When the cold weather kicks in, electric blankets and mattress pads become a must-have item to keep warm and cozy at night; however, there have been many concerns about their safety in recent years. As a retailer selling heated blankets, you might often come across customers asking: “are electric blankets safe?”
The short answer is that modern electric blankets are safer than older blankets. This is because manufacturers have been upgrading the traditional electric blanket to keep people warm and safe. For instance, new electric blankets have safety features, such as rheostats, that reduce the risk of burns and fire.
If you have customers who like sleeping with an electric blanket but are afraid of potential safety risks, consider educating them about the proper ways to use a heated blanket. By addressing customers’ safety concerns, you will be able to earn their trust and sell more electric blankets in the long run.
What is an electric blanket?
Humans have always preferred warm beds for a goodnight’s sleep. People warmed their beds with heated stones under the covers during medieval times. Later, in the Renaissance and Victorian eras, innovative ways of warming beds came into existence, such as placing a metal-covered pan filled with coals from the fireplace in the bed. Also, there were beds with small fire pits added into the middle of the frame.
The late 1800s saw the rise of hot water bottles, and electric blankets were invented in the 1900s. However, they were designed to be placed underneath. In the 1930s, a more comfortable version of the electric blanket was released, and its popularity extended well into the 21st century.
Over the years, manufacturers have been working on improving the technology of electric blankets and making them safer for users. The modern electric blanket is designed like a quilt–two blanket pieces sewn with heat coils in between. They also feature temperature controls and automatic shut-off functions, making them safer and more comfortable for warmth.
Can you safely sleep with an electric blanket on?
The risk of fire and burns posed by electric blankets have decreased significantly over the years. A recent survey found that electric blankets caused only 0.04% of home fires in a year. So, despite their low risk, learning to use an electric blanket properly can help address any safety concerns your customers may have.
Electric blankets can start fires when the tiny wires within the bedding get bent and cause overheating, resulting in sparks. But consumers can minimize this risk of having fires by handling the blanket carefully.
Electric blankets are associated with a lot of health benefits. First, they help people sleep better. Humans have an internal clock called the circadian rhythm, which tells the body when to fall asleep and wake. Factors like light, physical activity, caffeine, and temperature can influence the clock. For example, frequent temperature changes can disrupt circadian rhythm and sleep. And an electric blanket helps people maintain a constant core body temperature, which improves their sleep quality.
Additionally, applying heat activates the heat receptors in the body, which blocks pain signals from going to the brain. So, people suffering from health issues like arthritis and sciatica pain will find electric blankets beneficial for pain relief.
How to use an electric blanket safely?
Here are essential tips to keep consumers safe while using electric blankets:
- Don’t leave the blanket on all night – If the blanket doesn’t have an automatic turn-off feature, it should be manually turned off before one gets into bed.
- Use it as the top layer – One should never sleep on an electric blanket. Unlike heated mattress pads, heated blankets are designed to be used as top layers. So, placing them underneath, even with an additional blanket or quilt, can lead to problems such as overheating.
- Don’t crumple the electric blanket – An electric blanket should never be rolled or crumpled. Instead, it should be laid flat to keep the coils intact and prevent damage.
- Use it on a flat bed – Electric blankets should be handled carefully. Therefore, it’s best to avoid using them on waterbeds or adjustable bed frames that could increase the chances of damage.
- Don’t allow pets on the blanket – Never allow pets on electric blankets since they can scratch, wiggle, or roll on the bedding, causing damage to the coils.
- Safely store the heated blanket – The electric blankets should be unplugged and allowed to cool after each use before gently folding them and storing them out of children’s and pets’ reach.
- Follow the manufacturer’s instructions – Users should pay close attention to the safety warning and manufacturer’s instructions about washing and caring for the electric blanket.
How to source good quality electric blankets?
Since the tiny wires running within an electric blanket can easily get damaged, you should be very careful when sourcing heated blankets for your store. Even minor damage or bad customer experience can taint your business’ image. So, it is imperative that the blankets are of good quality.
First, sellers should always ensure the electric blankets have tags indicating that the bedding has been tested by a nationally recognized authority. In addition, sellers should check the electric blankets to ensure that there are no signs of tear, discolorations, or broken electric cords before putting them up for sale. Also, sellers have to store the blanket properly. For example, ensure you don’t apply excessive force or fold the blankets tightly.
Electric blankets are great for people suffering from medical conditions associated with insomnia or constant aches. Also, they are ideal for anyone who wishes to enjoy a good night’s sleep during the colder months. So, if your customer has safety concerns, help them with answers by referencing the safety tips highlighted in this article.