how much electricity does electric blanket use

How Much Electricity Does an Electric Blanket Use?

Ian Mutuli
Updated on
Ian Mutuli

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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As the temperature drops, there is a higher heating demand, and it’s no surprise that many people are turning to heating appliances that might be quicker and cheaper than turning on a conventional heater. Electric blankets are a good ally when it comes to heating on cold nights as they heat up quickly, help you relax, and it’s easy to adjust their temperatures. They’re fast becoming a great alternative to space heaters because they significantly reduce the energy bill. So, how much electricity does an electric blanket use?

Compared to electric space heaters’ energy consumption, electric blankets are more energy-efficient. They don’t represent a remarkable energy consumption as most use between 100 to 150 watts per hour. Therefore, the total energy consumption of your electric blanket will be determined by its power rating and how long you use it.

This article explains electric blankets’ energy consumption and their impact on your monthly utility bill. Delve in

What is an Electric Blanket?

An electric blanket or a bed warmer is a household appliance made of a blanket with an electric heater inside. It is usually made from acrylic and polyester fabric that works well to trap enough heat to provide warmth and prevent fire risks. Electric blankets generate heat by plugging into an outlet and drawing electric power from the circuits evenly distributed over their surfaces.

Several types are available, including an electric over blanket, which can be used like a normal blanket underneath a comforter; electric under blanket, designed to be spread out under the bottom sheet; and heated throws, which you can use on your sofa.

How Much Electricity Does an Electric Blanket Use?

On average, electric blankets usually use between 100 and 150 watts of power if you run an electric blanket for an hour. This means using a 150 watts electric blanket for one hour per day for one month would result in energy usage of 4.5kWh.

Heated blanket energy consumption

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Although, some electric blankets might also have watt ratings ranging from 200 to 400 watts. Nonetheless, if you use an electric blanket in a way that isn’t excessive, the amount of power it consumes is relatively low. 

Of course, the electricity usage of electric blankets depends on several factors, including the temperature setting, how long you keep it on, and how often you use it. But, even at their highest setting, most electric blankets have a relatively low energy consumption compared to that of a central heating system or a space heater. Electric blankets don’t impact your electricity bill as much as other heating devices. 

How Much Does it Cost to Run an Electric Blanket?

Electric blankets’ energy consumption may be less than heating devices such as space heaters, but what about its impact on your monthly electricity bills? You’ll be glad to know that the marginal amount of electricity these devices use won’t hurt your budget.

The overall cost of your electric blanket energy may vary because of the varying wattage and electricity costs.

To calculate the cost of running your electric blanket, you will need to know your blanket’s wattage, the hours you run it per day, and your electricity rates (per kilowatt-hour).

For instance, suppose you have an electric blanket that uses 150 watts, and you use it for 6 hours per night, assuming your electricity rate is $0.12 per kilowatt-hour. In that case, your cost of running the blanket would be;

Blanket’s wattage x Time used in hours x electricity rates per kilowatt hour

((Watt x Hours) ÷ 1000) x Cost

That is; (150 x 8) ÷ 1000 = 1.2 kWh

Therefore, the total electricity cost per day is;

1.2 kWh x $0.12 = $0.144

In one month, that would come out to $0.144 per day x 30 days = $4.32

Electric Blankets Vs. Electric Heaters

If you’re trying to heat your home for less, you may be weighing between the costs of a heated blanket and an electric heater, and knowing how much energy an electric heater use is essential to this process. A heated blanket beats an electric heater in terms of energy consumption. Therefore, an electric blanket is considered a more efficient option for your home.

However, these household appliances have slightly different purposes. Electric heaters heat the whole space, while electric blankets only heat your bed, body, or sofa. Thus, heaters use a lot more electricity than an electric blanket. Also, regarding target heating, a heated blanket is a more efficient and cheaper option.

How to Reduce the Energy Consumption of an Electric Blanket

Electric blanket energy consumption

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If you want to save energy but don’t have an electric blanket with power-saving features, you can do a few things to help reduce your electricity consumption. Moreover, most electric blankets work with other energy-saving tips.

Here are some tips to keep in mind specifically for your electric blanket

1. Turn off Your Heating or at Least Turn it Down 

According to Energy Saving Trust, turning your electric blanket off or down is the simplest way to reduce the energy used for heating. Also, this allows you to get the most out of your blanket. Instead of running your heating all evening and night, you should only do it when necessary and use your heated blanket to warm you once you are in bed. Also, turning off your electric blanket does not only reduce energy consumption but also the chances of your blanket causing fire.

2. Keep Your Electric Blanket in Good Condition

Constantly folding or moving your electric blanket around risks damaging it. The best condition to put it in is to roll it, so ensure you roll it up when storing it.

3. Prepare in Advance

Instead of blasting your electric blanket on a high heat setting before you get into bed, you should prepare it earlier and put it on a lower heat level. High heat settings will use more power, but if you heat your blanket on low heat, it won’t use so much energy.

4. Stay Low and Add Heat when Necessary

Keep the heat settings low when you are using your heated blanket. And you can put it on higher settings for a short time if you need a little extra oomph. Most electric blanket models have three heat settings, including low, medium, and high. You can easily change the heat levels by clicking a button on the remote that comes with the electric blankets. The oversized electric blankets often come with dual controls to control the heat level on either side. 

5. Energy-Efficient Home Upgrades

Installing energy-efficient home upgrades such as house insulation and energy-efficient windows and using energy-efficient electric blankets can significantly lower your electric blankets’ energy consumption. Home insulation and energy-efficient windows keep heat in; thus, you won’t need to heat your blanket for long hours.

Frequently Asked Questions on Electric Blanket’s Energy Consumption

How much electricity does an electric blanket use

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1. Does an electric blanket use a lot of electricity?

Electric blankets with thin built-in wires to disperse heat usually have a low energy consumption. Depending on the heat setting you choose and the wattage of your blanket, your energy bill could be slightly more than usual when using electric heating in the form of a heated blanket. A standard electric blanket uses approximately 100 watts per hour to warm a double bed, but this may also depend on the size and design of your electric blanket.

Putting your electric blanket on a timer or switching it off after a few hours can also significantly reduce the energy it consumes. And even if you are satisfied with the lowest heat level, leaving your electric blanket on all night is unnecessary.

2. What are the energy-saving features of an electric blanket?

If you want to save as much energy as possible, there are a few things to look for in an electric blanket:

  • Timer – most electric blankets come with a timer, which you can use to set your blanket to turn off after a certain period so that it doesn’t run all night
  • Variable power and heat settings – higher heat settings will increase your energy consumption. So if your blanket has a variable temperature setting, you can use just enough power to stay warm, increasing or decreasing it as needed.
  • Dual controls for larger blankets – you should only heat the parts of your blanket that need it. For a single blanket, this would mean keeping your body or just your feet warm, whereas for double electric blankets, this means only warming one side of the blanket.

3. How much electricity does a heated blanket use?

On average, a heated blanket consumes 150 watts of power per hour. So, if you heat your blanket for 3 hours per day, this will translate to 0.45kWh. However, this consumption will depend on your settings. A heated blanket on low settings will consume less power than on higher settings.

4. Can you use an electric blanket with a generator?

You can heat an electric blanket using a portable generator because it stores enough energy. Quiet deep-cycle generators can heat your electric blankets throughout the night. Despite their small size, they produce significant energy, enough to operate an electric-powered blanket.

5. Is an electric blanket cheaper than a space heater?

Regarding energy consumption, space heaters normally use more electricity than electric blankets. Of course, their energy consumption varies depending on several factors, like their power rating and how long they operate. But all things constant, an electric blanket, even on the highest heat setting, is still more cost-efficient than a space heater. Also, in terms of market value, many electric blankets cost less than space heaters, but some space heater designs can cost less than electric blankets.

Ian Mutuli

About the author

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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