9 Health Benefits of
Heated Blankets and Heated Mattress Pads
Want to sleep better? Want to feel better? 25% of people who purchase electric blankets or electric mattress pads state they do so for therapeutic values. Afflictions that heated bedding usually helps include:
- Arthritis and Fibromyalgia.
- Muscle soreness and aches including back pain.
- Flexibility and range of motion.
- Poor sleeping.
- Two in same bed – one too hot or too cold.
- Sinus problems.
- Post-polio syndrome.
- Raynaud’s Phenomenon.
Arthritis and Fibromyalgia Benefits
Approximately 43 million people in the United States alone suffer from at least some arthritis. Electric mattress pads especially have been found to help provide some relief from the associated pains.
The Arthritis Helpbook authored by Kate Loring and James Fries and recommended by both the Arthritis Foundation® and the Arthritis Society® states “Heat is most effective for reducing the pain associated with muscle tension and stiffness, and when there is little or no inflammation. It works by increasing the blood flow to the skin and muscles around the painful area. This, in turn, enhances muscle nutrition and relaxation. When the muscles relax, pain and stiffness decrease…. Warm baths, showers, a hot tub, sauna, or electric mattress pads are good ways to help soothe the whole body; these methods may be particularly beneficial for the person with fibromyalgia.” (cf. page 241, “Pain Management” in the 5th edition)
Also from the same source: “Heated waterbeds or airbeds are helpful to some people with arthritis….An electric blanket, used at a low heat, is another effective way of providing heat while sleeping, especially for cool or damp nights. Or you might try an electric or wool mattress pad.” (cf. page 245, “Getting a good night’s sleep”).
The book Arthritis 101, an official publication of the Arthritis Foundation, states, “Use an electric blanket or mattress pad. Turn it up before you get out of bed to combat morning stiffness.” (cf. page 53, “Other Treatments for Arthritis”)
Muscle Soreness and Aches including Back Pain Alleviation
Heat has long been used to reduce the pain associated with muscle soreness and aches. An electric blanket, or more so an electric mattress pad since muscles are in direct contact, provides a low level heat for many hours which will increase blood flow and thereby reduce muscle aches. Muscles will tend to relax, losing their tightness and strain. Freedom of movement will tend to be restored. The better blood flow will tend to reduce the pain.
Flexibility and Range of Motion
You can increase your flexibility and range of motion by using a warming mattress pad or blanket for the same reasons as you can relieve muscle soreness (above).
Better Sleep in a Cool Room
Most sleep researchers believe that sleeping in a moderately cool room helps one to sleep better. With an electric blanket or electric mattress pad, you can turn your house furnace thermostat down not only saving energy but also gaining a cooler sleep environment. Yet you will still stay warm and cozy without the extra weight of added blankets.
Individual Comfort When Two People Are in One Bed
When two people share a bed, one is usually warmer natured than the other. An electric blanket or an electric mattress pad with two individual controls is the ideal solution. Most Queen or King sized electric blankets and electric mattress pads come with “dual controls” which allow each person to set his or her own comfort level and there is one US manufacturer that produces a Full Size mattress pad with Dual Controls. (Tip: If you have a Full or Double size bed, you can also have this dual control feature by purchasing a Queen Size automatic blanket -- NOT a Queen fitted mattress pad. The Queen blanket will be slightly oversize but should present no problem as long as you are careful not to bunch up the excess.)
Try a warming mattress pad or warming blanket for a few nights and notice how its gentle all-night warmth soothes you.
Allergies and Dust Mite Reduction
Mites love humidity. The moisture that a mattress can contain plus the skin and hair shed by the body makes for a perfect breeding ground for dust mites. Dust mites trigger asthma and allergy symptoms. Various university studies in the USA and around the world have confirmed that using an electric blanket or electric mattress pad for only one month can reduce dust mites by up to 50% through humidity reduction. Our article “Heated Mattress Pads Reduce Mites and Allergies” cites the references for several of these research studies.
Sinus Problems Relief
A lower room temperature is made possible by using an electric blanket or heated mattress pad. A lower temperature decreases drying sinuses.
Post-Polio Syndrome Aid
In addition to helping manage fatigue by assisting in obtaining a better night’s rest, a warming blanket or warming mattress pad is helpful in alleviating the cold intolerance often experienced by PPS patients.
Raynaud’s Phenomenon Relief
An automatic blanket or mattress pad can be adjusted to keep your body warm during the night including pre-warming the bed so that you do not have to enter a cold bed and wait for your body heat to warm the bedcovers.