We Tried The Cheapest Heated Blanket At Bed Bath & Beyond. Here's How It Went

Now that the weather is cooling down, depending on where you live, it can get pretty frosty. For those that need a little extra warmth on a winter morning or evening, then, a heated cozy blanket is a great solution. Not only is it soft and snuggly, but there is a warming element, whether internal or external, that provides that extra boost of yummy heat. We love such blankets for movie night, cold mornings with a cup of tea or coffee, sleepovers, or even when you want to get outside for a bit of fresh air. 

According to Sleep Advisor, the main issue with heated blankets is safety, running the risks of fire or burns. Fortunately, newer models don't have that problem as technology has helped to make a product that is safe the top priority. So, we went to our local Bed Bath & Beyond to find out if the cheapest queen-size option could really do the job, or if it just wasn't worth the price tag. There were a lot to choose from, but the queen-size Brookstone Heated Fleece Blanket caught our eye for its $89.99 price tag (at time of purchase) and neutral colors. We ordered it and got ready to put it to the test. 

Blanket overview

According to Bed Bath & Beyond, this queen-size micro-fleece blanket is super soft, machine washable, and dryer-safe. It includes either one or two plug-in controllers (depending on size) with four settings and an auto shut-off. At $89.99 with 145 reviews and a 3.5 star-rating, this blanket seemed to have a lot going for it in our opinion, and consumers seem to like it as well. The product comes in two colors — light grey and cream — which are great for a home with a neutral color palette like ours. 

Reviews raved about how lightweight the blanket felt, as well as how it warmed up quickly. We liked how it has an auto-off timer so it's not on all night (or if you happen to fall asleep on the couch). With an instructional manual included, two controllers (the queen and king includes two controllers, twin and full only have one), an outlet near by, and a fluffed up pillow, we were ready to put the blanket to the test. 

How we tested the blanket

While we know heated blankets are energy-efficient, as they can keep you warm without have to mess with the heater, there are a lot of other benefits as well. According to Land of Sleep, they are also good promoters for a good night's sleep, and can relieve body aches similar to a heating pad. With the benefits outweighing the risks of heated blankets in general, we thought it was a good investment and worth testing. Bottom line: We were hoping the blanket would heat up quickly, as mentioned in the reviews, as well as be a good replacement for our already loved throws. 

We wanted to test the blanket how we would use it most — on the couch with a cup of tea — to see if it was worth the purchase. Since it's close to the holidays and cold weather is upon us, the timing was perfect. We plugged in both controllers, draped the blanket on us on the couch, and turned it on.

Did it exceed expectations?

The blanket was soft and cozy, and it was tough not to fall asleep while under it. As Warmee notes, good sleep is one of the health benefits of a heated blanket, so we were happy that it delivered. We loved how the micro-fleece felt, and how you couldn't really notice the wires embedded inside that generate the heat. We also liked the size of the blanket; we opted for a queen-size option, and while we're sure a twin or full might also been good enough, we loved how we could just wrap ourselves in a yummy cocoon of warmth. 

The best thing about the product, in our opinion, is how fast it heated up. It's cozy to begin with, but once the heating element started going it didn't take long for us to feel it. Although the settings go up to 10, in our opinion, having it set at just 5 was more than enough to do the job. And while we weren't able to see if it was truly washable, we liked that the option is there in case of unpredictable spills or messes.  

How it could be improved

While the two controllers were very nice to have, we felt like they made things a bit bulky to set up and enjoy. Both have two wires to connect to the blanket and the outlet, so in total there were four things we needed to plug in. The cords were long, which was convenient, but when disconnected they left a big pile that wasn't easy to put away neatly. All of that felt cumbersome, and we didn't like that we had to essentially set things up instead of just throw on a blanket after a long day. An internal controller or a way to make it cordless would be so much easier. 

Additionally, according to UL Solutions, there are certain safety rules that need to be followed with the cords of heated blankets; this mainly includes not folding the blanket as the cords can become tangled and could spark. That's another reason why a wireless option would be able to provide solutions — and some peace of mind. 

Another quality that could be improved is the micro-fleece material. While it is soft and cozy, it did feel a bit cheap and we could imagine that it will get old and dingy after washing and multiple uses — not to mention if you have a pet, the wear and tear would likely be an issue. A Sherpa material or even a dual-sided blanket would be nicer. 

Final verdict

Bottom line: We love the idea of a heated blanket for those cold nights, but probably wouldn't recommend this exact one. While this particular model heats up fast and was able to provide almost instant warmth, the bulky cords and multiple outlets needed definitely discouraged us from recommending it to others. As we mentioned, some kind of internal technology or cordless option would make this product much more appealing. 

That being said, while we wouldn't recommend it as a replacement for our throw blankets, we do like it as a bed warmer on cold nights. According to The Sleep Judge, a great way to heat up your bed before climbing into it for the night is to lay a heated blanket between the sheets and comforter for a bit. Once it is nice and warm, turn off the blanket and put it away (correctly, that is). It's an effective way to use a heated blanket, reduce any safety issues, and promote good rest for those super cold nights.