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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.
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Innovative design, an extremely soft feel with very thin wiring, and some of the most even heating we’ve found in an electric blanket all come together to make the LL Bean Heated Blanket stand out. With two neutral shades and three sizes to choose from, we believe almost everyone would find something to like about this excellent electric blanket.
The blanket itself consists of three layers: an extra-soft top layer, an insulating layer for optimum heat retention, and a velvety bottom layer with channels intended to retain and direct heat. The design also features extra-thin and flexible wiring to reduce bulk. When combined with the thick plush fabric, this makes for an electric blanket that drapes and feels like an ordinary throw. Patented Italian technology also ensures that the blanket heats evenly, with minimal hot or cold spots to take away from the blanket’s soothing warmth.
Pre-heat options and five heat settings can be accessed by the light-up controller, which some may find is too bright in a dark room. The twin size has a single heat zone, while the full/queen and king sizes both offer dual heat zones with a controller for each side. The blanket also features an automatic shut-off for safety purposes.
The LL Bean Heated Blanket can be machine washed on cold, then tumble dried on low or hung to dry in the shade. It can be returned within one year if you are not fully satisfied, and the company will consider returns beyond one year based on manufacturing or material flaws.
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Sharper Image has built its brand on products that combine innovation with everyday practicality. One of the company’s newest additions is the Weighted Heated Throw, an exceptionally cozy two-in-one blanket constructed with glass microbead fill and faux fleece lining. For added softness, the exterior is composed of minky velvet fabric. The throw measures 50 inches by 60 inches, ensuring an oversize fit with plenty of coverage for most people.
The general rule of thumb with weighted blankets is to select one that weighs roughly 10% of your body weight, though there is some wiggle room in either direction. This makes the Weighted Heated Throw best suited to people who weigh 110 to 150 pounds. You can program four different heat settings ranging from 90 to 105 degrees in five-degree increments and the weighted construction provides extra insulation, so this throw is ideal for people who reside in places with very chilly climates. The heat automatically shuts off after 2 hours of use.
If you don’t want to use the heating function, the plug and heat controller can be detached from the blanket. Due to the heavy design and internal heating wires, you should not machine wash the throw and only spot clean the outer fabric as needed.
The Weighted Heated Throw has an approachable price-point, given its high-quality hybrid design. Shipping charges are based on weight and method of delivery. Since the throw is a personal care item, Sharper Image does not accept returns unless the blanket has not been removed from its original packaging.
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Most electric blankets are soft by design, but the Brookstone Heated Sherpa Blanket takes plushness and coziness to the next level thanks to its reversible design. One side of the blanket is crafted from proprietary n-a-p fabric composed of polyester fleece. The opposite side features faux sherpa material designed to mimic the natural fluffiness of shearling from sheep or lambs.
The blanket is also highly functional. Choose from a total of 10 heat settings ranging from mild to extra warm, as well as dual-zone controls to target specific areas of the body. A pre-heat option allows you to warm up the blanket prior to using it. There is also an automatic shutoff timer you can set if you plan to nap or sleep with the blanket.
Two neutral colors are available. You can also choose from twin and full sizes if you sleep alone, or queen and king options if you plan to share the blanket with a partner. All sizes are reasonably priced, and your purchase also comes with a 30-day trial period.
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The Comfier Heated Throw Blanket pushes back against the idea that a high-quality electric blanket must carry a steep price tag. Perfectly sized for one person, the blanket is composed of plush fleece fabric that insulates from the cold and goes easy on your skin. The blanket can be set to temperatures of 86, 98, or 110 degrees. Thanks to an automatic 4-hour shut-off timer, you can enjoy long naps with the heat on full blast.
A remote attached to the blanket allows you to switch between heat settings and turn the blanket on or off. Unlike many competing electric blankets, this model is fully machine-washable and easy to keep clean. Detach the cord, then machine wash in cold water on a gentle cycle. You may also hand wash the blanket if light stains occur.
Those who order from Amazon may qualify for free or low-rate ground shipping depending on where they reside. Each Comfier Heated Throw Blanket purchase is backed by a 30-day return period, and buyers also receive a 90-day warranty against structural or electric defects.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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