Winter's coming. Bed warming time.
September 27, 2012 10:33 PM   Subscribe

Electric blanket or electric mattress pad?

This quesition was asked 4 years ago on Metafilter, but I enough time has passed to take another shot at it. Maybe there are newer or better products out there.

I'm leaning towards the electric mattress pad, but would like to hear other folks' opinions and brand recommendations either way.

posted by zenpop to Home & Garden (15 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
I'd go for the mattress pad. When I lived in North Dakota I had an older version of this Sunbeam model and it was great. I'd turn it on, then get in the shower and brush my teeth and all that. When I was ready to crawl into bed, everything would be nice and warm. The covers on the bed help trap the heat, so I feel like the mattress pad is more efficient than an electric blanket.

I'm generally a very warm sleeper, so it was nice to be able to set the timer to turn off after a few hours to avoid getting too hot while still enjoying the luxury of getting into a nice warm bed at the end of the day.

My sister took over the mattress pad when I left for college in upstate New York and reported really liking it as well. It doesn't get nearly cold enough here in Oregon for me to justify buying a new one, but if I ever live anywhere with terrible winters again, I'll spring for another in a heartbeat.
posted by easy, lucky, free at 10:47 PM on September 27, 2012 [1 favorite]

Mattress pad. It's like being a lizard on a hot rock.
posted by mollymayhem at 10:54 PM on September 27, 2012 [7 favorites]

Mattress pad, mattress pad. They're awesome. You seem to get more of a radiant even heat from them than from an electric blanket, which to me always feel like they heat unevenly, like you can totally tell where the wires are.
posted by charmedimsure at 10:59 PM on September 27, 2012

Mattress pad. We have one with dual-controls so the person on each side of the bed can adjust his/her own settings. Fantastic.
posted by shibori at 11:07 PM on September 27, 2012

Response by poster: Thanks for the votes.

How about brands?

I'm leaning towards this company.
posted by zenpop at 11:29 PM on September 27, 2012

I have an electric blanket. I currently place it under my fitted sheet for use as a mattress pad. Here's why:

Blanket Pros:
-- Can be a cozy blanket. So warm! yesss

Blanket Cons:
-- So hot. Mine only shuts off after 8 hrs, so I wake up hot every. time.

Blanket-as-mattress-pad Pros:
-- Nice & cozy, but not suffocating! Also, can be used as a blanket as necessary.

Blanket-as-mattress-pad Cons:
-- Not a legit mattress pad, so it slides around a bit. Slightly cooler than a blanket.
posted by samthemander at 12:41 AM on September 28, 2012

Where I come from the thing that you put on your mattress under your bottom sheet, tied in place at the corners and around the middle, is called an electric blanket and there is no other. We don't even bother trying to sell whatever you think of as an electric blanket, they are that superfluous. I had a Sunbeam, my husband had a Goldair, they were all fine.
posted by shelleycat at 1:12 AM on September 28, 2012 [2 favorites]

Just dont forget to turn it off 'pre-heat' before you go to sleep. Otherwise you wake up feeling like a lizard on a red hot stove.

Not that I'd ever do anything that stupid...
posted by BadMiker at 2:26 AM on September 28, 2012

If you have pets or longish hair, the mattress pad is better than a blanket. No matter how carefully you wash a standard blanket, the texture is a hair magnet.

I used to buy cheap electric blankets every other because of the cat hair and the blanket would seem to get less warm by the second year as if the inner works were breaking down.

don't use an electric blanket as a mattress pad - the manufacturer usually has a blurb about not doing that and I imagine that the electronics aren't meant to bear weight night after night.

My advice: buy a cheapish blanket for this winter and wait for the white sales in Jan/Feb to get a better grade mattress pad. This is the worst time of year to buy this type of item.
posted by jaimystery at 4:38 AM on September 28, 2012

sigh "every other year"
posted by jaimystery at 4:39 AM on September 28, 2012

I have to join the general chorus - I LOVE my mattress pad. The bigger sizes come with dual controls, too, which is nice if two people sleep at different temperatures.
posted by lemniskate at 5:20 AM on September 28, 2012

Heat rises.
posted by oceanjesse at 6:12 AM on September 28, 2012 [1 favorite]

Love my mattress pad!
posted by michellenoel at 9:42 AM on September 28, 2012

I use an electric blanket, and it doesn't get the bottom sheet very toasty in the time it takes me to get ready for bed. No idea of the brand, but it has a 'boost' function so I can put it on high to get warm, and it will go back to low by itself, in case the warmth puts me to sleep before I shut it off. I suspect a mattress pad would be nicer, but it's not a gig deal. It's an excellent tool in the battle against insomnia.
posted by theora55 at 9:45 AM on September 28, 2012

One thing in favor of the electric blanket is that you can carry it around with you from room to room during the day; at least, that's what I did when I last had one. Probably not something you really need to do, but in case you are an extreme cold wimp like I am it might be worth considering ...

(Although reading this thread now I see I need to look into getting a mattress pad - I had never realized there was much of a difference between the blankets and the pads so I'm glad you asked!)
posted by DingoMutt at 10:29 AM on September 28, 2012

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