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- Weighted blankets can help improve sleep and help reduce anxiety, but they can also trap heat.
- I’ve been using Gravity’s Cooling Blanket, and it’s better-looking and better at temperature regulation than alternatives I’ve tried.
- The Cooling Blanket is expensive at $150, but if you can comfortably afford it, this is a solid option.
There are few purchases that I would say have been truly life-changing — and most of them have, incidentally, been sleep-related. I have two fantastic pillows and a mattress pad that get me excited to jump in bed at night and, more recently, some superb weighted blankets that consistently give me the deepest and most restful sleep of my life.
If you’re in the early stages of research to find the right weighted blanket, you’ve probably ran into the name Gravity Blankets pretty early. It’s a Kickstarter-alum that sells one of the market’s most popular — and luxurious — options. Its original Gravity Blanket is one of the best weighted blankets you can buy.
But, sleeping under a necessarily dense, adult-sized weight can sound unappealing for those who sleep hot or shudder at the idea of blasting their AC over the summer. For them — and, I’d argue, anyone — there’s the Gravity Cooling Blanket. (You can find it in understated white, gray, and navy colors).
The Cooling Blanket still uses glass beads rather than plastic poly pellets (glass beads are smaller, denser, and make the blanket less bulky), but the duvet cover is made with a “faux Tencel” material that encourages airflow and helps keep you from overheating. Like its predecessors, its stitching helps keep the glass beads from dispersing unevenly during the night.
To see if it could actually remain comfortable on a swampy summer night, I tried it in the sort of small NYC apartment that suffers from its own damp, hot greenhouse effect. You’ll find my full review below.
How do weighted blankets work?
Weighted blankets work through deep pressure touch stimulation therapy (or DPTS) — similar to the effect achieved by swaddling babies or putting dogs in “thunder jackets.” 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.
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. In so many words, that’s why weighted blankets are used therapeutically for sensory disorders, anxiety, depression, autism, insomnia, etc. They’re a relatively inexpensive, effective, and medication-free way to encourage calmness and relaxation.
More specifically for sleep, deep pressure can help relax the nervous system, reduce the stress hormone cortisol, and encourage serotonin and dopamine production, which promotes relaxation and regulates 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.
How to choose the right weight for your weighted blanket
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 I personally prefer it to be a little heavier. If you feel like something heavier might make it harder to roll over or give you a feeling of being trapped, though, then err on the lighter side.
Review of Gravity’s Cooling Blanket
The 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, though, you may want to temper your expectations.
The Cooling Blanket is 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 my favorite 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’ve slept with the Cooling Blanket as my main blanket with temperatures in the mid-80s with 75% humidity without AC and never woke up uncomfortable. It won’t be nearly 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 is a solid option. (For more options, check out our buying guide to the best weighted blankets).
Another thing worth mentioning if you’re going to drop $100+ on a blanket is that it’s by far the most aesthetically pleasing weighted blanket I’ve ever used. If you care about the overall aesthetic of your room, and the rest of it sounds justifiable to you, this is the one that will be the most undetectable. It looks fresh and crisp — like any other quilt.
Six-month update: The Cooling Blanket is still my all-time favorite weighted blanket — both for its temperature regulation and how effortlessly it blends in with the rest of my bedding.
The bottom line
The Gravity Cooling Blanket is worth it if you want to experience the benefits of a weighted blanket and are willing to pay top dollar for better breathability and aesthetics.
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 one 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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