It’s that time of year again – should you turn the heating on or not? But if you’re looking for ways to be extra toasty without having your radiators turned on all day, why not consider an electric blanket? These soft and versatile heaters can bring extra warmth to you and your bed, and they don’t cost too much to operate.

Types of electric blanket explained

There are two types of electric blanket: under blankets and over blankets. Under blankets operate a bit like mattress toppers and tend to come with elasticated straps or as a fitted sheet, so that you can secure them to your bed and drift off on top of them.

Over blankets, on the other hand, are warmers to curl up under; they’re a more versatile choice as you can use them on the sofa or even at your desk if you work from home.

Electric blankets can also come with varying heat zones and heat settings – including extra foot warmth. Size does play into this; most blankets that are a double or upwards will have left and right zones so that the settings can be customised if there are two of you in a bed. Dual controls will also let you adjust settings during the night without disturbing your partner.

Are electric blankets safe?

All the heated blankets on our list have auto-shut off settings, which will turn off the blanket after a certain amount of time, minimising the risk of any accidents. Some of the blankets even allow you to choose how long you’d like your blanket to run for, thanks to nifty in-built timers.

How much electricity do electric blankets use?

With gas prices rising, it’s understandable that you may be looking for more cost effective ways to heat your home. Electric blankets could come in handy here, as they’re becoming increasingly more energy efficient and will therefore still keep you warm at night instead of the central heating. In fact, most of the brands on our list claim their blankets cost just a few pence to run for a full eight hours.

How we test our electric blankets before shipment?

Our experts made up a double bed to test each electric blanket on, measuring how evenly temperature was distributed as well as whether the warmth fluctuated or remained consistent over an extended period of time, and across different heat settings.

Where the blankets had dual controls, we also looked at how accurate the settings were on each side and if there was any temperature crossover when the settings were different. Finally, we put any washing-machine friendly claims to the test to check for shrinkage or damage.

Is it OK to sleep with an electric blanket on?

While a modern, well-maintained electric blanket is unlikely to cause problems with proper use, it is not recommended to keep electric blankets on all night. Instead, it’s helpful to use electric blankets to warm up your bed before you get in and turn them off before you fall asleep.

Do electric blankets take a lot of electricity?

Turn down your thermostat Most electric blankets cost very little to run so they’re a good choice for cold nights instead of cranking up the central heating.

Is an electric blanket cheaper than heating?

Electric blankets, embedded with thin electric wires that disperse heat once plugged in, cost less than a third to operate compared to some heaters, according to estimates from EnergyAustralia. That’s largely because they’re intended to warm the user up close rather than heat an entire room

Can electric blankets be washed?

Nearly all modern electric blankets can be washed in your washing machine, but most manufacturers do not recommend a full wash cycle. Most blankets only need a few minutes’ wash on your washer’s “delicate” or “gentle” cycle. Followed by a brief rinse and spin cycle.

Are electric blankets a fire hazard?

The fact is, there are fire risks in using an electric blanket. In fact, most electric blankets contain a safety circuit the sole and exclusive purpose of which is to try to prevent a fire when one of the known and expected fire-causing failure modes occurs in the product.

How long does an electric blanket take to heat up?

It’s useful because a) bedrooms are often on a different floor to where you spend most of your time, and b) electric blankets can take up to 30 minutes to fully warm up the bed. If you’re getting home late on a frosty evening, this means you can head straight to sleep in a cosy, toasty bed.

Do electric blankets turn off automatically?

Generally, yes. Most electric blankets on the market feature auto shut-off, meaning they will automatically turn off after two to 10 hours. Blankets that offer longer periods of heat can be used overnight, and we recommend unplugging them when not in use.