These Cozy Heated Blankets Are Winter's Best Home Upgrade

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Whether you're feeling some aches and pains or just plain cold, few things are more comforting than curling up with a cozy heated blanket. Living in the Midwest, and having recently survived -30 degree temperatures (no joke), I know all too well what it feels like to be chilled to the bone — and the value of having a blanket that works a little harder than your average throw. Yet when it comes to electric blankets, all are not created equal. The best heated blankets are machine-washable and have important safety features built in, like an automatic shut-off to prevent fires and overheating.

There are other factors to consider as well, like whether it has a range of heat settings, or even dual-heating temperature zones if you're sharing the blanket with someone with vastly different heat preferences. You'll also want to consider size — do you want an electric blanket designed for your bed or a heated throw that can be used for couch lounging?

While some heated blankets can cost well over $200, there are plenty of great options at more reasonable prices. All of the options below are under $130 and have received high ratings and stellar reviews from Amazon customers.

The Best Electric Throw Blankets

For those looking for a little extra warmth on the couch or at their desk, a heated throw is the way to go. You'll be able to stay comfortably warm, no matter what the thermostat is set at.

1. The Best Electric Throw: Sunbeam Heated Throw Blanket

This hefty sherpa blanket from Sunbeam is awesome for staying warm, even when it's not turned on! Of course, when you do fire up the heat, it gets even better. It's made with "Royal Mink" fabric on one side, and snuggly sherpa fabric on the other, so it's super soft and has some welcome weight to it. It features three heat settings (low, medium, and high) and boasts the brand's proprietary technology that auto-adjusts for consistent heat. It also has an automatic shut-off after three hours.

You can choose from a variety of colors, including olive (featured), garnet, honey, or sable. Measuring in at 50 inches by 60 inches, it's a bit on the small side for using on top of a bed, but it's perfect for the couch, recliner, or desk chair.

According to one reviewer: "So I work at an office that feels like Antarctica or a polar vortex. I'm not allowed to have a personal heater ... so I got around to buying a heated blanket! It's lovely and discreet. Very warm and comfortable so I can work without my fingers turning blue!"

2. The Most Affordable Electric Throw: Sunbeam Heated Fleece Throw Blanket

This soft fleece heated blanket from Sunbeam is perfect if you want to stay warm and still save money by keeping your thermostat low. It's made of 180 GSM (gram per square meter) fleece that's cozy and soft and features a simple control with three heatings, as well as a three-hour auto-off. Similar to the Sunbeam sherpa throw mentioned above, it also uses the brand's custom technology to auto-adjust the temperature as needed. It's machine washable so it's easy to clean and it doesn't get stretched out or pilly. Over 5,000 Amazon reviewers have tried out this blanket and the reviews are rave.

Editor's note: I own this electric blanket and love it. It makes for a perfect gift (I've given it to family and friends), and is my favorite blanket in my house.

According to one reviewer: "Purchased this for a friend who lives several states away where the winters can be very cold, to help keep warm without running the heating bill up too high. She is elated to say the least and loves the way it is made - not to mention the fact that it does a good job keeping her comfortable while the thermostat stays around 70."

The Best Electric Blankets For Beds

For staying warm all through the night, you want an electric blanket designed for bedtime use. If you're sharing your bed with an already hot sleeper, don't worry — the options here both feature dual-temperature controls.

3. The Best Overall: SoftHeat by Perfect Fit Micro-Fleece Electric Heated Blanket

This micro-fleece electric blanket from Perfect Fit is the total package. It's soft, safe, and boasts more than 2,900 Amazon reviews, with the majority being five stars. Many electric blankets out there are clunky because you can feel the wires within, but not this one. Its micro-thin wires really are barely noticeable and they deliver consistent, evenly distributed heat.

The blanket's patented low-voltage technology is certified as non-hazardous. It doesn't emit electromagnetic fields (EMFs), thanks to the small power supply box that changes the normal 120 volt AC home current into non-hazardous, low voltage DC current. Plus, it automatically shuts off after 10 hours.

It comes with 10 customizable heat settings, and if you order a Queen or King blanket, it comes with dual controllers for further customization. While the controllers aren't super high-tech, they do come with a large, backlit display with auto-dimming for adjustments in the dark. Available in five different colors, the blanket is machine washable and should be dried on low.

According to one reviewer: "This low voltage blanket works differently. The controller does not cycle on/off; these controllers maintain continuous power supply to the wires, so the amount of heat that the blanket produce is always fixed (user selectable). The blanket always maintains the selected constant temperature throughout the night without sudden bursts."

4. The Most Affordable Electric Blanket: Sunbeam Quilted Fleece Heated Blanket

If you're looking for a fleece electric blanket that's larger than a throw and stays warm for a long time, this ultra-soft one from Sunbeam is a winner. It comes with a multi-setting controller, with an easy-to-adjust twist dial and 10 heat levels. It shuts off automatically after 10 hours and its proprietary warming system monitors the temperature and auto-adjusts to keep the level of warmth consistent throughout the night.

Available in seven colors, the blanket comes with dual controls for customization and is fully machine washable and dryer safe. (Note: The dual controller feature is only available in the Queen- and King-sized versions.) Over 700 Amazon reviewers have invested in this popular heated blanket.

According to one reviewer: "Comfortable, good temperature range, and a feature I thought was a gimmick turned out to be very nice: the preheat function. You set your temperature, then hit PH and it goes into full heat for 30 minutes then goes back to your setting. This is really nice on a cold day."