As one of the UK’s leading electric blanket retailers, we’re in a better position than most to give you the facts about heated blankets. Our fact-checker will give you the full story behind some commonly-held electric blanket myths and see if there’s any truth to them.
Myth: Electric Blankets Can’t Be Used in Bed
Fact: Many, but not all, electric blankets are safe to be used under your duvet.
Many electric blankets – such as fully fitted electric blankets and heated mattress covers - are designed to be used under your bedsheets. These blankets are fitted with thermostats and overheat protection systems so they can regulate their own temperature and will shut off long before they get hot enough to become dangerous.
All modern electric blankets come with some sort of overheat protection, but blankets that are designed to be used under your duvet are a little more sensitive. Generally, all fitted electric blankets and heated mattress toppers are safe to use all night under your duvet, as well as some more advanced overblankets (such as this Dreamland model). Usually, if you see something advertised as a heated throw, that means it’s not suitable for use under your duvet.
Homefront Premium Fully Fitted Double Size Fleece Electric Blanket
Price: £62.99Buy Now
Myth: Electric Blankets Can’t Be Used All Night
Fact: Modern electric blankets are safe for all-night use.
As we mentioned above, modern electric blankets are fitted with thermostats and overheat protection. This allows them to detect when the temperature of the blanket is rising too much and shut down if necessary. As long as you’re using it appropriately, most new electric blankets are perfectly safe for all-night use.
Myth: Electric Blankets Are Hard to Clean
Fact: Modern electric blankets are designed to be cleaned in a washing machine.
Nearly all modern electric blankets have detachable power cords and controls, meaning you can put the blanket itself in the washing machine without any problem. In fact, most electric blankets are specifically designed to be washed in a washing machine and not by hand. Read this guide for more information on how to wash an electric blanket.
Myth: Electric Blankets Are Fragile and Need to Be Replaced Regularly
Fact: Electric blankets should be replaced every 10 years.
Over time, electric blankets will gradually accumulate wear and tear, meaning you should look to replace them every 10 years or so. If you have an electric blanket that’s around a decade old, you should be looking at replacing it – chances are the protective coating that surrounds the heating elements is starting to wear away and the blanket material can start to become threadbare. This will make your blanket less comfortable, less efficient, and can put you at risk of burns.
Note that not all electric blankets are created equal – cheaply-made models with poor-quality fabric and heating wires won’t last as long as a well-made electric blanket.
Myth: Electric Blankets Are Uncomfortable and Lumpy
Fact: Depends on the blanket.
While some cheaply-made electric blankets can be thin and full of uncomfortable wires, not all blankets are made this way. A quality electric blanket should be made with thick material and contain thin wires that you don’t feel while you’re using your blanket.
Sweet Dreams Prestige Luxury Electric Blanket with Dual Controls - Double
Price: £65.99Buy Now
Myth: Electric Blankets Can’t Be Used with Pacemakers
Fact: The NHS advises that electric blankets do not interfere with pacemakers.
Electric blankets are no different to TVs, radios, vacuum cleaners, or any other everyday household appliance. They do give off some electromagnetic radiation as every electrical appliance does, but this isn’t harmful and won’t affect most pacemakers. Always double check with your doctor if you’re uncertain about using an electric blanket with your pacemaker.
Myth: You Can’t Use Electric Blankets When Pregnant
Fact: Electric blankets are safe to use for the first 8 months of pregnancy, but shouldn’t be used for the last month.
Electric blankets are mostly safe to use when pregnant, with a few caveats. First, you should only use a modern electric blanket with overheat protection. Electric blankets themselves won’t harm you or your baby, but it’s unhealthy to let your body temperature get above 39°C for an extended period when pregnant. Modern blankets will shut down long before they get to that point, but if you’re using an older blanket there’s a chance it won’t have overheat protection.
You shouldn’t use your blanket through the last month of pregnancy as there’s a chance that your waters could break suddenly through the night.
Myth: You Can’t Use Electric Blankets with Memory Foam Mattresses
Fact: This is, generally speaking, true. Electric blankets shouldn’t be used with memory foam mattresses.
There aren’t any health risks to using an electric blanket with a memory foam mattress, but a fitted electric blanket can stop your memory foam from properly moulding around your body. Heat from an electric blanket can also interfere with the shaping of some memory foam mattresses. Some mattress manufacturers say you can use a heated throw on top of your duvet without affecting your memory foam, but most will advise against it.
Myth: You Can’t Use Electric Blankets with Mattress Toppers
Fact: You can use a fitted electric blanket with a fabric mattress topper, but not with a plastic one.
If you have a mattress topper that’s made of fabric or fleece, put that on your mattress first, then fit your electric blanket over the top of it.
Myth: You Can’t Use Electric Blankets with Adjustable Beds
Fact: This myth is actually mostly true. Fitted electric blankets should not be used with adjustable beds.
The wires inside electric blankets can get pinched and trapped by adjustable beds when they move. This can damage the wires, leading to an inefficient and uneven heat from your blanket. You can use a heated throw over the top of an adjustable bed provided you keep it away from your bed while you adjust it.