Using a heated mattress pad and properly adjusting your energy consumption habits accordingly is a great way to save energy during the cold winter months.
Heated mattress pads and blankets have electrical wires incorporated into their design to pump electricity through the wires and thereby generate heat. They are commonly used in areas with cold winters to heat your bed while you sleep. Many people who use heated mattress pads or blankets lower their thermostats to save energy while they sleep in a warm bed.
This is a simple and effective method for saving energy, as you will be saving money by only heating your bed instead of heating your entire home. You don’t really need to heat your living room or your kitchen if you are not using them, so it makes sense to avoid wasting energy to heat these area when they’re not in use.
However, it is important to consider the assumptions that go into determining that a heated mattress pad will save you money. For example, it is assumed that when your heated mattress pad is in use, you will lower your thermostat noticeably, generally something to the order of eight degrees, to actually save energy. Additionally it is assumed that you will operate the pad for eight hours a day and for sixth months out of the year, every night. Obviously, this can vary greatly based on your lifestyle and the environment in which you live, so consider these variables carefully when determining just how much energy you could save by using a heated mattress pad.
Lastly, it is easy to confuse a heated blanket with a heated mattress pad. However, these two different devices have different advantages and strengths, even though they serve a very similar purpose. For instance, heated mattress pads are more efficient at heating your bed because of their design: because a mattress pad is attached to your mattress and located beneath you while you are sleeping, heat will be trapped by your blankets and you will receive the full benefit of the heat generated. A heated blanket, however, is placed on top of your body and will allow heat to escape above the blanket.
Additionally, heated mattress pads are safer and much more durable than heated blankets. The potential threat for heated blankets is that they can cause fires when they become bunched up during the night. When this happens, the heat generated has nowhere to escape and creates the possibility that your blanket and other bedding can ignite. However, this is not possible with a mattress. In fairness, a heated blanket is much easier to install and to transport than a heated mattress pad because you only need to plug it in and throw it over your bed instead of fitting it to your mattress.
Wondering whether one of these devices will work for you? Check out this useful article by Good Housekeeping, where they performed a review of several different varieties of heated blankets and heated mattress pads.