An Amazing Way to Slash High Heating Bills

Until several years ago, I didn’t know something existed called a heated mattress pad. It 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. Trust me—high heating bills can be shocking.

surprised woman gets letter with bad news

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 and use this 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.

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.

Awesome solution

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. 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.

Serta heated mattress pad on a queen bed


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.

Warmed sheets

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 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. And it more than paid for itself in the first month we used it.

Subsequently, we purchased and tested three other brands of heated mattress pads, which now reside in our guests rooms. They’re adequate, however, the Serta Luxurious Plush Top Low-Voltage Electric Heated Mattress pad which is now in its fourth year, has given us no problems whatsoever. It is far and away our favorite.

I highly recommend this heated mattress pad 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!

First published: 11-24-17; Republished with updated info: 11-04-19


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29 replies
  1. Ann
    Ann says:

    I read a lot of bad reviews at Amazon and the price is high.I’m thinking of finding a heating pad in my closet and warming my bed that way.

  2. deb in PA
    deb in PA says:

    I have been using heated mattress pads for about 25 years. My first one was a Sunbeam Restwarmer, with zoned warmth. I always have cold feet, so setting it on 1 or 2 about 20 minutes before bedtime has worked perfectly. I use it about 9 months out of the year. I LOVE it!

  3. Cally Ross
    Cally Ross says:

    we purchased a king-sized, dual control heated mattress pad, after we switched from a water bed (after 25 years!) to a regular mattress. I missed the warmth until we got the heated pad! now, i turn it on when i change clothes after work and it’s so nice to slip in to at bedtime!

  4. Janie Payne
    Janie Payne says:

    I tried to put it in my Amazon account but couldn’t get it to down size to a Queen. This link won’t do it, and can’t find a queen on their site.

    • Janie Payne
      Janie Payne says:

      Sorry I manually over rode the ‘California King’ in the Title to Queen, and got it. Thank you Mary for the great find!

  5. Birgit Nicolaisen
    Birgit Nicolaisen says:

    I have slept under a down comforter (duvet) since I was a kid. LOVE THEM! I have flannel covers on mine. Nice and toasty without the weight and no electricity needed.

  6. Miriam Kearney
    Miriam Kearney says:

    I have used a heated mattress pad for probably 15 years now. My bedroom is not heated by the furnace for the house (it’s an addition) so I have a space heater for really cold nights. However I like to have my head cool/cold when I sleep so I keep the space heater set to 14 degrees Celsius which is quite cool. I turn on the mattress pad about an hour before I go to bed and turn it off when I get in. I crawl into a nicely heated bed. My current pad has 3 zones – feet , middle and head. Usually I only turn on the feet unless it’s really cold so I turn on the middle as well. Mine has 5 settings; I rarely go above 1 and never above 2. I do find that if I turn it on just as I’m going to bed it seems to heat me rather than the bed. So that’s why I turn it on early. Wouldn’t be without it. The idea of crawling into a cold bed is very unappealing.

  7. Judy Carrino
    Judy Carrino says:

    I have a dual control heated mattress pad on my queen-sized bed. I love it in cold weather. I turn it on about 20 minutes before I go to bed and set the controls for 2 hrs. of heat. It turns off automatically, so I don’t have to worry about getting overheated. Best purchase I ever made!

  8. Sandra
    Sandra says:

    I used an electric mattress pad until I discovered wool blankets…BETTER! At least, I like a wool blanket so much better and it’s easier on the electric bill. Plus, I had blankets made from my flock of sheep…win win.

    • Mara Cain
      Mara Cain says:

      I use a fleece blanket on top of my regular mattress pad then another fleece blanket as a top sheet. Have an extra quilt ready if I need it. No electric necessary.

  9. Deb R.
    Deb R. says:

    I wonder if this would work on our double-twin King bed? I only want one for my husband’s side but I would have to “hide” it under the mattress pad. He sleeps with long pants, long-sleeve top, sweater, the blanket on the whole bed, another blanket on just his side and last week he added a throw from the living room on top of that! Me, I wear my summer nightgown and love slipping in between cool sheets.

  10. Bonnie
    Bonnie says:

    Wow. Spent over $120 on the Serta luxurious plush top low-voltage electric heated mattress pad for our Queen bed, and we just had our first chilly night in Southern California. Half of it won’t even turn on. Had it just long enough that I cannot return it now. I really should have read all of the terrible reviews about it on Amazon. Totally baffled that you would recommend such a piece of trash.

    • Mary Hunt
      Mary Hunt says:

      Can I help you return it to Amazon or directly to Serta? If it is broken there’s probably a way you can get your money back. I’d sure like to help if at all possible…

    • Mary Hunt
      Mary Hunt says:

      Bonnnie, I just checked and your Serta mattress heater has a 5-year limited warranty. So if it has malfunctioned this early, you have a remedy. Also I just read this in the manual.

      “This warming product has been designed to provide you a gentle relaxing heat. It will NOT feel warm to the touch of your hand, even on the highest (HI) setting. You must actually use it to experience the cozy warmth that it will generate. If the control lamp is lit, it is working. We suggest you start at the HI setting for the first use and then adjust down to your personal comfort level. To receive the most pleasure from your warming product, read your User Manual.”

    • Linda
      Linda says:

      Just put my brand new Beautyrest electric mattress pad on my king-size bed today. It was a replacement for the same product I purchased 2 years ago and used for 2 winters. By the end of last winter, my husband’s side stopped heating. I had forgotten all about that and when I tested it, of course his side didn’t work. My first reaction was to chuck it and perhaps buy a new one. We have used electric mattress pads for many years and it is lovely in the winter to slip into a pre-warmed bed. Instead, I called the company and found out it had a 5-year warranty and after they ran me through a few diagnostics to determine whether it was the mattress pad itself or one of the controllers, they sent me a complete new pad, which is what I put on today. I will say, as much as I like them, these electric mattress pads are fragile. The washing instructions are ridiculous. Of course, I can’t fit a king-size, bulky mattress pad in my washer so I need to take it to a laundromat. You can’t control those machines enough to follow the washing instructions, so you do your best and hope you don’t ruin it. Regardless, the moral of the story is check with the company and you may find yours is covered by a warranty too. Good luck!

      • Mary Hunt
        Mary Hunt says:

        I hate having to wash our mattress heater, so I put a regular mattress pad on top of the mattress heater. That way I launder the mattress pad every few months, but not the mattress heater, which as the bottom layer just doesn’t need it. It’s the same principle as putting a pillow protector on a pillow before putting it into a pillowcase. The protector keeps the pillow clean, stain-free … it takes the abuse

  11. Sara
    Sara says:

    Sounds so good, that I’d like to buy it for my bed, but I can’t seem to find it in a regular king size… Will a California king fit a regular king, or do you have a source for other sizes? LOVE your emails, and I think I’ve bought every. single. thing. you’ve recommended. 😉

  12. ThistleCoveFarm
    ThistleCoveFarm says:

    Heated mattress warmers are nice and so are wool mattress covers, which I prefer. I don’t like feeling wires beneath me as it makes for uncomfortable sleeping. At one point, my bedroom dipped to 46 degrees F…a trifle too chilly for me.

  13. Jeanie
    Jeanie says:

    I have used the Soft Heat brand for years. Very happy with it, we don’t feel any wires. We live in FL most of the year, and I like the room cold (hot flashes) and my husband uses the heating control for his side of the bed when it gets too cold for him. I don’t get any of heat on my side, so that works for us. No problem washing according to instructions. Also, it has a bit of padding, so we don’t need a separate mattress cover.

  14. tinydogpries
    tinydogpries says:

    I live in MI where it is definitely cold in the winter. Being on a fixed income I look for ways to cut my utility bill wherever I can. I tried a heated mattress pad, but found that I didn’t need heat all through the bed. I found a heated foot warmer. It lays across the foot of the bed and goes under the bottom sheet. It warms from my feet to about half-way up my calf and I found that if my feet were warm, I can sleep like a log.


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