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Electric blankets are a great way to keep warm and cozy in cold weather, whether you have one spread out on your bed or tucked around you on the sofa while you watch TV.
Modern electric blankets are safe, effective, and comfortable. They range from basic models with simple dials, to those with multiple settings and automatic shut-off features, to extra-large versions with two controllers for couples. As well as keeping you warm, electric blankets can act as giant heating pads to help soothe aches, pains, and even symptoms caused by medical conditions like fibromyalgia.
With so many options, choosing the best electric blanket can involve a headache-inducing array of considerations. To make the process easier for our readers, we’ve put together a list of our top picks as well as a guide to buying, using, and caring for an electric blanket. Whether you’re looking for the best value or a luxury model, we’ll help you find the best electric blanket for your needs.
Zonli Heated Weighted Blanket
Sizes:60″ x 80″
Who it’s best for:
- People who weigh between 120 and 220 pounds
- Those who frequently sleep cold
- Sleepers who prefer very soft coverings in bed
- Flannel fleece shell and glass microbead fill make the blanket exceptionally cozy
- Choose from 10 heat settings with a shutoff timer up to 12 hours
- Free duvet cover included with each purchase
Sleep Foundation Special Offer
Use this SleepFoundation.org link for the most current discount on Zonli products
The Zonli Heated Weighted Blanket combines the calming effect of weighted compression with the coziness of electric heat. A shell made of flannel fleece gives the exterior a touchably plush hand-feel. The blanket contains glass microbeads to supply the weight and heating wires for customizable warmth. You can adjust the heat to 10 different levels, and the shutoff timer can be set in 1-hour increments anywhere from 1 to 12 hours.
The blanket is available in one size, which corresponds to a standard queen. You can choose between weights of 15 or 20 pounds. Based on the “10% rule” for weighted blankets, this makes the Heated Weighted Blanket best suited to people between 150 and 200 pounds, though there’s some wiggle room in either direction.
This blanket is ideal for “cold sleepers” and anyone else who needs extra insulation while they sleep. Our testing team found the blanket both easy to use and fast-acting — after turning the dial, the heat level adjusts almost instantaneously. The blanket’s channeled design also ensures you won’t feel wires protruding through the shell. To clean the blanket, simply detach the wired controller and hand wash, then hang to dry. Zonli provides a free duvet cover to safeguard your blanket from stains and reduce the need for frequent cleaning.
The Heated Weighted Blanket is competitively priced and Zonli offers free shipping throughout North America. You may return the blanket within 30 days, provided it is in decent condition and shipped back to the company in its original packaging. Those who keep their blanket also receive a 3-year manufacturer’s warranty.
Pure Enrichment PureRelief Heated Blanket
Sizes:62″ x 84″
Who it’s best for:
- People who live in places prone to chilly seasonal weather
- Couples who share a heated blanket
- Those who enjoy the compression of a lightly weighted blanket
- Heat settings range from 87 to 105 degrees Fahrenheit
- Blanket is fully machine-washable
- Slightly weighted design can have a relaxing effect as you fall asleep
Sleep Foundation Special Offer
Use this SleepFoundation.org link for the most current discount on Pure Enrichment products
While comfort may be a subjective quality for any given electric blanket, the PureRelief Heated Blanket from Pure Enrichment has a versatile design that should cater to a wide range of sleepers. Ten different heat settings between 87 and 105 degrees Fahrenheit allow you to choose moderate warmth, heavy insulation or something in the middle.
Twin, full, queen, and king sizes are available. The two largest sizes are zoned, allowing you and your partner to customize heat settings on your respective sides of the bed without disturbing the other person. The blanket automatically shuts off after 10 hours of continuous use.
At slightly more than 5 pounds, the blanket is somewhat hefty. This produces some slight compression akin to that of a lighter weighted blanket, so you may experience less anxiety and more relaxation when falling asleep. A plush velvet cover encases the heating wires for added coziness and comfort.
The entire blanket is fully machine-washable for quick and easy care. If you order your PureRelief Heated Blanket through Mattress Firm, your purchase will include free shipping and a 5-year warranty against material and electrical defects.
SweetNight Mobile Warming Blanket
Who it’s best for:
- Frequent travelers
- Those wishing to use a heated blanket outdoors
- People willing to pay a bit more for an innovative blanket
- Unique design allows you to use the blanket normally or by wearing it
- Plush 700-fill power goose down
- Teflon-coated cover resists moisture and dirt
Sleep Foundation Special Offer
The SweetNight Mobile Warming Blanket has an innovative design that allows you to use it from home or on the go. Powered by a rechargeable power bank and featuring snaps that allow you to wear the blanket as a vest, we recommend this heated blanket for those willing to pay a bit more for a highly versatile option.
A microfiber shell coated with Teflon allows you to use the blanket outdoors without facing wind, water, or dirt damage. Inside is plush 700-fill power goose down with sewn-in baffle boxes that keep the fill evenly distributed. The blanket features hidden zippers on the sides that can be unzipped to create armholes, while snaps keep the blanket wrapped around your body. To recharge the power bank, simply connect it via a USB-C cord to a USB port on a computer. Please note that the blanket does not include a charging cord.
The gray blanket comes in a medium size. A convenient carrying bag comes with every purchase. SweetNight offers free shipping to the contiguous U.S. Mobile Warming Blanket returns are accepted within 30 nights of delivery.
How to Choose a Heated Blanket
Choosing a heated blanket can be more difficult than it appears at first glance. No matter your budget, it’s important to consider your needs, as well as factors like controls, voltage, and ease of care.
Heated blankets can last for many years, and carefully considering these factors ensures you’ll choose one that you’ll be happy to use each time the weather cools.
What to Consider When Purchasing a Heated Blanket
Purchasing an electric blanket is only superficially like choosing an ordinary blanket. While the usual considerations like materials and looks do apply, there are other crucial factors ranging from settings and features to safety concerns like voltage and wiring construction. There is no universal ideal of an electric blanket, and each customer should carefully consider what combination of features will work best for their needs.
Modern electric blankets are safer than older models but much more complex, so the wide range of models on offer today may be overwhelming if you haven’t purchased one in many years. Some considerations are deeply important, while others may or may not be of interest to you depending on your preferences. We’ll cover what to keep in mind and which factors are among the most important when purchasing a safe and comfortable electric blanket.
Electric blankets are available in a wide range of sizes, from sofa-friendly throw blankets to large queen or king size models. Smaller blankets are easier to move and store, while the larger sizes often have two heating zones and dials to adjust the heat separately for each side of the bed.
Most electric blankets have a similar heat range between their lowest and highest settings, but the number of settings in between can vary dramatically. Less expensive models tend to have fewer options, while luxury blankets may have a large number of settings or even the ability to program your own temperature options.
The majority of electric blankets feature wired controls with dials to choose among the different settings. Modern blankets tend to have safety features like automatic shut-off mechanisms, and some models offer timers for either turning on the blanket before you climb into bed or turning it off after a set period.
Electric blankets can be regular or low-voltage. The former uses the voltage coming from your outlet, while the latter uses a transformer to lower the voltage used by the electrical components inside the blanket. Low-voltage options are generally considered to be safer than regular voltage, though they do take longer to heat up.
The position and length of an electric blanket’s plug cord can make a massive difference in its usefulness and safety. While extension cords can make up for a shorter plug cord, the best option is to choose a blanket whose plug can easily reach an outlet near your bed. Similarly, the best-designed blankets generally have the cord located in an area which will not rest on or near your body during sleep.
Unlike ordinary blankets, electric blankets are generally made out of a small number of fire-resistant materials. Most electric blankets are now made of polyester, which can be exceptionally soft. Acrylic, once a popular choice, tends to be scratchier and much less comfortable. Cotton is rarely used due to its flammability.
Most electric blankets are made out of easily washable materials, and the majority can be machine washed after removing their plug and controller. Still, not all electric blankets are washable. Even spot cleaning can be a concern, as excessive moisture can damage the wiring. Before purchasing a blanket, be sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully to determine whether the blanket can be easily cleaned.
Electric blankets are available at a wide range of price points. Lower-priced models are still likely to be cozy and safe, as long as they have an automatic shut-off feature. However, higher-priced models are more likely to have features like multiple settings and timers that may make a blanket more useful and comfortable.
What Are the Pros and Cons of Electric Blankets?
While electric blankets can be a great — and green — way to keep warm in cold weather, safety concerns and other potential downsides mean that they’re not right for everyone.
|Energy-efficient: Instead of raising the thermostat to heat your entire room, heated blankets concentrate their warmth exactly where it’s needed. This makes them a green option, while also potentially saving you money.|
Thermoregulation: Temperature is an important part of sleep hygiene. If you’ve been kept awake or woken up because you can’t stay warm, you’ll recognize the comfort an electric blanket can provide.
Keeps couples at their preferred temperature: Most queen size or larger heated blankets offer dual heating zones with two dials. This feature allows both members of a couple to stay at their ideal temperature all night long.
Soothes aches and pains: Heat can help reduce the pain of everything from sore muscles, to menstrual pain, to conditions like arthritis and fibromyalgia. Heated blankets function like oversize heating pads, delivering soothing warmth where it’s needed most.
Lightweight warmth: Although some people enjoy the feeling of heavy layers of blankets, others can feel trapped by the weight. Electric blankets offer winter-friendly warmth without any extra heft.
|Safety concerns: Modern electric blankets are far safer than older models, with automatic shut-off features and low-voltage wiring. All the same, there is still a risk of fire or burns.|
Not pet or child-safe: Even the most well-constructed electric items are easily destroyed by sharp claws or curious fingers, and electric blankets are no different. If you have pets or young children who spend time in your bedroom, an electric blanket may not be right for you.
Comparatively expensive: Using an electric blanket to reduce the use of central heating might save you money in the long run, but electric blankets also cost more than comparable traditional blankets.
Limited fabric choice: Electric blanket fabric must be fire-resistant yet affordable, meaning that the majority are made from polyester.
May not be suitable for your bed: While electric blankets work well on most beds, they are unsuitable for use on waterbeds and some adjustable beds. The cord may also be unable to reach loft or bunk beds.
Not great for warm weather: Even when you’re not using the heating feature on these blankets, they are often made with less breathable materials. If you live somewhere with hot summers, consider a summer blanket.
Who Should Use a Heated Blanket?
Heated blankets can seem like an extravagance, but for some people they can make sleep a far easier and more comfortable experience. This is especially true for people who struggle to stay warm at night, or those who live in frigid climates, since electric blankets are able to keep sleepers at the ideal temperature regardless of the weather outside. Couples with opposing temperature preferences can also benefit immensely, since larger models often come with dual heating zones that allow each person to choose their own temperature.
If you find that heat helps soothe your pain, chronic or otherwise, then an electric blanket might be an excellent choice for reasons outside of winter comfort. They function in much the same way as an electric heating pad, but their ability to deliver soothing warmth to the entire body can be much more effective for people with widespread pain.
Of course, electric blankets aren’t the right choice for everyone. Young children should not use heated blankets, nor should adults without the ability to move or turn off the blanket as necessary. People with limited sensation in any area of their body should also consult their doctor before purchasing an electric blanket, as this condition may prevent them from sensing burns or other injuries.
Frequently Asked Questions
Electric blankets use electricity taken in through a household outlet to heat wires that are coiled within the blanket itself, which then heat the blanket's fabric for an even, comfortable warmth. These wires are protected by a heat-resistant plastic coating, and in some modern blankets may be made of the thin carbon fiber used in high-end heated car seats. Depending on the model, the wires may carry the same voltage brought in through the outlet, or the voltage may be lowered by a transformer in the control mechanism.
Electric blankets can be used in three ways: while awake, to heat up your bed before climbing in and while you are falling asleep, and throughout the night. While most modern electric blankets are safe to use in all three ways, some are not intended to be used throughout the night and may automatically shut off for safety reasons. Electric blankets should lay flat over the body, with no creasing or folding, and owners should not lay on top of their blanket. This is particularly true on foam mattresses, which trap heat and can become damaged.
Modern electric blankets are far safer than older models once were. Even lower-priced options tend to have a wide range of safety features, including automatic shut-off capabilities based on time or heat levels and low-voltage options. However, old or damaged blankets can still pose a fire risk. Always purchase new electric blankets rather than secondhand. Inspect the blanket before use to ensure it is working correctly, and do not hesitate to replace your blanket as necessary.
Most electric blankets are safe to wash, as their internal wiring must be waterproof in order to cope with sweat and moisture produced during sleep. The cleaning process is usually easy, with owners removing the plug and control device before washing. However, it's critical to read all instructions carefully before washing, and particularly before putting the electrical components back together. Some electric blankets are not washable, so be sure to read the manufacturer's instructions carefully before making your purchase or cleaning the blanket.
The average electric blanket comes in at approximately 40 to 60 watts when used on a medium setting, though some larger varieties with dual heating zones are rated at 100 to 200 watts. Using the 100-watt variety as a baseline, powering a heating blanket for eight hours uses only 0.8 kilowatt-hours of energy. The average cost of energy per kilowatt-hour in the USA is currently $0.13, meaning that a 100-watt electric blanket costs approximately $0.10 to run per night. While an electric blanket will not replace central heating, it may result in a significant savings in heating costs over the winter.
Electric blankets can have widely varying lifespans depending on the model, as well as how often they are used and for how long each night. A high-quality blanket used to warm up the bed for several months a year may last for over a decade, while the same blanket used for eight hours a night may need replacing in less than half that time. Most people can expect their blanket to last at least five years, but it's deeply important to inspect your blanket regularly and to replace it whenever it shows signs of damage. Electric blankets can be expensive, but health and safety is of utmost importance.