Features of electric blankets
Electric blankets have a sort of scary reputation (somewhat like space heaters)
due to misuse. Using an electric blanket underneath other bedding, or sticking
the controller between your mattress and box spring can be dangerous. But
while it's important to use heated blankets safely, there have not been any
recalls since 2008. Still, it's a good idea to check the Consumer Products
Safety Commission website and to register your product with the manufacturer
Before you buy an electric blanket, keep in mind these pointers:
- Look for raised control buttons. Raised
buttons (rather than a smooth pad) make it easier to adjust settings
in the dark.
- Dual controls are handy for larger
blankets. Most queen and king-size electric blankets have dual controls
so a partner can adjust the temperature independently.
- Is it machine-washable? Most electric blankets can be machine washed and dried, but check before
- A 10-hour auto shutoff is typical. As a safety feature, most electric blankets shut off automatically
after running for 10 hours.
- Feel the fabric first. One of the
big complaints about electric blankets is that you can feel the wires
through the fabric. Plusher fabrics usually aren't as obvious. If you can,
feel the fabric before you buy.
- Keep the receipt. We found complaints
about product failure for all electric-blanket brands. Most have at
least a one-year warranty, so stash your receipt in a safe place.
In addition, keep the following safety tips in mind:
- Only use an electric blanket on top;
never use it underneath other sheets or blankets. If you prefer heat
from below, look for a heated mattress pad instead.
- Never use an electric blanket
in a crib, and use caution for older kids. Definitely steer clear if
your child has bedwetting issues.
- Don't stash the controller and heavy
cord between the mattress and box spring. It's better to stash the
controller under the bed or on a bedside table.
- Read instructions carefully before
washing and drying your blanket.
- Pregnant women should avoid using
an electric blanket, particularly during the first trimester. Some
studies link electric blanket use to higher risk of miscarriage, but the
studies are far from conclusive. Still, it might be a good idea to avoid
heated blankets if you're expecting.