As the colder months start settling in, we may often find ourselves looking forward to snuggling up in a warm bed. Many of us will crawl into a seemingly ice cold bed that will warm up while we stay bundled up in it. But those of us with electric blankets can simply preheat our beds like an oven and crawl in for immediate toastiness. There are more than 25 million bed warmers in use in the United States, and with good reason. In particularly cold climates, they can be invaluable, but they also feature some bonus benefits.
Richard Zimmerer of the Electric Blanket Institute compiled a list of facts and statistics regarding all things electric blankets. He also explains that current generation blankets do not get as hot as their predecessors, which are the culprits for many house fires. “. . . since the late 1980s, electric bedding was designed to be used all night long at a low wattage,” Zimmerer says. This low wattage use would keep the user warm all night long, while expending less energy than running the heat for the same amount of time. The lower wattage also greatly lowers the risk of fire. Current generation blankets have evolved with the times, allowing each side of the bed to set their own preferred temperature, styles have been updated, and the fabrics are more comfortable.
In addition to the money saving aspect, heated blankets are lighter than comforters and heavy, thick blankets, making them more comfortable. The level of warmth can also be directly adjusted. No more piles of blankets on the floor! They also provide relief for many aches and pains, including muscle problems, arthritis, and fibromyalgia. According to Zimmerer’s site, electric blankets also help alleviate allergies and sinus problems.
It is important to choose an electric blanket that suits your needs. An over-sized blanket that drapes over the bed will be a waste of electricity. Control systems for these blankets also vary. They can be anything from an analog dial, to a digital readout. People with poor eyesight need large displayed numbers to ensure they set the proper temperature. Those with dexterity issues may require an easy to turn knob or a light touch keypad to operate the controls. Diabetic people are discouraged from using them as they tend to lose feeling in their legs, which could result in burns. Young children should not use them either, to prevent burns.
Above all, use caution when using an electric blanket or other heating device. Pay attention to the level of heat they are emitting and adjust them to provide enough warmth to be comfortable, but not so much so as to pose a fire or burn hazard.
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