Soft Heat Luxury Micro-fleece Blanket
Soft Heat Luxury Micro-fleece Blanket

Best electric blanket

The Soft Heat Luxury Micro-fleece's low-voltage heating system provides safe, soothing warmth wrapped in a soft, cozy polyester blanket. Adjusting temperature is simple and dual controls for the queen and king sizes keep couples comfortable all winter long. The thin, unobtrusive interior wires disperse heat evenly and go unnoticed by users.
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Sunbeam Microplush Heated Blanket
Sunbeam Microplush Heated Blanket

Traditional electric blanket

The Sunbeam Microplush Heated Blanket is a favorite with many thanks to its velvety plush fabric, toasty warmth and attractive price point. It lacks the low-voltage technology of the Soft Heat blanket, and the interior wires are felt more readily, but it heats up faster and is warmer to the touch. It is also safe when the manufacturers' instructions are followed, and meets UL standards for heated bedding.

Biddeford Microplush Blanket
Biddeford Microplush Blanket

Budget electric blanket

Despite its lower price, reviews indicate that the Biddeford Microplush blanket is a good quality heated blanket. Users find it heats up quickly and the extra-thin wires are barely noticeable, despite the thinner blanket material. Features are good, including dual controls in larger sizes, automatic shut off after 10 hours, and 10 heat settings. It meets UL safety standards.

Sunbeam Quilted Fleece Heated Blanket
Sunbeam Quilted Fleece Heated Blanket

Heavyweight electric blanket

Those looking for a heavier, quick-heating electric blanket can avoid lightweight microplush and head right for the Sunbeam Quilted Fleece Heated Blanket. This electric blanket's quilted fleece fabric works as an insulator to keep heat in. Some say it is so warm and cozy that it can be used to stay comfy on cold nights even without the aid of electricity. Features and safety are similar to other electric blankets.

Sunbeam Quilted Heated Mattress Pad
Sunbeam Quilted Heated Mattress Pad

Best electric mattress pad

The Sunbeam Quilted Heated Mattress Pad is made of machine-washable polyester. It meets UL safety standards for heated bedding and has a lot of great features, including a preheat function, 10 heating levels, automatic shut off and independent heating with dual controllers for each side of the bed (in queen sizes and above). Durability isn't bulletproof, but it scores better in that regard than most heated bedding.
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Sunbeam Therapeutic Heated Mattress Pad
Sunbeam Therapeutic Heated Mattress Pad

Multi-zone heated mattress pad

The Sunbeam Therapeutic Heated Mattress Pad offers sleepers the chance to target their feet, heads and torsos with separate heating levels. The wireless remote keeps unsightly cables off the bedside table, though couples will have to tussle over who gets to hold the one remote. It also comes in California king size, for tall sleepers.

Soft Heat Warming Mattress Pad
Soft Heat Warming Mattress Pad

Low-voltage heated mattress pad

While all of the heated mattress pads and other heated bedding products in this report meet UL heated bedding standards, the Soft Heat Warming Mattress Pad takes things a step further by using low voltage DC instead of the typical AC technology. That allows for thinner wires in the electric mattress pad and less danger of a shock should damage -- say from a pet -- occur. However, heat levels are a little lower than with other heated bedding, and it takes the Soft Heat Mattress Pad a little longer to warm up.

Sunbeam Microplush Heated Throw
Sunbeam Microplush Heated Throw

Best heated throw blanket

Soft, cozy and just the right size for the couch, the Sunbeam Microplush Heated Throw offers a comfortable way to keep warm in and out of bed. Available in a variety of colors and patterns to match your living room decor, it folds up neatly when not in your lap.
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Electric blankets are safe, soft and subtly warm

Sleeping well on a cold night can be a challenge, but heated bedding can be a big help. Electric blankets, electric throws and heated mattress pads offer a lot of appeal for people who would love to crawl between preheated sheets on a chilly night. Those suffering from cold feet in the middle of the night might find them a godsend. Additionally, some claim that an extra warm bed helps alleviate body aches.

Electric blankets, electric throw blankets and electric mattress pads make a warm bed a reality with just a flick of a switch. Many have preheating functions, which allow you to set a desired temperature while getting ready for bed. Heat controls typically feature up to 10 temperature settings so you can get the level of comfort that's right for you. Additionally, many queen-sized and larger models may have two controls, one for each side of the blanket, so that each sleeping partner can stay as cozy and warm -- or not -- as they prefer.

Electric blankets haven't always enjoyed the best reputation. Older models tended to be thick and scratchy, and sometimes posed a fire hazard with extended use. Modern heated blankets are much improved. They warm you with thin, supple wires sandwiched between layers of ultra-soft fleece, plush, or knitted material.

Learning from the past, safety ratings are now paramount, and electric blankets and mattress pads come with automatic shut-off timers and amply rated power adapters to keep the bedding -- and you -- from overheating. Others, like the Soft Heat Luxury Micro-fleece Blanket (Est. $65 and up), use low-voltage electricity, which experts consider safest of all. Additionally, most modern electric bedding can be machine-washed and even machine-dried, as long as the manufacturer's recommendations are observed.

Heated bedding can take several different forms.

Electric blankets offer convenience and versatility. They can easily be put on or pulled off a bed, even in the middle of the night if you get too warm and the blanket has yet to cool down. However, since they lay above you on the bed, they lose a little bit of efficiency as heat that's radiated upwards is lost. They also aren't a great choice if you have pets, as a dog's or cat's natural tendency to chew and claw can damage the blanket.

Heated throw blankets are similar, but smaller. They won't generate as much heat as a full-sized electric blanket, but are great for wrapping around yourself, say while curled up on your couch on a chilly night.  

Electric mattress pads sit between you and your mattress. That makes spur-of-the-moment use more difficult (unless you want to strip down the bed to pull it on or off), but improves energy efficiency -- you, not the ceiling, is the beneficiary of heat that's radiated upwards. The Electric Blanket Institute also holds that heated mattress pads are "inherently safer." Electric blankets can get bunched up, allowing heat to buildup -- and that was a major source of electric blanket fires with older models that lack modern safeguards. Since a heated pad is held tight to the mattress, there's much less chance of that happening.

While there are a multitude of electric bedding brands offered in the U.S., the Electric Blanket Institute reveals that virtually all products are currently made by one of three manufacturers -- Biddeford Mills, Sunbeam or Perfect Fit Industries. The Institute adds that, while materials and controllers will vary, all heated bedding made by that manufacturer, regardless of branding, will use the same technology.

Finding the best electric blankets, throws and mattress pads

Electric blankets, heated throws, and heated mattress pads receive only a little attention from professional reviewers but do get ample feedback from owners sharing their opinions and experiences on retail websites. Good Housekeeping is one expert we do turn to. Though its testing is several years old now, most of the electric blankets and heated mattress pads rated there are either still sold, or are offered in nearly identical models. The Electric Blanket Institute does not rate electric blankets or mattress pads, but offers helpful buying guidance and discusses the differences between models offered by the major manufacturers.

Owners fill in the rest of the picture. While not every electric blanket, electric throw or electric heating pad gets tons of feedback, others draw hundreds and sometimes thousands of reviews across sites such as Amazon.com, Walmart.com, Target.com, JCPenney.com and others. When analyzing reviews to find the best choices, we look for feedback regarding performance, ease of use, comfort and the overall ownership experience. While not every electric blanket, electric heated throw blanket, or heated mattress pad will excel on every point, the very best ones will outperform its competitors in most regards.

Elsewhere in this Report:

Best Electric Blankets: Looking for a cozy electric blanket to keep you warm through a cold winter's night? These top performers use safe and efficient modern technologies to keep the chill at bay.

Best Heated Mattress Pads: They aren't as popular in the U.S. as electric blankets, but heated mattress pads offer lots of advantages. Editors name the top choices.

Best Heated Throw Blanket: Small electric throws are perfect for curling up in on an easy chair or couch. These are the top choices as identified in reviews.

Buying Guide: Not sure what to look for in an electric blanket, throw or mattress pad? This buying guide names the most important considerations.

Our Sources: These are the expert and user reviews we consulted in finding the best electric blankets, heated throw blankets and electric mattress pads. They are ranked by the helpfulness of the site and its reviews.

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Soft Heat Luxury Micro-Fleece Low-Voltage Electric Heated Twin Size Blanket, Natural
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New: $109.99 $61.97   
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