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Best electric blanket 2021: The top electric mattress covers, fleeces, duvets and overblankets you can buy

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Banish the shivers with our pick of the best electric blankets and heated mattress toppers

When the weather gets cold, you may start to consider an electric blanket – especially if your home isn't very well insulated or you're one of those who insists on sleeping with the window open for fresh air, despite glacial temperatures outside. A run-of-the-mill duvet just won't cut it and you'll need a bit of extra heat to ensure your toes don't fall off. On top of that, there’s just something miserable about crawling into an unwarmed bed on a cold winter night.

An electric blanket can warm your bed before you get in, or help you maintain a steady temperature right through to the moment the alarm goes off.

While electric blankets used to have a reputation for being thick and uncomfortable, modern versions are thinner and lighter – not to mention safer and a lot more efficient, so they’re fine for everyday use. All the same, you’ll want to choose carefully to make sure you get a reliable bedwarmer.

Best electric blanket: At a glance


How to choose the best electric blanket for you

How much do I need to spend?

An electric blanket is a cheap way to stay warm at night. Obviously, larger blankets cost more, but you can buy a decent king-size blanket from a major brand for under £30; even the more feature-packed options come in under £100. Running costs are usually between 1p and 4p per night.

Are electric blankets safe to use?

The idea of waking up in the middle of the night on fire isn't exactly going to (excuse the pun) warm you to the idea of buying an electric blanket, and so many people are put off buying one due to safety concerns. However, electric blankets are perfectly safe as long as you buy from a respected brand and retailer.

When looking to buy an electric blanket, it's important to buy from a reputable retailer and check that it has the UK safety standard mark. That means you shouldn't buy secondhand blankets as they may no longer meet safety standards. There are also some things you should avoid doing when using the blanket to make sure you stay as safe as possible.

  • Don't use the blanket whilst it’s still folded or creased
  • Don't use a hot water bottle at the same time
  • Don't get the blanket wet
  • Don't insert or use pins to hold the blanket in place on the bed

What kinds of electric blanket are there?

Blankets come in two basic types: heated mattress covers or pads that sit on top of the mattress but beneath the sheets, warming you and the duvet from below. Meanwhile, an overblanket slips inside your duvet cover to keep you cosy from above – some versions replace your duvet entirely.

Which you choose is largely a matter of personal preference, but manufacturers of memory foam mattresses often advise against heated pads because they restrict the mattress’s ability to mould to your body, and there’s a risk of the foam itself getting damaged in the long term.

What differences are there between blankets?

All electric blankets warm your bed, but they differ in how long they take to heat up and how much control you have over the temperature. Some take under five minutes to warm up, while others take substantially longer. That’s not necessarily a problem if your blanket has a timer and your bedtimes are regular, but it’s worth thinking about.

All blankets have a range of heat settings, but the number might vary from three to 12. More advanced blankets might even have different settings for different zones, so you can have additional heat for your feet or different heat levels for the two sides of a double bed.

What other things should I look out for?

Beyond that, think about materials – do you want a flat underblanket or something fleecy that holds the warmth? We’re now seeing electric blankets with a thick fleece or Sherpa lining, while there are electric mattress toppers that warm up your bed and add an extra layer of comfort at the same time. Thinner, lighter underblankets might be a better fit for you, but you need to know that they’re going to be comfortable, and that heating elements or cable connections aren’t going to poke through the blanket and annoy you when you’re trying to settle down to sleep.

Also, look out for the practicalities. How long are the cables? How does an underblanket attach to the mattress? Are the controls positioned where you can get to them? These are usually simple plastic modules attached by a cable to the side of the blanket, but some are removable to make the blanket easier to wash or clean. Being machine-washable is clearly a good thing, and some blankets can be tumble-dried.

Many double or king-sized electric blankets also come with dual controllers for the two or more heat zones, so you or your partner have control over the temperature on your or their side of the bed. The only downside? In most cases you’re going to need two electric sockets to accommodate the separate power cables.

Finally, it’s always worth double-checking the safety features. A BEAB Approved Mark is a must, showing that the blanket has had appropriate testing, and you should also look for features such as an overheating safety cut-out or an automatic shutdown, so that a forgetful moment never results in a disaster.

READ NEXT: The best electric fan, convection and halogen heaters

The best electric blankets you can buy in 2021

1. Silentnight Comfort Control Electric Blanket: The best low-cost electric blanket

Price: From £22 | Buy now from Amazon

If all you need is a basic mattress-cover blanket, it’s hard to go wrong with the Silentnight Comfort Control. It’s a flexible, barely noticeable slimline cover with a concealed heating element that warms up in around ten minutes. It has three heat settings and, while there’s no automatic shut-off, you can safely use it all night with overheat protection for peace of mind.

The blanket straps to the mattress securely with a corner tie and Silentnight claims it’s fine for use with memory foam mattresses. It’s also machine-washable at 40˚C. The Comfort Control isn’t the longest blanket, so it might not keep your tootsies warm, but otherwise it’s great. If you don’t want extras such as specially heated zones or dual controls, why pay more?

Key specs – Type: Polyester mattress cover blanket; Heat settings: 3; Controls: Single; Off timer: No; Dual settings: No; Safety: Overheat protection; Machine washable: Yes; Dimensions: 65 x 135cm (single), 120 x 135cm (double), 137 x 65cm (king)

2. Silentnight Yours & Mine Dual Control: The best basic dual-control electric blanket

Price: From £43 | Buy now from Argos

With two heat zones and dual controls, the Yours & Mine is a step up from the Comfort Control, and well worth the extra outlay. It’s easy to use, with just three heat settings, and the wide, stretch straps make it just as easy to fit and keep the mattress pad secure on the bed. It’s also a little larger than most basic models, covering a slightly wider section of the bed. You can have one side turned up high and another turned low – or even off – and both of you can have a comfortable sleep, helped by the flexible, soft-feel pad that really minimises any lumps or bumps.

There’s no timer and it takes around ten to fifteen minutes to warm up, but once it does it stays nice and cosy, and with BEAB approval and overheat protection, it has all the safety basics covered, too. The fact that the settings slider has an off setting at each end is a great little touch. Other underblankets are faster to heat and pack in more features, but this one’s a brilliant and thoroughly affordable winter warmer.

Key specs – Type: Polyester mattress cover blanket; Heat settings: 3; Controls: Dual; Off timer: No; Dual settings: No; Safety: Overheat protection; Machine washable: Yes; Dimensions: 137 x 152cm (double), 150 x 160cm (king)

Buy now from Argos


3. Homefront Fully Fitted Fleece: The best underblanket for a truly toasty bed

Price: From £46 | Buy now from Amazon


Homefront’s premium underblanket has all the features you could hope for, with easy-to-use dual controls on the double and king-sized versions and separate settings for the body and the feet. The luxury fleece style is superb for comfort, and it comes with ten timer settings and an ultrafast warm-up that gets you cosy from head to toe in around five minutes.

This one also avoids a lot of the usual underblanket pitfalls: it’s big enough to cover most of the bed; the deep, elasticated skirt stops it riding up during the night; there’s no cold central zone between the two regions, and any wires are nicely unobtrusive. There’s a super-king size available and you can even wash it at 30˚C. The Homefront is a blanket with a mid-range price tag but one that works and feels like a high-end option.

Key specs – Type: Fleece polyester mattress cover blanket; Heat settings: 9; Controls: Single/dual; Off timer: Yes; Dual settings: On double and king; Safety: Advanced overheat protection; Dimensions: 107 x 203cm (single), 137 x 193cm (double), 152 x 203cm (king) 182 x 203cm (super-king)

4. Dreamland Boutique Heated Mattress Protector: The best luxury electric mattress topper

Price: From £90 | Buy now from Argos


If you’re looking for a little extra luxury and comfort, Dreamland’s Boutique electric blanket gives you a 200-thread cotton percale mattress protector with added heat, warming up your bed in just five minutes and then keeping you cosy all night. There’s an auto-adjusting temperature sensor to stop you getting too warm or too chilly, plus a timer with auto shut-off. You have the choice of single or dual controls for the double, but the king and super-king are dual-control only.

The elasticated skirt means it’s easy to fit as a standard mattress protector, and you have to love the extra layer of soft cushioning. It’s a great way to get some extra winter warmth and give an old or hard mattress an extra lease of life.

Key specs – Type: Polyester fibre quilted mattress protector; Heat settings: 5; Controls: Single (single and double), dual (double, king and super-king); Off timer: Yes; Dual settings: Yes; Safety: Overheat protection; Machine washable: Yes; Dimensions: 90 x 190cm (single), 137 x 190cm (double), 150 x 200cm (king), 180 x 200cm (super-king)

Buy now from Argos


5. Monogram Komfort: The best heated non-fleece mattress cover

Price: From £45 | Buy now from Amazon


Not everyone likes the feel of fleece – this German-made electric mattress cover gives you the same softness and comfort without the fluff. It’s a fully-fitted cover with its own elasticated skirt, with dual settings and controls optional on the double version, and standard on the king and super-king versions. It heats up within eight minutes on its preheat setting, then dishes out consistent head-to-toe warmth at one of five heat settings overnight. It even has a little extra warmth to keep your toes from getting chilly.

It’s washable and tumble-dryer-friendly, with detachable controllers for easy cleaning. Throw in overheat protection and an auto shut-off timer – which can be set to kick in after one, three, six or 12 hours – and you have one of the best electric blankets around.

Key specs – Type: Soft polyester heated mattress cover; Heat settings: 5; Controls: Single/dual; Off timer: Yes; Dual settings: Yes; Safety: Auto heat shut-off; Dimensions: 90 x 190cm (single), 137 x 190cm (double), 150 x 200cm (king), 180 x 200cm (super-king)

6. Snuggledown Intelligent Warmth Supreme Comfort: The best electric mattress topper for sheer comfort

Price: From £100 | Buy now from John Lewis


If your mattress is slightly on the firm side, a mattress topper is a perfect way to soften it up. Snuggledown’s quilted topper comes with a cold-weather bonus in the shape of integrated heating. Its climate zone controls give you different warmth settings for different areas, while the dual controllers on the double, king and super-sized versions mean both you and your partner can make your own adjustments.

What’s more, the generous padding and 180-thread cotton count cover give you a luxury feel even when the heating’s off. Put it all together and you’ve got a terrific topper for the cold months, but one you might want to keep in place the whole all year round.

Key specs – Type: Polycotton mattress cover blanket; Heat settings: 9; Controls: Single/dual; Off timer: Yes; Dual settings: On double, king; Safety: Overheat protection; Dimensions: 90 x 190cm (single), 135 x 190cm (double), 150 x 200cm (king)

Buy now from John Lewis


7. Dreamland Intelliheat Harmony: The best heated overblanket

Price: From £90 | Buy now from Argos


The Harmony in the name alludes to the dual settings and controls, which should eliminate arguments: each sleeper can set their own temperature, or even turn the blanket off. Intelliheat technology keeps the temperature consistent, while a fast preheat gets the bed up to a comfortable level in under five minutes.

You can also set a timer to warm up the bed, and cool down automatically after up to nine hours of use. The blanket itself is so soft and light that you could actually use it outside the duvet cover, and a range of safety features keep you safe from accidental spillages or overheating. It’s a great premium option, especially if you have a memory foam mattress and can’t use a heated mattress cover.

Key specs – Type: Polyester heated underblanket; Heat settings: 5; Controls: Single/dual; Off timer: Yes; Dual settings: Yes; Safety: Sleep Guardian technology; Dimensions: 135 x 180cm (single), 180 x 180cm (double), 215 x 225cm (king)

Buy now from Argos


8. Dreamland Intelliheat Red Check Overblanket: The best heated throw for cold winter evenings

Price: £80 | Buy now from Argos

This Dreamland Velvety model eschews the usual faux-velvet fleece for a more traditional check blanket with a comforting, sherpa underside. We like the retro vibe but also the cosy comfort, and it’s ideal for giving you a quick warm-up on a cold evening, particularly as you can keep it running for up to seven hours for around a penny.

It’ll work on the bed as well as on the sofa, and it’s fine with memory foam mattresses. Meanwhile, Dreamland’s usual Intelliheat controls give you six temperature settings, a fast five-minute warm-up and a one to nine-hour shut-off timer. It also has overheat protection to make sure that it can’t overheat. What’s more, if someone spills their wine or coffee, it’s machine-washable and tumble-dryer safe. If you want something to keep you warm during your late-night Netflix marathons, this is the blanket to buy.

Key specs – Type: Polyester overblanket; Heat settings: 6; Controls: Single; Off timer: Yes; Dual settings: No; Safety: Overheat protection; Machine washable: Yes; Dimensions: 180 x 135cm

Buy now from Argos


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