A heated blanket may be very useful in the cold months when you have no other source of warmth. However, there are many instances where they are bad for you and you shouldn’t use them.
Here’s the scenario:
The holidays have just ended. It is extremely cold in your rural home, and it’s snowing outside. It’s well below freezing, in fact.
You live in an exceptionally old home that isn’t very well insulated, and the heater is broken. You’ve got a fireplace, but you haven’t got any wood to burn in it.
Your dryer is broken, and your blankets are all hanging to dry (read: frozen stiff) because an ice dam on the roof caused the ceiling above your bed to cave in and flood.
The snow has piled so high, you’re snowed into this icebox otherwise called your home.
In short, it’s dangerously cold in your house and you’re red-cheeked, sniffling, and sneezing. Luckily for you, you’ve got an electric blanket!
This scenario, my friends, is the only time you should ever use an electric blanket.
Why shouldn’t you use an electric blanket?
There are so many reasons!
First and foremost is because they are bad for your health.
Leading advocates for the disuse of electric blankets due to the associated health risks argue the use of these products enhances your risk of being diagnosed with cancer, decreased fertility in men, and pregnancy problems for women.
All this is correlated with the EMF (electromagnetic fields) to which electric blanket users are exposed.
In addition to these health risks, electric blankets can also be dangerous for diabetics and others who may have decreased sensitivity to heat, leading to the possibility of dangerous and painful burns.
The exact danger level electric blankets present to the health of those using them is debatable, but on a basic level, it seems common sense that wrapping yourself in electricity on a consistent basis may pose hazards to your wellbeing.
Beyond the long-term health consequences associated with the use of electric blankets, there are also clear and present dangers associated in real time with their use. It is possible to overheat while using electric blankets, and of course, they always present the risk of causing fire or electric shock.
With all the potential risks associated with the use of electric blankets, the operative question becomes, “Why are people using these dangerous electric blankets?” The only common sense answer would be, “Because there is no alternative.”
But there is an alternative to electric blankets.
There are many, better, and safer alternatives. Here are just a few.
Blankets: That’s right—try a good, old-fashioned, non-electric blanket to get snug as a bug. Some of the warmest materials for blankets are wool, cotton fleece, and cashmere. You can double down on warmth by making sure your sheets are made from these warmer materials as well.
More Blankets: If one is warm, then two is undoubtedly warmer. If you’re still cold, keep piling on the blankets until you’re weighed down in warmth.
Warm Clothes: Sometimes a thick pair of pajamas is all it takes to keep cozy when it’s cold out. You could even channel your inner cartoon character and wear a long winter hat with a fuzzy tassel at the end. Santa may or may not be real, but if he is real, he’s definitely not really cold, even at the North Pole.
Hot Water Bottles: However old fashioned it may be, the hot water bottle is still effective. That said, keeping a plastic container with boiling hot water at the foot of your bed is hardly peril free.
In addition to risks associated with using this antiquated method (for instance, “accidents” at the foot of the bed from the ancient bottle springing a leak), there is also a time limit to the efficacy of this method. The heat dissipates with every minute the hot water bottle is exposed to the laws of thermodynamics. But you won’t have to worry about setting your alarm because once the heat wears off, the cold will wake you up!
Chili Sleep Systems: Consider this the proverbial angel on your shoulder, as opposed to the devil that is the electric blanket. Chili products are often lauded for the cooling environment they create for optimal sleep optimization, but they're no one-trick pony.
They are temperature-controlled mattress pads that fit over your mattress and under your bedsheets. You can set the temperature to anywhere between 55–110 degrees Fahrenheit and can utilize chiliPAD or OOLER to keep you warm if you’re feeling cold.
All this is accomplished in a safe, EMF-free environment, as the chiliPAD and OOLER utilize no electricity in the pads themselves. They merely circulate water through silicone tubes and will steadily heat or cool that water to the optimal temperature of your preference.
Chili sleep systems can keep you cool as a cucumber or hot as a chili pepper. This is my personal heating and cooling preference because you can choose the exact temperature of your sleeping environment, and you don’t have to sacrifice health, safety, or convenience for the sake of comfort.
Now you know about the dangers of electric blankets and some healthy, more effective alternatives. You have no excuse not to throw away that electric blanket, ASAP… unless you’re snowed into an old house with no blankets, firewood, or a working heater. That is the only reason you should ever use an electric blanket.