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Why Is My Electric Blanket Not Working? Here's a Quick List of Fixes

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Written by Alex Petrović

Sleep Consultant

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5 December 2023 5 min read

While electric blankets are the king at keeping you cosy during winter, they can also be tricky to operate. So, if you're electric blanket isn't working, here's what you need to do!

While electric blankets aren't all that expensive, most people would probably like to fix the blanket that they have rather than buy a new one. And while modern electric blankets do come with plenty of fail-safes, they can still stop working out of the blue.

So, let's talk about how electric blankets work and what could be causing the malfunction. However, we will note right away that you shouldn't mess with the electric blanket while it's still on, as you could be harmed in the process. And if you're unsure of your ability to fix the blanket, call a professional.

Why is my electric blanket not working?

As with most electronics, electric blankets can “die out of the blue”. After all, just one faulty wire can make it so that the entire blanket no longer heats up. And figuring out exactly what went wrong in the circuit board or the heating element can be a bit complicated.

So, we're going to stick to the basics. In other words, if your electric blanket no longer works, here are the first things we'd suggest checking out before chucking it into a bin.

Checking the outlet

An image of an outlet

If your heated blanket suddenly stops working, the first thing you should do is check whether the outlet it's connected to actually works.

You can do this by simply plugging in a different device into the same wall outlet and seeing whether it turns on.

Something like your phone charger should do the trick.

Then if you see that your phone also doesn't charge, your electric blanket is probably fine and you should call someone to check the outlet itself.

Checking the fuse box

An image of a fuse box

On a similar note to the previous example, you should check whether you have a blown fuse.

If you recently got a new electrical appliance, perhaps even the electric blanket itself, the added load could have blown a fuse.

Like in the previous example, if you see that one or more outlets have stopped working over night, this might be the issue.

Best case scenario, you can just flip a switch and turn the power back on.

But if substantial damage has been done to the wires inside, you might need to call an electrician.

Check the controller of the electric blanket

Whether it's a heated blanket or a heated throw, the controller is the first part of the actual blanket that you want to check out. After all, it's the “command centre” of the entire blanket and is usually the thing that gets damaged.

So, check whether there are any loose connections or damaged wires going in and out of the controller. You can also try to take the controller off and check for any visible damage that way. And if it has dual control, check both controllers individually.

Play around with the settings

If you're electric blanket suddenly stops working, it could be a good idea to play around with the setting a bit before ruling that it's out of commission. This is because many electric blankets have features that will turn the heating off for a bit.

For example, a lot of modern electric blankets have overheat protection. This means that it simply got too hot and needs to cool off a bit before you can use it again. It could also be a blown-out thermal fuse.

And some electric blankets have an automatic timer that might have gone off at some point. So, unplug the electric blanket, leave it out for 20-30 minutes, plug it back in and try out different temperatures and heat settings. Maybe it just has a slow start.

Why is my Silentnight electric blanket not working?

Recently, we've also been asked about the Silentnight electric blanket in particular. And while we're sure there are more popular heated blankets on the market, we wanted to address this one specifically to help our Advisee out.

Generally, the Silentnight electric blanket is pretty standard in terms of its construction. AKA we suggest going through the troubleshooting process we described in the previous section. And take note that the Silentnight electric blanket does have overheat protection. So, give it a bit of time.

How long does it take for an electric blanket to heat up?

During cold winter nights, you probably don't have a lot of patience and want your new blanket to be nice and toasty right away. However, modern electric blankets are made to prevent overheating, both your and the wires, so it usually takes them a bit of time.

From what we could find, most electric blankets need at least 30 minutes to get nice and toasty. Maybe a bit more or less depending on how warm they can get. But generally, don't expect 40-degree heating after just a few minutes.

How to safely use your electric blanket

An image of a person using an electric blanket and reading a book in front of a fireplace

Whether you fixed your electric blanket and want to avoid damaging it again or just want to know whether you were doing something you weren't supposed to, we have you covered.

After all, an electric blanket falls into that weird category between bedding and electronics, so, it's not always clear exactly how they should be used.

So, we're just going to go over a few of the most common questions people tend to have about electric blankets and how to use them properly.

Can you use an electric blanket upside down?

This depends from one model to another. If there's a clearly labelled “up side”, then it's safe to assume that the electric blanket has to be used in that way.

However, if the electric blanket is identical on both sides and there are no instructions in the care manual about it, the blanket is likely two-faced and can be used both ways.

Can you drape the electric blanket over yourself?

Sometimes labels are very important. If what you have is an electric blanket, then it shouldn't be draped over you. Electric blankets should be strapped to your mattress or mattress topper, underneath the bottom sheet.

However, if it's an electric throw, then it can be draped over you.

While it might be difficult to distinguish the two, read the care guide carefully and you should find the information there. Also, if the blanket has straps, it's almost certainly an electric blanket and not a throw.

How to store an electric blanket?

Since an electric blanket has wires and a heating element, you need to be careful how you store it. Generally, there isn't one ideal way to go about it, so it's best to read the care manual. For the Silentnight electric blankets, for example, they suggest carefully rolling up the blankets and then putting them away.

This is because folding the blanket could put more tension on the wires, leading them to fray and get damaged.

Also, this should go without saying, place the electric blanket somewhere completely dry and where they can't be reached by pets or toddlers – or anything else that likes to nibble.

Why is my electric blanket not heating up?

If more than 30 minutes have passed and the electric blanket is still completely cold, check the outlet. If it's also functional, some of the wires have likely been damaged.

Conclusion

All in all, if your electric blanket is not working as it should, don't panic. Check the outlet, the wires, the cord, and the controller. If there's no visible damage, you can try getting into the controller itself if you have the skills to handle electronics.

Otherwise, call a professional or see if the brand can replace your old electric blanket with a new one.

Comments (2)

keith harris 23/02/2024

Am now on my 4th silent night electric throw in 4 months. They last a month and then just give up the ghost. I think they’re incredibly poor quality. Not sure what type to buy next


The Sleep Advisors 26/02/2024

Hi Keith,
Our independent reviewers test the best electric blankets on the market frequently and update our list of the best ones frequently.
You can see the buyer's guide here – https://www.thesleepadvisors.co.uk/best-electric-blankets/

Always good to hear users opinions after a few months of use though, thanks for updating us!


About the author

Alex Petrović
Sleep Consultant
A CPD certified Sleep Consultant with more than 2000 hours of research into all the different ways we can get a great night's sleep. As a former insomniac, I know how difficult life can be without a nightly recovery and I love that I get to share everything I've learned with you all. So hopefully we can all sleep soundly!
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