Product Type: Silentnight household products
Newest Review: ... changing the settings a lot easier. The blanket comes with a three year guarantee, so if anything does go wrong with it, you have complete... more
Keep Your Cockles Warm All Night
Silentnight Comfort Control Electric Blanket
Member Name: Enkaypee
Silentnight Comfort Control Electric Blanket
Advantages: Heats up evenly and quickly, 3 heat settings, plenty of string to tie it on, washable, unobtrusive
Disadvantages: Wire which connects blanket to plug point could be longer, blanket doesn't completely cover mattress
It was November, the temperature was dropping rapidly, and the threat of snow was growing with each passing day. At night, I ended up wearing two pairs of thick socks, legwarmers, a pair of long, thick winter pyjama trousers, a big winter pyjama top, a thick jumper, and covered myself with my 10.5 tog duvet, as well as two blankets each night...and was still cold. It was time to take control of the situation, and buy an electric blanket.
I sent my mum on the mission of buying an electric blanket for me - mums know about these things, right? Right! She returned with the Silentnight Comfort Control Heated Underblanket. It came in different packaging from that in the Dooyoo picture - mine came in a zip-up plastic case - but I presume it's the same product!
At the time of writing you can purchase one for £20 from Wilkinson or £24 from Littlewoods. I have also seen some on ebay for a much lower price - it's worth shopping around, as from what I see the price can vary quite a bit.
If you're anything like me, you'll have images of electric blankets being big, thick, musty-smelling things which look like picnic blankets, which would be placed just below the duvet but on top of the sleeping person. Not very cool things, to be honest (no pun intended!). Well, think again. This electric blanket is plain cream in colour, and is made of a very thin, felt-like fabric. You can see and feel the heating elements running through the fabric, but they're thin and unobtrusive.
To use, this blanket actually sits underneath you, directly above the mattress but below the sheet. This means that you won't see it, you won't have anything bulky weighing you down, and you'll probably be unaware that it's there at all. Much nicer than before! Attached to the blanket are several very long, thin cords which you should lace underneath the mattress and tie, to keep the blanket in place. This should be done firmly, but not too tightly!
There is a little plastic piece which attaches the blanket to the wire, control panel and plug. This little plastic piece should go at the pillow end, on the top side of the blanket, but due to the positions of the plug points in my bedroom I currently have it at the foot end and haven't experienced any problems. However, it can become uncomfortable - when I originally put the blanket on, with this plastic piece at the pillow end it dug into my shoulder, and now I have it positioned at the foot end I woke up a few nights ago with it digging into my ankle, so I would prefer it if I could position it on the underside of the blanket.
The blanket I have is for a single bed, which was what I was using at the time of purchase. The size of the blanket actually surprised me, as it doesn't completely cover the mattress. There's a space of roughly three inches at each side and the bottom of the bed which are not covered by the blanket, and a larger space at the top underneath the pillow. In principal this is fine as the blanket should heat the air in the space above it and under the duvet, but in reality if a foot or elbow strays to beyond the edge of the blanket, it'll get a sharp shock when it realises that part of the mattress is left cold! :(
I've now moved into a double bed and am still using the same electric blanket, but I have positioned it on just one side of the bed. The strings to tie it in place are still plenty long enough to tie it on around the larger bed.
I haven't measured it exactly, but the wire connecting the plug to the blanket is only around two metres long. This doesn't sound too bad, but if you're like me and don't have many plug points in your room, a slightly longer wire would be more practical.
So, just before you get into bed, grab hold of the control halfway along the wire (which you should have connected to the mains) and slide the little switch up. The blanket has three heat settings; the higher the number, the higher the heat. There is also a '0' at the top and bottom of the control panel, which you can use to switch the blanket off. I usually switch it onto setting 3 to begin with, which is the highest setting, as this will heat things up quickly. Within fifteen minutes your bed will be more than warm enough to get into, and you'll certainly notice it. If you leave it on this setting for an hour or so, it will get so hot that you almost can't leave your legs on it or they'll burn!
Once you're in (or when the temperature's reached your desired level), you can switch the control panel onto a lower setting for things to cool down a bit. If you choose to leave it on all night, which I often do during winter and cooler nights, it's best to leave it on setting 1 (the lowest heat setting). Much as you might be tempted to leave it on a higher setting, take my word for it that anything higher will get too hot after a few hours - the lowest setting definitely provides a comfortable level of heat for the whole night.
Needless to say, you should keep your blanket covered when in use, in order to retain the heat. In other words, don't fold the duvet back! Also, when you get out of bed in the morning, or when you've finished using it, remember to switch it back to 0, or off, as you don't want to put yourself or your home at risk by keeping it on all day.
Rather handily, the blanket can be machine washed and tumble dried on a low-heat setting, although it is preferable to let it air-dry if possible. As the blanket sits below the sheet I find that the sheet protects the blanket a lot, so I have never had need to wash it as of yet as it doesn't look dirty at all. Of course, you should read the instructions booklet carefully first before you do wash the blanket, to ensure that you safely disconnect all the wiring and electrics first.
Overall, in terms of heating you up and keeping your bed toasty all night, I'd definitely give this electric blanket five stars. As it's from Silentnight you know it's good quality, and it's certainly more comfortable and practical to use than older, traditional designs. I find it much more user-friendly than hot water bottles, and the heat is spread more evenly as well. In addition, the three heat settings are certainly a bonus! The only things that let it down are the length of the main wire which I feel could be longer, and the fact that it doesn't entirely cover your mattress, but leaves a couple of inches round each edge which stay colder. For these two factors I have to knock off one star.
Summary: If you feel the cold, this is well worth buying to keep you toasty at night!