Electric blanket reviews: FAQs

An electric blanket in use

Some electric blankets can be used overnight

How do electric blankets work?

Electric blankets are fitted with a series of thin electrical wires that heat up your bed when they're plugged into your mains electricity supply - either before you retire to bed, or throughout the night while you're sleeping.

How hot do electric blankets get?

All electric blankets we’ve tested have at least two different heat settings, while a few blankets have as many as nine. Their minimum temperatures tend to be around 25°C (the lowest is 18°C) while the average maximum temperature is around 48°C (the highest is 56°C).

Are electric blankets expensive to run?

No. Using the most energy-efficient blanket in our test for two hours a day, every day for half a year at its maximum setting would cost just £2.19. The least efficient blanket would cost almost three times as much to run for that amount of time, but is still very cheap at £5.93.

Would I be better off with a hot water bottle?

Using an electric blanket for one hour, on maximum heat, takes the same energy as boiling one litre of water in a kettle. So using an electric blanket for two hours is as energy-efficient as using a two litre hot water bottle.

How often should I replace my electric blanket?

According to the Electrical Safety Council, you should think about replacing your electric blanket at least every 10 years. It’s important to get your blanket checked to make sure it’s still safe to use – ideally this should be done once a year.

Can I use an electric blanket if I have a memory foam mattress?

There are no known safety issues with using the two together. However, some mattress manufacturers say that electric blankets should not be used with memory foam as the memory foam won't be able to mould to your body in the same way, because the blanket will act as a 'barrier' between your body and the memory foam. This will likely make the memory foam much less comfortable.

Other manufacturers say that it's fine to use the two together, as long as the electric blanket is always be put on top of the foam with a sheet or cover in between the foam and the blanket, and is not be left on all night (though we wouldn't advise this in any circumstances). Several manufacturers do warn that over time, the heat from the blanket does have the potential to damage the memory foam.

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