Safest Electric Blanket - Editor's Choice Award Winner
Safety of electric blankets is the most frequent topic we are asked about. Our surveys have shown that the #1 consideration to most potential buyers is safety. One of the more common safety questions we have received in the past couple of years goes something like this: “I frequently see the Soft Heat Electric Blankets touted as the 'world’s safest blanket'. Why is the SoftHeat electric blanket any safer than any others? Do you agree that it is the safest heated blanket?”
There are several reasons for this statement (listed in order of importance):
1) OVERHEAT PROTECTION -- The SoftHeat blanket’s overheat protection seems to work perfectly. One of the major causes of heated blanket problems is that they become severely bunched up during sleep. The heat in the center of the bunch has no way to escape and builds up until one of three things happens:
- ideally the overheat protection kicks in and lowers or shuts down the power thereby stopping the overheating;
- the heat builds until it actually scorches the blanket and/or the heating wires rendering the blanket garbage;
- the heat builds even more until the fabric smolders and then could burst into flames. SoftHeat’s design keeps that from happening quite well.
2) LOW VOLTAGE -- The SoftHeat blanket’s use of low voltage (18V) in both the controller and the blanket itself eliminates any chance of electrical shock even if the heater wires become exposed or wet. Underwriters Laboratories has listed this voltage as “Non-Hazardous”. To test this, we stripped part of the SoftHeat’s heater wires of their insulation and grabbed them. The company’s claim is accurate – we did not feel even a tingle. To further test them, we then placed the stripped heater wires in a tank of water, turned the blanket controller to HI and grabbed the bare wire in the water. Again we did not feel even a tingle!
This low voltage could prevent harm under at least the following two common conditions:
- If you allow an animal to sleep on your bed, a claw could scratch off the heater wires’ insulation. It would then be even worse if the animal “had an accident” on that area.
- If your blanket has become older, the wire's insulation could become cracked by age and use and if you spill a liquid on it while it’s on, a shock could result.
3) AUTOMATIC SHUTOFF -- The SoftHeat, like most but not all other models, has a 10-hour shutoff feature. The controller automatically shuts down 10 hours after you turn it on in case you forget to turn it off in the morning.
4) CLEAR INSTRUCTIONS -- The SoftHeat User Manual is exceptionally well written especially on matters of safety. The manufacturer’s (Perfect Fit Industries) concern for safety is readily obvious there, as you would expect of a reputable company that has been around since 1932.
5) NO AC EMF’S – ElectroMagnetic Fields from AC electricity (Alternating Current) are of concern to some people. If you are one of those, the SoftHeat blanket’s use of low voltage DC (Direct Current) should ease your mind there. See also our article “Are Electric Blankets Safe or Dangerous” for a full explanation.
KEY TAKEAWAY: We agree that the Soft Heat Electric Blanket is the safest heated blanket available today.