“ Brand: Morphy Richards / Product Type: Mattress Cover „
What a lovely Christmas gift I got from a family friend who gave me her flu and cold to deal with when I was home for the holidays! Now I'm already the proud owner of Dreamland's double heated under blanket and whilst it may have more modern heating controls as well as being able to be machine washed, I was disappointed that Morphy Richards electric blankets had been temporarily discontinued from high street shops. That was until I happened to find myself needing another electric blanket - this time for a single bed. Off I trotted in search of our local electrical shops and in the form of two shops - one being private and vastly over priced (they still sell a Dyson DC01 at £200!) stocked the much admired and reliable single heated mattress cover by Morphy Richards I had once owned before my cousin nicked it (the one that has been discontinued) at £25 (Argos used to sell it at £15!) whilst my more preferred choice and less pocket robbing choice of shop, Scottish Power came up trumps with an ironic if not slightly more expensive brand new product by Morphy Richards at £29-38 which had previously been sold at double the price. What's the difference you may ask? Well, this super duper single under blanket is a revelation and will beat Dreamland's hands down not just on price but brand new design and variation - especially as it is available in a double size at £48 which puts it into direct competition with Dreamland's bigger double heated blanket. But history wise it has to be said, Morphy Richards were amongst the first to produce electric blankets for beds - Dreamland on the other hand have a lot of catching up to do so its no surprise that from the off, MR's latest blankets are here to do serious business.
Morphy Richards are currently doing ranges of products that have less power to save on the environment. Sporting wattage of 110 watts which may be lower than Dreamland's single mattress cover by around 40 watts less, the brand new Morphy Richards heated allergy-free under blanket has been designed with a closer eye to the user than Dreamland's products. For a start its no longer the basic felt cloth washable only material that once blessed MR's heated blankets alone and you won't find a single eye let or loose string in which you have to faff about with, worry that the thread is going to get snapped off by a vacuum cleaner or worry long term that the mattress cover will move whilst you move about in bed. MR have been busy rethinking their return and design strategy in how to produce something better - and if you're fed up with a single sheet that has to be tied down the old fashioned way and just need an elasticated mattress cover as you would normally dress your bed, albeit with a high powered heating element - look no further - Morphy Richards have come up trumps with this allergy free offering!
Out of the same familiar clear zipped storage bag that almost all Morphy Richards blankets have been packaged in, this product from a distance looks like a single padded duvet. And you could be forgiven for assuming so when you take out the soft feel material of the actual blanket once it's out of the pack. What you have here, is a thickly padded, white elasticated mattress cover with a detachable power hand set and a long 3 metre cord with bonded plug. Additionally, the heated blanket element stretches itself from the bottom of the bed to the top - or 190 cm for its actual width - whilst from its edges to the padded part of the blanket cover there is only around 8 inches of soft feel stretchy Lycra like material to the blanket itself. Gone is the stress of having to lift the mattress to tie the blanket to the bed never mind to straighten it out (Dreamland), gone is the problem of worrying about where the "extra warmth," may be, because the MR blanket stretches all the way down to the bottom of my bed with the 8" soft feel cloth safely tucked over the side and under the edges of each corner of my bed mattress- Hurrah! And gone are the outdated slider only controls and orange lit numbers made to a budget, replaced by slider controls and a little bit more thought that has gone into the deal when all the main lights are switched off at night - a lit hand set that has a digital LCD panel like a small clock radio albeit with clear and spaced out letters and numbers that allow you to see what you are doing. The technology doesn't stop there. Although it may well look like copying Dreamland, Morphy Richards have gone one better than just offering 9 heat settings over Dreamland's 9 heat settings - all the levels of heat can be felt all around the bed compared to my Dreamland blanket.
Dreamland for example state that it takes 10 minutes to heat up a single mattress; this blanket does it within three minutes - now that's fast! Not only do you have 8 heat settings at your disposal, you can heat up your bed simply by pressing the "Boost" button on the cleverly designed single control panel and the blanket immediately zooms up from heat level 1 to 8. There is a thermometer icon on the cool blue lit panel which lights up whenever the control panel is touched and it shows the chosen heat setting of which the bed has been heating up by. If you touch the boost to warm up the bed, the blanket will raise the temperature and heat and then thermostatically cut the highest temperature to a level that can be used continuously afterwards; all of this info is also shown on the LCD panel just to give you peace of mind...
The hand set also has a 12 or 24 hour clock function that shows the time on the handset. This may look like a gimmick - but the electric blanket also has the facility to be left on a "sleep" function just like your clock radio alarm. Not only is this clever but the heated blanket can also be put on a delay timer too and pushing the mode and boost button together locks the hand set - a child lock on a hand set which is very welcome. You get what you pay for in this respect and such features in my mind justifies the £30 asking price compared to same priced Dreamland/Imetec products that offer very little.
For allergy sufferers, this blanket is fitted with allergy free linings thanks to Amicor - although I don't suffer from allergies anymore it offers peace of mind here; more so that this actual product has been awarded the seal of approval by the British Allergy Foundation.
In use this mattress cover is a boon to have. It can be used with another mattress cover over it just like a heated mattress cover and I took advantage of this by putting a fleece mattress cover over the MR cover. The elasticated sides however are made of thin Lycra like fabric which means putting it onto the bed and locking it down has lots of give and my mum was surprised to find it easy to put the sides down with her arthritic hands. However initially when I fitted the blanket to the bed, the middle of the blanket bunched up a bit and when laid out fully onto the mattress to ensure that the whole blanket sat in the middle rather than on the mattress, I was unsure as to whether the baggy look would travel over once the other single mattress was put on top. Luckily rest assured, the moment another fitted sheet is put on top, the Morphy Richards blanket settles down into a smooth and flat surface. However on the second night of use, I soon noticed that the familiar Rhombus shaped patterns were starting to emerge through the fleece cotton of my fitted sheet; not only does this look like a standard mattress coming through the sheet but it also shows that the heated blanket itself is slightly padded and thus makes for a very comfortable feeling against skin; the cord and hand set part leading to the blanket is also quite flat and doesn't feel obtrusive at the top side of the cover either. Some would also appreciate the fact that the pattern comes through giving the appearance of an extra layered mattress.
The heat levels are extremely toasty - but I recall saying that about the Dreamland blanket I have also recently purchased. The difference is that once the heat levels have been selected, MR has a slower response time that gradually decreases the heat through the blanket in stages if the heat settings are lowered unlike Dreamland where sometimes it feels as if my skin is prickly or vibrating because the heat through the wires lessen the heat quicker and can be felt more. And more importantly all my body including my feet are warm and cosy with little heat up time which makes all the difference when you're feeling down and ill. Over the 2 weeks of being ill with flu and at home I've never felt better.
Similar to Dreamland's remote wired control, the main control on this blanket can at last be removed so that the entire mattress cover can be deposited in a washing machine! Hurrah another improvement for MR; no more damp cloth washable only sheets! Like Dreamland, this blanket can be washed in a washing machine program wash of 40 degrees and must be hung over a line to dry since the sheet can't be crumpled and put into a tumble dryer.
Already I can categorically state that this product gets 5 stars on heat alone. It has all the modern features that make life easier - from fitting to using and maintaining to storage - clearly MR have really thought about how to make a heated blanket better. Of course at £30 to £40 it may well be expensive but for the cost of the features offered plus its non allergenic fillings and general quality, it's not a bad price considering that Dreamland charge more for less technology and slower heat up times. It was worth the wait Morphy Richards! Thanks for reading ©Nar2 2009.
http://www.morphyrichards.co.uk/MattressCovers.aspx (there are 8 different versions of mattress covers by Morphy Richards).
** UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE; Rating dropped from 5 to 3**
15th of July 2010
Sadly the heater control unit for this item has developed a fault, producing both green and red LED's flashing until the hand set is switched off at the mains. Now, whilst Morphy Richards were kind enough to send me an email requesting the original receipt that this product came with (guess who threw it away) they came back with a kind "discount" offer of £42 against the retail price of £69-99! Given that I bought the blanket for £29 means MR won't be getting my money despite their kind gesture.
There is a lesson to be learnt in all of this; always keep your receipts!
The set includes 1 single duvet cover and 1 pillow case