Having read that that weighted blanket is now the #1 houshold product in the USA to help relieve stress, anxiety and improve sleep I decided to do some research on its availability in the UK. To my surprise I found that it is also quickly growing in the UK and used by medical doctors! I purchased a blanket and it has turned out to be one of the best decisions I have ever made to improve me overall well-being!
(This is my experience and following that I have posted the results of my research and more information on the weighted blanket. I hope you find it useful!)
Where I Started
I quickly learned that weighted blankets have been used in the medical industry for years to help with anxiety, sleep, insomnia and other disorders. My first reservation was the price and quality of the products on the market in the UK. With that being the case, my OCD took over and I thoroughly researched the brands on the market in the UK. I found 7 that were available and 1 that was located in the United Kingdom.
As for the price, my hubby said it best; I spend £4 a day at Starbucks trying to wake up, I should be focussing instead on getting the best sleep possible to improve my overall health and well-being. Using things like coffee was just masking the problem, where as getting proper sleep would face the problem head on. So let’s get started!
After 3 days of research I purchased the Koala Blanket, they are located in the UK and look to be on the cutting edge of design. I chose this blanket based on the following:
- Price (they currently have a 40% promo)
- Quality & Design
- 30 Day FREE Return Policy
- Free Next Day Shipping (UK Only)
- Innovative Design
- UK Based Company (the others were in China and 1 in Poland)
Here is a link to their website that has 40% discount.
So I took the leap and ordered my Koala Blanket on a Tuesday and to my surprise it arrived the next day via Hermes delivery service. The first thing I noticed was wow the box was heavy!
Excited for my first evening with the blanket, my partner and I had our tea and went to the sofa to watch Love Island (yes it is my guilty pleasure) and to try my new 7kg weighted blanket!
First Impression (on the sofa)
Getting under the blanket was definitely an experience I wasn’t used to! Unlike a normal blanket, it was heavy (it weighs 7kg) so it took a bit of adjusting to get set up and ready to watch all the drama unfold on Love Island!
Once I had overcome the new feeling, I clearly remember thinking about how comfortable I was during the first advert break. It really was like being hugged. I felt this sense of calmness that I wasn’t used to experiencing. I felt as if I was sinking into the sofa…in a calm and relaxing way.
My next test was to bring it to bed.
Using It In Bed
The first night sleeping I didn’t really notice a difference as it did take some getting used to and I awoke feeling the same as always. BUT after that first night I did start to notice a difference. My hubby compared it to sleeping in a bed that is not yours, usually the first night can be the most difficult and after you become used to it, it slowly improves. Starting the 2nd night I awoke in the morning feeling less groggy!
When I slipped under the blanket the 2nd night, I felt like I was wrapped in a cocoon, as if the blanket were hugging me. (That feeling of being hugged is what medical doctors say is likely responsible for the calming effects.) Although it was possible for me to shift onto my side, the blanket was definitely more snug than my regular duvet, and I felt like it encouraged my body to stay still. Normally, I’m pretty restless in bed, and the act of moving around makes my mind wander. But, because I couldn’t physically move as much, I noticed that my thoughts weren’t racing as much either. I was able to just focus on the present, and that made it easier to fall asleep. I didn’t wake up in the middle of the night, which is very rare for me and after 7 hours of solid sleep I knew this blanket was money well spent.
I feel it is important here to show my fitbit results. You can clearly see my “Deep Sleep” has moved up drastically since using the Koala Blanket.
The chart really shows my improvement in sleep. I wear my fitbit everywhere I go, even to bed. I really struggled with sleep over the past 6 months but you can see from this chart the sharp increase in my deep sleep almost as soon as I started sleeping with my Koala Blanket. The past week has been even higher, I am averaging over 2h 27min over the past 7 days, this is almost double what I was getting in May and April of this year!
My Mood Before vs After Using The Weighted Blanket For 2 Weeks
- Awoke tired & groggy
- Struggled at work to have energy
- Often anxious in the evenings
- Racing thoughts while trying to fall asleep
- Awoke with energy
- Able to focus on tasks better
- Feel more calm throughout the day
- More relaxed in general
I have even had a comment from a co-worker that my eyes don’t look as tired in the mornings!
Here are a couple news videos from reputable American TV programmes featuring the weighted blanket that I stumbled upon while researching.
Weighted Blankets In The News
Here are the 3 top blankets I found for sale in the UK
Weighted Blanket Benefits
Weighted blankets help people sleep better in the following ways:
- Reduces cortisol levels:Grounding reduces the production of cortisol, a steroid hormone triggered by stressful situations. While cortisol is not necessarily bad, nighttime cortisol production can counteract the production of melatonin, which can in turn have a negative effect on sleep quality.
- Helps produce more melatonin: Natural light triggers melatonin, causing us to feel more tired at night and more wakeful the next morning. People with insomia tend to produce less melatonin, leading to problems with sleep onset and/or sleep maintenance. As a result, those who use weighted blankets for insomnia and other disorders linked to low melatonin production often experience notable sleep improvements.
- Triggers happiness hormones: Grounding triggers the release of serotonin, and other ‘happiness hormones’ that calm the nervous system and make people feel more relaxed.
- Reduces sleepwalking episodes: Interrupted or inefficient sleep can cause sleepwalking in adults and children. Weighted blankets cause people to feel more relaxed before falling asleep, which often leads to deeper sleep and more restful nights. As a result, weighted blankets can be very helpful for sleepwalkers – particularly toddlers and young children.
In addition to benefits for sleepers, weighted blankets can also alleviate stress and anxiety for many. Dentists often provide weighted blankets to patients in order to alleviate their stress before exams. Physicians have also noted that adults and children with certain disorders and medical conditions may benefit from using a weighted blanket for anxiety. These include:
- Autism spectrum disorder (ASD): A weighted blanket for autism can be effective for several reasons, particularly among children with ASD. Individuals with ASD often have below-average serotonin and melatonin levels, which can lead to sleep difficulties. Additionally, children with ASD tend to experience anxiety, especially at night.
- Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD): Poor academic performance is a common issue among children with ADHD, and this problem may be compounded by lack of restful sleep. When used correctly, a weighted blanket for ADHD can not only improve the child’s sleep but also sharpen their focusing abilities in the classroom and boost their grades.
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD): Like ASD, PTSD is a condition that can reduce serotonin production levels. By boosting these serotonin levels and alleviating stress – a common symptom of PTSD – weighted blankets can help people with PTSD improve their overall sleep quality.
Pros of Using a Weighted Blanket
- Boosts melatonin and ‘happiness hormone’ production
- Alleviates anxiety and stress
- Improves sleep quality for people with ASD, ADHD, PTSD, and other mental health conditions and disorders
- Wide weight selection available
Cons of Using a Weighted Blanket
- May not be suitable for travel (especially very heavy models)
- Children under eight should not use them without a prescription
- Blankets may cause stress for claustrophobic people
- Price-point often exceeds £100
Important Tips for Weighted Blanket Shoppers
When shopping for a weighted blanket and comparing different brands and models, here are a few factors to keep in mind.
- What is your weighted blanket budget? Keep in mind that most weighted blankets cost at least £100 when sold through companies. Private sellers on sites like Etsy may price their weighted blankets lower, but they do not come with warranties and the quality is usually lower.
- How much do you weigh? Use your body weight to calculate the most suitable weight for your blanket. Surveys have found that people generally feel most comfortable under a blanket that weighs 7% to 10% as much as they do, but testing out different models is considered the best way to find the right fit. Also keep weight loss/gain in mind, as the most suitable blanket may change if your own weight fluctuates.
- Do you have a medical or psychological condition that may lead to discomfort under a weighted blanket? Certain individuals may feel less comfortable under weighted blankets, such as people with claustrophobia, women who are going through menopause, and people with respiratory and/or circulatory issues.
- What is your preferred blanket size? Some sleepers like blankets with minimal coverage while others enjoy wrapping themselves in longer, wider blankets. Keep in mind that weighted blanket size is usually tied to weight; the less a blanket weighs, the narrower and shorter it will be. You may have to compromise your width and length preferences in order to find a blanket that weighs the right amount.
- Do you sleep warm? Many people sleep excessively hot or warm, either due to their own body temperature regulation or the composition of their mattress (foam and latex sleep hotter than springs). Weighted blankets with covers made of natural fibers like cotton and wool tend to sleep cooler than synthetic fabrics like polyester. For this reason, people who sleep warm are urged to pick a weighted blanket with a natural fiber cover.
- Does the blanket come with a cover? Be sure to scope out the product specs. In some cases, weighted blanket covers are sold separately from the blankets themselves.
- What is your color preference? Cover color choice is purely aesthetic, although some models are available in dozens of colors for people with different tastes and decor arrangements.
- Does the weighted blanket come with a trial or warranty? Companies that sell weighted blankets often offer trial periods, which allow purchasers to return the blanket for a refund within a certain timeframe, and/or product warranties that protect the blanket from defects. Weighted blankets sold through private merchants usually come with neither.