A feature image of a blonde-haired woman in a light blue t-shirt, jeans and black ballet flats sits on a long white bench against a soft, light yellow wall. The woman is smiling with her legs crossed, her elbow leaning on one leg and her chin leaning on a fist as she smiles at the camera. To the right of the woman are three large knit blankets, rolled into spiral shapes and sitting on top of each other in in a pyramid form. One is white, one is baby blue and the top blanket is light baby pink. The cement floor is dark gray.

Cozy Up to Kathrin Hamm

Whalebone x Bearaby: The Interview

Something about this time of year launches everyone into a bit of a panic state—not without reason—you’ve got family to see, money to spend and meals to share. That bit of unease might have you seeking out more comfort in your leisure time, with maybe something a little more than a sheet mask. Enter Bearaby Founder Kathrin Hamm, someone who knows a thing or two about comfort and dealing with the weight of the world (pun very intended)—just a few of the reasons why she got into the weighted blanket game (see there’s the pun). We took a mindful pause to sit down and get comfortable with Kathrin about Bearaby and the benefits of doing a little extra for yourself.

If you’re feeling a little bit of the weight of the season and are in the NYC area, stop in for the Bearaby x Whalebone Pop-up. More info on that here.

Tell us about you and how you got into the coziness game.

Kathrin Hamm: It was my own personal sleep struggle that inspired me to launch Bearaby and become a fanatic about all things rest. 

After working as an economist for the World Bank, I was constantly traveling—one year of visiting over 40 countries. My on-the-road lifestyle quickly began to take a toll on my sleep, leading to chronic insomnia issues that impacted my work and personal life. After extensive research on various remedies—everything from medications to sound machines to new mattresses—I finally discovered weighted blankets and ordered one through an online pharmacy. The first time I tried it, I napped for over four hours, and I was immediately sold. 

Horizontal image of a blonde-haired woman in a gray t-shirt sitting down at a table and looking to the side of the camera while holding a large ball of light pink/lavender yarn in her hands. Resting on the table in front of her are four other balls of yarn stacked in a pyramid with a mustard yellow one on top, a dark turquoise one to the left, an off-white one in the middle and a blue/gray one to the right. A white wall sits in the background with a gray, square painting hanging on it and a large full-length mirror resting to the side.

At the time, weighted blankets weren’t popular, and while I immediately felt the benefits, I couldn’t sleep with them overnight because it was filled with plastic beads, making them hot and unbreathable. I searched high and low for an option that was breathable, stylish, and sustainable, and when I couldn’t find it, I set out to create it on my own.

What’s a little bit of the science behind why weighted blankets help us sleep?

KH: The science behind weighted blankets boils down to something called Deep Touch Pressure (DTP) that helps you feel more relaxed and sleep more soundly. There are multiple research-backed benefits of DTP, including increased serotonin (the happy hormone), increased melatonin (the sleep hormone), and decreased cortisol (the stress hormone). 

On top of all of this science, cozying up under a weighted blanket brings a sense of warmth, relief, and security—often described as similar to a hug. A weighted blanket naturally mimics this comforting sensation that our bodies are designed to crave, working to calm the body and make you feel happy, sleepy, and even less stressed.

Blanket forts are: overrated or underrated?

KH: Overrated! Blanket forts are out and blanket cocoons are in.

How did the name Bearaby come together? Like a bear hug?

KH: Bearaby is the combination of the words bear hug and lullaby—the exact feeling you get while being under our weighted blankets.

If you have to say one thing to convince people to give a weighted blanket a try what would it be?

KH: The benefits of weighted blankets are endless and I truly believe anyone can benefit from one. Whether you’re looking to sleep better, feel calmer, or alleviate stress and anxiety, a weighted blanket can help tremendously.

Aerial image of a gray-haired woman laying down and wrapped up in a large, off-white knit throw blanket. Only her face and one hand is visible. She is smiling widely with her eyes closed in a joyful manner.

What is your napper of choice?

KH: My current napper of choice is our Velvet Napper. It’s made of eco-velvet using ocean-bound plastics, is incredibly luxe, and is the perfect cozy companion for the holiday season.

Your ideal before-bed routine?

KH: I’m all about a consistent night-time routine. When I come home from work, I like to unwind before bed by unplugging from technology, journaling and reading for a bit, and cozying up under a weighted blanket before falling asleep.