Cosiness is a broad concept. It is a feeling of refuge, comfort and wellbeing. It is the idea of being in a space where you feel completely content and at ease.
During the pandemic, global interest in all things cosy has risen. Across interiors products, keywords related to cosy living rose 46% in the UK and 11% in the US. "Cacooning" was one of Pinterests' top trends for 2021, and "cosy aesthetic outfits" rose 100% from last year.
The fixation on cosiness dates back to about 2015. The Danish concept of "hygge" - a sense of cosy togetherness an appreciation of simple pleasure, entered the cultural lexicon in the English-speaking world, and hygge became marketing gold to sell everything.
Related concepts were also offered as lifestyle ideals - Norway's koselig, Sweden's mysig, the Netherlands' gezellig, Germany's Gemütlichkeit, and Scotland's còsagach.
Other ideas that picked up steam were JOMO (the joy of missing out), "domestic cosy" that describes an attitude and aesthetic among those that rejects pretentious displays for real comfort. The "homebody economy" became very lucrative, with direct-to-consumer bedding start-ups and alcohol brands.
The young generation caused the rise of trends like "cottagecore" and "grand millennial" - related to a romanticised ideal of cosy living.
Biophilia is one possible reason humans are attracted to cosiness. Biophilia refers to the innate attraction that people have for the natural world. Viewing something natural can sharpen your concentration and relieve stress.
To a lesser degree, interacting with natural elements and materials such as a fire (candles), wood (rustic cabins), and wool (knitted blankets) can have a similar effect.
The "prospect and refuge" theory may also explain the human attraction to cosiness.
It asserts that people have a preference for smaller cave-like places that open onto brighter views. The small area provides safety and refuge, while the expansive outdoors allows you to see any threats or opportunities.