As the nights start to draw in, there’s only one thing for it – an electric blanket. You won’t be short of options, from under blankets to over blankets to throws, with a range of shapes, sizes, finishes and colours to pick from too.
They’re not only for the bedroom either, as there’s options for your living spaces too.
Keeping warm isn’t the only benefit, with others including alleviating aching muscles and joints and cutting down on the presence of dust mites – making an electric blanket a particularly wise buy for allergy sufferers.
All adhere to extremely strict safety standards, with overheat protection coming as standard. Some even enable you to keep them on all night, while others have auto shut-off that you can set them to turn off after you’ve fallen asleep. Other features can include dual controls and fast heat-up time.
We tested blankets for comfort, fit (where applicable), heat distribution, aesthetics and all the features mentioned above.
Where they are machine washable, we tested that out too.
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Dreamland scandi underblanket
This all-new blanket fits neatly over the mattress and under the bottom sheet. It’s cosy, fleecy and makes you feel cocooned in warmth without any of the wires getting in the way – a great way to hunker down this winter. Its technology responds to the temperature of the room, as well as your body, so it stays at the optimum temperature for the whole night. And the new style controller includes six temperature controllers, fast five-minute heat up and a one, three or nine hours auto-shut off timer so you don’t have to worry about falling asleep while it’s still on. Available in single to super king.
Dreamland boutique hotel mattress protector
A firm favourite in Dreamland’s collection, the 200-thread-count cotton percale and extra thick breathable base makes this feel luxurious. It features a dual control so you and your partner can pick your own optimum temperature – no more duvet stealing in the middle of the night.
New for this year is the new improved “intelliheat” technology which responds to the room and your temperature and the LED screen on the controller allows you to start by picking from six temperature settings, as well as one, three or nine hour shut off and a five minute fast heat up. There’s an extra deep elasticated skirt, making this underblanket particularly easy to slip on the mattress. It’s machine washable and tumble dryer safe. Available in single to superking.
Cosihome electric blanket
This is the cheapest electric blanket in our round-up. Forget fancy features, and it probably won’t last quite as many years as the pricier options listed, but it heats up within around half an hour, has three heat settings, is machine washable and the only cold spot is right at the end of the bed which you might feel if you’re tall. Corner ties aren’t usually a patch on an elasticated skirt because they tend to make the blanket move around while you sleep, but we didn’t have that problem with this one – it stayed firmly in place. Available in single to king.
Dreamcatcher luxury polyester electric blanket
This is a great price for a fitted mattress cover with wires so thin that you don’t feel them, while the polyester finish feels soft under skin. There’s dual control heating on the double and king size so you don’t fight over the temperature and it’s machine washable. It heats up in around 20 minutes and has three settings on the LED controllers. There’s a small gap in the middle of the bed that doesn’t heat up; ditto for the end of the bed, which might bother taller people whose feet don’t get coverage. And it’s a shame there’s no timer or auto shut-off. Available in single to king.
Silentnight dual control electric blanket
Not quite the cheapest in our round-up, but not far off, yet this budget option starts to heat up within just a few minutes (although it takes half an hour to reach full heat) and the wires are nice and thin so you don’t feel anything but the warmth. It has three heat settings with dual controls and is machine washable. But that’s where the bells and whistles end as there’s no elasticated skirt (you attach it with ties which can be a bit fiddly and you need to work hard to stop it moving about once attached) or timer or auto shut-off. There’s a 7cm unheated area at the side of each bed too. Available in double and king.
Lakeland luxury fleece fitted electric blanket, king
This beats the socks off other electric blankets we tried in this price range and makes a terrific all-rounder. It fits perfectly over the mattress (including a mattress topper, if you have one) so you get full coverage (no annoying ties) and the fleecy cover is lovely and soft, as well as a great heat retainer. You only need to remember to switch it on five minutes before going to bed and it has six heat settings, offers graduated foot warmth, has dual controls and feels well made. The heat reaches right to the edges and the blanket lasts well too, even if you put it through many machine washes. Available in single, double and king sizes.
Dreamland intelliheat luxury wine velvet heated overblanket
Whether you want to snuggle down in the living room or on your bed, this dark red (it’s also available in other colours) over blanket has two sides – one is soft, stroke-able velvet, while the other is sherpa, so called due to its likeness to the wool-lined clothing worn by the sherpa people of Nepal. As with all Dreamland blankets and throws, it has the signature “intelliheat”, so it responds to temperature changes. And the new style controller features six temperature settings, fast five-minute heat up and one, three or nine hours auto shut-off timer. One size only – fits single or double bed.
Lakeland soft and thick star heated throw
The white stars against light grey background mean this works well both with a contemporary decor and in more rustic settings. But we reckon it’s better for wrapping yourself up in on the sofa than going on a bed due to the smaller size.
The first feel of it in the box tells you all you need to know about the softness – it’s as cosy as they come. It has three settings, which you can alternate between on the sliding controller and view on the LED display and it shuts off after three hours so it doesn’t matter if you forget to turn it off. We were impressed how well it came out of the washing machine too. One size only.
Beurer monogram allergy free heated mattress cover
Our top recommendation for allergy and asthma sufferers, as well as those with skin problems, is this blanket with special anti-allergy technology and a 60-degree anti-mite heat setting that protects against house dust mites (and their eggs), bacteria and mould. The cotton is breathable, making this a good all-year-round choice, and it can be regularly washed thanks to the detachable controller, which has six temperature settings.
It’s ready in eight minutes and has a variable timer and auto shut-off after one, three, six or – if you stay really chilly at night – 12 hours. It’s not as deep quilted as some, but it stays securely on the bed, thanks to the deep elasticated skirt. Available in single to super king.
Beurer furry grey heated throw
Heated throws don’t get thicker or fluffier than this (we also like the smooth underside), and with six temperature settings you can easily adjust it to your optimum temperature – a hint or warmth, perhaps, or full-on warmth for really cold nights, plus everything in between. All of which you can regulate even in the dead of night thanks to the illuminated controller. It turns itself off automatically after three hours and is machine washable at 30C which we found works well and easily re-fluffs too. It’s one size only, but is generous.
Relaxwell Alaskan husky faux fur heated throw
This is the kind of thing you’d see in a luxury ski resort, but with even more added sumptuousness thanks to the electric heating with a fast five-minute heat up and six temperatures to choose from plus “intelliheat” which responds to temperature changes while you relax or sleep.
After a hard day’s work, it’s the one thing you’re likely to make a beeline for before setting on the sofa or into bed and although it can start to look a bit tatty after a whole winter – a bit like a much-loved teddy – it can be popped in the washing machine to spruce it up. It works particularly well in any Scandi-inspired interior and has auto shut off that you can set to one, three or nine hours. One size only.
The verdict: Electric blankets
We love Dreamland’s scandi underblanket, new for this year. It ticks every box for staying warm and toasty in bed. Meanwhile, for sofa warmth, our favourite is Lakeland’s soft and thick star heated throw – it looks great and throws out all the heat you need to stay warm while you’re watching Netflix or curling up with a good read.
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