How much does it cost to run an electric blanket? Here's what you need to know

We've done the maths to find out just how much running your electric blanket costs

Blue bedroom with upholstered headboard, gallery wall and patterned footstool
(Image credit: Future PLC)
Recent updates

This article has been updated to show the new cost to run based on the January Energy Price Cap. It has also been fact-checked and any out-of-date information removed. 

There's nothing quite like getting warm and cosy in bed when the weather gets cooler. But with energy bills still being a hot topic of discussion, we've been asking how much does it cost to run an electric blanket anyway?

We're all looking for ways to reduce how much energy we use at home and we've been watching our smart meters to see what's costing us the most to use.

So we've done the sums to work out just how much does it cost to run an electric blanket as they look even more appealing than usual as a way to keep our thermostats turned down low.

How much does it cost to run an electric blanket?

cosy bedroom with throw and fairy lights

(Image credit: Future PLC / Katie Lee)

We've done the maths so you don't have to – and we've found ways to reduce your bills. So, is investing in an electric blanket worth it? Short answer: yes, but take a look at the breakdown below. 

Smart meters will tell you exactly how much electricity you're using which is a good start, while smart plugs allow you to set timers so items are only turned on when you need them.

As of January 2024, the national average price pence/kWh of electricity will be 29p. Back in November 2021, it was just 20p, but the new energy price cap is still good news - this time last year, it was capped at 34p per kWh. 

Types of electric blanket

Choose the best electric blanket for you and your needs. All types contain small electrical wires inside the fabric. When the blanket is turned on, these wires heat the fabric. The three most common types:

  • Electric underblankets, which cover the mattress up to the pillow area
  • Heated mattress covers, which reach across the entire mattress but don’t have wiring under the pillow area
  • Electric overblankets, which can be added inside your duvet cover or used like a normal blanket underneath a duvet

The breakdown 

Every electric blanket will show how much energy it uses at full power with its wattage. This means you can work out how much does it cost to run an electric blanket per kilowatt hour of electricity. 100W = 0.1kW, so a 100W electric blanket at the 29p per kWh rate above would cost just under 3p to run at full power for an hour (2.9p to be exact).

Are some electric blankets cheaper to run than others?

Electric overblankets, underblankets and mattress protectors tend to be similar wattages. However, it’s the option of different settings that can make them more or less expensive to run.

‘All our underblankets, mattress protectors and throws are extremely cost-effective to run, costing from as little as 1p per night (7 hours) on the minimum heat setting,’ says Jacqueline Townson from Dreamland. ‘These calculations are based on Imetec laboratory tests, for an Intelliheat+ single size blanket.’

Electric blankets that have a wide range of heat settings will be cheaper to run as you can set them to the ideal temperature. This usually ranges between 18 to 56 degrees.

What energy saving features should I look for when buying an electric blanket?

If you're looking for how to save energy at home, these features are a good place to start and help with lowering the answer in how much does it cost to run an electric blanket.

1. Temperature sensors

These detect the temperature of the room and your body and adjust the heat of the blanket to suit. This means it won’t use extra energy by heating up more than you need.

2. Timer

‘Look for an electric blanket with an auto shut-off timer so you won’t be wasting energy if you fall asleep or forget to turn it off,’ advises Jacqueline from Dreamland.

3. Dual controls

Rather than just one control, some electric blankets have two. This means you can adjust each side of a double blanket separately to save energy. They’re perfect for when one half of a couple prefers a cooler setting or one is away and there’s no need to heat the whole bed.

4. Variable heat settings

Look for an electric blanket with different heat settings so it’s more economical to have on for longer periods of time at low heat.

How can I cut the cost of running an electric blanket?

Small bedroom with wall storage and lighting above bed

(Image credit: Future PLC/Dominic Blackmore)
  • Choose low and slow Set the timer for your electric blanket to come on in advance. This means you can choose a lower heat that uses less energy. This way how much does it cost to run an electric blanket will be lower than opting for a blast of full power 10 minutes before you slide under the sheets
  • Test and adjust Only turn up your electric blanket from a low setting when you’re not warm enough. Not only is this a good way not to waste excess heat, it’s easier to make a bed warmer than it is to cool it down.
  • Turn down your thermostat Most electric blankets cost very little to run so they’re a good choice for cold nights instead of cranking up the central heating. ‘If you’re looking to reduce costs, use your electric blanket to warm your bed and turn down your thermostat as your bedroom will not need as much heat,’ says Sally Bonser from Silentnight. The Energy Saving Trust estimates that turning down your main thermostat by just 1 degree could save around 10% on your energy bill.
  • Store it safely The small wires inside an electric blanket can become damaged if you fold it up when it’s not in use, meaning it won’t work as efficiently. Rather than fold, roll the blanket up for storage. There are plenty of bedroom storage ideas to help you find a space to stow the blanket when not in use.
Rachel Ogden

Rachel Ogden is a freelance journalist with more than 20 years’ experience of writing, editing and sub-editing. Since 2007, she's worked exclusively in interiors, writing about everything from extending your home to kitchen worktops, flooring, storage and more. She specialises in product reviews, having reviews hundreds of small and large appliances and homeware. 

With contributions from