Electric Blanket Buying GuideELECTRIC BLANKETS
There's nothing like an electric heated blanket
on a cold winter's evening. Not only do they keep you nice and warm, they can help you save energy because they allow you to keep your thermostat set at a cooler temperature. If you've ever considered buying one for yourself or even as a gift for someone else, there are a few things you'll need to know to help you make the best possible choice.
There are a whole range of electric blankets
available today. What sets them apart from one another are features and price.
Most electric blankets
use low-voltage technology to heat the blanket
. The differences vary in controls and other features. Many have LCD displays, making it easy to adjust the temperature in the middle of the night. Some offer over-temperature protection, which prevents the blanket
from getting too hot. Automatic shutoffs and pre-heating features are also available, as is a warm foot zone, which keeps the temperature at the bottom a bit higher than the rest of the blanket
for people with cold feet. Queen and king-sized blankets
usually have dual controls so that both people using the blanket
can control their own comfort.
Beyond extras, there are a few things you should seek out when buying an electric blanket
. Look for blankets
with wires that are essentially unnoticeable for maximum comfort. Ease of care is another consideration: Choose a model that can be machine washed and dried, like those made from polyester and polyester micro-fleece.CARING FOR ELECTRIC BLANKETS
Like any other bedding, an electric blanket
or heated throw requires cleaning. But because of the electric system imbedded in blankets
, they require special care.
You should always follow your manufacturer's instructions for cleaning; they are the ultimate authority on what works best for their product. Consult your product care label for definitive instructions.
Never dry clean an electric blanket
. The chemicals used in the dry cleaning process will damage the heater wire insulation, rendering your blanket
unsafe to use.
Once you've washed your blanket
, you may notice that it has shrunk a bit. When this happens manufacturers usually suggest gently stretching it back to size. Also, never iron your blanket
. The heat from the iron can damage the insulation on the heating wires.
When the weather turns warmer, you may decide to store your electric blanket
or heated throw. First, unplug the power cord both from the wall and from the blanket
itself. Check for cracks or cuts in the insulation. Loosely wrap the cord around the controller and put both in a bag to keep it moisture and dust-free during storage. Next, check for scorches, exposed wiring, fraying, etc. If it's in good shape, go ahead and wash it before storage. The blanket
should be rolled or loosely folded so that the wires do not crimp. You can store the blanket
in plastic (keep it together with the cords) or a vacuum bag to ensure that rodents or other pests don"t destroy the wires.