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With all that freezing cold weather, we were getting fed up with getting into bed and wincing at how cold the sheets were. Nobody wants to get into bed fully clothed (do they?) and the bed does warm up eventually, so if we wore too much to take away that initial stinging cold of the cotton sheets, then before too long we were steaming under the duvet (no double entendres please).
So my bright idea was to get an electric blanket. At first we were a bit reluctant - those are just for grannies aren't they? But another couple of nights of freezing feet and we were convinced. So let the research begin.
As total beginners to the electric blanket market we were a bit overawed at all the different types you can get, but we soon came to realise that broadly speaking you can get the ones that tie on with tapes round the mattress or the ones that are fully fitted, just like a fitted sheet. We opted for the latter.
In addition, it seems that many of these are actually fleece on top and referred to as a 'mattress cover,' 'mattress topper' or similar. not to be confused with a 'pillow top' which is a padded cover for your mattress but not electric. Confused? We were!
After much deliberation we opted for the Homefront premium fully fitted fleece mattress cover, with dual controls. This means that there are two separate controls - one for each side of the bed. An unnecessary gimmick you might think but no! In practise this has been incredibly useful as it turns out we like a different level of heat.
It fits on top of the mattress and underneath the sheet and was relatively easy to fit, just like a fitted sheet really. We put it on, switched it on, and went to watch TV for a bit before going to bed (they do take a little while to heat up).
------------ AND THEN -----------
We got into bed!
Wow! It was absolutely wonderful. Warm and cosy and inviting, it made getting into bed on a freezing cold night a total pleasure. We fell in love with our new gadget instantly.
Basically there are 2 wires that come off the head end of the blanket, with a plastic digital control unit each side. There are 9 levels of heat, split into body and feet. So you can have the body part on one level of heat setting and the feet on another. The blanket comes with a timer and you can set it to stay on for 1, 5, 8 or 12 hours. The manufacturers say that if you leave it on all night on a low setting, it is completely safe (has some sort of overheat cut-out safety mechanism) and will cost you about 2p a night in electricity.
The dual controls are great as my husband likes his side a bit warmer than I do, and I warm up quite quickly once in bed so I just set mine to 1 hour whereas he keeps his on for longer. For me it's perfect - I fall asleep and then it turns itself off so I don't wake up boiling hot and uncomfortable.
It totally covers the bed, the only part which is not heated is under the pillow.
You can get it for around £60 on Amazon.
Oh, and it's machine washable.
Why didn't we buy this years ago?
Heatkeeper food jar is capable of keeping your food hot for up to 6 hours.