Best Electric Blankets of 2019

An electric blanket gives you warm, restful sleep on long, frigid nights. Our shopping guide is here to help you find the best electric blanket so you can get your much-needed Z's.

Banish Jack Frost with a Cozy Electric Blanket This Winter

If winter is winning the cold war in your bedroom, there's a solution: an electric blanket. No longer the stiff, uncomfortable, and somewhat dangerous devices from your grandma's time, today's electric blankets are soft and attractive. Most are even machine-washable.

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So, if you're ready to buy an electric blanket, go ahead and check out the three recommendations in our matrix above. All are quality products that will keep you warm on a cold winter's night. But if you'd like to learn more about electric blankets first, including options, styles, and safety features, then read on. Up ahead: a night of blissfully warm and cozy sleep.

Look for a statement of approval from Underwriters Laboratories (UL-certified) on any electric blanket you're considering. This means the blanket meets current safety requirements.

Why Use an Electric Blanket?

The most obvious reason for using an electric blanket is the guaranteed warmth it provides, but the advantages extend beyond that.

  • If you like extra warmth but don't want the extra weight of multiple blankets, an electric blanket fills both requirements.
  • Keeping your bed extra-warm means you can turn down the thermostat for the rest of the house, thus saving a bit of cash on your utility bills.
  • If you have arthritis or suffer from general aches and pains in your muscles or joints, the soothing warmth of the blanket can help you sleep better.
  • With an electric blanket, you can prewarm your bed. No more slipping between icy sheets at bedtime.
  • If you share your bed, a dual-control electric blanket makes it possible to tailor each sleeper's half of the bed to his or her preferred temperature.

If you just want a heated blanket for lounging on the couch, consider an electric throw or travel blanket instead of a bed-size electric blanket. These smaller versions are just as warm and cozy, but they are better-suited for use outside the bedroom.

Choosing the Right Electric Blanket

The electric blankets of yesteryear were scratchy and rough with stiff inner wires that poked and prodded. Fortunately, technology stepped in, and today you'll find electric blankets that are every bit as comfortable as other blankets.

Fabric

Most electric blankets are made of a synthetic material like polyester. In fact, you'll find electric blankets made of several polyester varieties, including microfleece, faux shearling, micro plush, and flannel.

Design

While some electric blankets have a solid, flat surface like a traditional blanket, it's more common to find electric blankets with a quilted or channeled surface. These quilts or channels are designed to keep the wires contained.

Color

Whether you like neutrals, pastels, white, or dark colors, you'll find an electric blanket to suit your preference. If your bedroom's color scheme matters to you, don't settle for the first color you lay eyes on; choose a color that complements your decor.

Wires

While electric blankets are generally more flexible and soft than those from decades back, they do still contain wires, which can be a problem if you are very sensitive. Thinner wires are less likely to be detected through the fabric.

Cord

Electric blankets normally have a cord attachment at the bottom. Measure the distance between the foot of your bed and the nearest electrical outlet to see how long the cord needs to be. Most manufacturers warn against the use of an extension cord with the blanket. The ideal electric blanket has a cord that reaches the outlet without stretching excessively or creating a tripping hazard.

Decades ago, there was concern about the possibility that the electromagnetic field (EMF) of an electric blanket might cause cancer. Despite extensive research, this concern was never proven true. Nevertheless, blanket manufacturers changed their product design to reduce EMFs in 1992.

Questions to Ask Before Buying an Electric Blanket

Although an electric blanket is a simple device, there are a few features that might make one a better choice for you than another. Ask yourself these questions before investing in an electric blanket.

  • Does my bed partner prefer a different temperature than I do? If so, you may wish to buy a dual-control electric blanket. This type of blanket allows each person to adjust the temperature on their side of the bed. You'll find the dual-control feature on some queen- and king-size electric blankets.
  • How much control do I want over the temperature of my electric blanket? A less-expensive blanket might offer only two or three temperature settings. However, most electric blankets today offer a wide range of heat levels from which to choose.
  • Am I a light sleeper? Is my partner a light sleeper? It might not seem like a big deal, but a very light sleeper might be bothered if there's a loud click when his or her partner changes the blanket temperature setting. The click is a common problem with analog-style dials. If you or your partner are light sleepers, you may wish to buy an electric blanket with a digital dial instead, as digital dials create no sound.
  • Do you want the luxury of climbing into a preheated bed at night? If so, consider an electric blanket with a preheat function. Set your blanket to preheat before bedtime, and it will quickly warm your bed, then automatically reset to your desired temperature setting.
  • Do you want an electric blanket that will regulate its temperature automatically? If so, consider a blanket with an auto-adjust feature. These blankets automatically detect changes in temperature and adjust their settings accordingly.
Don't expect your electric blanket to last a lifetime; most wear out or fail within several years.

Electric Blanket Safety Tips

  • If you notice fraying, cracking, or any type of damage to the cord of an electric blanket, do not use it.
  • Avoid placing items, including another blanket, on top of your electric blanket while it's in use.
  • Never bunch or fold the wired portion of an electric blanket while it's in use. The blanket must be smoothly spread over the bed to avoid crimping and damage to the wires.
  • Do not run your electric blanket's electrical cord between the mattress and the bed's foundation. Similarly, do not run it beneath rugs, furniture, or other objects. While the risk is slight, doing so creates a fire hazard.
  • Fold your electric blanket loosely and store it in a cool, dry place when not in use. This will help prevent damage to the wires.
  • Automatic shutoff is a safety must-have. This feature switches the electric blanket off after a set period—typically 10 hours.

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Electric Blankets are Safe for Adult Use Only

While electric blankets are safe for just about every adult, they are not recommended for babies, young children, pets, or anyone with skin sensitivity.

Electric Blanket FAQ

Q. Can I launder my electric blanket in the washing machine?
A. It's common for electric blankets to be machine-washable these days, and many can also be popped in the dryer. (You'll need to detach the cord before washing, of course.) But you'll still find some blankets that require hand-washing and/or blankets that cannot go into the dryer. Check the manufacturer's instructions to learn how to best clean your electric blanket.

Q. How much does an electric blanket cost?
A. Generally, you can expect to pay between $80 and $150 for a queen-size electric blanket with desirable features like dual-control and preheat. An electric blanket that is smaller in size or has fewer features will likely cost less than that, while a king-size electric blanket may cost a bit more.

The last thing you want to do in the middle of the night is switch on your bedside lamp so you can find and adjust your electric blanket's temperature. A control dial with a backlight or glowing digital display makes in-the-dark changes easy.

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