Your Guide To The Electric Blanket

Your Guide To The Electric Blanket

If you’ve lived in a notoriously cold part of the world before, or just like to feel extra cozy during winter, you’ve probably owned an electric blanket at some point in your life. However, unlike the first models of the electric blanket to hit the market, these luxury items are now softer, warmer, safer, and more convenient to operate than ever before.

An electric blanket can not only be a great way for you to stay warm at night, but it’s full of other benefits too. Everything from reducing your energy usage to seeing improvements in your health and wellbeing can all be achieved with this simple product. Best of all, a twin electric blanket costs no more than a basic space heater and will give you far more warmth and comfort.

Grey Electric Blanket

As advancements have been made in the technology behind these warming blankets, there are now more options than ever for the owner to choose when purchasing one.

You’ll need to consider the level of heat offered, safety features, and the choice of material from a range of luxurious and ultra-soft options now available. Best of all, the cost of electric blankets has come down considerably so now they’re affordable to the average homeowner.

For those who suffer during the colder months or live in an area that sees freezing conditions at night, there’s no better way to stay warm and cozy than with an electric blanket.

As these products advance even further in the future, it will be amazing to see just how far the technology can come with creating the perfect blend of warmth and luxury for your bed each night.

The History Of The Electric Blanket

The first ever electric blanket was invented in 1912 in America and was traditionally an under blanket style. Many countries today still refer to their under blankets as an electric blanket, however, in America this used to describe a blanket that goes on top of your bed that can be moved about.

The first over the top style electric blanket is believed to have been invented in the 1930s, however, there is still dispute to this day about when in fact it was. Some of the first types of electric blankets were used for medical care to treat a range of illnesses, and these health benefits can still be enjoyed today by the home user.

Woman With Old Electric Blanket

These blankets were first made available to the public in 1946, and the first electric blanket to ever go on sale in the United States cost $46 which in those days was quite a considerable amount.

As well as being quite difficult for the average person to purchase, the early models were a lot bulkier and less comfortable than they are now, and they didn’t feature the safety precautions now found.

Since these early days, the heat blanket has come a long way. Now found in many homes throughout America, these are the ideal solution to extremely cold conditions or for those who just like to feel toasty and warm when they hop into bed each night.

Whatever your reason, there’s a good chance that every family in America has owned at least one of these in their lifetime.

How Does An Electric Blanket Work?

If you’ve heard of them before but still feel in the dark about exactly what they do, you’re probably still wondering what is an electric blanket? There are two main types of electric blanket found today, the under and over varieties, or warming mattress pads and blankets.

The same premise applies to both kinds in how they achieve their heat, and this is all thanks to wiring. An electric current passes through the wire and it generates heat which then comes through to the user. In the case of dual-sided blankets, there’s a heating pad on either side to meet the user’s settings.

Electric Blanket Comfort Control In Box

Depending on the product you purchase, there can be any range of measures put in place to achieve better heat or a more even distribution. The more expensive types of electric blanket have a whole range of features such as sensors, overheat protection, and variable heat output which ensure you get the most comfortable warmth possible.

Features Of An Electric Blanket

If you’re in the market for a new heated electric blanket, or just want to know a little more about what they can offer, you first need to learn all of the different features available. These blankets can range from affordable to quite expensive, mainly due to the quality and convenience they offer. Here are a few features you might notice when looking at electric blanket products.

Size

Just as you would have with a regular blanket, electric blankets come in the standard sizes. Full, twin, queen and king electric blanket are the most common, but it is possible to get larger or in between.

Most offer an additional control for a queen size electric blanket or over so that there are two separate heating elements. This means both users in the bed can adjust temperatures to their liking.

Material

Look for something made from fleece or synthetic, a popular choice being polyester. There are many different variations available that are popular in electric blankets such as microplush, micromink, and fleece. Depending on what you find comfortable to the touch there may be one that suits you better.

Controller

Some basic electric blankets just have an on and off switch, but the newer variety usually comes with a control that can be attached. If you have a larger size and two separate heating areas, you can usually purchase dual controller blankest. These can be basic with a knob to change settings or more complex with a digital or LCD screen.

Electronic Blanket Controller

Heat Settings

Although not all electric blankets will have varying degrees of heat, it’s best to purchase one with the option to adjust the heat. Most standard blankets have around 10 levels of heat to choose from, so you can adjust it to suit the temperature outdoors and your personal preference too.

The electric blanket temperature range depends on the model, and can also vary with the type of bed you use with it also.

Auto Functions

A popular auto function on heated electric blankets is the auto-off feature. This can be set either to a selected time or with an automatic time, usually 10 hours, and the blanket will turn itself off once this occurs.

Other upscale products also feature an automatic preheat function that you can set for each night before bed so that by the time you retire to the bedroom your bed is already warm and cozy.

Safety

The safety measures in these products are extremely important so a safe electric blanket is a must. There are many electric blanket dangers such as overheating and fire hazards, so look for something that offers features such as auto-off and heat sensing to give yourself peace of mind.

Thickness

Electric blankets are usually known for being quite thin, but you may have a level of thickness you need to guarantee your comfort. When a blanket is too thin and the wiring too large, you will be able to feel these sticking through which can greatly impact your quality of sleep.

Care And Cleaning

There are many different cleaning options for electric blankets, so for the most convenient, you should choose one that can be done in your washing machine. Some products also offer tumble dry abilities, but you might prefer to air dry the blanket to ensure it doesn’t receive any damage.

Electric Blanket Safety

Ever since becoming a household item, many people have wondered are electric blankets safe? Throughout the years there have been multiple reports of these blankets posing a threat to safety due to overheating or issues with wiring, but thankfully the modern types have far more safety features put into place.

The dangers of electric blankets can include everything from overheating to fire hazards, but with the correct care and use you can ensure that your blanket never poses a threat.

To protect from overheating, many of the modern electric blankets have sensors in them to ensure that your body temperature doesn’t get too high. If it does, the blanket can automatically adjust to a cooler level to keep you safe.

Electric Blanket On Bed

Another great safety measure that today’s blankets have is an automatic function which turns off after a certain amount of time has passed. These are usually set at around ten hours so if you happen to leave it on and don’t wake up or leave the house without turning it off, the blanket will automatically do it for you.

The best thing you can do to ensure your safety with a fire blanket is to throw out old blankets that have damage on them. Now that electric blankets are more affordable than ever it’s simply not worth it to risk having a damaged or old blanket in your home that could pose a risk to your family’s safety.

How To Check Your Electric Blanket

If you do have an older blanket in your home or simply want to be sure that the one you own is operating safely, there are a few easy steps to take. For the best electric blanket safety, you should perform a check on all products in your home every few months or so.

  • Check that all cords are solid are there are no visible frays or damage;
  • Ensure the heating element is still solidly within the item and that there are no wires poking through;
  • ​Never put heavy items on your bed on top of an electric blanket as this can cause damage to the wires and create hot spots;
  • Test your electrical safety switch at home to ensure it’s working in case something ever does go wrong;

Once you’ve checked the blanket and you find that there is damage or possibly a wire coming through, ensure to check the warranty that came with the product. A king size electric blanket on sale is far easier to replace than doing potential harm to your family with a faulty product.

Energy Saving Powers Of Electric Blankets

One of the main reasons why people decide to make the switch to an electric blanket is because of the amount of energy saved. Not only is this saved energy great for pinching a few pennies, but it can reduce your carbon footprint significantly and help to make the planet a little greener.

Biddeford Automatic Electric Heater

When you use an electric blanket, you’re able to turn down the thermostat, shut off heating altogether, and get rid of other costly products like space heaters. With automatic timers and sensors which adjust the heat up or down to suit your body, this further reduces the cost as there’s never a chance it will go to waste.

According to the US Department of Energy, the cost of running a standard electric blanket is around $17.60 per year. This is extremely affordable when you consider that to use a space heater in your room instead can cost an enormous $66 per year.

When you imagine that each bedroom of your house gets to enjoy these savings, that’s hundreds of dollars per year you’re saving.

A Better Night’s Sleep With An Electric Blanket

Being comfortable in our bedroom is the easiest way to guarantee a good night’s sleep, and this includes the temperature and softness of your bed. When we use a heated blanket, we’re guaranteeing the coziest and warmest possible setting to drift off which gives us the best chance to achieve a decent rest.

When you wake up in the night and the temperature has dropped further, this coldness often wakes you up. However, if you have a full size electric blanket to keep you warm you won’t notice the change at all. These blankets can adjust to your body temperature with state of the art sensors, so you can be kept at the perfect warmth all night long.

Electric Blanket Good Night Sleep

To aid you in drifting off to sleep even further, you could purchase an electric heating blanket which has a timer on it to preheat the bed. This means, even if you’re out and don’t get a chance to warm your blanket up, the timer will go off and get things started. Once you’re home and ready to get into bed, it will be warm and cozy for you to drift straight off to sleep.

The Health Benefits Of An Electric Blanket

While it’s not commonly known that electric blankets were first used in medical settings after their invention, it is possible to take this knowledge and use your blanket to get some health benefits yourself. There are a number of ways an electric blanket can improve your health, including treating these conditions:

  • Arthritis – people with arthritis can benefit most from a heated blanket, as it allows them to warm up in the morning before getting out of bed. These blankets can help reduce pain felt by the arthritis sufferer as it provides an all over touch of heat therapy to your body.
  • Muscle soreness – if you’re suffering from aches and pains in your muscles, whether from an illness, injury, or simply overdoing it, the heat from an electric blanket can provide your body with much-needed relief. These blankets increase blood flow which helps to ease any trauma caused on your muscles and will also help you to relax.
  • Allergies – if you suffer from allergies relating to dust mites, it will please you to know that having an electrically heated bed can help to reduce humidity which results in a 50% decrease in the rate of bed bugs and mites.

Not only is it ideal for these physical afflictions, but having a warm and cozy bed to retire to each day can be a huge stress relief and also help to put us in a better mood. Just one simple product has the power to assist your body and mind in so many ways not known to use before, so its benefits go far beyond just warmth.

How To Clean Your Electric Blanket

Keeping your electric blanket clean is just as important as it is for making it feel and smell good, but also to ensure it lasts for many years. As each model and brand offer their own special recommendations for cleaning, you should always refer to the instructions that came with your electric blanket before attempting to clean.

Before you wash your electric blanket always ensure that it’s been disconnected thoroughly from the power source first and then remove this from the blanket itself. Check the blanket to make sure that the wires aren’t still there are the cord has been removed. Never allow the control to come in contact with water and leave it in the bedroom as you clean the blanket.

Always give your electric blanket a thorough clean when you purchase it, as you should with all new bedding. Pre-soak it for ten minutes in cold water and a small amount of fabric detergent. Then place the blanket into the washing machine and set on a gentle or delicate cycle for just a few minutes.

Remove the blanket from the wash and rinse by hand under cold water to ensure all the detergent has been removed. Spin dry in the washing machine again, and then shape it with your hand.

Clean Electric Blankets On Bed

After this initial clean, it’s usually okay to be a bit more relaxed with how you care for it. Many modern electric blankets can be washed in the washing machine for a full cycle, and then dried to your preference.

Some people like to air dry these so the blanket keeps its shape but it’s also possible to put most of these in the dryer. Never use a professional or laundromat dryer though as they can get extremely hot and do permanent damage.

With just a little bit of care and maintenance, you can ensure that your blanket not only works well but works in the safest way possible.

Always exercise caution as you are using an electric product in contact with water, so double check that cord and wires have been removed and the blanket is completely dry before reattaching to the power supply. A little bit of thought can go a long way in determining your safety.

The Future Of The Electric Blanket

The electric blanket has certainly come a long way since its invention in the early 1900s, and in the colder parts of this country, in particular, you’d be hard pressed to find a home that didn’t own at least one. Newer models of electric blankets are thankfully less bulky, more soft, and capable of adapting to the user better than ever.

Where the traditional heated blankets sometimes caused a worry due to their health and safety risks, the modern variation of these household items is now safer than ever. By staying vigilant and performing checks on your blankets you can be sure that they never pose a threat to your family.

Electric Blanket Different Colors

Electric blankets can last your home for many years, and with so many great features now available they’re able to provide even more comfort and convenience than before. Just a little bit of care and maintenance on your part can ensure that your bed stays warm and cozy with one simple product, and guarantees you a good sleep every night.

Whether you’re looking to cut energy costs, improve your mental and physical health, or just get a warm and comfortable night’s sleep, there’s nothing that the electric blanket can’t achieve. With advancements continuing for this beloved household product, it’s exciting to imagine what the future might hold for the electric blanket.

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