Sometimes the best part of the day is climbing into your nice, warm bed. The problem is, beds are not always warm. How can you save your poor toes from freezing in the dead of night? The answer: a heated mattress pad or electric blanket. But which one is best?
What are the Benefits?
Staying warm at night is not the only reason why people use heated bedding. There are therapeutic benefits too. Heat therapy is used to treat a wide range of disorders, and heated bedding allows you to enjoy the benefits of dry heat therapy.
Using heat to treat pain is nothing new. WebMD says that heat can be used to loosen up joints and muscles. This can reduce pain and allow for greater mobility, a great thing for those with arthritis, or other chronic pain disorders.
Your heating bill can also benefit from heated bedding. Having heated bedding means you can turn your thermostat down at night and still enjoy a warm bed. This can help a lot in the winter to reduce your heating costs.
The most obvious way heating bedding benefits you is by contributing to your personal comfort. Dick Zimmerer of the Electric Blanket Institute says heated bedding can reduce your allergy and sinus problems, as well as get your bed warm, and keep it that way.
For those of you with a significant other that is always hotter or colder than you, something with a dual heat setting could be ideal. That way each person can adjust for their own comfort without inconveniencing their bedmate.
Which is Most Efficient?
When it comes to keeping the heat where you need it most, which option is best? According to Zimmerer, heated mattress pads lose less heat to the environment since the heat gets trapped against your body by your comforter.
That said, heated blankets can be used places other than your bed. If you are the type of person who lounges on the couch in front of the TV often, a heated blanket or throw might be a good choice for you.
I guess the answer to the question depends on what you mean by “efficient”. If you are using heated bedding only in bed, the heated mattress pad will keep the heat closer to your body, while a heated blanket can be used in more than one space.
Which is Cheapest?
Electric blankets and heated mattress pads cost about the same according to consumersearch.com. Both seem to start at around $30 and go up from there. The size of the item will help determine the price. If you have a big bed to cover, you’ll have to spend more.
Zimmerer found that mattress pads are slightly less expensive to use. They cost around 2 or 3 cents per 8 hour night, while electric blankets cost 4 cents per night.
With either choice, the potential heating bill savings could cover the initial cost in a year or less.
Which is Safest?
Courtney Shley, research editor to The Wirecutter and The Sweethome, concluded that mattress pads are safer. Since they lie flat, they are less likely bunch up and overheat. Since blankets can bunch and fold they are more prone to overheating and more susceptible to being damaged.
Make sure to follow the care instructions on whichever product you choose. Also be sure to check for damages, especially in the wiring. They both can cause burns and fires if not properly cared for.
According to Healthline, people with certain diseases should avoid using heat therapy, which includes heated mattress pads and blankets. People with some nerve disorders may not feel it if they are being burned, so should avoid using these products.
People with heart disease and blood pressure issues should be careful when using either product. If you have either of these problems you should check with your doctor to make sure it is safe to use heated bedding.
Safety is very important in something that will be in use while you are asleep. Both heated mattress pads and electric blankets are safer now than they were years ago, and its important to read the instructions and safety tags on both to keep yourself safe.
Which is Best?
Overall, the heated mattress pad is better. It is safer, cheaper to use, and more efficient when heating up a bed. With the cost for both things being around the same, it makes sense to have the mattress pad on your bed.
On the other hand, if you want to have a little extra warmth somewhere other than your bed, then an electric blanket, or a heated throw blanket may be the best product for you. They are more versatile than a mattress pad.