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Beth Underwood: Nothing beats wrapping up in a ‘warm hug,’ but it may cost you some cold hard cash

I have a new obsession: weighted blankets. And I know what you must be thinking: What on earth are weighted blankets and why would anyone need one?

Hang onto your horses, and let me answer the second part of that question first.

I don’t like being cold. That’s why.

Some nights (and days, for that matter) are worse than others, and I just can’t seem to get warm. I’ve reasoned that it’s because the blankets I use aren’t heavy enough. I’d liken it to the difference between wearing a poncho and wearing a real coat — one with arms, a fitted body, and a zipper to keep out the cold air. In other words, I have figurative ponchos for blankets.

But I digress.

I figured the answer existed somewhere, so I consulted my friend Google to see if any blankets are sold according to their weight. Google responded with everything I needed to know.

Much to my surprise, a myriad of weighted blanket options filled the page of search results. Apparently, there’s a huge market for blankets by the pound. Frankly, I was feeling a little left out for not already knowing this.

As you can imagine, I had questions. If there was a market for these weighted blankets, surely there was also a list of benefits that came with ownership. Here’s what I learned.

First, they look like regular blankets. The weight comes from pellets or beads, typically. Among other things, they can increase focus, calm a racing mind, and promote more restful sleep. Some say they’re like wrapping up in a hug.

And who among us doesn’t need a hug? Or a weighted blanket for that matter? One that can keep us warm?

I’m sure it’ll come as no surprise to know I went off in search for the perfect weighted blanket. The first thing I noticed was the price. Be warned, they aren’t cheap.

There was also the size and weight factor. They don’t come in twin, queen, king, but in inches, like 40 x 72.

According to the charts I consulted, I’d need anywhere from a 14- to 20-pounder and would be paying upwards of a couple hundred dollars to make it my own. Clearly, the price was going to be an obstacle. But I’m nothing if not persistent.

A month or so later, my persistence paid off and I was able to score a blanket for less than a C-note. It wasn’t a 20-pounder, but that’s ok. At only 12 pounds, my new weighted blanket is about as easy to lug around as a lumpy mattress. There’s a reason these things don’t come in twin, queen, and king sizes.

Even at its more compact size, I doubt I’ll be kicking off the covers in the middle of the night for fear of pulling a muscle. But it’s a small price to pay for a calm mind, a good night’s sleep and wrapping up in a warm hug. Take that poncho blankets.

Beth Underwood is an award-winning journalist whose work has appeared in numerous newspapers and magazines. She shares stories of everyday life that entertain, inspire, and encourage others. Her books include Gravity, a narrative nonfiction account of a small group of Tennessee National Guardsmen, and Talk Bourbon to Me, a lighthearted look at Kentucky’s native spirit. Drop her a line at beth@bethwrightunderwood.com, or visit her website at bethwrightunderwood.com.

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