After years of insomnia I curled up under a weighted blanket — and it was miraculous

·4 min read

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Desperate for a good night's sleep, I tried a weighted blanket. Here's what happened. (Photo: Getty Images)
Desperate for a good night's sleep, I tried a weighted blanket. Here's what happened. (Photo: Getty Images)

For as long as I can remember, I’ve had trouble falling asleep and staying asleep. I struggle forever to nod off, wake up at 4 AM unable to quiet my mind, and my brain goes into overdrive, hopscotching from money worries to future grocery lists to imminent story deadlines. When my alarm goes off in the morning, I wake up dazed, confused and exhausted. And as it turns out, I’m not alone. According to a 2019 study released by the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, roughly 25 percent of Americans experience acute insomnia each year.

Enter the weighted blanket

After years of restless rest, I heard about the Gravity Blanket. It’s a weighted blanket that, according to the manufacturer, provides “deep touch pressure stimulation” to help boost your mood and promote solid sleep. The science behind these blankets is inconclusive, but to put it in simple terms: Since you’re all snug inside it, you kick and shift around less and in theory, sleep much better. The blankets come in different weights, to cater to different sized sleepers and personal preference.

Gravity Blanket (Photo: Gravity)
Gravity Blanket (Photo: Gravity)

Now, I’m not a scientist. I barely passed botany in college. So I don’t know why, but the Gravity Blanket works! When I crawl under it, it feels like the best kind of warm, all-encasing hug. I opted for the lightest version because I tend to get hot at night; it’s juuuuust right for me. Not too hot, not too cold and weighted the ideal amount. Unlike your average flimsy blanket, it doesn’t shift or roll off or wind up on the floor. It stays put — heavy and velvety — and brings a sense of deep ease, so that you can just exhale. I can only compare it to the calm that would descend on my newborn when I used to swaddle him. “As advertised, the weight helps me sleep like a baby!” crowed one Amazon reviewer.

Beneath my new velvety bedmate, I’ve slept through the night for two weeks straight.

Shop it: Gravity Blanket, $189 to $249,

Weighted blankets in a range of prices

Mine is one of the higher-priced weighted blankets on the market, but there are less expensive options with equally positive reviews. Most blankets are sized to fit one person, so check measurements, and if you co-sleep, get two. As for maintenance, shake out your blanket out every few days to keep the beads inside well distributed. Here are some more affordable options:

YnM Weighted Blanket— on sale

This is Amazon’s best-selling weighted blanket, and over 25,000 reviewers rave about its supersoft texture.

“I haven’t slept through the night for almost six years, thanks to a difficult pregnancy and baby,” writes a happy shopper. “It trained my body to only sleep a couple hours at a time. I tried everything, and am shocked that a weighted blanket worked so magically! From restless legs, insomnia, anxiety, it is an instant fix! I have it draped over me while I write this and it feels amazing!”

Shop it: YnM Weighted Blanket, $36 to $144 (was $49 to $169),

Alwyn Home Nixon Anti-Anxiety Weighted Blanket

Alwyn Home Nixon Anti-Anxiety Weighted Blanket (Photo: Wayfair)
Alwyn Home Nixon Anti-Anxiety Weighted Blanket (Photo: Wayfair)

This square-stitched blanket “really helps to calm anxiety,” wrote one reviewer. Plus, it’s oversized and super soft.

Shop it: Alwyn Home Nixon Anti-Anxiety Weighted Blanket, $64 to $88,

Brookstone Weighted Blanket

What’s cool about this option: a curved neck that makes for a snug fit, and beads that are BPA-free.

Shop it: Brookstone Weighted Blanket, $76,

Ourea Natural Weighted Blanket

Another Amazon customer favorite, the inner layers are made from organic cotton and are breathable. Glass pellets provide the weight.

“It took one night to get used to it, but now I look forward to going to bed,” writes a reviewer who struggles with insomnia. “No more sleeping pills, either! Everything good that is said about this beautiful blanket is true.”

Shop it: Ourea Natural Weighted Blanket, $40 to $72 (was $50 to $80),

The reviews quoted above reflect the most recent versions at the time of publication.

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