do electric blankets have side effects

Electric blankets have long been a winter staple for those looking to stay warm throughout the cold months. However, with their increasing popularity, some questions have arisen about the potential side effects of using them. Like any electrical appliance, electric blankets carry potential safety risks and should be used with caution. That being said, it’s important to know what the possible side effects are in order to stay safe and comfy all winter long. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at electric blankets and explore their safety issues as well as some other considerations when using them. So bundle up and get ready for a cozy journey into the world of electric blankets!

Key Takeaways

  • Electric blankets have possible side effects including burns, increased breast cancer risk, fires, and complications from prolonged use.
  • Precautions such as reading instructions, checking for recalls, and replacing damaged cords/plugs should be taken.
  • Electric blanket fires are rare, but they may increase blood sugar levels and cancer risk and affect melatonin production.
  • Specific populations such as diabetes patients, pregnant women, and the elderly should take extra caution and consult healthcare providers if necessary.

Safety Concerns

Wondering if electric blankets are safe? Let’s explore the potential safety concerns. Electric blankets have been around for over a century, and while they have changed significantly in that time, there is still a risk of danger associated with them. Although there are many benefits to using an electric blanket, such as keeping you warm in cold weather and helping to reduce heating bills, it’s important to be aware of the potential risks and health hazards. Some risks include risk of miscarriage or burns from overheating, increased breast cancer risk due to electromagnetic radiation emitted by the blanket, risk of fires due to faulty wiring or electrical components malfunctioning, and even the risk of complications resulting from prolonged use.

electric blanket comforts woman on chilly evening

It’s important to take certain precautions when using an electric blanket. Always read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully before setting up your electric blanket, check for any recalls on your particular model before use –– especially if you purchased it second-hand –– make sure that all cords and plugs are in good condition at all times and replace them immediately if damaged or frayed. Additionally, always ensure that your electric blanket does not become too hot by following manufacturer guidelines for temperature settings; don’t go above recommended levels as this could potentially increase health risks associated with prolonged exposure to electromagnetic fields. Lastly, never leave your electric blanket on overnight as this can increase the chance of fire or other injury-causing accidents happening while you sleep.

In summary then, it is possible for users to safely enjoy their electric blankets provided they take necessary precautions such as reading instructions carefully beforehand and ensuring that cords remain undamaged at all times; however users should also keep in mind potential safety risks associated with long-term use including increased breast cancer risk due to electromagnetic radiation emitted by the blanket as well as higher chances of fire related accidents occurring if left unattended overnight.

Reputation and Fire Risk

You might be concerned that electric blankets could have a bad reputation or even pose a fire risk, but modern models are designed to provide safety features and reduce the risk of overheating. The truth is, electric blanket fires are rare. In fact, they account for only 0.2% of all reported residential fires in the US between 2013-2017.

TopicRisk LevelPrecautions
Electric Blanket Fires0.2%Yes
Safety TipsEssentialYes
Potential DangersHigh RiskNo
Electric Blanket DangersRarely OccurNo
Electric Blanket Use & Breast CancerControversialMaybe
Electric Blanket UsersIncrease in UsageYes

Health Hazards

Though electric blankets may provide comfort and warmth, they can also potentially bring health hazards. The use of electric blankets may cause an increase in blood sugar levels due to the electromagnetic fields the wires create. Furthermore, these devices create a field around them that can interfere with other medical devices like pacemakers and insulin pumps if not properly handled. It is important to follow instructions when using electric blankets; this includes making sure all cords are in good condition and not tangled or twisted.

Electric blanket use may also be associated with certain types of cancer due to the exposure of their electromagnetic fields on a regular basis. Additionally, some experts suggest that sleeping under an electric blanket for prolonged periods of time can affect one’s melatonin production which impacts the body’s natural sleep cycle over time. Consequently, it is best to limit your use of electric blankets so as not to risk any negative health effects.

Hence, it is advisable to take into consideration any potential risks before deciding whether or not an electric blanket would be suitable for you; this includes consulting with a healthcare provider beforehand if necessary. Ultimately, understanding how electric blankets work and utilizing them correctly will help ensure your safety while still providing much needed warmth during colder months!

Touch Test

Before using an electric blanket, it’s important to do a touch test. This is one of the safety precautions that should be taken when dealing with electrical wires and appliances such as electric blankets. This test ensures that there is no wire damage, or excess heat being produced by the appliance, which could otherwise potentially lead to harm for your body. Touching the blanket will allow you to get a sense of how much warmth and heat it produces, and whether it’s really suitable given your current environmental conditions.

It’s best to limit the time spent conducting this touch test in order to ensure optimal conditions are maintained for both you and the electric blanket. If too much heat is being emitted from the appliance then its channels of water can become blocked which can result in increased fire risk or other potential dangers. Therefore, it’s important to keep track of how long you’re testing for so that any potential risks are kept at bay.

Lastly, make sure you always check your electric blanket before using it on a regular basis as part of your regular safety routine – this way you’ll be able to ensure that all potential hazards are eliminated and that your wellbeing remains intact!

Diabetes and Use

If you have diabetes, it’s important to take extra caution when using electric blankets as they can potentially cause blood sugar levels to fluctuate. For example, Sarah had type 2 diabetes and found that her electric blanket caused her blood sugar levels to spike during the night. When considering the use of an electric blanket for those with diabetes, it is important to consider several factors:

  1. Blood Circulation: Electric blankets can cause restricted circulation in some people, leading to increased risk for diabetic foot complications.
  2. Warmth: Diabetics should not use electric blankets on a high setting or sleep with them turned up too high, as this may lead to increased core body temperature that could affect one’s condition.
  3. Temperature/Heating Pad: If using an electric blanket is necessary for warmth due to diabetes-related issues such as neuropathy or poor circulation, then consider using a heating pad instead of turning up the temperature of the blanket while sleeping.
  4. Precautions: It’s wise to speak with your doctor before using an electric blanket if you have any form of diabetes so that you can be sure you are taking all necessary precautions when it comes to your health and wellbeing.

Electric blankets can provide comfort and warmth for those with diabetes but must be used carefully in order ensure safety and prevent any potential side effects from occurring. Be sure to follow all instructions provided by your doctor and manufacturer when operating an electric blanket and contact a medical professional if any side effects occur while using an electric blanket or heating pad.

Storage and Prevention

To ensure the safest use of electric blankets, it’s important to consider storage and prevention measures. Electric blankets come with a range of safety features, such as those tested and certified by Underwriters Laboratories (UL), a testing agency that has been around since 1894. UL tests products for safety guidelines to make sure they meet current safety standards. Additionally, many electric blankets have an automatic shutoff feature which helps to prevent any risk of danger while in use.

Safety FeatureCertified ByDescription
Current Safety StandardsUnderwriters Laboratories (UL)UL tests products for safety guidelines to make sure they meet current standards.
Automatic Shutoff FeatureN/AHelps to prevent any risk of danger while in use.

The key elements in storing your electric blanket are ensuring that it is stored away from heat sources, avoiding folding or bunching when storing so as not to damage the wiring and cords inside, also taking care not to snag the fabric when folding or unfolding it – this can also cause damage inside the blanket and affect its performance over time. Lastly, be sure to read all manufacturer instructions on storage before putting away your electric blanket for long-term storage.

In terms of prevention measures, never leave children unattended with an electric blanket; always unplug after use; never tuck cords under rugs or furniture; keep pets off the bed when using an electric blanket; don’t cover yourself up completely while sleeping – leave some part uncovered so you can feel if it gets too hot; set temperature control correctly according to manufacturer directions; check regularly for frayed wires or broken plugs – if either is present stop using immediately! Taking these steps will help you get the most out of your electric blanket without compromising on safety!

Dehydration Risk

the man stays warm with an electric blanket

Using electric blankets can also pose a risk of dehydration due to the heat generated while in use, making it important to stay hydrated and take frequent breaks from the blanket. As people often wrap themselves up in an electric blanket for long periods of time during winter, there is a greater chance of overheating and subsequently becoming dehydrated. To reduce this issue, some heated blankets come with temperature controls so that individuals can choose how hot they want their blanket to be without risking dehydration. Additionally, a hot water bottle placed at feet level on top of a regular blanket could provide extra warmth without any health risks associated with using an electric blanket.

It is especially important for those who are elderly or have existing health conditions such as heart problems or diabetes to avoid prolonged exposure to electric blankets as they are more susceptible to heat-related illnesses. Likewise, pregnant women should be mindful when using an electric blanket due to potential birth defects caused by high temperatures whilst pregnant.

With this in mind, anyone considering buying or using an electric blanket should ensure that it is safe and fits comfortably before using it regularly throughout the colder months. It may also be useful to keep regular check-ins on your body’s temperature whilst you sleep under the heated coverings – if you start feeling too warm then remove the layers accordingly!

Alternatives and Tips

Don’t let the cold weather keep you from staying comfortable this winter – explore alternatives to electric blankets and use these tips to stay safe! While electric heating blankets can be an easy way to get warm during chilly nights, they may come with hidden health risks. To avoid dehydration or exposure to potentially harmful magnetic fields, frayed wires, or heating wires, consider these alternative options and safety tips for keeping your blanket safe.

For those who suffer from poor blood circulation or other common conditions that make them extra susceptible to the cold weather, one of the best alternatives is a water-filled blanket. This type of blanket uses water-filled pockets within the fabric that retain heat and help you stay warm all night long without any risk of overheating. Additionally, if you choose an electric heated blanket, be sure it’s certified by Underwriter Laboratories (UL) as a safe product before using it in your home. Regularly inspect your blanket for frayed wires or loose connections before each use; if you notice anything out of the ordinary with your blanket’s wiring system, discontinue use immediately and replace it with a new model.

Finally, if you do decide on an electric heated blanket for added warmth during chilly winter nights, set a timer so it turns off after 1-2 hours of use – this will help prevent overheating and ensure that even those with pre-existing health conditions don’t experience any adverse side effects. With these simple steps in mind, you can safely enjoy an extra layer of comfort throughout the colder months without fear of dehydration or other serious health risks associated with electric blankets.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use my electric blanket if I have pets?

Yes, you can use your electric blanket with pets in the home. However, it is important to ensure that the cord of the blanket is not accessible to your pet as this could pose a risk of electrocution and even fire. It is also advisable to check regularly for any signs of chewing or clawing by your pet which may damage the wiring in the blanket and render it unsafe. By following these simple precautions, you can safely enjoy snuggling up under an electric blanket with your furry friend!

Is it safe to share an electric blanket with someone else?

Yes, it is safe to share an electric blanket with someone else. However, it is important to make sure that both people using the blanket are comfortable with its temperature setting and that they do not have any underlying medical conditions which could be affected by use of an electric blanket. It’s also a good idea to check the wiring of your electric blanket regularly to ensure there are no faults or damage, as this can cause potential dangers.

Is it safe to use an electric blanket while pregnant?

Whilst expecting, using an electric blanket can be a comforting way to stay warm during the colder months. However, it is important to take into account the potential risks. A recent study has found that over 8 in 10 pregnant women experienced hot flashes during their trimesters, so using an electric blanket can make these sensations more intense or uncomfortable. Therefore it is best to consult with your healthcare provider before making any decisions on whether or not to use an electric blanket while pregnant.

How do I know when an electric blanket is too warm?

When using an electric blanket, it is important to be aware of how warm the blanket is getting. If you can feel heat radiating off the blanket or if your skin feels overly hot when touching it, then it is too warm and should be turned down. It’s also a good idea to keep the temperature control setting on low or medium so that you don’t overheat. Additionally, try not to tuck in the edges of the blankets because this traps in extra warmth which could become dangerous.Overall, if you use common sense and monitor your temperature while using an electric blanket then you should be safe from any potential side effects.


I can conclude that electric blankets do have some side effects. Whilst they may not be as serious as the safety concerns and fire risks, it’s important to be aware of potential health hazards associated with their use. To ensure maximum safety, always check for any damaged cords or fraying before using an electric blanket and take extra precautions if you suffer from diabetes. Additionally, store and prevent dehydration risk by ensuring your electric blanket is stored correctly and air it out regularly. Lastly, if you’re still concerned about the risks involved with electric blankets, there are plenty of alternatives available – think ‘old-school’ hot water bottles! All in all, whilst there are benefits to using an electric blanket, there are also certain risks which should be considered when deciding whether or not to invest in one.

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