Best Heated Car Blankets

Updated June 2021
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

30 Models Considered
8 Hours Researched
2 Experts Interviewed
60 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for Best heated car blankets

During the winter, one of the most uncomfortable few minutes of the day is sitting in your car in the morning waiting for it to warm up. Not only is it unkind to the earth to let your car idle, but in some states, you can be fined for doing it. A quick, affordable way to remedy this situation is to use a heated car blanket.

Besides being convenient on chilly mornings (and helping you avoid fines), a heated car blanket comes in handy when traveling or even camping. It can double as a regular blanket as well. If you find yourself in an emergency situation, a heated car blanket could save your life.

However, there are a few things to know before purchasing the perfect heated car blanket for your needs.

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If you clock long hours on the road, a heated car blanket can be draped over your shoulders to help ease muscle aches and combat fatigue.

Key considerations

Power

Most heated car blankets get their warming power from the car’s battery. There are two ways they can tap into this power source. You must purchase a blanket that has the plug type that fits the outlet in your car.

12-volt: The first is through the round, 12-volt auxiliary power outlet in your car, usually located on the console between the driver's seat and the passenger's seat.

USB: The second is through a USB port, also usually located between the driver's seat and the passenger's seat, but it can sometimes be found near the radio. Additionally, there may be ports behind the seats for passengers in the back. Also, if you'd like to be able to charge your phone or other device while using your heated car blanket, look for a model with a built-in USB port that allows you to do that.

Battery: Some heated car blankets run off a rechargeable battery. This is your only option if you want to use the blanket when the car isn't running.

Cord

The length of the power cord might not seem like that big of a deal, but it’s important depending on how you want to use your blanket. If you purchase a blanket with a cord that’s too short, only the driver or front passenger will be able to use it. If you anticipate that passengers in the back seat will need to use the blanket, you’ll want one with a power cord that’s at least 6 feet long.

Size

The size of heated car blankets is measured in inches. This measurement is listed in the product's description. Since you’ll be using the blanket while seated, most are not as large as a typical throw. A heated car blanket that is 55 by 40 inches is a decent size for an average adult. If you’re larger or smaller, shop accordingly.

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Did You Know?
Depending on the model and the outside temperature, a heated car blanket can stay warm for about 15 minutes or longer after it has been shut off.
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Features

Material

Heated car blankets are made of a variety of materials from cotton to fleece to velour. If you're in a cold car, you’re probably already wearing a jacket and maybe even a hat and gloves, so the texture of the material may not be that important. That being said, you don’t want an uncomfortable blanket. In short, choose a material that appeals to you: if you like fleece more than velour, then fleece is what you should buy.

Settings

Temperature: Some heated car blankets only have an on/off button, meaning there’s no way to regulate how warm the blanket gets. Ideally, you want a blanket that has a variety of temperature settings — even if they’re just low, medium, and high — so you can select the one that suits your situation.

Auto shutoff: Automatic shutoff is a safety feature that turns off your heated blanket so you won't get too hot or needlessly drain the battery. It's a good idea to look for a model with this feature.

Light: Another handy safety feature is an indicator light that turns on to let you know the product is functioning as expected.

Properties

Water resistance: Some heated car blankets have a water-resistant coating. If you’re worried about spilling something in your car, this is a very useful feature.

Machine washable: One of the problems with heated car blankets is they can be difficult to clean. You can't simply throw one in the washing machine, because the water and agitation can damage the heating elements embedded in the blanket. However, some blankets are machine washable. If this is important to you, remember that you still may have to take precautions while washing it, but it does make caring for your blanket much easier.

Color: If you have a color preference or you just want the blanket to match the interior of your car, you have plenty of options.

Heated car blankets have wires running through the fabric, so it’s best not to fold them. Instead, roll up your blanket for storage so there’s less wear and tear on the wires.

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Heated car blanket prices

With very few exceptions, heated car blankets all fall within a fairly narrow price range. Starting at $20, you can get a blanket made of thinner material that might not have many features or be very large. If you prefer a thicker blanket that has a number of features, such as automatic shutoff, a more flexible heat range, and a longer cord, you'll pay closer to $40. You'll typically find decent performance at a reasonable price between $25 and $30.

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For Your Safety
Almost all electric blanket accidents are the result of using a model past its expected lifespan. Consult the owner's manual to determine when you should discard your heated car blanket (even if it still seems to be working fine).
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Tips

  • Safety first. Never buy a used heated car blanket. Also, never buy a heated car blanket that hasn’t been tested and approved by a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL), such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL). Never leave a heated car blanket turned on and unattended or use more than one at a time. If you spill something on your blanket, immediately shut it off. Don’t use it again until it has thoroughly dried and you’re certain that it hasn’t been damaged.
  • Read the care instructions and inspect the blanket before use. Read, understand, and follow all usage and care directions in the owner's manual. Always inspect the blanket before you use it. Do not use it if it has obvious signs of wear and tear, such as frayed edges or damaged wires. Depending on the material, you may be able to hold the blanket up to the light to inspect the embedded wires for damage. If your blanket shows signs of wear and tear or stops performing the way it should, discard it.
  • Use the blanket correctly. Always put the heated car blanket on top of you; do not sit on top of it. Be careful about any edges that hang off your car seat. You don’t want them getting stuck in the car seat track. Don’t plug in or turn on a heated car blanket that’s still rolled. Only operate your blanket at the heat levels suggested by the manufacturer.
  • Store the blanket correctly. Always wait until your heated blanket is completely cool before rolling it up for storage.
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Individuals who like to take lunch in their car can use a heated car blanket to keep cozy on winter afternoons.

FAQ

Q. Are heated car blankets safe?

A. Heated car blankets are like toaster ovens: they’re safe when used as directed. As long as you follow the manufacturer's recommendations and adhere to the safety guidelines outlined above, it should be perfectly safe. That being said, there are certain individuals who shouldn’t use a heated car blanket.

Q. Who shouldn’t use a heated car blanket?

A. Heated car blankets are safe for most people, but infants, the elderly, pregnant women, and people who are cognitively impaired or who can’t effectively communicate that they’re too hot should avoid using a heated car blanket. Individuals who can’t remove the blanket themselves also shouldn’t use this product. Additionally, anyone who has a condition such as diabetes or poor circulation that results in an insensitivity to heat should also refrain from using a heated car blanket.

Q. What about electromagnetic fields? Aren't they dangerous?

A. Electromagnetic fields (EMF) are everywhere. In fact, if there were no electromagnetic fields, compasses wouldn’t work. Extremely low frequency (ELF) electromagnetic fields don’t possess the power to hurt you on their own. A heated car blanket produces an extremely low frequency electromagnetic field (ELF-EMF). According to the National Cancer Institute, "No mechanism by which ELF-EMFs or radio-frequency radiation could cause cancer has been identified." So, the current stance of the medical community is that the EMF produced by a heated car blanket is safe.

Q. How do I clean a heated car blanket?

A. The first and best option is to consult the owner's manual. In general, most are not machine washable. If your blanket gets dirty, spot cleaning is typically the best remedy.

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