What’s the inverse of a weighted blanket?
December 24, 2020 8:41 PM   Subscribe

I have been having trouble with having any weight of blanket lay across my chest or up near my neck. It will feel like it’s weighing directly on the center of my chest and triggers anxiety and eventually night panic attacks. However, I don’t enjoy being cold on my arms.

If I sleep in a Slanket, I get all tangled up. If I wear a long sleeve shirt, it’s fine, but there are times when it gets too hot, and I don’t want to take off my whole shirt and find another one in the middle of the night. Essentially, is there such thing as a long sleeve sleep shrug?
And do any of you experience this same phenomenon? I’m really happy that weighted blankets bring peace to so many, but they sound like a panic inducer for me.
posted by msladygrey to Home & Garden (25 answers total)
Would arm warmers work?
posted by aniola at 8:45 PM on December 24, 2020

No, because my upper arms get cold, but it was a good thought!
posted by msladygrey at 8:48 PM on December 24, 2020

Coming from a backpacking background, the first thing that comes to mind is the down-fill quilt/blankets that ultralight backpackers use to save weight but achieve maximum warmth. Worth checking out, I think.
posted by msittig at 9:07 PM on December 24, 2020 [10 favorites]

You could get a cheap sweatshirt and cut it to the shrug-like specs you need. Hand wash it and it should do ok without hemming.
posted by fingersandtoes at 9:12 PM on December 24, 2020 [4 favorites]

Maybe a kimono wrap robe? This kind of thing. People generally wear them after getting out of the shower or over camisole sets but you can totally wear them to bed and just have a sheet and lightweight blanket for bedding. They come in many many varieties, you can find longer and shorter sleeves, different fabrics although kimono seems to be code for something lightweight and silky, and if belted doesn't work for sleeping in you could easily sew on a couple snaps or something to keep things secure without feeling trapped.
posted by Mizu at 9:12 PM on December 24, 2020 [1 favorite]

Can you sleep with 2 smaller throw blankets, one on each side of you? So you can drape them over your arms (or torso) as needed. Just thinking that I have my warm husband on one side who usually doesn't use a blanket but keeps my left side warm, and then I shape my blanket to cover my legs and hips and then bunch it up on my right to just to cover my right arm on warmer nights, or I use it as normal on cold nights.
posted by never.was.and.never.will.be. at 9:13 PM on December 24, 2020 [3 favorites]

What’s the inverse of a weighted blanket?

A sheet, I think, maybe a flannel sheet?
posted by DarlingBri at 9:32 PM on December 24, 2020 [4 favorites]

I have a elbow length shrug from Soma, similar to this. It's a light knit that opens in the front and I sometimes wear it to bed over a sleeveless nightgown. It's loose enough that I don't feel constricted by it and I can easily take it off without getting out of bed if I feel warm. The website describes it as something you can wear out - but I just use mine for sleeping.
posted by kbar1 at 10:06 PM on December 24, 2020 [1 favorite]

What DarlingBri said. I'm also a warm sleeper who doesn't like being enveloped in anything hard to shrug away in the night, so I've traded away blankets for a simple topsheets for a good while now.

If I just want to cover my torso, I use a twin sheet crosswise. For whole body coverage I use a full or queen (but never tucked in, so it's always easy to brush off).

And the discovery that a flannel sheet is the light blanket I'd been looking for was great, that's what I use now when the temperature drops, either by itself or layered with another topsheet. Any housing with indoor heating doesn't get cold enough for me to need anything else.

When I'm in situations *without* standard indoor heating, I bring pretty much what msittig described -- a backpacker's quilt. It's quite warm for the weight and the shape/stitching make it well balanced between purposefully shrugable but resistant to accidental shrug-offs.
posted by wildblueyonder at 10:09 PM on December 24, 2020 [2 favorites]

I sleep with a down throw blanket over my upper body to keep my shoulders warm at night. It's mostly weightless and the fabric is comfortably soft. I prefer it over shirts because I can quickly adjust it to get more or less coverage without having to fiddle with sleeves.
posted by stefanie at 10:54 PM on December 24, 2020

I don't know where you could get one in the US, but I have a two piece down duvet. Both parts are very light, and if your bedroom doesn't get cold you probably wouldn't need to use them together. They're much lighter than a hollowfill polyester comforter in my experience.

It's still a blanket, but maybe the lack of weight would do it for you.
posted by How much is that froggie in the window at 12:32 AM on December 25, 2020

The very lightest warm thing is a mylar camping/emergency blanket. You can get one for super cheap at REI or Target or something like that. Downside: crinkly and kind of loud while you're getting adjusted, but it WILL hold the heat in.
posted by amtho at 2:24 AM on December 25, 2020 [1 favorite]

I don't have this same issue but I'm similarly sensitive to my physical environment. Can you fine-tune the environment you're sleeping in so that long sleeves won't feel too hot? I have found that even though I'm stressed out by being cold when I'm awake, I need sleep temperatures that are cooler than most people prefer, and I'm happiest when I can turn heat off entirely before going to bed (so it's warm as I get into bed but drops to get quite cool while I'm sleeping) and sometimes a fan even in the winter.
posted by needs more cowbell at 3:17 AM on December 25, 2020

Would a bed jacket work?
posted by dogmom at 4:52 AM on December 25, 2020 [1 favorite]

Side note for some commenters, a shrug is a type of short jacket that basically only covers the arms and shoulders.
posted by eviemath at 5:29 AM on December 25, 2020

A kimono-sleeve cardigan might do the trick. I have a similar one I sometimes throw over a nightgown for extra warmth.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 6:37 AM on December 25, 2020

We sleep with a down comforter - it's very light but warm - and easy to throw on and off when I inevitably overheat.
posted by leslies at 6:43 AM on December 25, 2020

The most lightweight and yet warm item I own is a military poncho liner (often called a woobie). It keeps me nice and toasty, and it still feels like you're not wearing anything on top of you. I bring it everywhere with me when traveling, as it's super versatile and yet folds into a tiny stuff sack. You can buy one on Amazon, no need to be in the military.
posted by gemmy at 7:17 AM on December 25, 2020 [3 favorites]

Get a mohair throw and use it to cover your arms and upper chest. We have one that is essentially a fluffy cloud that you can see through, yet traps warmth mysteriously well.
posted by heatherlogan at 7:37 AM on December 25, 2020 [3 favorites]

High quality down and fine wool are the best, lightest insulators. Fleece is pretty good. Can you stand the weight of warm pajamas as opposed to a blanket? A long underwear top or a cashmere sweater? Sleeping mashes pajamas against bedding, and clothing you sleep in may not wear well, so price might be an issue. A hat to keep your head warm will help. Down comforters are very light and warm.
posted by theora55 at 7:46 AM on December 25, 2020

Here are some long-sleeved shrugs that cover just your arms and upper back. They are dance warm-ups and are common in that world if you want to explore more. A few links to get you started (I can't figure out the link button so you'll have to copy and paste!):



I would go up one or two sizes since dancewear tends to run small!
posted by bruschetta_cat at 7:49 AM on December 25, 2020 [2 favorites]

What about a shawl, worn the usual way when you go to bed? There would be fabric of the shawl texture under your arms and back which might not be the right texture for you, or might make your back too warm, but you would have the two sides to cuddle around you.

What about sleeping with a large stuffed bear on either side of you? They would reflect you heat back at you at shoulder level so you might not need a cover as well. Pillows might be too light or too low, which is why I suggest bears.

Let us know if you find a solution and what works.
posted by Jane the Brown at 7:51 AM on December 25, 2020 [1 favorite]

I think you can get silk duvets (aka quilts, comforters? this is a 'local names for household objects' minefield). I saw these for sale on a trip to China, they were super super thin and light but seemed quite warm.
posted by ElasticParrot at 8:40 AM on December 25, 2020

You could get a throw blanket and put about a third of it under your pillow with the other 2/3 sticking down kind of like a curtain to pull over your shoulders and arms. This would only work if you're a back-sleeper, though.

You could certainly cut up a long-sleeve t-shirt to make a shrug that just covers what you want covered.
posted by Lyn Never at 11:13 AM on December 25, 2020

I sleep with a light cashmere scarf/shawl that I just drape over my shoulders and arms. Soft and cozy, and easy to remove or reposition since it's not wrapped around me.
posted by ananci at 8:32 AM on December 26, 2020 [1 favorite]

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