Two zones with dual controls. Three-inch heating grid design eliminates hot and cold spots – a common problem with cheaper electric blankets. Machine washable.
Two heating zones require two separate outlets.
Automatic shutoff, dual controls, and numerous heat settings in a velvet plush material. Temperature-adjusting Thermofine system creates consistent warmth. 5-year warranty.
Feels heavy and tends to slip off the bed. Some reports of malfunctioning after a few months, but the long warranty provides peace of mind.
Low-voltage system for enhanced safety. Automatic shutoff after 10 hours. Multiple heat settings and dual controls so bed partners can set their own temperature. Machine washable.
Its wires are visually noticeable.
Dual controls. Good fit for the mattress size. Includes mechanisms to protect against overheating and other useful safety features. Thin and flexible with stylish shell. Machine washable. Generous warranty.
Limited color selection. Rare problems with pilling and shrinking. Not quite as well-insulated as competitors.
We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.
We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.
If you're a little chilly at night, one strategy is to crank up the heat. A more affordable option is to get an electric blanket. An electric blanket allows you to feel cozy in the colder weather, helps you to sleep better, and is an affordable option when compared to running your heater at a higher temperature all night long.
The best electric blankets are made of thick material such as fleece so the blanket can be effective without power, if needed. You want a low-voltage blanket with dual controls, a thermostat, and automatic temperature control that can help keep you from overheating at night. Having an electric blanket that is washable is the only way to go.
Consider reading the rest of this article for safety tips along with the pros and cons of using an electric blanket. When you're ready to purchase one, we're confident you'll agree with our opinion of what is best.
We examined dozens of electric blankets currently on the market, and we’re confident that we can help you find one that’s perfect for you.
Each of the contenders on our shortlist, above, delivers on the promise of a full night's sleep under a warm blanket. Please click on a product name if you’d like to learn more information.
And if you’d like to learn more about electric blankets in general, please continue reading this shopping guide.
Electric blankets designed for the U.S. market must have their connectors located at the bottom of the bed, and those connectors must be detachable.
Why buy an electric blanket? There are several compelling reasons.
An electric blanket can help you stay warm without adding significant weight.
Some people get more restful sleep because of their electric blanket’s consistent warmth.
With dual temperature controls, a cold-natured bed partner can choose their preferred heat level without disturbing a hot-natured sleeper.
The Sunbeam Quilted Fleece Heated Blanket addresses some common safety concerns. The internal heating grid uses a low-voltage system, which means it cannot reach a hazardous temperature or shock users through exposed wiring. A 10-hour automatic shut-off sensor also prevents overheating if you forget to turn it off.
Electric blankets are not ideal for everyone. Some people worry about their safety.
The power cords, connectors, and rheostat controllers used to control temperature can feel uncomfortable.
What’s more, the blankets can be difficult to care for, and they’re not designed for sleepers who like to wrap themselves up in their blankets.
Many modern electric blankets can be laundered right along with the sheets and pillowcases.
The electric blankets of the past were thin and poorly insulated, but today's electric blankets are different.
Often made of thick fleece or other quality materials, it's common to find an electric blanket with enough natural insulation (measured in grams per square meter, or "GSM") to provide warmth even without electricity.
When shopping for a new electric blanket, pay attention to a product’s construction material, GSM rating, control systems, and other design features.
While an electric blanket uses a standard household outlet for power, transformers reduce the actual voltage significantly during use.
Twenty years ago, the idea of machine washing or drying an electric blanket seemed counterintuitive.
Fortunately, many of today's electric blankets can be laundered right along with sheets and pillowcases.
If machine washability is important to you, pay particular attention to this feature on the spec list.
GSM Rating and Controls
We were unable to determine the GSM rating for the Soft Heat Luxury Micro-Fleece Low-Voltage Electric Heated Blanket. However, we believe its polyester/microfleece construction would have the same level of natural insulation as a throw blanket. Spaced three inches apart, the Soft Heat's wires are exceptionally thin. This is an important consideration, as some competitors use a five-inch wiring grid pattern that can cause hot and cold spots. The blanket's dual controls are easy to read and operate, and the display is back-lit for middle-of-the-night temperature adjustments.
One of the biggest differences between low-end and high-end electric blankets is the level of user control they provide.
Some consumers are satisfied with a cheaper blanket that provides minimal adjustment options.
Others prefer an electric blanket with dual temperature controls, an automatic timer, and a self-adjusting thermostat.
All electric blankets sold in the United States should meet UL 967 standards, the Underwriter Laboratory’s safety code for electric blankets and mattress pads.
Due to the electrical nature of this type of blanket, safety is an important consideration that deserves its own section in our shopping guide.
Please read on to learn more about electric blanket safety.
An electric blanket's GSM rating – similar to a bed sheet thread count – is an important measure to consider, as some high-end electric blankets may have lower GSM ratings than their cheaper counterparts.
Modern electric blanket manufacturers have worked diligently to address concerns about the safety and durability of their products. Many companies have incorporated automatic temperature controls to prevent accidental overheating and improved wiring to eliminate shock hazards.
As with any electrical appliance, you should exercise care when using an electric blanket. A damaged electric blanket could be dangerous, so inspecting the blanket, power cord, and connector is important.
With its 320 GSM rating, 100% fleece construction, and quilted chambers, the Sunbeam looks just as good as any modern comforter or duvet. Owners tell us that the wires are visually noticeable, but an easy solution is to layer the Sunbeam with at least one traditional blanket.
Here are some safety tips for electric blanket owners.
Avoid placing heavy objects on top of an electric blanket, including your own body. The wires in the heating grid are flexible and insulated, but they aren’t designed to resist heavy pressure or weight. Don’t jump or sit on the blanket (this includes pets), and keep heavy objects (like suitcases) off the blanket. Excessive weight or pressure on the blanket could result in broken wiring, which poses both shock and fire hazards.
Resist the temptation to “red line” an electric blanket. In other words, don’t keep it at the maximum heat setting. If it gets too hot, you could experience health issues.
Avoid buying vintage/used electric blankets. A new electric blanket has the latest safety features and design. Old and/or used blankets might not be safe and are not worth the cost savings.
Electric blankets generate an electromagnetic field (EMF). There are some claims that prolonged exposure to EMF could cause long-term health issues. Anyone with such health concerns should consult a medical professional before buying an electric blanket.
Manufacturers of electric blankets have made significant improvements in their products, especially in the areas of safety and temperature control.
The insulated and lightweight wires used to form the heating grid are much more flexible, improving their resistance against damage.
Electric blankets only provide utility savings if users turn down the heat at night. Otherwise, they will burn more energy than a regular blanket.
Here are some of the other “pros” of modern electric blankets.
Pro: Electric blankets deliver a consistent and easily adjustable level of heat. This often leads to better sleep.
Pro: Electric blankets allow you to comfortably turn down the thermostat 10 or 15 degrees at night, thereby saving money on utility bills.
Pro: An electric blanket could help keep cold-natured person comfortable when the air conditioner is on.
Pro: Electric blankets reduce the amount of bedding needed by providing the same warmth as two traditional blankets.
Many potential buyers have concerns about the possibility of broken wiring and other electrical hazards. The Soft Heat blanket addresses these concerns by transforming a standard 110-volt AC current into just a few volts of DC power in its heating wires. The microfleece blanket material is thick enough to be used as a throw blanket even without power, and maintenance is simply a matter of machine washing (on a gentle cycle) and air drying.
However, there are still some issues to consider. Let’s take a look at the potential “cons” of electric blankets.
Con: What feels comfortable at first might be too hot later. You may have to spend a bit of time adjusting and re-adjusting your blanket’s temperature setting.
Con: Some models don’t have an auto shut-off feature, so if you forget to turn the blanket off, it could drain energy and/or pose a fire hazard.
Con: Because of their electrical elements, electric blankets can be challenging to maintain. Some cannot be machine washed, while others are washer-safe but must be air dried.
Q. Can I use an electric blanket on my memory foam mattress?
A. Many bedding experts do not recommend it. Memory foam mattresses are designed to conform to the user’s body, but the heat from an electric blanket could interfere with this. There is also a slight chance that the heating elements of an electric blanket could melt the surface of a foam mattress.
Q. Is it safe to snuggle with an electric blanket on a couch or recliner?
A. Modern electric blankets use a much more flexible heating grid than earlier models. So, it is safe – but within reason. It could still result in broken wiring and potential electrical shock, so be gentle when handling and folding your electric blanket.
Q. Are electric blankets safe for use by children or pets?
A. Generally, we do not recommend electric blankets for children or pets, although some exceptions could be made if they follow the safety tips listed above. Pets that chew the blanket could damage it, so it would be safer to get them a fortified heating pad or heated pet bed.
Q. Why is the use of an electric blanket controversial among health experts?
A. Some health experts recommend using extreme caution when using an electric blanket, and some recommend not using them at all. One reason is the potential health effects from EMF exposure. Another concern is that they could raise one’s body temperature to unsafe levels.
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