• Berkshire Heated Blanket with Intellisense

  • Biddeford Blankets Microplush with Sherpa Electric Blanket

  • How We Tested

  • What You Should Know About Electric Blankets

  • Other Electric Blankets We Tested

  • More Articles You Might Enjoy

Our Favorite Electric Blankets of 2020

  1. Best Overall

    Berkshire Heated Blanket with Intellisense

    Pros

    • Comfortable

    • Toasty warm

    Cons

    • Thick cords

    • Difficult to wash

    Skip to the full review below
  2. Best Value

    Biddeford Blankets Microplush with Sherpa Electric Blanket

    Pros

    • Polyester fleece material

    • 10 heat settings

    Cons

    • Not exactly machine washable

    Skip to the full review below
Berkshire
Credit: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

The Berkshire Electric Blanket won us over with its unbeatable performance and construction.

Best Overall
Berkshire Heated Blanket with Intellisense

For an electric blanket that’s extremely cozy, comfortable, and toasty warm, we’d definitely recommend the Berkshire Electric Blanket with Intellisense. This blanket was by far the most enjoyable to use of all the products we tested.

This heated blanket from Berkshire is made from two different fabrics. On top is a super soft, touchable material velvet, and on the bottom, there’s an equally soft ribbed material that’s supposed to serve as a barrier to trap heat underneath the blanket. There’s also a layer of insulation between the two. Both of these materials feel delightfully luxurious, and they’re thick enough to prevent you from feeling the inner wires, which are sewn into narrow channels to keep them in place. Unless you make a point to look for the wires, you might not even know this was an electric blanket!

When you purchase a full, queen, or king-size model of this blanket, you get two controllers that allow you to set each side of the bed independently. The controllers themselves are a bit confusing—they have a power switch on the back, and you have to press the timer button before you can adjust the temperature. However, after reading the instructions, we found it easy enough to adjust them to our liking.

Each controller has heat settings one through five, as well as a preheat option, and you can choose to have the blanket on for one, three, six, or nine hours at a time. When testing this blanket, we were impressed at the range of heat it provided, even with just a few settings. The lowest setting was just enough to banish the chill from the bed, while the higher settings provided noticeable warmth. There were never any hot or cold spots, and as an added bonus, this blanket can be cleaned in the washer on a delicate cycle, unlike many other products.

While its overall performance was great, there are a few small things we didn’t love about the Berkshire Electric Blanket. For one, its white cords are unusually thick, making them immediately noticeable under your bed. Additionally, the ports sewn into the blanket are about a foot in from the hem, instead of just a few inches. We found that this prevented us from being able to pull the blanket all the up on the bed, as the cords weren’t long enough.

Despite its minor quirks, the Berkshire Electric Blanket won us over with its unbeatable performance and construction, and we think it’s every bit worth the price on those chilly winter nights.

Pros

  • Comfortable

  • Toasty warm

Cons

  • Thick cords

  • Difficult to wash

Best Value
Credit: Reviewed / Camryn Rabideau
Best Value
Biddeford Blankets Microplush with Sherpa Electric Blanket

If you don’t plan on using your electric blanket as frequently, the Biddeford Microplush with Sherpa Electric Blanket is a bit friendlier on your wallet, and we think you’ll be pleased with its performance. The top of the blanket is a nice polyester fleece material, and the bottom is a cozy faux shearling. The wires in this product are pretty hefty, but the shearling is thick enough that you don’t notice them too much. Overall, the blanket is midweight, and it seems well-made, even if the edges aren’t finished as nicely as they could be.

In terms of features, this blanket has 10 temperature settings and an automatic 10-hour shut off. We really liked the range of temperatures available—the lowest setting was subtle enough to use all night, and the highest setting was impressively warm. Queen and King sizes come with dual heating zones, and the controllers themselves are quite sturdy and stay put on your bedside table, unlike others we tested. There’s also a pre heat option, which will warm up your bed on the maximum heat for 90 minutes before dropping down to your last-used setting.

One thing we didn’t like is that Biddeford markets this blanket as “machine-washable,” but that’s not completely accurate. Technically, yes, you can put the blanket in the washing machine, but the instructions are so specific that you’ll probably only be able to follow them with a more advanced top-load washer. You’re supposed to fill the washer with warm water, then dissolve the detergent in it. Only then do you add the blanket, letting it soak for a few minutes before spinning, rinsing, agitating ever so slightly, and rinsing again.

My front-load washer isn’t nearly advanced enough to handle these instructions, and if you’re in the same boat, you’ll have to hand-wash the blanket. It can go in the dryer, but only for five minutes, which doesn’t seem like enough time to dry it. However, if you don’t plan to use the blanket all winter, it probably won’t get too dirty and this complicated washing situation may not be a big deal.

Pros

  • Polyester fleece material

  • 10 heat settings

Cons

  • Not exactly machine washable

How We Tested

Safety Tag
Credit: Reviewed / Camryn Rabideau

As you might expect, testing electric blankets required a lot of sleeping.

The Tester

I’m Camryn Rabideau, a freelance contributor for Reviewed. I’ve been doing product testing for a few years now, and a lot of my focus has been on household linens, including bed sheets, comforters, and towels. It seemed like a natural progression to test electric blankets, especially considering we’re in the middle of a chilly New England winter.

In addition to my previous experience testing bedding, I majored in fashion in college, which required me to take numerous courses on fabrics, textile science, and manufacturing. Thanks to this education, I have a good eye for fabric quality and construction techniques, which helped me to assess the overall quality of these blankets.

The Tests

As you might expect, testing electric blankets required a lot of sleeping. We focused solely on blankets that are designed to be used overnight, so I slept with each one. To keep things fair, I made sure to set my thermostat to a brisk 60 degrees each night, and I made up the bed in the same way. In addition to using each blanket overnight, I also napped under them and used them on the couch during my nightly Netflix session.

For the blankets that had special features, such as a timer or preheat setting, I played around with the various settings, evaluating whether they were useful or just for show. Finally, I compared the warmth produced on the lowest and highest settings for each blanket, noting whether I ever had safety concerns.

What You Should Know About Electric Blankets

In general, there are three types of electric blankets: standard blankets that you sleep under overnight, heated mattress pads that you sleep on top of, and throw blankets that you can use around the house. Our testing focused on standard blankets, so the details provided in the following sections are specific to this type of product.

With that in mind, here’s what you need to know about electric blankets to make an informed purchase.

How Do Electric Blankets Work?

Electric blankets aren’t as thick or puffy as a winter comforter—if you’re looking for new bedding, our guide to the Best Comforters can help you there. Instead, they’re typically more akin to a lightweight summer blanket or throw blanket. Most are made from polyester fleece or velvet, making them super soft to the touch.

What distinguishes these blankets from a regular throw is the wiring that runs throughout the material. Unlike a heating pad, electric blankets don’t have a “cover”—the wires are integrated directly into the fabric, and they can’t be removed. At the end of the blanket is one or two connectors, depending on how many zones the blanket has, where you plug the cords in. When you set the blanket up, these connectors are typically positioned at the foot of the bed, and you then run the cords under the bed, positioning the controller(s) on your bedside table and putting the plug into a nearby outlet.

What Features Do Heated Blankets Have?

There are several common features you’ll see on electric blankets. First, almost all electric blankets have 10 heat settings and automatic shut-off after around eight to 10 hours. The blanket will automatically turn off after this period of time, so you won’t accidentally leave it on all day.

Another common feature is dual-zone controls. Queen and king-sized blankets electric blankets typically come with two controllers that allow partners to customize the heat on their side of the bed. This was once a “luxury” feature, but we’ve found it’s pretty standard today across all brands.

There are also some special features reserved for more expensive electric blankets. For instance, some models have a “preheat” option, which typically heats up the blanket on a warmer setting for 30 minutes or more before lowering the temperature. Essentially, it’s a way to heat up your bed before you get in—the preheat settings we tested specifically note not to use them when you’re in bed.

Another special feature is a timer, which means the blanket will turn off after a set number of hours. Similar to the preheat option, this will ensure you don’t get too hot overnight, and it will save electricity, too.

How to Safely Use an Electric Blanket

One of the first things you’ll notice when you buy an electric blanket is there are a lot of safety precautions. They’re listed in big bold letters in the instructions, but the blankets themselves also sport a big patch with important safety guidelines—and it can’t be removed.

In general, all heated blankets have a few key guidelines for safe use:

  • Don’t use the bedding for children, disabled individuals, or with sedatives.
  • Don’t fold, bunch, or tuck the blanket.
  • Don’t use pins on the blanket.
  • Don’t pinch, trap, tuck, or cross the electrical cords.
  • Don’t use electric blankets on pull-out or fold-up beds.
  • Don’t let your pets scratch or claw the bedding.
  • Don’t use the blanket if it’s wet.
  • Don’t use a heated blanket in combination with other heated products, such as a heating pad or mattress pad.
  • If you notice any signs of damage or misoperation, stop using it immediately.

Because it’s an electric device that you’re using while asleep, it’s important to follow these guidelines carefully to ensure your safety.

What Are Common Issues with Electric Blankets?

Despite the fact that they’ve been around for many years, electric blankets are still plagued with issues. There are several common problems you might experience if you purchase an electric blanket, and they range from moderately inconvenient to dangerous.

On the mild end of the spectrum, many electric blankets don’t last as long as you might expect, especially considering their high price. If you read reviews on popular electric blankets, you’ll see many users complain their blankets stop working after a few months—sometimes just one “zone” dies out, and other times the whole thing goes kaput. Another frequently cited issue is hot spots, where one zone or area of an electric blanket doesn’t get quite as warm as the other.

However, electric blankets can be dangerous if used incorrectly. Some users report their blankets have started smoking or melting at the connection where the cord meets the blanket. There’s also a risk of burning yourself if you leave the blanket on too high overnight. To prevent these serious problems, it’s essential to carefully read and follow the manufacturer’s safety precautions. You’ll also want to stop using your blanket if there are any signs of fraying or loose wires or other damage.

You may want to check if there's a year warranty on the blanket, too.


Other Electric Blankets We Tested

Beautyrest Microlight-to-Berber Reversible Heated Blanket

If you love plush, cozy blankets, the Beautyrest Microlight-to-Berber Reversible Heated Blanket is right up your alley. This dual-sided blanket features a super soft velvet on one side and a wonderfully cozy sherpa material on the other, making it incredibly warm and welcoming before you even turn on the heat!

This plush blanket comes in a number of rich colors, and its queen and king sizes have dual controllers, allowing partners to set their respective zones to different temperatures. Each controller comes with 20 heat settings—much more than standard—and because its fabric is fairly thick, we found that the wires aren’t as prominent.

The Beautyrest Microlight-to-Berber Blanket isn’t the quickest to heat up (you can, however, use the preheat feature to get it warmed up before you climb into bed), but once it got to temperature, your bed will stay warm. In testing its reversibility, we found that the heat is more noticeable when the velvet side is facing down, as the sherpa is so thick that it blocks some of the warmth from getting to you.

However, the factor that kept this blanket from ranking higher in our testing was its controllers. Not only are the controllers unnecessarily big and blocky, but they’re hard to adjust and read. The digital display has a piece of translucent plastic over it that prevents you from being able to read it at certain angles, and the buttons themselves are somewhat hard to press. Additionally, while the blanket does deliver a range of heat, we were expecting more of a difference between the lowest and highest settings. In general, we weren’t able to feel a difference if we only nudged it up a few numbers.

Pros

  • Plush

  • Cozy

Cons

  • Big controllers

Serta Silky Plush Heated Electric Blanket

The Serta Silky Plush Blanket is soft and cozy, and it’s made from 100 percent polyester. The queen size blanket comes with dual controllers, while the twin and full have just one heating zone. There are 10 heat settings, which we found give you a good range of temperature. Unfortunately, the wires in this blanket are pretty prominent since the single layer of fabric is fairly thin. You can feel them as soon as you lay down—it’s not necessarily a dealbreaker, but personally, I’d prefer not to feel them if I don’t have to.

In terms of features, the Serta Heated Electric Blanket includes a standard 10-hour shut off, as well as a programmable timer. Its controller felt a little cheap, especially considering the price of this blanket, but it was easy to use and stayed in place on the bedside table. Additionally, this blanket can be washed normally in your washer and dryer, so that’s always a plus.

Pros

  • Made of 100% polyester

  • Has a good range of temperature

Cons

  • Prominent wires

Brookstone Heated Micro-Fleece Blanket

The Brookstone Heated Microfleece Blanket fell solidly in the middle of the pack during our testing. It excelled in some areas while falling short in others.

In terms of what it did well, this electric blanket is easy to set up and it heats up extremely quickly. The queen and king sizes have dual controllers, and there are 10 heat settings from you to choose from. One particularly nice aspect of this blanket is its timer function, which can be set in 30 minutes increments ranging from 30 minutes to 9.5 hours. Another plus is that this electric blanket can be washed on the delicate cycle in your washer and machine dried—a rare feature for heated blankets.

The major downside of the Brookstone Heated Blanket, however, is that the fleece fabric is quite thin, so we felt the inner wires as soon as we climbed under it. The wires themselves aren’t overly thick, but they’re definitely prominent, which sometimes makes you feel like you’re wrapped up in a fishing net. The wires also stop around a foot from the end of the blanket, creating noticeable cold spots, and the controllers are clunky and oversized, especially considering they only have a few buttons.

Pros

  • Heats up quickly

  • Easy to set up

Cons

  • Thin fabric

Perfect Fit Soft Heat Micro Fleece Warming Blanket

The Perfect Fit SoftHeat Low-Voltage Electric Heated Blanket is an interesting concept, which is why we wanted to test it. The whole idea behind this blanket is it uses low-voltage wires, which the brand claims are safer for pets, can be used around moisture, and in theory, don’t create an electromagnetic field. It sounds like a good idea, but this blanket has a few issues that kept it from ranking higher in our testing.

The Perfect Fit SoftHeat is made from polyester micro-fleece, and while it’s only one fairly thin layer, the wires are so fine that you can’t feel them at all—definitely a plus! However, because this blanket converts your normal 120 volt AC home current into a low-voltage DC current, there’s a small “supply box” that needs to be connected to each controller. This increases the number of wires you’re dealing with, and we found the setup to be a bit complicated as a result. Further, the controllers themselves felt really cheap. There’s essentially just an on/off button and a dial that you twist to select one of 10 heat settings, and the plastic is so thin that the backlight makes the whole controller glow. They work fine, but compared to some of the other controllers, these ones seem low-quality.

SoftHeat is a good name for this product, as it provides a much more subtle warmth than standard heated blankets. On its lowest setting, the blanket doesn’t really feel warm—it just eliminates the cold, if that makes sense. However, I made the mistake of reading this product’s reviews before using it, and users cite a wide range of issues, including some instances of the connector and/or supply box smoking, melting, or even catching on fire. With these warnings in my head, it was an uneasy night of sleep. The blanket seemed to work fine when I used it, but if you do buy this blanket, you’ll want to be especially diligent about checking the cords, connectors, and supply boxes for signs of malfunction.

Pros

  • Fine wires

Cons

  • Controllers feel cheap

Sunbeam Quilted Fleece Heated Blanket

The Sunbeam Quilted Fleece Heated Blanket was the least welcoming of the bunch, as its fleece fabric wasn’t particularly soft or cozy. It’s made from polyester like the rest of the products, but it’s not pleasing to the touch and I didn’t want it against my bare skin. Additionally, the wires inside this blanket were very stiff—you can feel them immediately when you lie under it, and when I tried to fold the blanket up, the wires made it difficult.

One thing that’s different about this blanket is there’s only one connector, even though it has two separate heating zones. For this reason, you have to set the cords up in a specific way to ensure the controllers end up on the right sides of the bed—I didn’t realize this until I had already spent 10 minutes threading the cords under the bed. It was a bit frustrating, but also my fault for not reading the directions more carefully. Another problem was that the cord connecting the two controllers was a little too short to reach under my bed, so if one controller got jostled or pulled, the other one fell off the side table.

This electric blanket has 10 heat settings and a 10-hour shut off, but that’s about it in terms of features. It seemed to get warmer than other blankets, even on low settings, and when I used it overnight on setting 2, I woke up after a few hours uncomfortably warm. As such, I would be concerned using this blanket on a high setting overnight.

Pros

  • Gets warm quickly

Cons

  • Not very soft or cozy

  • Stiff wires

Sunbeam Velvet Plush Heated Blanket

The Sunbeam Velvet Plush Heated Blanket is essentially the same product as the Sunbeam Quilted Fleece Heated Blanket, except its fabric is softer. It has all the same issues—confusing setup, too-short controller cord, and extra-warm low setting—and I found the wires to be even more prominent in its velvety polyester fabric since it was thinner than the quilted fleece. Plus, it’s quite a bit more expensive than the other Sunbeam model, even though they’re pretty much the same thing.

Pros

  • Soft fabric

Cons

  • Confusing setup

  • Short cord

Beautyrest Ribbed Microfleece Heated Blanket

While we were impressed by the other Beautyrest contender, the Beautyrest Heated Ribbed Microfleece Blanket fell short for us. In addition to the same clunky controllers, this electric blanket is made of thin fabric that’s not overly soft or welcoming, and you can readily feel its wires.

Not only did we find this blanket to have cold spots because the wires were too far apart, but the wires stop almost a foot away from the edges of the blanket, leaving you with cold toes if you stretch out too much. Overall, there are simply better options out there to spend your hard-earned money on.

Pros

  • None we could find

Cons

  • Clunky controllers

  • Thin fabric

Meet the tester

Camryn Rabideau

Camryn Rabideau

Contributor

@CamrynWrites

Camryn Rabideau is a valued contributor to the Reviewed.com family of sites.

See all of Camryn Rabideau's reviews

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