We put 5 blankets through 13 separate safety tests and checks.
Although they’re much safer than they once were, electric blankets still require some caution – we’re completely vulnerable when asleep.
As well as checking for safety we measured the blankets’ heat-up time, assessed their controls, looked at how well they fitted the bed, and rated them for ease of cleaning and drying (based on the manufacturer’s instructions).
Models we tested
|Goldair King Electric Blanket GFS-Q / GFS-K|
|Goldair King Fleece Electric Blanket GFF-Q / GFF-K|
|Sunbeam Fitted Electric Blanket BL3451 / BL3471|
|Sunbeam Fleecy Electric Blanket BL4958 / BL4978|
|Sunbeam Quilted Electric Blanket BL4755 / BL4775|
Note that we were unable to buy this season's blankets from all brands when we bought our test samples in January.
How long they last:
Replace your electric blankets every 5 to 6 years. Your life’s worth much more than the cost of a blanket.
Every season before you use the blanket:
- Replace a blanket with kinks in it.
- Replace a blanket that’s had anything spilt on it.
- Check the controls and the cord for damage or exposed wires.
- Test for hot spots by running your hand over the entire surface of the warmed-up blanket. If there are hot spots, replace the blanket.
Every time you use the blanket:
- We think you should turn off the electric blanket when you get into bed. If you really need overnight heat from the blanket, use only the "all-night" heat-setting controller positions.
- Don't place heavy objects or piles of clothing on the bed while the electric blanket is turned on.
- Make sure the controls aren’t twisted or caught between the mattress and base.
- Make sure the electric blanket is tightly secured and laid flat on the bed.
At the end of the season:
- Store your electric blanket rolled up, not folded.
Who shouldn’t use an electric blanket
Electric blankets can be used to warm up a bed, but otherwise aren’t recommended for:
- pregnant women – the mother and unborn baby may overheat and also because amniotic fluid from ruptured membranes ("broken waters") would soak the blanket
- babies – because an overheated baby is at greater risk of sudden infant death syndrome
- young children – because there’s a risk of the child wetting the bed.
- Dual controls allow you to control the temperature on your side of the bed independently.
- Fabric fleecy blankets (wool or synthetic) are more luxurious.
- Extra heat foot zone good for people with cold feet.
- Waterproof electric blankets are suitable for children. They contain a waterproof membrane that stops moisture reaching the wires.
- Timers allow you to set the blanket to warm up your bed at the same time every night. The more basic (and cheaper) models have "off" timers only.
- Removable controls mean you can safely machine wash your electric blanket.