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While there’s a lot to love about the holiday season — aka the most wonderful time of the year — there’s one thing we don’t look forward to come the year’s end: frigid weather. With multiple cold temperature records being broken across the country in 2018, making sure you’re equipped with everything you need to stay nice and toasty is of the utmost importance. One of the easiest ways to stay cozy this winter? By plugging in one of the best electric blankets, of course! Keep reading to learn more about electric blankets and shop our top picks.
How do electric blankets work?
Also known as heated blankets, these bedspreads feature an integrated wiring system that connects to a power plug and generates electrically-generated heat throughout the entire blanket, keeping you warm from head to toe. While temperatures may vary from blanket to blanket, most range somewhere between 80 and 100 degrees.
Their exterior is made from a variety of fabrics (including fleece, flannel, and faux sherpa), essentially making for an upgraded version of your favorite throw.
Are electric blankets safe?
One of the most common reasons people may be hesitant to buy an electric blanket revolves around whether or not they’re safe. The Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) reported in 2015 that heating pads and electric blankets were causing almost 500 fires each year. Today’s heated blankets are far safer thanks in large part to the timed auto-off feature most models are equipped with, which shuts the blanket off after a specific period of time (typically within three hours but ranging anywhere between 45 minutes to 10 hours), ensuring that they’re never mistakenly left on.
In addition, by following these four electric blanket safety tips, you’ll be able to keep both warm and stay secure this winter.
Be mindful of bunching. Since these blankets have wires running through them, it’s important to watch out for bunching. Scrunched up electric blankets can damage internal wires and lead to hot spots or, even worse, burning.
Don’t use them if you have pets. While most electric blankets are made with low voltage electricity, they’re not recommended for use with pets, as they can easily be chewed through, leading to injury.
Keep an eye on it. Like any blanket, heated blankets can wear out over time, so pay attention to things like exposed wires or brown spots — both indicators of burning). Should you notice any of these things, immediately stop using the blanket and replace it. It’s also recommended that you don’t use blankets that are 10 years or older, as they can pose a significant fire risk.
Store it safely. Just as you would any other electric device, be sure to unplug and store your blanket after each use to keep it in working order, being mindful to fold with care to prevent damaging the internal wiring.
How to Wash an Electric Blanket
When it comes to washing electric blankets, you should always read the instructions for your individual throw. Most modern versions featured insulated wiring that makes them safe for gentle machine washing. However, it’s important to note that unless your heated blanket’s instructions manual explicitly state that it can be washed or hand-washed, you shouldn’t attempt to launder it in order to avoid injury or malfunctioning.
Best Electric Blankets
The best electric blanket will all depend on your preferences. If you’re big on a “plushy” feel, opt for an electric blanket made with sherpa or fleece. Need one that’s big enough for two? Look for a model with dual controls so you can each personalize your heat settings. Whatever kind of spread you’re looking for, there’s a blanket for you on this list.
Ready to find the perfect warming cover-up? Keep scrolling for FIRST’s picks for the best electric blankets that’ll keep you and your loved ones snug and warm all winter long.
We write about products we think our readers will like. If you buy them, we get a small share of the revenue from the supplier.
Sunbeam Heated Blanket
Best Sherpa Electric Blanket — Sunbeam
Where to buy: $59.99, Amazon
For an electric blanket you'll be cuddling up with all season long, allow us to turn your attention to Sunbeam's heated reversible blanket. Featuring the company's ThermoFine technology (a unique wiring system that helps to prevent overheating) and a controller with three different heat settings, this reversible blanket is as warm as they come. It's made with a luxurious mink fabric on one side and a premium soft sherpa on the other that make it plenty beloved on Amazon — it has garnered more than 800 five-star reviews! It comes with a three-hour auto-off function and includes a 5-year warranty.
Cheap Heated Blanket
Best Value Electric Blanket — Serta Heated Electric Throw Blanket
Where to buy: From $39.99, Amazon
Looking for an electric blanket that won't break the bank? Then turn to the sleep experts at Serta. An Amazon choice pick, the company's heated electric throw blanket rings in under $40 and comes in six stylish colors. A microplush fabric that reverses to a cozy faux-sherpa lining is prime for snuggling, and five different heat settings are available to boot. There's a four-hour auto-off function and a conveniently sized 8.5-foot power cord, so you can get cozy just about anywhere you choose.
Biddeford Heating Blanket
Best High End Electric Blanket – Biddeford
Where to buy: $88.19 (Originally $180), Macy's
SAVE NOW: Use coupon code 'FRIEND' at checkout to save an extra 30 percent through Dec. 23.
If you're looking for the best-of-the-best and don't mind dropping a pretty penny to get it, there's only one electric blanket for you — Biddeford's faux sherpa electric blanket. This high-end option features a reversible sherpa design, six color options, 10 (yes 10!) heat settings and a 10-hour auto-off function, making it easier than ever to find your perfect temperature. A top-rated Macy's pick with 88 percent of customers recommending it, this sale blanket makes for one deal you can't pass up.
Amazon Electric Blanket
Best Electric Throw Blanket – MaxKare
Where to buy: $59.99, Amazon
Perfect for nights spent on the couch curled up with a good book or watching your favorite holiday movie, this heated throw flannel from MaxKare is one of our favorites. Luxuriously soft with a reversible flannel/sherpa design, it has three heat settings, a four-hour auto-off function, and an almost 10-foot power cord, so you can use it anywhere. One standout feature we really adore is its stabilizing snap button closure. Made to help keep the blanket securely enclosed around you, it will never leave you cold.
Heated Blanket For Bed
Best Electric Bedding — Sunbeam
Where to buy: From $69.95, Amazon
There's nothing worse than warming up with a nice hot shower only to slip into ice-cold sheets. Enter Sunbeam. The company's microplush heated blanket has a handy pre-heat setting, so you can turn it on before you get into bed, where it will be nice and warm. Additionally, there are 10 heat settings, six color options, and a 10-hour auto-off function, making this pickt the ultimate cold-weather bedding essential.
Heated Blanket For Couples
Best King Size Electric Blanket — Beautyrest
Where to buy: $127.49, Overstock
Designed to be used by two people, Beautyrest's electric blanket features two separate controllers that will allow both you and your hunny to adjust your individual sides to one of 20 whopping temperature settings. Talk about custom comfort! There's also an 11-foot power cord, a 10-hour auto-off function, and five color options.
Portable Heated Blanket
Best Electric Car Blanket — Car Cozy Heated Travel Blanket
Where to buy: $39.95, Amazon
Believe it or not, you can even get an electric blanket for your car. Perfect for cold mornings or long winter road trips with the family, the Car Cozy is the automobile essential you never knew you needed. To power up, simply plug it into your car's 12-volt charging port and enjoy. It will warm up in minutes and also features a 45-minute auto-off function, automatic temperature control, and a 7-foot cord.