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The Benefits of a Heated Blanket and When You'll Need One This Year

Updated December 3, 2019

Female sleeping on her side on top of an electric blanket

With the colder months upon us, it can be difficult to find the perfect temperature while we’re sleeping. Wearing extra clothing for warmth can be uncomfortable or feel restrictive, and extra bedding takes time before it reaches the right temperature.

A heated blanket can help alleviate the issue of temperature, but the list of benefits doesn’t stop at “keeping you warm.”

Save Money on Heating

Depending on whether you use gas or electric heating for your home, heating costs for an apartment can range between $40 and $160 per month. The more rooms you have in your house or apartment, the more energy will be required to heat it all. Particularly at night, it can be wasteful to heat every room in your house when you’re only occupying one.

While space heaters can help you keep specific rooms in the house warm, they still use more energy than an electric blanket, and the heat they provide is not as targeted.

Even if you live in a state with milder winters, you can still save money on heating when nights get particularly cold.

Compared to central heating or space heaters, a heated blanket only needs enough energy to keep you warm, and you can control the temperature to make it perfect for you. This is particularly helpful if you share a home with other people who all like different temperatures while they sleep.

This makes it a comparatively eco-friendly way of keeping your space warm at night or during the colder months.

Natural Pain Relief

Heat is one of the most basic forms of pain relief, since the heat receptors in our body actually block the effect of chemical signals that indicate pain to your brain. This can help with an array of issues including soreness, aching muscles, stiffness and cramps.

Heat also helps increase circulation, which can help your body heal and recover from injuries or workouts.

Not only could the pain relief aspects of a heated blanket help you fall asleep faster at night, but they will also help you feel better during the day.

Helps You Sleep Better

As we sleep during the night, our body goes through different stages of rest to achieve a full night’s sleep. It’s important that we progress through each stage naturally without interruption or we end up feeling unrested and find it harder to function through the next day.

An increase or decrease in temperature can affect your sleep cycle, even if it does not wake you up completely. A heated blanket helps keep your body at the same temperature throughout the night, ensuring that your sleep cycle isn’t interrupted and you wake up feeling refreshed and energized.

A heated blanket will also warm your bed to the perfect temperature for sleeping before you even hit the mattress. This way, you won’t overcompensate for being colder with too many blankets and then wake up hot in the middle of the night. Your heated blanket will keep it a consistent temperature all night long, or you can set a timer to shut off the blanket after a few hours.

It can also help you fall asleep by creating a warm and inviting space, reducing muscle and joint pain and easing tension.

Can Help Improve Your Mood

two females drinking from a cup with an electric blanket on top

Just like heating your home, your body has to use energy to keep your body warm. During the colder months, or at night when people generally set the temperature in their homes to be cooler, your body has to use more energy to keep itself warm.

When you use a heated blanket, you’re helping your body maintain a certain temperature without using extra energy. Plus, because you’re getting a good night’s sleep, you will start your day feeling better.

They’re Safe to Use

Unlike earlier models, today’s heated blankets use low-voltage wiring. As long as you aren’t using an old or secondhand model, most electric blankets are perfectly safe to use if you follow the manufacturer’s instructions and check it over for damage each year.

How to Choose a Heated Blanket

There are two kinds of heating bedding: pads and blankets. Pads go over the mattress like a fitted blanket and heat you from underneath, and blankets go over you. If you have a foam mattress, you should avoid using heating pads because it can damage the foam material and the heat can soften it, providing less support for your body while you sleep.

You will also want to confirm that the blanket meets all of the necessary safety regulations. Cheaper blankets may not have gone through the rigorous testing that other brands have. This is important because it ensures the safety of the heating unit and its ability to provide a consistent temperature.

Most blankets are made using cotton, polyester or fleece, and the type you choose will mostly depend on your preference. Investing in a quality heated blanket not only means that it will meet safety requirements, but also that it uses the best, most comfortable material.

You should also consider the temperature range that you want for your heated blanket, as different brands and types have different options. Additionally, pay attention to the type of controller that comes with the blanket. Are the numbers easy to read? Is it a dial switch, buttons, or digital? Is the controller detachable for your convenience?

It may also be a good idea to invest in a heated blanket that comes with a timer so you can decide how long you want it to be on.

How to Use a Heated Blanket

If you’re sold on the idea of a heated blanket, the best times of year to use one is obviously during the winter when there is a need for additional warmth. However, you shouldn’t overlook the benefits of using a heated blanket year-round. Thanks to its therapeutic properties and sleep aid features, a heated blanket can be a welcome accessory when you’re in pain or sick.

When using a heated blanket, it’s best not to use other heated devices in conjunction with it, such as laptops or stomach pads. You should also avoid putting heavy objects on the blanket as this may cause it to overheat.

If pets sleep with you, you shouldn’t use a heated blanket. Not only will you risk overheating your furry friend, but your animal’s claws or teeth might damage the insulation or wiring.

You should unplug your heated blanket after each use to ensure it doesn’t get overheated or that the power cord doesn’t get twisted.

If you’re storing the heated blanket for the season, allow it to cool completely and then roll or hang it up. You should avoid folding the heated blanket as this can damage the wiring.

Check the heated blanket for any damage before using it, especially if it has been in storage. You will want to look for any fraying or exposed wires that could be a safety hazard.

Most modern heated blankets can be machine washed and dried, but you should refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning and care.

When used correctly, a heating blanket can be a cozy addition to your home and provide comfort, pain relief, and better sleep throughout the year.