A Weighted Blanket Made Right Here In Calgary
Weighted blanket hype is all the rage in the sleeping community right now. Using gravity to help you get a better nights sleep? You bet. Help you fall asleep and stay asleep? It’s for real. I have a 14lb weighted blanket and I want to tell you about it and how it’s helped improve my sleep. It’s from HippoHug, a small business located a short walk from the Chinook c-train station. They make all of their blankets right here in Calgary, by hand, by Calgarians! Every stitch, every seam, all made in Calgary. Love it. They have almost a dozen full-time employees.
If you don’t live in Calgary, they offer shipping.
Note! you can save 5% off the price of a HippoHug weighted blanket with coupon code: crackmacs
Also Note! Hippo Hug has a rental program! Try-before-you-buy. Details here.
My Weighted Blanket Experience
A little backstory first. I suffer from poor sleep. Have for several years now. It was so bad that I was on daily prescription sleep medication from May 2016 until the end of December 2018 before I was able to get off of them. I mostly took Sublinox and Zopiclone as prescribed by my doctor, but also Trazodone as prescribed by my sleep doctor. I had to see a real-life sleep doctor because it was so bad.
Everything was going great until I switched medications to something called Effexor, for my anxiety. Effexor really has not been kind to me, and when I started tapering off of it (under the care of my doctor, of course), my sleep issues returned. I was awake for almost 4 days at one point. Even taking more Zopiclone than I’m supposed to didn’t help.
I made a series of posts on the @Crackmacs Facebook page about it, basically just venting about how miserable I was due to not being able to sleep, and HippoHug saw them and reached out to me. They wanted to donate a blanket to me, and if it helped, I’d let people know about it. Done deal, I accepted. I met with them and ended up borrowing a few blankets until I found the right weight for me. I first used a 25lb weighted blanket but that was too much for me, I found it rather distracting. Then 18 pounds, but that was still a bit too much. 14 pounds was my sweet spot. If you’re looking to buy a weighted blanket, keep in mind that it can take some trial and error to find the right size and weight for you.
Did the weighted blanket help me sleep?
Yes. I can say that it does make a difference for me. I’ve found I fall asleep much faster with the blanket vs without and I’m sleeping through the night now, and I’m not taking any medication for it anymore, including melatonin or magnesium. Hope to never have to take sleep meds ever again. I can of course still sleep without the weighted blanket, but with it, it just seems to help. Very happy with it.
I can’t wait to take it camping or to use on road trips.
What Is A Weighted Blanket?
They’re a custom made blanket that is filled with extra materials to make it heavier. They can weigh from just a few pounds to about 33 pounds at their heaviest. They hug you better than a normal blanket can, and are meant to help calm and relax your body. The theory is that by applying gentle pressure to your body (called deep pressure stimulation), it’ll trigger your sympathetic nervous system to induce relaxation. Have you ever been covered in a pile of warm laundry and noticed how good it felt? It feels like that.
HippoHug uses small discs that are sewn into the blanket, so they don’t move around and offer equal weight distribution. They also don’t retain heat as the discs are made of ceramic and steel. Other companies use things like sand or glass.
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Weighted Blanket Benefits
Think of a weighted blanket as a sleep aid, helping you drift off and stay asleep. It feels like you’re being hugged, or cuddled. You’ll feel light pressure on your body where the weighted blanket is, which feels really nice. It’s calming and relaxing. If you’ve ever taken care of a newborn, they really enjoy being wrapped in a blanket like a little burrito. It’s called swaddling. Babies like it, and so do non-babies.
- The calming effect, also called grounding, can help the release of dopamine and serotonin, or even oxytocin (a hormone release when hugging someone).
- Lowers stress, reducing the production of night time cortisol.
- The weights help physically prevent you from tossing and turning in your sleep.
- Can help reduce sleepwalking episodes, especially with children.
- Helps boost melatonin production in your brain.
They’re made of light but strong materials, so while they work great at being heavier than a normal blanket, the weighted blankets won’t get too hot, but it’ll keep you warm.
Who Should Use A Weighted Blanket?
I’d suggest that anyone who has trouble falling asleep, staying asleep give them a try, however they’re known to help with a wide variety of illnesses, mental health conditions or other things like pain. Keep in mind that they aren’t for everyone (like if you’re highly claustrophobic). Some people just simply can’t tolerate them. Everyone is different. Worth trying though, I think. A small price to pay for a good nights sleep.
- Anxiety Disorder
- Asperger’s Syndrome (AS)
- Bi-polar disorder
- Cerebral Palsy
- CHARGE syndrome
- Chronic pain
- Down’s Syndrome
- Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
- Restless Leg Syndrome
- Rett Syndrome
- Sensory Processing Disorder
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Pervasive Development Disorder
- Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
HippoHug has information on their website about these conditions, and other info related to mental health and using a weighted blanket.
Weighted Blanket Care
You can use the weighted blanket directly on your body, but you’ll get them all smelly and gross. You’ll have to wash them more often and you don’t want that (it is a garment after all). Use a sheet or a blanket between yourself and the weighted blanket. You can put them in the washing machine, but if you use spot cleaning to take care of the mustard stains, all the better.
- Machine wash on cold, delicates.
- Lay flat to dry.
Your weighted blanket will last a very long time, but only if you take good care of it. Treat it well and you’ll have it forever.
HippoHug Weighted Blanket Details
As I said, HippoHug makes everything right here in Calgary. Everything is made by hand with care, by local employees (that have company health benefits as well. Yes I asked, it’s cool).
- 100+ patterns to choose from
- You can customize your own blanket
- Multiple size options
- Ready to buy, pre-made products
About HippoHug Weighted Blankets
From their website:
Hippo Hug weighted blankets was founded in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, by Leslie Brooks in October 2011. Leslie saw an opportunity to combine her love of sewing with her passion for helping people. In late 2011 Leslie created a custom-made weighted sleep sack for a client with Autism who was seeking deep pressure at night. She saw the opportunity for a small business venture, and with the encouragement of her husband began the journey of entrepreneurship. Hippo Hug was born and as the business grew so did our knowledge about the numerous people that weighted blanket can help; we get to hug people across Canada without ever leaving Calgary!
Hippo Hug has gone from a small home-based business that made 60 blankets in its first year to a full-fledged manufacturing operation, shipping blankets across Canada and the U.S. In 2016, Hippo Hug saw huge growth, completing over 500 blankets and moving into a manufacturing space. Our growth has been steady since moving to 246 62 Ave SE Calgary, Alberta; in 2017 we made 1250 weighted products and in 2018 nearly 1800.
Hippo Hug now has nine part-time employees and Leslie full-time at the helm. Everyone at Hippo Hug loves helping people find a Made in Canada solution. Many of the staff use a weighted blanket themselves and have first hand knowledge to share to help you find the right fit for your unique needs. We are committed to making sure a weighted blanket will work for you and finding the size and weight that will fit you best. We pride ourselves on compassion, customer service, and weighted blanket expertise.
The Hippo Hug store
Their storefront is easy to get to, and it has all of their products you can check out.
The back of the building is where the magic happens. When you order a weighted blanket, these hands put it together.
I never knew about these things until I needed one, and I’m very happy and grateful HiggoHug reached out to me. Thank you.
If you’re unsure about them, go into their store and check one out. Try their borrow program. A small investment on your part could pay off huge if it helps you sleep better.
Crackmacs are a team of Calgary based bloggers, writing about and sharing food, drinks, things to do, events, contests, charities, travel/tourism, parenting, politics, lifestyle and all kinds of other content.