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The 3 Best Electric Blankets & Heated Mattress Pads of 2023

May 16, 2023May 16, 2023

We will be testing some new heated blanket options soon, including L.L. Bean’s Wicked Heated Blanket and Warmee’s Smart Heated Blanket.

Combine chilly temperatures with a drafty house, and you could end up with high utility bills. But using electric bedding to heat your bed costs just pennies a night. We think most people will be happiest with a heated mattress pad, which traps heat a bit better. The Sunbeam Zoned Heated Mattress Pad allows you to adjust the heat of three different areas along the pad (six if you get the queen or king size), and it also adds plush comfort to your bed, with less noticeable wiring than other models. If heated mattress pads are sold out, or you want the ease of a blanket, we recommend the Sunbeam Velvet Plush Heated Blanket.

This comfortable mattress pad, which has an all-cotton top, got warm quickly and allowed for both zoned and all-over heating.

The Sunbeam Zoned Heated Mattress Pad has a 100% cotton top, a rare feature on heated mattress pads that can improve breathability. This zoned mattress pad includes a wireless controller that lets you adjust heat settings across three banded sections (roughly head and shoulders, middle and lower back, and lower body). If you get the queen or king size, you can also adjust each side differently for each sleep partner, for a total of six different zones. But, should all of this sound like too much micromanaging, you can also just use the mattress pad with all-over heat. Unlike pads we tested from other companies, this one takes up only one outlet, even for the king and queen sizes. We also like the plug’s locking mechanism, which keeps the plug securely attached to the blanket’s port throughout the night.


Although it’s not as comfortable as others, this mattress pad offers straightforward all-over heating and is easy to use.

If you can find it, the Sunbeam Quilted Heated Mattress Pad (MSU3GQS) is easy to use, and it offers all-over heating with simple dial controls. Because this pad is made of polyester, it doesn’t wick away moisture (that is, sweat) as effectively as the Sunbeam Zoned version. In our tests, the 5 ounces of fill in this pad didn’t mask the heating wires all that well, but we still found it comfortable.

This blanket has better controls than others we tested, and it requires only a single outlet. Also, it has a safety locking plug to keep cords attached.

If you’d rather get an electric blanket, we recommend the Sunbeam Velvet Plush Heated Blanket. It has the best digital controls of all the blankets we tested, and it comes with Sunbeam’s safety locking plug to keep cords firmly attached. Made of a plush, velour-like material, the Velvet Plush was the most comfortable Sunbeam electric blanket we tried (even though we could feel the wires, they didn’t make us uncomfortable while we were sleeping). Historically, Sunbeam heated bedding overall has fewer safety complaints among Amazon reviewers than Biddeford (maker of our previous runner-up). And even though blankets from some other companies may have been more comfortable, safety is more important to us.

This comfortable mattress pad, which has an all-cotton top, got warm quickly and allowed for both zoned and all-over heating.

Although it’s not as comfortable as others, this mattress pad offers straightforward all-over heating and is easy to use.

This blanket has better controls than others we tested, and it requires only a single outlet. Also, it has a safety locking plug to keep cords attached.

To learn how heated bedding works, Wirecutter supervising editor Courtney Schley spoke with a number of experts, including Dick Zimmerer, a retired engineer and product manager who has worked for several heated-bedding manufacturers. (Disclosure: Zimmerer originated a patent for a component used in Perfect Fit’s Soft Heat heated bedding, which we tested for this guide.) Courtney also spoke with representatives from Biddeford, ElectroWarmth, Perfect Fit, and Sunbeam to learn about the differences among the electric blankets and heated mattress pads currently available.

For information about heated-bedding safety and design, Courtney interviewed John Drengenberg, consumer safety director at UL (the independent safety and certification company that develops standards for and safety-tests numerous electrical appliances, including electric blankets and heated mattress pads). For more data on electric-bedding safety, Courtney emailed with representatives from the US Consumer Product Safety Commission and analyzed dozens of safety reports the agency had received about heated bedding over the previous five years. She also spoke with Judy Comoletti, then the division manager for public education at the National Fire Protection Association, about guidelines for using heated bedding safely, and she read several of the NFPA’s reports on the causes of house fires.

Wirecutter’s Alex Arpaia also wrote and researched guides to air mattresses, mattress toppers, and comforters. And Wirecutter staff writer Katie Okamoto worked on the 2022 update to this guide. Katie has also written about bed frames and researched health and sustainability for other guides in the Home section.

Not everyone sleeps well with extra heat. In fact, sleep experts suggest that a colder ambient temperature (around 60 degrees Fahrenheit) is an ideal temperature for getting a good night’s rest. But there are many reasons why you may seek extra warmth at night. If so, our research and testing found that in most cases you’re better off using a heated mattress pad, rather than an electric blanket. Pads are better at masking the heating wires, and your body and the rest of your bedding insulate the warmth. Mattress pads are also easier to use safely because they lie flat and don’t bunch or fold (as electric blankets can), which could cause overheating. If you want additional heat at night but prefer heat on specific areas of the body, a zoned mattress pad, like our current pick, can provide targeted warmth to your lower, middle, and upper body, and can give your sleep partner temperature control, too. But blankets are better if you already have a specific mattress topper that you love or you don’t want to add extra padding to your mattress. If you use heated bedding only occasionally, it’s also easier to swap in an electric blanket than it is to change the mattress pad.

Many people use heated bedding during the winter months to save on heating costs (by heating the bed instead of heating the room or the entire home). As reported in The Washington Post (subscription required), the US Department of Energy says you can save up to 1% of your bill for every degree you turn your thermostat down for at least eight hours. Comparatively, our mattress pad and electric blanket picks consume very little energy: In 2017, we measured their electricity use with a Kill A Watt meter, and we discovered that our picks consumed just 3¢ to 5¢ worth of electricity per night. You’ll probably spend between $3.20 and $6 total to run your heated bedding every night for the 16 weeks from November through February. Results will vary based on your bedding’s settings, the insulation of your bedding, and your own body temperature, but overall it’s a good deal.

All heated bedding follows a similar design: A system of insulated wires is encased in a blanket or mattress pad, and a power cord with one or two controllers attaches to an external port on the bedding. The wires heat up, and a series of safety mechanisms and thermostats regulate the temperature. We found that most bedding companies have a single heating system that they use across models. That means all blankets and pads from a given manufacturer will reach similar temperatures—only the outer textile and the control style (dial versus digital, number of heat settings) differ across models.

We considered only UL- or ETL-certified models. Regardless of the model or manufacturer, customer reviews indicate that heated bedding has a high rate of defective units. Generally, the reports we saw weren’t safety complaints (though there were some in very small numbers); rather, they were reports of bedding that didn’t initially turn on or stopped heating after a short period of use. Most heated-bedding manufacturers offer three- to five-year warranties on their models; we eliminated any pads or blankets that had warranties under three years.

All of the electric blankets we found were made of polyester. This is likely because when polyester is laundered, it’s less prone than cotton or wool to stretch or shrink, which could warp the wires. We found mattress pads made of polyester, cotton and polyester, and 100% cotton. As we note in our guide to the best sheets, cotton does a good job of wicking sweat and moisture away from the body, so it makes the bedding feel more breathable. This effect is important for heated bedding, which may cause you to sweat slightly from the warmth (though you should never keep your bedding so hot that it makes you sweat profusely). Polyester tends not to absorb moisture as well as cotton.

We looked only at electric blankets intended for use on a bed. These blankets are designed to be used flat, not wrapped around your body or bunched up (because in that situation too much heat can build up and become unsafe). This is why you should not use any of these blankets while you’re lounging on the couch—for that purpose, many manufacturers sell smaller heated throws meant to go across your lap. In addition, we eliminated mattress pads that had no internal padding (“fill”) because this feature is necessary to mask the feel of the wires.

We scanned thousands of owner reviews for electric blankets and heated mattress pads, cataloging those related to safety concerns or fire hazards from operating the heated bedding we tested. Since we couldn’t dig up many comparative reviews of electric blankets or heated mattress pads, we made a list of every electric blanket and heated mattress pad we could find on the sites of Amazon, Macy’s, Target, and other retailers, ending up with 38 models. We then focused on the most popular models with the highest customer reviews on Amazon and other retailer sites. Since many people opt for heated bedding to save on energy costs, we eliminated models that were extremely expensive (over $150 for a queen-size blanket or pad).

This process led us to seven mattress pads and eight electric blankets to test. In 2022, we tested one additional mattress pad, our current pick, since our previous mattress pad pick was experiencing prolonged stock issues.

In our first round of testing, we tested each item on a queen-size bed with two people for at least one night, and in some cases over multiple nights. We tried this bedding on both cotton percale and sateen sheets with a midweight comforter. The bedroom temperature remained in the mid-60s Fahrenheit during testing.

For each blanket and mattress pad, we assessed the following:

We didn’t measure the maximum temperature of each blanket or pad because it was likely to be affected by other factors, such as the ambient room temperature (which we couldn’t control), the bedding’s insulation, and inconsistent heating. Instead, we subjectively assessed whether each blanket and pad achieved a toasty, sheets-fresh-out-of-the-dryer feel at the highest setting.

In 2017, we laundered the winners according to their care instructions to confirm that they didn’t shed excessively, stretch, or shrink when washed. They all performed just fine in that regard, so in 2019 we laundered only our top picks. We observed no problems with shedding, stretching, or shrinking, and all of the blankets and pads still worked after being laundered.

In 2020, we tested one additional heated mattress pad, the Sunbeam Therapeutic Heated Mattress Pad (it now appears to be discontinued), which had come down in price enough to make it worth looking at.

In 2022, we tested another mattress pad, the Sunbeam Zoned Heated Mattress Pad, our current pick, because our previous mattress pad pick was experiencing prolonged stock issues.

This comfortable mattress pad, which has an all-cotton top, got warm quickly and allowed for both zoned and all-over heating.

The Sunbeam Zoned Heated Mattress Pad offers tailored heating across three banded regions (roughly the upper body, middle body, and lower body); for queen and king sizes, this doubles to six—three zones per side. The wireless digital control (a rare feature for most heated pads) has numbered heat settings up to 10, providing you a range for where and how you’d like some extra warmth in bed. This mattress pad also has an all-cotton quilted top, one of the few that’s made of 100% cotton. The fill (held in place with a wave-like stitch pattern that’s spaced about 3½ inches apart) is polyester, with a loft that adds comfort to the mattress without feeling overly cushioned (although this is certainly subjective). The heated wires were virtually undetectable. The king and queen pads need only one outlet, unlike other heated bedding we tried from Perfect Fit and Biddeford, which required two. It also has locking connector ports to keep the cords securely attached to the pad—something we didn’t see on pads from other brands we tried.

If you don’t want to heat different zones of your mattress, you can also use this pad with all-over temperature control, similar to any other heated mattress pad. This model also has a preheat function, to quickly warm up the bed before you get in (it then automatically lowers the heat back to your desired setting). But if you sleep hot and just want to target a particular muscle group that gives you trouble, or if you simply want tailored heating, the zones are easy to adjust. The wireless digital control (an infrared remote operated by AAA batteries, not included) makes it simple to adjust heat by individual zone or all three together. So you could heat your lower back at level 10, your legs at level 2, and your upper body could remain unheated. Or you could adjust all of these to the same heat setting.

The wireless control itself is larger than the controls of other pads we tested, about the size of a generous sandwich, making its digital display easier to read, with helpful diagrams of the heat zones that correspond with the digital display numbers. Although it’s not as intuitive as a simple up or down switch, it’s close (especially with a quick glance at the manual). And we liked that the temperature toggles were physical buttons, making it possible to use by feel. Temperature settings range from zero (off) to 10. (None of the bedding items we tested allowed programming of exact temperatures; they offered only numerical settings.) If you just want to heat all three bands to the same setting, you can also do that, by pressing the up or down button on the control without selecting a zone. There is also the option on queen and king sizes to switch between controlling the whole bed for a single user, or to split it down the middle, creating six heat zones.

Sunbeam’s heated bedding includes a unique plug, which attaches the controllers and power supply to the bedding with a firm locking mechanism on either side of the connection port. Although plugging in or unplugging the controllers takes some effort, this design ensures that they won’t come loose. This feature is useful both from a functional perspective (you won’t accidentally disconnect the plug and turn off your bedding’s heat if you kick it while sleeping) and as an extra safety feature (a loose connection port could cause overheating or sparking).

The mattress pad warmed up about the same as the other pads did. After 10 minutes at the highest setting, it made our bed comfortably warm; within 20 minutes it had reached its maximum temperature, which was toasty but not sweltering. The pad was responsive when we adjusted the temperature to a lower setting, and it cooled down quickly after we shut it off. The control also lets you choose “automatic off.”

With an overall rating of over four stars across nearly 4,000 Amazon reviews at this writing, this Sunbeam pad is also well liked (for heated bedding). We have also seen fewer complaints for Sunbeam bedding overall compared with other brands we considered for testing. This mattress pad comes with a three-year warranty.

The wireless remote comes with some caveats. The remote’s large size makes the display legible and comfortable to use, but it’s a little over 5 inches wide (about the size of a Game Boy Advance)—so it will take up space on your bedside table. And you’ll have to pass it back and forth if you share your bed with a partner, or bug them to change your settings for you, which some reviewers noted can get annoying. For a mattress pad with split-zoned heating (on the queen or king size), we found it odd that this model comes with just one control to share. In contrast, our runner-up pick comes with two controllers: one attached to each side. We think the lack of cords is a nice upgrade, but we’ll keep an eye on the long-term functionality of the remote.

All of the heated bedding we considered had a sizable number of negative Amazon reviews—about 10% to 15% of all reviews—citing defective products. At the time we checked, the Sunbeam Zoned Heated Mattress Pad had one of the highest Amazon customer ratings of the pads we tried, but it also had its share of negative reviews. The complaints we saw included reports of mattress pads that didn’t work out of the box, pads that stopped heating on one side after a few uses, pads that stopped working within the warranty period, and beeping from the receiver. (Sunbeam’s bedding items had virtually no complaints regarding failures that caused safety concerns.) If you do have an issue, we’ve noticed (over the years we’ve worked on this guide) that the company is slow to respond to requests for customer service through its online warranty form.

In general, heated mattress pads can be annoying when it comes to their cords and connecting them to outlets. You should never use any heated mattress pad with an extension cord, due to fire hazard. The cord design therefore limits whether or not any particular mattress pad will work for you, depending on your bedroom layout and outlet location. The Zoned Mattress Pad in queen or king requires an extra connection port at the foot of the pad, to allow you to control two different sides of the bed simultaneously. What you gain in heating control, you lose in wiring simplicity. Sunbeam’s solution, a Y-shaped cord design, assumes that you will be able to reach an outlet within 5 feet from the approximate center of your bed. The first part of the cord runs about 5 feet from the outlet to a receiver (this picks up the remote control signal), which Sunbeam recommends placing underneath the bed. From the receiver, the cord splits into two, and you plug each end into two ports located at the foot of the bed. If you’re lucky enough to have an outlet on the same wall as your bed, the cords can run as Sunbeam recommends (beneath the bed and out of sight), but this won’t be possible for everyone. (Sunbeam’s recommendation also assumes that your bed has clearance beneath it, which may not be true.)

Although the quilted cotton top was comfortable and appeared to be well made, the pad has a mesh elastic skirt that wraps around the side of the mattress to hold it in place, like a fitted sheet. We are not fully confident that this material will hold up over time, but we’ll update this guide with long-term testing notes. (You may not want to wash the mattress pad very frequently, in general, since heavy washing and drying can degrade wiring over time. We recommend hang-drying if possible, but Sunbeam states that you can tumble-dry on low.)

If you are above-average height or sleep low in your bed, your feet may occasionally brush against one of the plastic ports at the end of the mattress, where the controllers attach.

Although it’s not as comfortable as others, this mattress pad offers straightforward all-over heating and is easy to use.

Although the Sunbeam Quilted Heated Mattress Pad lacks many features we liked in our top pick, it does offer comfort and intuitive heating controls—if you can still find it (stock has been fluctuating for some time now). It’s a good option if you think you’ll use a heated pad only during the coldest weeks of winter, you prefer simple all-over heating, and you don’t mind possibly feeling the wires within.

In our tests this pad was comfortable overall but had more detectable wires; side-sleepers especially noticed them. They weren’t so uncomfortable that they ruined sleep, though. Using thicker flannel sheets helped mask the feel of the wires a bit better.

We found that this pad’s vertical quilting seams—spaced 7 inches apart, compared with the 3½-inch spacing between the quilting pattern on our top pick—gave the padding an opportunity to shift around. This pad also doesn’t have as much cushioning, so it won’t make your bed feel much softer. And the polyester top won’t wick moisture as well as the cotton on our top pick (although, like our top pick, this one uses a polyester fill).

The Quilted Heated Mattress Pad heated as quickly as our top pick, reaching its maximum temperature within 20 minutes. Like the Zoned Heated Mattress Pad, this one requires only a single outlet, and it features the same locking mechanism on the connection port for added security—but with just one port, cutting down on the amount of loose cords. It carries a three-year warranty. The queen- and king-size pads come with dual-sided dial-based controls with 10 temperature settings. This pad doesn’t have a preheat function. So if you want to warm your bed quickly, you need to set the pad to high before getting in, and then turn down the temperature later.

This blanket has better controls than others we tested, and it requires only a single outlet. Also, it has a safety locking plug to keep cords attached.

All of the electric blankets we tried had problems, ranging from unpleasant-feeling fabric to particularly noticeable wires. In our test group, the Sunbeam Velvet Plush Heated Blanket was the best, since its overall combination of softness, performance, controls, and safety features helped it edge out the competition.

Made of 100% polyester, the Velvet Plush has a notably soft, brushed texture that feels like a thick velour. Of the Sunbeam blankets we tested, its velvety-soft surface felt the most pleasant and did the best job of masking the wires inside. The Velvet Plush is a mid-weight blanket, and it didn’t feel heavy or stiff on top of our testers.

In our tests, the Velvet Plush got hot and toasty within 20 minutes, similar to the other blankets we tried. The version we received for testing had a manually adjustable dial with 10 heat settings (and no preheat option). The type of controller may vary depending on where you order the blanket.

Like all Sunbeam heated bedding items, this blanket requires a single outlet even for the dual-controller versions. Blankets we tested from other manufacturers required two separate outlets. It also has the safety latched plug for the port at the base of the blanket, another feature exclusive to Sunbeam bedding.

We could feel the wires in this blanket—but we could feel the wires in all the top blanket contenders, and the Velvet Plush’s wires were relatively less noticeable than those of some other models. Once we had the blanket on the bed, sandwiched between a comforter and a top sheet, the wires were less bothersome but still noticeable. Even so, we slept comfortably. Since the blanket lies on top of you instead of under you, the wires don’t have the potential to create pressure points or to dig into your body.

The blanket’s soft, velvety texture was somewhat slippery, and it tended to slide around, especially when we paired it with sateen sheets. We didn’t have this issue when we used flannel or percale sheets, which gripped the blanket better. But we have seen some owner reviews on Amazon noting that this blanket seems particularly slippery.

We think the wires in this blanket might shift more over time than those in other blankets (like the Biddeford blankets we tried). The channels sewn into the Sunbeam design are wider, which can allow the wires to shift from side to side, possibly producing hot and cold spots.

Besides that, the Velvet Plush has the same flaws as all Sunbeam blankets and all electric blankets in general; we saw a sizable number of owner complaints citing units that didn’t work at all, stopped working shortly, or didn’t heat uniformly. One Wirecutter staffer who uses this Sunbeam blanket reported that on a few occasions it shocked him, even though it was unplugged at the time. We suspect this was caused by static. Although all the bedding we considered and tested is UL- or ETL-certified and thoroughly tested for safety, we did see some complaints on Amazon about owners getting sparks or shocks.

The combination of electricity and bedding naturally makes some people nervous. But engineering and fire-safety experts told us that today’s heated bedding is very safe when certified by an independent testing lab (UL or ETL), kept in good working condition, and used correctly.

Heated bedding is low on the list of common causes of household fires, said John Drengenberg, the consumer safety director at UL. According to a 2019 home electrical fires report from the National Fire Protection Association (which compiles data from fire departments around the US), mattresses or bedding caused 3% of all home electrical fires from 2012 through 2016, about 270 fires per year.

“The most important thing is that the blanket or pad is listed by an independent testing laboratory, such as UL,” said Judy Comoletti, the NFPA’s division manager for public education at the time of our interview. UL has developed safety standards for heated bedding, and both UL and ETL test products to ensure they meet them. Drengenberg told us that UL-certified heated bedding goes through a battery of tests to verify that the inner heating wires don’t sustain damage during normal wear and tear (a special machine simulates “elbows and knees”), that the electrical components remain sealed from water during washing, that the outer material doesn’t burn too quickly in case of fire, and that the bedding doesn’t get too hot. Drengenberg said that advances in the construction of heating wires and thermostats (which now require fewer connections, and thus have fewer failure points) have also led to safer products.

You do still need to take some precautions when using heated bedding. Our experts gave us some general guidelines that you can follow to prevent damage to the textile casing, wires, cords, and ports in your bedding:

Electric blankets and heated mattress pads can tolerate machine-washing and -drying, but they require special handling. These aren’t “throw in the weekly wash” items. Don’t launder your heated bedding more than you absolutely have to.

Regardless of the model, disconnect all the controllers and cords from the port before laundering. You should wash and dry only one item at a time. Never dry-clean, iron, or use bleach on heated bedding.

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for washing and drying. In general, instructions will tell you to wash the bedding on a short cold cycle, to machine-dry for only five to 10 minutes on low, and to hang-dry to finish. Long or too-hot drying cycles could damage the wiring; in particular, manufacturers don’t recommend using commercial dryers, which are often hotter than residential dryers.

When storing heated bedding, disconnect and carefully wrap the controller cords. You should roll or gently fold the bedding to avoid pressing, bending, or warping the wires. For this reason, you shouldn’t store heated bedding in compression bags, vacuum-seal it, or keep it underneath heavy items.

While researching electric blankets for an update to this guide in 2022, we were intrigued by the Warmee Smart Heated Blanket. This direct-to-consumer company claims to have “Invisiwire Tech”—wires that are extremely hard to feel. But the high price point (almost $400 for a queen at the time of writing) gives us pause. We’re planning to try it out for our next round of testing.

We’re also planning to test L.L.Bean’s Wicked Cozy Heated Blanket. L.L.Bean touts the blanket’s ultra-thin and flexible wires, even heating, and two-sided design (featuring a plush, insulating layer on one side and a channeled plush on the other).

If you want a well-cushioned mattress pad: Sunbeam Premium Quilted Heated Mattress Pad was our previous top pick, which we eliminated due to ongoing, prolonged stock issues (especially in queen and king sizes). If you can find it, this quilted heated mattress pad with a cotton top and poly fill was the cushiest we initially tested, with virtually undetectable heating wires. Its ergonomic, intuitive digital controls offered plenty of all-over heat-setting options (20) and a preheat option, with the bonus that its king and queen pads came with two controllers (so each side could set and adjust a different temperature). It does not offer zoned heating.

If you want a water-resistant mattress pad: The Sunbeam Water-Resistant Heated Mattress Pad is similar to the Sunbeam Premium Quilted Heated Mattress Pad, but with water resistance meant to protect your mattress from spills or other accidents. It also has less fill. Until he got a new bed, Wirecutter editor Mark Smirniotis had been using this pad and found it comfortable. Of the 6 ounces of fill, he said: “It isn’t luxurious, but it’s definitely fine. I thought I felt the wires when I first slid into bed, but didn’t really notice once I got comfortable.”

If you care more about comfort in a blanket than controls: The Biddeford Microplush Sherpa Electric Blanket, our previous runner-up pick, was eliminated in 2022 because of ongoing stock issues. If you can find it, we found the Biddeford more comfortable than our Sunbeam top pick because it slipped around less on the bed and the wires were less noticeable. The microplush material—a smooth polyester fleece on one side and a fuzzy fleece on the reverse—wasn’t as smooth as the Sunbeam’s velvety texture. But its two thick layers did a better job of hiding the internal wires than Sunbeam’s fleece. Compared with the controls on the Sunbeam blanket, though, Biddeford’s controls were more awkward to use. And although both blankets have two sets of heat controllers, we didn’t like that we had to plug in each side of the Biddeford separately (and thus use more outlets).

Sunbeam Quilted Heated Mattress Pad (MSU3KQS): This pad was okay, but the polyester top felt unpleasant to the touch, and its 5 ounces of fill felt too thin to be comfortable. Since this topper was so similar to the Sunbeam Quilted Heated Mattress Pad (MSU3GQS) but worse in a few critical ways, we cut it from the running early on.

Sunbeam Therapeutic Heated Mattress Pad (now discontinued): This is an older version of our current zoned top pick. The zoned feature worked, but a lot of the bed beyond the zoned area would still get warm.

Biddeford Quilted Heated Mattress Pad (sold by The Company Store) and Biddeford Sherpa Heated Mattress Pad: We eliminated both of these because their plug sockets were located underneath the pads, making them difficult to reach. The sockets also protruded conspicuously, and having the cords underneath everything made tucking in sheets difficult.

Perfect Fit Soft Heat Micro-Plush Heated Mattress Pad: This Perfect Fit pad has a lot of great features. The company’s Soft Heat line uses fine wires that are nearly undetectable and run on low-voltage DC, rather than AC, power (which, as UL’s John Drengenberg said, prevents shocks but doesn’t eliminate the risk of fire). But each low-voltage DC controller has a 4½-by-2-by-1½-inch box that converts the power supply from AC to DC—on queen-size pads and up, this means two boxes and two separate outlets.

The real concern for us was a series of Amazon reviews claiming that the connector ports—where the controllers attach to the bedding—overheated, scorched, browned, or melted. Although we did not experience these problems, in at least one case a reviewer reports that they got minor burns from coming into contact with the overheated port. We found many other reviews citing these kinds of problems. John Roth, Perfect Fit’s CEO, told us that the browning, melting, and overheating were likely caused by a poor connection due to broken or pulled wiring or a pinched or folded connector. He said this damage could create increased resistance and overheating, leading to scorching, but would never cause a fire.

Biddeford Comfort Knit Heated Blanket: We eliminated this blanket, another previous runner-up, because its material was made from scratchy polyester that we didn’t want near our faces at night. It also had two plug sockets, like all Biddeford blankets, which isn’t as convenient as Sunbeam’s one-socket design.

Biddeford Solid Microplush Electric Blanket: This model showed up with manufacturing defects—the illumination was broken on one of the control boxes, and the blanket didn’t get hot enough in our 20-minute test. It also heated inconsistently, with warmer patches in certain spots and cooler patches in others.

Perfect Fit Soft Heat Micro-Fleece Electric Blanket: We liked this blanket overall because its fine wires were undetectable, and the soft, fuzzy outer material made it the most comfortable blanket in our tests. The slightly textured topper was comfy though not cushy. But we eliminated it for the same reasons that we did the Soft Heat Micro-Plush Heated Mattress Pad, cited above—namely irritation with the numerous cords and overall safety concerns about this company’s products causing burns.

Sunbeam LoftTec Heated Blanket: This is Sunbeam’s thickest electric blanket. The heavy material felt unpleasant, and the shaggy texture reminded us of Muppet fur.

This article was edited by Daniela Gorny and Christine Ryan.

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After years of researching bedsheets—from cotton to flannel and everything in between—we’ve found the best sets no matter what your preference.

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After 300 hours sleeping on 17 models, we’ve chosen four memory-foam, latex, and fiber-filled mattress toppers that we think will work for most sleepers.

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Courtney Schley

Courtney Schley, a senior editor covering sleep and appliances, has been at Wirecutter since 2014. She has held several roles at Wirecutter, including research editor, as well as supervising editor of baby and kid coverage.

Alex Arpaia

Katie Okamoto

Katie Okamoto is the lead editor of sustainability at Wirecutter. She’s been studying, working in, and writing about the complexities of sustainability since 2005. Among other things, she’s been an editor at Metropolis, where she focused on the intersection of environment and design; a manager at the NYC Department of Environmental Protection; a designer; and a freelance writer. She holds a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies, as well as a master’s in architecture, and has covered the overlaps between sustainability and other topics for publications including The Atlantic, Newsweek, and Catapult.

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