Most Comfortable Heated Mattress Pad - Award Winner
Five factors affect Heated Electric Mattress Pad Comfort:
- The design and construction of the pad itself including the fabric used.
- The size and flexibility of the heating wires.
- The size and placement of the wire connector(s) where the controller wires are attached to the fabric part of the product.
- Evenness of heating
- Heat adjustments available
1) BASIC CONSTRUCTIONS OF HEATED MATTRESS PADS:
The polyester felt electric mattress pad has no real fill or padding. All the major producers except SoftHeat produce one or more varieties of these felt mattress pads. The benefit is that they are very economical. The negative is that they are uncomfortable since there is no padding to absorb the feel of the heating wires plus the felt itself is stiff and rough feeling.
Padded heated mattress covers employ batting such as polyester fill over the heater wires. The fill cushions the wires of course. The top fabric can then be polyester (plain or plush) or cotton or some blend of the two depending upon what the manufacturer thinks their customers will want at a particular price point. All manufacturers make some variation of this construction.
2) HEATER WIRE SIZES IN ELECTRIC MATTRESS PADS
In addition to the construction, the size and flexibility of the heating wires within the electric mattress pad affects comfort. You can read our whole separate article on heating wire sizes and flexibility here.
3) CONNECTOR BOXES IN ELECTRIC MATTRESS PADS
Comfort is also affected by the size and location of the controller wire connector in the pad itself since, if not designed properly, your feet can bang or rub on it during your sleep.
- Sunbeam (shown to the right) uses the largest connectors in the industry. All of their connectors are located at the foot end of the bed in the center on the sleeping surface. Their dual controls on the Queen and King and CalKing models also use just one very large connector and plug located at the foot end in the center. We judge this configuration to be the worst possible.
- Biddeford's connectors are located in the same places as Sunbeam (on the top surface at the foot end of the bed) but their connectors and plugs are somewhat smaller. Additionally their Queen, King and CalKing models use two connectors - one for each side located on each side instead of one in the center. This approach is better.
- WestPoint also has medium size connectors but they have located them on the skirt of the pad at the foot end of the bed. Their King and CalKing models use two connectors - one for each controller located on each side instead of one in the center. However their Queen models use the one connector for two controllers and it is located in the middle.
- The SoftHeat Low Voltage heated mattress pads use the smallest connectors of all but go even further by locating them on the skirt of the pad, not on the sleeping surface. Then they additionally place them at the head end of the bed so that no controller wires have to run under the length of the bed. They also use one connector for each controller. We judge this approach to be the best by far.
4) EVENNESS OF HEATING
Electric mattress pad heating wires are held in specific assigned patterns by relatively narrow wire channels or by affixing them permanently in a variety of ways. The result is that unlike electric blankets, American heated mattress pads of every brand will produce an all-over even-heating pattern.
5) HEAT ADJUSTMENTS AVAILABLE -- DIGITAL AND ANALOG CONTROLS
The number of heat adjustments available from the controller(s) obviously affects comfort. For example, if a controller had only two heat settings, HI and LO, the heating would not be comfortable most of the time.
Good design requires multiple heat settings. Almost all heated mattress pads sold in America with digital controls have 11 settings referenced as LO, 1-9 and HI (WestPoint has only 5 heat settings). All manufacturers except SoftHeat design some of their products with digital controls. Any product with an analog controller (i.e. you turn a knob instead of pushing a button to set the heat level) has an infinite number of actual heat settings. Their knobs will be marked with a reasonable number of heat references, most commonly LO, 1-9 and HI. All manufacturers except WestPoint design some of their products with analog controls.