When it’s cold outside and you’re trying to get a good night’s rest, you need all the warmth you can get, and that goes double for your bed. An electric blanket can help keep you warm and toasty at night as the temperature drops. Many people find that electric blankets can help alleviate symptoms of arthritis or menstrual cramps, in addition to providing additional warmth. To save money on your heating bill, you may benefit from the extra warmth. Find out how electric blankets work by reading on. What are the expected costs? Are electric blankets dangerous to use?
The History of The Electric Blanket
For millennia, people have been looking for a way to keep their beds toasty warm. Heating stones in the fire and placing them at the bottom of beds was common practice in medieval times. More elaborate and elegant bed warmers were used in the Renaissance and Victorian periods, which consisted of a metal-covered pan with a long handle that was placed in the bed and filled with hot embers from the fire. Small fire pits were put into the midst of some of the beds. Hot water bottles made of rubber and cotton became popular by the late 1800s.
Circa 1912, the first electric blankets were created. Instead of being utilized as a top layer, it was originally intended to be placed on the bottom. After WWII, sales of the blanket skyrocketed thanks to the development of a cozier variant in the 1930s. The electric blanket’s popularity has fluctuated throughout the 20th century and into the 21st century, as technology has advanced.
What Is An Electric Blanket?
An electric blanket is actually more like a quilt than a blanket in terms of structure. Heat coils are sandwiched between two blankets or pieces of fabric and sewed together. Heated blankets used to be a fire hazard, but they’ve been improved with better temperature controls and shut-off devices throughout time.
Can You Sleep with an Electric Blanket?
Are electric blankets safe to sleep with? That is the big question. There has been a decline in the number of fires caused by electric blankets, but they still cause a small percentage of all house fires each year. The blanket’s heating wires are delicate, and it’s simple for them to pinch. A fire may break out as a result of this.
Insurance companies continue to view electric blankets as a fire hazard. There are safety precautions on State Farm’s website, and the company encourages customers to avoid overnight use.
Additional worries exist. A blanket’s electromagnetic waves can potentially cause cancer, according to the National Cancer Institute. It has been linked to lower fertility in men and difficulties having children for women. To make matters worse, if your blanket gets too warm, it can wake you up and mess with your circadian cycle.
Managing Your Electric Blanket
Electric blankets can be dangerous if you’re not careful, so here are a few tips to keep you and your family safe.
- You can use a timer (some blankets have one built-in) or turn it off when you arrive to bed, but don’t leave it on for a long amount of time or overnight.
- Use it on an Average Bed: Since these blankets need to stay flat and un-crinkled, they are best used on a typical bed. Do not use the blanket on waterbeds or adjustable bed frames that could damage it.
- If you have an electric blanket, don’t put any other bedding on top of it, and don’t use it as a mattress. Underneath, they have the potential to overheat and cause issues.
- An electric blanket is intended to be used flat. Coils of hot air are protected by this. Coils might be damaged if you wrap it around yourself and tuck it into small spaces.
- Inadvertent harm can be done to the blanket or the coils by pets if they are allowed to roam around. Pets should not be allowed to sleep in beds that are heated.
- Follow the Directions Provided by the Product’s Maker: Manufacturers’ instructions on how to wash and care for your blanket are usually included with your blanket. To ensure that your blanket is safe to use, make sure you follow these guidelines.
Electric Blanket Alternatives
If you don’t like the idea of a heated blanket, you can always warm your bed with a hot water bottle. There are also temperature-controlled mattress pads, but these are more expensive than electric blankets. It is possible to chill or heat a bed with brands like ChiliPAD or BedJet. Heated blankets are a potential electromagnetic concern, although these don’t have the same electrical component.
How Do Electric Blankets Work?
Electric blankets, even though they appear and function like bedding, are actually household appliances because they plug into the wall and draw electricity from your home’s electrical system. Heat is carried by small, tiny wires embedded in the fabric, which warms the blanket and then passes to you. There is no need to be concerned about the wires poking you because they are so thin and encased in thick fabric that you won’t even notice them. The blanket should feel much like any other piece of bedding, except for the heat. After removing the plastic temperature dial, many blankets can be washed in the washing machine.
The same is true with heated blankets, which do not come in a standard size. To accommodate couples who sleep in the same bed but prefer different temperatures, there are a slew of versions available with a variety of options for fabric, size, texture, weight, and even several heat settings. In addition to the ability to choose the temperature of the blanket to warm the bed before you get in, modern electric blankets also feature automated shutoffs so you don’t waste electricity while you’re already in bed.
How Much Do Heated Blankets Cost?
An electric blanket may seem expensive at first, but that isn’t always the case. These bedtime sleep aids are usually rather affordable. There are a wide variety of devices to choose from, with prices ranging from as low as $20 for entry-level versions to as much as $300 or more for higher-end options.
You may be able to save money on your heating bills if you lower your thermostat a few degrees while you sleep under the cozy heated blanket. You’ll only have to pay for the electricity used to heat your body, not your entire residence.
How Much Electricity Does an Electric Blanket Use?
If you decide to use an electric blanket in addition to your regular bedding, you may be startled by the energy expenditures. An electric blanket is one of the cheapest home equipment you can buy, according to an Energy Savers pamphlet from the US Department of Energy. Using a space heater, on the other hand, costs an average of $66 each year, according to another data from the Department of Energy (DOE).
Of course, these are only averages. There are so many different heat settings on electric blankets that it’s difficult to know precisely how much electricity you’ll need until you start using it. Also, the frequency and duration of use affect how much electricity you consume. When set to the highest setting, a single-sided heated blanket should consume no more than 100 watts of power, and double that if it is double-sided. You should expect to pay no more than a few cents per night in electricity costs with a heated blanket. That’s a lot more cost-effective than raising your thermostat. There are low-voltage blankets available that consume even less electricity, but they are more expensive to purchase and do not provide as much warmth as conventional models.
How to Use an Electric Blanket Safely
Bringing an electric device to bed might be a bit unnerving, and if you don’t take the appropriate precautions, your blanket could overheat. However, if you follow a few safety guidelines for electric blankets, you should have nothing to be concerned about. An electric blanket should only be used in the following circumstances:
- Follow the blanket’s care, cleaning, and storing recommendations exactly.
- The blanket should be discarded if it has dark patches or fraying that suggest burns.
- To avoid mistakenly leaving it on all day and night, look for a model with an automated shutdown.
- Keep warm blankets to the top layer of your bedding and keep them lying flat without bunching or folding to avoid overheating your body..
- Children and persons with cognitive disabilities should not use electric blankets because they may not be able to remove or shut off the blanket if it becomes too hot.
- People with diabetes should avoid heated blankets since their skin’s sensitivity may be reduced, which could lead to burns.
- Electric blankets should not be used around animals. Because they don’t require them, the cables could be chewed by them and pose a risk.
- When you’re not using the blanket, be careful to unplug it every morning.
To achieve a warm and cozy night’s rest, an electric blanket is a great option if you care for it and use it properly.
How much does it cost?
You’re in luck, because an electric blanket will save you money on your heating expenses. The market is flooded with a variety of options. The price of a blanket ranges from $20 to $300, depending on the style.
You’ll save money on your heating bill as a bonus. You can turn the thermostat down a few degrees at night. When you use a blanket, you only pay for the heat that is provided to your body and not the entire house.
How much electricity does it consume?
When compared to other home gadgets, electric blankets use very no power. Are you using it frequently or for a lengthy period of time? This, of course, is dependent on your household’s consumption.
What features should an electric blanket have?
There should be a heat adjustment tool, numerous heat settings, and low voltage in an electric blanket.
Your curiosity about how electric blankets work is no longer unanswered. Because socks and thick sweaters can’t be worn while you sleep, they’re not an option for those who are afraid of the cold. The cold weather can cause aches and pains in your body, especially if you don’t wear a coat or a hat.
Because of this, it’s a good idea to pull out your electric blanket now. If you don’t know how yours works, read the instructions. The remainder can be figured out with the assistance of this guide.