When winter nears, you might struggle with how to stay warm without raising your heating bill in your apartment. Among the low-cost solutions you might consider are blankets – after all, there’s nothing better than cuddling up comfortably in full warmth. But which type of blanket is best for you: weighted blankets, comforters, or electric blankets? Use the below tips to decide.
Recently, weighted blankets have risen in popularity but they’ve been around for some time. Weighted blankets are similar to comforters, but they have compartments filled with fiberfill, glass beads, or plastic pellets. They’re great blankets to use for relaxation because they provide deep pressure touch (DPT). DPT, also known as deep pressure stimulation, is the application of pressure to your body to put you in a state of relaxation. Usually, the price of weighted blankets depends on their size, but no matter their size, they will likely keep you so warm you won’t have to raise your thermostat.
Many people swear by weighted blankets for the warmth and relaxation benefits, but no two weighted blankets are exactly the same. Many popular weighted blankets have machine-washable exterior covers for easier cleaning, though certain common blanket materials such as velvet may fare better outside your washer-dryer. No matter your material, prioritize blanket weights that are proportional to your bodyweight ranges, as blankets that are too heavy can be dangerous. That said, if you have anxiety, insomnia, or any trouble sleeping, the DPT of weighted blankets might be perfect for you even beyond the winter.
Comforters are thick blankets filled with down feathers (from geese or ducks) or a synthetic substitute, commonly known as a down alternative. Generally, down comforters provide better insulation than down alternative comforters. However, alternative down comforters are usually more affordable, easier to clean, and better if you have allergies to down feathers (or if you just prefer to not have real feathers in your blanket). Usually, a comforter’s outer fabric is made out of cotton, a cotton blend, or synthetics. Many people recommend adding a duvet cover on top of a comforter to maintain its quality.
To determine how warm a comforter is, look for information about its fill power. This number describes how many down feathers or alternative down are in the comforter. The higher the fill power, the warmer the comforter will be. And while you might think that a high fill power means a heavier comforter, that’s not always the case – down feathers trap air inside the comforter, and with more air comes less weight. If you want to be very warm, choose a fill power of 600 or more.
If you want a high-quality comforter that will last for many winters, choose a high-fill comforter with a thread count between 300 and 500. A comforter with a thread count of at least 300 will ensure the interior material is spread out evenly to provide thorough warmth.
If you want to directly heat your bed, try an electric blanket. While cozying up under an electric blanket may seem like it would require careful thought and caution, many electric blankets automatically shut off after a few hours to prevent overheating and minimize fire hazards. However, when you’re not actively using your blanket, you should turn it off anyway.
Some electric blankets have several heating settings, which you can often change with digital controllers backlit for easy adjustments in the middle of the night. Thinner blankets can be just as warm, but you may feel the wires more compared to a thicker blanket. No matter their size, electric blanket covers are typically machine washable, but never put the electric wiring in your washer or dryer.
While some electric blanket materials are lightweight, others are heavier. You can find some electric blankets made from soft, light materials like fleece and micro plush or thicker materials such as polyester. Whether you get a thick or thin electric blanket, you’ll likely be more comfortable in bed even when it’s freezing cold.
What’s your favorite kind of blanket to use in the winter? Sound off in the comments!