Until a couple of years ago, I didn’t know something called a heated mattress pad even existed. Makes sense 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. It was shocking.

Scocked women look at a bill

We saw a semi-dramatic reduction in the heating bill when we decided to lower the thermostat to 60 F. at night and use a Bionaire micathermic space heater in our bedroom, but that wasn’t altogether successful. My husband and I have different internal thermostats. He would be cold while I’d be turning the space heater down a notch or two.

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. We got this Biddeford model with dual controls. 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. Another problem is the dual controls require separate outlets. 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 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 were thinking the same things. Well, we can both relax. Let me tell you what I have discovered.

There are several brands of heated mattress pads that use the Safe and Warm patented non-hazardous low voltage technology; brands like Serta and Soft Heat. Safe and Warm has been proven to be safer than others on the market. Plus this technology saves energy because it is low voltage and produces awesome sleep in a cooler room.

For our test, I ordered the Serta Luxurious Plush Top Low-Voltage Electric Heated California King Mattress pad. What a great piece of technology. The best way I can describe it 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 it 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. All sizes, except for the twin size, come with dual controls, which attach at the top, making the controls handy but out of the way.

This mattress pad heater 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, which is easy).

Our heated mattress pad has made all the difference in great winter sleep but also in significantly reducing the cost to heat the house during the winter months. 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. And it more than paid for itself in the first month we used it.

Here are my picks for best inexpensive heated mattresses pad with Safe and Warm technology:

Serta Luxurious Plush Top Low-Voltage Electric Heated Mattress pad, California King.

Soft Heat Micro-Plus Electric Heated Mattress Pad Twin, Queen, King,

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