Types of Electric Blanket - Which is Best for You?

different types of electric blankets

Dreamland has been warming the nation for over 50 years, so you can trust us to know a thing or two about electric blankets! We have a heating solution for every situation, from traditional fitted blankets to the latest faux fur heated throws. But which is right for you?

Find your dream blankie with our buyer’s guide. We’ll explore the differences between types of electric blankets, what to look out for when buying, and suggest our faves.

Table of contents

How do electric blankets work?

Heated blankets are designed to keep you cocooned in warmth. Here’s how they work:

  1. The electric blanket contains insulated wires, hidden safely within the fabric
  2. When turned on, these wires distribute warmth evenly throughout the blanket
  3. The wires connect to a controller, allowing you to find your ideal level of cosiness 
  4. A thermostat monitors the temperature, regulating the current within the wires

They can be adjusted to your ideal level of comfort, are cheaper than heating a full room with central heating, and help you relax in the evenings or drift peacefully to sleep.

Different types of electric blankets

There’s no one-size-fits-all blanket, and at Dreamland, we want you to find your perfect match. Here are the key differences between our four types of electric blankets.


how do electric blankets work

Designed to be used in bed, underblankets keep you warm all night. They sit flat on top of your mattress, under your bedsheet, and are often kept in place by elasticated straps. 

Underblankets are extremely cost-effective, as your bedding keeps the warmth trapped.



sleeping under an overblanket

Overblankets lie on top of you and your bedding and are lightweight, soft, and pliable. They’re designed to be slept underneath and should be kept flat and uncreased. 

Like underblankets, overblankets can keep you cosy all night long for mere pennies.



keeping warm under a throw

Throws can be used all over your home, not just in the bedroom. Ideal for staying warm while working from home or snuggling on the sofa, a heated throw is more portable.

They also have a wide range of colours and luxurious fabrics, making them great gifts.


Mattress Protectors

using a mattress protector

Similar to underblankets, mattress protectors sit on top of your mattress, underneath you and your bedsheet. However, they often have an elasticated skirt rather than straps.

A mattress protector may also be cushioned, adding an extra cosy layer of comfort.


The pros & cons of each type

Still unsure which type of electric blanket you fancy? Weigh up their pros and cons:

Underblankets & Protectors

Overblankets & Throws

  • Cost very little to run, as heat is trapped underneath your bedding

  • Can be kept on all night, helping you stay warm while asleep

  • Some add an extra layer of comfort or padding to your mattress
  • Cost little to run, and can be used on a sofa or working from home

  • Come in a wider range of different colours and luxurious materials

  • Designed to be draped over or around you, not slept on top of
  • Can only be used in bed – you can’t take it around the house
  • No ‘dual control’ features for two different sides of a blanket or throw

What to consider when choosing an electric blanket

Now you know the differences between types, which is the best electric blanket for you? Here are a few questions to ask yourself when buying an electric blanket.

Where and how will it be used? 

Do you only feel the cold in bed, or do you need some extra warmth for relaxing too? Underblankets and mattress protectors are designed to be slept on top of, in bed.

If you want to use your blanket to stay cosy on the sofa and throw it on top of your bed, then choose a heated throw. They’re also better if you like wrapping yourself up – underblankets need to be kept flat, and often have straps to stop them creasing.

Is it expensive to buy and run?

Underblankets are very cost-effective, as heat is trapped underneath your bedsheets and your duvet. Throws also cost only pennies to run and can help save on central heating.

*Test based on a 5-minute heat-up at maximum degree and auto shift to degree of 3 (laboratory report EN-IEC 60299 by DEKRA, 10 July 2014).

** Based on OFGEM Energy unit price cap from 1 October 2023. Precise cost will be dependent on domestic electricity prices at the time of use.

When deciding on an electric blanket, we’d recommend picking a high-quality one. Cheap electric blankets may cost less to buy, but they may not be as efficient at keeping you warm. The best value electric blanket will last a long time and won’t rack up huge bills.

How large does it need to be? 

If you want to fit your whole family underneath for a snuggly film night, try a large throw. Smaller throws are also available, ideal for working at home or taking to the office.

For underblankets, buy by bed size. You’ll find singles, doubles, king-size and super king-size.

What kind of material do you prefer? 

Electric blankets have been around for a long time, and there are many styles available.

For extra comfort in winter, you might prefer a fleece or Sherpa material, while a cotton underblanket is nice and cool for summer. Some are reversible for all-season use.

Throws come in a wide range of colours and patterns, including luxury materials like faux fur or velvet. These are perfect for wrapping around yourself in winter, and you can match the colours to your decor – from a pastel pink haven, to scandi-inspired faux husky fur.

How many heat settings does it need? 

Do you overheat easily, or are you not too fussy? Some electric blankets allow you to control every aspect of your comfort, using technology to manage your temperature.

“The Intelliheat technology within the blanket monitors the body temperature of the occupier, along with the ambient temperature of the room to keep the bed at your chosen temperature setting on the control. The blanket's heating element continually monitors all this while you sleep.” – Ellen at Dreamland

The best electric blanket will give you a choice of heat settings so you can find your fave. Look out for fast heat-up times and dual-controllers for each side of a double bed.

Two controllers allow you to save money if only one of you is feeling the chill!

What safety features does it have? 

An electric blanket should give you peace of mind as well as comfort. It’s important to check for high safety standards and ensure the blanket has been thoroughly tested. 

Many blankets will have safety features built in, such as an automatic shut-off if the blanket overheats. It’s also essential to read the instructions, as some types of blankets shouldn’t be creased (underblankets) or used underneath bedding (throws).

Dreamland blankets switch off after 9 hours, just in case you accidentally leave it on.

Is it easy to wash and maintain?

You may be surprised to know many electric blankets are safe for the washing machine.

When choosing an electric blanket, take note of washing instructions to tackle any spills and regular washing. If it’s hard to wash, you may find you don’t use it as much.

5 of our best-selling electric blankets

From traditional underblankets to must-have fluffy throws, here are 5 of our favourites:

1. Hunker Down Scandi Sherpa Underblanket 

“The Sherpa fleece means they feel warm and cosy even when not switched on! The blankets cover the whole bed unlike my previous electric blankets, also so easy to put on and off and with a smooth side for warmer months.” – Judith B 

Our verdict: the best electric blanket for staying warm in bed all year round

2. Peaceful Dreams Warming Overblanket 

“Love it! Given it for my birthday and can’t wait to get into bed now. Simple to use, I’ve put it under duvet above top sheet. Get into warm bed, turn it off and am Toasty all night. Might try an all nighter when it gets colder. Bliss.” – Toasty

Our verdict: the best electric blanket for draping or stuffing inside a duvet cover

3. Hygge Days Luxury Faux Fur Warming Throw

“I work from home and so it’s constantly being dragged around the house from office, to couch and sometimes even the bed. The temperature control means you can have it very low to stop your legs getting cold when you’re sitting at your desk to high when you come in from the cold and need to warm up fast.” – Charlie

Our verdict: the best electric blanket for watching TV on your sofa in the evening

4. Snowed In Organic Cotton Warming Mattress Protector

“We had an earlier model with fleece covering and it made the overlying sheets ride. This new design is so cosy. It feels like you’re sleeping on a warm duvet. The heating is excellent. Everything you could wish for. It says you can wash it.” – FranS10 

Our verdict: the best electric blanket for an extra layer of cloud-like comfort

5. Sleep Tight Deluxe Fleecy Underblanket

“Fits snugly on the bed with good corner wraps. Heats bed up well on No. 4, then if I wake during the night I put it on No. 2 to warm the bed up again. This is my second Dreamland blanket. Good having dual controls as I don't need to heat the whole bed up.” – Chrissie

Our verdict: the best electric blanket for affordable comfort and value for money


How do I choose an electric blanket?

When picking an electric blanket, consider where in your home you’ll use it, how much flexibility and control you need, and the type of materials you prefer. It’s also worth checking the blanket's washing instructions, safety features, and value for money. 

Use our guide above to find the best electric blanket for you and what to look out for.

Which is best, an over or under electric blanket?

Whether an overblanket or underblanket is best for you depends on personal preference. A traditional underblanket is slightly more cost-effective, but has to be strapped to your mattress. Overblankets can be draped over your bed or slipped inside your duvet cover.

If you want a colourful blanket you can the watch telly in, a heated throw is best for you.

What’s the best electric blanket for an elderly person?

The best electric blanket for an elderly person depends on their preferences and needs. If they only need extra warmth at night, a traditional underblanket may be all they want. However, if they want something that can keep them warm all around their home, a heated throw can be used on the sofa too and has a wider range of styles and colours.

If you’re an elderly person with a pacemaker, it’s worth checking with your doctor. Some Dreamland blankets are easily washed and can be used with a waterproof sheet if incontinence is a problem, but the heating settings may need to be adjusted.

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