Even Rihanna wears them | Can I save on energy costs with electric blankets?
What to look for when buying and the best models for your needs
Hot appearance: At the Met Gala in September 2021, pop starlet Rihanna (33) and rapper ASAP Rocky (33) strutted down the red carpet wrapped in lavish Balenciaga designs. At the latest, blankets became trendy again Photo: MARIO ANZUONI/REUTERS
Well, also so really frozen through? Especially in winter, we long for cozy warmth that heats up the body and relieves tension. The solution: electric blankets!
Long known for nasty coffee run rip-offs and frowned upon as incendiary power guzzlers, electric-powered cozy blankets are currently making an unexpected comeback – and not just among the elderly! Especially in light of skyrocketing energy prices, they could be the hot choice for cold days.
What are electric blankets?
Electric blankets are electrically powered heaters with a textile cover made of synthetic or natural fibers that can be plugged into a wall socket to provide up to 50 degrees of heat to the body. Newer models have a rechargeable battery, can be charged via USB cable and thus warm independently of a power source.
Electric heat was invented in 1912 by the American physician Sidney I. Russell. The Swabian company Beurer was the first in Germany to produce them in 1919. While body warmers used to be made of rather uncomfortable, stiff material, one-size-fits-all, and designed in mostly unremarkable shades of beige, they now come in almost any shape or color.
How do they work?
Inside electric blankets are distributed many small break-resistant heating wires. If you plug the associated cable into the socket and switch on the device, current flows through the wires, heats them and thus the electric blanket. The smart blankets with USB connection contain carbon fiber infrared heating mats instead of wires.
The prices for the cozy warmers range from 40 euros for the cheap models to more than 100 euros for a more comfortable one. Depending on the manufacturer, there are up to ten temperature levels that can be set, variable heating times, different cable lengths or extra features such as a turbo heat function for faster heating up.
The more body surface you want to cover with comforting warmth, the larger your model should be. The dimensions vary from 45 x 135 centimeters to 130 x 180 centimeters. Whether fluffy fleece, cotton, terry cloth or teddy plush – there is a wide selection of face materials to choose from.
If you change your energy provider every year, you can save a lot of money. But the Ene.
What to look for when buying?
The old ones are especially dangerous! Modern electric blankets are subject to strict safety specifications to prevent overheating and fire hazards. When buying, you should therefore be sure to look for the mandatory CE marking and the GS test mark.
It is important to have an integrated thermal fuse as well as a sensor-controlled automatic switch-off to avoid overheating and continuous operation. "Ideally, a timer is also integrated, with which the maximum heating time can be specified," says Marie-Louise Minnameyer of TuV Sud. The temperature should be adjustable by means of a selector switch in at least three stages.
In addition to the "Tested Safety" mark, the expert recommends paying attention to the eco-seal. Heating allows harmful vapors to escape from the fabric, causing unpleasant odors and skin irritation. The product should be made of harmless and environmentally friendly material if possible.
Can you wash electric blankets?
Electric blankets are close to the body and should be cleaned regularly. The heating wires are also encased in a waterproof sheath on all modern models. If the power supply can be removed, many models can be completely washed in the machine. With most of them, at least the cover can be removed and washed. Especially with the cheaper models both is not possible, then the blanket can also be cleaned with a steam cleaner and the loosened dirt can be removed with a microfiber cloth.
An energy consultant explains how you can save money on heating.
Can I save costs with the electric blanket?
Being wrapped up warm while saving money because you don’t have to heat as much? Basically, the electric blankets themselves consume electricity. The more watts the heating blanket has, the more energy it consumes. And how about heating, hot water bottle and cherry pit pillow?
A heated blanket with 100 watts, used for four hours a day, costs 3.5 cents of electricity per hour – at an electricity price of 35 cents per kWh. With a cuddly four-hour television evening under the heating blanket you would come so on 14 cent.
► Conventional gas heating, on the other hand, calculated for a 20-square-meter room, costs around nine cents in four hours, which is significantly less than an electric blanket. Even cheaper is the oil heating, here four hours cost about eight cents, as the climate experts of Co2online have calculated.
► The hot water bottle is a real power guzzler. A kettle requires around 0.12 kWh to boil a liter of tap water. Costs: around three cents. If you heat the water on the gas stove, it costs 1.5 cents, with the electric stove the cost is between three and four cents. The bottle then warms ca. one hour.
► Heating a cherry pit cushion in the microwave for about 1-2 minutes costs three cents in electricity costs. The oven is more expensive: it consumes two kilowatt hours in one hour. If you warm up the pillow for 15 minutes here, it costs about eight cents including the heating time of the oven. The pillow then warms ca. for one hour on.
The hottest electric blankets
Not old-fashioned! These electric blankets are quite trendy. BILD shows the best models for your needs.
Big Hug XL from Stoov Photo: Manufacturer
The wireless electric blanket Big Hug XL (45 x 135 centimeters) can be charged via USB cable, warms with built-in battery up to four hours. Price: about 140 Euro.
Beurer HD 75 Nordic Photo: manufacturer
The Beurer HD 75 Nordic (130 x 180 centimeters) with oko-Tex 100 certification provides heat as desired thanks to six temperature levels. Price: about 50 euros.
Promed KHP-2.3L Photo: manufacturer
Wild warmth in Leo design. The fluffy Promed KHP-2.3L (130 x 180 centimeters) has ten temperature settings and nine adjustable heating times (one to nine hours). Price: about 58 euros.
The butt warmer
One from Stoov Photo: Stoov
Warm outdoors: The wireless infrared seat heating pad One from Stoov with Li-ion battery provides up to six hours of heat. The outdoor cover is washable. Price: about 100 euros.
The ceiling for two
Dr. Watson XXL Photo: Klarstein
Fluffy giant: The electric blanket Dr. Watson (180 x 200 centimeters) is perfect for cuddly evenings for two. The coral fleece jacket warms with 120 watts and three heat settings. Price: circa 76 euros.