Heaters vs. electric blankets. Images by Ivan Babydov and Lisa Fotios / Pexels

Heaters or electric blankets: Watt’s safer?

Both heaters and electric blankets have their advantages and disadvantages. Here are some considerations in choosing between the two.


Heaters vs. electric blankets. Images by Ivan Babydov and Lisa Fotios / Pexels

Both heaters and electric blankets offer warmth, but they target it differently and have distinct advantages and disadvantages. Many people seem to be concerned about the safety of electric blankets. Here is a breakdown to help you choose the right tool for the job.

Heating efficiency: Heaters vs. electric blankets

Heaters are ideal for warming an entire room or large space. Their heating capacity is typically measured in watts, with higher wattages radiating more heat and being suitable for bigger areas. However, this also translates to higher energy consumption. Consequently, your electricity bill may be higher.

An electric blanket, on the other hand, focuses its warmth on a smaller area. While it might take slightly longer to preheat compared to a space heater, electric blankets typically operate at a much lower wattage, making them a more energy-efficient choice.

Both are fairly portable.

Safety concerns

A heater can be a fire hazard and can cause health issues. If you place flammable objects too close to a heater, it poses a fire risk.

Some heater types, especially electric heaters, can dry out the air, causing your skin to dry out. In addition to your skin, it also dries out the mucus membranes inside your nose, throat, and eyes, according to The Guardian. Dr William Checkley, a physician and professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins University, says that dry mucus membranes make people more susceptible to illness from airborne particles, including allergens, viruses, and bacteria.

Electric blankets also pose safety risks. If you leave electric blankets unattended or do not follow the operating instructions, it may overheat. Outdated models, especially, could be risky in terms of burning and fire. It’s important to ensure that your blanket is in good working order without exposed or frayed wires.

Recent innovations, however, have made some electric blankets safer. Some of them now come with timers and automatic shut-off switches – important safety features in preventing overheating. Another recent innovation is the advent of wireless units that are controlled with a remote and don’t need to be plugged into the wall. This is another feature aiding safety as it eliminates potentially faulty wires connected to a wall socket.

It is advisable that pet owners should be extra cautious when using heaters or electric blankets. Pets can cause damage to electric blankets by chewing on them. Also, pets can easily overheat when lying on an electric blanket. Heaters can be very dangerous if a pet gets too close to it.