As the nights start to draw in, there’s only one thing for it – the best heated blankets. You won’t be short of options, from under blankets to over blankets to throws, with a range of shapes, sizes, finishes and colours to pick from too.
They’re not only for the bedroom either, as there’s options for your living spaces too.
Keeping warm isn’t the only benefit, with others including alleviating aching muscles and joints and cutting down on the presence of dust mites – making an electric blanket a particularly wise buy for allergy sufferers.
All adhere to extremely strict safety standards, with overheat protection coming as standard. Some even enable you to keep them on all night, while others have auto shut-off that you can set them to turn off after you’ve fallen asleep. Other features can include dual controls and fast heat-up time.
Top 10 Best Heated Blankets In UK 2021
Here’s what I found after several nights testing the best electric blankets, starting with my favourite…
1. Dreamland Intelliheat Boutique Hotel Mattress Protector
A firm favourite in Dreamland’s collection, the 200-thread-count cotton percale and extra thick breathable base makes this feel luxurious. It features a dual control so you and your partner can pick your own optimum temperature – no more duvet stealing in the middle of the night.
New for this year is the new improved “intelliheat” technology which responds to the room and your temperature and the LED screen on the controller allows you to start by picking from six temperature settings, as well as one, three or nine hour shut off and a five minute fast heat up.
2. Morphy Richards Washable Heated Underblanket
The Single Washable Heated Underblanket is a fantastic way of guaranteeing a warm and cosy nights rest. Not only that, it is incredibly economic to run and easily washed and tumble dry safe.
It provides you with a range of features, such as extra warmth at the foot of the bed to keep your toes toasty, four heat levels so you can heat the bed up quickly then drop the temperature for all-night use and safeguard protection to ensure the electric blanket doesn’t get too hot.
3. Silentnight Comfort Control Electric Blanket
The Silentnight electric blanket is not designed to fit to the edges of the mattress. Instead, it comes with ties that neatly wrap around the four corners instead, keeping it securely in place.
An added perk is you can also control your Silentnight electric blanket (and other home electronics) with the Silentnight App and Wi-Fi plug. Wherever you are you can use your smartphone to switch the blanket on or off, and even set the timer so it’s warmed up and ready for when you get in.
4. Slumberdown Wonderfully Warm Multi-Zone
If your squabbles over the heating temperature extend to your bed, this is the perfect heated blanket for harmonious, warm nights. With the ability to heat the four quarters of the bed separately, you and your partner can happily have the temperature of your choice for both your upper and lower halves. And of course, you’ll each have your own remote so your side of the bed remains under your control.
5. Monogram Konnect Smart Heated Mattress Cover
For me an app-controlled electric blanket makes a lot of sense. Like being able to switch on your heating on the train journey home, I like having the ability to heat up my bed with a swipe of my phone. It’s useful because bedrooms are often on a different floor to where you spend most of your time, and electric blankets can take up to 30 minutes to fully warm up the bed.
If you’re getting home late on a frosty evening, this means you can head straight to sleep in a cosy, toasty bed.
6. Slumberland Easy Fit Heated Mattress Cover
We’ve included it because of its positive reviews and the fact that it covers the whole bed (like a fitted sheet) rather than just lying in the middle, which is what the Silentnight heated blanket does. That’s a big advantage if you’re very tall and don’t want cold feet. In fact, it calls itself a ‘heated mattress cover’ rather than an electric blanket or heated blanket.
It’s got a few more heat settings than most simple models but isn’t complicated to use. You pick a heat level from 1-9 and then switch it to all-night use once it’s heated up. There isn’t an option for auto switch off but the king size version does have two controls so you can just turn on one side if you want to.
7. Monogram Komfort Fully Fitted Fleecy Heated Blanket
Not everyone likes the feel of fleece – this German-made electric mattress cover gives you the same softness and comfort without the fluff. It’s a fully-fitted cover with its own elasticated skirt, with dual settings and controls optional on the double version, and standard on the king and super-king versions. It heats up within eight minutes on its preheat setting, then dishes out consistent head-to-toe warmth at one of five heat settings overnight. It even has a little extra warmth to keep your toes from getting chilly.
It’s washable and tumble-dryer-friendly, with detachable controllers for easy cleaning. Throw in overheat protection and an auto shut-off timer – which can be set to kick in after one, three, six or 12 hours – and you have one of the best electric blankets around.
8. Slumberdown Wonderfully Warm Electric Blanket
The buttery velvet feels luxurious on the skin and the blanket comes with a responsive digital control to fine tune the nine temperature settings to the right level of warmth. Use the timer to set it on before bed and rely on the auto-off to turn it off once you’re asleep.
If you’ve spent many a winter’s night awake because of ice cube-like toes, this Slumberdown blanket also comes with a foot warmth setting to keep your extremities lovely and warm.
9. Cosi Home Premium Comfort Double Electric Blanket
An affordable buy high-quality option is the Cosi Home Premium comfort electric blanket. It comes in three sizes to help fit single, double, and king size beds.
This electric blanket is made from polyester which makes it easy to wash and care for. You can even tumble-dry it on a cool setting. Its power cord is also detachable to help speed things up when you want to give them a wash.
The blanket has three heat settings to chose between. So often, we can climb into bed and think that the blanket has actually warmed things up a little too much. Being able to change the temperature just a little bit makes it easier for us to find our optimum temperatures for the most restful night’s sleep.
10. Thermee Micro Flannel electric blanket
It’s not easy to find an electric blanket that’s large enough to cover the entire surface of a King bed and distribute heat evenly, but this one does the trick. It’s pricey, yes, but there’s no denying that it’s both functional and fashionable—something most other electric blankets aren’t.
How to choose the best heated blankets
How much do I need to spend?
An electric blanket is a cheap way to stay warm at night. Obviously, larger blankets cost more, but you can buy a decent king-size blanket from a major brand for under £30; even the more feature-packed options come in under £100. Running costs are usually between 1p and 4p per night.
Are electric blankets safe to use?
The idea of waking up in the middle of the night on fire isn’t exactly going to (excuse the pun) warm you to the idea of buying an electric blanket, and so many people are put off buying one due to safety concerns. However, electric blankets are perfectly safe as long as you buy from a respected brand and retailer.
When looking to buy an electric blanket, it’s important to buy from a reputable retailer and check that it has the UK safety standard mark. That means you shouldn’t buy secondhand blankets as they may no longer meet safety standards.
What kinds of electric blanket are there?
Blankets come in two basic types: heated mattress covers or pads that sit on top of the mattress but beneath the sheets, warming you and the duvet from below. Meanwhile, an overblanket slips inside your duvet cover to keep you cosy from above – some versions replace your duvet entirely.
Which you choose is largely a matter of personal preference, but manufacturers of memory foam mattresses often advise against heated pads because they restrict the mattress’s ability to mould to your body, and there’s a risk of the foam itself getting damaged in the long term.
What differences are there between blankets?
All electric blankets warm your bed, but they differ in how long they take to heat up and how much control you have over the temperature. Some take under five minutes to warm up, while others take substantially longer. That’s not necessarily a problem if your blanket has a timer and your bedtimes are regular, but it’s worth thinking about.
All blankets have a range of heat settings, but the number might vary from three to 12. More advanced blankets might even have different settings for different zones, so you can have additional heat for your feet or different heat levels for the two sides of a double bed.
What other things should I look out for?
Beyond that, think about materials – do you want a flat underblanket or something fleecy that holds the warmth? And then there are practicalities such as the length of the cable and the position of the controls. These are usually simple plastic modules attached by a cable to the side of the blanket, but some are removable to make it easier to wash or clean the blanket. Being machine-washable is clearly a good thing, although not all blankets can be tumble-dried.
Broadly, I found electric blankets to be a nice addition to my bedtime routine, though not an essential one. As someone who doesn’t sleep well most nights, it didn’t improve my shuteye (though it should be noted that’s not necessarily a promise of the manufacturers). However, on the coldest nights, and in a room that doesn’t have central heating, it was more pleasant to tuck myself in.
According to Dr Neil Stanley, an independent sleep expert and author of How to Sleep Well, an electric blanket has to be used in the right way. He explains: “In order to get a good night’s sleep, you actually have to lose body temperature. Your body temperature drops throughout the night, and its lowest point is about two to four o’clock in the morning.
“So the advice is that you need a cool bedroom and a warm bed, but you warm the bed up just by being in it. If you use an electric blanket just to take off the chill at the start of the night, then that’s more about comfort, about not getting into an icy cold bed.”