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10 best electric blankets to keep you warm this winter, tried and tested

These are the best cost-effective electric blankets for cosier nights

Zoe Phillimore
Friday 02 February 2024 10:17
<p>Electric blankets are significantly more affordable than turning on the heating</p>

Electric blankets are significantly more affordable than turning on the heating

Our Top Picks

As the cold weather continues to bite, heating our homes is at the forefront of our minds. But with energy bills rising during the ongoing cost-of-living crisis, finding ways to stay warm without turning up the thermostat has become a hot topic.

The traditional electric blanket – those that lie on your bed, warming it up – might evoke images of your nana in her nightgown, but, actually, they’re a very savvy choice that have been brought bang up to date and cost as little as 1p an hour to run.

All electric blankets and throws should come with an auto shut-off feature. This stops the blanket from getting dangerously hot. Most are on a timer, but some sense when they’re getting close to overheating and cut out at that point.

Often, you’ll also have the option of setting how long the electric blanket will stay on before it shuts off. If you share a bed with someone who doesn’t like to sleep at the same temperature as you, go for a blanket with dual controls, so you can make sure your side of the bed is perfect for you.

As well as traditional electric blankets, there are electric throws. These plug into the mains more often than not (although there are some battery-operated ones) and warm you up as you lie under them. Electric throws are often fleecy, soft and cosy. They’re perfect for snuggling up on the sofa or draping across your lap during the day whether you’re working from home or relaxing.

How we tested the best electric blankets

A selection of the best electric blankets we tested for this review

Cosiness was the name of the game. We wanted throws to be soft and snuggly, and the underblankets to be comfortable. Any blankets where the wires were too bulky or the fabric too itchy were discounted from this round-up.

Ease of use and durability were also important, as was easy care – could we machine wash them if spillages occurred? We also considered price, both in terms of purchasing, as well as how much they cost to run. This review proves you don’t need to always splurge to get a great product. Here are the ones that left us with a warm glow.

The best electric blankets for 2024 are:

  • Best electric blanket overall – Slumberdown elegantly warm luxury heated throw: £59.99, Amazon.co.uk
  • Best budget electric blanket – Silentnight comfort control electric blanket: £39.98, Amazon.co.uk
  • Best electric throw for movie nights – Lakeland snuggler sleeved heated throw: £99.99, Lakeland.co.uk
  • Best faux-fur electric throw – Dreamland hygge days luxury warming throw: £99.99, Dreamlanduk.co.uk

Slumberdown elegantly warm luxury heated throw

Slumberdown-elegant-Indybest-review.jpg
  • Best: Electric blanket overall
  • Colourways: Mole brown, dark charcoal, light pistachio
  • Type: Heated throw
  • Sizes: 130cm x 160cm
  • Heat settings: 10
  • Why we love it
    • Soft material
    • Easy to use
  1. £59 from Amazon.co.uk
Prices may vary

The faux-mink fleece on this Slumberdown heated throw is as soft as any you’ll find. We like that it comes in a range of colours – we tested light pistachio, but there’s mole and dark charcoal, too. But what we particularly liked was how easy it was to use the throw, despite all the different settings.

There are 10 heat settings and 10 timer setters, allowing you to keep it on for up to 10 hours. You can see exactly what you’ve set by looking at the LED display and it’ll tell you whether the number you’re looking at corresponds to the heat or the timer. There’s also a simple on/off switch. We felt toasty under this blanket and liked that there were so many heat options, so we could be like Goldilocks and find the temperature that was just right.

  1. £59 from Amazon.co.uk
Prices may vary
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Silentnight comfort control electric blanket

silentnight-comfort-control-Indybest-review.jpg
  • Best: Budget electric blanket
  • Colourways: White
  • Type: Electric blanket
  • Sizes: Single, double, king, superking
  • Heat settings: 3
  • Why we love it
    • Affordable
    • Kept us noticeably warmer on lowest setting
  • Take note
    • Wires create small bumps
  1. £39 from Amazon.co.uk
Prices may vary

For a budget-friendly way to keep warm this winter, Silentnight has nailed it. This blanket also costs around 1p to warm your bed (if you use it for two hours on the low setting).

It may seem a little utilitarian – the fleece feels quite felt-like, and the wires do create small bumps – however, we liked the elasticated straps that hold it in place on the mattress.

There are single controls with three heat settings, meaning, if you share a bed, you can’t set different temperatures for each side. However, this is a great basic electric blanket and kept us noticeably warm, even on the lowest setting.

  1. £39 from Amazon.co.uk
Prices may vary
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Stoov big hug XL heat pad

stoov-Indybest-review.jpg
  • Best: Wireless heated blanket
  • Colourways: Beige, black, graphite, white
  • Type: Heated pad
  • Sizes: 40cm x 110cm, 45cm x 135cm
  • Heat settings: 3
  • Why we love it
    • Portable
  • Take note
    • Warmed up in only a few patches
  1. £119 from Stoov.com
Prices may vary

Thanks to the battery pack on this fleecy heated blanket, you can take it away from the mains. This is great if you want to use it in the car, or your seat is just a bit too far from a plug socket.

It comes in a range of colours, and the removable cover can be machine-washed at 30C. Using it is simple – just charge and then connect the battery pack in the pad’s zip-up pocket, then click the power button on the blanket.

There are three LED lights, which indicate which heat setting (ranging from 28C to 42C) you have selected. One charge of the blanket should last you between 90 minutes and three hours, depending on how high you have it. The heat was mainly focused in a few patches on the blanket, rather than throughout, but these patches are placed at the points where you’re going to be in contact with the pad.

  1. £119 from Stoov.com
Prices may vary
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Dreamland hurry home deluxe velvet herringbone heated throw

Dreamland-hurry-home-Indybest-review.jpg
  • Best: Heated throw for looks
  • Colourways: Navy, emerald green, grey, mustard
  • Type: Heated throw
  • Sizes: 160cm x 120cm
  • Heat settings: 6
  • Why we love it
    • Lots of handy settings
    • Automatic shut-off timer
  1. £74 from Amazon.co.uk
Prices may vary

This velvety, soft-as-a-baby-bunny throw comes in a gorgeous inky navy that looks super high-end – we love the herringbone stitching. In fact, it’s the perfect answer for those of us who are style conscious and want a throw that looks great draped over the sofa.

Initially, the controls look a bit intimidating, but there are loads of handy settings. There’s an auto shut-off timer with options for one, two or nine hours. We found this helpful if we were settling down for a movie night or using it during the day while we worked. There are also six heat settings – if you stick it on the highest setting, it will preheat super quickly.

We didn’t detect any cold patches and, while the cables are well spread out over the blanket, it didn’t feel too bulky when we were sitting under it. Plus, you can machine wash this blanket at 30C and can even tumble dry it, too.

  1. £74 from Amazon.co.uk
Prices may vary
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Beurer XXL electric throw

Beurer-Indybest-review.jpg
  • Best: Electric throw for sharing
  • Colourways: Taupe
  • Type: Heated throw
  • Sizes: 200cm x 150cm, 180cm x 130cm
  • Heat settings: 6
  • Why we love it
    • Soft material
    • No cold patches
    • Auto shut-off
  • Take note
    • Quite heavy and bulky

Utterly strokeable and luxurious, this was probably the softest throw we tried. It is large, too – big enough for two testers sitting on the same sofa. The single control has six heat settings – we tended to whack it up to six to prewarm, then turn it down when we were under it.

It is quite bulky, though – the well-spread-out wires make sure there are no cold patches but you can definitely feel all the cables, and it’s quite heavy to lug around. There is an auto shut-off after three hours, to prevent overheating, which might be an issue if you’re using it for long stretches during cold days – although, you just have to click it off and on to fire it back up. When using it overnight, we were quite glad it switched itself off, so we didn’t wake up a hot, sweaty mess.

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Dreamland snowed in organic cotton warming mattress protector

Dreamland-snowed-in-Indybest-review.jpg
  • Best: Electric mattress protector
  • Colourways: White
  • Type: Electric blanket
  • Sizes: Single, double (single control), double (dual control), king, superking
  • Heat settings: 6
  • Why we love it
    • 200-thread count cotton
    • Excellent dual controls for couples
  1. £149 from Boots.com
Prices may vary

We were impressed with this heated mattress protector right from the initial unboxing. It feels premium, made from crisp 200-thread count cotton that’s going to help you regulate your temperature. With quilted stitching, the Dreamland mattress protector feels more akin to a mattress topper, as it’s also thick and supportive.

Testing was carried out by a couple who prefer different temperatures when it comes to drifting off to sleep. This dual-control model was therefore deemed perfect – marriage-saving, even. One side of the bed could be heated up for our tester who prefers toastier temperatures, while the tester who prefers a cooler setting could keep their side on low or even turn off the heat altogether.

There’s an adjustable timer shut-off on both controls, and our testers found this electric blanket soft and comfortable, with the wiring being barely perceptible.

  1. £149 from Boots.com
Prices may vary
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Lakeland snuggler sleeved heated throw

Lakeland-snuggler-Indybest-review.jpg
  • Best: Electric throw for movie nights
  • Colourways: Grey
  • Type: Heated throw
  • Sizes: 180cm x 150cm
  • Heat settings: 3
  • Why we love it
    • Perfect for cocooning warmth
  • Take note
    • Needs to be plugged in to the mains while in use

Remember when slankets were a big deal? Well, they’ve had an upgrade, courtesy of kitchen-and-home-electronics overlords Lakeland. This heated throw has sleeves and a foot pouch (yes, really), with the idea being you sit on the sofa tucked up in it, feeling gloriously smug. After just one testing session, we were on board.

You do have to sit close to a plug socket, though, as it requires being plugged in while in use, but there are three heat settings, and we found it warmed up in around five minutes. The blanket auto shuts off after three hours, to prevent overheating. Plus, you can machine wash the throw at 30C.

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Silentnight easi-heat electric blanket, double

Silentnight-easiheat-Indybest-review.jpg
  • Best: Electric blanket with dual controls
  • Colourways: White
  • Type: Electric blanket
  • Sizes: Single, double, king
  • Heat settings: 3
  • Why we love it
    • Good value for money
  1. £50 from Amazon.co.uk
Prices may vary

Considering the price of other dual-control electric blankets, this Silentnight offering is decent value for money. Sure, it’s not as plush as some other electric blankets we’ve tried, but it does the job. It’s made from microfleece, which makes it soft to lie on all night, and cushions against the feeling of the wires. During testing, we didn’t notice any cold patches and our co-tester appreciated that they didn’t need to have their side switched on, as the dual controls allow each side of the blanket to be adjusted independently.

There are three heat settings and an LED display on the controls, which allow you to easily see how warm your blanket is or is going to get. You can keep this blanket on all night, but it does have a safety overheat protection system, which will switch off the blanket automatically if it detects it’s getting too hot.

  1. £50 from Amazon.co.uk
Prices may vary
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Dreamland hygge days luxury warming throw

Dreamland-hygee-Indybest-review.jpg
  • Best: Faux-fur electric throw
  • Colourways: Alaskan husky, fallow deer, zebra
  • Type: Heated throw
  • Sizes: 160cm x 120cm
  • Heat settings: 6
  • Why we love it
    • Stylish
  • Take note
    • On the smaller side

This faux-fur throw comes in three different designs. We went for “husky”, which is gorgeously soft and fluffy. Not only does it look great – and highly inviting – draped over the corner of a sofa, the LED controls offer six temperature settings and three auto shut-off timers: one, three or nine hours.

We found that this throw kept us very warm indeed, thanks to a combination of the heating elements and the faux fur. However, it felt a tad smaller than some heated throws in this line-up – definitely one to keep to yourself rather than sharing.

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Dreamland hunker down Scandi sherpa mattress warmer

Dreamland-scandi-Indybest-review.jpg
  • Best: Cosy electric blanket
  • Colourways: White
  • Types: Heated blanket
  • Sizes: Single, double, king
  • Heat settings: 6
  • Why we love it
    • Couldn’t feel any of the wires

For the ultimate cosy factor, this underblanket is just the ticket. On one side, it’s a deep-pile sherpa fabric that creates a bed that just needs to be snuggled into – even when the blanket itself is switched off. During warmer months, you can flip the blanket over to the cool polyester side. There are also dual controls, which means you can govern the temperature on your side of the bed, without interference from co-sleepers.

The controls are easy to use, with six heat settings – including a fast-heat setting – and three options for the auto shut-off duration. There are also elastic straps to keep it in place, too. We loved this underblanket not just for the warmth factor, but also because you couldn’t feel the wires at all under the sherpa fabric. Even better, there were no cold spots at all – even at the very edge of the mattress.

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Electric blankets FAQs

How much do electric blankets cost to run?

Energy efficiency is built into most electric blankets, with some costing just a few pence to run per night. Therefore, they offer a useful alternative to turning on your central heating overnight, so you can avoid feeling cold while saving on your electricity bills.

Are electric blankets safe?

Modern electric blankets are designed with safety systems such as auto shut-off after a set period of use, which means you don’t have to worry about fire hazards if you leave them unattended. Although to be extra safe, it’s always advisable to exercise caution and not leave them turned on for longer than you need.

How to wash an electric blanket

Most electric blankets are machine washable but always check the label. Avoid using a full cycle like you would with the rest of your laundry. Instead, opt for a delicate or gentle cycle, rinse and spin. This will avoid damaging the blanket, while still keeping it clean in between uses.

How to choose the right electric blanket for your needs

There are a few factors that need to be taken into account to make sure you find the right blanket for your individual needs. First, would you rather have a blanket that you layer underneath your bedsheets or one you throw on top like a regular blanket? You’ll also want to look at what materials and sizes you’d prefer. Timers are also a great feature to look out for, to make sure you save money and don’t overheat. If you have a partner who runs at a different temperature from you, an electric blanket with dual controls might be essential for harmonious sleeping.

Can you leave an electric blanket on all night while you sleep?

According to the London Fire Brigade, it’s safe to leave your electric blanket on all night as long as it comes with a thermostat, which will keep the temperature at a safe level throughout the night. Otherwise, make sure you remember to unplug the electric blanket before you go to sleep. It’s also important to consider the condition of the blanket, to check for any kind of damage to the material, such as frayed fabric, or signs of faults with the blanket, such as buzzing sounds or strange odours.

Can you use an electric blanket with a mattress topper?

Yes, you certainly can. If the electric blanket you are using is suitable for lying on (not all will be), you can place the electric blanket on top of your mattress topper, underneath your sheets. However, bear in mind you may not feel the benefits of the mattress topper to the same extent while there’s an electric blanket over the top of it.

The verdict: Electric blankets

With 10 heat settings and 10 timing options, plus easy-to-use controls, the Slumberdown elegantly warm luxury heated throw was a no-brainer when it came to picking the best overall for this review. The throw is as soft as you like and doesn’t feel like it’s weighing you down when you’re under it. Plus, it’s relatively well-priced. If you’re after a mattress-protector-style electric blanket, the Dreamland snowed in could be ideal – it’s well-made, comes with dual controls and is easy to use.

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