Touch, like when getting a hug, releases oxytocin in your brain. This hormone contributes to our overall well-being and our ability to handle stress. It’s one of the reasons why we swaddle newborns. But we don’t always have someone to squeeze us. That’s where a good weighted blanket comes in.
Weighted blankets use deep pressure to simulate the feeling of being gently held. 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. A weighted blanket isn’t a cure for anything, but it could make you feel better—there isn’t a lot of science-backed research on this, so you should discuss using one with your doctor. 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 November 2021: We’ve added a new budget blanket, Gravity’s travel blanket, and two aromatherapy options from Yogibo.
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