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- Weighted blankets are a useful sleep aid but are often limited in their design sensibilities.
- The Bearaby Napper uses organic cotton to weave the most attractive weighted blanket I’ve tested.
- The Napper you receive may be heavier than advertised; the 15-pound I ordered actually weighed 24 pounds.
Recent studies have shown promising results that weighted blankets can help aid in sleep and reduce anxiety. But often brands prioritize the functional weightiness of the blanket over the aesthetic. Many traditional weighted blankets get their extra weight from small glass beads sewn into the filling, so keeping those in place and secure is priority number one. Often, weighted blankets are limited in colors and styles, but Bearaby has set itself apart by focusing as much on the look of its blankets as the performance.
Instead of using glass beads to add weight, Bearaby’s blankets are made entirely of organic cotton woven into an exaggerated chunky knit. Each strand comprises layers and layers of cotton rolled together. And if you think it would be impossible to produce a blanket with the same weightiness as one that uses glass beads, you’d be wrong. I tested 11 weighted blankets for our buying guide to the best ones you can buy, and the Bearaby Napper was one of the most effective at providing gentle pressure.
What is the Bearaby Napper like to use?
The blanket I received was actually much heavier than advertised. Bearaby makes 15-pound, 20-pound, and 25-pound versions of its blanket, and common wisdom says to use a blanket that’s roughly 10% of your body weight. Based on those guidelines, the brand sent me its 15-pound version to test, but it weighed in on my home scale at 24 pounds. I laid the blanket out on my floor to measure it – each iteration of Bearaby’s blanket varies in size by a couple of inches – and confirmed that it was indeed intended to be the 15-pound blanket.
I didn’t actually mind the extra weight, and after testing so many weighted blankets I actually came to appreciate a weighted blanket that was heavier than guidelines might suggest for me. But it’s absolutely something to keep in mind if you prefer a lighter blanket overall. I spoke to sleep researcher, author, and post-doctoral fellow at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Rebecca Robbins, and she assured me that as long as you can move freely under a weighted blanket that you can choose whatever weight suits your preference.
I’ve used the Napper both as a throw blanket on my couch and as a sleep aid in bed and it performs both functions very well. The open weave allows for increased airflow preventing overheating, which I appreciate in both settings. Because it’s so bulky, it does take up lots of room on the couch, so I prefer to drape it over my bed while I sleep.
The Napper is fully machine washable and dryable, but I, unfortunately, have not been able to test how well it holds up once washed. The blanket is too bulky to fit into my apartment’s space-saving washing machine. But I’ve been testing it for nearly six months now and it still looks as clean and bright as the day I got it, and it hasn’t retained any smells.
Cons to consider
The Napper’s open weave is its number one aesthetic benefit, but it can lead to some awkwardness when trying to shift it around. If you pull too hard in any of the loops, they can misshape. I’ve had to be especially careful when shifting it around in the night, but I haven’t had any permanent gaps form yet. The open weave can also lead to fingers and toes poking through, so if that’s something that might bother you, check out our other weighted blanket recommendations here.
The bottom line
If you’ve held off on buying a weighted blanket because you didn’t want one to clash with your bedroom or living room decor, Bearaby has your interests at heart. The Napper manages to be one of the most attractive weighted blankets I tested without compromising on quality or weightiness. Just be warned that the blanket you order may actually be heavier than advertised. The 15-pound blanket I tested actually clocked in at 24 pounds. Whether or not this is a pro or a con strictly depends on personal preference. The Napper is also fully machine washable, barring it fits in your washing machine.