Three best electric blankets
When winter rolls around, it can get cold enough that even throwing an extra blanket on the bed isn't enough to keep you warm. But with an electric blanket, you not only get the warmth of an extra layer but actual heating action that can keep you warm and toasty no matter how low the temperature drops.
Not all electric blankets are created equal, though. That's why it's important to know exactly what to look for when you go shopping if you wind up the best option for your needs. You need to choose the proper safety considerations and material, as well as the other features that will make an electric blanket work best for your home. Sorting through all the choices can be tough, which is why shopping can definitely get a little confusing.
Our shopping guide can help combat all that confusion. It's got all the tips you need for choosing the best electric blanket -- and if you're still not sure what blanket to go with, we've got specific product recommendations to make shopping even easier.
Considerations when choosing electric blankets
For many shoppers, safety issues are a primary concern when choosing an electric blanket. Only buy a blanket that's been certified by Underwriters Laboratories, an independent testing authority, to meet electric bedding safety standards.
It's also important to select a blanket that's equipped with an auto shutoff feature. That allows the blanket to automatically turn itself off after a certain amount of time, so you don't have to worry about falling with asleep with the blanket on.
In the past, electric blankets had a bad rep for being made of rough, scratchy materials. These days, you can find heated blankets in a variety of luxury materials, including fleece, micro plush, velvet plush, and faux fur. These heavier, softer materials not only feel better to the touch, but they also provide extra warmth for cold winter nights.
Care and maintenance
Most modern electric blankets are actually machine washable, which makes caring for them much easier. However, they're usually not machine dryable, so you'll have to allow your blanket to air dry after cleaning.
Electric blankets are available in a variety of sizes, so there's bound to be an option to suit your needs. If you plan to use the blanket for your bed, match its size to the size of your mattress. If you only want to use the blanket when you're watching a movie on the couch, an electric throw-size blanket is a good choice.
Most electric blankets have a variety of heat settings so you can choose the appropriate temperature for your needs. Some only have three settings -- low, medium, and high -- while others have as many as 20.
If you're using an electric blanket on your bed, it's a good idea to choose an option with multiple heating zones. That allows you to choose the appropriate temperature for your side of the bed, while your partner can customize the heat setting for their side as well.
In addition to using an electric blanket for warmth, you may want to use the heating action to treat a joint or muscle. Look for a model with a timer so you can set the blanket to treat your injury for a specific amount of time without overheating the area.
Q. What is the best type of controls for an electric blanket?
A. Most electric blankets have either a dial or digital controls. Digital controls are usually more precise in terms of temperature selection, and they don't make noise like dials do so you won't disturb your partner if you're using the blanket in bed.
Q. Is it safe to use an electric blanket if I have pets?
A. If your pets sleep in bed with you, there's a chance that may damage the heating element or expose wires with their teeth or claws. To avoid any danger for you or your four-legged friend, choose a low-voltage electric blanket to lower the risk of a shock.
Electric blankets we recommend
Best of the best: Sunbeam Quilted Fleece
Our take: An electric blanket with modern features that offer greater comfort and safety, making it the best option on the market.
What we like: Features low-voltage heating system for safe operation and automatic shutoff after 10 hours. Boasts multiple heat settings and controls so each side of the bed can have its own temperature. Machine washable too.
What we dislike: Wires are visible. Carries a hefty price tag, though its advanced features make it worth the investment.
Best bang for your buck: SoftHeat Luxury Micro-Fleece Low Voltage Heated Blanket
Our take: Its thick microfleece, discrete wires, and other advanced features mean you get your money's worth with this blanket.
What we like: Offers two different zones with separate controls. Heating grid design eliminates cold spots that are common with lower quality blankets. Can be cleaned in a washing machine too.
What we dislike: Some users find it develops an odor over time. The two heating zones each require their own outlet.
Our take: A quality blanket from a trusted brand that offers outstanding customer service.
What we like: Boasts a generous size, dual controls, and excellent safety features. Offers an attractive appearance and machine-washable design too. Backed by an impressive warranty.
What we dislike: Doesn't come in many colors. Some users experience shrinking and pilling of the fabric. Insulation isn't as impressive as some higher-end options.
Jennifer Blair is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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