We tried a Mela Chill Weighted Blanket for 2 weeks, and here’s what happened
As part of our new ‘Tried and Tested’ series, HLN’s Faith Richardson tested the benefits of sleeping under a weighted blanket to see if it improved sleep and eased anxiety.
By Faith Richardson
Weighted blankets have been lauded as saviours for anyone struggling with poor sleep and anxiety (that’s me!), as well as PTSD, depression and insomnia. Anything that may encourage a more restful night’s sleep whilst also settling anxiety symptoms was definitely something I was definitely keen to try. Mela kindly sent me their double size 7kg Chill Weighted Blanket to try out and see if I found it helped me get a better night’s sleep.
Setting It Up
First things first I recommend setting up your blanket during the day, and not last thing at night when you’re tired and about to go to bed. Whilst it’s relatively straight forward, it’s a bit fiddly as you need to attach each tie on your blanket to the loops on its cover – not something to be done when you’re already half asleep. Once it’s attached however it’s perfect, as it prevents the blanket from slipping around and bunching up inside the cover, ensuring it stays lying flat.
The 1st Night
You can decide whether to sleep just under the weighted blanket or place it either under or over your duvet and sleep under both at once. I went for lying it on top of my duvet and sleeping under both. You don’t need to worry about overheating – the Mela’s new eucalyptus products are designed to keep you cool, too. Unlike polyester or down which trap heat, the eucalyptus filling allows air to circulate, which helps to keep you cool and regulate temperature.
It’s advised that you only have one weighted blanket per person to ensure it wraps around you as it’s supposed to, rather than trying to stretch across two people. In terms of weight, I opted for a middle ground of 7kg to try (they recommend choosing a blanket that is approximately 10%-12% of your bodyweight for the best results), and the double size which perfectly covered my half of our kingsize bed, without interrupting my partner’s side.
So; full disclosure, I share our bed with my partner and three small dogs – not the most conducive to a restful night, no matter how fantastic the setup is. I was a little worried about the weight of the blanket on the dogs (they like to sleep under the duvet) but I can confirm it got 5-star reviews from the pooches, as all three enjoyed it so much they will only sleep under the weighted side of the duvet now – great for them, definitely uncomfortable for me.
I’ve definitely notice I’m having a much deeper, more restful sleep. I’m sleeping for around 8hours, and when I wake up I feel like I’ve been asleep and rested far more than usual. I can usually sleep for about 8.5hrs and still wake up feeling slightly tired and un-rested. Now, I’m starting to wake up feeling like I’ve almost overslept, so I can only assume I’m getting a much better quality of sleep.
By this point I’ve realised that in the past I’ve been having such a broken, unrestful sleep that I’ve been trying to compensate by sleeping for about 9hrs a night – going to sleep about 11 and waking up at 8 to try and make sure I have some sense of a good sleep. The blanket is definitely helping me sleep much deeper, and now I’m waking up feeling groggy and lethargic (like you do when you accidentally have a 3hr afternoon nap) by trying to maintain a 9hr sleep time.
I’ve now started going to sleep much later (around 12:30 – I’m not a morning person and the idea of waking up pre-8am is too much to cope with; later bedtimes are much more my thing) and I feel infinitely better for it. I’ve been trying to lean into my natural night-owl sleep rhythm, rather than forcing an early bird vibe – it doesn’t agree with me at all and I feel permanently tired when I try and make that happen. Instead, reading in bed under the blanket has been an amazing de-stressor at the end of the day.
By now I’m already feeling far better during the day – I hadn’t realised how permanently tired I’d been feeling during the day, and how much I’d had a general low-level feeling of anxiety. After a week and a half of better sleep and the extra security the blanket provides, I definitely feel the benefits throughout the day. The weather being so up and down is making it harder to regulate temperature however – despite the cooling tech in the blanket, I’ve woken up a few times absolutely sweating from the combination of the blanket, the duvet, and the dogs. I think especially in the Summer or on warmer days the addition of the duvet is totally unnecessary – just sleeping under the blanket would be more than enough! I do favour a thicker tog duvet year-round though, which probably doesn’t help.
The last night of the trial and I know for definite the Mela Chill Weighted Blanket will be a permanent addition to our bed. I might switch it up some nights and try without it, and it definitely will be something that makes its way downstairs for an evening on the sofa if I’m having a particularly bad time with my anxiety. The weight is so soothing, and it definitely helps to alleviate some anxious feelings – kind of like having a comforting hug that reassures you everything will definitely be ok, without the difficulty of having to try and explain why you’re so anxious to someone – a real win win.
If you want to pick up your own Mela blanket, or any of their other sleep products including eye masks and pillows, you can get them here. melacomfort.co.uk Every purchase also protects 25 trees in the Amazon rainforest, so you can sleep even better knowing you’re helping save the planet.
The Mela Chill Weighted Blanket was gifted to me by the company with the promise of a fair and unbiased review.