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Electric Blankets & Safety Considerations

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Written By Anđela Rajković

Certified Sleep Consultant

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1 April 2024 5 min read

This winter just calls for electric blankets! If you want to be snug as a bug in the rug, go and get yourself one. But do keep these safety considerations in mind!

However, ‘go and get yourself one' is easier said than done. First, you have to know what an eclectic blanket is. Then, it would be best if you familiarised yourself with all the safety regulations (because, as always, it is much easier said than done). And, finally, you have to choose a blanket (size, material, features) that suits your needs and preferences.

But, don't you worry – you have The Sleep Advisors to help you out! Thus, give us a chance to tell you all about electric blankets.

And, who knows, maybe after reading this article, you will want to buy an electric blanket instantly. In that case, you will need to know how to take care of it so that you, and everybody around you, can be safe and sound. And, of course, so that everybody can be warm and cosy.

What are electric blankets & why do we need them?

An image of a woman sleeping.

Before we start talking about the best electric blankets and all the things you need to do to stay safe while using them, let us first tell you what these things actually are. Namely, an electric blanket is a blanket with integrated electrical elements that produce heat.

We usually place them on top of our ‘regular' blankets as an extra heating layer. In most cases, all electrical blankets have the so-called heat settings – settings you use to control the heat. Some blankets of this kind have a timer that you can program to turn on and off when you need them to.

Moreover, don't confuse electric blankets with heated blankets. A heated blanket does not have those integrated electrical elements that produce heat, those that we mentioned before. Instead, a heated blanket, in order to produce heat, uses some external source – an electric pad or coil, for example.

Benefits of electric blankets

An image of a woman winking and showing an 'ok' sign with her hand.

Believe it or not, but having and using an electric blanket has many benefits.

For instance, one of the biggest benefits is that you can warm yourself up without turning on the heating in your home. This can be extremely beneficial during colder months when heating prices tend to cost an arm and a leg.

With an electric blanket, you will be able to turn off that heating during the night, or when you plan on having a longer nap. So, yes, electric blankets are energy efficient.

Moreover, electric blankets help our circadian rhythms stay on track. Namely, if you are feeling cold, or if your temperature fluctuates a lot before bedtime, you will have difficulties falling asleep. This is where electric blankets can come into play

By warming us, they can give signals to our bodies that it's time to hit the bed. And, that is not all, electric blankets help us fall asleep faster and enable us to stay asleep longer and without waking up!
If some part of your body hurts while sleeping, an electric blanket can help out! You probably know that you should put something warm on the parts of your body that aches (on your neck, back, joints, etc), and with electric blankets, you will not have to worry about warmth at all.

And, of course, we cannot but mention the ultimate benefit of electric blankets – they bring cuddling to a whole other level. Just imagine this – it is a cold, winter day (or night), you play some of the best Netflix series to watch out of your bed (or your favourite film), you call your lover over, and you both snuggle under the blanket all day and night long.

Alternatives to electric blankets

It would be a shame to talk about electric blankets and not mention some of the alternatives as well. Namely, besides the electric and heated blankets, to stay warm, you can also get a heated throw or a heated poncho.

If you have bad circulation in your feet or hands, you can also get some of those feet and hand warmers. People who have back and neck problems can benefit from back and neck warmers as well.

Top 6 electric blankets' safety considerations

Now that you know what electric blankets are, let us talk about some safety measures.

Inspect the electric blanket before using

The first thing you should do when taking your electric blanket out of the box is inspecting it. Check the cable – it should look intact. Then, check the blanket from all sides – there should be no holes, no wires sticking out, no fleece missing, etc.

And, why is this important? Well, it is rather simple – as the name suggests, electric blankets (and electric throws and heated ponchos, etc-) are powered by electricity. So, if something goes wrong, well, you won't get electrocuted, but, you might get hurt.

Avoid putting anything on top of it

You should always put your electric blanket on top of all other blankets or duvets you are using. And, you should never put anything on top of an electric blanket. Why? Because of the overheat protection. When something is placed on top of an electric blanket, the blanket starts emitting more heat – a lot more than you actually need.

Store it safely when not using

Once you are done using your blanket, find a safe place to store it. it should be somewhere where there is no debris and humidity. Moreover, be sure to know how to store your electric blanket properly. Clean it, that is spot dry it and then turn it on to make sure all the humidity in it is gone. After this, roll up your blanket while making sure that the cord is between the layers of the blanket.

Pay attention to the cord

Speaking of the cord, just as previously mentioned, you should always inspect it before using it. If you notice any problems with it, don't use your electric blanket – you can get hurt. Then, when you do use the blanket, make sure you (and nobody else) are not stepping on the cord or leaving something heavy on it as this can damage it.

If you run them all night, run them on low

Many people like to use electric blankets not only to stay warm but also to fall asleep easier, avoid waking up in the middle of the night, and waking up fully rested. If you want to use your electric blanket for this purpose, then you will have to use it all night long. But, be careful – your heat settings should always be on low! If they are on high – you can easily overheat.

Keep the pets away from it

This one just goes without saying – but, hey, it doesn't hurt to mention. Namely, don't let your pets sleep on this blanket. They may chew it and get hurt. If you want a heated blanket for your pet, you can get one of those heated pet pads that you can put on the pet's bed that you chose.

How to take care of your blanket

An image of a fire extinguisher.

Besides paying attention to all the safety measures mentioned above and besides using the right settings, there are some other things you have to do to ensure your electric blanket is in top-notch condition.

Every once in a while, take your blanket outside. Of course, make sure the ‘outside' is warm and dry first. Leave your blanket for a couple of hours there to get rid of the dust. Moreover, if you have some dirt on your blanket, spot-clean it. Don't use water!

Moreover, if you have a blanket that can be machine washed (yes, those exist as well), wash it after and before the winter season. But, don't use temperatures above 30'C when washing it as that can damage the wires inside the blanket.

Top 2 electric blankets

Now that you know all about electric blankets, let us share some of our top picks. To be more precise, we're going to highlight two heated blankets that we especially liked. But this is far from our full list of recommendations! For that, you'll have to head over to our buyer's guide on electric blankets.

Silentnight Electric Blanket

An image of a Silentnight Electric Blanket

If you want the best electric blanket on the market, one that will keep your bed warm at all times, you just can't go wrong with the Silentnight Electric Blankets.

This soft (but bulky) blanket can help you curl up in your bed and get the rest you need. It has two heat levels, in three sizes, and in one colour and material -white fleece.

Check it out here: Silentnight Electric Blanket review.

Advantages

An icon depicting a ruler indicating size
Multiple sizes
You can get the size that fits you best
An icon depicting a thermometer
Protection against overheating
The blanket is protected from overheating
An icon depicting a washing machine, illustrating a product that is suitable for machine washing
Easy maintenance
The blanket is machine-washable

Disadvantages

Slick-design-con
Bulky controller
The controller could have been a bit smaller
An icon depicting chain links indicating low durability
Not the best durability
Some people have complained about the durability
an icon depicting that the product is not suitable for everyone
Might not suit everyone
Some people don't find it to be the comfiest

Snuggledown Intelligent Warmth Multi-Zone Double Electric Blanket

A product image of the Snuggledown Intelligent Warmth Multi Zone Double Electric Blanket

And, if you are looking for something with more heat settings and dual control to keep your bed and all other pieces of your furniture warm, you can get yourself the Snuggledown Intelligent Warmth Multi-Zone Double Electric Blanket.

Using this blanket is a perfect way to feel toasty even on those coldest nights of winter. Trust us, it is always handy to have something like this in your home – if nothing, it will bring you peace of mind.

Advantages

An icon depicting different groups of people
Will suit just about everyone
With 9 different heat settings, it will suit just about anyone
Nap-pro
Auto shut-off
The blanket will turn off before overheating
An icon depicting a thermometer illustrating a good thermo regulating properties
2 different temperature zones
This means you and your partner can have individual heat levels

Disadvantages

Slick-design-con
The controller is a bit awkward
Multiple people have complained about the controller
An icon depicting a money bag indicating an expensive product
Pricey
Not a budget-friendly blanket

Conclusion

Overall, we'd say that most people could benefit from an electric blanket. And as long as you follow the safety considerations we've laid out, you shouldn't run into any issues! But what is your experience? Have you ever had any issues with an electric blanket? Let us know in the comments.

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About the author

Anđela Rajković
As a CPD certified Sleep Consultant and well-practiced sleep enthusiast, I find a lot of joy in bringing my expertise to our readers – preferably those who love to sleep. With a background in the English language and literature and a love of research, I'm always seeking new ways to share the latest sleep science and bed-related findings. And, when I'm not connecting with my readers, you can find me exploring the great outdoors, or, well, curling up in bed.
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