That’s the premise of a new weighted robe from the makers of Gravity Blanket, which features a three-pound weight in the collar. Similar to weighted blankets, the resulting pressure is supposed to soothe muscles and relax the body. Gravity Products CEO Mike Grillo likened the effect to a shoulder massage.
According to its website, the Gravity Blanket, which debuted on Kickstarter in 2017, taps into a concept known as deep pressure, which scientific studies define as the “sensation produced when an individual is hugged, squeezed, stroked or held.” Per Gravity, this reduces stress and anxiety by boosting the hormones responsible for relaxation and decreasing the hormone responsible for stress. (Gravity says a 2019 study demonstrated its blankets also help users fall asleep faster and deepen sleep.)
Whereas the robe has a universal three-pound weight (it’s also removable), the blanket is meant to be about 7% to 12% of a user’s body weight to maximize the effect of weighted therapy without being too heavy or light. As a result, it is available in various sizes from 15 to 35 pounds, and ranges in price from $189 to $249.
‘The perfect coping mechanism’
With as many as 36% of Americans reporting symptoms of anxiety or depression between April and July 2020 per CDC data, Grillo called this robe the perfect coping mechanism for our uncertain times.
While the blankets are intended for sleeping, he said customers have been using them more for relaxation. The weighted robe, he said, is better suited for pandemic-era lounging. After all, it’s hard to shuffle to the refrigerator amid a streaming binge wrapped in a 20-pound blanket.
But there’s another reason Gravity is expanding its product line: Grillo acknowledged the price tag makes Gravity Blanket “at the higher end of where people can spend right now.” And so part of the strategy behind the robe, which sells for $130, “is offering the same type of weighted relief at a variety of price points.”
This, in turn, helps Gravity expand its addressable market.
“[The robe] fits the customer perhaps not ready or not accustomed [to weighted blankets] and who wants to experience it, but is not willing to shell out [$250],” Grillo said. “There’s a real opportunity to capture folks where income is tight … [because the robe is] not as big of a considered item.”
And, he said, after teasing the robe to “super consumers,” Gravity had “almost 1,000 signups” prelaunch. It will first be available through Gravity’s online store, followed by Macy’s and Bloomingdales, and, eventually, Amazon.
“We try to launch newness on our site first to retain exclusivity and, as new iterations come out, we roll them out to Amazon,” Grillo said.
‘A unique wellness take’
This is not Gravity’s first product line extension. The brand added a weighted sleep mask in March 2018 and has non-weighted products, too, like its sheets and pillows, which still focus on wellness: Bamboo sheets offer cooling and moisture wicking, and its aromatherapy pillows release a lavender scent.
“We try to have a unique wellness take,” he said. “It’s about how to drive relaxation and wellness, which is more the category we want to play in.”
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