If you’re looking to keep it hot in the bedroom this winter, an electric blanket may just be the sleeping companion you didn’t know you needed. It’s an appliance that combines all the comforts of a nice soft blanket, with the heat of an electric burner, to keep you snug under the covers. It’s also much cheaper to run than your air conditioner or electric heater. What more could you want?
Check out some cheap electric blankets to buy in 2020 and everything else you need to know in this article.
How do electric blankets work?
Electric blankets disperse heat through built-in carbon wires in the fabric (when plugged to the wall) to warm the blanket evenly throughout. You can manage the temperature on the control unit, usually found between the blanket and the electrical outlet to find your ideal warmth and heat. Most electric blankets come in all four bed sizes for single, double, queen and king beds.
What are the different types of electric blankets?
Here are the three main types of electric blankets:
- Fitted blanket: This is also known as a bottom blanket. It stretches over your mattress like a regular fitted sheet to warm your bed from underneath.
- Non-fitted blanket: This is also referred to as a ‘tie down’ blanket. It doesn’t fit around the corners of your mattress but instead comes with ties to secure the blanket to your mattress.
- Throw blanket: This is like a regular blanket that you can sit on top of your doona to warm your bed. You can also use electric throw blankets while watching TV on the couch or anywhere around the house really.
Cheap electric blankets to buy in 2020
Now that we’ve covered the basics, here are some options for budget-friendly, good quality electric blankets to beat the winter chills in 2020.
- Goldair Flat Electric Blanket: $24-$49*
- Trafalgar Washable Plush Electric Throw Blanket (Grey): $49.99-$99.99*
- Ramesses Electric Blanket Machine Washable Fully Fitted Heated- $54.60-$109.95*
- Dimplex Micro Fleece Heated Throw: $89.95*
- Sunbeam Sleep Express Fitted Electric Blanket: $64.95-$109.95*
Goldair Flat Electric Blanket – $24-$49*
This basic die down electric blanket available from Harvey Norman could be your cut-price antidote to the winter chill. It comes with just three heat settings and dual fixed controllers to allow you and your spouse to independently adjust the temperature on your sides of the bed. This model is hand washable only and comes in a single and queen bed size.
Trafalgar Washable Plush Electric Throw Blanket (Grey) – $49.99-$99.99*
Stay snug all winter long with this 120W heated throw blanket with ultra-soft microfleece from Kogan. It comes with nine heat settings, intelligent temperature control varying up to 55 degrees, a digital LED display (perfect to adjust your electric blanket at night), with auto switch-off timer up to nine hours and detachable wires for a non-heated throw option. This model is machine washable and comes in all four bed sizes and assorted colours including grey, navy and silver.
Ramesses Fully Fitted Electric Blanket $54.60 – $109.95*
This fully fitted heated blanket from Amazon comes with all the bells and whistles you need. This includes manual and automatic adjustable temperature settings, dual controls for individual comfort, LCD displays, a 10-step heating smart control setting and automatic 10-hour cut off switch for extra peace of mind, as well as overheat protection. This model is machine washable with detachable controls and comes in a double, queen and king size.
Dimplex Micro Fleece Heated Throw – $89.95*
This one-size-fits-all heated throw from The Good Guys is the perfect accessory to keep you warm, whether you’re relaxing on the couch or curling up in bed. It comes with six heat settings, detachable controls and an automatic three-hour safety shut off in case you forget to turn off your appliance before bed. This model is machine washable and measures 180cm(W) x 130cm(H).
Sunbeam Sleep Express Fitted Electric Blanket – $64.95- $109.95*
This fitted electric blanket from Myer comes with all standard features you’d expect including a 500mm skirt, three heat settings with a fast heat up function and detachable controllers to make laundry day easy. This model is machine washable and comes with a three-year replacement guarantee. It’s available for double, queen and king beds.
Cheap electric blankets
If you’re looking for cheap and cheerful electric blankets to keep you cosy and cashed up, you simply can’t beat department stores on price, but quality always varies depending on retailers and brands. Check out our top picks below.
Electric blankets Kmart
Here’s another great excuse to visit Kmart. The department store stocks a decent selection of budget-friendly electric blankets, with prices starting as low as $22 up to $55. Kmart’s range includes fitted blankets and heat throws for all bed sizes including single, double, queen and king beds in colours grey and white.
Here’s our top pick for a Kmart electric blanket:
Kmart Heated Throw – $35*
This heated throw will keep you warm and comfy at a cut price. It features your standard detachable controllers, variable heat settings with timer control (ideal if you tend to fall asleep quickly) as well as a safety overheat protection function. It’s made of polyester, measures 120cm(W) x 160cm(H) which is big enough for a double bed, and comes with a 12-month warranty.
Electric blankets Target
You’ll find a rather small selection of low-price electric blankets for all bed sizes at Target with prices ranging from $29 up to $89, with colours available including white and grey. Target’s range also includes a Sunbeam Dreamland fitted electric blanket with antibacterial fibre and extra foot warmth which retails for $169 for a queen size.
Here’s our top pick for a Target electric blanket:
Multi-Zone Electric Blanket (Queen size) – $89*
This polyester multi-zone electric blanket features a fully fitted elastic skirt to fit a 400mm thick mattress, four heat settings, two detachable controllers with brail marking and an LED display indicator to check your heat settings at night. It also comes with independently controlled foot and body zones (ideal for when you and your spouse can’t agree on the right temp) and double overheat protection with SensorSafe technology. This electric blanket comes in all four standard bed sizes.
Big W electric blankets
Big W offers a wide range of fitted and non-fitted electric blankets and heat throws for all bed sizes, including models from popular brands like Kambrook, Jason and Tontine. Prices start from $29 and go up to $149.
Here’s our top pick for a Big W electric blanket:
Jason Fully Fitted Washable Electric Blanket (Queen Size) – $49*
This Jason fitted electric blanket comes with all your standard features such as a three-heat setting, three user-friendly click removable controllers and a fully fitted skirt to fit all mattress depths as well as a safety overheat protection. This model is 100% machine washable, comes in all four bed sizes and has a two-year warranty.
Do electric blankets use a lot of electricity?
Electric blankets consume a lot less energy than some other heating appliances, about 200 watts per hour (depending on the heat setting). In comparison, most electric heaters use more than one kilowatt per hour. In terms of dollars and cents, an electric blanket costs roughly $0.04 an hour to run compared to reverse cycle air conditioning which costs around $0.13-$0.36 per hour, while electric heaters can set you back $0.50-$0.60 per hour.
Are electric blankets safe to use?
All electric blankets sold in Australia must comply with strict safety standards, so they’re perfectly safe to use as long as you follow all care and safety instructions to the letter. While new electric blankets typically pose no safety risks; misused, worn or damaged models can cause burns and start electrical fires in some cases, so always check your appliance before turning it on.
As a general rule, you should replace your electric blanket every five years (or have it checked by the manufacturer) or if you notice any signs of frayed fabric, bent wiring, scorch marks, exposed elements, damaged cords or loose connections. Lastly, be aware that it’s not recommended to use electric blankets with young children due to the control required to manage heat settings.
How long can you leave an electric blanket on?
If your main question is whether you can leave your electric blanket on overnight, the general advice is that you shouldn’t, unless your blanket comes with thermostatic control for safe use overnight which only some high-end models have.
Electric blankets don’t take long to heat up, so you can easily run yours for about 30 minutes to warm up your bed before switching it off. But if you value the luxury of falling asleep as your bed warms up, then opt for a model with a timer control which will automatically switch off the blanket after a set time or once it reaches your ideal temperature.
Electric blanket features to look for
If you’re considering buying an electric blanket, here are some important features to look out for:
- Size: Size matters and that’s why you’ll want to pick the right blanket size for your bed. Most electric blankets are available in a range of sizes to suit any bed size, including single, double, queen and king size options. Some models also have an extra warm foot zone to keep you from getting cold feet.
- Heat settings: Most electric blankets come with adjustable heat settings to give you different (at least three) temperature options to choose from. But if you and your spouse would prefer separate heat settings, then you’ll want to find a model with dual control to allow you to adjust the heat on both sides of your blanket. You’ll have to manually adjust heat settings on most low-range models, but some high-end appliances allow you to pre-program these settings, to warm up your blanket automatically during a set period before bedtime and will automatically shut off after a certain time.
- Cleaning: If you’re not a fan of hand washing (let’s be honest, who is?), you’ll want to ensure your electric blanket is machine washable and that it comes with detachable controls to make for an easier clean.
- Warranty: Make sure your electric blanket comes with a two-year warranty at the very least and keep your receipt in case you notice any faults with your appliance when you get home. Some brands offer up warranties for up to five years on certain models.
Picture credits: Alena Ozerovag / Shutterstock.com, Victoria / Shutterstock.com, Agenturfotografin / Shutterstock.com.