.
- I've been sleeping under the New Cooling Blanket ($259), and it's definitely the most breathable and best-looking of any weighted blanket I've tested. It's also one of the most compact.
- It comes with a steep price tag, but if you're looking for the best - and can comfortably afford it - this is a solid option. Find my full review below.
There are few purchases in my adult life that I would say have been truly life-changing - and most of them have incidentally wound up been sleep-related. Two fantastic pillows, a mattress pad that inspires me to actually rush home for bed, and, above all else, weighted blankets.I truly didn't know how much better my quality of sleep could get until I started sleeping under a 15-pound weight. And an improvement to sleep impacts pretty much every area of your life; with deeper, more restful shut-eye, I was finding I had more energy during the day and actively looked forward to getting to bed earlier at night.
How do weighted blankets work?Weighted blankets work through deep pressure touch simulation therapy (or DPTS) that's similar to the effect achieved by swaddling babies or putting dogs in "thunder jackets." While light touches can alert the nervous system, deep pressure (such as a good massage or tight and heavy blanket) has a relaxing, calming effect on the body. That's essentially why weighted blankets are used for therapeutic treatment of sensory disorders, anxiety, depression, autism, insomnia, and more. They're a relatively inexpensive, effective, and medication-free way to encourage calmness and relaxation. According to a Mayo Clinic Minute interview with Dr. Adam Perlman, it's kind of like what happens in the body when you get a hug.
More specifically for sleep, deep pressure relaxes the nervous system, reduces the stress hormone cortisol, and encourages serotonin and dopamine production, which promote relaxation and regulate our moods. Then, serotonin converts to melatonin, and that makes you sleepy. The tangential feelings of calm, safety, relief, and comfort only aid in your body's natural processes. There are also studies that demonstrate how grounding the human body during sleep measurably reduces or eliminates pain and stress.If you're looking into giving one a shot, aim for a weight that's about 10% of your own body weight. My 15-pound blanket is a little more than 10% of my body weight, but it still feels perfect. If you feel like something heavier might make it harder to roll over or give you a feeling of being trapped, err on the lighter side. Gravity BlanketsThe New Cooling Blanket is definitely the most elegant iteration of a weighted blanket, and meshes well with the rest of my decor - something worth mentioning for traditionally bulky blankets.
What makes the New Cooling Blanket different?
The New Cooling Blanket ($259) is the company's redesigned version of its original, the Gravity Blanket ($249). Per the name, the New Cooling Blanket has been designed specifically to be a cooler, more breathable variation. It still uses glass beads instead of plastic polypellets for a better experience (glass beads are smaller, denser and make the blanket noticeably less bulky), but the duvet cover is made with a "faux tencel" material that encourages airflow and keeps you from overheating. Like its predecessors, it too has Gravity's gridded stitching to keep the internal glass beads from dispersing unevenly during sleep.
You can find in understated white, grey, and navy colors.
My review of Gravity's New Cooling BlanketThe New Cooling Blanket is still a weighted blanket, so I was skeptical of how much an updated duvet cover could do. In person, though, it did seem to keep me unnaturally well-regulated throughout the night. If you're imagining it feeling like the cold side of the pillow all the time, that's not the case. But it does feel cool, silky, and breathable at first touch and when readjusting - it's just not a persistent phenomenon. The cooling is more subtle, though nonetheless effective, than that. In this, it reminded me of workout gear: Good performance materials let me get through a yoga class without cursing whoever makes my leggings, but rarely do I notice the work being done to wick away moisture and dissipate heat while it's happening.
I slept with the New Cooling Blanket ($259) as my main blanket with temperatures in the mid-80s with 75% humidity without AC or a breeze and never woke up uncomfortable. I was impressed with how well it managed to regulate my temperature. It won't be as airy as a linen top sheet - but it would be unrealistic to expect it to be. If you're looking for a way to make a heavy, 15-pound blanket more breathable, this may be your best option.
The bottom lineThe New Cooling Blanket is worth it if you want to experience the benefits of a weighted blanket but don't want to risk overheating at or having to blast your AC all night.
If that doesn't describe you, it's worth looking into some alternatives before giving up the dream of owning a weighted blanket: There are under-$100 options on Amazon - like this $60 version I also own and love - though you'll probably need to throw on the AC in the summer if you plan to use it then (and once you start it's hard to stop, so I'd plan for that). Your budget and needs will determine what's the best value deal for you, but, regardless of which one you ultimately choose, I couldn't recommend trying a weighted blanket highly enough.
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