Your Guide To Buying Electric Blankets
The best way to keep warm during the cold is with a soft and cosy electric blanket. At Spotlight you can find a variety of quality electric blankets, but with so many great options on the market, how do you choose the right one? This electric blanket guide will go through everything you need to know when choosing the best electric blanket, including how to use an electric blanket, how to clean an electric blanket and how to style them on your bed.
- What is an electric blanket?
- Types of electric blankets
- How to use an electric blanket
- How to wash an electric blanket
- How to style an electric blanket
What Is An Electric Blanket?
An electric blanket is a large, flat blanket that can be heated by electricity. Electric blankets need to be connected to a power source to work, and have wiring running across them that ensures the blanket heats evenly. Electric blankets are not designed to be seen, and so usually come in white or cream colours.
Electric Blanket vs Electric Throw
Electric blankets are different from electric throws. An electric blanket is designed for your bed and fits sung on the mattress and usually has a fitted skirt or straps. An electric throw is a heated throw blanket designed to be wrapped around you while you lounge about on the couch.
Types Of Electric Blankets
Electric blankets come in a few useful varieties, including:
- Hypoallergenic - these electric blankets are made from anti-microbial materials that are perfect for people who suffer from the allergies that are brought on by the dust mites that often make their homes in beds.
- Wifi blankets - these electric blankets can be controlled from your phone as long as you have a wifi connection. This makes them easy to preheat before getting into bed and even easier to turn off when you've finished scrolling on your phone in bed.
- Multi-zone - you can adjust the temperature in different zones around your body with these electric blankets. Zones usually include the main body and feet, allowing those of us with cold feet and warm bodies to sleep comfortably.
How many watts does an electric blanket use?
While it will vary depending on your chosen electric blanket, the watts used by an electric blanket tend to be in the 70-150W range. Roughly, they cost 4c an hour to operate. Compare this to a space heater, which can cost 15c an hour, and you'll see that electric blankets are a cost-effective way to heat your bedroom when you need to!
How To Use An Electric Blanket
Electric blankets need to be plugged in to use, so make sure you have a power point within reach of your bed. They are fitted over your mattress and underneath your bed sheets and blanket - you could almost call them an electric mattress topper! You should switch on your electric blanket around half an hour before getting into bed, as they heat up quickly - most will reach your desired temperature within ten minutes. Then switch it off when you are ready to sleep. The residual heat should keep you warm all night, but if you wish to keep it on don't worry, most modern electric blankets have auto shut-off features and safety measures to ensure your blanket operates safely as you sleep.
How long can you leave an electric blanket on for?
The fact of the matter is, electric blankets should never be left running hot all night while you sleep. They can cause you to overheat, become dehydrated and in extreme cases, even burn you. That's why modern electric blankets will have safety features to prevent this, such as shutting off after being left on for a longer period of time and overheat protection to ensure the blanket never becomes too hot.
How To Wash An Electric Blanket
Even though they have wiring running through them, some electric blankets can be washed in your washing machine. Others, however, may need to be hand washed or even only spot cleaned.
How to hand wash an electric blanket
Unplug any cords from your electric blanket and give it a shake to remove any excess dust, dirt and skin cells. Fill your bathtub with cool or warm water and add a small amount of your normal detergent, but avoid additives, like bleach or softener.
Gently agitate the blanket in your tub using your hands or a stick - be gentle, as harsh movements like scrunching or scrubbing can damage the inner wiring. When you are done, drain the water and gently squeeze out the remaining water with your hands, or you can press the blanket to the edge of your tub. Never wring out your electric blanket! Then hang over a rack or line to air dry.
How to machine wash an electric blanket
Unplug and remove any detachable cords from your electric blanket and give it a good shake to remove any loose debris. Place the electric blanket loosely into your washing machine - spread it evenly around the central agitator for a top loader, and make sure it isn't folded, wrapped or scrunched up in a front loader.
Use your normal detergent (but no extras life softener or bleach) and set your machine to a short, gentle cycle with cool or warm water, with a low final spin speed if possible. Once it has been rinsed, remove the blanket and air dry. You can partially dry it using a dryer, but you should always finish the drying process on a rack or line.
How to spot-clean an electric blanket
If you have stains to remove, spot-clean your electric blanket by moving fast! Unplug the blanket and then remove as much of the stain as you can by blotting at it with a paper towel or a rag - never scrub at the stain, as this will mash it into the fibres of your blanket. If there are any solids, like from food, use a butter knife or even your fingernail to lift as much as you can.
Add a little mild detergent to the stain and gently rub it to loosen the stain. Remove the detergent with a moist cloth and repeat this process until the stain is gone. Air dry afterwards.
How to store an electric blanket
The key to storing an electric blanket is to never fold it up tightly, as this can damage the inner wires. First, remove any detachable wires and store these in a box, loosely coiled. Make sure your electric blanket is completely dry, then gently fold it in half and roll it up into a log. Store away in your linen closet where it won't be damaged by direct sunlight or pests.
How To Style An Electric Blanket
If you've decided you want an electric blanket but are worried about styling it to match your bedding, don't worry - these nifty blankets are not designed to be seen! Because they sit on top of your mattress like a topper, your electric blanket will be hidden by your fitted sheet, top sheets and any doona, coverlet, bedspread or quilt cover you choose to style your bed with.
Electric blankets are usually white or cream, so they blend in well with your mattress and are easy to hide away, plus the cord is easy to tuck behind a side table or chest of drawers when not in use.
Discover The Best Electric Blankets At Spotlight
Guarantee yourself a cosy night's sleep with the best electric blankets from Spotlight! Our delightful electric blankets can be shopped for online, safely paid for and home delivered at your convenience - otherwise, visit your nearest Spotlight store to shop the range in person.
Build the perfect bed by browsing our huge bedding category, and be sure to read our buying guides on bed linen, quilts and pillows before you buy. And for heaps of great bedroom styling ideas, check out our decorate blogs online!