This review of Mela (Aeyla) Weighted Blankets contains affiliate links
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 gadgets, 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 thankfully been manageable. 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 been showering more regularly, in reality this just means I’ve been trying to do three basic things: eat well, exercise and sleep well.
In particular, sleeping well has definitely helped my anxiety. The better you sleep, the calmer your brain and the more resilient your ‘parasympathetic’ nervous system (the system that quietens your ‘flight or fight’ impulse).
As such, I enjoy nothing more than curating my own small collection of ‘sleep aids’ – each one geared towards making bedtime as tranquil as possible. From my Neom Wellness Pod, to ‘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 sleeping better.
Introducing the Mela (Aeyla) Weighted Blanket.
Who Are Mela (Aeyla)?
I’d first heard whispers about weighted blankets (also known as gravity blankets or therapy blankets) a few years ago. Outwardly looking like your usual blanket – soft, grey and fleece lined – weighted blankets only reveal their cosy secret when it comes to picking them up.
Or, attempting to pick them up, that is.
Initially, I was a little bemused why anyone would want to haul 7kg weighted blankets into their home. Surely blankets were for wrapping yourself in and snuggling under? Why would anyone want to lie under the fleece alternative of a dumbbell?
However, weighted blankets have slowly gained limelight; creating their own buzz (or ‘zzz’, if you will). As the benefits of weighted blankets have been increasingly publicised, so they have become mainstream – with one particular weighted blanket leading the UK market.
Voted the UK’s best weighted blanket, Mela (now Aeyla) 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 donated to charity (including Young Minds); supporting those seeking to improve research into mental health and championing the voices of those affected by anxiety, depression and PTSD.
How Do Weighted Blankets Work?
Open the beautiful box that the Mela (Aeyla) 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 the weighted blanket’s secret ingredient: an inner cotton layer filled with tiny quartz glass pellets that adds the critical weight to your weighted blanket.
Designed to stop any clumping (or lumpy bits), alongside being hypoallergenic and ‘anti-rustle’, the blanket is a smooth, soft, bear hug of a blanket.
What Are the Benefits of Using a Weighted Blanket?
Using 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, weighted blankets add an entirely new 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 (Aeyla) weighted blanket is designed to produce ‘Deep Pressure Touch Stimulation’ (or DTP). As a kid, I always loved being 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 weighted blankets (and DTP) trigger calm and happy hormones, allowing 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).
Evidence that Weighted Blankets Work
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 weighted blankets.
Lastly, there is also evidence that weighted blankets help lower incidences of unintentional waking. 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 (Aeyla) weighted blanket might have a similar effect.
How Much Do Weighted Blankets Cost?
As I’ve mentioned throughout this review of the Mela (Aeyla) weighted blanket, these products are not cheap.
However, and having since written this post in September 2020, Mela (Aeyla) have reduced the cost of their weighted blankets, which is great (as of December 2022).
The standard sized Mela (Aeyla) weighted blanket starts at £89 (they also currently have 25% off, as of December 2022). This is for the lightest 4kg weight. With Mela, the price goes up by the size, rather than the weight, so a 7kg and 8kg standard size blanket is still £89 – which I think is an amazing deal.
Alternatively, if you want to go for the ‘large’ size blanket, you’ll currently be paying £99. Again, this is the same price regardless of what weight you choose.
Their more premium product – the Dreamer Weighted Blanket – is a little more expensive, beginning at £129 for the standard size. This blanket is designed for those who get hot while sleeping and is made from 100% recycled eucalyptus fibre. Their large version of this award-winning weighted blanket will set you back £149.
By far their most expensive product, however, is their Chunky Weighted Blanket, which is only available as a 6kg blanket.
Compared to other weighted blankets on the market, I think Mela (Aeyla) are very well priced.
My Review of Mela (Aeyla) Weighted Blankets
By now, we all know the apparent benefits of using weighted blankets, but are the rumours true? Can weighted blankets really help anxiety and cure insomnia?
Given that most weighted blankets cost over £100, 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 is my review of the Mela weighted blanket, having been the proud owner of one for just over a week.
What are the Pros of Using Mela Weighted Blankets?
It is Beautifully Produced
Looks aren’t everything, but you might presume that a heavy, weighted blanket might be a little clumsy looking. Like a sack of potatoes, or something.
However, the Mela (Aeyla) weighted blanket really is a luxurious and beautifully made thing. It’s incredibly soft, stylishly designed and easy to fold up.
Delivered in a beautifully branded box, complete with instructions and a wonderfully illustrated introduction to the brand, Mela make their user experience a special, high quality and exciting one.
The weighted 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 (like my pregnancy pillow).
A soft grey colour, the weighted 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 (Aeyla) 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 about how to wash a weighted 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: does the Mela (Aeyla) weighted blanket work? Are weighted blankets worth it?
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 like a butterfly in a cocoon. While heavy, it’s 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.
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.
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 weighted blankets, I’ve not had any of these episodes – not once. 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 and I am sleeping so much better.
Alongside using the Mela (Aeyla) weighted blanket for bedtime, I also use it during the day for sneaky naps.
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.
Overall, I am sleeping significantly better since using the weighted blanket and I’m no longer waking up in the throws of a panic attack, which is such a relief.
What are the Cons of Using Mela Weighted Blankets?
It Doesn’t Work for Everyone
One thing Mela (Aeyla) are keen to stress is that their weighted blankets 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.
It Is Heavy (Obviously)
I know, I know – this is hardly a surprise revelation. However, it’s important to keep in mind that these weighted blankets are not light. Starting at 5kg and topping the scales at 9kg, the Mela (Aeyla) 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, the result is a small cardio session.
Consequently, this definitely isn’t the sort of item you’d put in your suitcase or take on a car journey.
Weighted Blankets are an Investment
When asked whether it’s worth buying a weighted blanket, most concerns centre around its price. Indeed, weighted blankets will set you back around £100 and only go up in price dependent on weight, material and size.
However, and while the Mela (Aeyla) weighted blankets are not cheap, what I would say is that they are of an incredibly high quality and something you’ll keep for years.
Weighted Blankets for Hot Sleepers
While the Mela (Aeyla) weighted blanket is amazingly cosy 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 Eucalyptus Weighted Blanket‘, aimed at those who get a little hot at night – something definitely worth considering (beginning at £129).
What Size & Weight of Weighted Blanket Should I Get?
Importantly, the weight of the weighted 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 (I’m 9 stone and 5 foot 5)- anything else I would feel a little suffocated by.
In terms of size, the Mela (Aeyla) weighted blanket comes as a standard or large size, and in four different weights (beginning at 4kg and maxing out at 9kg). However, they recommend being ‘selfish’ with your blanket and not sharing it – something I whole heartedly agree with. I’ve got a large weighted blanket and it’s the perfect size, allowing for a full, cocooning effect.
Other Weighted Blankets on the Market
Alongside Mela (Aeyla), there are plenty of other brands that produce and market weighted blankets.
Cheap Weighted Blankets
While I do think that you get what you pay for when it comes to weighted blankets, there are a fair few cheap and budget weighted blankets on the market.
Amazon Basics do a £30 option budget option, which will do the job – but perhaps not to the same extend as the Mela (Aeyla) weighted blanket. Also, the SilentNight Weighted Blanket is just £45 (currently has 24% off) and seems to have some pretty good reviews, too. It’s also a good weighted blanket for travel – even tucking neatly into a little holdall.
Premium Weighted Blankets
For those really looking to push the boat out, and not tempted by Mela’s (Aeyla’s) own high-end weighted blankets, there are other luxury options available.
The Emma Hug Weighted Blanket is priced at £200 (although it currently has 50% off). A ‘cooling’ weighted blanket, this particular design is aimed at keeping the air flowing and keeping you cool and calm throughout the night.
The Oodie Weighted Blanket also looks lovely and comes in lots of fun designs, unlike Mela (Aeyla). Their weighted blankets begin at £109 – although they are regularly on sale.
Best Colourful Weighted Blankets
There are some new weighted blanket brands on the market that are adding a bit of fun and splash of colour to their designs.
I really like Remy and their Airy Sleeper weighted blanket, which comes in some great colours (and a greater colour range than Mela). The Kudd.ly weighted blankets also come in lots of vibrant colours and designs – especially this electric blue blanket, just £49 (standard size).
A Review of the Mela (Aeyla) 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 £100 on yet another warm, cuddly item for the house.
However, now two years down the line and my relationship with my Mela (Aeyla) weighted blanket has only strengthened. I still use it every night and absolutely notice when I don’t – I wake up with a start and my anxiety is definitely worse.
In essence, it is of course simply a blanket filled with weighted beads – nothing more, nothing less. However, the experience and sensation it provides (particularly deep pressure therapy) is genuinely effective.
They say you cannot underestimate the power of a hug; something that’s no better exemplified than by the Mela (Aeyla) 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 weighted blankets into my life sooner.