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With its herringbone detailing, this electric throw will look the part whether it's draped over you or your sofa. We found it was a great size to snuggle under, providing ample coverage, while its thick, velvety finish was soft against skin.
This great-value under-blanket was the top scorer on our dual control tests; it kept a steady temperature all night on both sides, even when we varied the temperatures. Plus, the controls are easily accessible.
Combine chilly temperatures with a drafty house, and you could end up with high utility bills. But using electric bedding to heat your bed costs just pennies a night. We think most people will be happiest with a heated mattress pad, which traps heat a bit better. The Sunbeam Zoned Heated Mattress Pad allows you to adjust the heat of three different areas along the pad (six if you get the queen or king size), and it also adds plush comfort to your bed, with less noticeable wiring than other models. If heated mattress pads are sold out, or you want the ease of a blanket, we recommend the Sunbeam Velvet Plush Heated Blanket.
This process led us to seven mattress pads and eight electric blankets to test. In 2022, we tested one additional mattress pad, our current pick, since our previous mattress pad pick was experiencing prolonged stock issues.
All of the electric blankets we tried had problems, ranging from unpleasant-feeling fabric to particularly noticeable wires. In our test group, the Sunbeam Velvet Plush Heated Blanket was the best, since its overall combination of softness, performance, controls, and safety features helped it edge out the competition.
In our tests, the Velvet Plush got hot and toasty within 20 minutes, similar to the other blankets we tried. The version we received for testing had a manually adjustable dial with 10 heat settings (and no preheat option). The type of controller may vary depending on where you order the blanket.
Like all Sunbeam heated bedding items, this blanket requires a single outlet even for the dual-controller versions. Blankets we tested from other manufacturers required two separate outlets. It also has the safety latched plug for the port at the base of the blanket, another feature exclusive to Sunbeam bedding.
We think the wires in this blanket might shift more over time than those in other blankets (like the Biddeford blankets we tried). The channels sewn into the Sunbeam design are wider, which can allow the wires to shift from side to side, possibly producing hot and cold spots.
Heated bedding is low on the list of common causes of household fires, said John Drengenberg, the consumer safety director at UL. According to a 2019 home electrical fires report from the National Fire Protection Association (which compiles data from fire departments around the US), mattresses or bedding caused 3% of all home electrical fires from 2012 through 2016, about 270 fires per year.
In that article, the MoneySavingExpert breaks down the cost of using electric blankets to stay warm. At the calculated 1.47 a week, based on seven hours of use a day, these cosy designs are significantly more affordable than turning on the heating, which would set households back almost 76 a week.
Fur is what our ancestors would have pulled on to ward off the cold. Today, we might go for something more ethical, but faux fur blankets can be just as warming, especially when they contain an efficient heating element.
Beyond the practical benefits, it is an efficient and easy-to-use electric blanket that kept us warm at night during testing. Yes, it might have only three heat settings and one control, but this is a real bargain. Plus, it is well made from a soft fleece material, will cost you about 1p a night to run and comes with a three-year guarantee. There is so much to like about this blanket.
The six temperature settings are more than enough to keep you comfortable at night, and the dual controls make this blanket ideal for couples. We especially liked that this electric blanket is designed with a deep elasticated skirt, much like a fitted sheet, which made it super easy to fit on the mattress and kept it securely in place over several nights of sleep.
You can expect a night of running the blanket to set you back a mere 2p, and it comes with a three-year guarantee. One thing to note though is that this is said to be unsuitable for use with memory foam mattresses.
We loved how quickly it warmed up, and the six settings were perfect for achieving the ideal temperature. The single and double electric mattress protector come with a single control pad for warming the entire bed, but there is the option of two controllers for adjusting each side of the bed independently with the dual double, king and super king versions.
It uses low-voltage technology, with a small power supply box that changes 115 volt AC power into non-hazardous DC power for added protection and safety (even if the blanket becomes wet). It operates on less than 25 volts, about the same amount of current it takes to operate a light bulb.
Some users report that SoftHeat takes longer to heat up than a traditional heating blanket, due to its use of DC power, but we found that its unique preheat feature put it on par with the other blankets we tested. The indulgent and incredibly soft microplush fabric exudes a soft warmth.
The non-slip digital controller is easy to read and adjust, with a lighted dial and an extra-long cord that was useful to reach outlets in any part of the room. While we tested a full-size blanket, the
With home heating costs on the rise and a move toward preserving natural resources, the low wattage of SoftHeat is an incredible boon to those looking to save money and energy. The Department of Energy estimates the average electric blanket to use 400 watts (although our five finalists used far less), and the low voltage SoftHeat blanket uses only 73 watts according to our test.
We started out our testing process with market research, combing through articles and blogs on the topic of electric blankets. Our research phase involved finding out the features and benefits of using an electric blanket, the safety and care of electric blankets, and the principles of AC and DC power (two options when choosing an electric blanket).
Then we used sources such as subreddits like r/frugal and YouTube video reviews to gather input from consumers on which are the most popular choices for electric blankets, and which features are the most important to users when choosing an electric blanket. This allowed us to narrow the field down to our five finalists.
Finally, we busted out our ruler, scale, infrared thermometer, and Kill A Watt Electricity Usage Monitor to dive into the nitty-gritty details of our electric-blanket finalists to see which would emerge as the best electric blanket.
For this test, we looked at the costs of using each electric blanket on a medium setting for eight hours a night for a period of 50 days. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the average national cost of electricity is about 12 cents per kilowatt hour for residential use, which is the number we used to tally our total costs. (For this 2022 update, the national cost of electricity is 13.72 cents per kilowatt hour, and we adjusted our calculations for the three new blankets we tested accordingly.)
We found that any electric blanket is the least expensive method of heating, with the most expensive blanket to operate (the Sunbeam Olive Sherpa Mink) costing only $7.82 per year. The other AC-powered ranges were also in the $7.00 range.
When the temperature is chilly outside (or inside), the blanket may not feel as hot as it would on a warmer day. This is especially true if the user has a lowered body temperature for any reason, or is prone to feeling cold.
To counteract this objectivity, we used our infrared thermometer as a diagnostic tool. Because it measures temperature within a two-percent plus or two-degree minus range, we felt confident our reading would accurately reflect a true comparison between electric blankets. We checked the exact temperature at high, medium, and low settings. For blankets with ten settings, we checked the temperature at settings one, five, and ten.
The Biddeford Micro Mink & Sherpa blanket reached the highest temperature of all the blankets, at 107.1 degrees Fahrenheit. It also had the widest range of temperatures, with a low setting of 81.7 degrees. Close behind in ranking for the highest temperature were the Serta and SoftHeat blankets, at 105.8 and 105.7 degrees respectively. The Sunbeam Olive Sherpa & Mink blanket ran at the lowest temperature setting, with a high of 85.4 degrees.
First, we measured the spacing of the wires. We looked at the distance between the wires, and how close the wires ran to the edges. The more evenly the heating element is distributed, the more likely it is that the blanket will give off a uniform heat.
We then checked all four corners and the center of each blanket, testing by hand to make sure there were no hot or cold spots. Then we double-checked with the infrared thermometer, again testing all four corners and the center to make sure the heat was distributed evenly.
We looked at four benchmarks for this test: plushness, weight, cord length, and wire thickness. First, we used a ruler to measure the thickness of each blanket to determine the plushness. The fleece-lined blankets (Biddeford Micro Mink Sherpa) were both noticeably more plush to the hand, as well as half a centimeter thicker than the other blankets.
Next, we weighed the blankets. After all, a heavier blanket is warmer in the winter, even before you reach for the controller. The Serta Luxe Plush was the h