10 Best Electric Blankets | March 2017
- can help relieve stress
- compatible with automatic timers
- very soft and flexible
- easy to grip primestyle controller
- decent cord length
- more than 15 colors to choose from
- sizes range from throw to king
- inner fiber fill for insulation
- designed not to feel too warm
- 10 heat settings
- intuitive control interface
- backed by a 5-year warranty
- helps sooth sore muscles
- evenly distributed wires
- auto-dimming controller
- led indicator lets you know it's on
- 30 and 45 minute auto off settings
- uses a 12v power outlet
- users won't feel the thin wires
- consistent heat throughout
- dual heating zones
How Does An Electric Blanket Work?
Think of an electric blanket as a big, flexible Pop Tart. The hot part is on the inside, where a network of insulated wires heat up when a current passes through them.
The blanket itself, like the delicious crust of a Pop Tart, is available in a variety of colors and with your choice of extras. Unfortunately, they do not taste like Pop Tarts.
The range of electric blankets available is as huge and bewildering as the grocery condiment aisle. Your choice of blanket, and the price you pay for it, depends on what you’re looking for.
If you’re all about comfort, you probably want a blanket with carbon fiber wires, as these are thinner and more flexible around the body, than the bulky wires in most older blankets. However, if you just want a blanket to heat up in bed before you sleep, that’s going to be less of a priority for you.
Similarly, you could save money by opting for a heated throw, rather than a full sized blanket. Unless you’re particularly weeny, you won’t find one of these throws big enough to cover you.
Though it should work well as a bonus over the top of your bed, or on the couch, to keep your Netflix and chill from getting too, well, chilly.
Nearly all the products we're listed in our top five utilize these carbon fibers. The best thing about them is that heat easily penetrates clothing, and uses less energy. Whatever saves us money and energy, makes us very happy.
Are Electric Blankets That Safe To Use?
Before you or your loved ones fall soundly asleep under a heavy, electrified product, what you really need to know is that it’s safe. So, is it?
Everything in life is a health risk, right? Depending on who you ask, the answer is yes. And those who say yes will then tell you that electrical blankets can cause cancer.
How is that even possible? Well, electric blankets produce low frequency electromagnetic fields. Now, all those big words do not spell 'cancer'. There's actually little evidence of cancer in children or adults, associated with electromagnetic fields, at this frequency.
There are other health implications you should be aware of. If you’re a man, you could be reducing your chance of having kids by sleeping under an electric blanket, just as you would by wearing tight underwear all the time.
Heck, some people even claim hot showers can give you cancer, because your body easily absorbs chlorine and other chemicals at high temperatures.
On a related note, if you’re pregnant you should also take care when using an electric blanket, as overheating can be dangerous to a fetus - and to babies too, so don’t ever use an electric blanket as bedding in a baby’s cot. Besides, many professionals agree, keep your newborn's crib empty.
As for fire safety, you should take this topic more seriously. An estimated 5,000 fires start in the UK because of faulty electric blankets, every year.
As a general rule, the newer your blanket is, the less likely it is to burn your house down, mostly because newer models feature many safety features.
That’s partly because electrical products naturally become worn and damaged over time. Don’t ever use a product with an exposed or broken cord.
If you buy a new blanket, and avoid stupidity, like bundling the whole thing into the washing machine, or crushing the wires beneath your mattress. It should give you many years of reliable warmth without turning you , and your loved ones to toast.
Electric Blankets: A Look Back In Time
1919 marks the birth year for George Crowley, the inventor and engineer whose work led to the patenting of the first thermostatically controlled electric blanket, and the electric blanket automatic shut-off function.
Before him though was inventor Sidney I Russell, who produced the first ever electrical blanket in 1921. The earliest electric blankets were ‘underblankets’, much like a heated mattress pad. This term is popularly used in the UK to this day.
The over-blanket, or just plain electric blanket in America and Canada, was invented in 1930 by the Samson United Corporation. However, others claim it was actually invented in 1939. The first recorded mention of such a product was in 1930.
In 1987 the animated children’s film The Brave Little Toaster features Blanky, the first and probably last anthropomorphised electric blanket. This really has less to do with history, and more to do with nostalgia.
Presently, it is believed that blankets manufactured before 2001 are considered unsafe. After this date marks the time when electric blankets began featuring automatic shut-off controls.
As for the future of electric blankets, that remains unclear. Our guess? -- in fifty years, they'll be as lightweight and translucent as cell phones. Just a guess though.