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 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. And given the state of our world, we need to start preparing for a 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 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.
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, 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 are 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!
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.
- 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: 10-26-21
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