Weighted Blanket Sinks to Bottom of Market
Within the last two or three years, the miracle benefits of weighted blankets have broken out into the general population and millions of people have reported the life-changing experience owning one of these blankets has been. Like stim toys such as fidget cubes and fidget spinners, weighted blankets lived for many years in the bubble of those with conditions such as Attention Deficit/Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD), Autism and Autism Spectrum Disorders, Asperger Syndrome (AD), and sensory disorders. As many who either live with these conditions or have a loved one diagnosed, the effects of these disorders can be both painful and stressful to endure. As a woman with ADHD – an all too unrecognized percentage of the ADHD community – and Adjustment Disorder, the problems that can emerge affect me as a twenty-five year old sometimes as strongly as they would a child or adolescent. In a country where medication has both been touted as the automatic answer to all medical problems and looked down on as a sign of someone’s inability to function in the world around them, people with these conditions are often taught how to manage their conditions by coping. In my life, coping meant that I should just force myself to hang on as the world raced ahead of me, and never once meant that there were ways that the world might meet me halfway.
As mentioned, the weighted blanket as a general concept was designed to assist in the daily struggles many in the community face. For people with ADHD, our relationship with sleep is often compromised by hyperactivity or the inability to relax, preventing that deep REM sleep achieved by neurotypical people; this can be helped by the compression of the weighted blanket, acting as a hug. Those with sensory disorders or difficulties processing emotions find weighted blankets comforting during emotional outbursts, especially when they do not enjoy being touched by others. Of course, a weighted blanket is not an automatic answer for every situation, and may not work for every person, but they are often a good place to start. Since the popularization of weighted blankets took off, many outside this community are finding them to be a relief for insomnia, generalized anxiety, depression, and for focusing on work (a method used by those with ADHD). Of course, as the popularity of an item takes of, so too, does the market for these products.
I recently had the opportunity to review a weighted blanket from My Calm Blanket, a producer of weighted blankets that has gained traction on social media as of late. Priced currently at $169.99 (reg. $199.99), My Calm Blanket provides 4 weights to choose from – 10lbs, 15lbs, 20lbs, and 25lbs (the latter was sold out at the time of publication). The material feels like a simulated material called Minky (soft, but thin, and apparently synthetic material) that is marketed as “ultra-plush.”
At the end of my two-week review, I compiled the following criteria to consider during the writing of this article:
- Desired Effect
1. Size/Weight – I will come clean and admit that I am not a small woman. I am around 249 lbs, and am currently on a monitored weight-loss program. However, during this review, I specified that I would need a 25lb blanket to compensate for this difference. Upon receiving my blanket, I found that I had been sent the 15lb blanket instead. I figured that I could still receive some benefit from this blanket and began my first night of use. This blanket was EXTREMELY difficult to lay accurately over my body at night, and in the morning, I found that all the weight had shifted off my body. After taking out the inner blanket, I found that the actual weighted blanket was comprised of something similar to a quilted sandbag, which resulted in the shift of weight during the night. Additionally, the blanket was too short for my body (I’m 5’7″ and it stopped at my ankles), which required me to layer the weighted blanket over my other blankets at night. The use of this blanket was extremely uncomfortable, and I would often wake up with the feeling that I was being strangled or restrained because the blanket had bunched up and pinned my chest or arms down. It’s important to know when purchasing a weighted blanket that, often times, the most reputable blankets come from custom orders or producers such as those found on Etsy. The reason for this is that, while the blankets may cost much more than the commercial blankets, these blankets are custom made to your weight and individual weights are typically sewn into the blanket, preventing the bunching and strangling feeling of these sandbags. While someone with a more generalized or less severe condition might be able to get away with using this occasionally, could you imagine those with extreme sensory disorders dealing with these new sensations, especially at night when they are most vulnerable? Maneuvering the blanket during the night was very aggravating for me.
2. Material – The blanket is advertised as coming with a “Minky” cover for the cotton weighted blanket, which is advertised as “ultra-plush.” Upon receiving my unit, I found this material to be cheap and of an off-putting texture. I certainly didn’t enjoy feeling it against my skin at night, and found it similar to a cheap, thin pillowcase where the bunching of the sandlike material inside was made even more pronounced. For $169.99, I found this to be of extremely low quality, and felt that, had I actually paid out of pocket for this product, I would have felt extremely ripped off.
3. Desired Effect – I could honestly put all of the above complaints aside had the effect of the blanket actually been beneficial for my problems. However, not only did this blanket not help generally, the built-up annoyance and frustration the bunching of the blanket caused me and the suffocated feeling it produced made me actively avoid using it as much as possible. Even using it sitting upright in a chair caused the inside of the blanket to collect at my ankles.
4. Cost Efficient – I measure if a product is cost-efficient by simply estimating if the payoff of the product surpassed the initial purchase price of the product. In this case, the payoff of the blanket was non-existent that it didn’t matter I received the unit for free – it was still not worth the nighttime struggles or added sensory stress.
As part of this review, I spent time searching customer comments regarding purchases for My Calm Blankets that were not posted to their official website. Many customers complained of the same problems, expanding on continued struggles with customer service, and how displeased and angry they were about their overall experiences. Based on my experience during this review, and only my own experience, I can confidently tell you as a consumer to avoid My Calm Blankets for your weighted blanket needs. While their price point might entice you, it would simply be wasting your money on what should be a high-quality item. While many fail to understand the intent behind a weighted blanket, it is important to consider that the quality of items related to your personal health should NEVER be compromised for the sake of a lower price point. Between the design/construction, the effect, the cost, and the material, this appears to be the case of a company that does not understand the particular needs of its consumers attempting to jump on a bandwagon trend. Consider shops that provide high-quality, sturdy, and custom order weighted blankets for sale. Perhaps, My Calm Blanket has plans in the near future to offer such custom options that may provide a better sleep experience.
Disclosure of Material Connection: YBLTV Writer / Reviewer Katie Hernandez, received My Calm Blanket from My Calm Blanket in consideration for a Product Review.