The secret behind the sudden boom for weighted products
Design meets function in more and more bedrooms and homes.
By JOHAN MAGNUSSON
May 05, 2021
Ulrika Dehlryd used to work as a clinical psychologist for many years. One day, she decided to leave her comfort zone and assent her inner entrepreneur. She’s now the founder of Wesomnia, a new brand making weighted blankets, where she combines her working experiences with her interest in design and well-being. And only the best materials are good enough for her.
— First, the cloth we are using is a very high qualitative soft wool blend with lambs- and merino wool from Swedish Klippan Yllefabrik. I wanted it to be soft and nice against your skin and still strong enough to cope with the weight. The weight is made of Swedish thermoset-treated wheat and is hand filled by a small family company here in Sweden. The wheat is carefully filled into the blanket in a wavery pattern to make it both beautiful and, also important, create the function of a weighted blanket, meaning to make regular pressure on your body. A bonus for our clients is obviously the wool’s natural heat regulation and ”breathing” of the materials, which makes them easy to use all year around.
Why do so many talk about weighted duvets and blankets these days?
— They’ve been used for many years, but mainly for people with neuropsychological diagnoses and insomnia. The weighted blankets in hospitals are usually made of metal chains as weights and can often be ordered and tried out by your physiotherapist, tells Dehlryd, continuing,
— In the last three years or so, it has become more of ”common knowledge” that weighted blankets can have a positive effect on sleeping problems. Sleeping disorders and stress go hand in hand and I believe that many of us want to find ways of dealing with these issues without having to use medicine as the first instance. I also think that the popularity has to do with all of us, in general, being more and more concerned about our health, where sleep, food, and exercise are all parts of this general health consciousness that we see everywhere. This is me speculating, but I believe that sustainability is widened and deepening to include ourselves in everyday life, and this is where I think that weighted blankets come in. With better sleep and better ways of comforting ourselves, we’ll last longer.
What does the science say about them?
— A fairly recent study, in 2020, at Karolinska Institutet (KI) with 120 participants show positive outcomes both on sleeping problems, anxiety, and depressive scales. More good studies have to be made but this is encouraging. What works using weighted blankets is not scientifically proven, but there are two theories: one that the pressure sends calming feedback to the brain, and the other is that the pressure makes the body produce the calming hormone oxytocin, which in turn can make it easier for us to fall asleep.
Can they even tackle the rising numbers of mental illness?
— No, weighted blankets are not a treatment in itself, that would be a very risky thing to claim. They can be used as a complement to other verified treatments, but not a cure-all solution. I hope that my weighted blankets — especially the small ones — will be something that people can have hanging on the sofa as a nice piece of decoration, but with a very important purpose. A piece of ”neuro design” if you wish, Dehlryd concludes.