Avleen M.
Avleen M.24 Apr 2020

Electric Blankets Buying Guide

Along with hot drinks and thick socks, electric blankets are one of winter’s most-loved creature comforts. If you’re looking for wraparound warmth that clings to you deliciously, an electric blanket or heated throw is a top pick.

Electric Blankets

How do electric blankets work?

Insulated carbon wires distribute heat throughout an electric blanket or electric throw using attached power cord/s.

Electric blankets only need to be switched on for about 10-30 minutes before bed for them to take the edge off chilly nights. Trapping warm air between your quilt and mattress, they keep your bed toasty-warm during the night. This makes them a cheaper alternative to leaving a heater on all night.

Is it expensive to run an electric blanket?

Electric blankets and throws are gentle on your energy bill, with Energy Australia estimating they cost about four cents per hour to run. Selecting a blanket with a high energy rating also helps.

How to choose an electric blanket

Here are some factors to take into account, to help you buy the best electric blanket for you.

Price: Electric blankets range from $50-400, depending on bed size, special features and any premium materials like wool-pile.

Heat Settings: You can choose your desired level of warmth - typically there are three heat settings; low, medium and high, while pricier blankets may have a 1-10 heat range.

Style and design: There are two types: under-blankets and over-blankets. Both are available in standard mattress sizes.

  • Over-blanket: Placed on top of your sheets, provides warmth from the top down.
  • Under-blanket: Also called a heated mattress pad, this sits between your mattress and fitted sheet. Under-blankets are available in either fitted or non-fitted designs.
  • Fitted: Contoured to your mattress to fit over it snugly and completely. Choose a blanket the correct size for your bed. As these are slightly more comfortable and cover the whole of your mattress, they are dearer than non-fitted types.
  • Non-fitted: These tie down onto your mattress using straps. You can purchase non-fitted electric blankets for just one side of the bed. They’re easier to put on than fitted types, and are also cheaper.

Handy extra features

These might hitch up the price tag a little, but offer a more luxe and convenient warming experience.

  • Extra-warm foot zones help to banish cold feet.
  • Pre-set timers let you enjoy freshly warm sheets when you hop into bed at a set usual time each night. Keep on a low setting for safety.
  • Illuminated controls mean that if you have to switch off the blanket or adjust the setting in the dark, you can still see.
  • Dual bedside controls are available for non-single beds, letting partners pick their preferred level of warmth.

Are electric blankets safe?

  • While they may have received some negative press, when maintained carefully and used sensibly, the answer is yes. All models are required to comply with strict safety standards before being sold in Australia.

  • There are steps you can take to ensure maximum safety. Keep the blanket on a low setting. While you can leave electric blankets on all night, avoid doing so for safety reasons.

  • Choose a model with an overheat protection sensor, which turns the blanket off if high temperatures are detected.

  • Replace your electric blanket every 10 years, or immediately if there are signs of bent or exposed wires, fraying fabric, burn marks, damaged cords, or any other visible wear.

Heated Throws

A heated throw is a type of electric blanket that's thin, portable and designed for one person. The difference between an electric blanket and a throw is that an electric blanket is fitted to your bed, whereas an electric throw is portable, letting you enjoy warmth no matter where you are in the house.

Why choose a heated throw blanket?

Heated Throws

Electric throws can be a nifty alternative to spot heaters.

Instead of stationing yourself stoically before the heater to stop shivering, an electric throw gives you wraparound warmth as you lounge around watching TV or reading, or as you relax on the porch with a hot drink.

  • Usually made of a soft material like microfleece, these blankets are light and comfortable.

  • If you frequently move between rooms in your house, a heated throw is a quick, fuss-free way to take your heat source with you.

  • If you have an open plan living room, heat generated by a space heater can leak out. In the daytime, an electric throw keeps you warm no matter your space and its dimensions.

  • Most throws are spill-proof, making them safe if you accidentally spill a drink onto them. Some throws also repel wind if you're outside.

  • A heated throw can be cheap to buy, starting as low as $35.

To maximise the warmth provided by an electric blanket or throw, you might like to pair it with a room heater. However you choose to make your home a cosy den of comfort - with an electric blanket, throw or heater - you're sure to find helpful heating solutions to help you cherish the winter warmth.