Best Low Cost Heated Electric Mattress Pad
In addition to regular and even high cost heated mattress pads, both Biddeford and Sunbeam produce low cost heated electric mattress pads under several different brand names. Perfect Fit (SoftHeat Low Voltage) competes only in the high-end category, while WestPoint's seem to be in the middle. We publish our opinions of each producer’s cheaper entries so that, if you are in the market for a low cost warming mattress pad, you can pick the one that’s best for you.
Electric Mattress Pad Safety
Without going into several pages of detailed reasoning, we think the Biddeford’s “Sensor Wire Technology” provides better overtemperature protection than Sunbeam’s “Positive Temperature Coefficient” (PTC) technology. That being said, warming mattress pads almost never need any over-temp protection since they are held flat to the mattress by the skirt and do not get bunched up like a warming blanket might.
Electric Mattress Pad Comfort
None of the low cost products is truly soft because they are made from polyester FELT and have no padding over the heating wires. However we give the comfort edge to Biddeford due to their smaller and more flexible heating wires. Since heated mattress pads will pay for themselves in short order by saving your home heating costs, we think you should weight this comfort factor heavily before purchasing a low cost one.
Electric Mattress Pad Fabric Quality
Low cost electric mattress pads 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. We rate this category a tossup.
Electric Mattress Pad Controller Durability
Neither manufacturer has much to brag about in this category. We rate both a tie here too.
Electric Mattress Pad Evenness of Heating (Hot and Cold Spots)
Both the Biddeford and the Sunbeam mattress pads produce heat in an even pattern due to their heater wire being held more precisely in its proper pattern. Many people like the Sunbeam feature of "directing heat where the body needs it" but just as many complain that this feature produces undesirable uneven heat.
Electric Mattress Pad Warmth
The Sunbeam electric mattress pads use 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 wire technology).
The choice in low cost heated electric mattress pads is yours. Our own preference is to pay a little more and get something more deluxe that will be more comfortable and fully featured. After all you are going to spend an enormous amount of time on your pad over the next few years and the deluxe ones cost only a little more.
Where to Buy Low Cost Heated Mattress Pads
See our Mattress Pad Retailers section to learn which stores are carrying each brand this year.