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Many people choose to buy an electric blanket for added warmth. These products could also potentially improve symptoms of certain health conditions. However, they carry some risks and are unsuitable for some individuals.

Electric blankets are similar to electric heating pads and feature tiny heating elements wrapped in the blanket itself. They typically require a person to plug them into an electrical outlet.

The following article provides some helpful suggestions about electric blankets, including what to look for in a blanket and answers to frequently asked questions.

Electric blankets are bedspreads or blankets containing an interwoven wiring system that provides soft warmth. Due to the amount of electricity they use to produce heat, they generally require plugging into an electric outlet to operate.

Though some people may find the extra warmth of an electric blanket soothing, they are not safe for everyone. The risks of using electric blankets include burns and fire.

Certain people should avoid using electric blankets, including:

  • infants and young children
  • people with dementia
  • individuals with mobility issues
  • anyone who cannot sense temperatures well
  • people with diabetes

Explore more safety tips when using electric blankets.

People interested in buying an electric blanket should consider what features are important to them before making a purchase.

Some features to consider include:

  • Size: Electric blankets come in different sizes, meaning a person should consider picking one that suits the setting they will use them in, such as a bed or couch.
  • Auto shutoff: Many electric blankets have an automatic shutoff function that allows them to deactivate after a few hours to prevent overheating.
  • Controls: Individuals can find blankets with simple-to-use controls. Some have a back-light, so a person can easily adjust the settings during the night.
  • Washing options: Though most electric blankets are machine washable, many brands recommend not drying them in a tumble dryer. Having adequate space to dry them could also be difficult.
  • Cord length: Cord length and placement can affect how easily a person can use it. Manufacturers typically list cord lengths on their websites, and a person can read customer reviews to find out what others experienced from using the products.
  • Material: Manufacturers use various types of materials to make heated blankets. These materials can affect a person’s comfort. For example, blankets comprising polyester fibers are lightweight, soft on the skin, and offer some insulation. In contrast, blankets consisting of fleece are easy to maintain and provide extra warmth even when off.

Medical News Today chooses products that meet the following criteria:

  • Price: Products are available for different budgets.
  • Heat setting: Products have an adjustable heat setting, so people can choose their preferred heating level and help prevent burns.
  • Auto shutoff: Products shut off automatically, so they do not overheat.
  • Washable: Products are machine washable, but it is best to read the manufacturer’s instructions before cleaning the blankets.

Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based and correct at the time of publication.

Beautyrest Heated Plush Electric Blanket

Best for couples

Price: $79.99

This Beautyrest electric blanket is machine washable, produces low electromagnetic field radiation, and has 20 heat settings.

Other features include:

  • a lightweight polyester fabric design
  • programmable controls
  • automatic shutoff from 1 to 10 hours
  • a 5-year limited warranty

Pros and cons

People who bought Beautyrest’s electric blanket stated the heat settings are helpful, as they can adjust the heat to their preference. However, some reviewers noted that the blanket stopped working after they washed it, while some claimed it had inconsistent heating spots.

Thermee Micro Flannel Electric Blanket

Best heavy weighted

Price: From $110.16

This electric blanket features a solid pattern and consists of a micro-flannel material. It is machine washable, while people can dry it in a tumble dryer on a low setting.

It also comes with various features, including:

  • a programmable timer
  • a 10-hour shutoff function
  • a lightweight design
  • an anti-shrink and anti-pill design
  • wrinkle-free polyester
  • two controllers
  • a 5-year warranty

Pros and cons

This electric blanket has many positive reviews, with people praising its overall quality. Users found it very soft and warm, even without the powered heat.

However, negative reviews revolved around customer care issues, with some reporting being unable to replace defective blankets.

Bedsure Heated Blanket

Best for blood circulation issues

Price: from $66.99

This machine-washable blanket has a striped pattern and comes in two sizes: 50 x 60 inches (in) and 62 x 84 in.

A person who buys this product can benefit from several features, including:

  • overheating protection
  • six heat levels
  • elongated insulated heating wires
  • nonwoven fabric

It also comes with a 10-foot power cable, so individuals could use it in their bedroom, office, or when they go camping.

Pros and cons

Reviews said that Bedsure’s heated blanket heats up fast and can benefit people with blood circulation issues and cold feet and legs. It also may be suitable for those who experience sleep problems, as it may help them fall asleep faster.

However, negative reviews noted its high price tag and that not all of the blanket gets heated.

Eopecles Electric Blanket

Best soft electric

Price: from $43.99

Eopecles’ electric blanket comprises a polyester, multi-layer flannel material. It has a solid pattern and is machine washable.

It comes in two sizes: 50 x 60 in and 62 x 84 in.

Some of its features include:

  • three heat levels
  • lightweight design
  • auto-shutoff feature after 8 hours
  • a 5-year warranty

Pros and cons

Several positive reviews note its heating function and that it is easy to use. However, some said the blanket does not provide sufficient heat.

EHEYCIGA Heated Blanket

Best for sensitive skin

Price: from $49.99

The Eheyciga blanket has a polyester fiber design with a soft fleece flannel.

Other features include:

  • five heat settings
  • a 3-hour automatic shutoff feature
  • a double-sided design for different softness
  • a detachable controller

Pros and cons

Many positive reviews on Amazon praise its quality and ease of use. However, some people claimed it stopped working after only a few uses.

OCTROT Electric Heated Blanket

Best for good sleep

Price: $59.99

The Octrot electric heated blanket is machine washable and has a plaid pattern design. It offers various features, such as:

  • 10 heating levels
  • an auto-shutoff function
  • an extra layer for more comfort
  • a 5-year warranty

Pros and cons

Many positive reviews noted this blanket comes with an easy-to-use controller and could help with reducing knee pain. A person can also use it in cold rooms during the winter since it warms quickly.

The following are some answers to frequently asked questions about electric blankets:

Are electric blankets safe?

Electric blankets do carry some risks. For example, they may not be safe for pregnant people.

Additionally, the National Cancer Institute mentions that electric blankets emit extremely low levels of nonionizing radiation. A 2017 study states that pregnant individuals who experience exposure to high levels of this radiation are 2.72 times more likely to experience pregnancy loss. With this in mind, a pregnant person should speak with their doctor before using an electric blanket to address any safety concerns.

Electric blankets can also be dangerous to various groups of people, including:

  • those living with diabetes
  • anyone who cannot feel heat changes easily
  • people with mobility issues
  • those with dementia
  • young children and infants

Learn more about electric blanket safety.

Are electric blankets washable?

People should read the manufacturer’s washing instructions before cleaning their electric blanket.

Most modern electric blankets are machine washable. Many companies recommend that individuals detach the power cord and avoid using detergents that contain bleach.

What are some of the health benefits of electric blankets?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) affirm that electric blankets or other forms of heat therapy may be useful for people who experience hypothermia and frostbite. These are conditions that develop in very cold environments and can reduce the body’s temperature.

Some individuals may find that heated blankets help with certain health conditions. However, most of these accounts derive from anecdotal reports or broader connections to heat therapy studies and benefits. Therefore, although they may help some people, research has yet to show the benefits of using heated blankets in a range of health conditions.

The research that does exist has looked more at a person’s cancer risk when using an electric blanket rather than their specific health benefits.

Heated blankets can provide a source of extra warmth. In some circumstances, such as when a person has exposure to extreme cold, they could help prevent frostbite. However, its other reported health benefits are anecdotal and may not work for everyone.

In addition, these blankets may not be safe for everyone. A person should read the manufacturer’s instructions and consult their doctor before using any type of heating device.