The experts at Sleepseeker dug deep into the data to find out how much it costs to run an electric blanket compared to heating this winter. Many people are looking for cheaper ways to stay warm as utility bills go up again on October 1st.
A spokesperson for Sleepseeker said: “To calculate how much it will cost to run an electric blanket, you need to understand the cost per unit of electricity. According to the Office for Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem), in October 2022 the cost of a pence/kWh of electricity will be around 52p, or £0.52, following the recent rise in energy prices.
“An electric blanket generates heat by conducting electricity through wires in the fabric. Each electric blanket will have a different power rating and the total cost will depend on the rating on the blanket label.
“For the sake of this example, we’ll use an approximate wattage of 100W, which is most common for an electric blanket.
First you need to convert to kW. 100W is 0.1kW (or 100 divided by 1000).
Then just multiply that by the pence/kWh unit.
That would be: 0.1*0.52 = £0.052.
“This means that running an electric blanket for one hour would cost just over 5p in October 2022.”
Based on the above example, an electric blanket will cost you around 42p per night to run (based on 8 hours of use). This is significantly cheaper than having the central heating on all night and you’re looking at even less for a smaller 50W or 60W blanket.
If you want to save as much energy as possible, here are some simple things to keep in mind for your electric blanket:
Timer – Many electric blankets come with a timer which is a great way to save energy. You can easily set it to turn off after a set amount of time, so you don’t have to leave it running all night.
Variable Power and Heat Settings – It may not surprise you, but using a higher heat setting will increase your energy consumption. If you have a variable temperature setting, you can use just enough to stay warm and turn it up or down as needed.
Double control for larger quilts – heat only the parts of the quilt that need it! For one blanket, this can mean being able to warm just your legs or just your body. With a double electric blanket, this could mean only heating one side of the blanket.
Prepare in advance: preheat – instead of heating it up before going to bed, simply put it on a low temperature ahead of time, so you won’t use as much energy.
Stay low and add heat when you need it – Start using your electric blanket on low heat. And if you need a little extra fluff, you can turn it up for a short time.
SleepSeeker’s Hayley Thistleton also included her top 5 tips for keeping your electric blanket in good condition to increase energy efficiency:
“You should wash your electric blanket about every few weeks – once a month or whenever the blanket gets dirty.
First, you should check the label to see the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions and follow them. If the machine wash symbol is displayed, you should ensure that the blanket is disconnected and washed on a gentle cycle in cold to warm water using a mild detergent. Let the machine run for a few minutes before turning it off and letting the electric blanket soak in soapy water for about 15 minutes, then go through the rinse and spin cycle.
“Most electric blankets can be machine dried, but again, check the label for advice. Set the dryer on low heat for about 10-15 minutes before removing and hanging evenly on the dryer to finish drying. If your dryer doesn’t have a low-temperature setting, skip this step and simply air dry the blanket from the beginning, as high temperatures can damage the electrical wiring inside the blanket. Additionally, you should never dry clean an electric blanket, as the chemicals used in the dry cleaning process can damage the blanket’s wiring and heating system.
How to store
“During the summer months, electric blankets are usually stored until they cool down again. Wash and dry the blanket before storing and make sure it is completely dry before storing. You should then roll the blanket, not fold it, and make sure there are no rough folds, as this could damage the inner wires. Pack in a cool, dry place with controls and cables disconnected.
How to remove stains
“To clean an electric blanket in situ, unplug it before drying it with a damp cloth and use a butter knife or anything with a thin blunt edge to carefully scrape and remove any food or drink from the fabric. To remove a more stubborn stain, rub the area with a mild detergent to lift it, then remove it with a damp cloth. Air dry before use.
“Electric blankets are designed to create a warm and cozy environment when you get into bed, however, they are not recommended for overnight use and should be switched off when you get into bed or set on a timer to turn off after a short while. Make sure you also use the electric blanket as a top layer over any other blanket or comforter and don’t lie or sit on it.