Electric Blanket: How much does it REALLY cost to run?
Who doesn’t love being comforted into a good night’s sleep in a cosy and warm bedroom on a chilly cold Australian night. However, keeping an electric heater running can be quite an expensive affair and chances are it doesn’t even warm up your room or bed evenly. In comparison, electric blankets are a far more cost-effective and efficient way to enjoy a warm and comforting sleep.
How much does an electric blanket cost to run?
An electric blanket keeps you warm and toasty without consuming too much electricity and burning through your bank balance.
Electric blankets typically use 70 watts of electricity and cost about 4 cents to run every hour. In perspective, that’s about 20 cents a night, definitely much cheaper than your room heater.
Of course, this will vary depending on the wattage, run time, heat setting and size of the blanket.
Electric blanket power consumption
In Australia, electric blankets are available in a power rating of 50 watts to 200 watts. The higher the wattage, the faster the electric blanket heats up but also it would draw more electricity (or power).
The wattage rating indicates the maximum power drawn by the electric blanket in the peak setting. However, one would not continuously use the blanket at the highest setting, so one may draw roughly half the wattage.
The average cost of electricity in Australia is about 34 cents per kilowatt-hour (Source), which by the way is among the highest in the world. Based on the kWh rates, here’s how much Aussies can expect to pay:
A single size electric blanket consumes 70 watts on average, which should cost you 2 cents/hour or 16 cents for 8-hour usage to run. Queen size electric blankets typically draw 140 watts and would cost 4 cents per hour and 32 cents a night for an 8-hour usage.
In comparison, an average electric space heater draws somewhere around 1500 watts/hr, which would cost $3.60 or 16 times more for typical 8-hour usage.
An electric heater costs approximately 16 times more than what you would be paying if you use an electric blanket to keep your feet in bed warm at night. That is a big number and in these uncertain times, don’t we all want to invest and save smarter.
Electric heater vs electric blanket cost difference
Cost to run per hour
Cost to run for 5 hours
Cost to run through winter
2400w electric heater
150w electric blanket
According to the findings:
- A 2400 watt heater that is kept running for five hours will cost you $3 every day, while an electric blanket offers it at just 19 cents.
- If you intend to use your heater throughout the winter, you are more likely to end up with a bill upwards of $280. The same would cost $17 with an electric blanket.
If you are still looking for a reason to join the electric blankets club, then other than being cost-effective, you must know that they also offer targeted heating. Unlike space heaters that offer an uneven distribution of heat, these offer exactly the kind of warmth your body needs on a chilly winter night.
In fact, electric blankets do not need a long-running time like a heater and keep you snug as a bug in your bed without staying on, all night long.
How long do you need to run electric blankets?
As they are super-efficient, you will only need to keep them running around for 30 to 60 minutes, once you are wrapped in the blanket. You can switch it off after that time, as the warm air flows from the blanket and your body will be trapped inside, keeping you toasty all night, chances are you won’t need a space heater.
Several of these blankets also come in with a timer, so in case you are someone who falls asleep as soon as you hit the bed, you can pre-set it to switch off automatically. Generally, It isn’t recommended to have it on throughout the night.
Serves you during the day as well
Now if you are wondering, how to save up on heater costs during the day, then we’ve got you. Many think electric blankets are only useful at night during bedtime, but that is not true at all.
The market today is flooded with all kinds of warm blankets. On days when you are just lounging at home, you can just put a heated throw blanket on yourself. Some of these come as cheap as $39.
Types of electric blankets
The world of electric blankets has something for everyone. Depending on the kind of fit and heating you are looking for, there are different types.
- Electric Under-blanket:
An electric under-blanket goes above your mattress and stays under your fitted bed sheet. These are the most common ones used in households. It clings onto the mattress and holds it in place, so it won’t slip off, even if you are someone who tosses and turns in their sleep. They come in both soft and hard fabric and should be used on the lowest heat seating while being run on a memory foam bed.
- Electric Over-blanket
An electric over-blanket sits on top of your sheet and maintains an optimum warm temperature. They are made of soft fabric and cover you from shoulder to leg. Other than the bed, you can also use them on a sofa and carpet. You can use it on a memory foam bed, but avoid folding or wrapping it around your body as it could get overheated.
- Heated Throws:
These come in an array of designs, sizes and fabrics. You can use it to keep your hands and feet warm while watching a movie in your drawing room, or you can throw it on your bed to preheat it before bedtime. They are usually warm and fuzzy and hence comforting to snuggle in.
What should you keep in mind while buying an electric blanket?
The most important thing is to check if the electric blanket comes with an overheat protection sensor so that it automatically switches itself off when it gets too hot. You also need to consider the wattage of the blanket – the higher the wattage, the faster it heats. Typically a 100-watt blanket should be sufficient for most folks.
The other feature you should look for is the timer controls and sectional heating option if you and your partner have different temperature preferences.
Always go for one with a high energy efficient star rating. In terms of fit and type, a fitted one is better than the ones with ties as you wouldn’t have to worry about it staying in place, and a blanket made of warm fabric will be more comfortable than a thin one.
Are electric blankets safe?
Absolutely. Of course, just like other bedding set ups, electric blankets are safe and will take care of you as long as you maintain, clean and store them well. With an electric blanket, it is important to do regular checks on wiring and cords, so that there is no loose connection or any other electrical defect. It is advisable to also check for frayed fabric, worn patches and dampness to ensure that your blanket has a long lifetime.
It goes without saying that if you spot a defect, fix it before using it. And make sure you replace them, even the ones in good condition after 10 years of usage. It is advisable to not let children use them as they may not be well acquainted with the control setting and it is best to avoid them in an infant’s cot.
Before buying one, make sure you spot the AS/NZS 60335.2.17-2012 tag that is a must for electric blankets to carry in Australia and New Zealand (Source). Make sure to carefully read the instructions and follow the brand’s recommendation on usage and care guide.
Stay warm all night long, while also saving heater costs with an electric blanket. From keeping you and your loved ones warm on movie nights on the couch to keeping you warm and comfy in bed, these electric blankets sure are everything you need on chilly winter nights. A premium quality electric blanket offers natural airflow and optimum warmth, so if you are someone who deals with cold feet often, then this will make you warmer faster and can improve microcirculation as well.
You can find the top-rated electric blankets in the Australian market here.
We truly hope you got all the information and perspectives you needed to make your first electric blanket purchase. Not only are they comforting, but it also saves you several hundred in heating expenses, which in itself makes it a smart investment.