When the weather gets cold, you may start to consider an electric blanket – especially if your home isn’t very well insulated or you’re one of those who insists on sleeping with the window open for fresh air, despite glacial temperatures outside. A run-of-the-mill duvet just won’t cut it and you’ll need a bit of extra heat to ensure your toes don’t fall off. On top of that, there’s just something miserable about crawling into an unwarmed bed on a cold winter night.
An electric blanket can warm your bed before you get in, or help you maintain a steady temperature right through to the moment the alarm goes off.
While electric blankets used to have a reputation for being thick and uncomfortable, modern versions are thinner and lighter – not to mention safer and a lot more efficient, so they’re fine for everyday use. All the same, you’ll want to choose carefully to make sure you get a reliable bedwarmer.
Best electric blanket: At a glance
How to choose the best electric blanket for you
How much do I need to spend?
An electric blanket is a cheap way to stay warm at night. Obviously, larger blankets cost more, but you can buy a decent king-size blanket from a major brand for under £30; even the more feature-packed options come in under £100. Running costs are usually between 1p and 4p per night.
Are electric blankets safe to use?
The idea of waking up in the middle of the night on fire isn’t exactly going to (excuse the pun) warm you to the idea of buying an electric blanket, and so many people are put off buying one due to safety concerns. However, electric blankets are perfectly safe as long as you buy from a respected brand and retailer.
When looking to buy an electric blanket, it’s important to buy from a reputable retailer and check that it has the UK safety standard mark. That means you shouldn’t buy secondhand blankets as they may no longer meet safety standards. There are also some things you should avoid doing when using the blanket to make sure you stay as safe as possible.
- Don’t use the blanket whilst it’s still folded or creased
- Don’t use a hot water bottle at the same time
- Don’t get the blanket wet
- Don’t insert or use pins to hold the blanket in place on the bed
What kinds of electric blanket are there?
Blankets come in two basic types: heated mattress covers or pads that sit on top of the mattress but beneath the sheets, warming you and the duvet from below. Meanwhile, an overblanket slips inside your duvet cover to keep you cosy from above – some versions replace your duvet entirely.
Which you choose is largely a matter of personal preference, but manufacturers of memory foam mattresses often advise against heated pads because they restrict the mattress’s ability to mould to your body, and there’s a risk of the foam itself getting damaged in the long term.
What differences are there between blankets?
All electric blankets warm your bed, but they differ in how long they take to heat up and how much control you have over the temperature. Some take under five minutes to warm up, while others take substantially longer. That’s not necessarily a problem if your blanket has a timer and your bedtimes are regular, but it’s worth thinking about.
All blankets have a range of heat settings, but the number might vary from three to 12. More advanced blankets might even have different settings for different zones, so you can have additional heat for your feet or different heat levels for the two sides of a double bed.
What other things should I look out for?
Beyond that, think about materials – do you want a flat underblanket or something fleecy that holds the warmth? And then there are practicalities such as the length of the cable and the position of the controls. These are usually simple plastic modules attached by a cable to the side of the blanket, but some are removable to make it easier to wash or clean the blanket. Being machine-washable is clearly a good thing, although not all blankets can be tumble-dried.
Finally, it’s always worth double-checking the safety features. A BEAB Approved Mark is a must, showing that the blanket has had appropriate testing, and you should also look for features such as an overheating safety cutout or an automatic shutdown so you can’t leave your blanket on all day by accident.
2. Monogram Konnect: The best “smart” electric blanket
Price: From £179 |