Best Electric Blankets

Updated November 2020
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Bottom Line
Pros
Cons

Buying guide for best electric blankets

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.

An electric blanket is ideal for a person who wants consistent warmth while sleeping without the cost of additional blankets or a higher heating bill.
For your safety
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.
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Is an electric blanket right for you?

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.

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.

Factors to consider

Construction and design

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."
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Ease of maintenance

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.

Price

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.

Did you know?
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.
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Safety

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.

Electric blanket safety

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.

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.

For your safety
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.
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Pros and cons of electric blankets

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.

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.

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.

For maximum comfort, some users choose to place their electric blanket between a light top sheet and a heavy bed cover.

FAQ

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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