Electric blankets are perfect for the elderly, especially since they are prone to getting cold. However, not all electric blankets are created equal. Although there are many electric blankets on the market and it’s easy to find them for sale, the problem is trying to choose the best and safest one.
Before anyone chooses an electric blanket, we want to make them aware of a few things. This includes potential concerns about electric blankets, how to choose safe electric blankets for a senior citizen, as well what the best electric blankets for the elderly are.
With that said, read on to learn more about buying electric blankets for seniors.
Best Electric Blankets For Seniors and The Elderly
Just want to see our recommended heated blankets for seniors? Here they are! Keep reading to learn more about the important features of electric blankets and how seniors can use an electric blanket safely.
Bedsure Heated Electric Blanket Throw
This electric blanket goes for around $50, but it’s worth every penny. One of the best things about this blanket is it’s been made with Sherpa and fleece. It’s extremely soft, but it’s also very durable. It has a time-off feature, which means it will turn off if it’s been running for four-hours straight. Another reason why this is the perfect electric blanket for an elderly person is it offers five levels of heating.
Not only that, but it is throw-blanket size. A senior citizen can throw it on their sofa, turn it on and then lay down on it once it’s warmed up. At just 50X60, it is small enough to be brought from one room to the next.
- Five levels of heating
- Soft material
- Shutoff timer
- Is a bit on the heavy side
MaxKare Oversized Flannel Electric Blanket
This blanket is safe to use, mainly because it turns off after being in use for four hours. The blanket is unique because it has a snap button, which the person can use if they want to feel completely snugged. Furthermore, there are three additional heating levels.
The power cable is nearly 10-feet long too. This means it works at long range, but some elderly might not like this feature. Plus, a long cord could be a trip hazard and lead to a fall.
However, the person does have the option of detaching the blanket’s controller, that way it can be used as a regular blanket.
- Three heating levels
- Excellent safety features
- Durable material
- Very long cord
- Some may think the blanket is too thick
Sunbeam Heated Microplush Throw Blanket
This is a high-end blanket that has been made from polyester. It features ThermoFine technology, which means the blanket automatically adjusts to the current weather conditions. This means the elderly user won’t struggle to get the right amount of heat from it.
Perhaps the best thing about the Sunbeam blanket is it’s very easy to use. After it is in use for three hours straight, it’ll shut itself off. Not only that, but it can actually be spun-dried after it’s been washed. This means taking care of it is easy.
- High-end polyester
- Can be washed in washer machine
- Can be spun-dried
- There have been some complaints about overall durability
Pure Enrichment PureRelief Plush Heated Throw
One of the most useful features is it shuts off after just two hours of continuous use. This really makes the Pure Enrichment PureRelief blanket standout of the crowd. It also has a built-in LED controller, as well as offering four levels of heating.
It’s also machine washable. However, it is important to disconnect the LED control before washing it. Another good thing about buying this blanket is it comes with a storage bag.
- Storage bag included
- Shuts off after two hours of use
- The warranty lasts for five years
- Extremely cozy and comfy
- It’s not a big blanket
- Some people might find the two-hour shutoff feature to be too short
Proaller Heated Blanket Electric Throw
This blanket offers the elderly a way to get warm, as well as feel cozy. Its technology means the blanket won’t overheat. Not only that, but it allows the person to customize the heating, and this is thanks to the 10 heating levels.
Its timer settings are built-in. The user can choose a from a period of one to three hours. This means the blanket won’t run for hours and hours on end, which is unsafe and can rack up the energy bill.
- Several heat settings
- Shuts off automatically
- Easy to care for
- Operate via remote control
- Many features to get used to
- Its LED controller might not work properly sometimes
Are Electric Blankets Safe For Seniors? Potential Concerns
Electric blankets are safe for seniors and the elderly – as long as they are used safely. Here are some potential concerns about using electric blankets.
To sum up the above, the main concerns of electric blankets are:
- Burning yourself
- Starting a fire
- Overheating and getting too hot
- Lowering the quality of sleep
- Can’t keep the blankets clean
Here are more details:
1. Fire Risk
One key concern is the risk of starting a fire, but this is a risk associated with any kind of electrical appliance or anything you plug in.
An electric blanket could very well lead to a fire, which can have devastating consequences for the elderly person using it. This is because they will likely be sleeping when the fire initially breaks out. The good news is there are electric blankets out there that have an automatic shutoff function, which reduces the chances of a fire occurring.
2. Burns and Injuries
The second concern is burning or injuring oneself. If an electric blanket is set too high and the person doesn’t switch it off before they go to bed, then there’s a risk of being burnt throughout the evening. Although the risk is low, there’s always the chance, especially if someone has sensitive skin or if they are sensitive to heat.
Many senior citizens are, therefore it’s advisable to choose a proper electric blanket because it is typically the cheaper brand blankets that put you at a higher risk of getting burned.
3. Getting Overheated
An electric blanket can cause your body to overheat if the temperature setting is high.
This means that the person using it can become extremely hot and they may even break out in night sweats. When a person becomes overheated, they may become dehydrated or they might not feel well.
4. Sleep Quality
Another concern is that an electric blanket might affect the quality of sleep a senior gets. If an elderly person becomes overheated, they might find themselves waking up more so than usual throughout the night.
Not only that, but most people’s body temperatures become lower when they sleep, which usually results in being able to get a good night’s rest.
However, if a person is using an electric blanket and the setting is higher than it should be, then getting quality sleep can be more difficult.
5. Hygienic Concerns
The final concern is not being able to wash an electric blanket in a washing machine. There are some electric blankets that can be washed, but many of them can’t. It is important to follow the cleaning instructions that come with an electric blanket that you buy
Do Electric Blankets Affect Senior Health? Electric Blanket Health Risks
There are few health risks associated with using electric blankets, such as overheating and burns. As previously mentioned, you can suffer burns, but this is especially true for those who are diabetic. If a person has diabetes which has led to decreased sensation, then they may not notice that the electric blanket is too hot until it’s too late.
Another potential health risk is associated with cancer. Low-level electromagnetic fields are generated by electric blankets, and this may increase the risk of getting some cancers. However, much more research needs to be done on this, and there is no solid evidence to prove a direct link between developing some cancers and the use of an electric blanket.
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Also, there is the risk of miscarrying during pregnancy. However, if you plan on giving an electric blanket to an elderly person, then this risk doesn’t pertain to them. Nonetheless, it is good to know that there is a slightly increased risk of miscarriage if an electric blanket is used during the early stages of pregnancy.
How To Choose A Safe Electric Blanket For Seniors & The Elderly
When it comes to choosing the best electric blanket for seniors, it’s important to know what features and options to look for. The good news is there is no shortage of blankets to choose from.
With that said, here are the important features to look for:
1. Automatic Shutoff
Without a doubt, the most important feature to look for in an electric blanket is an automatic time or an automatic shut-off option.
For example, some electric blankets will automatically turn themselves off after they have been running for a certain number of hours. An automatic timer is slightly different because it allows the person to choose how long the blanket stays on before it turns off.
Ideally, you want to choose one that will automatically shut off after a specific length of time. Three to four hours seems to be the most common setting.
2. Low Wattage
Choose an electric blanket that doesn’t use a high number of watts. Low wattage electric blankets heat up more slowly but will reduce the risk of a fire happening.
Not only that, low-wattage electric blankets don’t use as much energy, which allows the person to save a little bit of money on energy bills.
3. Heat Settings
The best blankets for elderly have multiple heat settings.
By having several settings to choose from, it means the senior will be able to select the setting that provides them with the minimum level of sufficient heat.
At the very least, an electric blanket should have three heat settings; Such as low, medium and high.
The best electric blankets to get are either made with a polyester blend or from 100% polyester. As a general rule of thumb, try to go for a blanket that features names such as Sherpa, Fleece or micro-fleece. Different fabrics feel differently for people, so get an idea of what type of fabric feels the best against the senior citizen’s skin before choosing a blanket for them.
If an electric blanket has all of the above features, the chances are it’s a good choice. Some may even have additional features. However, the ones above are the key things to look for in an electric blanket.
Keep in mind that the risks electric blankets pose to seniors’ health are relatively low. The key is to choose a quality blanket. This is why it’s important to shop around for an electric blanket that’s made from a reputable brand, and one that has plenty of positive reviews written about it.
Electric Blanket Safety Tips: How to Use an Electric Blanket Safely
First, don’t place anything near the blanket, especially anything flammable. It’s better to be safe than sorry, therefore we recommend not placing glasses of water, food, cleaning products or anything else for that matter. Doing this small thing can greatly reduce the chances of an accident from happening.
Second, don’t leave an electric blanket on all-night long. Even if a blanket is low-voltage because the last thing anyone wants is to burn themselves or overheat as they sleep. Once again, choose a blanket that will turn itself off automatically because then there is no need to worry about this.
Finally, don’t machine wash the blanket because the spin cycle can damage the fabric. Even if the fabric doesn’t become damaged, the blanket’s wiring might become twisted and the coils could become damaged. In turn, this creates a safety hazard.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):
Can You Use Electric Blankets With Incontinence?
No, you shouldn’t use an electric blanket if you are incontinent. Electric blankets are not designed to be wet, not even a little bit. Electric blankets can actually be dangerous for those who are prone to wetting themselves. (Source)
Do Electric Blankets Cause Issues For Seniors With High Blood Pressure?
Not everyone will experience spikes of high blood pressure when using an electric blanket. Generally speaking, those who are at risk for seniors with poor blood circulation and if they sleep for long periods of time while covered with an electric blanket. If the senior doesn’t have issues with their blood pressure, then there’s a good chance an electric blanket won’t cause problems with their blood pressure. (Source)
Can You Use An Electric Blanket With A Pacemaker?
The good news is you can use an electric blanket if you have a pacemaker. An electric blanket is very unlikely to interfere with someone’s pacemaker. Generally speaking, electric blankets don’t affect a pacemaker’s performance. (Source)
Do Electric Blankets Cause Heart Palpitations?
At the time of this writing, there is no strong evidence to suggest that electric blankets cause heart palpitations. If the senior citizen you plan on giving the blanket to doesn’t have heart problems, then they’ll probably won’t start experiencing heart palpitations as a result of using it. (Source)
When it comes to electric blankets for the elderly, it’s all about finding one that has the right features and options. Just make sure to keep the previously discussed tips in mind, especially the safety tips. Remember, always choose high-quality blanket, even if it means spending a bit more money.
Our final recommendations include the ones previously discussed. However, our absolute favorite electric blankets for the elderly is the Bedsure Heated Blanket Throw Electric and the MaxKare Oversized Electric Blanket. If those two don’t appeal to you, then the other blankets are excellent choices, too.