Choose the right electric blanket this winter and learn how to use and store it safely.
Dreading the thought of getting into a cold bed tonight? An electric blanket could be the solution.
We've tested 13 electric blankets. Find out which heat up the fastest and compare their running costs.Find an electric blanket
Our test found minimal difference in heating performance between the most expensive and cheapest blankets. So the question is why anyone would spend more than $100 on an electric blanket? The answer is extra features.
Models costing upwards of $200 generally offer all-night and timer settings, which automatically switch off the blanket after a set period (from one to 12 hours depending on the model), and they often feature a wool fleece cover. We recommend against leaving an electric blanket on all night, but if you do ensure you use the timer and an all-night setting.
Many high-end blankets also offer warm-foot zones to keep your feet extra toasty. We recommend checking whether the zone is able to be switched off or is independently adjustable, especially if you’d like your feet to be cooler than the rest of you.
But if you don’t want all these bells and whistles, then there’s no reason to shell out more than $100 for an electric blanket. Our cheaper models are also great options for replacing an aging blanket in guest rooms.
According to a Fire Service spokesperson, electric blankets caused 11 fires between July 2015 and June 2016. They said the most common cause was electrical failure or malfunction, which emphasises the importance of getting a blanket checked by a qualified electrician if you have any doubts over its safety, or if it’s more than five years old. We think any blanket older than five years should be tested or replaced.
Pregnant women, babies or young children should not use electric blankets due to their higher levels of heat sensitivity.
We measure how long each blanket takes to reach 40°C, then record the final temperature each blanket reaches, which ranged from 41°C to 58°C. Our ease-of-use assessment looks at the ease of using controls, how easy the blankets are to clean, and the ease of fitting them on the bed.
Our safety assessment uses a custom rig to simulate 5000 cycles of the blanket’s cord flexing under a 1kg weight. Then we look for any damage to the cord or controller, before checking their internal electrical safety. We also conduct an anchorage test, which involves yanking the cord 25 times with a force equivalent to 10kg, and applying a rotational force for one minute. We then check again for any internal or external damage.