Does your bed feel warm and cozy at night, or is it more like trying to sleep in a giant fabric ice box?
It’s amazing how a bed can look so lovely and inviting, only to give you a shivery surprise when you actually climb in.
When the world outside is freezing over, heated bedding is an effective way to warm your bed to the exact temperature you need.
It can also help you save money on utility bills as it’s more energy efficient than heating the entire bedroom. And with that, more environmentally friendly too.
In this review, I’ll be looking at heated mattress pads and blankets with dual controls for larger sizes and a wide range of heat settings. Hopefully you’ll find one which helps you sleep well on even the coldest of nights.
Heated mattress pad or electric blanket?
People often think of electric blankets first when considering heated bedding, but a mattress pad is usually a better choice.
Heated mattress pads are known to be safer in general. And since heat rises, it’s more efficient to have the warmth originate from underneath you.
However, if you’re prone to overheating and just need a little extra warmth, it might be more comfortable to have a blanket instead.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at the different heated bedding.
1. Sunbeam vertical quilted heated mattress pad
Best overall, with reliable heating and soft material
Sunbeam is an industry leader in designing heated bedding, and its vertical quilted heated mattress pad is the most comfortable and reliable I’ve tried.
Most heated mattress pads have very similar features really. For example, the majority have 10 heat settings, dual controls for queen size and up, and an auto-off feature.
So there are a couple of key points that make this Sunbeam model particularly good. Firstly, with 5 ounces of fill, it’s as comfortable to lie on as a plush mattress pad. It also means you don’t feel the wires under your body in the night.
Secondly, it does the full range of heating settings very reliably, with a nice even heat spread throughout the pad. And with easy to use dual controls for larger sizes, you and your partner can choose the exact temperature you need to sleep best.
- The pad feels soft, the wires are well hidden, and the heating feels lovely.
- There are dual controls for queen and king size beds.
- The controller is well designed, with a digital display and a dimming feature.
- A pre-heat function warms the bed quickly – just 5 or 10 minutes before getting into bed.
- There’s an even heat spread throughout the bed.
- 10 heat settings.
- 10 hour auto-off function – a useful safety feature that also saves electricity.
- Single plug, even for dual zones.
- 100% polyester material that’s machine washable and dryer friendly.
- You get a 5 year warranty.
- The connector could be in a better place – it’s on top of the pad in the middle, a few inches from the end. So if you’re very tall and sleep in the middle of the bed, you might sometimes feel the connector with your feet (unless you turn the pad around, as some people do).
On balance, the quality and design of this Sunbeam heated pad are excellent. I can’t fault it when it comes to its capacity for warming, and it will definitely keep you cozy during the cold winter nights.
My one complaint will only really apply to tall people whose feet reach the end of the bed (6 foot/183 cm or taller). But for anyone else, this is a very good choice of heated bedding.Buy from Amazon
2. Soft Heat micro-plush low voltage heated pad
Low voltage converter and good connector placement
The Soft Heat micro-plush heated mattress pad is made from some of the softest material out there, meaning it not only keeps you warm, but also adds an extra layer of comfort to your bed.
Compliment that with its thin wires, and it’s unlikely you’ll even notice the wiring is there. Safety is something Soft Heat evidently like to focus on, and it shows here with a low voltage converter and an auto-off function.
The main point it has in its favor compared to the Sunbeam is the cord placement. The connector is tucked out of the way at the head of the bed on the side, so you won’t feel it with your feet, and the cords can easily reach sockets behind or to the side of the bed.
- There are dual controls for queen, king and california king sizes.
- It has a lovely micro-velour top, and is made from quality material throughout.
- There’s a fast pre-heat setting, and 10 main heat settings.
- It turns off automatically after 10 hours, or if sensors detect overheating.
- The controllers have an LED display and an auto-dimmer to reduce artificial light during sleep.
- The transformer reduces AC current to safer low-voltage DC current.
- The cords are conveniently located.
- The cords are flexible so you can use a fitted sheet.
- It’s machine washable and can be used in a dryer.
- It has a 5 year warranty
- On larger pads you need to plug in two transformers, which might require an extension cable.
- The transformers use energy even when switched off, so it’s best to unplug them during the day.
The Soft Heat Micro-plush heated pad comes very close to getting everything right, but does have flaws, notably using two transformers on mattresses queen size and larger.
The quality of the design is otherwise excellent. The placement of the connectors is perfect, as they are tucked neatly out of the way. And if you share your bed, you can both have complete freedom of temperature choice.Buy from Amazon
3. Sunbeam therapeutic heated mattress pad
Multiple heating zones for targeted warmth
The Sunbeam therapeutic pad goes one step further than the classic dual zones: smaller sizes have 3 individual temperature zones, while the queen and king sizes have 6 in total.
The idea being that you can choose to keep your feet toasty, your body warm and your upper body cool – or any other heating combination you choose.
If you have any particular aches and pains, you can therefore provide targeted relief, without necessarily heating your entire body. So if you do have any medical needs, or specific problems such as painfully cold feet, it’s a practical way to address those issues.
- The controller is wireless, easy to use with a digital display for each zone. It also has an auto-dimmer to avoid bright lights in the bedroom.
- Each zone can be set to 1 of 10 heat settings, along with a pre-heat option.
- The connectors sit at the bottom of the pad, conveniently out of the way of your feet.
- Single plug, even for dual zones.
- The pad itself is thick and comfortable, so you won’t feel the wires.
- 100% cotton top.
- There’s an auto-off after 10 hours safety function.
- It’s machine washable and dryer safe.
- 3 year warranty.
- Even though it’s technically dual controls, there’s only one physical controller which you have to share with your partner.
- There’s a control box which needs to be placed under the bed. If you don’t have an ‘under the bed’, you’ll need to set it next to the bed.
Although most heated mattress pads have dual zones, they don’t usually give you control over which part of your body is warmed. But with this one, you can specifically choose to heat your feet more if you prefer, which is great. Just be prepared to pass the single controller between you if you share your bed.Buy from Amazon
4. Sunbeam velvet plush heated blanket
Best heated blanket, with 20 heat settings and good dual zone controls
Sunbeam take the honor of coming out on top of both the heated pad and heated blanket sections. They make a fair range of heated blankets, but this one manages to tick several important boxes.
The material feels wonderful, and although not technically velvet, you can see why they describe it as velvet plush when you feel how soft it is.
The wires aren’t nearly as bothersome as most other heated blankets. And the 20 different heat settings, available in dual zones, gives two people plenty of temperature choice.
- Made from 100% polyester, it has a beautifully smooth and soft velvet feel on the skin.
- Pre-heat function, and warms quickly.
- 20 different heat settings.
- Auto-adjusting temperature monitoring keeps the temperature stable.
- 10 hours auto-off safety timer.
- Easy to use controller.
- Dual zones for larger sizes – with all 20 heat settings for each side.
- Single plug, even for dual zones and double controllers.
- Machine washable and dryer friendly.
- 5 year limited warranty.
- As with all electric blankets, you can feel the wires if you try. But, it’s less noticeable than other brands.
- With dual zones, there’s quite a lot of cord length to place under the bed.
If you have your heart set on using a blanket over the top of you rather than a pad underneath, this Sunbeam is one of the best options. It feels great, warms reliably well and has good dual zone controls.
The wires are noticeable, but only if you’re feeling for them and don’t use a top sheet. And the cords so have a fair amount of length to them, which you’ll be tucking under the bed. But if you can forgive it on those points, it’s a pretty decent choice overall.Buy from Amazon
5. Soft Heat ultra microplush electric blanket
Comfortable electric blanket
The Soft Heat electric blanket neatly combines comfort with a robust and reliable design. It has all the features you would hope for: dual controls with the queen and king sizes, a range of heat settings, low-voltage conversion, and a comfortable material.
It will keep you warm and snug on those cold nights with a range of heat settings, and you and your partner have full control of your separate sides.
- The fabric feels wonderfully plush and soft on the skin.
- It heats well, has multiple temperature settings, and a gentle heat setting if you just want a little warmth.
- The cords come out of the foot of the bed and are long enough to reach under the bed and plug in back at the wall.
- If you share your bed and have queen or king size, you’ll get separate controls for the two separate heating areas.
- The controller is easy to use, with a back lit display so you can see what setting it’s on in the night.
- Small transformers convert the mains power into safer lower voltage current.
- It’s machine washable.
- Comes with a 5 year warranty.
- With the queen and king sizes you need two sockets to plug the transformers in.
- You can feel the wires if you don’t use a top sheet.
The Soft Heat is a good choice of electric blanket if you’re looking for a combination of comfort, ease of use, safety and dual controls. It’s up to the job of keeping you warm, and importantly allows two people to sleep with the exact level of heating they prefer.
It’s a shame that it requires two power outlets, which does make it less convenient to use than the Sunbeam.Buy from Amazon
6. Sunbeam microplush heated blanket
Lightweight and attractive design
It shares many features in common with the Soft Heat, but there are some important differences. And as is often the case with heated bedding, you’ll see that the main differences are practical issues around the wires and connectors.
- The microplush material is soft and looks attractive.
- It’s thin and lightweight, which reduces over-heating and won’t weigh down too much on you in bed.
- The queen and king size have dual controllers (the easy turn dial type) with separate heating compartments for couples.
- There are 10 heat settings, and it heats well throughout the blanket.
- It comes with normal plugs rather than transformers.
- The cords come out of the foot end of the blanket and are a good length.
- Single plug, even for dual zones.
- It’s machine washable.
- It comes with a 5 year warranty.
- No specific pre-heat setting.
- 4 cords to deal with on larger sizes – two connectors and two controllers.
- You can feel the wires if you’re looking for them.
The Sunbeam heated blanket is pleasantly soft and heats well, with multiple settings and dual controls. It has normal plugs rather than transformers, so in many ways the lightweight design works for the better.Buy from Amazon