It's tempting to crank up the heat when the weather begins to get chilly, but that can quickly result in high heating bills. Heated blankets and throws are a cost-effective and cozy way to stay warm on a cold winter's night, and today’s heated blankets are designed with a wealth of safety and convenience features, from automatic shut-off functions to machine-washable fabrics. Well-known brands, such as Beautyrest, Biddeford, and Serta, use thin wires to keep these heated blankets lightweight and comfortable so the blankets mold to your body as you curl up underneath. The wires are sewn into individual channels to prevent shifting and to eliminate hot or cold spots for consistent heating. While these cuddly blankets are certainly practical, they sacrifice nothing on style. Overstock.com carries a variety of fabric styles that are luxurious and elegant enough to toss over the back of a sofa or chair as part of your living room decor. Keep reading to learn more about how heated blankets and throws keep you comfortable while you read, watch TV, or sleep.
Features of Heated Blankets and Throws
Automatic Shut-Off Functions
Heated blankets incorporate multiple safety features, including an automatic shut-off function. The amount of time before shut-off depends on the model and usually ranges from two hours to 10 hours. Some models let you select the running time from preselected options, such as two hours, six hours, or 10 hours.
Multiple Heat Settings
Some nights are colder than others, and heated blankets account for this variance with multiple heat settings. Most models have at least three heat settings, although some offer five settings. Some models regulate the blanket's temperature automatically, adjusting for the temperature of your room. A common manufacturer recommendation is to operate a new blanket at its highest setting on the first use, then adjust the heat down until you are comfortable.
Cozy and Fashionable Fabrics
In addition to the toasty warmth emanating from a heated blanket, the snuggly fabrics also provide comfort and softness next to your skin. Heated blankets are available in several cozy materials, including Berber, plush, and Sherpa. Select from a rainbow of solid colors or go with a traditional or contemporary print. Some models offer two different fabrics on the front and back, so you can reverse the blanket for a different look.
Turning on your heated blanket or adjusting the temperature takes just a second with handy push-button controls or knob-style wheels. Controllers are sized to fit your hand, and the buttons and wheels are easy to see and operate for simple use in the night. Most controllers also have a light to indicate your chosen heat selection, making it more visible in the dark. Larger-sized blankets, such as those for queen and king beds, usually have a controller on each side so you and your sleeping partner can make adjustments.
One of the biggest benefits of a heated blanket is the cozy warmth it provides on bitter nights. But a practical benefit you don't want to overlook is the potential cost savings a heated blanket can provide. Using a heated blanket lets you turn your thermostat down several degrees while you sleep, because there's no need to heat the whole house when your bed is warm enough for comfortable sleeping. And while the blanket uses some electricity, the amount is negligible.
There aren't many electrical items you can toss into a washing machine, but heated blankets are the exception to that rule. Simply remove the cords and controls from the blanket, and wash according to the instructions, usually on a gentle or short cycle. Most heated blankets can go into a dryer as long as the drum is big enough for plenty of movement. Use a cool setting on the dryer to avoid shrinkage and damage.
Appropriate-Length Electrical Cords
Heated blankets have electrical cords of varying lengths, depending on the blanket's intended use. A bed-size blanket often has a shorter cord of about 5 to 6 feet, which allows for easy plug-in without pinching the cord. Throw-size blankets often have longer cords of up to 14 feet or more, which lets you move around the room while the blanket is wrapped around you.
Thin Wires for Consistent Heat
The wires inside the blankets are thin, which removes bulk and makes the blanket more pliable. Sewn channels keep the wires in place, even when the blanket goes through the washing machine. Keeping the wires in their correct location avoids hot or cold spots that can result when two wires are too close together or too far apart.
Heated Blankets and Throws FAQs
Can anyone use a heated blanket?
Most people can use a heated blanket without difficulty. Infants and small children should not use heated blankets. In addition, these blankets aren't recommended for people who are immobile or for those whose disabilities may prevent proper usage.
Are heated blankets appropriate for every type of bed?
Heated blankets are appropriate for use on all regular beds, regardless of size. They aren't recommended for use on adjustable beds, pull-out sofa beds, or recliners, because the internal wires or the electrical cord can become bent and possibly damaged. When using the blanket on a bed, keep the cord free and do not place it between the mattress and box spring.
Can you use a heated blanket and a regular blanket together?
The choice of whether to use a heated blanket together with a regular blanket or comforter depends on the manufacturer's recommendation, and some models allow this combination. It is not recommended to use a heated blanket and a heated mattress pad together. That combination can generate excessive heat.
Can a pet sleep on a heated blanket?
Letting a pet sleep on a heated blanket is not recommended. An animal can puncture the blanket with a claw or tooth while you are sleeping. Punctures can harm the wiring or the wiring insulation, as well as pose a risk to your pet.