Why are Today’s Heated Electric Blankets and Heated Mattress Pads Not as Hot?

When you first Electric Blanket Heat Leveluse an electric blanket or electric mattress pad, it is natural to feel it with your hand to see how warm it is. DON’T trust this! As all brands of products sold in the United States go to great lengths to point out in their User Manuals, you will NOT feel much warmth with your hand on modern day American electric blankets or pads. You must lie under the warming blanket or on top of the warming mattress pad in order to feel warmth!

We are constantly asked why today’s blankets are not as hot as older ones. The answer is that since the late 1980’s, electric bedding in the USA has been designed to be used all night long at a low wattage, i.e. a low level of heat. This has prevented many of the fires that used to happen in this country and still do occur in some other countries that continue to use higher wattage products. Today’s heat level in this country is so low that unless a blanket traps the generated heat, you will hardly feel the warmth. Do not be concerned over this! Try sleeping with a product and you will readily see that its heat is more than sufficient to keep you warm all night even in a room as cold as 50 degrees F. or one that is even cooler with added bedding (see below – use with comforter). As an additional benefit, people in this country can derive therapeutic benefits from the low level of heat spread over many hours - see our Health Benefits page.

(An interesting side note: In some other countries, electric mattress covers or blankets are designed to produce lots of heat to warm the bed prior to getting in and then the heated blanket or cover is unplugged for the remainder of the night. These products do not need a heat controller and many do not even have an ON/OFF switch. One plugs them in to warm up the bed and then unplugs them to stop the heating.)

Can I Use My Electric Blanket with a Comforter or a Spread?

Despite many newspaper and internet articles to the contrary, most electric blankets or electric mattress pads designed for the United States market now allow for the use of any other bedding you wish except another heated product (overheating could occur with two products operating simultaneously). For example, a common question we get is whether one can use a comforter on top of an electric blanket. Most brands of warming blankets allow for this – read your particular User Manual. We do usually advise though that if someone is that cold, a heated mattress pad, rather than a heated blanket, along with a comforter would seem to serve the user far better. Also see our article comparing the electric blanket with the electric mattress pad.


You Buy

Things You MUST
Know When Buying
Electric Bedding.

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Choosing the Best Electric Bedding For YOU

1. Before You Buy – A MUST Review: the Lead Page of the Buyer's Guide offering:

  1. Major considerations before your purchase; and,
  2. Links to all of our Reviews and Ratings sections

2. Ready to Buy? If you want to see a list of retailers carrying each of the major brands of Heated MATTRESS PADS this year, click Heated Mattress Pad Retailers OR for Heated BLANKETS, click Stores Selling Electric Blankets.

The Electric Blanket Institute’s Consumer Guide and Blog text is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike 3.0 United States License.  For any reuse or distribution you must make clear to others the license terms of this work. The best way to do this is with a link to this web page. This information has been developed over many years of testing and is presented freely for educational use only and without any warranty of any kind. It is not a substitute for the safe usage practices of your individual product. See our Policies Page for other information including advertising and affiliate linkage. Sorry, all information presented applies only to products sold in the United States. We cannot help with other products.