These days electric blankets are a popular solution to have a warm and comfortable sleep at night. However, not everyone is comfortable using them. For instance, leaving the blanket on for an extended period will overheat and cause sweating, leading to further problems.
Thankfully, there are some less harmful electric blanket alternatives that we will discuss today; however, before that, let’s learn a bit more about electric blankets.
Risks of using electric blankets
Though most users opine that electric blankets are safe to use when handled with caution, some risk remains in using them.
One of the most dangerous things about these blankets is that they overheat. In 2006, a study revealed multiple cases of heatstroke, all involving electric blankets. The body temperature of these unfortunate people had increased up to 105F!
Besides heatstroke, overheating can lead to direct burns on body parts where the blanket touches.
These blankets, if poorly maintained, can become a potential fire hazard. They pose the same threat as other common electrical appliances at home. Some stats show that heating pads and electric blankets cause around 500 fires, especially when old blankets are used.
Using electric blankets can be detrimental to pregnancy, increasing the chances of a miscarriage. Many studies revealed that using electric blankets increased the chances of a miscarriage during early pregnancy.
Electric blankets emit electromagnetic fields or EMF once turned on. Many studies suggest that greater exposure to EMF can lead to long-term health issues like cancer, affecting the breast and brain if exposed for too long.
Indeed, there are some issues related to using an electric blanket; however, you might be able to use it cautiously if you do have an electric blanket. This applies to pregnant women, elderly individuals, people with pets, and a few more.
Elderly people and kids
Young kids below three may not be able to control the product or do much if the blanket gets heated. The same applies to the elderly, who may not be able to control the blanket due to their physical disability. Thus these groups of people should not be using an electric blanket, but in case they do, someone should supervise them.
Individuals with diabetes
Diabetic patients may sometimes experience diabetic neuropathy. It’s a condition in which blood sugar damages the nerves, primarily in the legs and feet. Owing to this nerve damage, they lose their ability to sense temperature changes.
Thus they become more vulnerable to overheating and burning. The problem can be managed by monitoring the blanket’s temperature from time to time. The newer electric blankets feature a temperature reader that can come in handy.
Individuals with pets
Like children, pets too cannot control the temperature, which increases their chance of overheating. Thus covering your pet in an electric blanket can be as deadly as leaving them in a hot car. Therefore you should avoid giving them electric blankets and opt for the regular ones for the cold winter nights.
Though there are some dangers of using an electric blanket, the major risks, like burn and fire, occur when the blankets are not maintained well. Thankfully, there are a few ways using which you can keep yourself safe.
Don’t put things on the blanket
You can evade any danger while using your electric blanket by ensuring that you have nothing on top of it. Think of it like any other home appliance that uses electricity at all times.
Don’t use them all night
Though a well-maintained electric blanket should not cause a problem when used all night, it’s advised not to do it. Ideally, you should use it to warm up your bed when you climb in and turn it off before going to sleep.
Don’t forget to lay it flat
Lay your blanket flat in the bed. If your blanket gets folded or turned, excess heat might build up through the layers and lead to a fire hazard.
Store it well
Storing the product properly is essential to ensure its safety. Keep the blanket nicely packed in a place where it won’t gather any dust or lint.
Besides, here are a few additional tips to supercharge your safety:
All these tips and concerns apply if you already have an electric blanket. However, if you don’t have one and are concerned about the safety issues, there are quite a few alternatives that you can look into that are extremely safe.
We have listed a few electric blanket alternatives for you to consider.
Best Electric Blanket Alternatives
So it’s quite evident that electric blankets are not that good for our health. That’s why I was searching for alternatives that make sense in modern times. After thorough research which continued for more than 6 months, I have managed to find a few best electric blanket alternatives. You may consider using it if you wanna spend a long term healthy life.
This is the most common method of replacing an electric blanket, so if you are looking for alternatives, get yourself a warm and comforting duvet. The thick comforters or duvets are very effective in keeping you warm, especially in colder places.
The idea is to get a piece that will significantly warm your bed and make you feel comfortable once you climb in. You can also try layering your regular blanket to get warm and cozy on your bed.
Not all blankets will be equally effective if you are getting a blanket to keep your bed warm. For instance, silk blankets will end up making you feel cold.
But thankfully, there are a handful of other materials you can try, and two of the most popular ones are fleece and wool. Wool blankets are available in multiple colors and designs, so you can choose any you like. For the fleece options, opt for the cotton fleece ones as these are the most comfortable.
Both these fabrics have fibers that curl and trap a lot of heat. The best part is, these blankets are not extremely pricey but still get the job done. You can club it with your regular blankets for more warmth.
Hot water bottle
This is an old-school tip and is highly effective and has proved its worth over eras. People would often use hot water bottles on their heads to reduce chills in earlier times. However, if you are trying to manage the cold on your bed, it’s advisable to keep the water bottles at the foot of your bed to raise the temperature.
The idea is to keep your foot nice and warm, which will help increase your overall body temperature, and you can drift off to sleep more comfortably. In addition, you can use multiple hot water bottles on your bed at specific points to keep the bed warm for better results.
Blow hot air between the sheets
You can also use a climate control system to raise the temperature of your bed. These systems usually warm air in a ceramic unit and then blows the warm air between the sheets.
The method is fast effective and has a wide range of temperature settings that warms the bed comfortably.
Instead of electric blankets, you can use traditional heaters to heat your room. Even if you have central heating at your place, you might sometimes notice that your bedroom is colder compared to the other rooms. This usually happens due to the draft coming in from the windows or under the doors.
Thankfully, a standard heater can fix this issue, and if it’s not extremely cold, you can try out a space heater. You can also club regular home heating with a space heater for added warmth.
If you are using a space heater, make sure it’s placed in a proper place so that it can keep your bed warm but not too close so that it becomes a fire hazard.
Use hot pads
These are the hot/cold gel pads used for treating injuries. To keep your bed warm and comfortable during the winter months, you can heat one in the microwave. The best part is, these gel pads retain the temperature for a long time. Also, unlike hot water bottles, gel pads have no chances of possible leakage.
Before heating the gel pads in the microwave, remove them from the fabric it comes in. Then, heat it for a couple of minutes and monitor its condition. You don’t want the pad to overheat and burst, creating a big mess. However, if you think that heating a gel pad might be risky, you can try those feed corn pouches. You can use these as an alternative to gel pads.
Increase your body temperature
If hot water bottles and heaters sound complicated, you can try this option. Raising your body temperature will help you sleep comfortably at colder temperatures. Doing some light exercises before your bedtime can be one way of increasing your body temperature. You also have a green tea or a small glass of brandy for this purpose.
As you can see, there are multiple electric blanket alternatives you can try out to keep yourself warm during the winter months without using an electric blanket.
A comforter or a fleece blanket, traditional heaters are all here for you to try! You can also club the many ideas presented here for better results.