A Review of the Mela Weighted Blanket: Anxiety’s Silver Bullet?

Use our discount code ‘TWINPERSPECTIVES-10’ to receive 10% off your own Mela weighted blanket.

As regular readers might know, I’m forever on the hunt for new products to help manage my longstanding anxiety. From therapy to travel, aromatherapy to hypnotherapy, I’ve tried it all – packing my bra with ‘healing crystals’, creating visualisation boards and enjoying ‘cleansing gong baths’ along the way.

Over the last few years, my anxiety has been manageable and has (reluctantly) behaved itself. This is perhaps less to do with the fact that I once spent an entire summer attending yoga retreats – and more the reality that I’ve been stricter with my mental health ‘hygiene’.

Whilst it might sound as though I’ve just been showering more regularly, in reality ‘good brain hygiene’ really just means trying to do three basic things: eat well, exercise regularly and – perhaps most effective of all – get a good night’s sleep.

Now, for anyone currently in the depths of truly life-limiting anxiety, I appreciate that these ‘techniques’ might sound useless – patronising, even. I get it – when it feels as though you’re caught in the eye of a storm, the last thing you need is someone suggesting you enjoy a little nap.

However, from experience, I promise that when it comes to anxiety – it’s often the most basic of things that make the biggest of differences.

This particularly applies to sleep.

A good night’s sleep is anxiety’s worst nightmare: the opportunity for its hijacked brain to regulate its stress hormones and provide an adrenaline-fatigued body with the opportunity to heal. The better you sleep, the calmer your brain – the more resilient your ‘parasympathetic’ nervous system (the system that quietens your ‘flight or fight’ impulse).

Due to this anxiety busting discovery, I now enjoy nothing more than expanding and curating my own small collection of ‘sleep aids’ – each one geared towards making bedtime as tranquil as possible. From my Neom Wellness Pod, to Headspace’s ‘Sleepcasts’, sleep is now something I invest in.

However, and while all of the above have definitely improved the quality of my sleep, it’s been my most recent bedtime investment that’s perhaps carried the most weight (quite literally) when it comes to getting a fantastic night’s sleep.

Welcome, the Mela Weighted Blanket.

Suffering an anxiety relapse? Find our tips for managing this difficult time here

What Is The Mela Weighted Blanket?

I’d first heard whispers about the powers of a ‘weighted blanket’ (or ‘gravity’ or ‘therapy’ blanket) a few years ago. Outwardly looking like your usual blanket – soft, grey and fleece lined – these blankets only revealed their cosy secret when it came to picking them up.

Or, attempt to pick them up, that is.

Initially, I was a little bemused as to why anyone would want to haul a 7kg blanket into their home. Surely blankets were for wrapping yourself in and snuggling under – soft, fluffy cloud like things? Why would anyone want to lie under the fleece alternative of a dumbbell?

It all made me feel a bit wheezy.

However, over time, weighted blankets have slowly crept into the limelight; creating their own buzz (or ‘zzz’, if you will). As trials and tests into their benefits have been undertaken, and new and exciting brands have appeared on the market, weighted blankets are finally having their time in the sun (or moonlight).

It’s due to this excitement that I came across the fantastic Mela – and their very own premium weighted blanket.

Voted the UK’s best weighted blanket, Mela is the sort of brand that everyone wants to be part of. Founded by Matt and Sam, the entire company is geared towards improving mental health – developing and refining products that will make a real difference to our overall wellbeing.

Imbedded in tangible scientific research and driven by philanthropy, a portion of Mela’s income is even donated to charity (including Young Minds); supporting those seeking to improve research into mental health and those championing the voices of those affected by anxiety, depression and PTSD.

Young, fresh and genuine, the authentic ethos of Mela filters into its products – resulting in incredibly high quality, impressive and beautiful sleep aids to soothe even the most restless of sleepers.

Worried about how best to manage your anxiety when you travel? Read our tips here

Buy your own Mela weighted blanket here

How Does the Mela Weighted Blanket Work?

Open the (beautiful) box that the Mela weighted blanket arrives in and on the surface, everything appears normal. Soft, grey and decorated with a light pattern, the blanket looks – well, very ‘blanket-ey’.

However, beneath the 100% ultra-soft brushed polyester is Mela’s secret ingredient: an inner cotton layer filled with tiny quartz glass pellets that add both the critical weight to the blanket and enables it to mould to the shape of your body.

Designed to stop any clumping (or lumpy bits) and hypoallergenic and ‘anti-rustle’, the blanket is a smooth, soft, bear hug of a blanket.

What Exactly Are the Benefits of a Mela Weighted Blanket?

In short, a weighted blanket is like being tucked in tightly, then swaddled and then finally hugged to sleep. It feels safe, secure and incredibly comforting. Mimicking the ‘swaddling’ method used on babies; a weighted blanket adds an entirely new dreamlike dimension to your bedtime – carving out a little haven of comfort and calm.

However, this is more than a sensory experience. Lying under this blanket triggers an impressive number of psychological reactions.

The Mela weighted blanket is designed to produce ‘Deep Pressure Touch Stimulation’ (or DTP). As a kid, I always loved being rigorously tucked in and then heavier blankets/teddy bears placed all over me – and this is exactly the same sensation. It is a gentle pressure applied evenly all over the body.

Shown to help relieve tension, the Mela weighted blanket (and DTP) triggers calm and happy hormones; allowing these calming elixirs to flood your body like a warm bath. In turn, these then help to ease anxiety, depression, PTSD and assist in calming sensory issues (e.g. those living with autism, ADHD, fibromyalgia or restless leg syndrome).

Where Is the Evidence?

Initially, I was sceptical that an overweight blanket could have such a powerful effect on the human body. However, I quickly found plenty of studies to support the claims.

For example, one study on dental patients demonstrated tangible, visible changes to the patients’ nervous systems as they waited for their treatments – resulting in calmer, more composed mindsets. Another, impressive, study tested weighted blankets on thirty people who had been hospitalised for a mental health crisis – with 60% reporting lower anxiety after using the blanket.

Lastly, there is also evidence that a weighted blanket could help lower incidences of unintentional waking – or startling. This is something I definitely suffer with thanks to anxiety (e.g. lurching awake in the middle of the night) and I’m keen to nip in the bud. Given that we swaddle babies to help soothe their startle response, it makes sense that a Mela weighted blanket might have a similar effect.

My Experience of the Mela Weighted Blanket

By now, we all know the apparent advantages and benefits of using a weighted blanket – but are the rumours true? Can something as straight forward as a heavy blanket really soothe so many complex and complicated disorders?

Given that most weighted blankets cost over £100 (with the Mela weighted blanket coming in at around £120 for a double, 7kg size), they are definitely an investment. I received mine as a birthday present, which took some of the deliberation out of it – but it’s still definitely worth doing your research before taking the plunge.

To help with this, below are my thoughts on the Mela weighted blanket, having been the proud owner of one for just over a week.

The Pros of the Mela Weighted Blanket

It is Beautifully Produced

Looks (of course) aren’t everything, but you might presume that a heavy, weighted blanket might be a little clumsy looking. Like a sack of potatoes, perhaps.

However, the Mela weighted blanket really is a luxurious and beautifully made thing. It’s incredibly soft, stylishly designed and easy to fold (without any dreaded clumps gathering at the bottom).

Delivered in a beautifully branded box (I’ll admit, I’m sucker for lovely packaging), complete with instructions and a wonderfully illustrated introduction to the brand, Mela make the user experience feel special, high quality and exciting.

The blanket also looks fantastic when spread out on the bed (like a throw). Indeed, it isn’t the sort of sleep aid you’ll have to hide away in a cupboard when people pop round, thankfully (like my Ikea pregnancy pillow – that I bought when definitely not pregnant).

A soft grey colour, the blanket blends in beautifully with the colour of our room and is something we keep laid out throughout the day.

Easy to Assemble

One great thing about the Mela weighted blanket is that it comes with a removable (and washable cover). This was something I was relieved about, as I was a little worried as to how my washing machine would cope with 7kg of pure blanket.

All you need to do is put the weighted part inside the cover as you would a normal duvet, tying the weighted blanket inside using the attached ties (to stop the weighted section falling to the bottom).

It took all of five minutes to do and was incredibly straightforward.

It Feels Amazing

The most important bit: just how cosy and wonderful feeling is the Mela weighted blanket?

Anxiety-busting claims aside, the blanket is – at the very least – the most comforting, cosy and lovely of all blankets I’ve experienced.

Lying under it is like being tucked in tightly and then hugged. You feel a little like a butterfly in a cocoon; warm, happy and blissfully safe. While heavy, it is still easy to turn over (I found lying on my side created maximum cosiness) and is easy enough to throw off if you need to get up.

I always find myself pinning my blankets around me, to stop any gaps, but you don’t have to worry about this with the Mela weighted blanket. Thanks to its contouring properties, it settles around you like shifting sands; keeping out every draft and chill.

It’s also very quiet – not creating the rustle I’d imagined. Settling over you like dark skies, it’s the perfect way to prepare yourself for sleep – creating a quiet and intimate sanctuary.

A Better Night’s Sleep (& Helping Night-Time Anxiety)

I originally thought I’d use my Mela weighted blanket just for naps,  but soon decided to also use it at bedtime – and I’m incredibly glad that I did.

As I mentioned above, these days my anxiety seems to only rear its ugly head at nighttime, startling me awake in the middle of the night. I tend to ‘jump’ – normally throwing my hands and legs up in the air. I probably experience this at least three times a week and aside from disrupting my sleep, it isn’t the nicest experience.

However, since using the Mela weighted blanket, I’ve not had any of these ‘episodes’. Perhaps it’s because my body and limbs are weighed down (and therefore I physically can’t jump awake), but my night’s have been much quieter.

Napper’s Delight

Alongside ‘deploying’ the Mela weighted blanket for bedtime, I also use it during the day for sneaky naps.

I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m quite a talented ‘napper’ – taking a twenty minute afternoon nap since university. It’s the little part of my day that I always look forward to; providing a nice little palette cleanser between my mornings and afternoons.

The added company of the weighted blanket has significantly improved nap time – and I’m finding I’m falling asleep much faster (which is great when you only have twenty minutes to spare).

Cons of the Mela Weighted Blanket

It Doesn’t Work for Everyone

One thing Mela are keen to stress is that their weighted blanket might not work for everyone. As with any other remedies or aids for anxiety or depression, none can be expected to have a 100% success rate.

This is something to bear in mind – particularly if you are purchasing the blanket purely to help with any mental health or sensory issues.

That said – at the heart of good mental health is self care – particularly when it comes to our sleep. The blanket, regardless as to whether it suddenly magics your problems away, is therefore useful just for this; encouraging you to invest in your sleep and to create a calm, safe and relaxing environment to heal within.

It Is Heavy (Obviously)

I know, I know – this is hardly a surprise revelation. However, it’s important to keep in mind that these blankets are not light. Starting at 5kg and topping the scales at 10kg, the Mela weighted blanket means business. Consequently, it’s not that easy to quickly grab and nip downstairs with if you’re feeling chilly.

Perhaps I am just embarrassingly weak,  but moving the blanket takes effort on my part – something that has resulted in the blanket staying largely put on my bed. If my boyfriend asks me to get it, it results in a very small cardio session, as I grapple to get it down the stairs.

Consequently, this definitely isn’t the sort of item you’d put in your suitcase or take on a car journey.

(It might, in fact, be lighter to pack your brick collection).

An Investment

When asked whether it’s worth buying a Mela weighted blanket, most concerns centre around its price. Indeed, any weighted blanket will set you back at least £100 and only go up in price dependent on weight, material and size (e.g. single or king size).

While the Mela weighted blanket is not cheap, what I would say is that it is of an incredibly high quality and is something I will no doubt keep for years. All too often, I have a horrible habit of impulsively buying cheap blankets, before re-homing them after a few months.

That wouldn’t be the case with this blanket – and is therefore perhaps both a more sustainable and worthy investment.

A Little Hot

While the Mela weighted blanket is already proving the sort of cosy recluse everyone dreams of during the winter months, I can see it being a little hot in the summer.

With weight comes a lack of ventilation – something that a hot summer’s night might make a little unbearable. It might be that the blanket then becomes redundant in the hotter months, waiting for you when those cold, dark nights draw in.

However, Mela do have a new Mela Chill Eucalyptus cover, aimed at those who get a little hot at night – something definitely worth considering (beginning at £54.99).

Struggling to cope with health related anxiety? Read our tips and methods for helping deal with these feelings here. 

Buy your own Mela weighted blanket here

What Size & Weight of Blanket Should I Get?

Importantly, the weight of the blanket you should buy is dictated by your own weight.

You don’t want to be crushed by the thing.

I have a 7kg weighted blanket, which is plenty heavy enough – anything else I would feel a little suffocated by.

In terms of size, the Mela weighted blanket comes as a single, double or king. However, they recommend being ‘selfish’ with your blanket and not sharing it – something I whole heartedly agree with.

What makes using the blanket such a blissful experience is the fact that it settles around your shape so perfectly – preventing any drafts or gaps in pressure. Sharing the blanket might ruin this effect a little and detract from the overall benefits.

I’ve got a double sized blanket and it’s the perfect size – allowing for a full, cocooning effect.

Interested in learning a little more about our own journey with mental health? You can find out more here.

A Review of the Mela Weighted Blanket: Final Thoughts

I’ve been contemplating buying a weighted blanket for a couple of years now, wondering just how much of an effect a blanket with an increased BMI could have on my life.

For someone who already harbours a blanket addiction, I wasn’t sure if I could really justify spending close to £120 on yet another warm, cuddly item for the house.

However, a week into my new (and blossoming) relationship with my Mela weighted blanket, and I can confirm that I could not imagine life (or bedtime) without it.

In essence, it is of course simply a blanket filled with weighted beads – nothing more, nothing less.  However, the experience and sensation it provides is anything than ordinary – creating a safe, warm and relaxing place to heal.

They say you cannot underestimate the power of a hug; something that’s no better exemplified than by the Mela weighted blanket. Lying down, feeling tucked in and reassuringly ‘held in place’, is perhaps one of life’s most basic, but loveliest of feelings.

Making me feel sleepy, peaceful and snug, my only regret is not introducing this weighted blanket into my life sooner.

Buy your own Mela weighted blanket here. Be sure to use our discount code ‘TWINPERSPECTIVES-10‘ for 10% off your purchase. 

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