Best Electric Blanket of 2020
When the temperature outside drops and we only get one electric blanket choice to stay warm and cozy in bed or on the couch, then under the Biddeford MicroPlush electric blanket is where you'll find us. We tested the queen size model, which comes with one easy to use control for each side, so you and your partner don't have to choose between melting or having cold toes. The blanket is fleece on one side and sherpa on the other, giving you two options, and both are incredibly soft. We like our electric blankets to still feel like a blanket, and the Biddeford MicroPlush checks that box with a nice weight to it that feels cozy to lay under with the heat turned on or not. Due to the blanket's thickness and weight, the wires inside aren't very noticeable and don't make the blanket feel ridged. It is machine washable, and, during our tests, it was washed and dried twice. After the washings, it still works and feels like new. The controls for this blanket are shaped like a nightstand clock, meaning that they are easy to see and manipulate without having to be picked up from the side of your bed.While we like many features of this model, here are some things we didn't like so much- If the controls are on the floor, they can get flipped over, and while we tested them the top of the display screen did have some mild scratching. The controls have to be plugged into the blanket first before the wall, or an error message will pop up. You can remedy this by turning the controller off and on again. The sherpa is a bit thin, and it is easy to see the base of the fabric, causing it to look bald in some places.
The Vipex Flannel Heated blanket is a great blanket for the living room or office. With a nice torso and legs size and quick heating, we love it for watching tv on the couch at night or warming up the office chair in the morning. It is similar to other models on the list but is of much higher quality. The material is thicker and heavier, giving it that blanket feel, while also concealing the heating wires. With nicely hemmed and shaped edges, this blanket is a step above the others of the same size and similar material. The Vipex Heated Flannel has even heating across the entire blanket and a consistent temperature change when the settings are adjusted on the controls.
While we like how soft and cozy the blanket is, the controls take some getting used to. We like to see intuitive products that are ready to use right when opened, and these take some getting used to. There are four buttons on the controls: On/Off, Timer, Mode, and Temp, and all four are needed to adjust any setting. If the controls were simpler, this model would be much more user-friendly. The only other drawback of this blanket is that it is only available in a dark blue, giving the buyer no option to better match their home or office.
With soft sherpa on one side and micro plush fleece on the other, the Serta Super Soft Heated electric blanket is a top pick for relaxing at the end of the day or making the morning a little more bearable on the weekday. With the reversible sides, this blanket is cozy, and the heating wires are not easy to notice when snuggled up underneath it. The controller for this blanket it simple with a simple on/off button and a heat setting button that moves an LED light to easily see what number it is set to.
There are a few things the Serta is lacking, like the ability to adjust the Auto-off Timer. It also has only 5 heat settings instead of the 10 that the other models on the review have, which limits the user to larger increments in temperature per setting. This blanket's max temperature was 4˚ lower than the hottest blanket on the list, measuring 94˚ on high.
If you always have cold toes or someone close to you often touches you with some while you are enjoying the tv or a book, then the iTeknic Heated Throw is the blanket for you. During our temperature testing, this blanket registered the highest average temperature overall. It might not be as thick as some of the other models, but that allows you to be closer to the heating elements and feel the warmth at its strongest. However, since the blanket is thinner, the wires are easier to feel, so there is a tradeoff. Still, this blanket is very warm and comfortable, making it a great choice for someone who often states, "I'm so cold." The controls are the same as the Vipex Flannel Heated and take some time time to get used to.
The Sable Heated Throw is a soft electric blanket, much like the other throws on the review. It isn't as thick and well sewn as the Vipex but has the same controller and settings. The biggest difference between them is that this blanket doesn't heat up as evenly, leaving the end furthest from the plug much colder than the middle and bottom of the blanket. The temperature was about 15˚ different from one end to the other, leaving it with the highest standard deviation on the list, making it the most unevenly heated blanket in the review.
Another electric throw blanket, the Homech Heated looks good in the living room or office and is good for warming up your desk chair or under while watching your favorite show. It looks just like the Vipex, and is even equipped with the same cord and controllers. What set this one lower on the list is the large jump in temperature from setting 3 to 6, which went from 85˚ to 95.5˚. The normal temperature on 3 for other blankets on the list is around 75˚ and on 6 is around 82˚. So this blanket started out much hotter and then jumped to even hotter than others, and its max heat on High only got to 97˚. This blanket does not scale well and might as well only have two settings of low and high. The blanket also didn't heat evenly around the corners, with a max temp on the high setting being 107˚ and the lowest temp on high being 88˚.
If you are looking for an all microplush blanket to go on your bed or cover the entire couch, then the Sunbeam Heated Microplush is a great option for you. This blanket is heavy and drapes well when watching tv or laying in bed. The wires can be felt, but since the blanket is on the heavier side, they don't make it feel stiff. The controls have a simple on/off button, up and down arrows, and a preheat button. This is the only blanket on the list with a preheat option which, when pressed, turns the blanket up to high for 30 minutes to knock the cold out of the sheets and then returns to the previous heat setting it was on before preheat was selected.
Although the controller is nice on this model, the blanket didn't get as hot as the top ones on the list, maxing out at 84˚, which is over 10˚ colder. The cords on this model could be felt more easily than others and make it less cozy to lay under. Also, the Sunbeams shed before the first wash, leaving us covered in red fuzz. We were surprised at the amount of lint in the dryer after washing because no other blankets in the review left any lint in the dryer, making us feel that the quality could be improved.
The Sunbeam Heated Quilted electric blanket has a straight forward dial control and a cord that has a locking feature, so when it's plugged into the blanket, the cord won't rip out. The blanket doesn't feel as soft and feels lower quality than others we tested. It feels like an old military blanket, stiff and wiry. This blanket had the 3rd lowest max temperature and didn't heat evenly throughout. Overall it does get the job done but isn't as comfortable as the other options available.
The SoftHeat by Perfect Fit Luxury Low-Voltage heated blanket is soft and is the only blanket we test where the wires can not be felt at all. The controls are easy to use and go from 1-10. However, the blanket comes with a warning message stating that this is a low voltage electric blanket and that it will not feel hot to the touch. Well, they weren't lying. This blanket, when turned on high after 2 hours of heating up, registered an average temperature of 67˚ which was only 3˚ warmer than it was when it was turned off. It is the coldest blanket on the list by far, but is soft and could work as a way to slightly warm the bed up before hoping in.
Why You Should Trust Us
Bennett Fisher, a product developer, focused on human-centered design, evaluates a product in the way the user would, implementing ideas expressed in the book The Design of Everyday Things by Don Norman. His primary focus is outdoor products, specializing in sun shirts and backpacking gear, but has worked with composites and household items. He has spent the past 3 years developing products, sourcing fabrics, and checking the quality of samples from manufacturers. This helps him create a strict testing plan and determine if a product is worth a top spot on our list.
We sorted through the top-rated electric blankets available online, purchased the top 9, and put them to the test to help you decide which blanket best fits your requirements. We created an extensive testing plan and graded each blanket on how well they executed each task. An electric blanket's main job is to keep you warmer than a traditional blanket, so our first test was to see how well the blankets heated up and how well they scaled to their highest setting. Then we tested for comfort by having our team look at the softness of the fabric, how easy it is to feel the heating wires, and how thick the blanket is. Next, we checked how easy it is to use the controls for the blanket. We checked to see how many buttons needed to be pressed to accomplish a task and how the control fit on our hand. After that, we washed all of the blankets to see if they maintained the same warmth and comfort. Finally, we looked at colors available for each blanket so that you can find one to best match your home.
Analysis and Test Results
We made a list of the most redeeming qualities of an electric blanket and formulated a testing plan to rank each one on our list based on these metrics: heating, comfort, controls, washability, and color options. The top-scoring models have the best balance of these qualities.
Electric blankets' purpose is to knock the cold out of your bed or keep you nice and toasty while watching TV, and we wanted to see how well each blanket did at heating up at each temperature setting. We laid each blanket out flat for this test and turned it to a third of its max temperature. After thirty minutes of warming up, we used an infrared thermometer to test 5 points on each blanket; the middle and the four corners. Then we used the numbers to get the standard deviation and the average temperature of the blanket for each temperature setting. We used setting 3, 6, and then 10/High for our controller settings. We used the standard deviation to determine even heating of the blanket.
The blankets with the widest temperature range and most even heating are the Biddeford MicroPlush and the Vipex Flannel Heated. The Biddeford MicroPlush had a temperature range of 75˚,86˚, and 97˚ along with a standard deviation of less than 2˚. The Vipex Flannel Heated did well with a temperature range of 74.5˚, 84˚, and 96˚ along with a standard deviation of around 2.
One of the most important aspects of a blanket is how it feels against your skin and how it makes you feel cozy and comfortable. To rate each electric blanket's comfort, we looked at how easy it is to feel the heating elements, how soft the fabric is, and how thick the blanket is. This metric's winners are the Biddeford MicroPlush and the Serta Super Soft Heated. Both of these blankets have a nice microfleece on one side and sherpa fleece on the other. Having two sides give options, adds weight, and conceals the heating cords making them cozy with or without being turned on.
The ability to pick up the controller and easily understand how to make the blanket hotter or change the auto-off time is essential. We took our first impressions and the time it took us to thoroughly understand the display to compare these controls. Less is more in this metric, and we liked the most simple and straightforward controllers to select the temperature setting and start heating easily. The more buttons it took to complete a task, the fewer points awarded. We also considered intended use, handheld or on a stand, and how smooth it felt to use.
For the sleeping blankets, the Biddeford MicroPlush, with its simple on/off and up/down buttons, and the SoftHeat by Perfect Fit Luxury, with a surge protector, an on/off button, and a numbered dial, were both easy to use right out of the box. They both stand well and are usable one-handed when placed on your nightstand. The blankets meant for couch use with control that tested well are the Sunbeam Heated Quilted with an on/off button and a dial, and the Serta Super Soft Heated that has an on/off button and a heat setting button that moves an LED indicator around from 1 to 5.
We did have four blankets with the same controls that were more advanced than the ones we chose, but they aren't straight forward, and until you solve the button order, a new user can feel frustrated when the button pressed doesn't do what it says it will. These were the Vipex Flannel Heated, iTeknic Heated Throw, Sable Heated Throw, and Homech Heated. These blankets are the only ones that can adjust the auto-off timer, which can go from 1-3 hours.
All of the blankets in this test are machine washable, so for this category, we looked at if the blanket pilled or changed in softness after washing, if it still worked after washing, and how well the blanket dried in the dryer. We washed each blanket individually two times, and the only two that showed any wear from washing are the Sunbeam Heated Microplush and the Sunbeam Heated Quilted. These two changed a little in softness answer the only two that deposited any material into the lint trap, and there was a lot of lint in there after drying, which worries us for prolonged use.
Whether it's your bedroom, sitting room, office, or living room, you have already chosen some color palette for the room. We like having the option to match a room. Here are the models with five or more color options; the Biddeford MicroPlush, the Serta Super Soft Heated, the Sunbeam Heated Microplush, and the Sunbeam Heated Quilted.
After sifting through all of the electric blankets available online, we purchased, tested, and graded the top 9 models. Our team spent weeks using and testing these electric blankets to find which is the best. This list shows the top blankets that have the best combination of heating, comfort, control, washing, and colors. We did this to make your shopping experience a little easier and to help you stay as warm and comfortable this winter.
— Bennett Fisher