There are three primary questions our current readers have:
- How will a product’s material and design will affect their overall sleeping experience?
- Do any of the marketing claims made on the “therapeutic effects” of weighted blankets in the market have any veracity?
- What other wellness products are effective in alleviating the same symptoms (like anxiety) as weighted blankets do?
To meet these requirements with a focus on honest reporting, we have developed the truHugs educational promise…
In order to meet truHugs mission of consumer transparency and reiterative product design, we have developed a logical approach to ensure our customers know the differences in product quality among products and brands when they are considering a purchase. Not only will this sustainably help us because repeat customers can help us innovate something they want, but it will also increase objective product evaluation ability for every single person who reads our content…which is our ultimate objective.
We have learned from our mistakes
We were initially trying desperately, like you guys before buying our blanket, to find a value proposition to determine if weighted blankets were even worth selling (or buying). After Googling various phrases like “Do weighted blankets work for insomnia?”, “Scientific evidence behind weighted blankets”, “Is bamboo fabric eco-friendly?”, “What fabric is coolest?” we couldn’t find any resources that were unbiased enough to help us with product design and honest marketing. Literally, on the top 20 pages of all these searches, we couldn’t find that much valid information. Most of it was filled with biased search engine optimized posts, with no new insights within the 15 articles written about the same topic. Marketers determine their content focus based off keyword search volume, and thus you have tons of merchant ghost writers always unintentionally (or intentionally, doesn’t matter what their intentions were actually) presenting false information.
Realizing this “summarizing the literature through Google articles” approach failed to save us time as planned, we had to dive deep into the original science so we know our own product, don’t get sued by making outrageous false ‘therapeutic’ marketing claims, and know whether the product had a real value proposition to offer the world, ensuring we pick a sustainable product line where customers would continually appreciate our efforts.
2 different reporting paths: topics of focus
Series #1: Therapeutic proposition series
Sub-section 1A: DO weighted blankets WORK?
Our first sub-series is called “Do weighted blankets work?” and seeks to evaluate all the existing primary research (clinical trials) that exists on weighted blankets. For these reviewed studies, they usually present that a weighted blanket was used and there was some significant effect outcome. We don’t know what caused the outcome, we just know our input. Metaphorically, this is like how we don’t understand what’s going on inside the oven when we bake cookies, we just know we put in dough and we got cookies.
However, reviewing the available “input-output” information is useful to derive what weighted blanket ‘phenomena’ already been shown in the natural real-world for different types of subjects and populations. To lead this section we have Veronica, a mental health professional, who is pursuing a doctorate in Clinical Psychology. She has a background in working with special populations in the community will lend insight into what the research actually means for you and us. Expect at least one weighted blanket clinical trial review from her every week.
All of her articles will be peer-reviewed by Ryan who has a Ph.D. in Neuroscience and an MD. He has numerous publications as well as extensive experience peer-reviewing science and medical journal articles and will provide additional insights on the literature reviewed from a medical background.
Sub-section 1B: HOW MAY weighted blankets WORK?
In addition, the therapeutic series will have a section titled “How may weighted blankets work?” and will elaborate on the hypothesized mechanism of action of deep pressure therapy oriented products. Sensory input and resulting neural effect pathways are not well understood empirically yet. That is why we put the word ‘may’ in the headline. This series will focus on leading-edge research as to what weighted blankets and related deep pressure touch products may do. Much of this is still very much theoretical.
However, there are many clinical trials on products that attempt to apply the principals of deep pressure therapy. Examples include weighted vests, lap pads, swaddling blankets, and more. Researchers have gathered all the clinical trials performed on various deep pressure touch products that measure similar desired outcomes, such as anxiety reductions, and proposed hypothesized physiological mechanisms.
We hope to gain three insights from this process. First, we want to discover what weighted blankets could help with, theoretically based on secondary research. Second, we want to learn how to better improve our product by learning about other products. Third, we hope to explain how weighted blankets work so consumers can determine based off of mechanism of action if our product will work for them. The posting schedule will be in the form of bi-monthly literature reviews revolving around topics of interest like “anxiety” and “insomnia”. These posts will revolve around Veronica’s primary clinical trial reviews, and she will also lead this part of our blog. These articles will also be peer-reviewed by Ryan.
Series #2: Product design series
Sub-section 2A: The basics of the material science behind bedding products
This section titled “The basics of material science behind bedding products” will educate you about the basics of material science, just enough so you can understand how to evaluate material science articles you can find yourself. That way, you can effectively research yourself quickly after reading our tips and tricks through your own Google search. We promise to keep the reading concise and short.
Ultimately, you will be able to apply the knowledge we share to any clothes, bedding, and furniture purchase considerations you may have.
Sub-section 2B: How different weighted blanket brands measure up to our current model…an objective perspective
The second section will evaluate all the products in the weighted blanket market, their design and material construction, and compare it to our own. This will summarize all our own research findings for our current model and visually compare through graphs and charts material and design differences that will result in different user experience in terms of comfort and convenience. We will be objective, highlighting the pros and cons of each of the products in the weighted blanket market today.
We promise not to shed positive light of our product over our competitors. Each material and design process has its own pros and cons. As an example, with regards to material thermal regulation…to increase how cool to touch a material is, usually you have to reduce how breathable it is.
Our primary author for the two above sections Jonathan M.S., M.B.A. who will use his background in bioengineering, mathematics, and physics to break down what ‘terms’ presented in science are important to evaluate. In order to ensure credibility, his work will be reviewed and built on by Michael, a material scientist Ph.D. who currently is a university professor.
Series #3: Sustainability
Our sustainability series will provide a breadth of information surrounding the textile industry including histories, production, certifications, and much more. Our goal is to provide you with as much authentic information regarding fabrics to give you a chance to live a more sustainable lifestyle. You will leave each article with a sense of confidence as you navigate your day-to-day life equipped with the knowledge of choosing sustainable fabrics. Elizabeth will be our leading woman for this series; she works with clients all over the world to work towards more sustainable, ethical and environmentally friendly practice in all areas of life, and is passionate about permaculture and sustainability.