A Heated Blanket Is the Ultimate Cozy Movie Night Accessory

·10 min read
Photo credit: Amazon
Photo credit: Amazon


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We updated this article in August 2022 to remove any sold-out products and add newly tested and vetted picks, including options from Sunbeam, Bedsure and L.L.Bean.

A quality electric heated blanket can be your favorite snuggle buddy all winter long. From romantic movie marathons on a super cozy couch to curling up with your new favorite book in bed, electric blankets can keep you warm during all kinds of winter weather. These top-tested picks will not only heat your bed but provide ultra soft comfort that you'll love being wrapped up in all day. Plus, they're available in tons of different sizes, from smaller throw blankets to blankets for any twin, queen or king-size bed.

The Good Housekeeping Institute Textiles Lab tests all types of bedding, from bed sheets to comforters to pillows and mattresses both in the Lab and with consumer testers at home, to find the best bedding available. To find the best heated blankets, our team of scientists and engineers looked at products from top brands and assessed durability and performance using specialized equipment and industry standards. We also asked our consumer testers to gauge ease of use, softness and more to find the best electric blankets to keep you cozy and snug this winter.

Our top picks:

Read on for more information on how to shop for and maintain an electric blanket. For more ways to stay warm, pair your new heated blanket with the best heated clothing and the best flannel sheets.

BEST OVERALL ELECTRIC BLANKET

Sunbeam Microplush Heated Blanket

This heated blanket from Sunbeam was a top performer in our evaluations and a crowd favorite among our testers. With ten different heat settings to choose from and dual controls for the queen and king sizes, you truly can customize the warmth of this blanket. The heat automatically shuts off after 10 hours — perfect for helping you sleep soundly all night long and giving you peace of mind when it comes to safety. It features ThermoFine technology that auto-adjusts to distribute heat evenly and maintain your desired heat level. Testers raved about how soft and cozy the plush fabric felt and appreciated how easy the controls were to use. They also loved the pre-heat option for warming up their sheets before bedtime. Our analysts were also impressed by how well the blanket performed in our Lab's wash testing with no shrinkage or change in appearance after several laundering cycles. And if you prefer fleece to microfiber, Sunbeam's quilted fleece electric blanket also performed well in our evaluations.

BEST VALUE ELECTRIC BLANKET

Sunbeam Fleece Heated Blanket

For a simple and effective option, Sunbeam makes our list again for its popular heated fleece throw blanket. It has over 11,000 amazon reviews and an average 4.4-star rating and offers three heat settings, auto shut-off and cozy fleece fabric – all at a great price. The blanket automatically shuts off after three hours, so you can feel extra warm when falling asleep without running up your electric bill all night. While we haven't tested this particular option from Sunbeam, the brand's other blankets have performed well in our tests, and reviewers love how cozy the fabric is and how it’s less bulky than other blankets they’ve purchased. Currently, this pick is available in mostly bold colors and patterns, including cheetah and zebra prints.

BEST ELECTRIC BLANKET FOR COUPLES

SoftHeat Blanket by Perfect Fit

Available in twin, full, queen and king sizes, this blanket offers dual control, which allows each person to personalize the heat on their side of the bed with 10 heat settings – say goodbye to fighting over the bedroom thermostat. Soft Heat features ultra-thin wires that are evenly spaced 3 inches apart throughout the blanket. It'll automatically shut off after 10 hours, so you can snooze in warmth all night long. This soft, ribbed heated blanket was a tester favorite for its attractive look and quality fabric and maintained its temperature over time in Lab tests. Just note that some online reviewers find that the plastic, reflective surface inside the blanket makes noise when crumpled.

BEST ELECTRIC THROW BLANKET

Bedsure Heated Electric Throw Blanket

For a blanket that heats up quickly and thoroughly, check out this pick from Bedsure. The brand's electric throw blankets have impressed our analysts and testers with how quickly they heat up compared to other brands we've tested. Plus, this pick automatically shuts off after four hours of use and has four different heat settings to choose from. It also has both a faux fur side and sherpa side, providing two different textures for you to choose from. Our testers appreciated the soft feel and lightweight qualities of Bedsure's electric throw blankets, with one raving about how the blanket kept her warm without being "overbearing and heavy" like other electric blankets she's tried. Just keep in mind that this blanket isn't as thick as other picks.

BEST BATTERY OPERATED ELECTRIC BLANKET

Cozee Battery Operated Cordless Heated Blanket

Take your electric blanket on the road with the Cozee blanket. This pick has a rechargeable battery pack that makes this blanket completely portable. The brand claims that it takes just five minutes to heat up, and it will automatically shut off after five hours. Our analysts love that this blanket features microfiber plush for a cozy feel with a weather-resistant shell for a truly unique, versatile option. Reviewers agree, calling this soft blanket an "absolute game changer" when it comes to camping and other outdoor adventures. While it is on the pricey side, reviewers say it's worth it because of the innovative features and "unsurpassed customer service."

BEST REVERSIBLE ELECTRIC BLANKET

L.L.Bean Wicked Cozy Heated Throw

If you can't decide on which electric blanket is best for you, try a reversible one. This style from L.L.Bean has one smooth, soft side and one sleek, ribbed side. With five different heat settings and two-hour auto shut-off, this blanket is ideal for heating up your sheets before bed or snuggling up while binging your favorite TV show. Our analysts love the cozy look and feel of the plush fabric and appreciate that the brand offers three neutral color options to match any bedroom. Online reviewers were also impressed by the blanket's even heat distribution and high-quality construction.

SOFTEST ELECTRIC BLANKET

Hyde Lane Electric Heated Blanket

Super luxe faux fur covers this ultra soft electric blanket. It's made of 100% polyester for a cozy feel that reviewers rave is the softest they've felt on an electric blanket. There are three heat settings, so you can find the perfect one for you, and the power cord is over six feet long for added convenience. GH analysts love the luxe look of this pick and can't wait to test it out in the Lab. Plus, it's available with a faux fur or sherpa top in five different colors and patterns to match any aesthetic. Just keep in mind that some reviewers have found that the controller can get hot after continuous use.

How we choose the best electric blankets

To determine the best electric blankets, we tested top products from popular brands in our Lab and with consumer testers. In our past Lab tests for electric blankets, we focused on evaluating the performance of each blanket using our climatology chamber in the Lab to gauge factors such as the time needed for each blanket to reach 70 degrees, the time needed to cool down, electricity use and more. We also evaluated the durability of each blanket, including how it fared in our wash tests. We worked with consumer testers to gauge the ease of use, softness and appearance of each blanket. In all, we analyzed 220 data points to make these choices.

Things to keep in mind when shopping for electric blankets

Here are a few tips for deciding which electric blanket is worth the purchase.

  • Fabric: Most electric blankets are either made of microfiber (a type of polyester) or acrylic. In our tests, we found that consumers preferred the softness of microfiber over acrylic but could often feel the wiring through the microfiber fabrics, which they didn’t feel through the acrylic blankets.

  • Size: Many electric blankets are throw-blanket size, but some options come in queen and king sizes, so decide whether you're looking for something to snuggle up with on the couch or something that will cover your entire bed. Some larger blankets provide dual heating so you and your partner can opt for different levels of warmth.

  • Automatic Shutdown Timer: Electric blankets often have an automatic timer for safety reasons that will shut off the blanket after a predetermined amount of time. It can range anywhere from 2 to 10 hours, so consider whether you truly need a blanket that will stay warm through the entire night.

How do electric blankets work?

Heated blankets plug into an electrical socket (or use a battery pack) to use electricity to heat the blanket. They feature insulated wires that are safely kept in place between the fabric layers of the blanket. The wires run throughout to heat the entire blanket — quite quickly too!

Are electric blankets safe?

Generally, yes. Most electric blankets on the market feature auto shut-off, meaning they will automatically turn off after two to 10 hours. Blankets that offer longer periods of heat can be used overnight, and we recommend unplugging them when not in use.

Before purchasing, ensure that the blanket has a third-party safety certification like UL or Intertek. Always make sure to follow all care and use instructions to ensure everyone’s safety. Check your electric blanket's manual to see how many volts it can handle from the power supply. Then, use a power adapter for outlets with higher voltage to avoid overheating and damaging the blanket.

Do electric blankets raise your heating bill?

Electric blankets are actually cheaper than cranking the heat in your house. If your blanket uses 200 watts (the watt usage should be listed in the manual), leaving it on for 10 hours corresponds to 2 kilowatt-hours, which will cost between 20 to 40 cents, depending on where you live. If using an electric blanket lets you turn the heat down at night, then it can actually be a money-saving investment.

How do I care for an electric blanket?

First and foremost, you must, must, must follow all care and use instructions that are included in your electric blanket's manual so everyone stays safe. Aim to keep your electric blanket spread out evenly and not bunched up in a ball, which can create hot spots or damage the wires. When not in use, make sure to unplug and neatly fold the blanket to keep it in pristine condition. If you notice any brown spots on your blanket, stop using it immediately and purchase a replacement: the brown spots likely mean it has overheated, causing burnt areas. For step-by-step instructions, check out our guide on how to wash an electric blanket.

Why trust Good Housekeeping?

Emma Seymour is a senior textiles product analyst. She’s been at Good Housekeeping for over three years, overseeing Lab and consumer tests for cooling blankets, pillows, and more. With a degree in Fiber Science and Apparel Design from Cornell University, she has extensive research experience, particularly focused on athletic wear. As a lifetime sewer with previous product development experience, she has a strong fashion background with expertise in proper fit and construction.

Grace Wu is a textiles product analyst and has evaluated many bedding products including sheets, mattresses, mattress toppers and more using specialized laboratory equipment and feedback from hundreds of consumer testers. Prior to joining Good Housekeeping, Grace earned a Masters of Engineering in Materials Science & Engineering and a Bachelor of Science in Fiber Science from Cornell University. Grace has also worked on wearable technology, smart clothing and adaptive wear within various academic laboratories and start-ups.

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