Touch, like getting a hug, releases oxytocin in your brain. This hormone contributes to our overall well-being and ability to handle stress. It’s one of the reasons why we swaddle newborns. But we don’t always have someone to squeeze us, especially a year into this pandemic. That’s where a good weighted blanket comes in.
Weighted blankets use deep pressure to simulate the feeling of being gently held. Pressure has been touted as a way to help with insomnia and anxiety. The Hug Machine, for example, invented by Temple Grandin, uses pressure to calm those on the autism spectrum who don’t like physical touch from others. (There isn’t a lot of science-backed research on this, though, so you should discuss using one with your doctor.) A weighted blanket isn’t a cure for anything, but it could make you feel better. My colleague Jess Grey and I both suffer from anxiety disorders, and these blankets have been rewarding, helping us manage our anxiety. We’ve tested several—here are the best.
Updated April 2021: We’ve added the Baloo Living throw blanket and Hug Sleep’s new Move Pod.
Jess Grey also tested and contributed to this guide.
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