Now that fall is officially underway, it’s time to get cozy. Well, cozier, since many of us have already been living in lounge pants and oversize T-shirts since March. We’re talking warm socks, thick blankets, comfy pajama sets, and all the candles and incense. The fact is, the pandemic will force many of us to spend even more time than normal indoors this winter. Instead of getting sad about it, why not get prepared? We went through all our past soul-warming content to find the items that will bring people the most winter joy — whether they’re binging TV or taking a well-deserved nap.
The Bearaby Tencel Napper is one of our Strategist 100 gifts for a reason: It’s not filled with plastic or beads like other weighted blankets, just made from cotton and a plant-based material called Tencel. And best of all, it’s breathable, letting them keep the coziness going year-round.
A majority of people are side sleepers, which can be tough on the body. But Sarah Riccio, a senior writer at sleep-product review site Sleepopolis, put us onto this cloud-like side-sleeper pillow from Eli & Elm. It “features an ergonomic design that conforms to the precise contours of your head, neck, and shoulders so you’re always supported as you roll from side to side,” she says. But what makes it cozy is the supportive latex and polyester filling that you can just melt into.
Few objects say I love and care deeply about you like cashmere. Interior designer Grant K. Gibson told us this ribbed cashmere throw from Ben Soleimani is a dream, with a lovely texture that complements the soft cashmere material. “These throws make you want to curl up with a book all day long,” he says.
If $400 seems a bit steep for a blanket-based gift, there’s always this Calvin Klein vintage-inspired throw blanket, which is as easy on the eye as it is to cuddle up underneath according to interior designer Nick Olsen.
For more than 150 years, Pendleton has essentially been the Dyson of wool blankets (including the high prices). This washable wool blanket, recommended by stylist Emily Henderson, is an affordable entry point for people who one day aspire to own a $400 blanket from the Oregon-based company.
Acupuncturist Gabriel Sher says he frequently recommends these scented eye pillows to his patients so they can stay relaxed between appointments. “It has a really nice material with organic lavender and flax,” he says. “It’s really good for anxiety and headaches, or just to calm down at the end of the day. You can even heat it up, which I find very soothing.”
The lifelong search for coziness really begins at birth, which is why if you know someone who’s about to become a parent for the first time, you should gift them the expert-recommended Bbhugme Nursing Pillow. According to boober founder Jane Shapiro, it’s “lightweight, super practical, easily adjusted, extremely comfortable, and is the only pillow that places a newborn at the correct height and position for breastfeeding.” In other words, cozy for mom and baby.
There are a ton of fancy, memory foam beds out there for dogs, but that doesn’t make them especially cozy. For that, you’ll need the Best Friends Donut Cuddler, which is not only a favorite of animal behaviorist Jessica Gore, but owned by three Strategist staffers. Strategist writer Liza Corsillo says she can’t get her anxious, 10-year-old pup Uli to leave this bed: “She cuddles up in the bed for hours every day and when I call her to come sit next to me on the couch, she lifts her head and sort of raises one eyebrow at me before tucking her chin back into the bed’s fluff,” she says.
There’s not much worse than warm, just-out-of-bed feet meeting a freezing tile floor. To avoid this, give them the gift of Glerups, our favorite wool slipper that can be worn inside or out. As Strategist senior writer Karen Iorio Adelson puts it, “They’re comfortable for walking around, and the wool feels warm, soft, and not at all itchy.”