Blankets generally keep people warm in the winter period. Interestingly, technology has brought about the production of an electric blanket. These equipment are of great benefit to one who is having some issues with the winter cold. If you’ll be interested in knowing more about the equipment, then you should read through this guide.
What is An Electric Blanket?
An electric blanket (also called a bed warmer) is a small domestic appliance consisting of a blanket with an electric heater inside. An electric blanket generates heat, which is evenly distributed over its entire surface. It is usually placed on top of the sheets.
Furthermore, an electric blanket is made from heavy, sturdy material with an internally integrated wiring system that provides warmth and heat through coil wires. These blankets generally plug into your electrical outlet and can be set on different levels of heat. The majority of electric linens are made from a combination of polyester and acrylic material. This blend prevents potential fire hazards while being interwoven enough to trap and maintain warmth.
Most common brands offer blankets with at least three heat levels – low, medium, and high. Electric bedspreads that are made for a double or king-sized bed (two people) might come with adjustable heat levels on each side.
The level of heat is controlled through an attached remote that can change the level of heat through the flick of a button.
How Do Electric Blankets Work?
Although they appear and act as bedding, electric blankets fall under the category of household appliances, because they plug into the wall and draw electricity from your circuits. Small, thin wires run through the fabric, carrying heat that warms up the blanket and promptly transfers to you. Don’t worry about the wires poking you– in a blanket of any quality, they are thin enough and enmeshed in thick enough fabric that you shouldn’t ever feel them.
Aside from the heat, the blanket shouldn’t feel any different than a standard, non-electrified piece of bedding. Many blankets can even be thrown in the washing machine – after you remove the plastic temperature dial, of course.
Heated blankets aren’t one-size-fits-all, either. A wealth of options on the market offer models featuring variations such as fabric, size, texture, weight, the number of heat settings, and dual-temperature settings for people who share a bed. Modern electric blankets even offer the option to program the heat to warm up the bed before you climb in, and automatic shutoffs so you don’t waste electricity all night once you’re already snoozing comfortably under your warm pile of bedding.
Types of Electric Blankets
If a heavy blanket doesn’t suit your preferences for sleeping or you prefer a light covering on your skin, then perhaps a different style of the electric bedspread is right for you. Electric linens are available in the following types:
The most common type of electric cover is the duvet or over the blanket, as this is the exact same style of duvet you would use during warmer seasons. They come in a range of colors and designs while offering the thickness and comfort of a duvet and the warmth of a consistent heat source.
This type of electric linen is placed on top of the mattress but under the fitted (bottom) sheet. They are generally thin enough that your fitted sheet should still fit your mattress but thick enough to provide consistent heat throughout the night. Very similar to a heated mattress pad.
This type of electric linen is designed as a normal decorative or thin throw that you would use to highlight furniture in the room but with the same internal wiring system to provide warmth during colder months.
How to Wash an Electric Blanket
Prep the Blanket
Shake out the blanket to get rid of as much loose debris as possible. Before you put the electric blanket in the washing machine, remove all cords and controls.
Load the Washing Machine
For high-efficiency washers, load the blanket loosely. For standard washers with a central agitator, evenly spread the blanket around the drum. You may need to add a couple of non-lint-producing towels or sheets to balance the load.
Select a Water Temperature and Detergent
Wash the blanket in cool to warm water with your regular detergent. Don’t add chlorine bleach or fabric softener—they could deteriorate the interior components of the blanket.
Choose the Washer Cycle
Use the short or gentle cycle setting. If you can set the final spin speed, reduce it to the lowest setting to prevent excess force on the blanket’s inner wiring.
Shorten the Wash Cycle, Jump to Rinse
Let the machine agitate for two to three minutes, and then skip to the rinse cycle. Once the rinse cycle is done, remove the blanket immediately.
Use a cool or air-only setting on your dryer. It is best to partially dry in the dryer for about 20 minutes, and then remove the blanket while it is still damp and allow it to finish air-drying on a clothesline or drying rack. High heat may shrink the blanket and damage the wires’ insulation.
Be sure your dryer is large enough to allow the blanket to tumble freely. If it is not large enough, use a laundromat dryer set on cool or air-dry only.
How to Use an Electric Blanket Safely
It can be a bit disconcerting to bring an electric device into bed with you, and it is possible for your blanket to overheat if you don’t take the proper precautions. Fortunately, you have little to fear if you follow a few electric blanket safety tips. Here’s how to use an electric blanket safely:
- Follow all the manufacturer’s instructions for the use, care, cleaning, and storage of the blanket.
- Keep an eye out for dark spots or fraying that indicate burns and dispose of the blanket if you encounter any.
- Look for a model with an automatic shutoff so you don’t accidentally leave it running all night and day.
- Only use heated blankets for your top level of bedding, and make sure they lie flat without folds or bunches to avoid overheating areas.
- Electric blankets should be avoided with young children and people with cognitive disabilities who might not be able to remove or shut off the blanket in the event it gets too hot.
- People who suffer from diabetes should steer away from heated blankets, as decreased skin sensitivity could lead to burns.
- Don’t use electric blankets with pets. They don’t need them and could chew on the wires and create a hazard.
- Make sure you unplug the blanket every morning when you aren’t using it.
What are the benefits of using an electric blanket?
Electric blankets have a number of advantages, providing you know how to use them properly and they suit your needs:
- They provide fast, localized, and targeted heat: you can heat the bed, where you will stay several hours while you sleep, and reduce the heating in other parts of the house where you will not need it. This helps to avoid wasting energy and also helps you save.
- It is also very useful for those suffering from ailments that require gentle, constant heat since electric blankets are versatile and can be adapted to any part of the anatomy. The blanket can also be taken from one room to another, taking advantage of the heat generated while it was switched on. Always remember that the application of heat should be prescribed by a specialist, who will analyze the cause and decide whether an electric blanket is suitable or not. You should not forget that for some pathologies and under certain circumstances heat may be harmful. You should also remember that the blanket should never touch human or animal skin directly, there should always be a textile between the skin and the heat source.
- The thermostat is there to adapt and regulate the heat and the expense, for as long as it is switched on. The blanket will turn off as soon as it reaches the desired temperature and will activate when that temperature drops, ensuring a constant temperature without having to worry. There are even blankets with two phases, one on each side of a bed, which can be adjusted according to the preferences of each person.
- Electric blankets are safe: If you follow the instructions for use and take the appropriate precautions, they are a domestic appliance that is safe and simple to use.
- They have low consumption: as seen above, consumption is very small compared to other domestic appliances, especially heating appliances, so they are an easy and functional option for heating the bed.
- They are hygienic: modern electric blankets can be washed in a washing machine and dried in a dryer normally, following the instructions for use for the appliances involved in the process. They should never be ironed or dry-cleaned.
- They weigh very little: they do not cause the discomfort you get from other heavy and bulky methods. They are easy to transport and store.
To conclude, electric blankets are the real deal. Now that you know exactly how an electric blanket works to provide you with consistent warmth during colder months, maybe you would like one.