Choosing an Electric Blanket or Electric Mattress Pad
According to the Electric Blanket Institute approximately 4-1/2 million electric bed warming products are sold in the United States each year.
There are many reasons to own and use an electric warming device but among the most important are to sleep better in a cool bedroom while staying warm, to keep warm without the weight of heavy blankets or comforters and, in today’s world, to substantially reduce your energy and fuel costs.
There are two main types of warming products sold. The first is the electric blanket which goes over the body and the second is the electric mattress pad which goes over the mattress and under the body. The choice is mostly a matter of personal preference although there are few distinct advantages of a mattress warmer over a blanket.
· A mattress warmer uses somewhat less electricity than a blanket because more of the heat is contained in the bed.
· A mattress warmer is inherently safer since it lays flat on the bed and is unlikely to be balled up and overheat, although with today's designs this is rarely a blanket problem either.
· A mattress warmer tends to be more durable since it is not continually flexed like a blanket, but both products come with 2 to 5 year manufacturer warranties so this is normally not a concern.
Electric warmers work by passing an electric current through a resistive wire producing heat. Some electric blankets operate with 120 volts AC (normal house voltage) in the wires while some blankets today convert the 120 volt household power to 25 volts DC or lower which limits electromagnetic radiation and shock hazards. In either case, any blanket you purchase should be marked as complying with Underwriters Laboratories (UL) safety standards.
Comfort House® carries both standard voltage and low voltage warmers with UL ratings for safe use in your home.
The safety of electric warmers is excellent and most individuals can use them without problem. However, as with any other appliance, there are some general restrictions for using electric warmers.
· Consult your personal doctor before using during pregnancy.
· Consult your personal doctor before using if you have a pacemaker.
· Consult your personal doctor before using if you have severe diabetes.
· Warmers are not for infants or small children.
adjusting the controls.
According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, the typical single family home spends about $ 2,200 per year for heating. Furthermore, the EPA estimates that for each 1 degree a home temperature is lowered for eight hours you can save about 1% on your heating bills. In other words, if you use an electric bed warmer and turn back your nighttime temperature by 10 degrees while you are sleeping, you could save up to 10% on your seasonal heating bill or $220.00 in this example.
On the other hand, according to the Electric Blanket Institute, the typical electric blanket will cost about $.04 per night to run and the electric mattress pad even less at $.03 per night. These figures factor in the control setting of a normal person for 8 hour sleeping periods. At $.04 per night for 180 nights, the cost of using the electric warmer would be less than $8.00 per year. The savings are truly significant and the payback time relatively short.
Electric blankets and mattress warmers have become quite sophisticated and the choices are wide. Here are some of the important features you need to consider.
· The unit should be UL listed and all Comfort House® items are.
· An automatic preheat function is useful, but not absolutely necessary.
· An automatic timed shutoff (say after 10 hours) is a safety feature.
· The ability to machine wash and tumble dry is a plus.
· Some higher end mattress pads may have 3 zone heat adjustments (foot, mid and upper body) and/or a wireless controller. The Sunbeam Therapeutic Mattress Pad is an example (our Item #11634).
· A lighted, numbered dial on the controller makes for easy setting.
· A silent control system that doesn't click on/off all night long allows uninterrupted sleep.
· A 2 to 5 year manufacturer’s warranty for your protection.
· Dual controls, usually on Queen size or larger allow individual settings.
· Microfiber (also known as microfibre) fabrics are plusher than standard fabrics and if you are just price shopping they tend to be more expensive.
So to sum up, an electric blanket or mattress warmer is a useful, comfortable, energy saving and ecologically friendly sleeping solution for most people.
The Comfort House® selection of blankets and warmers is extensive. Our entire selection is UL listed for safety and many have a 5 year manufacturers warranty.
Therefore, to chose your warmer:
· Decide if you want an electric blanket or an electric mattress warmer.
· Select the size of the warmer to fit your bed.
· Check that the control has the features you've decided you need.
· Next consider the fabrics (microfibre or standard) and colors available.
· Then place your order today and sleep as snug as a bug in a rug.
Copyright, Comfort House, 2013
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