As a long-time health and wellness writer, I am no stranger to the benefits of weighted blankets. But, while I love to burrow under not one but two weighted blankets (the Bearaby Velvet Napper and Luna Weighted Blanket create my safe space) every night for anxiety relief and better sleep, cocooning myself with their calming weight seems a bit much for the office—even if my “office” is actually my kitchen table. Enter: The Bearaby Napigan ($349), aka the weighted cardigan sweater that made my dream of wearing my beloved weighted blankets to work a possibility.
Working from home has its perks, however, it doesn’t always grant you immunity from work-related stress. As a full-time freelance writer, I juggle a lot of moving parts between researching and pitching story ideas, organizing assignments, interviewing experts, and meeting deadlines—not to mention: the admin work involved with being self-employed (math is a key stressor in my work life). So, when Bearaby gifted me a Napigan, I was beyond thrilled to put it to the test.
The Bearaby Napigan: My honest thoughts
Inspired by the brand’s chic chunky knit weighted blankets, the Bearaby Napigan sweater is an oversized open cardigan with slouchy shoulders, puff sleeves, and a stylish color block design in two colorways. It’s made from 100 percent organic cotton yarn that is soft to the touch and breathable, and is handwoven to create a stylish sweater. The cardigan weighs between 4.5 and 7 pounds (depending on the size) and, according to the brand, is one of the firsts of its kind (we personally haven't seen anything else like it). On top of that, it’s machine washable, making it super easy to clean.
I am not kidding when I say I immediately felt a sense of calming relief upon slipping the Napigan on for the first time. To be honest, I wasn’t sure what to expect from this weighted cardigan. As a long-time fan of its blanket counterpart, I knew I would probably experience some calming relief, but I was also a little nervous that it would just cause me to fall asleep facedown on my keyboard. Since the Napigan is more lightweight compared to a blanket (especially since I double up on them at bedtime), I’m happy to report that it offered just the right amount of pressure to take the edge off without making me feel like I needed a nap.
According to the Mayo Clinic, wrapping yourself in a weighted blanket (or a cardigan that moonlights as a weighted blanket) can reduce cortisol—the stress hormone—and can, therefore, relieve stress and even some symptoms of anxiety, too. Weighted blankets may "increase feelings of relaxation and comfort and may reduce restlessness," Michael Grandner, PhD, Casper sleep advisor & director of the sleep and health research program at the University of Arizona previously explained to us.
With this in mind, I wore the sweater in the mornings (which is when I typically feel most stressed). Experiencing a spike in cortisol in the morning is natural, however, my high cortisol levels tend to linger well beyond the a.m. hours if I have a particularly busy day. I wanted to see how the Bearaby Napigan would help alleviate the feelings of overwhelm and calm me so I could get some work done.
The cardigan did exactly that—so much so that I began referring to it as my emotional support sweater (my actual emotional support dog is definitely a bit jealous). It not only helped me shake away the stress, but it also helped me focus more and, as a result, be more efficient in my workday. Additionally, when unexpected things would arise or I would have to do some math for admin work, it helped me manage my stress response with ease and allowed me to see how I can tackle what the day presented.
Now, let's talk about the price: It's expensive. While I'd recommend to this anyone who's looking for a weighted blanket they can wear (disguise) as everyday clothing—because there truly is nothing else like it on the market—the cheaper option is getting yourself a regular weighted blanket (they're far cheaper, and you can find a lot of options on Amazon). With that said, the quality is excellent, I've worn it for months and it looks brand new (even after several washes), and it's helped my stress levels.
After several weeks, the Napigan has become as essential to my work as my laptop, making me feel more comfortable throughout the workday in terms of my physical outfit choice (it’s seriously so soft), my mental health, and my response to juggling the fast-past nature of my work.
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