Electric blankets and heated throws – do the running costs stack up?

On chilly nights, is there anything better than snuggling up in bed under an electric blanket or curling up on the sofa in front of the TV under a heated throw? We don’t think so. But if you’re worried about the costs of running your heated textiles in light of ever-increasing energy prices, we’re here to give you peace of mind and cosy toes. Electric blankets and throws are actually very economical – costing from as little as 5p per hour to run, especially when you compare them with the cost of keeping your central heating on for hours or heating rooms you’re not actually using. And with winter coming, and the price of electricity expected to rise, aren’t we all looking for ways to save money and be more efficient with our energy use? You can find lots more energy-saving ideas for your kitchen and home on our website.

Explore Lakeland’s very own range of heated blankets with StaySnug – as seen on TV!

Heated Mattress Protector on a bed

What’s the difference between an electric blanket and a heated throw?

Well, the most obvious difference is that an electric blanket goes on your bed, either as a strap- or elasticated skirt-secured underblanket you lie on top of, or an overblanket that you lie under. Heated throws are for snuggling under on the sofa or in your favourite armchair – although you can use them as a blanket on your bed too. They all usually have different heat and temperature settings so you can control the amount of heat they give off, and auto shut-off so you don’t have to worry about falling asleep and forgetting to switch them off.

Our range includes heated electric underblankets and mattress protectors in various sizes, and heated throws in a range of designs – including one with a foot pouch and sleeves. Luxury. And if you just want to concentrate heat in a certain area to combat aches and pains, a Heat Pad will do the trick.

How much does an electric blanket cost to run?

Lakeland Heated Throw turned on whilst sitting in a chair with text "Something snug for everyone. Shop all heated throws"

It’s difficult to be exact as the cost to run an electric blanket, or any heated textile, will depend on domestic electricity prices in your area at the time of use. But knowing the wattage of your blanket will help you work it out. So a higher wattage blanket will use more energy and cost more to run than a lower wattage blanket.

At the time of writing (August 2022), Dreamland estimate that one of their single electric blankets (150W) with Intelliheat+ technology will cost as little as 5p per hour to run on the minimum heat setting. Intelliheat+ technology automatically responds to body and room temperature changes and will adjust the heat up or down for maximum efficiency. Heated throws and blankets that don’t have Intelliheat+ technology will cost a little more to run, but they’ll still work out a lot cheaper than running your central heating for the same amount of time, and because the heat is concentrated where you need it, you won’t be wasting heat either.

You can also control how much your electric blanket costs to run by making good use of the various heat and timer settings and the auto shut-off function. Most of our heated throws have nine timer and temperature settings for ultimate control – so you can adjust them up or down to suit. And some blankets have dual controls so you and your sleeping partner can choose your own best setting without either one of you being too hot or too cold.

Woman sat with heated throw on lap

Are heated throws and blankets energy efficient?

Yes they are, but there are factors that will affect how energy-efficient they are. The better insulated your house is, the lower the setting you’ll need to use on your heated blanket or throw to stay warm. Putting your heated blanket on a low setting for a little while before you get into bed rather than waiting and blasting your bed with high heat to warm it up quickly when you get in will save energy use too. And of course, a heated throw warms only you up and not the whole room, which means you only have to have your central heating on low, if at all. According to the Energy Saving Trust, turning your thermostat down by one degree could save you up to 10% on your annual energy bill.

Are electric blankets safe?

In a word – yes. But like anything electrical you buy, make sure you read the instructions carefully.

Most electric blankets and throws have an adjustable auto shut-off function for peace of mind.

The maximum heat that heated blankets and throws can get to is not very high (usually around 56°C), making them safe, but if you’re planning to use your electric blanket all night, make sure you don’t set the temperature higher than is recommended for continuous use.

Don’t use a heated overblanket and heated mattress protector at the same time.

Roll your blanket up carefully when storing to avoid damaging the electrical wires.

Check your blanket or throw regularly to make sure it’s not damaged.

Should you buy an electric blanket or heated throw?

If you’re worried about the rising cost of energy (and who isn’t?) then definitely. Any chance to save money on your bills is welcome, we think. And being able to turn your central heating down or off and snuggling under a heated throw on the sofa of an evening, or an electric blanket in bed during the chillier months is a good idea. Check out our ranges of heated blankets and throws here, including our range of StaySnug electric blankets, and get cosy for winter. But make sure you’re also doing everything else you can to make your home warmer and more energy-efficient too, so you can use lower settings on your heated textiles.

Here are a few relatively low cost ideas to get you started. Use draught excluders on your doors and windows. Fill gaps at the bottom of your skirting boards and in between floorboards. Put up thicker curtains. Unused chimneys can be a source of heat loss – so look into the possibility of a removable chimney balloon or having your chimney capped. Even something as simple as a radiator shelf can help direct heat back into your room rather than letting it rise to the ceiling. And finally, keep the doors shut in rooms you’re not using. Every little helps.