What is the Power Usage of an Electric Blanket?

In the previous post I showed how using a 400 watt electric radiant heater can be just as effective as using a ~2,000 watt electric room heater. This doesn't mean that radiant heaters are good for all situations. In fact, in many cases, you can do even better.

One such example is heating bedrooms. I know that many people like to leave a small electric oil column heater (or similar) on overnight in their bedroom to take the 'edge off' the temperature in winter. Although they look innocent, these heaters can still chew through up to 2,400 watts of power.

It turns out, you'd be much better off using an electric blanket.

Looking for an energy-efficient room heater? See our new range of energy-efficient heaters.

I usually survive without too much heating, but couldn't resist the option to test out an electric blanket when they came up at ALDI recently.

Electric Blanket ALDI Power Usage

Electric Blanket Power Usage

The unit I tested is pictured above. It's the queen size model and has two separate controllers (for each half of the bed). The electric blankets were also available in king size (two controllers) and single (one controller).

The power consumption shown below is for 'half' of the queen size electric blanket. You could safely assume that the consumption of the king-size version would not be much higher and the single unit would be comparable to half of the queen.

Electric blanket power usage on low

Electric blanket power consumption on low = 17 Watts.

Electric blanket wattage on medium setting

Electric blanket wattage on medium = 35 Watts.

Electric blanket power consumption on high (level 3)

Electric blanket power usage on high = 70 Watts.

In summary, the power consumption varies from around 15 watts on low to 65-70 watts on high. To put those numbers in perspective: you would struggle to sleep while the unit is on high. Even the low setting becomes 'too hot' if used overnight here during winter (in Sydney).

All this means that the most power drawn by this electric blanket is 140 watts when both sides are on the highest setting. The lowest power draw is when just one side is on low (~15 watts).

The tests shown here were completed using a plug-in power meter.

Using an Electric Blanket Can Save You Money

What all this means in practical terms is that using an electric blanket can save you money. Here's a real example: in previous years I used to run an electric fan heater (approx 1,200 watts) in my room for half an hour before going to bed on the coldest nights of the year. Now, I can run the electric blanket on maximum... and that's a lot toastier and more efficient:

  • 1,200 watt fan heater for half an hour = 0.6 kWh
  • 140 watt electric blanket for half an hour = 0.07 kWh
  • That's a reduction of almost 90%!

UPDATE: Click here to see our range of low-power heaters.

Want to see how much an electric blanket, or any other heater, costs to run? Simply enter a few details in our online electricity cost calculator and you'll soon have the results!

By Ryan McCarthy |

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