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Mr P is quite a bit older than me (20+ years actually) so when he casually mentioned that an electric blanket might be a good idea, I couldn't resist a gentle tease. At the time the last thing I needed was extra heat at bedtime being at that time in life where my temperature control had gone haywire and I was likely to wake up in a hot sweat. However, when I was thinking about Mr P's birthday I thought that an electric blanket of some sort might be the answer. It would need to have dual controls to accommodate our different temperature requirements and so I turned to my retailer of choice, John Lewis, not least because I had accumulated a number of vouchers through completing on line surveys. The blanket ========= To be honest there wasn't a great deal of choice and I needed something for a king sized bed which reduced the choice further. The Dreamland 6968 Intelliheat fleece mattress cover seemed the best option and I duly ordered one on line for pick up at my local store. The price was £69.99. ~ Key features ~ It measures 200 x 150 x 30 cm Dual controls 6 heat settings and automatic timer Machine washable and tumble dry safe In use ===== The cover is made from a soft fleece fabric which fits on the bed like a normal fitted sheet. Our mattress is quite deep as it has a memory foam topper and the cover goes on the mattress easily. Luckily there is a power socket behind the bed which we can use to plug in the cover. The blurb says that the 'Intelliheat technology adjusts the heat by sensing changes in room and body temperature throughout the night'. Each control unit has a circular display which clearly shows the selected settings. This is illuminated so you can see in the dark. There are two switches for selecting the heating programmes. ~ Heat settings~ Fast Preheat - heats the bed up in 1- minutes. For All night use: 21 C - for minimum heat - great for airing the bed 25 C - to warm cold feet, extra heat around the lower section of the cover 28 C - for deep sleep 32 C - ultra warmth 36 C - for very cold nights The timer gives a choice of 1 or 9 hours so you can keep the blanket on safely all night. The blanket claims to be very economical to run and I take Dreamland at their word that it only costs a couple of pennies to heat the bed all night. Health warning ============= I should mention that Dreamland advise against the use of electric blankets if you have a pacemaker fitted. Converted ======== Not that I've yet owned up to it (although I think Mr P has probably guessed) but I've been won over by this blanket. I tend to use the fast preheat setting. When it's bedtime I put the blanket on when I go upstairs and by the time I've taken off the war paint, brushed my teeth and generally pottered about for 10 minutes, I climb into a lovely warm bed and turn off the blanket. It really does warm up in 5 to 10 minutes. Mr P on the other hand tends to use one of the other settings and keeps the blanket on for an hour or so. I've not tried it yet, but I am very impressed that the blanket is machine washable. The controls unplug and you can then pop the blanket in the wash on a gentle cycle. I only have one complaint. When the timer goes into standby mode, the control unit gives out a bright blue light. I've now worked out that if I make sure the control unit is resting face down on the floor the light is obscured and so doesn't disturb me but it is a bit of a nuisance. Star rating ======== Knocking of a star for the annoying light but otherwise a well deserved 4.
A few months ago I finally cracked and splashed out on an electric blanket, or to be more precise, a heated mattress cover. Rising fuel costs just ain't funny and tie this in with the fact that I have no central heating and lousy circulation, a pre-warmed bed seemed the most sensible way to go. However I've always been aware of the pennies and tend to have a good look around before I part with any of them. Eventually I decided the Dreamland was my best bet. There are cheaper ones on the market, but you do have to be careful when looking at sizes (some only cover a small proportion of the bed) the settings available, pre-heating, and also whether it can be left on over night or not. Another factor that I think most people would want to consider at some point is whether the blanket is washable. Most electric blankets use between the equivalent electricity of between 1-3 electric light bulbs. Not too bad I thought, especially if you just use it for a couple of hours at night. The Dreamland works out at about 3 bulbs on the maximum setting but since it's rarely on that for very long, I'm not concerned about a huge increase in bills. As I mentioned earlier, this is actually a mattress cover: it fits the mattress much in the same way as a fitted sheet, although only the top surface is quilted and heated and there is no heating element under the pillow section, but it does have the added advantage of extra heat in the foot area - heaven!!! As yet it has also failed to move about - nothing worse than laying on crinkled bedding - so passed that test with flying colours. It also has all night settings and is not only washable, but machine washable - who could ask for more? Well, I could actually. The only downside to this product is that the connection to the cover itself, protrudes a few inches onto the mattress, possibly about 2 or 3, so if you have a partner who is a little too fond of 'stealing your side' and pushing you to the edge, you might end up clutching onto a little plastic box. It's only a small thing, but I find a bit of an irritant and can't for the life of me understand why the connection couldn't have been located so it lay on the side of the bed. You'll pay around £50 for the single size, up to around £90 for the king size - but do shop around as prices can vary quite a bit Overall though this product gets 4 stars! It heats up quickly and makes getting to sleep a lot easier for those of us who are tired of filling hot water bottles and waking to find we are clutching something akin to a large, cold slug!
Heats up your bed in 10 minutes. Enjoy one of the 4 all night settings and nod off to sleep in no time!