A bitter cold- one that bites deep and gets into your bones is hard to shake. That’s why a heated blanket becomes one of your best friends in the middle of winter. Do you dread crawling into bed at night because the sheets are bound to feel like ice on your bare feet? Are you suffering from debilitating pain due to fibromyalgia or other condition that creates a deep pain and only heat can soothe it away? An electric blanket from Sunbeam or Biddeford could help with any of these issues.
The real question is: Which one should you choose? Each brand is well-known in the electric blanket industry, and they’re similar in all the details. To get to the heart of the matter, you need to look at the breakdown of each brand and its blankets, and then read through what others have to say about the blankets.
There are literally hundreds of options when you consider a Sunbeam heated blanket. They range in size, color, heat, and plushness. There are also various features for each electric blanket, so you can get the one that suits your needs. For example, the Sunbeam Channeled Velvet Plush Electric Heated Blanket includes the option of selecting a 2-hour, 6-hour, or 10-hour automatic shutoff, which is helpful when you don’t want to have to remember to turn off your blanket.
The Sunbeam Luxurious Velvet Plush King Heated Blanket with its 20 Heat Settings offers plenty of choices when it comes to personalized heat settings, but it doesn’t give you an option on the auto shutoff – only 10 hours. Each blanket seems to have its pros and cons, and when you look at each blanket, you may wonder why Sunbeam hasn’t just included all the best bits of each blanket on all of them. The answer to that may be affordability. This particular blanket with 20 heat settings is a bit pricier than the one mentioned above.
- Machine washable
- Very soft
- Light- to mid-weight
- Dual controllers for large-sized blankets
- Material can be slippery
- Cords are sometimes short
Wires can be an issue with some heated blankets. Often, they’re heavy and can be felt through the material. For the most part, Sunbeam’s blankets include thin wires, and you can only feel them if you try to feel for them. In some of the less expensive options, the wires can be bulky and quite obvious.
For larger sized blankets, the controllers are smartly designed with cords long enough to reach your bedside tables. On throws, though, they can be oddly placed near the top of the blanket, which means you’ll be cuddling with the controller.
The placement of the plug for the blanket is typically at the foot of the blanket, which is a bit unavoidable. However, in some cases, you can clearly feel it with your toes and maybe even unplug it unintentionally.
Feel of Materials
It’s hard to find an electric blanket made with anything other than polyester, as it’s a safe material for heating. The good news is that polyester is quite soft, so the higher quality Sunbeam blankets offer a very soft feel. The downside to some of these plusher materials is that they could be quite slippery. That means that your blanket may slide right off your sheets.
Sunbeam typically includes a preheat function on its blankets (not throws), which is what most people love the most. You can set it up to start warming your sheets and bed 30 minutes before you climb in, and you’re sure to cozy up to a warm bed rather than having icy sheets.
The auto shutoff feature is both for safety purposes and for your convenience. There’s no need to panic if you left your electric blanket on when you jump in the shower in the morning. Most of Sunbeam’s heated blankets turn off automatically after 10 hours, and some blankets let you choose the shutoff time – after 2 hours, 6 hours, or 10 hours.
One of the most important aspects of a heated blanket is how well and evenly it heats, and Biddeford gets top marks for that. The wires may be thin, so you can’t feel them on top of you, but they are quite effective. Biddeford only offers up to 10 heat settings, but that should be plenty of heat options to get just the right amount of heating out of your blanket.
When it comes to softness, Biddeford gets it. An electric blanket doesn’t have to be threadbare. The Biddeford MicroPlush Sherpa Electric Heated Blanket has a silky soft microplush side on top, and underneath is a thick Sherpa material, which is super cozy. Despite the higher quality, the blanket is still quite affordable. Perhaps the biggest drawback of a Biddeford blanket is the spotty customer support. While product descriptions claim a five-year warranty, some customers have reported it’s only one year.
- Ultra-thin wires
- Soft material
- Machine washable
- Generous in size
- Defects seem common
- Warranty info is mixed
Biddeford gets a big thumbs up when it comes to the inner working of its electric blankets. The company seems to always use thin, flat wires, so you rarely notice the wires working their magic to keep you toasty warm. The materials used also seem to be of high quality, so you won’t have to worry about your blanket falling apart after only one season of use.
Feel of Materials
These electric blankets are anything but thin. That doesn’t mean that they’re heavy, necessarily, but they’re made with thick materials that are super soft to the touch. The Sherpa is fluffy, and when a blanket is described as plush, it is.
Biddeford includes the features you’d expect on a top-tier electric blanket. All the blankets by this brand include controllers, so you can easily set the heat to what you want. You can also take advantage of the auto shut-off, but you don’t get to choose when that happens – 10 hours after turning it on, it shuts off.
Preheat isn’t a common feature for Biddeford to include, but you can easily preheat your bed by simply turning on the blanket a half hour before you head to bed.
Sunbeam vs Biddeford Heated Blankets Comparison
|Sizes||Twin, full, queen, king, throw||Twin, full, queen, king, throw|
|Heat settings||Up to 20||Up to 10|
|Auto-off||2-, 6-, or 10-hour shutoff||10-hour shutoff|
|Controllers||Twin, full, throw: 1; Queen, King: 2||Twin, full, throw: 1; Queen, King: 2|
|Warranty||5 years||5 years|
It’s hard to point at one brand and claim that it’s the best one of all because it all depends on what you want. If you’re looking for a super-soft, plush blanket that’s also heated, then Biddeford may be your best bet. Sunbeam keeps its blankets a little thinner, but they’re also quite soft. From what customers say, a warranty claim is smoother with Biddeford than Sunbeam. But you get more features from a Sunbeam blanket. And both brands are affordable and close in price, depending on which blanket you’re considering. Whichever heated blanket brand you choose, you’re likely to get a good deal on a soft blanket that heats up your sheets every night and keep you warm throughout the winter.