Electric blanket ratings

You can keep warm in the winter by spending a lot of money on heating your whole home at night, focusing your warmth in a localized area with a good space heater, or really concentrating warmth on a good night's sleep with an efficient electric blanket. Electric blankets can keep you warm without having to heat the whole house so they help lower utility usage -- and bills! A good electric blanket can also have therapeutic benefits for sore, achy muscles and arthritis. So how do you find the best electric blanket for the best price? Here are some suggestions based on current ratings and expert recommendations.

The Sunbeam Microplush Warming Throw has come in tops in most reviews from experts to consumers. It is machine washable, very soft and easy to care for, with an automatic shut-off feature. And it is inexpensive, retailing at about $40.

The Royal Velvet Cotton Rich Electric Blanket also rates well. It has ten temperature settings, a pre-heating feature, and automatically shuts off after 10 hours. This one sells for around $85 for a king size blanket.

Beautyrest Warming Waffle Weave Electric Blanket also has adjustable heating. The king size electric blanket can be set differently for each of two sides. It also offers the 10 hour shut off feature. The one criticism is that the loose weave of the waffled fabric can catch and snag occasionally. This one came in with top consumer ratings. It is in the slightly more pricey category of an estimated $100.

Sunbeam heated blankets offer some of the more economical electric blankets. The different styles tend to be reliable as this product has a proven track record over many years and the technology has not changed appreciably. Electric blankets tend to range from $40 - $70. The only complaint is that the wiring can be somewhat stiff.

The Biddeford Mills electric blanket is similar to Sunbeam in that it has a long history of reliability. It is a little more expensive averaging around $90 for the King sized blanket. But it offers thinner and more flexible wiring and is both washable and can be put in the dryer. Both the king and queen sizes offer dual controls.

Perfect Fit Industries is one more electric blanket with a great customer and expert rating. Another experienced company, Perfect Fit offers the only low voltage electric blanket that is considered fully safe for people and pets. The downside is that it comes with a large power source that takes up a lot of room to plug in. Although it is somewhat harder to find at retail stores, Hammacher Schlemmer Institute rates this blanket as the "best overall" electric blanket. These blankets are sold in the $80 - $90 range.

Finding the best electric blanket for the best price depends on what you want from your blanket. Read the directions that come with your electric blanket to avoid electric shocks or fire. These are risks that come with all but the low voltage blanket made by Perfect Fit Industries.