How much does it cost to run an electric blanket? Experts reveal how expensive they are – and it might surprise you

Wondering how much an electric blanket will set you back when it comes to running costs be it for a couple of hours, or throughout the night?

an electric blanket on a bed to support guidance on how much does it cost to run an electric blanket
(Image credit: Getty Images)

There’s nothing cosier than snuggling up into a bed warmed by an electric blanket. But it's reasonable right now, with rising energy prices, to question how much it costs to run an electric blanket and if it's cost-effective.

Typically, electric blankets look and work a little like mattress protectors, and are normally fitted beneath your best sheets in an effort to warm up your bed. Nowadays, there are also electrically heated throws, that work more as literal blankets that you can wrap around you or lay across your lap to make your home feel cosy

While electric blankets can be incredibly helpful when the temperature drops and are typically low maintenance – this is how to wash an electric blanket in a few easy steps – given that we're currently in the grips of a cost of living crisis, how expensive are they to run? Is it worth investing in one or using one, or are you financially better off turning your heating on to stay warm at night?

To help you make the best decision for your home, we caught up with energy experts who shared exactly how much it costs to run an electric blanket, whatever model you have, and however long you run it for.

How much does it cost to run an electric blanket?

According to our team of energy experts, the cost of running an electric blanket is actually not that expensive at all, especially in comparison to other options for staying warm at home.

However, like every electrical appliance, the cost of running an electric blanket will vary depending on how much power yours uses – e.g. its wattage. These are the same principles when calculating how much it costs to run a dehumidifier

On every respective blanket, this shouldn't vary too wildly (they'll typically sit between 100W and 150W), but it will differ, especially if you have a larger blanket. 

For example, a king-size electric blanket will have a higher power rating, and be more expensive to run than a single electric blanket.

To work out the cost of your specific electric blanket, or the one you have your eye on, you’ll first need to find how much power it uses. "You need to find out the wattage on its various different settings; you will usually find this information in a manual, on the box, or on the manufacturer's website," advises Marie Urmston, energy expert at Love Energy Savings

As mentioned, this number will be in wattage measurements, so will look something like ‘100W’ or ‘200W’.

an electric blanket with a remote and a red wall in the background

(Image credit: Getty Images)

You’ll then need to consider how long you intend to use your blanket. While some prefer to put theirs on for a few hours before bed to warm it up and turn it off before falling asleep, others have theirs on throughout the night. Whatever your preference, it’s important to be realistic about how long you will run your electric blanket on a daily basis, to get an accurate indication of its running costs.

Marie then explains that there’s an easy calculation to follow to work out the cost of your specific electric blanket. "Since the new Ofgem October price cap announcement, we know that the price per kWh will be 27p until January 2024."

"As such, these are the numbers we need to work out the cost per use: kWh (you'll need to divide this number by 1000 to get the correct unit) X Run Time (in hours) X Cost (£) per kWh (at the moment, 27p)."

To demonstrate this calculation, Marie uses an example electric blanket. "I've used the Silentnight Comfort Control Electric Blanket Topper as an example. Based on the highest heat setting the blanket has, the wattage for a single size is 40, a double size is 70W, and a king-size wattage is 90W.

How much does it cost to run an electric blanket, then? Marie says, "Here’s how much each size of this blanket costs to run for eight hours a night:

  • Single - 0.04 x 8 x 0.27 = 0.09  (9p per night)
  • Double - 0.07 x 8 x 0.27 = 0.15   (15p per night)
  • King - 0.09 x 8 x 0.27 = 0.19  (19p per night)"

As you can see, the cost to run an electric blanket is pretty minimal, less than how much it costs to run an air fryer for example– but don’t forget that this running cost will increase should your electric blanket have a higher power rating. 

For example, this 150W Dreamland heated blanket will cost you a little bit more given its increased wattage; for eight hours of nighttime use, it'll set you back about 32p.

Assunta Trano, product expert at Dreamland notes that lots of electric blankets on the market are usually incredibly affordable to run. "Many throws/blankets can cost as little as 1p per hour to run," says Assunta. "For example, Dreamland electric throws have 301Wh, which cost around 1p per hour to use. So if you were to use it for a period of eight hours, it would cost just 8p."


How much does it cost to run an electric blanket for 1 hour?

How much does an electric blanket cost to run for just one hour then? It's clear that running most models for just 60 minutes at a time won’t set you back too much money – in fact, Marie explains, "based on the calculation above and the product, one hour would cost 1p for a single, 1.9p for a double, and 2.4p for a king."

For most standard electric blankets with an average power rating of between 100W and 150W, it’s unlikely to cost you more than a few pence to run for 60 minutes. 

James Longley, Managing Director at Utility Bidder explains, "Although they do vary, a standard 100W blanket will generally cost between 2p and 4p to run at full power for one hour. This means that for a couple of hours before going to sleep it would cost between 4p and 8p to warm up your bed."

James Longley
James Longley

James Longley is the Managing Director of Utility Bidder, and supports the growth of the company, overseeing business operations. He is an experienced Director with a long history working in the utility and energy industry.

But as mentioned, the cost of running your specific electric blanket will need to be calculated, in order to get a true picture of its running costs for an hour, as you may have a model that uses a lot more power (or less) per hour.

The Monogram by Beurer Komfort Heated Mattress Cover as tested by SIobhan in her home

An electric blanket used during our testing to determine the best electric blankest currently on the market

(Image credit: Siobhan Grogan)

Do electric blankets use a lot of electricity?

No, as evidenced above, electric blankets won’t use up much electricity at all, especially if you only have yours on for a couple of hours when sleeping.

This all depends on the blanket you own, or are planning to buy. For example, if you use your electric blanket for long periods of time in the highest setting, it will inevitably use up more electricity.

Ben Dhesi, the creator of the energy-saving app HUGO, explains that different types of electric blankets will use up more, or less electricity depending on how you use them. 

"Some will have a temperature setting that you can adjust to increase or decrease the temperature; using a comfortable but not excessively high setting can help save energy," Ben explains. "Larger blankets also traditionally use more electricity to heat, but that’ll be reflected in their wattage."

a person using the remote on an electric blanket

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Marie also argues that an electric blanket’s electricity usage should be matched against the cost of leaving your heating on during a chilly night, in order to keep your house warm whilst in bed. "When using an electric blanket, you're effectively heating yourself only, and not your entire house, so less energy is consumed based on the proximity."

"As such, using an electric blanket could allow you to set a lower heat setting on your thermostat (or even allow you to turn it off), saving you more money," she says.

Then, of course, there are other heating alternatives to consider, which can be pretty intense electricity guzzlers. "For example, electric blankets use very little electricity compared to room heaters," James points out. 

"In comparison to the 2-4p an electric blanket uses an hour, an electric heater will cost 61p per hour to heat up your whole room." 

It’s clear then which option will use the least electricity whilst also keeping you toasty and warm.

Is it expensive to keep an electric blanket on all night?

If your electric blanket costs around 2-4p per hour to run, it's unlikely that keeping yours on all night is going to be overly pricey, although it is an expense to keep an eye on if you're being cautious with your energy bills during the cost of living crisis.

Say, for example, that you sleep for eight hours per night, and have your electric blanket on for the entire time you are in bed. This means the blanket should cost around 16p (based on the average cost of running an electric blanket for an hour) for the entire time you are sleeping, which feels like a very reasonable price for staying warm in the coldest winter evenings. 

Even heating your bed up with the electric blanket for two hours before heading to sleep should only cost a couple of pence more.

And if you struggle with cold temperatures during the nighttime, as mentioned, an electric blanket is far cheaper than the alternatives to keeping warm when in bed. And while one of the best-weighted blankets can provide benefits, it can't offer any element of heat.

Do electric blankets save money?

If you tend to get quite chilly during the night or during the evenings whilst relaxing on the sofa, an electric blanket can come in very handy – and yes, it seems that using one really can save you money, especially when compared to the costs of using your central heating instead.

An electric blanket costs very little to run, even if left on for hours. Given that they offer direct heating rather than general heating of your home, they can prove to be a much more sensible option financially for getting warm than having your heating on or using a standalone electric heater.

"Even on the lower settings, in conjunction with lowering your thermostat, using a heated blanket in the winter months could save you money," Marie agrees. 

"Your home heating accounts for around 62% of your annual energy bill (as per the Home Energy Saving Guide), so any way you can reduce that percentage will definitely help."

James agrees, concluding for anyone that is unsure, "Overall, electric blankets are very economical and highly cost-effective to run."

Some of the best electric blankets we tested

(Image credit: Siobhan Grogan)

If you don't already own an electric blanket, it’s also important to consider the initial purchase cost if you’re weighing up the financial implications of using one. Though this will obviously require one larger upfront expense, James urges that electric blankets can be fairly affordable to buy – and you shouldn’t have to re-purchase one anytime soon.

"Electric blankets can vary in price, with some starting from £30 - £150 depending on brand and size – but many of them can last up to a staggering 10 years." Plus, there are usually plenty of Black Friday electric blanket deals around at this time too, if you're looking to make it an even more affordable buy.

Amy Hunt

Amy Hunt is an experienced digital journalist specialising in homes, interiors and hobbies. She began her career working as the features assistant at woman&home magazine, before moving over to the digital side of the brand where she eventually became the Lifestyle Editor up until January 2022. Amy won the Digital Journalist of the Year award at the AOP Awards in 2019 for her work on