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Compare electric blankets: How to choose between fitted, non-fitted and throw styles

Learn about the different types of electric blankets, how to compare features and get expert safety tips.

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Woman warming up under a blanket with her cat and a cup of tea

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Electric blanket retail award

Best Rated Electric Blanket Brand: Breville

Australian customers have chosen Breville as the best brand for electric blankets, with 100% of surveyed customers recommending the brand. The Australian-owned appliance company received the highest overall score as well as high scores for performance, reliability and value for money. Breville also received the Finder Retail Awards for the best brand for coffee roasters and grinders, capsule coffee machines and sandwich makers.

Quick facts about electric blankets

  • A high-quality electric blanket should last you around 10 years.
  • Prices range from around $20 to $400, depending on the brand, size and type of blanket.
  • You can choose between fitted, non-fitted or throw style electric blankets.

Compare electric blankets

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Size Colour Product More info
Breville BZB517WHT Single Fitted Electric Blanket
Single
White
Breville Queen Fitted Electric Blanket BZB437WHT
Queen
White
Breville BZB537WHT Queen Quilted Electric Blanket
Queen
White
Breville King Fitted Electric Blanket BZB457WHT
King
White
Breville Single Fitted Electric Blanket BZB417WHT
Single
White
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Compare up to 4 providers

How do electric blankets work?

If you're looking for ways to stay warm this winter, an electric blanket can help. Electric blankets typically have a cord that plugs into the wall to power the blanket. Heat is distributed throughout the blanket by way of carbon wires. Some blankets come with features such as variable temperature controls and a programmable timer.

Using an electric blanket is not as expensive as some might think. The average cost for nightly use over a three-month period is around $20, but blankets are available in a range of costs to suit all budgets.

Types of electric blankets

There are three types of electric blankets to choose from: fitted, non-fitted and throw-style.

  • Fitted. A fitted blanket is easy to put on and take off and efficiently warms up the whole bed. As fitted blankets stay flat on the bed like a fitted sheet does, they don't bunch up or move around during the night as you toss and turn.
  • Non-fitted. Non-fitted electric blankets are also known as tie-down electric blankets. The blanket sits flat on your mattress and has ties that you can secure under the mattress to keep it in place. Even though they take a bit more work to get into place, they are usually cheaper than fitted electric blankets.
  • Throw blankets. A throw blanket is used just like a regular blanket, sitting over you rather than under you. You can use them while you are in bed or while you are relaxing on the couch. They can be a good alternative to using an electric or gas heater in your living room to keep energy bills down.

How to compare electric blankets

When shopping for a new electric blanket, consider the following factors:

Cost

You can expect to pay between $20 and $400 for an electric blanket. The cost varies depending on the brand, size, materials, features and controls. The more features a blanket has, the more expensive it will be.

Controls

Variable temperature controls let you choose the level of heat. If you and your partner prefer different sleeping temperatures, look for dual controls so that you can each set your own temperature. Also, raised controls and LCD screens come in handy so that you can adjust settings at night without having to turn on the light.

Heating time

While older electric blankets take time to heat up, you can now find models that heat up in only 5 or 10 minutes. If you often get home late or will fail to remember to turn the blanket on early enough, look for fast heating time so that you can switch it on while you are getting ready for bed.

Size

Your blanket should not be wider than your mattress, so even though you might like to have a larger doona, choose the correct size to match your bed. You can find single, double, queen or king sizes.

Material

Most blankets are made from synthetic materials. Some blankets have wool as an underlay for an extra layer of comfort. Throw blankets can also come in fleece and faux-fur materials.

Thickness

Budget models are usually thinner and you may be able to feel the heating elements when you lie down. To avoid this, look for thicker blankets, even if it means paying a bit more. Quilted blankets offer added cushioning.

Type of mattress

Some electric blankets can not be used on certain types of mattresses such as foam, so check the instructions before purchasing.

Overheat protection

As an added safety feature, overheat protection automatically turns off your blanket if it gets too hot.

Cleanability

Some blankets have removable controls so that you can wash your electric blanket without worry, but only do so if the instructions specifically say that you can. For spot cleaning, use a slightly damp cloth while the blanket is off and leave it to dry.

Waterproofing

Some brands have waterproof electric blankets that are good to use with children that may have accidents during the night.

Foot zone

For extra comfort for those who get cold feet, you can find electric blankets that have a dedicated heat zone at the foot end.

Ready to shop? Check out our round-up of the best electric blankets for inspiration.

Are electric blankets safe?

Electric blankets have had a bad rap over the years, with some being the cause of house fires and product lines being recalled due to safety risks. Like with any electrical equipment, there are always safety risks, so consider getting home and contents insurance to protect yourself if something goes wrong. However, modern electric blankets are generally safe to use if they comply with safety requirements, are used correctly and are treated with care.

When buying an electric blanket in Australia, ensure you purchase a model that has the AS/NZS 60335.2.17:2012 safety standard. This means that the product meets the minimum safety requirements for reduced risk of injury or fire and is acceptable to be sold to consumers. If an electric blanket you are considering does not have this safety standard, do not purchase it.

A quality electric blanket should last you for 10 years, but make sure to have it serviced regularly and throw it away once it becomes damaged or shows signs of wear and tear.

Ten safety tips

Since there is still a small safety risk when using an electric blanket, keep the following tips in mind to help keep your family safe this winter:

  • Test all new electric blankets before use by turning them on for around five minutes while they lie flat on the bed. Check that it's heating up and that no wires are damaged.
  • Always read the instruction manual carefully, even if you've used an electric blanket before.
  • Have your electric blanket serviced every three years by a professional to ensure that it's still in good working condition.
  • An electric blanket should not be used in conjunction with a hot water bottle. If you spill liquid on your blanket while it is on, turn it off immediately.
  • Make sure the blanket is secured well onto your bed so that it can't move around and don't place bags, clothes or books on top of it.
  • Do not use your electric blanket near flammable materials.
  • To reduce any safety risks and save on electricity, don't leave your electric blanket on all night, even if it has an all-night mode. Turning the blanket on at the recommended time before you go to bed ensures that your bed should be heated sufficiently for you to climb into and feel cosy.
  • Keep sharp objects away from your blanket as these can poke through and damage the wiring.
  • Choose modern blankets over older models, as these have the most up-to-date technology, controls and safety features.
  • Do not leave your child in a bed with an electric blanket on high as they may overheat without you realising. Choose a low or medium setting instead.

Best rated electric blanket brand award breakdown

Data: Finder Retail Brand Survey, 2019, Roy Morgan. Metric out of 5 stars unless indicated. Methodology and more info. Roy Morgan

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