Electric blankets are often touted as a cheaper alternative to electric heaters—keeping you warm and toasty without draining your budget when the electric bill comes.
But how much electricity does an electric blanket use and is it really cost-effective?
Let’s take a closer look!
How Much Does an Electric Blanket Cost to Run?
Running an electric blanket costs an average of 4 cents per hour. If you do the math, using a heated blanket for 5 hours a night comes out to 20 cents per night or approximately $18 for the entire winter season.
Costs could rise to $20 a season, estimates show, but only if you preheat and leave the blanket on all night.
Note: Electric blankets come with overheat protection, but you still shouldn’t leave them on overnight. To be on the safe side, turn the blanket off before you fall asleep.
It should be noted that this is just a rough estimation. In reality, the cost depends on where you live and how much you pay for electricity—currently, the average electricity bill in Australia can go from $1,290 to $2,000+, depending on the region.
It also depends on the type and design of the blanket, as well as the size, the material, how often it’s used and the heat setting you have it on.
For example, a single electric blanket, which consumes 70 watts on average, would cost around 2 cents an hour to run or 16 cents if you leave it on for the whole night. Running a queen-size electric blanket at 120 watts for the entire night would add 32 cents to your electricity bill.
Costs could go up if you crank up the heat to a higher setting or use the blanket during the day as well. Likewise, you may expect to pay less if you opt for an electric blanket with wool as this material is known to retain heat or if you choose a heated blanket with temperature-sensing technology.
Luckily, there is a wide variety of options when it comes to electric blankets in Australia, so you can easily find a cost-effective model that will meet all your needs.
How long do you need to run an electric blanket?
Heated blankets are very efficient and can heat up in 30 minutes to an hour. Once heated up, you can turn them off—they will retain heat for a long time, providing comfort and warmth, possibly throughout the night.
Interested in other energy-saving appliances? Take a look at our selection of the best robot vacuum cleaners.
Electric Heater vs Electric Blanket: How Do They Compare
Electric blankets are energy efficient, but just how cheaper are they compared to electric heaters?
According to Energy Australia, using an electric heater costs about 15 cents an hour. This translates to 75 cents for 5 hours of usage or $67.50 for the whole winter season, which makes electric blankets nearly 10 times cheaper to run.
It’s important to remember that the amount you pay for using an electric heater can also vary according to the wattage, the size of the room and how often it’s being used.
It should also be noted that while more expensive, an electric heater can heat up the entire room and warm up several people at once, whereas a heated blanket only warms one surface and one to two people at the most.
Are electric blankets safe?
All electric blankets sold in Australia need to have an AS/NZS 60335.2.17:2012 certification, which ensures the product meets safety requirements. Even so, you still need to take care and never use an electric blanket in the following situations:
- If you notice frayed fabric, scotch marks, worn patches, loose connection, or damaged cords since these can lead to electric shocks or fire
- In your child’s bed as they cannot work the controls
- In an infant’s cot
- On your dog or cat
- If the blanket is older than ten years—even if it is in good condition, you still need to replace an old electric blanket
- If you have folded the blanket as a rectangle instead of rolling it up as a cylinder—this can damage the wiring.
Always use and care for an electric blanket according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
Can you use an electric blanket on a sofa bed?
In general, fitted electric blankets are not to be used on regular sofa beds, pullout beds or mechanically adjustable beds as the heater or control wires could become pinched or frayed. Remember to always turn off and unplug your electric blanket when you’re finished using it.
However, if you have a heated throw and use it responsibly, there is no reason why you can’t cosy up on a sofa bed and enjoy your favourite TV show on chilly winter nights.
If you don’t feel an electric blanket is a right choice, you can look into the finest weighted blankets on the market.
Cosy Up and Save
Australia may have one of the lowest electricity prices in the world, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t save on energy bills whenever you can. Look into how much electricity you consume and pay and check whether an electric blanket is a viable option. If so, choose one today and enjoy toasty nights and lower electric bills when the winter chills hit next year.
1. How much does it cost to have an electric blanket on for 1 hour?
An electric blanket costs around 4 cents an hour to run, however, this could be higher or lower depending on the heat setting, the size and temperature of the room, the wattage, whether it was set on preheat or not and your personal heat preferences.
2. Is it OK to leave an electric blanket on all night?
No, electric blankets aren’t meant to be left on all night because they can overheat. Even if the heated throw or blanket is equipped with overheat protection, you should turn it off or set it to switch off before you fall asleep.
3. Does an electric blanket take a lot of electricity?
No, electric blankets in Australia consume 70 to 120 watts of electricity, which is almost 10 times less than what an electric heater uses, making electric blankets energy-efficient and cost-effective.
4. How much electricity does an electric blanket use compared to an AC?
Using a small reverse cycle AC is around 3 to 4 times more expensive than an electric blanket.