A Very Effective Way to Cut Winter Heating Bills
Until several years ago, I didn’t know something existed, a heated mattress pad. It makes sense, I suppose, since I’d lived in Southern California for most of my life, where it is generally warm all year round. Relocating to Colorado where the seasons are more pronounced, I had much to learn about heating a house without breaking the bank. That first winter our heating bills shot to the moon because we were heating the entire house to a comfortable temperature day and night.
Trust me—high heating bills can be shocking. And given the state of our world, we need to start preparing for very expensive winter heating by doing all we can to stay nice and warm in cost-effective ways!
Lower the temp
We saw a semi-dramatic reduction in the heating bill when we decided to lower the thermostat very low at night, then use a space heater in our bedroom. That worked relatively well, but wasn’t altogether successful. Let’s just say that my husband and I have different internal thermostats. He would be cold while I’d be turning the space heater down a notch or ten.
Trapped under a layer of heat
That’s when I set out to find a way we could both enjoy a warm and cozy sleeping environment without paying a fortune to achieve it. We tried going the electric blanket route. That sounded like a great idea until we used it for a few nights. While the cords and wires are advertised to be flexible, we could still feel them and they felt stiff and bulky. But worse—even at the lowest setting, it felt to me that I was trapped under a layer of heat and it didn’t feel good.
A better way
A friend suggested that a heated mattress pad might be the solution, an idea that sent me into research mode. I was skeptical. My first concern was how to keep something like that clean? And what if there’s an electrical short and it were to catch on fire? I’ll bet you’re thinking the same things. Well, we can both relax. Let me tell you what we discovered.
Quality heated mattress pads use patented Safe & Warm non-hazardous low voltage technology. This technology saves energy because it is low voltage and produces awesome sleep in a cooler room.
For our test, I ordered heated mattress pads by Serta, Sealy, and Sunbeam that use Safe & Warm technology. (What a great piece of technology.) The best way I can describe a quality heated mattress pad is to produce very subtle warmth. The difference between the warmth coming from underneath and heat on top is huge. It’s absolutely remarkable. Fantastic!
As for how one of these mattress pads looks and works, think of a very nice fitted sheet. It has deep pockets to accommodate mattresses of all thicknesses, with elastic all the way around.
I place the heated mattress pad on top of our regular mattress pad and then the fitted sheet on top of it (optionally, you could place it under your existing mattress pad, no problem). The controls attach at the top (the head-end), making them handy but out of the way.
Quality heated mattress pads come with dual controls on the Queen, King, and Calif King sizes. This one feature solves the problem my husband and I have with different internal thermostats.
A good quality heated mattress pad warms the sheets, making it feel so cozy to crawl into bed when it’s cold outside. The wires are so thin, we cannot feel them at all. And the most amazing thing—it goes right in the washer and dryer (following the printed instructions on the mattress pad, which are easy).
Our heated mattress pad has made all the difference in great winter sleep and also significantly reduced the cost of heating the house. We set our programmable house thermostat to 55 F for the night, then to 68 F in the early morning hours so we wake to a warm house. Our heated mattress pad paid for itself in the first month we used it.
I highly recommend heated mattress pads for my readers who experience high heating bills during winter. On top of seeing a big reduction in those bills, you’ll enjoy the kind of warm and cozy sleep you may have only dreamed of!
Based on my testing, laundering, and enjoyment over the past four years—and tracking availability which can be limited at times—we have determined that the best-heated mattress pads have the Safe & Warm technology. Several brands offer this on some of their products, including SoftHeat, Serta, Sealy, and Sunbeam. Please note that at this writing, these electric mattress heaters are becoming “no longer available” at quite a clip.
I would encourage you to consider heated mattress pads with:
- controls that attach at the head-end
- full-mattress coverage like a fitted sheet (rather than a flat construction that only lies on top of the mattress)
- comes with a decent warranty
- KEEP your warranty. I have had one heated mattress pad replaced under warranty, no questions asked.
Consider these available products
I am posting below the current availability of heated mattress pads at Amazon. These are not ads! I have personally gathered and added this information for you, and it will be updated regularly as details change and as availability seems to be limited, and changing by the day. You may be able to find these products locally. However, my sense is that Amazon is the most reliable resource at this time.
Twin Biddeford Heated Mattress Pad
Smart heated waterproof mattress pad with Safe & Warm low voltage technology. Single control, certified non-hazardous. 5 year warranty. This brand does not feature Safe & Warm technology but offers a reasonable substitute during this time of product shortages.
Twin XL Beautyrest Heated Mattress Pad
Smart heated waterproof mattress pad with low voltage technology. Single control, certified non-hazardous. 5 year warranty. This brand does not feature Safe & Warm technology but offers a reasonable substitute during this time of product shortages.
Full Degrees of Comfort Heated Mattress Pad
This brand does not feature Safe & Warm technology but offers a reasonable substitute during this time of product shortages.
Queen Biddeford Heated Mattress Pad
Smart heated waterproof mattress pad with Safe & Warm low voltage technology. Dual controls, certified non-hazardous. 5 year warranty.
King Degrees of Comfort Heated Mattress Pad
This brand does not feature Safe & Warm low voltage technology. However, this is a reasonable substitute and comes with 5-year warranty.
Calif King Beautyrest Heated Mattress Pad
Smart heated waterproof mattress pad with low voltage technology. Dual controls and certified non-hazardous. 5-year warranty.This brand does not feature Safe & Warm low voltage technology, however, this is a reasonable substitute and comes with 5-year warranty.
- Some Serta heated mattress pads are offered in both the “Solid” option, which has dual controls for Queen, King, and Calif King—and a “Dobby Stripe” option, which is of lower quality and has only a single control for all sizes.
- Be diligent to keep the instructions and warranty information that comes with the mattress pad. Read them. Follow the instructions.
- Mattress pads have an auto shut-off feature. Don’t mistake it turning itself off for a defective product. It’s easy to turn it on a few hours before bedtime than flip it off and back on to ensure it will stay on until morning. Or what I do: I turn it on before bedtime, then turn it off when I get in. Ahhhh … ! I’m sound asleep before I can even count to 10. Warm and cozy all night long.
Updated with current pricing and availability: 10-12-22
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i have used heated mattress pads for many years. i got them for all the beds in the house. which means we have had, single, double and queen size(queen has duel controls) because small children were also in the houshold i put a good waterproof fitted pad over top of the heated one. saved a lot of laundry over the years.
I have had a heated mattress pad for years but with how much warmer our seasons have been in Florida we have lost most of our heating season, and exchanged it for more cooling. Yah!, lucky us. Anyhow there is a mattress pad that is designed for this too. The Chillipad or the Chilli Ooler. They will operate both for cooling or heating. I bought it for my spouse and he is so happy that I did. I am fine with the normal temperature the house is at. Now we can leave the thermostat at that warmer temperature than what he likes the house to be and he is sleeping comfortably and doesn’t complain that he is sweating.
Another brand to consider is the Hyde Lane heated mattress
This is all cotton and this is the only model I found that you can turn on and off with a smart plug or programmed outlet. It is slightly more expensive.
I also swear by mine. When it starts getting cold outside, I just turn the button a half hour before bed & it is nice & toasty when I climb in.
I’ve used a heated mattress pad for years and one thing I think should be mentioned is mine, at least, turns off after 10 hours. I am guessing they all have that automatic feature.
I have used a mattress pad warmer for years. When the temperatures get low I put it on my bed, turn it on a few hours before bed, then turn it off once I get in bed and am warm. It makes for a great night’s sleep.
Mary, I found fleece sheets to be the best for keeping warm in the winter. I’m not talking sweat-inducing flannel sheets. Fleece sheets wicks away sweat and makes you grateful for those LONG winter nights. Another great way to keep the thermostat down is silky Cuddl Duds to wear under clothing. I was skeptical that something silky would be warm, plus they are pricey. The silkiness allows clothes to glide comfortably over the long johns and they’re heavenly during the winter.
Our Temp-Pedic mattress specifically says NOT to use any kind of heated mattress pad on their products. Since we had been using one on another type of foam mattress in our RV (we lived in it full time) for several years, we inquired for more information. Any heat next to the mattress between your body and the mattress prevents the warming softening of the mattress which is what makes their mattresses so wonderful! We were not happy to give up the mattress pad because we found them very satisfactory. Thanks for all your work you do……
don’t understand what you’re saying
The type of mattress she is referring too is memory foam. Memory foam needs your body heat to conform to your body to make it comfortable. If you use a heated mattress pad it will not conform to your body as the whole mattress is warm and not just the area of your body. Does that make sense, Ann?
I’ve used the Perfect Fit brand for years. Especially nice on the RV.
Our dual control heated mattress pad we purchased per your recommendation a year or so ago has been a game changer!!! We love it!