The weighted blanket has recently hit trendy levels all over the world but did you know that weighted blankets have actually been around for over two decades?
Here is the story of how a small family business invented the now world-wide phenomenon, written by weighted blanket inventor, Keith Zivalich. The year was 1997.We were driving home on a long family road trip. My 10-year-old daughter, always looking for little ways to show her love, draped a Beanie Baby, “Pugsly,” on my shoulder to keep me company while I drove. I immediately noticed how the weight of the little beads inside the stuffed toy made it hug my shoulder and made me feel relaxed. I thought-Wouldn’t it be great if you had an entire blanket filled with those little beads? It would be the blanket that hugs you back.
That was the inspiration that lead to the first weighted blanket.
My wife, Lynda made a few prototypes to better understand how the concept would actually work and look in the real world. After many broken needles and failed designs, we finally had a weighted blanket to show to our neighbors and friends. One of those friends was a special needs teacher. Giving her sensory-seeking students a firm hug had long been one of her preferred methods to calm and comfort her students during anxious moments in the classroom. When I told her about the idea behind the heavy blanket, she was very interested in trying it out with her students. When I saw her that weekend, the first thing she said was, “I need more of your special blankets. I need a lot more.”
The First Weighted Blanket Prototype
Her feedback was more than encouraging, it was heartwarming and inspiring. She told us that once she put the blanket on her students, she immediately saw her once anxious and active kids calm down and relax. For her, it was a breakthrough for her students. For us, it was a calling to bring calm and comfort to everyone. Over 20 years later, weighted blankets have found their way into the mainstream. And we have found joy and satisfaction making it all possible.
Click here to view more about our story and timeline
Say Hello To “Pugsly” the Beanie Baby that helped inspire the weighted blanket invention
Our First Sales Invoice for the First Weighted Blanket Sold, 1998
Our First Customer, Mary (pictured in middle),