* Prices may differ from that shown
When the winter months draw in and the air becomes colder, for many people it seems that central heating saves the day. However if you live in a property that isnt centrally heated and you rely on portable heaters, you could find yourself spending a small fortune on electricity bills due to costly fan heaters and convection appliances more so from the beginning of October when both the seasons change and the cost of electricity charges. I used to pay out around £300 per month to heat a one bedroom flat that had no central heating and whilst relied on portable convection heaters, fan heaters were more expensive and bed time usually involved a pair of thermal long johns and a woolly hat! My doctor told me to be careful with hot water bottles as chill blains can often appear on the feet when the hot rubber comes into contact with the flesh on the foot. If, like me you dont like using unsafe rubber hot water bottles lets face it, they begin to wear over a couple of years and some people still have accidents when they pour the water into the bottle and forget to let the air out.
My mums friend suggested that I buy a heated blanket but to be careful what to get, making sure at least that it has BEAB approval clearly stamped on it her own experience with cheap blankets has been near lethal in the past. She also advised that make sure the blanket is at the very least able to withstand a damp cloth to get rid of any unwanted dirt.
** Checking the Prices with rivals **
Off to Argos I went and looked at the offerings in terms of heated blankets but I was shocked to find that a double heated blanket would cost in the region of £25 to £30 where previously in 2004 they were much cheaper. At Tesco the story wasnt any different but shock of horrors passing by a Comet store in Glasgow I spied a special offer of Morphy Richards Double All Night under blanket 75137 at £15-99 against MRs own company Winterwarm product which had a more expensive price despite its actual feel in fabric texture.
The difference largely is the way that both blankets have been made; Whereas Winterwarm double blankets were fleecy in nature, I figured that its non-reversible feature would prove too short in actual use, the fleece would be hard to clean and with only 2 heat settings, made Morphy Richards own product looks like a bit of a bargain.
Briefly the texture of the 75137 product is white cotton felt mix on both sides which allows users to swap over the sides of the blanket as well as ensuring that both sides get used, or if they want the heat controls on the left or right hand side of the bed. Whereas the Winterwarm fleece is brush able, the Morphy Richards blanket is damp wipe washable material which gives a greater promise of being extra hygienically clean.
** Quick Skip Product Spec **
Damp wipe washable cotton felt blanket; Hypoallergenic.
Extra foot warmth, suitable for an average height of 5ft.
Pre heat facility available with 2 other heat settings. (3)
3 metre cord between plug and heat control pad with additional Braille etchings.
Overheat protection system, thermal cut out facility.
122cm by 107cm.
Can be folded up when not in use.
Product code model: 75137
** Fitting the Blanket **
Ive had a MR product before for bedding and this product is remarkably similar although MR has improved the tie through ribbons on the blanket. On the 75137 blanket there are no longer silly tie through eyelets where the blanket must be tied and fastened tightly to the mattress before further tying down bigger looking cloth ribbons. Whereas before the small cords could damage mattresses with the general pull and stretch on a mattress itself, MR have only attached three full size standard ribbons which allow the blanket to be tied to the mattress; there are no more silly tiny threads which have to be attached to each corner which makes fitting so much faster! So you have one at the top, bottom and middle and Ive found in use I dont have to tie the middle ribbon if I want to slide the cover up and down the bed if I want more heat to go to my feet or my shoulders.
Size wise, the blanket measures a length of 122 cm and the width being 107 cm. It is the width which I feel should be a little wider because at times Ive realised that as a double bed sleeper I actually sleep on the corners where the mattress corners are harder. It all depends on individual use though because being 6 foot can have its disadvantages in this instance and the extra warmth section located at the bottom or top of the blanket really means that a total rectangular surface heat can be obtained from the whole blanket.
When the blanket is not in use, say in the Summer months when that natural coldness can actually be of benefit in rooms, this blanket also comes pre-packed in its own PVC holder bag with a handle which is very neat as it ensures a dust free storage solution, and being zipped and clear you can see what you are storing away and is easy to retrieve.
** In Use **
This product comes with the BEAB label sticker, so of course I was naturally assured that this product is safer than most. The actual heating control has also been improved; before when it was a small hand shaped control, the recent hand control has been made larger with a middle position slider bar and Braille on the other side which also means for the short sighted like me, you can feel the position of where the slide bar should be at if you forget to put it down to heat 1 after an hour. Depending on how long it takes you to get to sleep depends on how you use the blanket though obviously!!
So, in terms of the pre-heat facility, I usually put the blanket on at number three which gives a great roasting ability. This setting should always be put on at a maximum of 90 minutes, setting 2 has a maximum of 45 minutes and setting 1 can be left on continuously.
What I get then is a wonderfully pre-heated double bed ready to slip into. The actual product consists of a double insulated cord which is within the sections of the felt material where when fitting you can see how the blanket has been made, but in use Ive never been able to feel the cords of the heating element through the felt cotton fabric as Im lying on it. With an additional fleecy mattress cover in place I can also bump up the heat overall without worry to economically damaging my bill when the blanket is left in setting 1. This is another reason to why I prefer basic under blankets as opposed to fleecy types as you can choose additional sheets to put on top of the heated blanket.
** Thermal Cut Out/Overheat Protection **
The blanket has a thermal cut out which has often cut out when I inadvertently left setting 2 on for longer than the clear to read 2 page manual suggests. The mode results in instant removal of the heated sections and comes on after 30 minutes afterwards!
** Downsides? **
If there is a downside to this product then it is finding it. Not all stores on the high street will feature this product as it doesnt command a high price but if you want a bargain well made under blanket then look no further.
The nature of the thick material means that it is unsuitable to be used as an over blanket. The manual warns against this option as well as being put inside duvets.
** Conclusion **
I adore this blanket product and I'm decently happy with what the product delivers. The recent removal of those eyelets with the tiny threads means the cover is easier to fit and remove too.
Although this blanket is for the average double bed, I would say that this is a good product, not just because of the three heat settings, or the fact that the cover is damp cloth washable (but you have to make sure the cloth is completely dry before using) but of the fact that it offers a lot more than rivals for the price.
Lastly, the fact that this product comes with a 3 year guarantee from the manufacturer directly clinched the deal. Thank you for reading. ©Nar2 2007, original longer review appeared on Ciao.
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