Which electric blanket is best?

When the wind is howling outside, you might feel a chill in your bones that no amount of blankets can chase away. If you live in a cold climate, have a hard time sleeping in cold weather or just want more warmth at night, an electric blanket can help. Electric blankets provide warmth without causing your home heating bill to jump, and they are an easy solution to a chilly problem.

The Westinghouse Electric Blanket is beautiful, comfortable and provides ample heat for the coldest winter nights.

What to know before you buy an electric blanket

Size

As with their nonelectric counterparts, electric blankets come in sizes to fit standard beds (e.g., twin, full, queen and king). If you have an oversized mattress, make sure the blanket you choose is large enough for it.

Materials

Electric blankets in the past were made of a thin, poorly insulated material that was not naturally warm. These days, electric blankets made of thick, comfy fabrics like fleece, flannel and wool are warm even when not plugged in. 

Once you determine what you want your blanket fabric to feel like, check the grams per square meter. That number tells you how much insulation your blanket has, and a higher GSM means more warmth even when the blanket’s not turned on. 

Number of settings

Some electric blankets come with three heat settings — low, medium and high — while others come with 10 or more. Although it’s nice to precisely dial in your perfect temperature, consider whether you really need all 10 settings (and want to pay for them). Five are enough for most people. 

What to look for in a quality electric blanket

Dual controls

When two people share a bed, chances are good they will need different levels of warmth throughout the night. If this sounds like you, look for a blanket with dual controls to customize the heating level on either side of the bed. 

Easy care

While it may seem crazy to throw an electric blanket into a washing machine, these days that’s not outside the realm of possibility. Look for machine-washable and dryer-safe blankets for easy care.

If your electric blanket is not machine-washable, follow the manufacturer’s instructions to keep it clean. 

Automatic shut-off

An automatic shut-off protects your blanket from overheating and saves energy. Because our core body temperature drops at night, most blankets with this feature turn off automatically after three hours, improving your chance of a perfect night of sleep. 

Reversible

The last thing you want is an electric blanket that looks like an electric blanket. With reversible ones, not only can you change the look of your bed instantly, but you also have a piece of bed linen that looks elegant, not wired.

How much you can expect to spend on an electric blanket

The price depends on its size and the material from which it’s made. Expect to spend $40-$80 on a queen-size blanket. 

Electric blanket FAQ

Are electric blankets safe?

A. They’re remarkably safe, but there are a few precautions you should take.

  • Do not use a blanket that has wires that are cut or damaged.
  • Do not sit or lie on top of the blanket, and don’t let pets lie on it either. This extra weight can damage the blanket’s wires.
  • Don’t use your blanket on its maximum setting at all times. Use just enough heat to get the warmth you need. 
  • Avoid buying used or vintage electric blankets. It can be difficult to tell whether they have been damaged, and older blankets are not manufactured to the same level of safety.

Can you use an electric blanket on a memory foam mattress?

A. Because there is a slight chance that the blanket’s hidden wires can melt memory foam, stick to regular blankets if you sleep on foam. This also includes memory-foam mattress toppers.

Are electric blankets cheaper than space heaters?

A. Yes. Depending on size, space heaters take 500-1,000 watts of electricity to run, while an electric blanket takes no more than 200 watts, even on the highest setting.

Electric blankets also heat just the space you need — the bed you’re lying in — instead of heating the entire room.

What’s the best electric blanket to buy?

Top electric blanket

Westinghouse Electric Blanket

Westinghouse Electric Blanket

What you need to know: It’s easy to operate and customize.

What you’ll love: With a 220 GSM and a thick Sherpa lining, this blanket is warm and cozy. It is reversible and uses a digital control to personalize heating. It has 10 heat settings, features protection against overheating and is fully machine-washable and dryer-safe. 

What you should consider: If you plan on using this with a generator or power bank, look for another blanket. It is not compatible with this type of off-grid power supply. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Macy’s

Top electric blanket for the money

Sunbeam Heated Throw Blanket

Sunbeam Heated Throw Blanket

What you need to know: It is a lightweight blanket that is not bulky and works well under regular bedding for extreme cold. 

What you’ll love: It has three heat settings and an automatic shut-off after three hours of use. ThermoFine technology distributes heat evenly, and this blanket is machine-washable and dryer-safe.

What you should consider: Some reviewers found it too thin for use as their primary blanket. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Bedsure Heated Blanket

Bedsure Heated Blanket 

What you need to know: It looks elegant and heats well. 

What you’ll love: It reaches the temperature you want in less than 20 minutes. It has five heat settings and is made from sherpa fabric. The heating wires are thin and barely perceptible. 

What you should consider: The power cord is short, and it does not always heat up evenly. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

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Suzannah Kolbeck writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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