Best Low Cost Electric Blanket
Biddeford and Sunbeam produce low, medium and high cost heated electric blankets under several different brand names. Perfect Fit (SoftHeat Low Voltage) competes only in the high-end category. We publish our opinions of each producer’s features so that, if you are in the market for a low cost warming blanket, you can pick the one that’s right for you.
Electric Blanket Safety
Without going into several pages of detailed reasoning, we think the Biddeford’s “Sensor Wire Technology” works better than Sunbeam’s “Positive Temperature Coefficient” (PTC) technology for over-temperature protection. Biddeford and Sunbeam blankets both operate at 120 volts.
Electric Blanket Comfort
None of the low cost products is truly soft but we give the comfort edge to Biddeford due to their smaller and more flexible heating wires.
Electric Blanket Fabric Quality
Low cost electric blankets have inferior outer fabrics compared to the higher cost ones. Expect some pilling and shedding as well as a nominal amount of shrinkage after washing/drying with the lower cost products. None of these can be dried completely in your dryer and all must be re-stretched to size after drying. We rate this category a tossup.
Electric Blanket Controller Durability
Neither manufacturer has much to brag about in this category. We rate both a tie here too.
Electric Blanket Evenness of Heating (Hot and Cold Spots)
The Biddeford blanket heats more evenly due to their heater wire being held somewhat more precisely in its proper heat distribution pattern.
Electric Blanket Warmth
The Sunbeam electric blanket uses more wattage (rated and actual) and wattage equals heat output. However due to the way in which heat is transmitted to the user, in our minds, an even better indicator of warmth can be obtained by comparative sleep testing. Sunbeam also is warmer in our sleep tests at least during the first year. However the Sunbeam does lose heat over the years (inherent in its PTC technology).
We believe the Biddeford is the better choice of low cost warming blankets due to superior safety and comfort features.
Where to Buy Low Cost Heated Blankets
See our Blanket Retailers section to learn which stores are carrying each brand this year.