bed with heated mattress pad and dual controls

This is the Easiest 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 mostly warm all year round.

Relocating to Colorado where the seasons are more pronounced, I had a lot to learn about heating a house without going broke. 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.

cold house high energy bills

Lower the temp

We saw a semi-dramatic reduction in the heating bill when we decided to lower the thermostat to 60 F. at night, then using this micathermic space heater in our bedroom. That worked relatively well, but that 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 was 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 solution

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 that it produces 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.

 

A bedroom with a large bed in a room

 

I place the heated mattress pad on top of our regular mattress pad and then the fitted sheet on top of it. The controls attach at the top (the head-end), making them handy but out of the way.

Dual controls

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.

Warm sheets

A good quality heated mattress pad warms the sheets, and that’s what makes 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 is easy).

Our heated mattress pad has made all the difference in great winter sleep but also significantly reducing the cost to heat 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 the winter months. On top of seeing a big reduction in those bills, you’re going to enjoy the kind of warm and cozy sleep you may have only dreamed of!

Best options

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.

I would encourage you to consider heated mattress pads with:

  • Safe & Warm Technology if at all possible
  • 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)
  • machine-washable
  • comes with a decent warranty

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

We participate in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon affiliated sites, with no cost or fees for you.

Important Info

  • 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.

First published: 11-24-17; Updated with current pricing and availability: 11-18-20


 

 

More from Mary's Everyday Cheapskate

cropped shot of young couple shopping online with credit card and laptop at christmas
bed with heated mattress pad and dual controls
You Have Been Hacked Sign illustration design over white
keychain with tools
Print Friendly, PDF & Email
10 replies
  1. Alysa says:

    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.

    Reply
  2. Judi Merrow says:

    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.

    Reply
  3. Ann says:

    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.

    Reply
  4. MARIE TAPSCOTT says:

    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.

    Reply
  5. Gina Stevens says:

    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.

    Reply
  6. Barbara G. Conley says:

    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……

    Reply
  7. Brenda says:

    Our dual control heated mattress pad we purchased per your recommendation a year or so ago has been a game changer!!! We love it!

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *