Best Electric Blankets – Top Picks and Buyer’s Guide
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Electric blankets are a great year-round sleep accessory for those who tend to sleep excessively cold. Most electric blankets sold today have multiple heat settings – some models have 10 or more – that allow owners to find the heating level that works best for them. Additionally, electric blankets in larger sizes, such as Queen and King, often have dual-heating settings for couples with different temperature preferences.
In addition to consistent warmth, electric blankets can benefit sleepers in other ways. Proper thermoregulation is crucial to the circadian rhythm, the natural sleep timer that makes people feel tired when they need sleep and feel alert and awake when the day begins. Electric blankets can also alleviate the symptoms of certain medical conditions, such as arthritis and fibromyalgia, as well as aches and pains associated with menstrual cycles. While electric blanket price-points vary by brand and model, most are available for $150 or less.
This guide will explore common characteristics, functions, and features of today’s electric blankets. Below you will find our picks for the best electric blankets sold today. Our choices are based on verified customer and owner experiences, as well as intensive product research and analysis.
Our Editor’s Pick is the Microplush Heated Blanket from Sunbeam, an electric blanket fully loaded with features and adjustment controls that make it suitable for any sleeper or couple. The blanket offers 10 temperature levels, as well as a pre-heat function that warms cold sheets while the owner prepares for bed and automatic shut-off capabilities with a 10-hour sleep timer. The blanket offers dual temperature control in Queen and King sizes, making it suitable for couples, as well.
The Microplush Heated Blanket is made from durable, 180-GSM polyester microfiber with an extra soft hand-feel. Twin- and Full-size blankets come with one CompTec manual remote to program the LED digital display; Queen- and King-size blankets include two remotes. The display also has an adjustable dimmer. The Microplush Heated Blanket can be washed and dried in a machine, as well.
The Microplush Heated Blanket is available in multiple colors, including grey, beige, and red. Sunbeam offers a five-year warranty for the blanket.
Sleepers with varying warmth preferences
Those who prefer to sleep with a heated blanket all night long
Another great electric blanket from Sunbeam is the Quilted Fleece Heated Blanket, which is our Best Value pick due to its below-average price-point; the blanket is widely available for $70 or less in all sizes. Like the previous Sunbeam entry, this blanket offers 10 temperature settings, automatic shut-off capabilities with a 10-hour timer, and dual adjustment options for couples in the Queen and King sizes.
This blanket is made from ultra-plush polyester fleece that holds heat well and provides night-long thermoregulation. The built-in ThermoFine technology also adjusts the blanket based on the sleeper’s temperature in order to ensure the blanket doesn’t feel excessively warm at any point. The Quilted Fleece Heated Blanket can be washed and dried in a machine, as well.
Seven color options are available for this blanket. Sunbeam backs the Quilted Fleece Heated Blanket with a five-year warranty.
The Soft Heat Low Voltage Heated Blanket from Perfect Fit is constructed from luxuriously soft microfleece and comes with 11 temperature settings, including ‘Lo’ and ‘Hi’ options. The blanket is also equipped with a patented ‘Low Voltage’ heating system that operates on fewer than 25 volts, making this a safe and low-energy electric blanket option. Additional features include a pre-heat function for warming up the user’s sleep surface before bedtime and automatic shut-off capabilities with a 10-hour sleep timer.
The Soft Heat Low Voltage Heated Blanket is constructed from polyester fleece and ultra-thin electrical wires that promote even heat distribution without making the blanket feel heavy or excessively bulky. The easy-to-red LED display is backlit and has an adjustable dimmer, as well.
The Soft Heat Low Voltage Heated Blanket has an above-average price-point but owners can save a significant amount of money on their energy bill. Five color options are available. Perfect Fit offers a five-year warranty with this blanket.
The dual-sided MicroPlush Heated Blanket from Biddeford is constructed with one microfiber side and one Sherpa fleece side, giving owners two distinct feels to choose from. The blanket offers 10 temperature settings, as well as automatic shut-off capabilities with a 10-hour sleep timer and dual controls for Queen and King sizes.
The blanket is made with exceptionally thin wires to give it a lightweight frame without feeling bulky. This heating system also helps conserve energy and can lower the owner’s utility bills. One controller is included for Twin- and Full-size blankets, while larger sizes come with two controllers to allow unique customization on each side of the blanket for couples.
The MicroPlush Heated Blanket is available in nine color options. Biddeford offers a five-year warranty with this blanket.
The Luxe Plush Fleece Electric Throw from Serta is a standout as far as features are concerned. Like many electric blankets, this model offers 10 heat settings ranging from light to very warm. Dual controls are available for Queen-size and larger, as well. Additionally the blanket will automatically shut off after 10 hours, making it a safe, energy-conserving option.
The Luxe Plush Fleece Electric Throw is made from soft polyester microfiber and equipped with exceptionally thin wires that distribute heat very well. This allows the blanket to be very lightweight and makes it suitable for sleeping in bed or napping elsewhere in the house. The preheat option is also ideal for sleepers who tend to become uncomfortably cold when they first get into bed.
Four color options are available with the Luxe Plush Fleece Electric Throw. Serta offers a five-year warranty with this product, as well.
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.
|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.