October 04, 2020
Are Cheap Weighted Blankets Worth It?
Getting an inexpensive weighted blanket might seem like a good idea at first, but here’s a list of reasons why investing in a cheap weighted blanket will end up costing twice as much.
If you’ve been looking for natural ways to better sleep and mental health, there’s a good chance you’ve scrolled past a few weighted blanket options – many of them labeled as “best affordable weighted blanket” or “best cheap weighted blanket for adults.”
While some are quite decent, the price tag isn’t the only thing to consider when buying a weighted blanket. Here are a few reasons why investing in a no-compromises Bearaby blanket ensures your new couch buddy is relieving stress, not causing more of it.
Can cheap weighted blankets hug you and the planet?
When it comes to weighted blankets, budget-friendly options are usually at the opposite end of Earth-friendly. Even the best affordable weighted blankets aren’t Earth-loving enough to drive the scope of the change needed to fend off climate change. Here’s why:
The majority of cheap weighted blankets are made out of polyester, an inexpensive synthetic alternative to natural fibers, but a choice that takes a tremendous toll on our environment.
Nearly 70 million barrels of oil are required to meet the fast fashion industry’s polyester demands each year. Even though polyester lasts only a few years in our wardrobes, it’ll stay in the environment for a hundred times longer, shedding off microplastic as it’s non-biodegradable.
Microplastic pollution isn’t the only woe going hand-in-hand with inexpensive weighted blankets. More often than not, they’re also wrapped in an overwhelming amount of plastic packaging, so you end up digging through layers of single-use plastic.
Some argue that plastic packaging is recyclable, but unfortunately, most of our plastic waste is sent to landfills.
What sets us apart is that our Bearaby blankets make the journey to your home, sitting comfortably in a reusable organic cotton bag, without a single piece of plastic in sight.
Besides the fact that synthetic fibers are made using petroleum products, the manufacturing process is also very energy-intensive. The way we produce our weighted cotton yarn uses at least 2.5 times less energy (ultimately also emitting less CO2) than typical polyester production methods.
Take our Tree Napper, in comparison, that’s made out of Tencel. Sourced from raw wood pulp in a responsible closed-loop process, Tencel uses 10x less water than conventional fibers and is fully biodegradable.
Another concern is that cheap products, more often than not, depend on cheap labor. The only way to ensure your purchase contributes to equitable practices is opting for products with certifications like Fairtrade or BCI (two of the labels our sustainable Nappers carry).
How effective are cheap weighted blankets for anxiety?
So, you’re cuddled under a cheap 20 lb weighted blanket, which was promised to be the magical gateway to restorative sleep without a hefty price tag, but you feel it’s not working quite as well? When it comes to sleep quality (and ultimately looking after your mental and physical well-being), getting bang for your buck often means investing a little more.
Inexpensive weighted blankets are usually filled with plastic pellets or scraps of polyester fabric to make them heavy, and this brings several drawbacks:
1. Weight distribution
The principle of weighted blankets and their effectiveness relies on deep touch pressure (DTP), which stimulates the release of happy hormones and slows down stress hormones.
When a blanket is filled with beads or pellets (even if they’re sown into pockets), these fillers will inevitably keep shifting around (which can be noisy) and fall into creases, creating an uneven weight distribution over your body. Uneven weight distribution makes it difficult to tap into the therapeutic benefits of DTP effectively.
Bead-filled weighted blankets can become lumpy, and without consistent and evenly distributed DTP, they can end up serving no purpose apart from being a weird-looking throw-over.
2. Temperature control
The most common complaint with cheap weighted blankets is how hot they get. Polyester is a non-breathable fabric, and it’s no secret that even a thin shirt made of this synthetic fiber can leave you feeling uncomfortably hot. Now imagine laying under 20 lb of it!
Sweating under a synthetic weighted blanket isn’t only uncomfortable. It can also be harmful as synthetic fabrics are known to give off small amounts of toxic vapor for years.
The only way to snuggle cozily and comfortably under a weighted blanket is opting for one made of natural materials that don’t trap body heat. If you’re a particularly hot sleeper, it makes sense to look for plant-based materials with additional cooling properties – such as Tencel.
A final drawback of cheap weighted blankets that’s sure to break the bank over the long haul is maintenance. While natural weighted blankets such as our Nappers can be cleaned hassle-free in your home (Nappers are machine washable), most inexpensive weighted blankets are dry clean only.
And even as the laundry bill keeps growing, cheap weighted blankets are not likely to survive more than a few years. Synthetic fabrics also tend to lose their color after just a few washes, leaving you with a dull-looking blanket that’s not doing its sleep-inducing job as well as it should.
With so many alternatives available for just about everything on the market – and weighted blankets are no exception – buying smart is more important than ever.
• While cheap weighted blankets seem a promising purchase, these products can be a poor investment in the long run, leading to more problems than solutions.
• Inexpensive weighted blankets cut corners where it matters most: manufacturing methods that harm human and environmental health, and synthetic fabrics choices that leave you sweaty and uncomfortable.
• Our Nappers may come with a slightly heftier price tag, but they’re weightless when it comes to putting pressure on the planet. Not to mention Bearaby blankets are ultra-breathable and maintain evenly distributed weight – calmly putting two common weighted blanket problems to bed.
Did you know?
Recent studies in neuropsychology have shown that even scientists prefer aesthetically pleasing equations over drab-looking formulas. (BTW, our sleep-loving studies show that an aesthetically pleasing Napper is the best addition to your couch.)