The effects of electric heated blankets

Written by tyler lacoma | 13/05/2017
The effects of electric heated blankets
(Janie Airey/Lifesize/Getty Images)

Electric heated blankets use insulated wires to produce heat. An electric current runs through these wires. The resistance properties of the wires cause heat to build up as the electrical current slows, and this heat moves out into the blanket, warming objects around it through radiating heat. People use electric heated blankets to warm beds in cold weather or to treat slight medical issues. Electric blankets also have some negative effects.

Pain Relief

One of the positive effects that electric blankets have is that they ease certain pains, especially joint and muscle pains. While the heat from the blanket will not necessarily improve a condition, it will relieve the painful symptoms of arthritis and help sore muscles recover more quickly. As a result, people who use electric heating blankets for the treatment of stiff muscles see renewed flexibility and range of motion.


EMF stands for electromagnetic fields, the fields created by many electrical devices, including electric heating blankets. There is contention as to the dangers that EMFs can create, but studies have shown a possible relationship between EMFs and a variety of health concerns. Specifically, Dr. Nancy Wertheimer and Ed Leeper conducted studies that linked electric blankets with childhood leukaemia.


Manufacturers design electric blankets to be safe to use, but they can still present burning dangers. People who do not pay enough attention to the heat of the blanket may leave it on too high for too long a period and burn their skin from the radiating heat.

Sleep Effects

The electric heated blanket has both positive and negative sleep effects. On one hand, in cold conditions it can be used to warm a bed and help people get to sleep more easily. On the other hand, raising the temperature in a bed can actually inhibit sleep patterns over the long term and lead to a less restful sleep.

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