A Buyer’s Guide to Electric Blankets for Home
For cold nights and colder seasons, electric blankets are a popular choice. Many households have an electric bundle or two in the house. Not only do they provide warmth, they also alleviate pain for those suffering from arthritis, back pains or muscle cramps. Common maladies can disappear with just a few nights under an electric blanket. They can also reduce the presence of dust mites, which can help decrease skin irritation caused usually by accumulation of dirt and dust from ordinary blankets. Breathing can also be improved under the therapeutic warmth of the electric blanket.
Why should buyers purchase electric blankets? The initial purchase is more expensive than the ordinary blanket, but over time, the amount paid can help reduce other bills.
Room heaters are no longer very necessary when there are electric beddings in the house. There are also electric throw blankets available that can be used on sofas or chairs. They are smaller in size and can help make furniture warm enough even on cold nights. Winter evenings usually call for higher temperatures, which will not be as necessary as before with the help of electric blankets.
The electric blanket is usually categorized in two forms: the non-fitted or tie-down, and the fitted ones. Non-fitted ones, sometimes known as over-blankets, can be used like a traditional blanket or comforter to keep the temperature constant. Fitted blankets, which are sometimes referred to as under-blankets, are made to fit the bed’s size exactly. The ties at the ends prevent it from shifting around. This is especially good for those with muscle pains.
There are many factors to consider when buying an electric blanket. Here are the most important ones:
1. Consider Safety
One should always buy electric blankets that have safety marks. The UL or Underwriters Laboratories have safety standards for such blankets. The UL has the most comprehensive safety regulations for electric bedding. There are some products that are certified by the ETL to the same standards upheld by the UL standard #964.
Low voltage around 120 or less is preferable in choosing an electric blanket because they reduce the risk of electric shock. The buyer should choose those with automatic shut-offs to prevent over-heating. Electric blankets with raised markings or light indicators for heat settings or controls are very helpful for those with poor eyesight and for those who suddenly find themselves wanting to change settings in the dark, without having to turn the lights on. Buyers should also look for electric bedding with knobs or controls that are easy to turn. Having push buttons for controls will also be easier for most people.
2. Look for Durable Ones
Electric blankets can be replaced after long years, so customers should buy ones that can last as long as 5 to 10 years. The fabric should also function properly, and hold up well throughout the cleaning or washing process. One should buy new ones, instead of second-hand, unless the latter is from a reliable source.
3. Factor in Who Will Use the Electric Blanket
Will a pet be sleeping with its owner under the electric blanket? If so, then one can no longer just buy the ordinary electric type. The buyer should look for electric blankets with a low voltage, in case the pet is prone to spilling fluids on the bed. Stain-proof ones are also important, as they minimize the hassle in cleaning and maintenance. These electric comforters also come in different sizes: twin- or full-sized for smaller beds, and queen- or king-sized for bigger one. Will the blanket be for only one person? If it’s meant for two people, then it would be better to have the queen- or king-sized blankets that have two controls for two people to use. With this, the other person can change the setting on his end without changing the heating of the other. Some of these blankets also come with heating insulation at the bottom for those who like to keep their feet extra warm. Children typically should not be allowed to use electric bedding unless the parents have already set the heating controls and checked the automatic shut-off mechanisms. Those with with low voltage and water-proof or stain-proof features should also be considered for children.
The weight of the blanket should also factor in. Because of the electric blanket’s internal heating system, bulky blankets are no longer necessary. This doesn’t mean, however, that all electric blankets come in paper-thin types. There are lightweight heated blankets that are thick enough to cover the heating wires and light enough not to stifle the user with much heat.
4. How are Electric Blankets Cleaned?
When buying an electric blanket, the buyer needs to know whether she or he doesn’t find the cleaning process a hassle. The most important thing to do when cleaning electric appliances is to read the manufacturer’s instructions for cleanliness and maintenance. Dry cleaning is commonly discouraged because of the risk of corroding the heating elements in the blanket. So, how does one clean electric blankets using the washing machine?
One should make sure that the blanket is no longer connected to its control box or its cord. One should use only cold water and a mild detergent for washing. The user should then put the settings on delicate cycle, which means that washing the electric blanket should only take one small tumble, twist, and rinse every cleaning time.
When it comes to drying these blankets, air drying is best. One only has to lay flat the blanket under the sun. Those who find it necessary to use the dryer will need to put the machine in low temperature setting. When the blanket is already slightly damp, it needs to be taken out and, then air dried for a few moments. The user should also remember that only when the blanket is already completely dry or no longer cold or damp, should the cord and control be re-attached.
Electric bedding is very helpful, but just like any electrical appliance, this should be treated carefully. Following instructions or reading reviews can help buyers paint a picture of the kind of electric blanket they want to have, seeing as that such bedding has many benefits and can last for many years, especially under careful maintenance.