How Exactly Does an Electric Blanket Work? Everything You Need to Know!

Is it close to that time of year? Do you feel the chill in the air as you leave in the mornings for work or feel it seeping into your bones on your way home in the evening? If so, it may be time to either dig out or invest in a bone-body-soul warming electric blanket. This marvelous invention is all the comforts of a soft blanket combined with the soothing heat of an electric burner. What more could you ask for?

Many people use electric linens during colder months to keep warm over other sources of heat due to the low maintenance it provides. It is another attractive option for many as it doesn’t increase the cost of your monthly electric bill like other sources of heat could. It is to be noted though that an electric bedspread should not replace the source of heat in your home as it doesn’t heat the atmosphere or internal pipes. Electric linen of any kind only heats the fabric itself, providing a source of warmth to those under it.

But how exactly does an electric blanket work? Read on through this post to find out!

You may want to read: Best Full-Size Electric Blanket

What is an Electric Blanket?

An electric bedspread or throw is a blanket made from a heavy, sturdy material with an internal integrated wiring system that provides warmth and heat through coil wires. These blankets generally plug into your electrical outlet and can be set on different levels of heat. The majority of electric linens are made from a combination of polyester and acrylic material. This blend prevents potential fire hazards while being interwoven enough to trap and maintain warmth.

Most common brands offer blankets with at least three heat levels – low, medium and high. Electric bedspreads that are made for a double or king-sized bed (two people) might come with adjustable heat levels on each side.

The level of heat is controlled through an attached remote that can change the level of heat through the flick of a button.


Exactly How Does an Electric Blanket Work?

An electric cover has a series of interconnected coil wires protected by a plastic heat-resistant coating that once engaged or plugged into your electrical outlet, provides a steady source of heat while using 120V of electricity. The wires heat to the desired temperature and can be used before bed or during sleep. Some people prefer to use electric linen to heat the bed only, and others might prefer to use it throughout the night.


Each brand and style of electric linens will have big connectors in the end area of the blanket that are used to channel electricity from your outlets to the wires inside the blanket. These connectors must be disengaged and unplugged bodily from the blanket before cleaning or washing. The safest place for the connector to rest during use is at the foot of the blanket or towards the end of the bed. This ensures the blanket will not be disconnected throughout the night or overheat due to sleep-related movements, plugging and unplugging the connectors, which can interrupt the power source.

Newer models (post-2001) of electric bedspreads can be purchased with thermostats and temperature gauges that read the combination of body heat and electric heat to provide a pleasant sleeping experience. These models also contain shutoff mechanisms to prevent overheating and potential fire hazards. These mechanisms will immediately shut off the blanket in the case of overheating once the blanket reaches a certain internal temperature. Some models offer the ability to pre-set what time the blanket is switched on and off, which further increases the safety of using an electric linen.

Newer models are heated using carbon-fiber wires to further ensure safety while providing consistent temperatures. Carbon-fiber wires are also used by the majority of vehicle manufacturers during the construction of heated seats.


Advantages and Disadvantages of an Electric Blanket

As with any product, electric bedspreads and throws can have advantages and disadvantages to their usage. Some of the advantages of an electric blanket are:

    1. It can be cleaned and washed properly at home, provided you follow the instructions provided exactly to avoid damage to your blanket’s internal wiring system.

    2. It provides a consistent and steady source of heat during colder months and can be beneficial to those who suffer from poor circulation. Poor circulation can leave a person constantly feeling chilled and seeking warmth.

    3. Newer models are designed to use low wattages of electricity that, with the aid of a transformer, does not draw electricity directly from the outlet to provide heat but is cycled through the transformer. This reduces fire hazards.

    4. Can be a “green” way to save energy and reduces the need for multiple layers on your bed during colder months.

Some of the disadvantages of using an electric blanket are:

    An older model may use not only more electricity, increasing your monthly bill, but it might not contain shutoff mechanisms. This could increase fire hazards and instances of overheating.

    As with all wired products, an electric bedspread will eventually wear out or lose heating power over time, creating an expense on your budget when it is time to replace the blanket.

    These blankets should not be used on people who are incapacitated or numbed to heat. When used improperly, an electric blanket can cause burns. Practice safety.

    Should not be used if you sleep with a pet, as chewing and clawing can damage the wires, rendering the blanket useless or damaged.


Types of Electric Blankets

If a heavy blanket doesn’t suit your preferences for sleeping or you prefer a light covering on your skin, then perhaps a different style of an electric bedspread is right for you. Electric linens are available in the following types:



The most common type of electric cover is the duvet or over blanket, as this is the exact same style of duvet you would use during warmer seasons. They come in a range of colors and designs while offering the thickness and comfort of a duvet and the warmth of a consistent heat source.


This type of electric linen is placed on top of the mattress but under the fitted (bottom) sheet. They are generally thin enough that your fitted sheet should still fit your mattress but thick enough to provide a consistent heat throughout the night. Very similar to a heated mattress pad.


This type of electric linen is designed as a normal decorative or thin throw that you would use to highlight furniture in the room but with the same internal wiring system to provide warmth during colder months.


Now that you know exactly how an electric blanket works to provide you with consistent warmth during colder months, maybe you would like to purchase a new or upgraded one. Check out Business Insider’s guide to the top-selling electric blankets available for today’s market. This comprehensive article offers information regarding different blankets to suit your needs and budget.

If you found this article informative or would like to let your family and peers know what an electric bedspread could do for them; then feel free to share it with them!

Do you have favorite electric linen or do you know what brands offer the best consistent warmth? Let us know in the comments below!