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How to Choose the Right Electric Blanket

How to Choose the Right Electric Blanket

Is the chill of the winter just a little too much for you to feel comfortably cuddled in your regular blanket? Well, then an electric blanket, with its temperature control settings, might just be the right thing for you! Just go through this Buzzle article to know how to choose one.
Mukulika Mukherjee
Comfort for Two!
Some electric blankets come with dual controls, which means you can have different temperature settings for each half of the blanket. This is great for two people sharing a blanket.

Come winters, and we're looking for solutions to keep ourselves warm and enjoy a sound sleep. While room heaters are definitely great to warm up the air in the room, nothing can replace the experience of being tucked up in a blanket as you retire for the night. But with sub-zero temperatures outside, a single blanket hardly does the job, and you're often left with no other option but to sleep under a pile of blankets!

Thankfully, there exists a simpler and fuss-free solution, and we call it an electric blanket. An electric blanket, as the name suggests, uses electricity to warm up your bed at night (or whenever you want!), and all YOU need to do is plug it to a power socket, and wait for it to weave its magic. Now, for all those who are wondering how it works, an electric blanket has a network of thin electric wires embedded in it, that heat up when electricity travels through them. The good news is that, it doesn't take much time for the blanket to heat up.

What to Look for When Choosing an Electric Blanket

While an electric blanket is a good investment in more ways than one, there are some factors that you must take into consideration at the time of purchase.

1. Heat Settings

When choosing an electric blanket, you should pay close attention to the settings available. Does it have multiple heat settings or a simple low-medium-high setting? Does it have a built-in timer and temperature sensor? All these features are essential for you to have a sound sleep and peace of mind. Here are some common features and settings that you should look for.
  • Timer that enables automatic switch-off at a pre-set time
  • Multiple settings for temperature
  • User-friendly controls
  • Temperature sensors that help maintain a constant temperature as per your comfort
  • Dual control settings that enable you to set a different temperature for each side of the blanket.
  • Extra foot warmth
Another thing to consider is whether your blanket can be washed and dried in a machine.

2. Size

Electric blankets come in different sizes, for different types of beds. So, the size you choose depends on whether you want it for a single or double bed. Note that electric blankets are not designed to be used in baby cradles, due to issues of safety. You can also go for heated throws that are relatively smaller and lighter, and can be used during the day, or when you're seated on a chair or sofa. Some electric blankets are fitted while others are not. Fitted blankets are of a slightly larger size, which means you can tuck them on the sides.

3. Fabric

Once you've decided on the temperature settings and the size of electric blanket that you prefer, you should consider the fabric. After all, you should choose one that makes you feel comfortable, isn't it? Most people love fleece electric blankets because of the soft feel of the fabric. You can also opt for other types of fabrics, such as microfiber, cotton or polyester.

If you're hyperallergic to bacteria, or suffer from respiratory problems or asthma, you can opt for an anti-bacterial fiber for your electrical blanket.

4. Safety

Always check if the model in question meets the specific safety standards. While electric blankets might be convenient, they are not meant for everyone. To begin with, these are strictly not meant for kids and young children, as they tend to play around with the settings, which can be dangerous. Also, diabetics and pregnant women may experience adverse effects of using an electric blanket for longer durations. So, when you choose blankets for the different members of your family, just make sure you're keeping their individual needs in mind. It is a good idea to invest in an electric blanket with a waterproof layer, to protect it from accidental spills.

Like any other electrical appliance, problems tend to crop up with electric blankets over time. Hence, it is recommended that you always buy a new one, rather than settling for one that is pre-owned.

5. Type

Electric blankets are of two types―over blanket and under blanket. Over blankets are the ones that you're supposed to pull over you with its controls placed over you, whereas under blankets are meant to be placed over the mattress, covered by the bed sheet, with you lying over it. So, which one should you go for, you may ask. Well, it all zeroes down to your personal choice. However, note that you should never sit on, or place objects on an over blanket.

6. Look and Design

With the exception of a few high-end brands, most electric blankets come in very basic designs. If you're passionate about home decor, then an electric blanket may not fit in your scheme of things. However, if you're really in love with electric blankets and don't mind spending a little extra for some designer stuff, then you can get them in cool colors and styles.

7. Duration of Use

Another important criterion for choosing an electric blanket is whether you would like to keep it switched on for the entire night, or just for a few hours till you have a warm bed to jump into. For starters, there are pre-heating blankets and all-night blankets. While pre-heating blankets should be switched off before you step into the bed, there are others that are meant for the entire night. Just decide what would be more comfortable for you, and decide accordingly.

Safety Tips to Follow

Just buying an electric blanket is not enough; you should also know how to use it safely so that there is no untoward incident. Here, we shall share with you a few essential safety tips for using an electric blanket.

► Most electric blankets are not designed to be used on water beds, sofa beds, futon beds, or adjustable beds. If you or other members of your family sleep on any of these beds, you should take this into consideration while choosing your electric blanket.

► Never use a hot water bag in bed when using an electric blanket, because the water might leak into the electrical wiring of the blanket, resulting in electrocution.

► When your blankets have been stored away for a few months or so, make sure you check for any damage before using them again.

► You should get your electric blankets inspected by a professional every 4 years, and get them replaced every 10 years. Old and worn-out blankets can be dangerous.

► Before you start using your blanket, go through the instruction manual carefully, because misuse of electrical appliances, including your electric blanket, can be dangerous.

► When storing a blanket, roll it up or fold it lightly, to prevent any damage to the wires within. Also, never place heavy objects on your blanket, and store it in a dry place that is free from excessive atmospheric moisture.

► Always turn off and unplug the electric blanket when not in use.

► Let the blanket cool off completely before you fold it or roll it up for storage.

Electric blankets are also an effective way to cut down on your electricity bills, making them a good investment in more ways than one. However, make sure you follow the instructions carefully and take adequate safety measures. Doing a little research on the best electric blankets in the market would be of great help too.