Winter is around the corner and that typically means long, cold nights, however buying the best electric blanket at least means that you don’t have to be cold at home in your bed. In this review we’re looking at electric blankets, what makes a good one and more importantly, what makes a bad electric blanket and finally choosing a few great electric blankets that we can recommend you buy.
What Is An Electric Blanket
In as simple language as possible, an electric blanket is a blanket that has a built-in heating element that when connected to a power source, provides heat to keep you warm. Twenty years ago, electric blankets were frowned upon due to the high risk associated with using them, however over the last few years, technology has now moved on to the point whereby sleeping with an electric blanket can be considered as safe as sleeping without.
Under-blanket Vs. Over-blanket?
Typically there are two types of electric blankets, Under-blanket’s and Over-blanket’s with the key difference being that under-blankets have been designed to sit on top of your mattress and then have you lie on top, whilst an over-blanket has been designed for you to lie underneath.
Whether you choose and Under-blanket or an over-blanket is up to you, however if you’re going to choose an over-blanket, make sure that you choose an electric blanket that has been designed for over night sleeping and not a heated throw which is similar but is more used for you to curl up on the sofa with it on top of you.
Don’t Buy Second-Hand Blankets
What makes electric blankets safe is the features that they come with, however typically when you buy second-hand blankets, they don’t work as well and therefore what makes the latest models safe does not apply to second-hand blankets. Effectively, you’re putting your life in danger by buying a second hand electric blanket, and given we’re not talking break-the-bank figures for a the best electric blanket, it’s simply not worth it.
Things To Take Into Account
Safety Features – The key difference between today’s electric blankets and those from the past is the safety features that it comes with. In the past, electric blankets were a blanket and a heating element, however today you should be looking for buy blankets that come with automatic temperature controls, overheating alerts and automatic switch off facilities and insulation proofed wiring to stop any electric shock, and protect the wires from the effects of heat.
Design – Apart from safety feature, it’s design is the second most important part of choosing the best electric blanket and an important part of what makes a safe electric blanket . When we’re looking at a blankets design, we’re looking at two point, firstly the weight of the blanket which is measured is Grams Per Square Meter (GSM), second it’s control feature and how easy it is to control the electric blanket whilst lying down in your bed.
Machine Washable - One point that is very important when choosing the best electric blanket is the fact that it’s machine washable and therefore once you have used it for a few weeks or accidentally spilled something on it, you can easily clean it at home.
Ten years ago this was almost impossible, however the best electric blanket models do have this feature and given it’s a fantastic feature; it’s something that we’re going to look out for.
Price – This is very important, however remember if you’re electric blanket catches fire in the night, the best case scenario is that you come away with terrible burns over your body with the worst case that you burn your house down and die in the process.
It’s not true to say that the more expensive a model, the better it is, but what is true is that the better models with more features and safety mechanisms do cost a little more. It’s our recommendation that you don’t buy a cheap import electric blanket given the consequences of it going wrong and stick to the mainstream manufactures.
The Best Electric Throw (Over-Blanket)
Above we reviewed the best electric blanket on the market and decided that it's the Homefront Premium Fleece Mattress, however this was for an under-blanket design that you lie on however electric blankets have also been designed as a throw meaning that you can wear them on top of you whilst you're in bed or even sat on the sofa.
Again we have looked at the best electric blanket (Over-Blanket) across the market and made the decision that if you're looking for the best electric blanket then take a look at the Osily Luxury Soft Electric Heated Throw which i have tested and used extensively over the last few years. In fact, I would go as far as saying, it's the one bit of electrical equipment that I cannot live without during the winter.
The Osily Electric Throw has dimensions of 160CM X 120CM, is made out of a soft fleece material, quickly heats up whilst at the same time allowing you to choose from one on of nine heater settings to keep you hot. Performance is fantastic and I have loved using my Osily Electric throw over the years.
Other Key Features
We have already discussed what makes the best electric blanket, however below are key features that you should look out for that will help make using your electric blanket as easy as possible. I have split these into two key sections Comfort Features and Usability Features.
Heat Controls – You want to the ability easily change the temperature settings at different point during the night.
Insulated Area’s – This allows you to adjust the insulation in key areas of your blanket. As an example, maybe you get cold legs during the night. In this case you could add more insulation to a part of the blanket.
Material Used – Generally you should look for your blanket to be made out of any of the following materials, cotton, fleece, polyester, microfibre and synthetic as they offer the best combination of heat and safety.
LED Indicators – or LCD screens make it much easier to see what settings you have for your blanket especially during the night when you’re half asleep and trying to cool down the heat of your blanket.
Push Button Control – Again on a similar line as above, you need to be able to control the blanket easily and either button controls or a large knob will facilitate this.
Our Rating -
The Homefront premium fleece mattress is our favorite electric blanket and has been designed as an under-cover meaning that it fits directly on to your double bed to provide you with all night long heat. The Homefront Under-Cover comes with dimensions of 193 x 137CM and has a depth of approximately 35CM meaning that it is directly suitable for double beds.
Switching on the blanket is quick and easy using the two (One for each side of the under-cover heater) control panels that contain a large On-Off Switch and both a large LCD screen and push-button controls that alter the temperature based on your needs. The blanket is made of a Fleece material and takes around 15 minutes to heat up and cost around 2p per night (based on 8 hours use) to run.
Extra features include the fact that it’s machine washable, can be set up with a Timer Function to go on and off when you need and comes with double, dual controls. This means that both side of the double blanket can control their heat independently and both side of the blanket can control the heat in the two different zones of body and feet.
Overall the Homefront is a fantastic, value for money sleeping blanket that has performed well across the internet. Amazon.co.uk has over 700 positive reviews and during our test’s, we came away with a great warm night especially while trying to sleep in the winter without the heating on. If we had any problems it’s really to do with the plastic plates on top of the mattress where the controls are connected.
Personally it does not bother us, but it’s something to take into account. It would be better if they placed this matchbox size plastic box on the side rather in the pillow area where if you have a small pillow or no pillow at all, it could be a problem. Not ours, but there is a decent youtube video below with a good introduction to what we are sure is the best electric blanket, the Homefront premium fleece mattress.
Our Rating -
The Dreamland 6993 electric mattress is out second option and quite frankly we thought performed just as well during test’s as the Homefront above. Personally we would have no problems in buying either, however we have made the Homefr0nt our favorite given it’s so well received all over the internet whereas the Dreamland being a much newer under blanket has not been tested as much.
That said with what we have seen so far, we think it’s a great product.Again the Dreamland has been designed as a double under-blanket that fits directly to your mattress with tie tapers.
Switching on the Dreamland, it’s ready to use in about 10 minutes and comes again comes with Dual-controllers meaning that you can control both side of the blanket independently. The controllers are made of plastic, and use both a large On-Off switch and push-button controllers to control the heat.
There’re nine different heat settings to choose from which range from very hot to slightly above room temperature and as an added benefit the blanket also comes with a 12 hour timer with an auto shut-off function meaning that you can easily set it up to switch off an night and come on early in the morning.
As an added benefit, the under-blanket is also machined washable allowing you to quickly pop of the controls and put into the wash at a 40degree heat.Overall the Dreamland under-blanket performed well during our tests and has been well received across the Internet.
As an example on Amazon.co.uk there are over 50 reviews of which nearly all are 5-stars. If we had one criticism though, it’s that the Dreamland does not come with an LED screen and therefore it can be hard to see what heat setting your blanket is on when you’re half asleep during the night, however given it also comes with a 3 year warranty, this is an under-blanket that you should be taking a look at if you want the best electric blanket on the market.
Our Rating -
Unlike the two models above which have both been designed as under-cover electric blankets, the Osily Luxury Soft has been designed as a over-blanket meaning that it can be used either whilst you’re in bed or when you’re sat in front of the TV in your living room.
Either way, the Osiliy Throw has been design to keep you warm. The Osily comes with dimensions of 160CM X 120CM and has been made out of a soft fleece material. Switching it on, the Osily quickly heats up whilst it’s very easy to pick on of it’s nine heater settings using the controller that comes with both a large On-Off switch and push-button controls to select the heat setting, and an LCD screen showing which heat setting you’re actually on.
Performance is great however if we had one problem it’s that is does not get hot enough, however this is probably more to do with my house being colder than it should be.
Overall, if you’re looking for an Electric Heated Blanket that you can quickly grab and use either when you’re sat in front of the TV, or when you’re cold in bed, then you should be looking at the Osily.
We loved it during our test’s and it seems to have taken well across the internet with over 200 reviews on Amazon.co.uk of which the majority are positive. We specifically like the safety features which include both an over-heating alert and an automatic switch off feature to ensure that the electric blanket does not get too hot.
Our Rating -
If you have been reading from the top you will have noticed that we have given the Homefront Fleece mattress our highest rating of approval and rated it the best electric blanket on the market right now. Homefront do make an over-cover as well, however we’re not 100% sure of the quality that they are produced with.
We have had ours for about 12 months now and have had no problems with it what’s so ever, but that cannot be said for all the reviews we have read with many customers complaining that there’s as lasted anything from 2 years to 4 years. It does depend how you treat it and certainly washing these in the washing machine will decrease it’s lifespan, but two years is just about acceptable for this product given the how much it cost’s to buy in the first place.
Check Out My Other Reviews Here
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