Buying guide: Electric blankets

We explain what you should look for when shopping for an electric blanket

Image credit: Flickr.com/photos/sinksanctity/ (Creative Commons)

Image credit: Flickr.com/photos/sinksanctity/ (Creative Commons)

Jargon busters: Electric blankets

Australian standard (AS/NZS 3350.2.17:2000): The Australian standard for electric blankets is a safety measure conducted on all electric blankets sold, giving you the peace of mind that the electric blanket has passed specific tests and meets tough criteria for design and safety factors.

Carbon fibre wire: This is the heating mechanism used by most electric blankets.

Dual control: As its name implies, dual control consists of two separate controllers in the same blanket. Each controller adjusts heat on one side of the bed.

Fitted blanket: Fitted electric blankets match the contours of your mattress; just like a coverlet or fitted sheet. This helps to keep the blanket securely fixed in place during the night.

Foot zone: Some electric blankets offer extra warmth at the end of the bed, with a foot zone setting especially designed to heat that area. No more woolly socks!

Heat settings: All electric blankets come with multiple heat settings. These typically range from three settings to 10, depending on the quality of the blanket and added features offered.

Non-fitted blanket: Non-fitted blankets are designed to lie across the surface of your mattress. They usually have ties or straps to hold the blanket in place.

Overheat protection: This is a safety device that measures the temperature of the blanket, and if it notices any fluctuations or abnormal changes it will switch the blanket off — especially if the temperature is too high.

Programmable settings: A blanket with programmable settings lets you set specific times when the blanket switches on and off.

Throw blanket: Electric throw blankets look similar to traditional blankets, but they come with inbuilt heating elements. Unlike standard electric blankets designed for use on a mattress, throw blankets are designed to be used anywhere in the house.

Tie-down blanket: This is another name for non-fitted blanket. It refers to the ties or straps that hold the mattress down.

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