An electric blanket offers a superb way to stay warm at night without the high cost associated with space heaters. But one question that often comes to mind with electric blankets is how much it costs to use one. Learning how the innovative blanket works answers this and many other questions.
An electric blanket doesn’t cost much to run; you’ll pay 10 to 20 cents for 10 hours of use on average. A heated blanket is cheaper to run than a space heater, and some models come with energy-saving features such as timers, dual controls, temperature sensors, and auto shut-off.
A heated blanket warms up fast, and you don’t need to run it throughout the night. After about an hour, you can turn it off and enjoy a warm night using the heat trapped in the fabric. Let’s learn more about running an electric blanket and compare this to the cost of typical room heating.
How Do Electric Blankets Work?
An electric blanket (on Amazon) has an intricate network of thin electric coil wires sewn into the bedding. The wires have a resistant plastic coating for safety. Once you plug the control system into a power outlet and turn it on, the system activates, and the heat from the wires spreads to the surrounding fabric.
To use the blanket, plug the connecting cable into your blanket and the power outlet. Most electric blankets have a power button and a preheating feature. The two buttons activate the electric blanket.
The interconnected coil wires are spread evenly to ensure uniform distribution of heat throughout the blanket. For enhanced functionality and safety, the fabric used in an electric blanket is sturdy and fire-resistant. Most manufacturers use polyester microfiber, fleece, acrylic, and sometimes cotton.
The material used provides a mix of comfort, functionality, and safety. The interwoven fabric not only traps heat to maintain warmth but also supports the coil wires. Heated blankets have variable heat settings/temperature control with three heat levels; low, medium, and high.
For a larger electric blanket covering a double or king-sized bed, you may find dual controls for each side of the blanket. If that’s a feature you’d like, check out the Degrees of Comfort Dual Control Electric Blanket (on Amazon).
Other common features of an electric blanket include a timer that automatically activates or powers the blanket. Overheat protection is a standard feature on these blankets to shut off the charging system in case of overheating. Temperature sensors and foot warmers are other technologies that add to the functionality of your blanket.
Choose the best position for the connector to avoid disconnection while you’re using your blanket. Once the blanket warms up, unplug the connector from the blanket and the power outlet. The blanket has enough heat to keep you warm for a while.
Do Electric Blankets Cost a Lot to Run?
Electric blankets don’t cost much to run and are a smart alternative to space heaters in your bedroom. Various factors affect the cost of running an electric blanket. To determine the average cost of running these appliances, consider their consumption.
An average blanket consumes about 200 watts. To calculate kilowatt-hours, divide the number of watts the electric blanket uses multiplied by the number of hours you use the bedding. Then divide the figure by 1,000 to get kilowatt-hours.
If you left your electric blanket on for 10 hours (which is not recommended), the consumption would be 2 kilowatt-hours. The average electricity rate is about 10.42 cents per kilowatt-hour. The total cost of running your electric blanket would come to about 20 cents for the entire night.
For safety reasons, you should never run an electric blanket for hours on end. The blanket warms up in less than an hour, and the fabric traps enough heat to keep you warm for the night. You can then unplug the appliance before you sleep for your safety.
Some factors that make electric blanket energy efficient include:
- Use of thin electric wires: To warm your body, an electric blanket disperses the heat produced through the built-in wires with minimal loss of energy.
- Minimal running time: An electric blanket heats up within an hour, and the heat generated can last you for the night. You don’t need to run the electric bedding for the entire night.
- Cutting-edge features: The best electric blankets on the market have innovative energy-saving features, including dual-controls, timers (auto shut-off feature), temperature sensors, and thermostats. These features ensure the electric blanket only turns on when necessary. The sensor settings reduce energy waste by regulating heat levels depending on the room’s temperature.
Costs of an Electric Blanket vs. a Heater
To warm up your bed, you have the option of buying an electric blanket or warming the entire bedroom with a space heater or something similar. Like most homeowners, you probably see that energy costs are the biggest item in your monthly bill, so the cost of running the appliances is a major consideration.
Electric blankets are inexpensive to run, customizable, energy-efficient, and warm only for your bed. Most electric blankets range between 100 to 400 watts, and, as we mentioned, the average cost of running an electric blanket is about 10 to 20 cents for the entire night. Still, running the wired bedding throughout the night is not recommended. You only need to warm it up and unplug the connector before sleeping.
A space heater, meanwhile, is a portable appliance that heats your bedroom and makes it cozy. The average wattage ranges from 750 to 1,500 watts. The wattage is double that of an electric blanket, which translates to higher electricity consumption.
For a 1,500-watt space heater, which is the most common type, running the unit will cost about 20 cents per hour. A space heater has to run for a longer time than an electric blanket. You’ll have to heat your room for several hours before turning off the appliance.
An electric blanket is a cheaper option for a warm night compared to a space heater. The heated bedding also offers other advantages over the space heater, making it a smart investment for your home.
Is an Electric Blanket Worth It?
To determine if an electric blanket is worth it, consider the benefits the heated blanket offers. This is a cost-effective way to warm your bed compared to central heating or a portable space heater.
An electric blanket provides much-needed warmth to improve the quality of your sleep and enhance your mental wellbeing. A heated blanket also helps relieve pain by relaxing your body muscles. It’s recommended for people suffering from body aches, muscle cramps, and arthritis.
The electric appliance is easy to plug in and use, and it comes with innovative features such as dual control, auto safety shut-off, and a timer for added convenience. This is the ultimate item to improve your bedroom.