If you’re not already the proud owner of a heated blanket, you might not understand the hype surrounding them. In colder climates and during the winter months, heated blankets are essential. Those who are unfamiliar with the features of a heated blanket may have safety concerns, and understandably so. We know that many people wonder are heated blankets safe, so we’re here to clear the air.
What Is a Heated Blanket?
A heated blanket is an electrical blanket that delivers an even distribution of warmth through wires embedded within the construction of the blanket. Modern electric blanket wiring is fireproof and waterproof, encased in insulation that makes it possible for (most) modern heated blankets to be thrown into a washing machine without hassle. A heated blanket is a common gift to give, as it can be considered a lavish item depending on the price range. It’s a handy item to have on sick days and snow days alike.
While most heated blankets need an electrical outlet for their power source, there are also rechargeable battery options on the market such as this portable, battery-operated blanket by Onnetila. However, expect to pay more for the convenience of having a portable battery-operated blanket.
You will be hard-pressed to find a decent battery-operated heated blanket for less than a hundred dollars. A blanket like this is perfect for camping and travel, but if you are on a tighter budget, a standard heated blanket that plugs into the wall gets the job done just as well.
How Safe Are Heated Blankets?
Heated blankets have not always had the best reputation. In the past, poor construction and design have been known to cause house fires. This was due to a combination of frayed wires and forgetfulness.
Thankfully, heated blankets today are made with safer materials and safety features that help prevent such tragedies. Improved regulation of how these blankets are constructed has proven this product to be safer than ever. While you should never trust an old heated blanket, new ones on the market today have safety features in place such as an automatic shut-off timer and fireproof/waterproof wiring as previously mentioned.
Are Heated Blankets Safe for Children?
Heated blankets are safe for children, and there are actually some good options out there for kid-friendly versions. This particular heated blanket by Smart House Inc. has a fun glow star pattern, is machine washable and comes in a nice, smaller size.
Heated blankets tend to be heavier, so a smaller version that is comfortable for a child to use is perfect (and thus, more portable for parents to travel around with). And because this blanket is small and machine washable, that means kids can be their messy selves without the worry of when it comes time to clean it.
Not only are heated blankets safe for children, they are also safe (and recommended) for elderly folks, pregnant people and just about anyone under the sun who enjoys staying toasty. The reason why elderly people especially benefit from heated blankets is due to the fact that as one ages, it becomes harder for the body to regulate temperature and produce body heat.
But this piece of advice comes with one caveat: older individuals in nursing homes, or those with dementia, should be supervised while using a heated blanket.
Are Heated Blankets Safe for Cats?
Cats and other clawed pets in general should be kept away from heated blankets. Modern heated blankets are perfectly safe as long as the wiring is in good condition, but when you bring a cat into the equation, safety goes out the window. Cats love to knead blankets, through no fault of their own. Their tiny, razor-sharp claws can puncture the fabric and wiring within the blanket.
Cats have also been known to gnaw on the wires inside the blanket that may trigger their predator response within. If you notice that your heated blanket has an exposed or frayed wire, it’s time to throw that blanket out. At the very least, if you do decide to let your cat sleep on a heated blanket, keep that specific blanket unplugged and use it as a regular blanket.
An Alternative to Heated Blankets
A popular alternative to a heated blanket is a weighted blanket. Weighted blankets are calming and quite warm due to the simple fact that it is heavier. There is zero risk of getting wires frayed, because there aren’t any wires.
If electrical safety is a large concern for you, then a weighted blanket will ease any fears you may have. Lastly, if you’re a pet lover, then a weighted blanket is safe for an animal to lay on top of. Your cat’s claws will not harm a blanket without electrical wiring, so no worries on that front, either.
One of our most-recommended weighted blankets is the Quility. It can help you cope with anxiety, nervousness and sleeping, and boasts high-quality features at a budget-friendly price point.
In fact, while most weighted blankets are machine washable, the Quility has a cover — meaning that you won’t have to wash your blanket as much. This can save a lot of time in the laundry room, as weighted blankets tend to take up entire machines when you have to wash the whole blanket.
The Quility weighted blanket weighs 20 pounds, which is a great weight for adults. It’s heavy enough to keep you comfortable as you sleep, but light enough to not feel crushing or hard to move around in. The best type of weighted blankets are the kind that feel like a warm hug, and this blanket does just that with its soft cotton fabric and perfectly weighted micro glass beads.
Now that you know that heated blankets are safe, we know you can’t wait to cuddle up with one on your next cozy night in. Just be sure to follow these recommendations and tips to preserve the longevity of your next one.