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Design by Alexis Lira

As a disabled mom with spinal stenosis, cerebral palsy, and diabetes, I’m well acquainted with the term known as “painsomnia”— which is to say I can’t sleep easily at night because of pain related to my disabilities and ailments.

So, when Bearaby was nice enough to send me a new weighted blanket to test out, I was very hopeful. Could this be the miracle cure to my painful nights of tossing and turning for hours on end?

Made from some of the softest cotton weave in a net style, the Napper is sold in the 15- to 25-pound range and available in seven beautiful colors, ranging from a light white and soft pink to a dark blue. It’s also warm and gentle to the touch. I can tell the blanket is very well built, as it passed my rugged drag and drop and tearing tests with ease. (Not that I went at it with a knife or anything!)

Caring for it is also easy. It’s machine-washable using the delicate or permanent press cycle with cool to warm water, no more than 86ºF (30ºC). Bearaby suggests laying it flat to dry to avoid stretching the materials.

I tested the Midnight Blue 20-pound blanket for a month

Ultimately, cutting to the chase, I don’t think the 20-pound version of the Classic Napper is for me. I think if I used a 15-pound or even 10-pound blanket I would have more success. I quite like the concept, but the blanket is about 10 pounds too heavy for my comfort.

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The blanket has netting with holes large enough for a small child’s fist to fit through, but it retains warmth really well. I found myself inexorably throwing it off after several minutes every night.

And while the blanket wasn’t painful, it increased the discomfort from my spinal stenosis quite a bit. Despite all its comforting and gentle design, the heavy blanket just didn’t suit my old pain-ridden body very well.

I also have social anxiety, and the weighted blanket didn’t help calm me down so much as suffocate me. Not that it caused me to panic or anything — it was quite the opposite in terms of reading of the couch, for example.

My 8-year-old son, who has ADHD, also enjoyed the blanket but eventually found it too heavy too. I have a feeling if he could use a lighter version every night he might go to sleep faster.

Ultimately, I think this blanket is marketed for younger people who are generally healthier than I am. If Bearaby had a 10-pound blanket I’d probably be a customer. The blanket they sent me to review is very sturdy, very well built, warm, and soft but just too darn heavy for me to be comforting for my health.

Note: I did find an off-label usage for this wonderfully heavy blanket as a foot rest. I have peripheral neuropathy in my feet, which is a burning or “electric shock” sensation that can keep me awake all night. The Napper for my diabetic feet has made a comfortable nonmoving surface for my toes to dig into at night while helping keep them from suffering too much pain. What a relief!

I recommend that any otherwise healthy person who has trouble getting to sleep at night give this a try

If you don’t find it comfortable, Bearaby has a 30-day return policy, so you’ve got some time before you commit. The company offers three types of blankets, including the Sleeper, a comforter, the Napper (which I tested), and a plant-based version of the Napper called the Tree Napper. Prices range from $199 to $279 for all the blankets. They also offer Sleeper covers for the comforter blankets starting at $89.

P.S. You should know that Healthline, not Bearaby, has compensated me for a review, and this definitely is my honest opinion. Thanks for reading!


Mari Kurisato is a LGBTQi Native American disabled mom living with her wife and son in Denver, Colorado. She can be found on Twitter.