Best Electric Blankets to Buy in 2018: Reviews and Buyer’s Guide
The electric blanket has long been seen as a trinket, something you have as a utility rather than a mandatory need. For a long period of time, in fact, it was a pretty dangerous trinket to have in the first place. Thanks to various cases of death by electrocution. However, with the turn of the new century, new physics took over. Also, a new era of safety came with it. The SoftHeat electric blanket is one of the best electric blankets today.
Also, it is the most exemplary example of how far the new technology has come. It operates at less than 25V of power, which is completely non-hazardous.
These are transmitted through ultra-flexible and ultra-thin wires that are virtually impossible to detect. All these features together with the underlying engineering make it the safest blanket to ever hit the market. And that’s just the start.
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Do you need an electric blanket?
During the depths of winter, you’ll very likely find yourself in need of a source of warmth. Chances are pretty high the first thing you’ll run to is the thermostat if studies mean anything. According to a survey conducted by the US Department of Energy, the biggest consumer of power in the average American home are heating and cooling the house. Unless you use to have a chimney in your house and prefer more traditional methods of keeping warm, you probably fall together with the average. The number one concern then is your electricity bill.
Of course, if you’re going to be heating a small space like a bedroom, you’ll need something relatively larger. In this case, a space heater should be your first resort. However, if you want to conserve electricity and money over the long term, an electric blanket is the clear-cut winner over room heaters.
How to pick a quality electric blanket
Picking an electric blanket is a bit different from getting a normal rag you can cover yourself in. There are a few key metrics you will have to keep in mind if you want to get the best money can offer. Some of them are outlined below.
As with any normal blanket, a heavier blanket will keep more air in and thus help keep you warmer. This, in conjunction with the heating element of the electric blanket, will serve to be a match made in heaven.
The number of settings
This is a little bit of a cold zone. Because there is a direct correlation between the number of settings and the quality of the blanket, but it’s not always so. However, it should be worth mentioning that a greater number of settings translates into a higher likelihood of getting the perfect balance between warmth and the least electricity used.
Thin wires are beneficial in the sense that you won’t feel them through the fabric as you’re busy sleeping. The thinner and more flexible the wire, the higher your relative comfort.
In the event of anything breaking down, so long as it’s not your own fault, a warranty will cover the costs of having to replace any component or the whole blanket as a whole at no extra cost.
Ease of use
Despite the benefits of having lots of settings to choose from, extra features like lighted dials and long cords are important considerations to have when buying an electric blanket.
This much should go without saying. Luxurious materials like Egyptian cotton or fleece may push up the price a notch. But if you’re not afraid to spend, the benefits are all yours.
AC vs conversion to DC power
If you’re not big on physics, at this point you might be wondering what the big deal is with AC and DC power and what the difference is between them. Without going too far into the details, AC (Alternating Current) and DC (Direct Current) are different types of current used for transmission of electricity.
AC is the more prominent of the two since it’s the stuff that powers light bulbs, lamps, etc. While DC power is present in batteries. AC is generally more dangerous to hang around than DC. And along the same lines, the higher the voltage, the higher the risk of a deadly electric shock.
That’s the reason why AC to DC converters is so important. Most machines you use have an inbuilt mechanism to do so. And of all the blankets on this list, the Soft Heat and Serta Luxe are the safest for what should now be obvious reasons. They use proprietary technology dubbed ‘Safe and Warm’ to convert AC into low voltage DC. In fact, they are currently the only products on the market that are technically ‘non-hazardous.’
Are electric blankets safe?
With all that aside, what are the real risks of using an electric blanket and how safe are they? Well, they are just about as safe as your TV or computer, so to speak. However, they do come with their own unique concerns due to the woeful lack of DC converters in most of them. Questions often were thrown around involve the risk of the resulting electromagnetic frequencies (EMFs) and overheating. The US government has spent quite a lot of money so far to prove that EMFs aren’t anything to be concerned about on a small scale. This can’t be compared to what you’d experience if you were living in a power plant, for example.
The only special case is young children, pregnant women or any such group of people prone to heat sensitivity, eg. diabetics. For these, the safest way of avoiding potential risks is using an electric blanket to pre-warm the sheets and turning the heating function off as soon as you’re in bed.
Most electric blankets come with quite a number of complications on the way, safety being a major issue. This is a dealbreaker for most of them. But the SoftHeat Ultra Micro-Plush Electric blanket is one of the few exceptions. It is a low voltage blanket and is the safest electric blanket on the market. For this reason, it claims the top spot and gives most competitors a run for their money.
The SoftHeat Ultra Micro-Plush blanket works with the latest electrical technology. This technology ensures it’s consistently supplied with electricity at a low, safe voltage. In order to change AC power into stable DC power, the blanket has an advanced electrical energy supply box that converts the power from one form to the other.
It works on an average of 20 volts, which is roughly the same amount of power a light bulb operates with. This characteristic boosts the reliability if the blanket, since there amounts of accidents is decidedly reduced by nearly 30%. Furthermore, such a low voltage enhances the performance of the blanket, even when wet.
It also displayed a novel heating system that put it ahead of other contenders. In addition to that, it has an incomparable preheating system. This system can give you a favorable experience as soon as you wrap yourself. It is wonderfully smooth and soft, a perfect combination that instantly soothes and relaxes.
Most people would compare this sensation to seventh heaven, undeniably so. One other spot on a feature of the SoftHeat Ultra Micro-Plush blanket is that it regulates the temperature according to the surrounding environmental conditions. Better yet, the heating system doesn’t affect the temperatures of textures such as sheets and comforters, making a conducive ambiance for comfort and relaxation.
Among the features that are particularly admired in the SoftHeat blanket are the intangible wires. Every wire is enclosed in a sheet of synthetic fibers that route heat in your direction. This allows the warmth to reach you, making certain that the wires are not felt. Being both indiscernible and invisible, these microscopic wires accredit movement and allow you to twist or fashion the blanket into whatever form you want.
This flexibility also eases the process of spreading. And it also enables one to fold it like normal blankets, which enhances the storage when it isn’t being used. Moreover, the SoftHeat comes with a simple cybernetic remote control. This can be modified with a lighted dial pad and a remarkably long extension that helps users reach outlets within a wide range of distance.
The blanket is split up into a half zone. It is also accessorized with double controllers that regulate the temperature on either side of the bed. Users find this trait a complete boost to contentment and adjustability.
Yet another thumbs up for the SoftHeat blanket is the fact that it can be washed and dried using a machine. Before doing so, it is important to go over the washing instructions manual that comes with the blanket in order to avoid unnecessary fixes. This is a big save, especially during winter when hanging and washing become a huge challenge.
While the other competitors only allow limited swabbing, the SoftHeat and its runner-up Serta are the only ones capable of completely drying from the word go. Saving is an important skill in investment. With the constant inflation of prices, electricity costs are sure enough to make a dent in our wallets.
The low energy of the SoftHeat has had a big impact on many striving to save money and reserve energy. In general, calculated costs will lead to believe that you’d have spent more money on the SoftHeat while in actuality it is a more feasible and safer blanket. All in all, the SoftHeat Ultra Micro Plush low electric blanket has proved to be the finest. Plus made a clear distinction in its achievement.
The Serta Luxe Plush is more or less the same as the Soft Heat blanket, only it comes at a slightly more exorbitant price. Serta has already built a name for themselves as a result of their quality products, and are greatly dedicated to their customers. As such, this is a product we can wholesomely recommend. The Luxe Plush features the same DC conversion technology as the SoftHeat. Plus they share lots of similar features, which include:
Cost-effective, energy saving technology intentionally engineered to be extremely safe. It, however, has an additional layer of soft fabric and fiberfill over each wire. Both of which combine to make them near undetectable and perfect for distributing heat throughout the blanket. It comes with a preheat feature for warming your bed before you get in. Lastly, you’ll probably love the fact that it’s completely machine safe – both for washing and drying.
The Sunbeam Sherpa is a perfect combination of everything you should look for in an electric blanket. It’s made of fleece, so it’s cozy and warm even before you put the heat on. If anything, the material is so soft that you won’t be able to feel the wires inside unless you really, really tried. Even then, it would still be barely. It also comes the company’s proprietary Thermofine warming system. This system can sense both your body temperature and room temperature then adjust itself accordingly to deliver consistent warmth.
This is a pretty great feature because instead of simply heating your whole body, it can sense your cold feet and direct a proportional amount of heat there. Another nice feature it has auto-shutoff. This is pretty convenient for evening use. So if you forget to turn it off before you go to bed, you don’t have to worry about it running on its own all night.
The Biddeford is another extremely comfortable blanket, thanks to the quality Sherpa and Micro Mink fabric used in its construction. It’s exceptionally soft and features ten heat settings, all together with a shut-off system and ultra-thin wires. In fact, these are virtually impossible to detect while using in bed.
The Sunbeam excels exceptionally when it comes to usability thanks to, once again, ultra-soft fabric, the same warming system used in the previous entry and better controls. If you’re concerned about maximum temperature, the Sunbeam Microplush can achieve higher heat levels than the Sunbeam at around 104.1 degrees, making it a pretty solid choice. Last, of all, this is also the most budget-friendly model on this list. What’s more, since it’s so similar to the Biddeford, they are easily interchangeable with some added benefits.
Since it has many of the same options as the Sunbeam Sherpa Mink throw, such as an easy-to-use controller and three hours auto-shut off, it offers plenty of bang for your buck.