The Bearaby weighted blanket is the Red Dot Award Winner in Product Design 2020
Look Mom, we won an award! A coveted Red Dot Award in Product Design, to be exact. Read more about how our Tree Napper weighted blanket took home a top prize this year for its standout design and quality.
Design, innovation and sustainability are at our core at Bearaby, and we’ve consistently pushed ourselves to create products that challenge the common industry norms for weighted blankets that are equal parts design-forward and environmentally friendly.
That’s why we were so excited to learn that we emerged victorious from this year’s Red Dot Design Awards, with our Tree Napper weighted blanket taking home the coveted Red Dot Seal of Quality in Product Design!
What are the Red Dot Awards?
The Red Dot Award is an international design competition for product design, communication design and design concepts. The Red Dot Award: Product Design offers designers and manufacturers from all over the world a platform for assessing their products. In 2020, designers and companies from 60 countries entered more than 6,500 products in the competition.
Judging is done by an international group of experienced experts from different disciplines. They’ve been convening for nearly 65 years in order to select the year’s best designs.
Judging lasts several days, during which the jurors test all of the entries in order to assess not just the aesthetic but also the materials selected, the level of craftsmanship, the surface structure, ergonomics, and functionality.
After intensive (and sometimes heated!) discussions, they make a decision on the design quality of the products. True to the motto “In search of good design and innovation”, only the best designs receive an award. This year, one of the best was Bearaby.
The story behind the Tree Napper
Studies have found that feeling weight or “deep touch pressure” on the body reduces stress, deepens sleep cycles, and reduces anxiety levels. In modern times sleep has become a luxury, where more than 68% of all Adults report struggling with sleep.
In this climate, weighted blankets have emerged as a recent phenomenon where an increasing number of people are trying this low-tech and natural sleep aid. The problem is that by design, most weighted blankets are uncomfortable, ineffective, and terrible for the environment.
Manufactured with plastic ‘fillers’–like pellets or beads–to weigh the blanket down, these fillers shift around, disrupting the blanket’s ability to put even pressure on your body. Made from synthetic fabrics, like various polyester blends, these blankets are cheaper to produce, but come at a huge cost for both our planet and for the consumer. Due to their construction and materials, at the end of their lifecycle, they’ll sit in landfills and never decompose.
Critically, sleeping under non-breathable, plastic-filled materials also results in overheating, which is incredibly disruptive to healthy sleep cycles and our body’s ability to regulate its temperature throughout the night. It’s a lose-lose situation!
We knew we could do better, and set out to change the way consumers rest without sacrificing the health of the planet.
The design of our weighted blanket
Inspired by the craft of knitting, our Tree Napper is a weighted blanket that addresses the shortcomings of these predecessors by integrating functionality with sustainability and aesthetics. It’s a fully biodegradable, ultra-cooling, naturally-weighted blanket, the first of its kind.
The Tree Napper is made from Tencel™, a sustainable fabric made out of wood pulp from trees that are grown and replaced on specialized tree farms in a sustainable, closed-loop process. The process uses 10 times less water than conventional fabrics. Our Tencel comes from eucalyptus wood pulp, making it extra cooling.
We developed an innovative approach to building weight by combining layers of Tencel fabric to create the same amount of weight as traditional fillers, but in a more responsible and effective manner. It’s a technique that’s never been done before, and we have a patent for it.
The knitted design (besides looking stylish) also serves an important purpose, allowing weight to be evenly distributed over your body and for air to circulate in and around the knit. The result is no more overheating while you sleep, which is a common complaint from those that use traditional weighted blankets. The wide-looped knit design makes this Napper super breathable, so it can be used even in the summer and hotter climates.
Challenging norms for a better future
While the concept of weighted blankets is now being rediscovered by a stressed-out and sleepless generation, the quilted, plastic-filled design of most blankets remains the same as 60 years ago. Made from synthetic materials and filled with an average of 20 pounds of plastic, the trend of weighted blankets making their way into more and more American households raises the concern of plastic pollution, where all those blankets end up in landfills at the end of their lifecycle. Bearaby challenges existing industry norms for a more sustainable future.
We developed new techniques and machinery to bring a new kind of weighted blanket to the masses. We have patents for both the weighted yarn technique and the corresponding machines used to make it. And our GOTS-certified products, packaging, and supply chain have already reached plastic-free status.
Through these design innovations, our goal is to exemplify a new mindset for consumer products - that creating a sustainable product is not only good for the earth but also beneficial for consumers, who will be granted access to better products in both design, function, and sustainability.
Here’s what Professor Dr. Peter Zec, founder and CEO of Red Dot, had to say:
“The winners of the Red Dot Award have proved that they have created excellent products worthy of winning an award. The products won over the jury not only through their aesthetic, but also thanks to their incomparable functionality.
It’s always impressive to observe how the jurors try out the products in detail and sometimes end up in heated debates. It’s not easy to win those debates. So I can say with absolute confidence that the award-winning products are of top-class quality. With their designs, the award winners are setting new standards in their industry.”
• In April, we were awarded the Red Dot Design Award: Product Design 2020 for the Tree Napper, winning for its standout design and quality among 6,500 entries from 60 different countries.
• The Red Dot Award judges have been convening for nearly 65 years in order to select the year’s best designs. Entries are assessed on not just the aesthetic but also the materials selected, the level of craftsmanship, the surface structure, ergonomics and functionality.
• Inspired by the craft of knitting, our Tree Napper is a weighted blanket that integrates functionality with sustainability and aesthetics. It’s a fully biodegradable, ultra-cooling, naturally-weighted blanket, the first of its kind.
Did you know?
In 2020, more products submitted to the Red Dot Award: Product Design competition than ever before.