Updated November 2018

Best Electric Blankets

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We analyze consumer reviews to find the best products on the web. We buy products with our own money and test them in our lab. We also interview experts and conduct independent research to pick the winners. We have affiliate partnerships so we may get a share of revenue from purchases. It’s how we fund our Research Lab and bring you better reviews and comparisons. Read more.

Best Electric Blankets Updated November 2018

Conclusion

Pros

Cons

Sunbeam

Luxurious Velvet Plush
Check Price at: 1 store
Great reliable plush heating blanket with dual sided control.
Customers loved the dual controls for those who want the option of having the blanket turned on one side and turned off on the other side of the bed; sturdy and lasted multiple seasons for must users; customers loved pre-heat settings and the plush fabric.
Slippery fabric makes it easy for blanket to fall off the bed; fabric prone to some pilling; some complained that washing damaged the overall performance.

Sunbeam

Quilted Fleece
Check Price at: 1 store
Overall, good blanket for the price paid.
Great, soft, plush material; good size and sturdy fabric; easy to follow directions for washing; good lighting on control for late night adjustments.
Multiple complaints about longevity; some stated that it only lasted a couple of months or 1-2 winter seasons; problems with unevenness in heating performance and across the entire surface of the blanket; some issues with the length of the time of automatic shut-off.

Serta

Luxury Plush, Low-Voltage
Check Price at: 1 store
Low voltage but reliable heating blanket with more longevity than some other blankets and thinner wires for a more comfortable experience.
Customers loved the fabric and the heat settings on this safe low voltage blanket; and thinner wires for more comfort for the sleeper; dual controls for one-sided heat up.
Some felt the low voltage and thinner wires did not warm the blanket up enough; some criticism of the quality of the control panel.

SoftHeat

Luxury Micro-Fleece Low-Voltage
Check Price at: 1 store
Low-voltage blanket with thinner wires for comfort at a lower price.
Heats evenly across the bed, fabric does not slip and slide like some other blankets, and thinner wires are more comfortable to sleep under.
It takes awhile for the blanket to heat up the bed and does not get as warm as some other blankets; thinner wires have been known to break--causing blanket to need replacement.

Biddeford

Model Comfort Knit
Check Price at: 1 store
Large comfortable plush blanket that heats up quickly with dual controls.
Blanket heats quickly, durable strong and plush fabric that holds its shape and does not slip; very warm for particularly cold temperatures.
Problems with dual controls, some controls did not heat both sides up evenly; some issues with restricted warranties and customer service for returns on blankets that did not work properly.

OUR PROCESS

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When coming inside from freezing temperatures after a long day of working or playing outside, it is time to hit the sack, and nearly everyone wants to retire to a warm bed after escaping the cold temperatures outside.  A warm electric blanket makes any bed welcoming, especially when one is trying to keep the heating costs down during the winter. But who has time to go and shop for the best heated blanket when buyers are just trying to battle the latest snow and ice storms to get home safely from work?

Our researchers have taken the time to research all of the best heated blankets available to consumers at a reasonable price and have chosen the best five blankets they believe are guaranteed to keep everyone warm even in the most freezing of temperatures.

Best Electric Blanket Reviews Guide

Before centralized heating and furnaces were invented, the strategy for dealing with the cold was to heat people, not spaces. This was the predominant approach prior to the industrial revolution. The electric or heated blanket (as it is now called) is one of the consumer products that has retained this pre-industrial philosophy.  Radiant heat sources such as fireplaces and wood burning stoves provided localized warmth by creating micro-climates of warmth. Personal heating sources such as enclosed canopy beds, hooded chairs and screens helped people counter temperature differences by making use of body heat and enclosing it.  

Modern technology has made personal heating sources safer and more energy efficient and that is why the electric blanket is a great result of the evolution of the personal heating approach.

According to the Electric Blanket Institute, an electric current passes through a long length of resistive wire sewn into and across the blanket in a serpentine pattern (or in the case of dual controls on one half of the blanket).  ”

Parts of an Electric Blanket

Heated Blankets have four main parts:

  1. The shell (woven fabric)
  2. A heating element in the form of an insulated wire
  3. Bedside control(s)
  4. Power cord

Manufacturers use a blend of acrylic and polyester specially manufactured for the heated blanket industry.

In the last two decades, heated blanket sales have increased and the industry has made some minor modifications so that product appears to a wider demographic including changing the product name to “heated blankets,” providing a greater variety of colors and patterns for the shell fabrics, updating the controls to make them programmable and using thinner wires.

While occasionally there have been safety concerns throughout the years about heated blankets, the industry has gone to great lengths to ensure quality control of each product. Each heated blanket has guaranteed safety ratings if it is marked as complying with UL 964 which is the Underwriters Laboratories’ safety standard for electric blankets.”

3 Factors to Consider

Type of Heated Blankets

Buyers can opt for a heated mattress pad that is fitted directly to the mattress and goes underneath the sleeper. Those are not reviewed here, but it is a factor to consider when choosing how best to warm the bed. Over blankets lay on top of the top-sheet or lightweight duvet or quilt.  Manufacturers recommend not sitting on top of the electric blanket so as not to damage the wiring and expand its product lifespan.

Electric Blanket Material

Acrylic fiber, either microplush or microfiber is the most popular and luxurious of the fabrics used in heated blankets.  Fleece is becoming popular as well because it is generally warmer, however, it is not as durable as acrylic and tends to pill over time.

Features

Features of today’s heated blankets are best described by the kinds of controls that come with the blanket.  Dual controls allow dual sleepers to personalize the temperature controls to their side of the blanket. Control features can include or exclude automatic shutoffs and timers, lighting for late night control adjustments, multiple heat settings, and divergent heat settings for the foot of the blanket.

Heated blankets and mattress pads in the United States are designed with connectors that can be disconnected so that it is possible to wash the blanket or pad.”

Care and Maintenance

There are definitely “do’s and don’ts” when it comes to caring for your heated blanket.  It is possible to wash your heated blanket on a short gentle wash cycle but you might want to limit machine drying and hang it to dry.  

When storing your heated blanket for summer, The Electric Blanket Institute recommends examining your blanket for any damage to wiring or controls after unplugging them, loosely wrapping the cords around the control or coiling them separately.  You can also bag your cords and controls separately. Just make sure not to kink the cord and keep them loosely bundled. Place the bedding and control into a large plastic bag and seal it properly. Store in a cool dry location that is rodent free.  When you bring your blanket out from storage, make sure you reconnect your controls and wiring back to the blanket securely as insecure connections are often the cause for overheating or failure for the heated blanket to properly work.

Never dry clean or iron a heated or electric blanket.  ”

Price Range for Heated Blankets

Heated blankets can range widely in prices primarily due to the size of the blanket.  A small throw or electric blanket for office or car will cost $20-$30. A heated blanket for a king-sized bed can cost as much as $250.  Additionally, the more sophisticated the controls for the electric blanket and the higher quality the fabric/shell, the more money you will pay for the blanket.

Due to their relative heating efficiency, electric blankets are purchased by some in an effort to bring down thermostat costs at night during colder months.

The Electric Blanket Institute and the site "How Stuff Works" state that heated blankets generally consume 75-200 watts when used on high settings.  They also state that electric blankets consume less electricity than other common household appliances.”

Frequently asked questions

Can I use my heated blanket with my pets?

Most manufacturers do not recommend allowing your pets to sleep on the heated blanket.  

Can I use an extension cord with my heated blanket?

Extension cords can overheat and cause fires if overloaded. Use an extension cord or power strip rated for more than the maximum current you will be running through it and that is UL rated.

Who should not use heated blankets or mattress pads?

Those with diabetes should avoid using heated blankets because they may have some places on their bodies that are impervious to heat and can sustain burns.  There are some cautionary notes about pregnant women, although The Electric Blanket Institute states that heating the bed with a heated blanket and then turning it off when you get into bed should be sufficiently safe for pregnant women.  Finally, there has been no evidence that heated blankets or mattress pads interfere with those who have pacemakers.

Which is the softest electric blanket fabric?

Heated blanket shells/fabrics made from knitted microfleece and plush polyester are currently rated the softest and best all-around outer fabric shells and will be found in the higher rated brands and better stores as opposed to the discount brands and stores.  Manufacturers using those fabrics would include some of the brands reviewed here today: Sunbeam, Bitteford and Perfect Fit.

Which brands have the smallest and most flexible wires?

Biddeford and Soft Heat have the thinnest and most flexible wires (but they may also have durability and shelf-life issues) providing the most comfortable sleep, while Sunbeam and Serta have thicker more inflexible wires.

The team that worked on this review

Kealia Reynolds
Photo Editor
Rebekah Sedaca
Writer
Kelsey Roadruck
Sr. Editor
John Morgan
Producer

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