The best heated mattress pad
If you can never get warm enough on a cold night no matter how many blankets you pile on your bed, it may be time to invest in a heated mattress pad. Like a regular mattress pad, it's large enough to cover your entire mattress, but a heated pad has wire heating elements woven across its surface. When you plug in the pad, it warms up, which not only helps ward off the winter chill but effectively soothe aches and pains in your body, too.
With our helpful shopping guide, you'll have a much easier time finding the best mattress pad for your bed. We've included a few specific product recommendations, too, such as our top pick from Electrowarmth, which offers 10 heat settings and even features a quick heat-up option for when you need warmth in a hurry.
Considerations when choosing heated mattress pads
To make sure that your heated mattress pad warms your entire bed, you have to get the size right. You can usually find heated pads in standard mattress sizes, such as twin, full, queen, and king, but some brands even offer specialized options, such as twin XL or California king.
Choosing the right size is easy -- just match the mattress pad to the size of your mattress.
A heated mattress pad is the most user-friendly when it allows you to choose the amount of heat it generates. Some pads only heat to a single temperature, so if it's not warm enough for you -- or it's too hot for your liking -- you're not able to adjust it. Other heated mattress pads offer anywhere from two to 11 heat settings, so you're able to customize the amount of heat based on how cold it is or how painful your muscle or joint injury is.
Most heated mattress pads feature an outer synthetic shell that's made of polyester. These are fairly breathable but aren't particularly absorbent. You can find some options that are made with a natural material such as cotton, which offers excellent breathability and absorbs moisture to keep you feeling drier. Some pads even have covers that are made with a blend of natural and synthetic materials to provide the best of both worlds.
Heated mattress pads that are queen-size or larger often feature dual controls to accommodate two people sharing a bed. That allows each person to control the heat setting for their side of the bed to ensure that both sleepers are comfortable. If you tend to get cold at night while your partner is usually a little warmer, a heated mattress pad with dual controls can prevent any arguments.
In addition to offering heat settings, some mattress pads have a cooling mode that can help keep you cool in warmer weather. A pad that provides both heating and cooling action can be used year-round, so you're always comfortable in bed, no matter the season.
For safety reasons, you should opt for a heated mattress pad with an automatic-shutoff feature. The pad's heating element will turn itself off after a certain period, such as 10 hours, to prevent it from becoming a fire hazard.
Some heated mattress pads have a timer function, which allows you to choose a specific time for the heating elements to turn on and off. This can be a handy feature because you can set the pad to turn on 5 or 10 minutes before you head to bed, so you'll know that your mattress is preheated before you get beneath the sheets.
Heated mattress pads usually cost between $50 and $130. A twin-sized pad usually goes for $50 to $80, a full-sized pad for $55 to $90, a queen-sized pad for $70 to $100, and a king-sized pad for $80 to $130.
Q. Is a heated mattress pad safe to use?
A. Modern heated mattress pads are designed with safety in mind, so if used properly, they're safe. Don't use a pad if any of its wires are frayed, never leave it on unattended, and keep children from playing with it.
Q. Can I clean a heated mattress pad in the washer?
A. Many heated mattress pads are machine-washable when you remove the controller and wires before cleaning. Check the manufacturer's care instructions before tossing your pad into the washer or dryer, though.
Heated mattress pads we recommend
Best of the best: Electrowarmth's Heated Mattress Pad
Our take: One of the pricier heated mattress pads, but it delivers high-quality materials, useful features, and comfort.
What we like: Offers 10 different heat settings and an auto-shutoff option. Boasts a rapid heat-up feature for when you've forgotten to turn the pad on before bed. Safe for machine washing and drying. Available in all mattress sizes.
What we dislike: Controls only light up momentarily, so they're hard to see in the dark.
Best bang for your buck: Sunbeam's Quilted Heated Mattress Pad
Our take: A versatile heated mattress pad that offers a variety of helpful features, though users find it has one important design flaw.
What we like: Provides 10 heating options to offer significant temperature control. Offers dual-zone control, so you and your partner are both comfortable. Auto-shutoff feature allows for safe use.
What we dislike: Plug placement can be awkward for some owners, requiring a hole to be made in the bed skirt to access the cord.
Our take: A comfortable, safe mattress pad that offers excellent performance even though it doesn't warm the entire bed.
What we like: Features low-voltage technology, which improves the pad's safety. Safe for use with pets. Automatically shuts off after 10 hours. Large backlit display allows for easy reading in the dark.
What we dislike: Only heats up in the area where the sleeper is resting.
Jennifer Blair is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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