I tried a cooling weighted blanket during a heatwave
I was hot. I was sweaty. Most of all, I was disappointed.
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I’ve been writing about sleep for more than a year. I’ve also tested product upon product, from pillows to mattresses. If there’s one thing I’ve learned it’s that, sadly, a lot of “cooling” bedding and mattress marketing claims are just hot air.
After I discovered the joys of sleeping under a weighted blanket, I was desperate to find one that wasn’t as hot as mine. I was seduced by the claims of Gravity Blanket—which makes our favorite weighted blanket—as, in addition to its Original Gravity Blanket, it carries the Gravity Cooling Weighted Blanket.
What is the Gravity Blanket & Cooling Gravity Blanket?
Gravity Blanket sells a number of signature products, including the original, a flannel version, a cotton-covered option, and, of course, the cooling blanket. No matter which you choose, you’re getting the same internal blanket, filled with glass beads to give it heft. The only thing that changes is the external cover, which the company calls the “duvet cover.”
The company provides details for these fabrics online—except for the Cooling Blanket’s moisture-wicking duvet. Fortunately, I had a testing sample on hand so I could take a peek to see what the fabric is actually made of.
The outer shell of the Cooling Gravity Blanket is made with a rayon polyester blend. Rayon is a fabric made from plant cellulose that was designed as a substitute for silk. It’s fairly common, but isn’t as strong or durable as other fibers. Though polyester is known for its wicking abilities, it’s actually the lesser denomination of this outer duvet, at 41% of the fabric. The bead-filled interior has a cotton shell—though if you keep it in the duvet, this part will seldom see the light of day.
Gravity Blanket recommends you purchase a blanket that’s about 10% of your body weight, and its blankets come in a variety of sizes. The single size measures 48 inches by 72 inches and comes in 15 pounds, 20 pounds, and 25 pounds. If you want to purchase a larger size for two people, the company has a “queen/king” option that weighs 35 pounds. This works for both queen and king size beds as it measures 90 inches by 90 inches, giving you an extra 14 or so inches in length and 10 inches in height when used with a king bed.
Why use a weighted blanket?
Weighted blankets are relatively new—meaning the research on how and why they work is still catching up.
Many consumers tout benefits such as reducing stress and anxiety. Weighted blankets provide something called deep pressure, a sensation that’s been shown to help calm people on the autism spectrum. Some may find they fall asleep faster and that it’s easier to stay asleep throughout the night when slumbering under a weighted blanket.
What we like about the Gravity Cooling Weighted Blanket
It’s high quality
As with other Gravity Blankets, this one impresses quality upon opening the bag. Gravity’s Original and Cooling blankets are wrapped in a fabric cover that features a simple, but nice-looking, Tetris-like stitch pattern.
The cooling version’s outer fabric has a slight sheen that gives it a more refined appearance and makes it a bit more visually interesting. The sample I received was white, which made it more boring overall, but it went with everything in my room. It’s also available in navy and slate gray.
The weight remains distributed
I’m a very movement-oriented sleeper, though the beads never seemed to gravitate toward one side of the blanket or the other. Each night I snoozed under it was pleasant, as the blanket didn’t gradually trend toward one side of the bed and fall off in the middle of the night.
On another level, the blanket is designed to really stay put within its shell—it doesn’t separate from the cover and shift about as with duvets and other weighted blankets that are wrapped in fabric. I was surprised to find that each anchor point has not one but two joining mechanisms. On the blanket itself, there’s a loop with an affixed button, and it corresponds to a hole on another fabric loop that’s stitched into the cover. Adjacent to each buttonhole, ties on the cover can loop through a piece of fabric stitched into the weighted component.
Even after folding up the blanket multiple times, the outer duvet never shifted far off of the weighted blanket it was protecting, whether I was unfurling it to climb into bed or shifting beneath it as I slept.
What we don’t like about the Gravity Cooling Weighted Blanket
It doesn’t cool
I’ll summarize: This is not a cooling blanket, so much as a moderately less hot one. I slept with it during one of the Northeast’s recent heat waves. I thought the blanket would actually cool me, and therefore make the night more tolerable—not my most brilliant idea.
That night, the low bottomed out in the 80s. I didn’t sleep terribly with the blanket, but it didn’t drop my temperature. I slept well enough simply because I’m a “good sleeper,” as my family says. I was still sweaty and too hot for my liking, though. The next day I was tired from waking up on and off throughout the night—I wouldn't attribute the disruptions solely to the blanket, as heat is hard to sleep well when it's hot, anyway. But I can't say it wasn't the blanket, either.
Throughout the night I could feel my body heat radiating back from the blankets internal component that gives it all its weight. It wasn’t the worst experience I’ve had, but it was far from the best. After that, I didn’t sleep with it on nights that were hotter than about 72 degrees.
The cover frayed
I got a brand-new sample, and the cover already had a few loose threads along the zipper. It wasn’t anything that impacted my experience sleeping under the blanket, but it raises questions about the product quality. I’m not sure exactly what made the threads come loose, or how to avoid it, but that’s just not something I’d expect from a brand-new blanket with a $205 price tag.
Would I recommend the Gravity Cooling Weighted Blanket?
In short: No. This blanket is advertised as “cooling,” which in my mind implies that it has properties that make you feel cooler overnight. I can tell you with absolute certainty that it’s less warm than the Original Gravity Blanket, but only because it isn’t covered in an ultra fuzzy, soft fabric.
Gravity Blanket misses the mark by relying on a purportedly wicking fabric to cool—it’s slightly better, sure, but in my experience the heat isn’t generated by the fabric exterior so much as the glass-bead filled interior. If you’re looking for a great weighted blanket that’s high quality, it’s worth considering. Just don’t be seduced by the cooling claim alone, as I was.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.