Sleep Doesn’t Come Easily to Me…
It may be an exaggeration to say that I’m the worst sleeper in the entire world, but I am definitely the worst sleeper out of anyone I know. If I don’t have sleep aids, I toss, I turn, and I lay awake thinking about my ever-growing to-do list. I can’t sleep because I’m too cold; I can’t sleep because I’m too hot. It’s always something, but I just can’t sleep… ever.
I’ve tried it all: melatonin, medicine, eye masks, herbal tea, warm milk, white noise machines, yoga, tai chi, and on and on. You name it, I’ve done it, with varying levels of success. Then last winter, my mom gave me a weighted blanket and much to my surprise, it actually helped me fall (and better yet, STAY) asleep!
That weighted blanket left plenty to be desired, though. The moment summertime rolled around, I started to feel like a Hot Pocket left in the microwave too long because of the heavy plastic shell. No bueno. In my search for a better, more cooling option, I discovered a brand called Bearaby that has some serious backing — from Forbes and Vogue to Fast Company and the Sleep Foundation.
So What Is Bearaby, Exactly?
Bearaby was founded with the mission to make restful, revitalizing sleep accessible. They craft beautiful, hand-knit weighted blankets in all shapes and sizes that promote a calming, cozy sensation akin to being swaddled like a baby or wrapped in a big warm bear hug.
It turns out, this is called deep touch pressure, or DTP, and it’s been scientifically proven to produce hormones that improve your mood, lessen stress and anxiety, and promote sleep. I won’t bore you with the details, but if you’re interested in having your mind blown, check out this blog post from Bearaby’s website on how deep touch pressure works.
What Makes Bearaby Different?
Most weighted blankets are full of plastic fillers or worse, heavy beads sewn in small pockets throughout the blanket. The problem with those is that they clump up and shift around, resulting in an uneven distribution of weight. Bearaby’s blankets are unique because their hand-knit style is breathable and distributes the weight evenly, which is key for deep touch pressure to be most effective.
Sustainability also plays a central role in Bearaby’s business and sets their Nappers apart. They use organic, ethically-sourced, natural materials grown using 90% less water than traditional fabrics, so not only does the blanket look and feel great — it’s made to be as environmentally friendly as possible.
Their bestselling product, called the Cotton Napper, is made from 100% organic cotton, and it’s available in a kids’ size, a travel size, and a jumbo size as well. Their newest product, the Tree Napper, is made from cooling a eucalyptus-based material called TENCEL, which is moisture-wicking and designed specifically for hot sleepers.
My Napper Arrives
I’m a hot sleeper, so I went for the 20 pound Tree Napper in a cool blue-gray color called Ironbark. The shipping was free, and I was impressed when the hefty cardboard box showed up at my doorstep in just a few days. Bearaby is 100% plastic-free (a feat in and of itself), so the Napper comes in a cute cotton bag made from recycled fabric scraps that doubles as a laundry bag.
The blankets are machine-washable, but luckily they come pre-washed — and you’d best believe that I jumped into bed the second I pulled it out of the bag!
Thanks to the TENCEL fabric, the Tree Napper feels luxurious, smooth and cooling. But don’t get me wrong, it’s unfathomably soft and pillowy as well. Now, for the most important part: what is it like to sleep with? Bearaby recommends selecting a blanket that’s 10% of your body weight, so it’s not THAT much weight. Since the knit design distributes the weight evenly, it’s just the right amount to keep me feeling safe and secure without feeling suffocated. It’s almost like the feeling of a massage — a soothing, relaxing pressure.
My favorite part is that it doesn’t get too hot to sleep with because the big loops in the knitting allow air to circulate freely. That means I can use it all-year round, not just in the winter months.
As I mentioned, I got my Napper because weighted blankets actually do help me sleep, but I truly think I would buy one even if I already slept like a baby just because of how chic and cozy it is! The bold, chunky knit style complimented my bedroom in ways I can’t describe — it’s like the centerpiece of my room was missing. When I invite people over, I’ll bring my blanket out and toss it on the couch because it’s a conversation starter and I always get compliments on it.
My Final Thoughts About Bearaby
As you can probably tell, I’m a wee bit obsessed with my Tree Napper. It’s design-forward, breathable, and made with sustainability in mind — the three areas where all other weighted blankets fall short. It’s also the perfect gift. Everyone who’s tested out my blanket won’t stop raving about it, and I’ve already made a mental list of the friends who I’ll be buying a Napper for this holiday season.
Even if you don’t have trouble with sleeping, the Napper is worth trying out. It’s available in a TON of different colors and weights that range from $249 to $319, so there’s an option for everyone. Bearaby offers free shipping and returns, plus a 30 day “try it” policy, so if you’re skeptical, there’s no commitment. That said, I can almost guarantee that you’ll fall in love with it as quickly as I did.