Table of Contents
- 1 Why you should buy a heated mattress pad
- 2 How to find the best heated mattress pad
- 3 Consider why you want a heated mattress pad
- 4 Safety precautions to consider
- 5 How to use a heated mattress pad
- 6 Sunbeam Water-Resistant Heated Mattress Pad
- 7 Sunbeam Therapeutic with Zoned Heat Mattress Pad
- 8 Serta Luxurious Sherpa Plush Heated Electric Mattress Pad
- 9 Perfect Fit SoftHeat Smart Heated Electric Mattress Pad
- 10 Biddeford Blankets Quilted Electric Heated Mattress Pad
- 11 Conclusion
The winter season is upon us and cold weather is on its way! As lovely as this time of year can be, let’s face it: nobody likes to be freezing! I always look for cozy products to keep myself warm in the winter. Many experts suggest turning the heat off in your home at night and we all know temperatures drop at night, so staying warm in bed is a key factor to a good night’s sleep. Recently I took the time to invest in trying out and reviewing some products to find the best heated mattress pad. It can be really overwhelming with everything on the market, so I decided to put my research to good use and to write down my thoughts for you. I hereby present my detailed thoughts on the best heated mattress pad for 2023! Let’s go!
Why you should buy a heated mattress pad
With the rise of minimalism and upgraded insulation and heating services in many homes, you may wonder why you would even consider buying a heated mattress pad with everything else considered. There are several reasons to buy not only a heated mattress pad, but the best heated mattress pad you can get! The first reason is likely obvious if you’re already reading this: they’re so cozy! The added warmth between the sheets on a cold night can help you feel more relaxed and sleep both better and longer at night. The next reason could be a very practical one: you want to save money on energy bills. Check out this article written by Star Energy Partners for more information on that (more links on this provided later too). Another reason to buy a heated mattress pad may be medicinal. Several studies show that heated mattress pads could help serve as a form of therapy for certain conditions such as arthritis, since the warmth on achy muscles and joints can help alleviate pain in some people. When you sleep on a heated mattress, you can also improve your blood circulation and thus in turn, aches and pains throughout your body by improving blood flow (see links later in the article). While this has not been tangibly proven in studies, it is generally accepted as a benefit by many health care professionals.
How to find the best heated mattress pad
Anytime I have just gone out and bought the first heated mattress pad I found or whatever one was the cheapest, I have been disappointed in the results and wastefulness of my hard-earned income. This is not a product you want to buy off the cuff. Over the years I have developed a few key points to focus on when shopping for a heated mattress pad, which I will share below.
Consider why you want a heated mattress pad
There are many reasons people find themselves on the search for the best heated mattress pad. Truly recognizing why you want one and what you expect to get from the product is key to selecting the correct one. For example, I enjoy a good heated mattress pad both for the comfort of warmth (I have poor blood circulation, low blood pressure, and low iron, which all lead me to get cold easily) as well as the relief of achy joints and muscles that often affect me most on cold mornings. When you have broader needs though, it can make the search for the best heated mattress pad more challenging. If, however, you only want to focus on staying toasty warm, you may have a much easier time narrowing your options to the right fit for you. The challenge attached to naming the “best heated mattress pad” is that everybody has a different need, hence the need to know why you want a heated mattress pad and what to look for. It is important to look for a heated mattress pad with a good and long warrant too as even the least expensive heated mattress pad will end up costing a fortune if you must replace it every single year. Generally, the higher quality pads have better warranties as the makers know they are less likely to replace their product as quickly. You also must consider the user-friendliness of the product: is it easy to set up, wash and use regularly? If not, it may not be the best choice for you. At the end of this article you will find my recommendations for several different categories but before we get to the reviews and awards, we will look at a few more key points.
Safety precautions to consider
Of course, if you did your research as previously mentioned, you will stumble across some vital information. It is worth taking the time to stress the fact though that with all the positive benefits of a heated mattress pad, some negatives pop up too. For instance, the danger related to using heated mattress pads while pregnant: studies have shown that the use of a heated mattress pad while pregnant could be linked to childhood Leukemia (source- https://journals.lww.com/epidem/Fulltext/2003/07000/Magnetic_Fields_and_Miscarriage.12.aspx).
In addition to the previously mentioned risk for pregnant women, studies show that using a heated mattress pad during pregnancy can result in a higher risk of miscarriage as pregnant women are generally discouraged from hot baths, saunas, hot tubs or other elevated temperatures (source- https://academic.oup.com/aje/article-abstract/138/10/775/144445). Sadly, that’s not all that parents need to worry about. If you do not select a water-resistant heated mattress pad, you may be putting your child at risk of electrocution. Check out this study done by the British Journal of Anaesthesia for more information: https://academic.oup.com/bja/article/93/4/586/304501 For these reasons I would recommend that women trying to conceive, pregnant ladies and mothers of little ones look into low-voltage, water-resistant and automatic shut-off options when considering a heated mattress pad.
A common concern with heated bedding is the risk of starting a fire. This is more of a concern for heated blankets than mattress pads, but not something you should put completely out of your mind while shopping for a heated mattress pad. One tip: check if your desired heated mattress pad lines up with UL 964 safety standards here. Most of the well-known brands only put out products that do comply but checking never hurts. Do not ever let the fact these mattress pads passed certain safety tests make you forget to follow the safety instructions for your specific product though (you can read about that in one of my product reviews for some first-hand scoop).
What are the main risks associated with a heated mattress pad?
With anything really, there is a certain level of risk attached. As previously mentioned, there are some safety risks to be considered and low associations of an increased risk of certain forms of cancer in certain groups of people. Here is a quick overview that you can focus on when doing your research (most of which are addressed in the links given above):
- Skin burns and lacerations (always use your heated mattress pad according to the instructions, turn it off when not in use and do not use it near cigarettes/fire, when heavily sedated or after heavy consumption of alcohol and/or drugs)
- Risks of cancer (low risk but not non-existent) have been reported in some studies, though the National Cancer Institute has stated that heated mattress pads and blankets pose no higher risk than power lines or electrical razors
- Using an older pad that does not feature automatic shut-off when it gets too hot or has been on too long
- Using a defective or second-hand pad with unknown history
- Using an old pad (10 years or more) as even the highest quality products will deteriorate over time with use and washes
- Rough handling of a pad that has resulted in dangerous and damaged wires, thus raising the risk of electrocution or burns
- Improper storage between uses (store in a cool, dry location without folding or crumpling it)
- Unsupervised use by children (who also overheat quicker than adults)
- Use with a defective waterbed that could lead to a leak and electrical shock
REMINDER: When following the instructions correctly and applying proper use of the heated mattress pad, there is little to no risk of any danger. If you have any health problems, you should consider consulting your doctor first.
How to use a heated mattress pad
First thing first: always follow the instructions given with your heated mattress pad! Heated mattress pads go through many tests before they hit the market and the shelves on the stores these days, but the instructions are not there for decoration. We all like to think we have a decent amount of common sense and for the most part, many of us really do! There are often situations though where our common sense fails us, and we do not realize something until we are either told or “learning our lesson” the hard way (e.g., setting a fire in our bed). It was not until I dived in to do some real research on heated mattress pads that I really got the message I should never fold the pad, but leave it hanging or rolled for storage (thankfully I was “told” rather than forced to learn the “hard way”). I’m sure I had read it in the instructions of one of my prior pads along the way but it had gone over my head as young people tend to not take risks as seriously.
If you buy an updated model of a product you are already familiar with or you go the better part of a year without using it, refresh your memory by reading the instructions again. A handy tip is to make a simple version of the instructions by highlighting the most important parts (because who has time to read thousands of words when they are overtired and just want to jump in a warm bed?) and keeping it either in your phone notes or on a handy paper in your bedside table or nightstand.
It should be noted that besides carefully reading and following the instructions on your specific product each use, that you should differentiate between the use of heated mattress pads and heated blankets. Though both items serve a similar purpose, they do not work in exactly the same way. You should also never use these two products together as it could potentially be a hazard. My personal preference is a heated mattress pad as the heat remains consistent and even throughout the night when compared to a heated blanket. Also, I feel the heat is contained better beneath me.
While you should always read your mattress pad’s instructions of use, most products are safe to use between the bed’s fitted sheet and the bed sheet, which makes it stay nice and snug between washes. If you want to “waterproof” your pad, you should invest in a waterproof pad as adding extra pads on top of your heated mattress pad can be very dangerous. It should also be noted that there are “under heated blankets” that also go under or between the sheets like a heated mattress pad, generally serving the same purpose as a heated mattress pad but are much thinner.
Below you will find the names, links, main features, warranty information, pros, cons, and reviews of 5 different heated mattress pads.
Sunbeam Water-Resistant Heated Mattress Pad
- 20 heat settings
- Zoned heating
- 5 years
While writing this, this product has 3535 reviews on Amazon and a rating of 4.5 stars, which is pretty impressive. I would have to say I agree with this rating. I got the twin size for just $50 because my husband does not like heating pads so I put it on my side of the bed only (we have two singles next to each other in a bigger bed frame since we do not use the master bedroom for our room). It’s a win-win for us: save money, and both feel comfortable at night! The great thing about this heated mattress pad though is that it has zoned heating, meaning you can heat one side to one temperature and the other side to another temperature if you purchase a larger size. Another personal pro for me is that the product is assembled 100% in the United States, so I feel like I’m supporting the American economy by purchasing this heated mattress pad. The softness of the pad is really nice. I have not felt anything hard or pointy while using it so far! The temperature stays consistently warm throughout the night, which is not surprising given it has a thermo sensor for that purpose. I also really enjoy the auto-off option that it has! I usually manually turn it off but it’s reassuring to know the option is there. There are 20 settings on the heated mattress pad, but I have never felt the need to go about 12 or 13. The number of settings is truly unique to this product. It is kind of noisy though, so you may find that bothersome. As for me, I like a bit of white noise at night and don’t mind it at all. I also don’t mind the shorter cords because we have power outlets directly next to both sides of the bed, but that could be a problem if your bed is not too close to a wall outlet.
Sunbeam Therapeutic with Zoned Heat Mattress Pad
- Advanced zone heating
- 3 years
This brand is known as a household name in the world of heated mattress pads, and for good reason. Just like the water-resistant heated mattress pad by Sunbeam, this heated mattress pad is very comfortable and will automatically turn off after 10 hours. It heats well just like the water-resistant heated mattress pad and has a very convenient remote control to change the settings (though there is only a singular remote rather than a double remote). The biggest drawback for me was the feeling that the heat is not always evenly distributed, though it is not by a large amount (barely noticeable in my opinion). Though it is not a problem for me personally, some may find it inconvenient that the cables are at the foot of the bed rather than the head. Keep in mind as well that it comes with only one remote. This is not a problem for a single user such as myself but I can imagine couples who want to set each side to a different temperature may find that inconvenient. While I do find it to be a good product, I prefer the water-resistant heated mattress pad by Sunbeam. This is a good option though if you are unable to get the water-resistant option for any reason.
Serta Luxurious Sherpa Plush Heated Electric Mattress Pad
- Dual heating controls
- Manufacturer’s warranty
I purchased this heated mattress pad for our California king-sized bed in the guest bedroom (which is actually the master bedroom but we use it for the guest room). I wanted to try a heated mattress pad by Serta as I heard many great things about the company and love their marketing. Sadly I was the least impressed by this one and mildly regret buying this heated mattress pad for our guest room. While I find the remote for this heated mattress pad to be the best of all the heated mattress pads I reviewed, I like this one least due to the fact you can somewhat feel the wires. This might be because I am rather sensitive to feeling the wires in heated mattress pads, but either way, I felt them. I tested it out one night before an older family member was due to visit. My opinion is that the wires do not bother me so much as I’m trying to fall asleep (it was really quite soft and cozy actually), but I woke up in the morning with mild soreness as a result. I also woke up in the middle of the night and felt it was unevenly heated and was already a bit sore. I am not overly bothered by uneven heat distribution, but I do expect higher-end products and brands to offer that in their best heated mattress pad. My experience was not ideal but I had no time to try to exchange it before my guest arrived. He claimed to love it though, so there is that. Also, I know some people like to change their heat settings several times and I feel that having a sleeker, more functional remote like this one is really ideal for that. I would definitely recommend this heated mattress pad if that is an important feature for you! Also, good to know is that the set-up is really simple, and it comes with two of the sleek controllers. Overall, I think it was a decent purchase, even if it was not my favorite. I may have to sleep on it a few times before solidifying my opinion.
Perfect Fit SoftHeat Smart Heated Electric Mattress Pad
- Patented Safe & Warm non-hazardous low voltage technology (safe in the presence of moisture/emits no EMFs)
- 10 heating options
- 5 years
I am going to start with the most obvious con. Though you should ALWAYS be unplugging your heated mattress pad when it is not in use, let’s be honest: sometimes we get lazy and forget or don’t do it. I have noticed with this heated mattress pad that I would smell something like burning if I leave it plugged in for more than a day. Since using it correctly though, I haven’t noticed it again. There is some slight discoloration on the plugs now though. Other than that, I have enjoyed this heating pad very much. It comes in both a micro-plush top and waterproof option. I have only tried the micro-plush option, so I cannot comment on the waterproof option or compare it to the Sunbeam water-resistant option. This pad warms up well and I feel confident with the low voltage technology (called ThermoFine) since I am safe sleeping with it turned on. I suspected this one would take a long time to warm up or never quite reach that “toasty” warm temperature due to the lower voltage, but that couldn’t be further from the truth! It heats up quickly and gets very warm, despite the low voltage. Another great perk: you can’t feel the wires at all, and it is very comfortable. The wires are ultra-thin and it definitely leaves you with desired effect. The heat is also even and consistent throughout the night. The pad fits nicely, which has not always been the case with heated mattress pads I’ve purchased in the past. A friend of mine had recommended this option to me before I tried it out and I’m glad I decided to try it. They did say it made some noise, which bothered them, but I honestly do not notice any noise when I use this one. Lastly, I like the cotton material of this pad.
Biddeford Blankets Quilted Electric Heated Mattress Pad
- 10 adjustable heat settings
- Machine washable and dryer safe
- Dual heat zone
- 5 years
This option is definitely a solid choice. I find that this heated mattress pad fits the bed quite nicely and the placement of the power cords is very convenient. What is convenient about this heated mattress pad is that you have two remotes that are completely separate (from queen size up) to adjust based on what either person’s preference is. You do not need to reach over your partner to change the heat setting for your side or if you’re my husband, turn it off altogether, thus waking me up. The pad also heats up quickly, remains hot throughout the night and distributes heat evenly. While I was satisfied with the level of heat this heated mattress pad offered, I do not find it quite as soft or comfortable as some of the others. Given the price is quite a bit lower than some others though, I do think it is worth it to save the money. Just like several other heated mattress pads reviewed here, this one has “auto turn off” after 10 hours, thus ensuring a safe night of sleep.
As always, choosing the best heated mattress pad for you is all about personal preferences and needs. My needs lead me to heated mattress pad number 1, the Sunbeam water-resistant option. I thoroughly enjoy it and feel the quality will last for years to come. I’m not worried about my toddler knocking over my nightstand glass of water on this pad or about any feminine issues that may cause some unexpected damage. In order to guide you further, I will give awards for the following areas:
- Comfort (softness and lack of noticeable wire presence)
- Warmth (how quick it warms up, how evenly heat is distributed, and number of settings/temperature control)
Most comfortable: Perfect Fit Soft Heat
Though most of the heated mattress pads I reviewed here were extremely comfortable, I feel this one has a slight comfort edge over the others.
Best heating options: Sunbeam water-resistant
Besides having the most heating settings (a whopping 20!) you also have zoned his and her heating settings. It also warms up quickly and evenly.
Best price: Biddeford Quilted
This is a solid choice that comes at a fair price. What more can you ask for?
Best overall: Sunbeam water-resistant
The Sunbeam water-resistant heated mattress pad wins my best heated mattress pad award! Overall, it ticks all of the boxes: evenly distributed heat, warms up quickly, easy to clean, and is comfortable, waterproof, safe, and decently priced. So far, it has held up very well for me and I have gravitated toward this one the most. Now I know the one obvious flaw is the sound it makes, so that may be a personal dealbreaker for you. For me though, I don’t mind it and I generally prefer some form of white noise at night. It is barely noticeable anyhow. The fluffiness is likely worth it even if the sound does bother you! I plan to give away my other heated mattress pads not in use and keep this one for myself; my self-proclaimed best heated mattress pad for 2023!