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In the photo above, I’m using the 20 lbs Bearaby Cotton Napper. You can see how well it hugs your body while you sleep.
The Bearaby Cotton Napper is a high-quality weighted blanket that has the potential to help some people relax thanks to the even weight distribution. I’ve had mine for three years, and I still enjoy using it on the sofa or in bed. I find it calming to use, and it also looks great.
Unlike other weighted blankets that use polyester fiberfill and glass microbeads, the chunky cotton knit design allows for effective body heat dissipation, making it a particularly good option for hot sleepers or those living in hot regions.
It is at the higher end of the price spectrum for weighted blankets though, so perhaps won’t be the best option if you’re shopping on a tighter budget.
- Looks stylish
- Organic cotton, no artifical materials
- Feels soft
- Eco friendly company
- Can be machine washed and dried
- May take two cycles to dry, or many hours to dry
- 30 day returns window, but no extended warranty
I’ve tried many different 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 Napper stood out for me when it came to breathability and visual appeal. The chunky cotton weave and the rich colors are beautiful, and it looked elegant both on my sofa and my bed.
In the photo below, I have my Bearaby Cotton Napper on the sofa. Note how it stays in shape as it’s so thick.
It still does its principal job of providing comforting weight for relaxation and sleep. It’s just that it will do the job with flair and elegance compared to the more basic weighted blankets I’ve used.
In this review, I’ll explain what makes it unique and why there’s a lot to like about it, along with a few points to consider before you buy it.
Who makes it?
Weighted blanket manufacturers have a bit of an uphill battle when it comes to eco-friendliness. The blankets tend to use a lot of artificial material, such as polyester fiberfill and thousands of plastic or glass beads (usually glass though).
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 nicely:
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.
So if you also care about the environment, you can relax under a Bearaby weighted blanket without worrying quite so much about the large amount of fabric you just bought!
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 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
As I already mentioned, the cotton version of the Bearaby Napper consists of nothing more than a giant cotton weave. 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 material is 95% cotton and 5% spandex, so it has a little stretch to it. I really like how uniform the knit is, and how well it holds its shape. I’ve had mine for three years at the time of writing, and it’s still in great condition.
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 plush or smooth as weighted blankets that use high thread count cotton or minky, which is very popular these days.
In the photo below, you can see the thick cotton weave of the Bearaby. The entire blanket has a very 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, the Bearaby probably won’t be the one for you.
An important point to consider is that the lack of a soft flat surface to run your hands across is due to the weave. That weave means loops. And loops mean air holes.
The result is that it’s more breathable than all the other weighted blankets I’ve tried. There are some other brands that also now use the giant weave design, but I haven’t tried many of them. What I can say with confidence though is that the Bearaby Napper is more suitable for hot sleepers than all of those I’ve tried that have enclosed pockets containing microbeads.
Weight and size options
The Bearaby Napper comes in four different weights (six if you include the two children’s sizes), which you can see in the table below.
|10 lbs||40″ x 64″|
|15 lbs||40″ x 72″|
|20 lbs||45″ x 72″|
|25 lbs||48″ x 72″|
|6 lbs kids size||36″ x 48″|
|8 lbs 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 how they think this is a more effective approach than making giant king-size weighted blankets to fit bed sizes. Those either end up being colossally heavy or spreading the weight over such a large surface area that it becomes less effective.
My blanket is the 20 lbs version, and it works well for both my partner and me. We have very different weights ourselves, so it’s interesting that the rule of thumb of ‘choose a blanket based on 10% of your body weight’ doesn’t apply and we still both like it.
I know choosing the right weight can be confusing. Remember that you can exchange it 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 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.
How cool and breathable is the Bearaby?
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. So it’s not an unwarranted worry that sleeping under a very heavy blanket might be a bit too hot.
It’s a worry that often turns out to be warranted with weighted blankets that use a lot of artificial filler. Some are even intentionally designed to be warm for winter months.
As I said earlier, the loops in the Bearaby create natural air holes, so your body heat can escape. Sure, you still have all that weight, which might make you feel warmer than if you just had a thin sheet. But compared to most other weighted blankets that use polyester fill and solid covers, this is a great choice if not overheating is one of your priorities.
If you’re still unsure about this point, have a look at the article and video I did in which I test the temperature of weighted blankets.
How good is it for relaxing on the sofa?
Here’s me posing again for the photo. 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 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 weighted blanket for sleep?
There are two questions here: do weighted blankets in general help you sleep? If so, would you want to have the Bearaby 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 no, a weighted blanket won’t help – no matter how ‘cooling’ it’s meant to be.
But if it’s anxiety, stress, worry etc, then maybe it will help. Honestly, 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? Do you even care, as long as it does its job?
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 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 Napper as I’d like to see all weighted blankets come with a longer warranty.
People are sometimes caught by surprise when they find out how much weighted blankets cost, and the Bearaby is no exception.
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, and Quility, for example.
Here are the prices of the adult size Bearaby Cotton Napper on their website at the time of writing (April 19, 2023).
The Bearaby Napper is one of my two favorite weighted blankets, along with the Baloo. What makes it shine (apart from the shiny cotton) is the fact that it looks great and doesn’t sleep hot. 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 won’t overheat if you use it in the summer since it’s one of the most breathable weighted blankets you’ll find.
Yes, it’s expensive, doesn’t have the most generous warranty, and takes more effort to clean than many other blankets. So it’s one for people who like to take care of things and make sure they last the test of time. I wouldn’t let my dog near it, for example, and I’m very careful when I choose the wash cycle.
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.