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Life feels better with a HUG™

Hugs really do seem to make a difference! They help us cope better with life, give us comfort, and help make us feel less anxious.

The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted how much we all need social contact and have missed being able to give and receive a hug.


What is HUG™?

HUG™ is a soft interactive product that is designed to be cuddled. It has weighted limbs, that give the sensation of receiving a hug, and contains an electronics module that simulates a beating heart. It can also be easily programmed play a person’s favourite music, stories or relaxing sounds.

HUG™ was developed by a team of researchers at Cardiff Metropolitan University led by Professor Cathy Treadaway. It is manufactured by HUG by LAUGH® with the support of Alzheimer’s Society UK and is now commercially available (click here). Every HUG™ sold helps raise money for Alzheimer’s Society UK.

The award-winning product was designed in 2018 for a person living with advanced dementia. It had such a remarkable and positive effect on her health and wellbeing that Welsh Government funded a much larger study to evaluate HUG™ with 40 people in an NHS hospital and a care home provider in Cardiff 2018-2021. HUG™ was found to relieve anxiety and give comfort to people living with dementia and other medical and psychological conditions.

Watch the video to see how Pauline who is living with dementia uses her HUG™.

You can learn more about the research behind HUG™ on the LAUGH research website. There are user testimonials on the HUG by LAUGH website and on a short BBC film about older people using HUG™.

HUG™ also featured on national television on BBC1’s  ‘The One Show’ and on BBC Wales news which includes a short film made with residents and their families at a care home in Cardiff.

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