What Is Gravity Weighted Blanket?
Similar to swaddling an infant, the Gravity Weighted Blanket is engineered to represent about 10 percent of your body weight and provide a ‘hugging’ sensation, delivering near-instant relief from stress and anxiety, increasing relaxation, and deepening REM sleep.
But the company is quick to point out that the Gravity Weighted Blanket isn’t just for sleep; it can also be used while reading in bed, relaxing on the couch, recovering from a long day, and even while meditating.
In fact, their Kickstarter pitch notes that weighted blankets in general (although not Gravity specifically) can be used to treat a variety ailments outside of stress and sleep, including insomnia, post-traumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
If weighted blankets have been used to provide meaningful benefits in medical settings for decades, it certainly seems that a consumer-focused version like Gravity is a product whose time is long overdue.
But can you expect it to deliver on its promises? Does it have any competition? If you decide to take the plunge, will you find that it’s “the most comfortable blanket you’ve ever experienced”?
Let’s get cozy and quickly discuss what we learned during our research so you can make a more informed decision.
How Does Gravity Weighted Blanket’s Deep Touch Pressure Stimulation Work?
Everything we hear, taste, feel, smell, and see (sensory input) helps us function effectively within our environment. However, there can be times—especially with our modern work habits and addiction to electronics—where our brains become overloaded with sensory input, thereby creating stress and anxiety.
To potentially help combat this overstimulation, Gravity uses something called proprioceptive input, or deep touch pressure stimulation, to stimulate pressure points on the body that may help focus our senses, relax the parasympathetic nervous system, reduce cortisol (stress hormone) levels, and boost serotonin production.
There are numerous device types that can provide this deep touch pressure stimulation in medical settings (used for those on the autism spectrum, as well as those with ADHD and depression), including weighted and pressure vests, weighted lap pads, and even specialized furniture.
What about Gravity’s Weighted Blanket?
What Materials Is the Gravity Weighted Blanket Constructed From?
The company describes Gravity as a 48" x 78", premium-grade, therapeutic weighted blanket that gently distributes deep pressure across the body to maximize relaxation and minimize body movement. It’s also engineered with breathable materials to help prevent overheating while you’re relaxing.
Inside Gravity’s 100 percent cotton inner shell you'll find high-density plastic poly pellets (HDPE), an odorless, nontoxic, food-grade material that adds weight, but is also soft enough to provide a nice texture. The company tells us they're also durable, pet and kid friendly, and washer and dryer safe.
With an inner shell filled with high-density plastic poly pellets (HDPE) and an outer shell woven from microfiber fleece, Gravity Weighted Blanket’s deep touch pressure stimulation promises to help you relax. Image credit: Gravity Products, LLC
Gravity’s outer zippered shell is constructed from ultra-soft microfiber fleece that’s easily removable for washing, or for warmer months to help ensure you don’t overheat. It’s sewn in a grid-like pattern that promises to evenly distribute the poly pellets to “specifically target pressure points throughout your body.”
How Much Does the Gravity Weighted Blanket Cost?
As of writing, the Gravity Weighted Blanket was raising funds through a Kickstarter campaign ending May 30, 2017 (estimated delivery was Sept-Oct 2017). Just eight days in, however, they had already raised more than $2.5 million on an original goal of just $21,500.
In fact, they raised more than $30K just while we were researching the product.
Since we’re all different weights, Gravity is available in 15, 20, and 25-pound options for the following pledge amounts:
- Single: $169, $189, or $209, depending on when you order
- Couples Pack (2ct): $320
- Store Pack (20ct): $2,800
- Distributor Pack (40ct): $5,200
While their FAQ indicates Gravity might eventually be available in different colors, it’s currently only available in Space Grey.
Their FAQ also notes, “Because of the extensive discount that we're providing on Kickstarter, we're unable to offer a refund or return policy at this time.” So make sure you’re ready to hand over your money before processing your order.
Although Gravity wasn’t released at the time of our research, they seemed to have received quite a lot of media attention already, due in no small part to their smashing crowdfunding success thus far. Can we learn anything meaningful from these articles?
What Do We Know About the Company Behind Gravity Weighted Blanket?
Even on popular sites like Business Insider, Mashable, and Huffington Post, we found only high-level overviews for Gravity; little more than a reiteration of what’s listed on their Kickstarter campaign.
From a company perspective, the weighted blanket is brought to you by Gravity Products, LLC, a health technology company based out of Brooklyn, NY and headed by John Fiorentino.
According to their promo video, Gravity Weighted Blanket was developed over the course of 12 months after poring “over medical research and studies about the effects of weighted blankets on serious conditions like autism, PTSD, and insomnia.” Then, they translated this science into a consumer-focused product that could help everyone.
As it stands now, the company indicates that their manufacturing partners are ready to go; they just need the financial support from Kickstarter to help turn it into a readily available product.
Before creating Gravity, John founded the product creation company Good Ones, co-founded Podium, a digital advertising company, and worked as Product Manager for You Technology, Inc.
Clearly, there’s a great deal of unmet demand for Gravity. But are there other weighted blankets currently available that might provide much of the same deep touch pressure stimulation, but without the wait?
Gravity vs. Other Weighted Blankets
According to Gravity’s Kickstarter campaign, “Weighted blankets are well known within the medical community, where they’ve been used as a natural stress reliever for decades. However, society at large hasn’t had access to them.”
With a few clicks of your keyboard, though, you can quickly see that, while you might not be swimming in weighted blankets, there are several meaningfully similar options:
|Brand||Price||Weight(s)||Materials & Construction||Size(s|
|Gravity Weighted Blanket||$169-$209||15, 20, 25 lb||Inner cotton shell, HDPE pellets, outer woven microfiber fleece shell||48" x 78"|
|Brookstone NAP||$150||12 lb||Cotton and polyester, PET pellets (BPA, phthalate, and lead-free)||54" x 72"|
|Mosaic Weighted Blankets||$140-$215||5-20 lb||Nontoxic poly pellets, fabric polyfill||42" x 72"|
|Autism-Products.com||$75-$295||3-20 lb||Nontoxic steel shot, softly textured fabric||30" x 40" - 58" x 58"|
|Sommerly Sleep Tight Weighted Blanket||$150-$300||5-25 lbs||100% cotton fabric, PET pellets fill (BPA, phthalate, and lead-free), Polyester pellet bags, Pocketed construction||36" x 32" - 80" x 57"|
In addition to these, we found more than a dozen different weighted blanket options available through independent Etsy shops, priced between $45 and $170, many of which were also constructed of cotton and fleece. Given all these options, how can you choose the right one for your needs?
According to Karen Moore, an occupational therapist in Franconia, N.H. interviewed for a Psychology Today article:
“The best weight depends on your body size and personal preference. However, 15 to 30 pounds is typical for adults.” Also, "Input from a doctor or occupational therapist is advised for elderly individuals and anyone with a medical condition."
Also, Karen notes that “weighted blankets are not recommended for people with respiratory, circulatory, or temperature regulation problems or those recovering from surgery.”
Given this, the right weighted blanket for you seems to largely come down to your specific needs and preferences. For example, if you’re focused on the least expensive option above, it seems that Autism-Products.com’s blankets start at $75, although this price will only provide you with a 3 lb blanket.
Speaking of weight, both Gravity and Sommerly’s blankets go up to 25 lbs, although at $300, the latter was also the most expensive on our list, followed closely by Autism-Products.com.
Size-wise, Sommerly’s weighted blanket was the largest at 80" x 57", and it, Mosaic, and Brookstone were each filled with PET pellets, while Gravity was the only one with HDPE (a more porous material that might—like the company claims—deliver improved breathability).
Autism-Products the only one with steel shot (a denser material that might not provide the same level of breathability).
Note: We didn’t test any of these weighted blankets firsthand, and used third-party online resources to provide these details.
Our Final Thoughts About the Gravity Weighted Blanket
Taking everything together, compared to the competition, the Gravity Weighted blanket is priced somewhere near the middle, features one of the larger designs, is available in three different weights, and is filled with a material we didn’t encounter anywhere else.
Perhaps the biggest downside? As it stands (assuming no delays occur, which is not uncommon with crowdfunded projects, although the company tells us their manufacturing partners are already prepared), Gravity won’t be available until late September or early October.
This means if you’re looking to test out deep touch pressure stimulation, a clinically validated treatment for stress and anxiety, you’ll have to be patients when it comes to Gravity.
Again, returning to the needs and preferences discussed in the last section, this means that only you can decide if the wait is worthwhile. Just keep in mind that, if you choose to back Gravity, there are also other methods of potentially addressing stress you could implement in the meantime to help you cope.
Finally, we’ve reached out to Gravity Products with a couple questions about their weighted blanket, and will be sure to update this article as soon as a response is received. So be sure to bookmark this page and check back often.