Canstar Blue’s 2019 electric blankets review sees Sunbeam, Breville, Kambrook, Kmart, Target, and Jason compared on their performance & reliability, value for money, ease of use, additional features, ease of care and overall satisfaction.
See our Ratings Methodology.
If you’re someone who really feels the cold at night, then an electric blanket could be your best friend. Electric blankets are very adept at keeping you toasty during the cooler months, are much cheaper than an air conditioner or portable heater, and are much more convenient than wearing 40 jumpers to bed! But not all electric blankets will leave you with that warm, fuzzy feeling when the temperature drops at night. So, which brand do Aussies trust to keep their toes warm at night? That’s what our report aims to find out.
Canstar Blue has again sought out the opinions of hundreds of Australian consumers to find out exactly what they think of the electric blanket they’ve recently bought based on a number of important factors, including performance & reliability, ease of use, additional features, ease of care, value for money, as well as overall satisfaction. The idea is to give you as much information as possible about the compared brands, so you’re better-educated about your options the next time you go shopping for a new electric blanket.
In our 2019 electric blanket ratings, Sunbeam has again been rated the best of the bunch, with five stars for its performance & reliability, ease of use, additional features, and overall satisfaction. It’s the second year in a row that Sunbeam has proven the highest-rated brand for electric blankets, which suggests it’s worth a look.
Canstar Blue’s 2019 review of electric blankets saw six brands compared and rated in the following order for overall customer satisfaction:
Breville, Kambrook and Kmart had to settle for four stars for overall satisfaction, while Target and Jason received three stars. Sunbeam was the standout performer in most areas, but Kmart was the only brand to record five stars on value for money, while Jason was the only one to score five stars for ease of care. Kambrook joined Sunbeam in earning top marks for additional features.
Read on as we review what each of these brands, and others, have to offer between the sheets. We’ll also look at some of the factors worth considering when you decide which electric blanket will be best for your needs and budget.
The brand Sunbeam began in Australia in 1902, selling a range of consumer appliances with the main focus on kitchen products. In terms of electric blankets, the Sunbeam website displays more than 25 different options to choose from, sorted by size and type. Construction finishes include Polycotton quilt and Australian wool fleece. Prices range from $45 for the Quick & Cosy Single Bed Fitted Heater Blanket to $499 for the more advanced King-sized models like the one pictured.
Another Australian manufacturer Breville, founded in 1932, offers a number of small home appliances including microwaves, blenders and heated blankets. It has a modest range, consisting of nine different electric blankets at the time of writing. Breville’s BodyZone heat technology is said to provide individual heat settings for both your upper and lower body. Prices start from around the $150 mark for the single fitted blanket and max out at $300 for the BodyZone King quilted fitted heated blanket.
Kambrook was founded in Australia in 1964 and is now owned by the Breville Group. It offers a large range of products from microwaves and blenders to heaters and vacuums. You might find a few similar features that are available in the Breville range such as Kambrook electric blankets also being machine washable. Other specs include thermoguard overheat protection and three-hour automatic shut off for safety. Prices start from as low as $70, and go up to $130 for Kambrook’s Queen Fleecy Fitted Heated Blanket.
The cheap and cheerful department store specialising in cheap homewares also offers electric blankets for Aussie consumers. It features six electric blankets, plus two heated throws for the couch. Sizes for its fitted electric blankets range from single to king, including a king single option. Expect budget-friendly prices from only $22 for the single, all the way up to $55 for the king size. There’s also a fleecy electric blanket in a queen size (pictured), retailing for $55. These are a seasonal buy only, so you’ll need to be quick to get your hands on these blankets.
Target’s homewares department features a wide range of essentials, from pillows to bed sheets, as well as a line of electric blankets. Similarly to stablemate Kmart, also owned by Westfarmers, Target’s electric blankets are seasonal purchases so you may not find them in store all year round. It offers three electric blankets with prices starting from just $20 and maxing out at $60 for its king-sized blankets. The options include a standard fitted blanket, a fleecy fitted blanket, and a Multizone fitted blanket. Sizes include single, king single, double, queen and king bed.
Founded in 1948, Jason is an Australian-owned brand offering a number of electric blankets, as well as heated throws. The Jason fitted electric blanket is said to be designed to Australian standards and has safety overheat protection. It features a 3-heat setting controller and a fully fitted skirt, plus it’s machine washable. Other electric blankets from Jason feature 7-heat settings and electronic LED displays with auto-off timers. Prices start from $35 with its most expensive variant – the bamboo fully fitted electric blanket – being priced at $259.
As evident from our ratings, the electric blanket industry isn’t a huge one, and there are only a handful of major manufacturers as a result. Here is a review of some other major brands to consider:
Bambi is another Australian-based company, specialising in wool products including quilts, pillows, mattresses and of course electric blankets. It offers two styles of electric blankets, which will set you back between $105 and $300. Bambi’s fleecy electric blanket has a removable cover and is also available in a pure cotton electric blanket. In addition, expect a 10-hour timer, overheat safeguard technology and LCD display controller.
Dimplex was founded in 1973 and is best-known for providing Aussies with a range of portable heating and air conditioning appliances. It’s also a big player in the world of electric blankets. Expect features such as 12-hour timers and detachable controls to ensure its electric blankets are machine washable. The more advanced models are boasted for Micro Fleece material and various heat settings. Dimplex electric blankets range in price from $70 to $210 for a king size pillow top electric blanket.
Goldair has specialised in home appliances for 30 years, particularly heating and cooling products. It offers a large range of electric blankets and most of them deliver numerous heat and timer settings. Expect detachable controllers, making the blankets machine washable. One Queen Fitted blanket also acts as a mattress protector, so you’re getting a two in one. The Goldair range is relatively cheap when compared to some other brands, costing between $29 and $149 for the more advanced model.
In addition to finding out which brands of electric blankets are keeping Aussies warm and snug at night, our research also identified the following drivers of customer satisfaction in order of importance:
Performance & reliability was the most important driver of satisfaction for those who have purchased an electric blanket in the last 2 years, followed by value for money. On average, Aussies spend $84 on their electric blankets, our survey found, which isn’t an insignificant amount of money. Therefore, it would be wise to explore your options first to ensure you find the one that ticks all your boxes and will last you for years to come.
Here are some of the other key findings from our 2019 survey:
Electric blankets are placed between your mattress and your sheets and heat up to keep you warm at night. They do this by heating an integrated heating device that spreads the warmth throughout the areas covered. This heat is distributed by carbon wires spread out in the fabric. For those with double or queen size beds, there are some electric blankets that come with dual controllers, to allow those on both sides of the bed to set their preferred temperatures.
Most above-average-quality electric blankets will have a number of different heat settings you can choose from, ranging anywhere from 1-3 to 1-10. The heat setting is adjusted by using the controller, which can either hang loose or be attached to the mattress itself. Most people find that the highest heat setting is more than enough to keep nice and snug, and could even feel too hot. The general consensus is that the lower settings are perfect for keeping you just warm enough to survive those winter nights.
Electric blankets come in different forms depending on what size bed you have. There are single options, dual options for those who sleep in the same bed, and even children’s electric blankets (which also happen to be waterproof). According to Appliances Online, the dimensions of electric blankets fall within the following ranges:
So, if you’re tall, you might want to make sure you’re getting one on the latter end of the scale! Otherwise your feet will still be cold – and nobody likes cold feet.
When it comes to deciding whether to go with a fitted or non-fitted option, consider the following points:
Electric throw blankets are just what they sound like – electric blankets that you can carry with you and use around the home, as long as you have access to a power socket. They resemble a traditional blanket and can be perfect for those rainy days where you just want to sit on the couch and watch TV. They also have the advantage of being generally cheaper than other heating methods, as they only need to heat a certain space.
Electric blankets in Australia can cost as little as $20, with the majority priced around the $150 mark. These are obviously for the standard models, while the more advanced ones can cost as much as $300. These expensive blankets generally come with more advanced features and higher quality cotton, but you’d have to determine for yourself if the difference in money is worth the difference in experience.
The initial purchase cost is not the only thing to consider when you buy an electric blanket, because you’ll also need to know how energy-efficient they are, as electric blankets can have a big impact on electricity bills. As you would expect, the more expensive electric blankets are often the most energy efficient.
Generally, electric blankets consume very little energy. According to EnergyAustralia, electric blankets consume an average of just four cents worth of electricity an hour, which is much less than other forms of space heaters. In addition, 10% of survey respondents said they use their electric blanket around the house, not just in the bedroom (e.g. sitting on the couch), making it a versatile tool to keep you warm. However, 10% of respondents also said they’ve noticed an increase in their electricity bills since buying one. Remember that running costs will vary depending on your energy tariff.
For a three-month season (i.e. winter) you can expect to pay about $15 in power costs for one electric blanket, which will be more if you have multiple running. This figure could be less if your blanket has an energy-saving mode, so really, based on these figures, you’d be mad not to get one!
Generally, yes, electric blankets are safe – so long as you take care of them and use them properly. One in four users (28%) said they worry about leaving their electric blanket on for long periods of time (down from 67% last year), with 17% stating they researched safety warnings around electric blankets before making a purchase decision.
All electric blankets sold in Australia must adhere to Australian Standards, which are safety measures that all electric blanket manufacturers must adhere to. While it’s probable that the one you’re looking at qualifies, it can’t hurt to check.
EnergyAustralia recommends replacing your electric blanket every 10 years, or less if you don’t tightly roll them up during summer when they’re not being used. After every season when you take them off your bed, check them for bent wiring, scorch marks, worn patches or other general signs of damage. If you see any, replace the blanket. It’s best not to take chances, even though an accident is unlikely.
Make sure that you monitor your children’s usage. For young children in particular, it’s probably best if you set the temperature for them, due to the controls involved. Also, being children, they can forget to turn them off (although plenty of adults do that too!).
Most importantly of all, try to avoid leaving them on all night if you can. It’s unnecessary, as they are very good at retaining heat, and being constantly heated can wear them out faster. In addition, a lot of electric blankets that meet the required standards turn themselves off if they start to overheat, so try to get one of these models if you can.
If you’re thinking of buying an electric blanket that’s a little fancier, you’ll find some that come with a variety of different features. We’ve already mentioned blankets with dual controls, 1-10 temperature settings and overheat settings, but there are plenty more that could make your sleep a much better experience.
Hopefully this guide has been helpful in giving you an insight into what brands are on offer and whether you’ll purchase an electric blanket or not. And if you’re the kind of person who doesn’t feel bothered by the cold, then you should also know that electric blankets are believed to have certain health benefits, such as alleviating back pain and helping with breathing problems in the night. If you bear all of this in mind, then you’ll stand a good chance of buying the best electric blanket for you.
Picture credits: F8 studio/shutterstock.com, AboutLife/shutterstock.com, ST Design Studio/shutterstock.com, Prystai/shutterstock.com, MPIX/shutterstock.com, Agenturfotografin/shutterstock.com, Yuganov Konstantin/shutterstock.com
Our latest customer satisfaction research on electric blankets saw a number of brands rated best in different categories:
Canstar Blue surveyed 3,000 Australian adults across a range of categories to measure and track customer satisfaction, via ISO 26362 accredited research panels managed by Qualtrics. The outcomes reported are the results from customers within the survey group who have purchased and used a new electric blanket in the last 2 years – in this case, 353 people.
Brands must have received at least 30 responses to be included. Results are comparative and it should be noted that brands receiving three stars have still achieved a satisfaction measure of at least six out of 10. Not all brands available in the market have been compared in this survey. The ratings table is first sorted by star ratings and then by mean overall satisfaction. A rated brand may receive a ‘N/A’ (Not Applicable) rating if it does not receive the minimum number of responses for that criteria.
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