Are Heated Blankets Safe?

Table of Contents > 1. Are Electric Blankets Safe to Sleep With?
2. Can You Wash an Electric Blanket?
  Can you Put an Electric Blanket in the Dryer?
  Safety Guidelines for Machine Washing an Electric Blanket
3. Who Should Be Careful When Using an Electric Blanket?
  Babies & Kids
  Pregnancy
  Elderly
  Diabetics
  Blood Circulation Issues
  Pets
4. Who is Suitable for Using an Electric Blanket?
  Arthritis
  Chronic Pain
5. Electric Blanket Health Risks
6. Heated Blanket Safety Tips - How to Use it Properly?
7. When You Need to Replace Electric Blankets?
Conclusion

 

Electric blankets are indeed blessings on those chilly winter nights. Where they help you feel cozy, beating the cold breezes, it also allows saving on your heating bills. This might seem a two-in-one solution unless and until you get concerned about heated blanket safety, wondering, “Are electric blankets bad for your health?”

Generally, modern electric blankets do not impose any harmful effects when obtained from a reliable manufacturer and used correctly. However, if any condition is left unmet, you risk your and your family's health and safety. Dive into this comprehensive guide to satisfy your concerns about the associated health risks. We have also shed light on FAQs like “Can you wash an electric blanket?” and more.

1. Are Electric Blankets Safe to Sleep With?

Stuck with “Is it safe to sleep with a heated blanket on?” Hear us shouting NO! The right way of using electric blankets is to warm your bed and turn them OFF when sleeping. 

Unplug the heated blanket after the bed is warm

Unplug the heated blanket after the bed is warm (0:44-1:01)

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Czf5YDfw6t4

 

Some electric blankets come with timers that automatically turn the heating system OFF after the set time; you can sleep with them. However, manual ones should be turned Off before going into bed or falling asleep. Hope by now, you have found the answer to "Can you sleep with a heated blanket on all night?”

heated blanket with timer

 

Some electric blankets come with timers that automatically turn the heating system OFF after the set time; you can sleep with them. However, manual ones should be turned Off before going into bed or falling asleep. Hope by now, you have found the answer to "Can you sleep with a heated blanket on all night?”

Some people may doubt heating blankets cause burns and even ignite the fire. But that's a myth that needs to be debunked. If you have sourced your blanket from a premium brand, like HOMLYNS, there's no need to worry about it. Also, according to recent research by Colombia University, 99% of fire incidents due to electric heating blankets are caused by worn-out ones that have been used for over ten or more years.

Other myths about these blankets include linking them with the cause of cancer. According to The National Cancer Institute, most electric blankets are a source of minimal electromagnetic fields, and both aren't seen to cause cancer.

2. Can You Wash an Electric Blanket?

YES! You can hand wash an electric blanket with wires in it. You will need to detach the power cord and the controller. However, when washing, you should stick to some preventive measures, like gentle cycles only and more. Some blankets come with detachable power cords; these are generally nonwashable. Check the care tag for confirmation or consult the manufacturer's Customer Support.

Detaching the power cord before washing electric blankets

Detaching the power cord before washing electric blankets (1:13-1:40)

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EpSzOXD3d74

Can you Put an Electric Blanket in the Dryer?

It varies from blanket to blanket. Most modern electric blankets with waterproof insulation can be dried in dryers. But before putting them into the dryer, take a moment to find and read the manufacturer’s instructions in the manual sent with the product. You can also spot washing instructions on the packaging.

If your blanket isn't compatible with a dryer, drying it will damage wire insulation and shrink it. For the blankets compatible with dryers, please do not use a high heat setting; instead, tumble dry for ten to fifteen minutes and take it out when it's still a bit damp to avoid overheating. 

washable heated blanket 

Safety Guidelines for Machine Washing an Electric Blanket

You can either hand wash an electric blanket or go with machine washing it. The following are some precautions to consider:

  • Avoid hot water cycle; stick to warm, cool, or cold water.

  • Please don't use fabric softeners or detergents to keep the internal wiring intact; washing an electric blanket safely.

  • Avoid the Fast spin cycle and rely on a gentle one to ensure no damage to the wiring.

  • Wash an electric blanket alone in the machine. If you need to maintain the load, just add a few bed sheets.

Using the delicate cycle or gentle wash cycle when washing electric blankets

Using the delicate cycle or gentle wash cycle when washing electric blankets (2:45-3:10)

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EpSzOXD3d74

 

Tip: When looking for a new electric blanket for your bed, ensure to get premium quality washable ones. You can check out Twin Size Heated Blanket With Auto Shut Off from HOMLYNS, as it is the best in every aspect.

HOMLYNS Electric Blanket Twin Size with 1-12 hrs Timer Auto-Off & 10 Heating Levels

3. Who Should Be Careful When Using an Electric Blanket?

Electric heating blankets have gained popularity for providing comfort on chilly nights, but their use requires careful consideration, especially for infants, pregnant individuals, the elderly, and those with health conditions like diabetes, circulation issues, etc. By understanding individual needs, electric blankets can offer warmth while prioritizing safety and well-being. 

Heated Blankets for Babies & Kids

Heated blankets are safe for babies and kids if they are above the age of five, i.e., sensible enough to use them rightly. When getting them one, ensure to consider the likelihood of bedwetting. No doubt, the heating cables inside these blankets are insulated; however, staying cautious is always recommended.

heated blankets for kids and cats

Photo by @ jazzerp

Heated Blankets During Pregnancy

Several studies have suggested blankets to be safe to use in pregnancy, as they offer few risks. However, things can become complicated if your blanket gets pretty hot, raising your core body temperature to 101 degrees Fahrenheit. Experts have suggested strictly avoiding using them during the first trimester. If you have been using them for a while, and want to continue, get one with low EMF emission and temperature controls, and prefer pre-warming instead of sleeping with these blankets on.

Heated Blankets for the Elderly

Older people also need that warm feel on cold winter nights. But safety concerns like “Are heating blankets bad for health” leave them worried. If you are also one of them, hop on below to explore your answer. It’s safe for seniors unless and until they suffer from health conditions like paralysis from stroke, diabetes, Parkinson's disease, or dementia. If they aren't facing such issues, let them use the heating blanket for bed with caution to avoid electric shocks, fire hazard, and burns.

Heated Blanket for Diabetics

Diabetes patients are often suggested not to use electric blankets by doctors. It's because diabetes leads to neuropathy in most patients that increase sensitivity toward extremely hot heating pads and electric pads. This can even lead to burns; however, use must be prohibited. If you have diabetes and want to feel the comfort of these blankets, stick to the article and find the proper way to use it besides the imposed risks safely.

Heated Blanket for Blood Circulation Issues

Electric Heated blankets, while providing comforting warmth, may pose substantial risks for individuals with nerve damage or poor blood circulation. These conditions reduce sensitivity to temperature changes, making it hard to notice if the blanket gets too hot, raising the risk of burns. For those with compromised circulation, excess heat can't be efficiently dissipated, further increasing the danger. Despite these risks, heated blankets can be beneficial for those without such concerns, improving blood circulation and providing relief from muscle tension, joint stiffness, and cold discomfort.

Heated Blanket for People Who Have Pets

Electric Heated blankets, while cozy companions for chilly nights, pose inherent dangers to pets like cats and dogs. The risks of electric shocks, burns, and cord biting make these blankets unsuitable for households with furry friends. Cats and dogs may inadvertently chew on cords, leading to electric shock hazards, or they could become tangled in the cords, risking burns from excessive heat. To ensure the safety of our beloved companions, consider restricting pet access while preheating the sleeping area.  

heated blanket for pets
Photo by @ coltonunderdog

4. Who is Suitable for Using an Electric Blanket?

Heated Blanket for Arthritis

Arthritis is often accompanied by morning stiffness which can be relieved by heat therapy of electric heat blankets. They alleviate muscle tension, improve blood circulation, and improve the flexibility of movement. Moreover, they give your joint a boost for effectively accomplishing routine tasks.

Heated Blanket for Chronic Pain

Heat has been known for being natural pain reliever for so long. People have been relying on heat therapy to cure several health issues, with pain relieves at the top. The same concept applies to electric heat blankets. These are proven effective in reducing aches and pain in muscles and joints. They also contribute to a peaceful sleep, refreshing you for the day ahead. 

5. Electric Blanket Health Risks

  • Overheating: Prolonged use of electric blankets, especially at high temperatures, can lead to overheating. This may cause discomfort, dehydration, and, in extreme cases, heat-related health issues.

  • Burns: If an electric blanket malfunctions or is damaged, it can pose a risk of burns. This risk is higher with older or worn-out blankets that may have exposed wires.

  • Fire Hazard: While modern electric blankets have safety features to prevent fires, there is still a risk, especially with older or damaged blankets. Always follow safety guidelines and avoid using blankets with visible signs of wear.

6. Heated Blanket Safety Tips - How to Use it Properly?

Let's now have a look at important electric blanket safety tips:

  • Ensure your blanket comes with overheating protection and ETL Certification.

heated blanket with etl certification

 

  • Always consider your bed type. These blankets are inappropriate for use on adjustable beds, water beds, recliners, etc.

  • Ensure your blanket remains flat. Any tucked end or bunched area will heat up too much, risking burns.

  • Do not use a heated mattress pad with an electric blanket to avoid heating.

The right way of using an electric blanket is to spread it over the mattress covered with a sheet. When the mattress gets warm enough, turn the heating system OFF and put aside the blanket carefully. Grab and spread your routine blanket immediately over the mattress and re-spread the electric blanket over it.

Turn it ON for a while; this way, your routine blanket will trap heat to keep you warm overnight. You can skip the heating routine blanket and fall asleep within the heating one with the cord detached. 

7. When You Need to Replace Electric Blankets?

According to general instructions, you should replace electric blankets before ten years of usage. Moreover, some scenarios might need replacement earlier. For instance, if you have a machine washed, non-washable electric blankets, or your pets have torn their wiring and more.

 

Conclusion 

In conclusion, electric blankets can be a comfortable and energy-saving solution for staying warm during chilly nights. However, ensuring their safe use is crucial to avoid potential health risks. Following proper safety guidelines, such as unplugging the blanket before sleeping and using it cautiously, can help mitigate these risks.

Certain individuals, such as infants, pregnant individuals, the elderly, and those with specific health conditions, need to exercise caution when using electric blankets. Understanding the potential risks and benefits for different groups can help make informed decisions about their usage.

 

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