Best Electric Blankets

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Many electric blankets today come with adjustable heat settings, so you can use them year round for a variety of needs and purposes. Whether you’re trying to save on your electric bill during cold winter nights, ease period pain, or simply enjoy a warm and toasty feel when you hop into bed, an electric blanket can help.

Fortunately, electric blankets are widely available at major retailers like Target or Walmart, manufacturer websites, and online marketplaces like Amazon. Depending on the size, features, and brand of your electric blanket, the cost will vary, but you can usually find a quality electric blanket between $50 to $150.

We’ve written this guide to help you choose your electric blanket. Learn how electric blankets work, their common design features and safety tips to consider, and view our top picks for the best-reviewed electric blankets of 2018.

 

How Do Electric Blankets Work?

Keeping a cool bedroom temperature is a critical ingredient for a good night’s sleep. However, if you live somewhere with cold winters, or have trouble sleeping in the cold, an electric blanket can help warm things up to a more comfortable temperature – and quickly at that.

How do electric blankets work?

Electric blankets use electricity to heat insulated wire that’s safely enmeshed in between the blanket’s fabric layers. The wire heats up, heating the surrounding fabric, which then warms you up more quickly than your body heat or regular bedding.

Do electric blankets raise your electric bill?

No, quite the opposite. By using an electric blanket, you can save significantly on your electric bill. There’s less need to run the heat since you’ve got your own personal heating device in the bed with you. Many people find they can lower their central heat settings by as much as 10 degrees thanks to using an electric blanket.

Plus, most electric blankets tend to be made of plush microfleece and similar materials, which are designed to provide heat without even turning the electric part on! The wires inside electric blankets are thin and flexible, enabling the blanket to stay soft and feel like a regular blanket, so it’s comfortable to use whether it’s plugged in or not. The thinness of the wires also prevents burn damage while delivering maximum comfort and range in heat.

Can heat from an electric blanket interfere with sleep?

Among other things, good sleep is predicated upon proper thermoregulation, referring to your body’s ability to regulate your body temperature. Our core body temperature is tied to our sleep-wake cycle, lowering at night as we tire for bedtime and rising in the morning to energize us for the day.

By maintaining a consistent body temperature while you sleep, your brain has one less thing to focus on, allowing you to enjoy restful sleep. However, temperature changes in your bedroom air, along with body heat from your sleep partner, can all impact your own body temperature. Proper bedding insulates you from these temperature disruptors. For some people, an electric blanket can be a helpful tool.

Are there other benefits to sleeping with an electric blanket?

Like heating pads, electric blankets provide the additional benefit of soothing symptoms of menstrual cycles, arthritis, and fibromyalgia – all of which come with pain and discomfort that make it more difficult to relax sufficiently to fall asleep. By relieving the discomfort through the heat of your electric blanket, you can more easily fall asleep.

 

Common Design Features of Electric Blankets

Like most things, electric blankets have come a long way since their introduction to the bedding market. They offer much more than a single on/off heat setting.

Below are a few of the innovative design features available with electric blankets today. If any particularly appeal to you, make sure to look out for them as you shop for your own electric blanket.

  • Heat settings: Electric blankets typically come with adjustable heat settings, meaning that you have a range of temperature options to choose from. With some models you can actually pre-program these settings, setting the blanket to warm up automatically during a set period before bedtime and automatically shutting off after a certain time to prevent you from waking up in a hot sweat.
  • Composition: Electric blankets are typically made from polyester. This fabric is fire-resistant, comfortable, and also thick – key to insulating the coils and wires in the blanket so you don’t feel them scratching at your skin. The plug and controls are typically made from plastic. Some controllers feature a LCD display for easy reading and adjustments during the night.
  • Cleaning: Your electric blanket will specify the care instructions. To clean your blanket, you’ll typically remove the plug and controls. The remaining fabric is often machine washable and can be tumble dried on the low heat setting.
  • Size: Blankets are available in different sizes that match standard mattress sizes (twin, full, queen, and king). Electric blankets that queen-size and larger usually come with dual control settings so the blanket’s temperature can be adjusted for either side of the bed – perfect for those who share their bed with a partner who prefers a different temperature.
  • Warranty: Most quality electric blankets come with a warranty, protecting your purchase. If the blanket burns within a certain time period, you may be able to return it for a refund.
  • Low-voltage options: Electric blankets come in two main varieties: regular and low voltage. Both of these are designed to be completely safe, but low-voltage electric blankets are even safer and provide less drain on your electricity. However, they do take a bit longer to warm up.
 

Important Tips for Electric Blanket Shoppers

The biggest thing to watch out for with electric blankets is safety. Because electric blankets have wires in them, it is possible for them to overheat. High-quality blankets are designed to avoid this issue, but accidents can still happen.

Review the following questions to find an electric blanket that’s high-quality, safe to use, and matches your sleep needs.

Is an electric blanket safe for me?

Even when a blanket is working as expected, it can still get uncomfortably hot for the user. For this reason, electric blankets are not recommended for use by certain individuals because of the potential safety risk.

For example, people with diabetes can have reduced sensitivity in their limbs, so they may not recognize when the blanket is too hot for them and burns their skin. Pregnant women should also avoid using electric blankets. Finally, adults with dementia or mental disabilities, as well as young children, are not recommended users either. They may not understand how to adjust the settings properly and put themselves at risk of getting burned.

A possible workaround for these individuals is to place the blanket in the bed before they get in, warming it up, and then removing it before the person goes to bed.

Are electric blankets safe for pets?

Pets tend to run hotter than us, so avoid using your electric blanket if you share your bed with a pet. You also don’t want your puppy chewing it and exposing the wires.

How do I care for an electric blanket?

When you’re dealing with a heating device, proper care and use is of the utmost importance. Maintaining your electric blanket and following the care instructions is essential.

When using your blanket, don’t bunc hit up or fold it, as that can create hot spots. Always place it as the top layer of your bedding. Do not put pillows, sheets, or comforters on top of it – these can all add additional heat which can result in overheating and burns.

This is especially important if you sleep on a memory foam mattress. These mattresses are particularly sensitive to heat. The heat and pressure from your body is what enables them to contour so well, so avoid placing electric blankets directly on their mattress surface.

When storing the blanket, follow the same guidelines – do not place it under heavy objects as these can damage the wires. Always unplug your electric blanket and keep it turned off when not in use.

Can you wash an electric blanket in the washing machine?

Not all electric blankets are machine washable, but most are. You’ll need to remove the plug and controllers before putting your blanket in the washing machine. Use the gentle setting on your washer and the low heat setting on your dryer.

Always review the washing and care instructions for your blanket to keep it in good shape.

When should I replace my electric blanket?

Brown spots on your blanket are tell-tale sign that it has burn damage. If you see these, stop using the blanket immediately and buy a replacement. Regularly check the cord and electric parts of the blanket for frays to ensure they have not incurred any damage as well.

Do not buy a used blanket, and avoid using the blanket at its maximum setting to keep it from overheating.

What color and size do I need?

Electric blankets come in a variety of colors and pattern fabrics, so you can find one that matches the rest of your bedding.

Choose a size that matches the size of your mattress. If you sleep with a partner and you have different temperature preferences, make sure you get a blanket with dual controllers so you can both sleep comfortably.

 

Best Electric Blankets: Brands and Models

The following electric blankets are our top 5 picks for the best electric blankets, based on their customer satisfaction ratings, design quality, and available features.

These are all available for purchase online through either the manufacturer’s website or through major retailers like Amazon, Target, Wayfair, and Kohl’s. We have provided an Amazon link for your convenience.

ModelChanneled Microplush Heated BlanketQuilted Fleece Heated BlanketMicroplush Heated BlanketLuxury Micro-Fleece Low-Voltage Electric Heated Throw Luxe Plush Low-Voltage Electric Heated Micro-Fleece Blanket
BrandSunbeamSunbeamBiddefordSoft HeatSerta
Cost (est.)$59 to $110$50 to $100$50 to $95$57 to $156$116 to $230
Heat settings10 heat settings
10 hour auto-off
Pre-heat function
10 heat settings
10 hour auto-off
10 heat settings
10 hour auto-off
10 heat settings
10 hour auto-off
Pre-heat function
10 heat settings
10 hour auto-off
Pre-heat function
SoftnessUltra Soft 4mmExtra Soft 2mmExtra Soft 2mmUltra Soft 4mmUltra Soft 4mm
VoltageRegularRegularRegularLowLow
DimensionsTwin 62W” x 84L”
Full 72W” x 84L”
Queen 84W” x 90L”
King 100W” x 90L”
Dual controllers for queen and king size
Twin 62W” x 84L”
Full 72W” x 84L”
Queen 84W” x 90L”
King 100W” x 90L”
Twin 62W” x 84L”
Full 72W” x 84L”
Queen 84W” x 90L”
King 100W” x 90L”
Dual controllers for queen and king size
Twin 62W” x 84L”
Full 72W” x 84L”
Queen 84W” x 90L”
King 100W” x 90L”
Throw 45W” x 60L”
Dual controllers for queen and king size
Twin 62W” x 84L”
Full 72W” x 84L”
Queen 84W” x 90L”
King 100W” x 90L”
Dual controllers for queen and king size
Fabric composition100% polyester microplush100% polyester fleece100% polyester microplush100% polyester micro-fleece100% polyester micro-fleece
Weight3.9lb to 8.9lb2lb to 5lb5lb to 8lb5lb to 8.5lb4lb to 11lb
Color options7 colors Garnet, Lagoon, Mushroom, Slate, Walnut, Ivy, Sand, Heritage Blue5 colors: Mushroom, Newport Blue, Ivy, Seashell, Acorn7 colors: Grey, Grey Plaid, Burgundy, Linen, Chocolate, Sage, Navy5 colors: Beige, Chocolate, Grey, Natural, Slate Blue4 colors: Topaz, Pearl, Cloud, Sapphire
CleaningMachine washable
Dryer safe
Machine washable
Dryer safe
Machine washable
Dryer safe
Machine washable
Dryer safe
Machine washable
Dryer safe
Return/warranty policy5-year limited warranty5-year limited warranty5-year warranty5-year warranty5-year warranty
AvailableAmazonAmazonAmazonAmazonAmazon
Tuck Customer Satisfaction Rating85% (741 customer reviews)83% (5,206 customer reviews)70% (105 customer reviews)78% (3,051 customer reviews)87% (439 customer reviews)
 

Additional Tuck Resources

For more information on how heat affects sleep, finding the best bedding for sleep, and how to care for your bedding, check out the articles below.

 
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