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9 best electric blankets for keeping warm without the heater this winter

There’s nothing more satisfying than ending a day battling the cold and rain under a soft and cosy electric blanket.

With the recent hikes in energy prices and bigger bills now the norm, electric blankets are a good way to keep warm without having to turn on your heater.

How do electric blankets work?

There are two kinds of electric blankers to choose from: underblankets and overblankets.

Underblankets are designed to sit directly on the mattress, while overblankets are more like a throw that you lay on top of you.

Some electric blankets are designed for all night use, but most come with a timer you can set so it will automicatically switch off after you’ve drifted off.

Look for blankets that are washable and have detachable controls. That way you can simply pop then into the washing machine on a cool wash to freshen them up.

If you share a bed with a hot sleeper than think about buying one with dual controls so everyone can sleep comfortably.

Best electric blankets at a glance

Dreamland Alaskan Husky Faux Fur Heated Throw

  • Dreamland Alaskan Husky Faux Fur Heated Throw, £109.99 from Lakeland – buy here

A luxurious faux fur electric blanket to keep you cosy on the coldest night. Use it on the sofa or as an overblanket on your bed. It has six heat settings and you can even pre-heat it before snuggling underneath and watching the snowflakes fall outside.

Set the timer in case you do doze off into dreams of Alaskan adventure. When bought from Lakeland it comes with a three-year guarantee.

Dimensions: 160cm x 120cm with a 3m power cable, Over or under: over, Sizes available: one size, Fabric: faux fur, Number of settings: six, Auto shut-off: yes, Washable: yes


Zanussi ZESB7003 Electric Blanket kingsize

  • Zanussi ZESB7003 Electric Blanket kingsize, £52.99 from Currys – buy here

This electric under blanket will totally cover your kingsize bed, providing evenly distributed heat to soothe you into the land of nod.

Dual controls mean you and your partner can have separate heat levels so no squabbling about being too hot or too cold.

The automatic shut-off will prevent you overheating and there are nine heat settings to warm even the coldest bod. Suitable for all night use on the low setting and washable up to 40 degrees.

Over or under: under, Sizes available: Single and double, Fabric: polyester, Number of settings: nine, Auto shut-off: yes, Washable: yes

Silentnight Comfort Control Electric Blanket single

  • Silentnight Comfort Control Electric Blanket single, £30 from Very – buy here

A budget friendly blanket that has a cosy fleece finish and features three settings you can adjust to find your favourite heat level.

It has an overheat protection shut off for peace of mind and is compatible with memory foam mattresses and toppers. Attaches securely to the mattress with elastic straps and is also washable – just unplug the cable from the blanket.

Over or under: under, Sizes available: single, double, king, Fabric: polyester, Number of settings: three, Auto shut-off: yes, Washable: yes

Slumberdown Perfectly Warm Luxury Electric Blanket, single

  • Slumberdown Perfectly Warm Luxury Electric Blanket single, £40 at Argos – buy here

This electric blanket features a removable quilted fleecy cover that you simply pop in the washing machine – easy!

It also features nine heat settings and a timer with auto shut-off, as well as a sensor that adjusts to the temperature of the room.

You can also choose where to direct the heat, so if you’re toes are cold you can direct the warmth there specifically. Very useful for those of us who always suffer from cold feet.

Over or under: under, Sizes available: single, double, king and superking, Fabric: polyester, Number of settings: 9, Auto shut-off: yes, Washable: yes and tumble dryer safe

Snuggledown Intelligent Warmth Heated Topper, double

  • Snuggledown Intelligent Warmth Heated Topper double, £100 from Sleepseeker – buy here

Dual climate controls ensure you and your partner will both sleep easy without being too warm, or too cool. And if you’re the kind of person who always has cold feet in bed, there’s also a zone feature so can toast your toes without overheating the rest of your body.

When it’s not switched on, the padding on this electric blanket gives your mattress an extra comfort layer. The 100% cotton cover is removable for easy washing.

Over or under: under, Sizes available: single, double, king, superking, Fabric: polycotton with 100% cotton cover, Number of settings: nine, Auto shut-off: yes, Washable: yes

Russell Hobbs Fitted Sherpa Electric Blanket, double

  • Russell Hobbs Fitted Sherpa Electric Blanket double, £64.99 from Currys – buy here

Soft fleece makes this underblanket a cosy buy even without the heat.

The double size has dual controls so that’s one each and no arguing! There’s six heat levels so you’re bound to find your favourite for optimal comfort. Built-in overheat protection and elasticated corner straps secure it closely to your mattress

Over or under: under, Sizes available: single, double, king, Fabric: polyester, Number of settings: three, Auto shut-off: yes, Washable: yes

The Snuggler – heated throw with sleeves and foot pouch by Lakeland

  • The Snuggler – heated throw with sleeves and foot pouch, £99.99 from Lakeland – buy here

It’s definitely comfort before fashion when it comes to winter as far as we’re concerned, but that said, The Snuggler has a style all of its own.

You don’t just drape this throw over you to keep warm, you wear it. There’s long sleeves for your cold arms and a foot pocket to toast your toes.

Select one of three heat settings to keep yourself nicely snuggled – and if you fall asleep, there’s an auto shut-off so you don’t overheat. The throw is generously sized so you can move freely when you’re working at your computer and it’s machine washable at 30 degrees.

Over or under: over, Sizes available: one size, Fabric: polyester, Number of settings: three, Auto shut-off: yes, Washable: yes

Von Haus Flannel Heated Throw

  • Flannel Heated Throw, £54.99 from Von Haus – buy here

This fleece-lined electric throw features a flannel outer and is great for curling up on the sofa on a cold night.

Choose your optimum comfort level from nine heat settings and an up to nine-hour timer. The digital control is easy to use and the auto shut-off prevents overheating. Simply unclip the cable to wash at up to 30 degrees.

Dimensions: 160cm x 130cm with a 1.55m electric cable, Over or under: over, Sizes available: one size, Fabric: polyester flannel, Number of settings: nine, Auto shut-off: yes, Washable: yes

Monogram by Beurer Komfort heated mattress cover

  • Monogram by Beurer Komfort heated mattress cover, £79.99 from Boots – buy here

This cosy double underblanket is made from a fleecy fabric and has a luxurious feel to it. It carries OEKO-TEX STANDARD 100 verification, which guarantees quality assurance both in its materials and manufacture.

The cover fits snuggly to the bed as it has a deep elasticated skirt all the way round and can be used all night. The six settings include a pre-heat function and you can programme the blanket to switch itself off after a pre-determined time.

Zonal heat means warmer conditions for frozen toes and two controllers allow for different temperatures at either side of the bed. Washable and, as an added bonus, tumble dryer safe!

Dimensions: 190cm x 137cm with a 2m electric cable, Over or under: under, Sizes available: double, Fabric: polyester, Number of settings: six, Auto shut-off: yes, Washable: yes

Are electric blankets safe?

Modern electric blankets are safe and have an inbuilt cut-out mechanism in case of overheating. They are so safe you can machine wash most of them after you’ve removed the power cable, which is detachable from the blanket.

That said, you shouldn’t leave your electric blanket on all nights unless the manufacturer specifies it’s okay to do so – either use it to preheat your bed and manually switch off before falling asleep, or choose one that has a timer so you can happily drift off knowing the blanket will switch itself off.

Which is best – an underblanket or an overblanket?

This depends on where you want to use your electric blanket. An underblanket, as the name implies, goes under your bed sheet and on top of the mattress. It is designed for use on a bed and is pretty functional in its aesthetic – usually white and sized to fit your single, double, king size or super king size bed.

An electric overblanket or throw goes on top of your duvet as an extra heated layer, but the plus point with this type of blanket is you can also use it off the bed – on the sofa to snuggle under watching TV, even draped around your shoulders or across your knees while working at your computer or reading a book.

Overblankets are also usually much more interesting to look at – they come in different colours, have different textures, for example smooth on the outside and fleecy on the inside, and they are available in different colours to match your décor.

Are electric blankets more energy efficient than using a heater?

If you’re at home during the day working at a computer then using an electric blanket over your knees to keep you warm is more energy efficient than switching on the central heating.

In the evening, an electric blanket will warm your bed so you’re toasty as soon as you climb under the covers, which means you can turn down your heating thermostat and save money, or turn the heating off altogether.

How much electricity do electric blankets use?

Assuming a typical power rating of 100W and electricity costs of 34p per kilowatt hour (kWh) – under The Government’s new energy price guarantee scheme – it will cost 3.4p per hour to run an electric blanket.

For three hours use that’s just over 10p and for eight hours use just over 27p, which is a lot less than it costs to run your central heating. Three hours use each night equates to 71.4p per week and £3.06 per month.

Obviously if you constantly have your blanket on the highest setting it will consume more electricity, and if you fall asleep without setting the timer, then that also will cost more.

The timer is a great way to save energy – do you need your blanket switched on once you’re asleep? Many are not designed to be left on all night anyway.

Sleepseeker expert Hayley Thistleton, says preparation is key: “Rather than blasting your blanket  on a high heat before you get into bed, simply put it on a low heat further in advance, this way you won’t use so much power. And, if you need a little extra oomph, you can up it for a short period of time.”

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