After a new round of testing, we've added five new products and named a new Best Overall pick, the Sunbeam Velvet Plush Cozy Feet Heated Blanket.
No season is more grueling than winter. When the temperature plummets outside, your heating bill can really take a hit. If your sheets and comforters aren't keeping you warm enough, electric blankets are a great item to buy to turn up the heat level.
One of the main appeals of electric blankets is that they’ll keep you toasty all night long, allowing you to lower the thermostat and save money on heating. However, a lot of electric blankets have thin wires, high price tags, a low heating level, and mediocre ratings, so we set out on a mission to find which models were actually worth buying no matter what size bed you have.
After weeks of research and testing, we can tell you that the Sunbeam Velvet Plush Cozy Feet(available at Amazon for $174.95) is the best electric blanket you can buy. Available in a number of sizes, it offers extra heat in the foot area, plush fabric, and a five-year warranty.
Here are the best electric blankets we tested:
Sunbeam Velvet Plush Cozy Feet Heated Blanket
Sunbeam Microplush Heated Blanket with Digital Display Controller
Serta Brushed Fleece Heated Electric Blanket
Westinghouse Soft and Silky Flannel Warming Blanket
Perfect Fit Soft Heat Micro Fleece Warming Blanket
The Sunbeam Cozy Feet does several things very well. During testing, the heat it produced was consistent throughout the blanket, leaving no cold spots.
For those with a limited number of electrical outlets in their bedroom, the Cozy Feet only requires one wall plug, even in larger sizes of the blanket that offer dual heating zones—like the queen-size version we tested. Not all large electric blankets are set up this way. Having two heating zones and dual controls allows you and your sleep partner to use different temperature settings on each side of the blanket, making for a comfortable, climate-controlled snooze for all involved. Additionally, as its name suggests, the Comfy Feet comes with independently controlled heat zones for your feet. The foot zone can be set higher than the rest of the blanket, resulting in a noticeably warmer foot pocket. For anyone with cold feet, this is the electric blanket of your dreams.
The material the Cozy Feet is made from is ultra-soft, with excellent stitching along its edges. The edges of the blanket are rolled, ensuring that the seams feel as soft and fuzzy as the rest of the blanket. There is a stiffer fabric on the inside of the blanket, which contains its heat-producing electrical wiring. While not as pliable as other electric blankets in this guide, this stiffness and weight help keep the blanket from folding and bending on itself. Since the blanket can’t get scrunched up as easily, it feels like the wires don’t get bent and are protected by this stiff fabric. All things considered, the Cozy Feet blanket weighs in at nine pounds, controllers and cables included. This makes it one of the heavier blankets we’ve tested.
This extra weight and the thickness, however, pay off. During testing, we found that it was one of the warmest blankets we’ve had the pleasure of lunging under. During our 30-minute temperature test, with the blanket set to its highest heat level, the Cozy Feet registered a peak temperature of 91.2 ℉. This is great news for anyone that never feels quite warm enough, but it could be a dealbreaker for others: Heavy, dense, and hot as it is if you and your sleep partner have vastly different temperature preferences, keeping one individual warm and the other one feeling cooler could be a challenge. even with the heat turned off on one side of the bed.
My name is Rebecca Boniface. As a full-time RV nomad, folks assume that when temperatures start dropping I would move my house towards warmer climates. The reality is a bit different: sometimes, I get stuck in a colder place, so I'm always prepared for a wide range of temperatures which help keep me on the road and in my RV home.
When the weather is truly awful, being able to hunker down in bed with an electric blanket keeps me toasty and my propane consumption lower than when I heat the entire house. At night, dropping the furnace and the oil heater down but cranking my electric blanket up allows me to keep warm using a smaller amount of electricity.
Our first round of testing was completed by Camryn Rabideau, a freelance contributor, who's been testing household linens for Reviewed for a few years, including bed sheets, comforters, and towels. She majored in fashion in college, which required her to take numerous courses on fabrics, textile science, and manufacturing, giving her the expertise to evaluate fabric quality and construction techniques of the blankets.
We tested electric blankets in a room heated to 60℉, while the tester lounged under the blanket and read—one of the toughest gigs we’ve ever had.
We started by testing each blanket passively (with the power turned off) and then, with the power turned on. This gave us an understanding of how warm the blanket was with and without electric heat.
To register how much warmth each of the blankets generated, we used iButton temperature sensors. Before getting under each of the blankets, an iButton was tucked into the hip pocket of the tester’s pajama pants. Once covered up in the blanket, the tester would turn the blanket on, turn it up to its maximum temperature and stay under it for 30 minutes. This method allowed us to collect the peak temperature for each of the blankets.
In between tests, the bed being used was stripped of the electric blanket and tested, using an IR thermometer to ensure that its temperature dropped back down to match the temperature of the room it was in. We also ensured that the tester’s body temperature had a chance to drop back down, between each test.
Finally, we looked at the average amount of electricity each blanket used while in operation, by plugging it into a Belkin Energy Monitor. The blankets all used such a minor amount of electricity that we felt the data collected in this area was a secondary consideration, at best.
On the subjective side of things, we considered the build quality of each blanket, how intuitive its power controls were, the blanket’s shell material felt against the skin and, how noticeable the wires were inside each of the blankets.
What You Should Know About Electric and Heated 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.
Do I Need an Electric Blanket?
If you feel like the cold weather really impacts you, an electric blanket is an effective way to warm yourself up without heating up the entire room. An electric blanket can also be used to preheat a bed, if crawling into a cold bed is an unpleasant thought. If your feet are often chilled, an electric blanket helps warm up faster and stay warm more effectively than throwing a pair of socks on in bed can.
As part of the testing, we used a highly-rated Amazon Basics blanket and I was reminded of how effective regular blankets can be. After testing several electric blankets in a row, I expected to be disappointed by a non-heated version. Other than a bit of chill around my arms, I didn’t notice much difference. Our heat sensor supported this, noting a peak temperature of 1.4℉ difference between the unheated blanket and our Best Overall pick. So, if the room you’re in isn’t particularly chilly, an electric blanket might not serve you as well as you might be hoping.
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
Sunbeam Microplush Heated Blanket with Digital Display Controller
The Sunbeam Microplush’s construction is not as nice as the other blankets in this guide—its wires are thick and a bit rigid. The wires are all the more noticeable thanks to the Microplus thin fabric. That said, it does offer a nice preheat feature with a separate button on its well-designed controllers.
That the blanket’s preheat functionality can be turned on by clicking a single button, instead of having to hunt for it through a menu of other features, makes it pleasant to use.
That it comes with a five-year warranty should ensure that the Microplush gives you long years of service, provided you treat it well.
The Serta Brushed Fleece Heated Blanket had the highest peak temperature of any of the products in this guide, hitting 92.3℉ during testing. When you consider its lightweight fabric, the Serta offers one of the best ranges of possible temperature. As a light blanket with very effective heating, the Serta would be ideal for couples with vastly different sleeping temperature preferences. For the person who sleeps hotter, leaving the blanket off allows for significantly cooler bedding with the heated side being reasonably warm.
However, the very noticeable cords in the thin material result in a fairly uncomfortable blanket. Unlike a number of other blankets in this guide, which offer a five-year warranty, the Serta’s warranty runs out after three years.
The Westinghouse has a lot of great features. The feel of its super soft fabric is lovely. The stitching along its edges is outstanding: the fabric at the edges is folded over to hide the thread work. The wires inside of the Westinghouse were not particularly noticeable and its controller felt like great build quality. This blanket comes with a five-year warranty, from a well-established company is a great feature and might be worth the purchase if found at a good price. Unfortunately, during testing I found that its heating was patchy, leaving many spots unheated for long periods of time.
Perfect Fit Soft Heat Micro Fleece Warming Blanket
With wiring that can barely be felt inside of the blanket, the Perfect Fit Soft Heat Warming Blanket feels very much like a regular polyester blanket. While soft and cozy, the Perfect Fit doesn’t offer any of the fancier features like separate heating zones for feet that our Best Overall pick does. However, it does provide consistent, subtle heat, which peaked at 90.8℉ during testing. However, we were unimpressed with the limited functionality of its controller: There is no way to set a specific auto shutoff time, for example. We also have issues with the blanket’s warranty support. While the Perfect Fit comes with a five-year warranty, our research uncovered that some customers have had difficulty having their warranty honored. Taking a close look at the company’s website, we found that multiple links lead to content unrelated to Perfect Fit products. And, when we called their warranty support number, we received no answer.
With this in mind, the Perfect Fit might not be a great buy right now.
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.
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 model 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 about using this blanket on a high setting overnight.
The Beautyrest Heated Ribbed Microfleece Blanket fell short for us. In addition to its 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.
Camryn Rabideau is a full-time freelance writer and product tester with eight years of experience. She's been lucky enough to test hundreds of products firsthand, and her specialties include bedding and pet products, which often require help from her two dogs, three cats, and flock of rambunctious chickens.
Our team is here for one purpose: to help you buy the best stuff and love what you own. Our writers, editors, and lab technicians obsess over the products we cover to make sure you're confident and satisfied. Have a different opinion about something we recommend? Email us and we'll compare notes.