Electric Blanket Buying Guide
What is an Electric Blanket?
Electric blankets are the perfect items to keep you toasty and warm throughout the night or while you are sitting on the couch watching TV at night. They are even used to reduce pain in muscles and joints as many people have conditions that cold temperatures aggravate.
Electric blankets come in a variety of sizes and colors as well as material choices as well. When you start shopping for one, you want to be aware of the features electric blankets can have so you can choose one that fits your personal needs and preferences.
Health Benefits of Electric Blankets
TElectric blankets have been used to reduce pain that is caused by health problems including Fibromyalgia and arthritis. These two illnesses go after the joints and tissues of the body and cause debilitating pain. The warmth an electric blanket gives will keep the joints warm and reduces pain. Electric blankets can also help those with allergies or asthma because they reduce the amount if dust mites that are found in bedding.
Electric blankets are made by putting a heating element between layers of fabric. Over the years the wires of the electric blanket have gotten smaller so they are not the bulky bedding they used to be. Most modern electric blankets are machine washable but you will need to unplug and remove the heating parts (not the wires that are encased in the layers of fabric).
Sizes of Electric Blankets
There are many different sizes of electric blankets to choose from. Manufacturers make electric blanket sizes correspond with regular bed sizes. The larger blankets like Queen and King have two separate controls, one for each side of the bed. More often than not, twin and full-size will only have one set of controllers. The most typical sizes will be Twin, Full, Queen, King and then there are throws which are used for sitting on the couch and relaxing and are smaller than an electric blanket for the bed.
Features of an Electric Blanket
Different types of electric blankets and manufacturers will have different features. We’ve outlined some of the more common features below. Before you start shopping you need to have an idea of what you’re look for. Do you want something for TV watching? Do you need two sided controls so both you and you S.O. can adjust the temps to whatever you are com
Safety Features – Electric blankets have a lot of safety features that need to be taken seriously. You are sleeping underneath this blanket so you want to be sure that safety features are in place so you are protected even overnight.
- Low voltage – low voltage electric blankets lower the risk of electric shock. Look for blankets that use 120v or less and that say low voltage. They also use much less energy.
- Automatic shut off – blankets that have auto shut off will automatically shut off after a designated time. Some blankets have 3 hour auto shut off and still others have 10 full hours. Auto shut off timers reduce the chances of overheating and help save power by shutting off the unit when you not using it.
- Variable Settings – Variable setting electric blankets are always good so the user can adjust the temperature of the electric blanket. Depending on the model, you may have 3 settings to choose from or you could have 10.
- Backlit control display – If you are trying to adjust your controls during the middle of the night, having lit controls is a good idea that will provide convenience and ease for the user.
- Plush Fabric – Soft, plush fabric feels really good to lie under and is a popular feature with electric blankets. The material your electric blanket is made from will definitely play a part in your enjoyment of using the blanket so look for fabrics that feel good to the skin like fleece, plush, microfiber and cotton.
- Dual controls – When you get a larger Queen or King Size electric blanket, there will be two heating zones that will be controlled through the use of a controls and temperature settings. This allows two people to use it and both can use it according to what they like.
- Pre-Heating – Being able to warm your electric blanket before you even get into bed is s great thing. Just turn on the blanket to pre-heat and let your bed warm up to a desired, comfortable level.
Cleaning Your Electric Blanket
Many people think that electric blankets are hard to use but the modern design has been improved so much, they are easy to use and a pleasure to have. The instructions that your electric blanket comes with will tell you about the kinds of detergents you can use and how to get that blanket clean. Dry cleaning is not recommended for electric blankets but most nowadays are machine washable.
You will need to disconnect the control box from the blanket before you wash it. You will also want to inspect the blanket before putting it in the washer as well. Look for exposed wiring or rips in the material. If there is no damage your blanket is ready to toss into the wash. Use a mild detergent and the cold water setting on delicate. Over agitating the electric blanket can damage it so only have it go through the different cycles once each wash and don’t over wash it.
The best method of drying your electric blanket is to hang it on the line but if that is not an option for you, you can dry it using the low to no heat setting. Once the blanket is completely dry you will able to reconnect the control setting box to it.
Electric Blanket Safety Tips
- Don’t wash the electric blanket while it is connected to the control box. That needs to be taken out and kept off to the side until you are done cleaning them.
- If pets sleep with you, inspect the blanket frequently to ensure no dog is chewing the blanket and leaving it exposed. Low voltage blankets are the best for pet owners and children dish.
- Make sure the blanket is turned off when you’re not using it. The auto shut off that many have now is perfect for shutting the blanket off automatically after a set number of hours. Even with this auto-shut off safety measure, try to get into the habit of turning off the blanket when you get out of bed.
- Don’t lie on top of an electric blanket. Lying on top of it can be responsible for broken coils and it could expose the heat coil and cause damage.
- Don’t place books, laptops, or stuffed animals on top of the blanket. It can cause heat to become trapped which can lead to temperature rises.
- Make sure the blanket lies flat and doesn’t get crumpled up in a ball. Excessive heat can build up inside the blanket if it is crumpled up in a ball.
- Don’t use electric blankets outside. Even the low voltage ones should not be plugged in and used outside. Keep the use of your electric blanket confined to the couch or bed only.
Electric blankets are not new inventions but they have advanced quite a bit from the large controlled, clunky blankets they used to be. All three of the top rated choices here are perfect for someone wanting to purchase a blanket that will keep them warm on those cold winter nights. With a little bit of care, you’ll be able to have an excellent source of warmth that you can count on.
Electric blankets are easy to pull out of the closet when it is bedtime and then just fold them up again in the morning when you’re up for the day. It is not recommended to make the bed up with one because sitting on top of the electric blanket can damage it.
When you start shopping for your electric blanket, be sure to measure the size of your bed so you don’t get something that is going to either not be big enough or it will be too big and adjustments will have to be made. An electric blanket was not designed to be a part of the bed set, they are extra bedding pieces to use on top of the others so you stay toasty warm no matter how cold it is outside. Many people even use them while sitting on the couch watching movies or TV shows.