Disclosure: My website is reader supported. If you choose to buy a product after clicking a link, I may earn a commission, at no extra cost to you. Learn more.
In the photo above, I’m using the 20 lb Bearaby Cotton Napper. Note how the weave creates holes, which allows your body heat to escape.
I’ve tried several weighted blankets in the last few years, both in the US and the UK. While many of them have quite a similar design and feel, the Bearaby Cotton Napper weighted blanket excels in terms of how visually appealing and breathable it is.
The chunky cotton weave and the rich colors look very stylish, so it’s a weighted blanket I’ve felt comfortable using both in the bedroom and the living room, and don’t feel the need to hide out of sight when I have guests over.
It still does its principal job of providing some reassuring weight for relaxation and sleep. It’s just that it will do the job with flair and elegance compared to some of the budget weighted blankets I’ve tried, which often have a rougher texture or a basic minky cover.
In the photo below, you can see my Bearaby Cotton Napper weighted blanket on the sofa. It’s thick enough to sculpt in place like I did here, but will also conform nicely to your body.
Eco-friendly design and materials
Weighted blanket manufacturers have a bit of an uphill battle when it comes to eco-friendliness. The blankets often contain a lot of artificial material, such as polyester fiberfill and thousands of glass microbeads to create the necessary weight.
I like the fact that the Bearaby company chose to avoid microbeads altogether and use heavy layers of organic cotton instead.
This quote from their website explains their ethos:
We’re on a mission to free the planet from sweaty, plastic-filled, synthetic weighted blankets that are uncomfortable to use and bad for the environment.Bearaby.com
As for where the cotton they use comes from, they explain it as follows:
Our buttery soft, long-staple cotton is farmed in India, using 90% less water than conventional farming methods. It’s OEKO-TEX® STANDARD 100, Organic Content Standard (OCS) and Fairtrade International certified, which means it’s kind to the planet, to those who grow it, and to those who use it.Bearaby.com
So if you shop with sustainability in mind, you can relax under a Bearaby weighted blanket without worrying so much about how it was produced, or what will happen to the microbeads when it reaches the end of its time (because there aren’t any).
The different versions available
To avoid any later confusion, it’s worth noting that Bearaby makes a few different styles of weighted blankets:
- Cotton napper: the one in this article. It uses knitted layers of chunky cotton.
- Tree napper: it looks similar to the cotton napper, but is made from plant-based Tencel.
- Velvet napper: an eco-velvet version made from plastic bottles.
- Hugger: a larger version for two adults to share.
- Nappling: a kid’s version that’s similar to the Napper, but smaller.
- Travel napper: a smaller version that comes with a duffel bag for travel.
In the photo below, you can see that my Bearaby Cotton Napper arrived in a simple cotton bag. A bag with a handle might have been more convenient though, considering how heavy it is to move around.
The design and feel
The cotton version of the Bearaby Napper is made from 100% organic cotton. I really like how uniform the knit is, and how well it holds its shape. I’ve had mine for four years at the time of writing, and it’s still in great condition.
It’s hand-knitted, which explains why they are sometimes completely out of stock; it must take a while to knit such a big and heavy blanket!
The cotton feels soft on the skin and it’s pleasant to touch and run your hands over the weave. However, it’s worth noting that it doesn’t feel as soft and plush as the weighted blankets that come with a minky cover, which is the most common cover material I’ve seen.
In the photo below, you can see the thick cotton weave of the Bearaby Cotton Napper. The entire blanket has a consistent knit and finish – both in the body and edges.
That means if your main desire is to find a weighted blanket with the fluffiest, softest feel, you might like to look at brands that have multiple cover options instead.
Whether you’re a hot sleeper or live in a hot region of the world with no air con, the breathability of your bedding is understandably important. And logically, you’d think that sleeping under a very heavy blanket would simply feel too hot.
A key point to consider with the Bearaby Cotton Napper is that the lack of a soft, flat surface to run your hands across is due to the weave design. That weave means loops. And loops mean air holes.
The result is that it’s the most breathable weighted blanket I’ve tried (twelve and counting). There are some other brands that also now use the giant weave design, but the majority don’t.
So in my experience, the Bearaby Cotton Napper feels significantly cooler than those that have enclosed pockets containing microbeads and fiberfill to keep the beads in place, along with other layers to enclose the blanket.
If you’re a hot sleeper and really want to try a weighted blanket, but are worried about the heat build-up of all the fabric, the Bearaby Napper is one to consider.
In a little test I did to see which weighted blanket was the most breathable, the Bearaby Napper was the clear winner. Have a watch of that if you’d like to see how it compared with the others.
Weight and size options
The Bearaby Cotton Napper comes in four different weights (six if you include the two children’s sizes), which you can see in the table below.
|40″ x 64″
|40″ x 72″
|45″ x 72″
|48″ x 72″
|6 lb kids size
|36″ x 48″
|8 lb kids size
|40″ x 60″
Interestingly, each weight only comes in one width and length, as the company decided to focus on individual weighted blankets.
When I emailed them to ask about the sizes, they explained that they think this is a more effective approach than making weighted blankets to fit bed sizes.
However, they now also make one larger sharing blanket – the Hugger. That one weighs 30 lb, and measures 40″ x 60″. So if you’d prefer to have a large blanket that covers the entire bed rather than one, or two, single sizes, you have that option available.
My blanket is the 20 lb version, which my partner and I have both enjoyed using – not as the same time though as it’s not wide enough for two.
We have very different weights ourselves, so it’s interesting that we both found it comfortable enough to use even though it’s technically too heavy for her if you apply the ‘approximately 10% of your body weight’ rule.
Choosing the right weight can be confusing, but you can exchange the Bearaby for a different weight if you think lighter or heavier would be better after trying it for a few nights.
It’s worth pointing out that the Bearaby Cotton Napper doesn’t have the option of an additional cover; it’s a one-piece weighted blanket. You can put your own bedding on top of it if you want to change the look though.
How good is it for relaxing on the sofa?
The Bearaby is my partner’s top choice to use in the living room because it looks good and feels nice to snuggle up under. She just didn’t want to appear in the photo to prove it!
Some people get a weighted blanket to help them sleep; for others it’s all about reducing anxiety or stress and having another way to help them relax.
Whether they work or not is a question that’s still the topic of debate and research. Manufacturers say they work by promoting the release of serotonin (a ‘happy hormone’) and reducing cortisol (a ‘stress hormone’).
I’m not going to examine the science behind those claims here. All I’ll say is that on a personal level, my partner and I both find the Bearaby Cotton Napper relaxing to sit or lie under on the sofa.
It does seem to have a calming effect, but I can’t say if it’s the only thing we’d ever need in times of serious stress. I think weighted blankets are a good additional tool in times of stress, but they are unlikely to be a cure-all for everyone as there are many different causes and levels of stress, and we don’t all react to stress in the same way.
How good is the Bearaby Cotton Napper for sleep?
When it comes to sleep, I think there are two questions to ask: do weighted blankets in general help you sleep? If so, would you want to have the Bearaby Cotton Napper in your bedroom?
The first question is a tricky one to answer. My view is that it depends on what’s causing your sleep problems. If it’s being too hot in bed, then a weighted blanket is unlikely to help – no matter how ‘cooling’ it’s meant to be.
But if it’s anxiety, stress, worry etc, then maybe it will help. I think it’s very much a personal thing, and impossible to predict whether it will help you or not.
As for the second question, again it’s a purely personal choice. Do you like the look and feel of the Bearaby? Does it match your bedding and bedroom?
Personally, I like how it feels in bed, but actually much prefer to use it on top of a cotton sheet. I don’t know why, but I just prefer the feel of a flat cotton surface on top of me rather than the weave, with its loops and holes. Again, it all comes down to personal preference.
The Bearaby Cotton Napper can be machine washed in cool water (max 30°C) on a delicate cycle. You can tumble dry low, but in my experience it takes more than one cycle to dry it properly. This blanket seems to hold an incredible amount of water!
To reduce how often you need to wash it, you can use a sheet underneath it. Personally, I quite like to combine my weighted blankets with normal bedding anyway, especially when the blanket isn’t big enough to cover my entire bed.
Bearaby offers a 30 day returns window if you’re not happy with it or feel like a different size or weight would be better.
Unfortunately, they don’t have an extended warranty for any craftsmanship issues that might crop up. This isn’t unusual for weighted blanket companies, but there are some with longer warranties (Layla, for example).
Still, it’s one of my few criticisms of the Bearaby Cotton Napper as I’d like to see all weighted blankets come with a longer warranty.
The Bearaby Cotton Napper is one of the more expensive weighted blanket brands I’ve seen.
It’s not uniquely expensive – there are several other companies with similar prices, like the Baloo and Gravity blanket. But there are less expensive brands if you’re on a budget, such as the YnM, Layla, Quility, and Cosi Home for example.
Here are the prices of the adult size Bearaby Cotton Napper on their website at the time of writing (January 26, 2024).
Overall, the Bearaby Cotton Napper is an excellent weighted blanket that looks trendy, doesn’t sleep so hot, and has even weight distribution across the single sizes. It’s a talking point in the living room and a comfort point in your personal time.
It’s like someone decided to knit you the biggest scarf you could imagine and then wrap you in it so you feel all cozy and secure. But unlike a scarf, you shouldn’t instantly overheat if you use it in the summer.
I like the fact that the company appears to have an ethically-minded ethos and value sustainability when sourcing their materials.
Yes, it’s quite pricey, doesn’t feel as soft as those with minky covers, and takes more time to clean than other weighted blankets I’ve tried. But I think it’s worth the extra effort to maintain it and you can use your own bedding to change the feel of the surface if you want to.
As for how well it works, that will be up for you to decide as I can only talk from personal experience. It feels comfortable to me, I like to relax on the sofa under it reading a book or watching a movie, and I’ve used it for many nights while I sleep.