Do electric heated blankets use a lot of electricity? Or are they a good alternative for other heating systems and appliances such as space heaters?
How much electricity do heated blankets consume, and how much do they cost to run? Can they lower your heating and electricity bills?
I am an electrical engineer with more than ten years of experience, and I wrote this article in order to help you make a wise decision whether to buy heated blankets or not.
Without further ado, let’s begin!
No, electric blankets do not use a lot of electricity when they are running as they draw a low current compared to many of the major appliances, especially the ones used for heating like the electric space heaters or heat pump AC units that can be used for heating.
And the nice thing is that many heated blankets come with adjustable heating settings that you can switch between, in addition to a timer that you can set in order to automatically turn them off while you are asleep so that they don’t keep running all the time.
Add to that, some of the electric blanket brands make the large heated blankets of Queen and King sizes come with two different heated zones with two different controllers, which helps in lowering the electric consumption of the heated blankets.
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How Much Electricity Does an Electric Heated Blanket Use?
On average, electric blankets use between 150-250 watts of electricity in order to run, depending on the brand, their size, and the heating level you put them on as many of them come with adjustable heating settings.
That’s around 30-50% of what a small size space heater (500 watts) uses, and around 15-25% of what a medium-sized space heater (1,000 watts) uses.
Some heated blankets of smaller sizes come with the rating of around 120 watts or less, and some big sizes (queen and king sizes) could come with two separate heating elements and two separate controllers might total in 260 – 360 watts.
In kilowatt-hours (kWh), which is the amount of electric energy that the meter counts, electric blankets use between 0.15 – 0.25 kWh per hour on average.
How Many Watts (Power) Does an Electric Heated Blanket Use?
An electric heated blanket uses around 130 watts of power for smaller sizes (twin or full size), and around 200 watts for bigger sizes (queen and king-size).
Some big size electric blankets might use more electricity like the Biddeford queen size heated blanket that comes with two separate heating zones and two separate controllers, 130W each, totaling 260 watts, and the Biddeford king-size with two zones of 180W each, totaling 360 watts.
How Much Energy Does a Heated Blanket Use?
A heated electric blanket uses an average of 0.2 kWh of energy per hour.
Assuming that you run the electric blanket for 10 hours a night, then it will consume around 2 kWh’s of energy per night.
For a month, the electric blanket would use and average of 60 kWh’s when used for ten hours at the highest setting every night.
These numbers are based on the average power rating of the electric blankets, and the average running time of 10 hours every day or night.
The actual consumption might be lower or higher based on:
- The actual size and power rating of the blanket you have.
- The actual number of hours you run it every day or night.
- The heating setting you keep the heated blanket at.
Do Heated Blankets Lower Your Electric Bill?
When used an alternative to other heating appliances such as electric space heaters and AC units that come with a heating mode (heat pump), heated blankets can lower your electric bill as they don’t use as much energy as those appliances.
Heated Blankets vs. Space Heaters
A heated blanket uses much less electricity to run than a space heater.
Space heaters use a lot of electricity to run, and represent one of the biggest loads that cost the most to electric bills.
For example, the small space heater uses around 500 watts to run, and a medium-sized space heater uses around 1,000 watts to run, while the average heated blanket uses around 150-250 watts to run, which makes it a cheaper option.
Add to that, the space heater, especially the infrared ones, might be unsafe to leave on when you are asleep, especially if you keep it directed towards you or close to the bed, because it might cause burns to your skin or start a fire in the bed sheets.
Heated Blankets vs. Heated Throws
Heated blankets are mainly used for beds, and they come with the standard sizes of blankets, ranging from twin size (62″X84″) to king-size (100″X90″).
Heated throws on the other hand are smaller in sizes (50″X62″), and they are usually used in different places in order to provide additional warmth like in the living room, car, home office, …etc.
The electricity consumption of a heated throw is usually lower than the consumption of a big-sized heated blanket, from 50 watts (0.05 kWh per hour), all the way up to around the consumption of a small-sized heated blanket of 130 watts (0.13 kWh per hour).
A heated throw can be a big money saver if you can use it instead of a space heater if you were alone in the room.
Are Heated Blankets Expensive to Run?
No, heated blankets are not expensive to run as they don’t use a lot of electricity, especially when compared to other space heating means.
The actual cost of using heated blankets depends on the power rating of the electric blanket you have, for how many hours use keep it running, the heat level you leave it on, and on the electricity rate at your area.
How Much Does an Electric Blanket Cost to Run?
The average cost to run an electric blanket is around 2.8 cents per hour when running on the highest setting, based on the average power rating of the heated blanket of 200 watts, and the average electricity rate of 14 cents/kWh.
The cost of running the average heated blanket per night would be around 28 cents, if you run it for ten hours on the highest setting.
Per month, the average cost of running the electric heated blanket would be around $8.4 if you leave it on the highest setting for ten hours every night for the whole month.
These estimates are based on the average electricity price of around 14 cents per kilowatt hour, as electricity providers charge different rates in different locations.
In places like California for example, where the electricity rate is around 22 cents per kWh, you may end up paying 50% more than the above estimate, while in places like Idaho and Utah, where the rate is around 10.5 cents/kWh, you may end up paying 30% less than the above estimate to run the electric blankets.
Remember that many heated blankets come with adjustable heating settings, and many come with timers where you can set them to turn off few hours later, instead of keeping them running until the morning, which means that the cost of running an electric blanket might be way lower than what is estimated above.
While if you leave a 500 watt space heater, or a 0.5-ton AC unit on the heating mode, running for ten hours at night, then you end up using around 0.5 kWh per hour, 5 kilowatt-hours of energy every night, and around 150 kWh’s per month.
That translates into 7 cents per hour, 70 cents per night, and $21 per month based on the average rate of 14 cents/kWh.
Therefor, you save around $12.5/month on the electricity bill compared to using the small space heater or the small AC on the heating mode.
This is for one heated blanket in one room.
If you have other people with you at home in different rooms, then you may save the same amount of money for every room.
And mostly, you have a bigger size of a space heater or an AC with a heating mode, which means that you could end up paying even more if you use these appliances to keep the bedroom warm at night, and using heated blankets as an alternative in this case means bigger savings.
This means that electric blankets can save you money on the electricity bill as an alternative to these appliances.
Are Heated Blankets Worth it?
Heated blankets can be worth it if they provide you with a comfortable level of warmth at night that you couldn’t get unless you keep the space heater or the AC on a heating mode for long hours every night.
The savings one the heating bill that come from using the electric blanket as an alternative make it worth the investment, assuming that you buy a good heated blanket that lasts for more than one season.
The payback period for getting a heated blanket depends on how high the energy prices in your area are, the highest the rates, the fastest the heated blanket will pay for itself.
How to Pick an Energy Efficient Electric Blanket?
If you want to maximize your savings with heated blankets, then here are some of the things you may consider when buying a heated blanket:
- One blanket for one bedroom that comes with the size of the bed.
- For queen and king beds, you may get a blanket that comes with two heating zones and two separate controllers, such as the Biddeford heated blankets.
- The blanket comes with adjustable heating settings.
- It comes with a timer, or at least an automatic shut-off that turns it off after a certain number of hours.
- For living rooms, cars, and home offices, you may consider getting a heated throw instead, which usually draws less power to run.
- Pick ones with a good history and positive reviews that last for a long time, instead of having to buy a new one every year, which defeats the purpose of buying it to save money.
Conclusion – Heated Blankets Can Save You Money
I hope that my article was helpful and showed you that heated electric blankets do not use a lot of electricity, but instead, they can lower your heating bill and lower your winter electric bill when used as an alternative to other big heating systems and appliances such as the AC or the space heaters.
Consider reading unbiased customer reviews for heated electric blankets before buying one, and you may check out the main brands that sell a lot of heated blankets like Sunbeam and Biddeford.
If you still have more questions or if you need any help, please, let me know in the comments’ section below, and I will do my to help you out 🙂