A heated blanket is a must-buy for anyone looking to spend less on heating this winter. This Glamhaus throw is cosy and effective, with a number of heat settings and a timer option.
If paying the heating bill is keeping you up at night, an electric blanket could be the answer. They can keep you warm for just 2.5-3p an hour, compared to 54p an hour for a plug-in heater.
There are two types of electric blanket. If you’d like to read a review of the bed-warming type that you attach to your mattress and lie on, check out our review of the Cosi Home electric blanket.
What I’m reviewing here is the second kind: a heated throw you can chuck over your lap when you’re working from home or use to cover you when you’re lying on the sofa.
They don’t get talked about enough but they are definitely worth considering.
Design and appearance
The Glamhaus heated throw is a doubled-sided blanket. One side is a fleecy flannel, the other is a velvety, soft-touch material. It comes in nine colour options, although the fleece side is always cream. It should be said that some of the brighter colours are pretty lurid. If you’re after something subtle, the grey is probably your best option.
It measures 1.6 by 1.3 metres, so it’s large enough to go over two people’s laps or cover one person lying down. If you wanted to use it on the bed, it would be ideal for a single.
It has a long cord, so you don’t need a plug point right next to you. It’s 150cm from plug to controller, and a further 50cm from controller to blanket. Including plug and controller, it’s about 2.2m long.
Bear in mind that if you use it while lying on the bed, the controller will hang down the side of the bed and may tap against it when you move around.
The controller is just the right size to fit in your hand and is very simple to use. There’s a red LED display and five buttons. The On/Off switch is in the middle: on either side are up and down buttons for the temperature and timer.
Emma Rowley / Foundry
Here’s how it works. You choose from one of nine heat settings. In practice, I have never had it set to more than 3 or 4, which was enough to keep me warm. That means there’s plenty of wriggle room for even colder evenings.
As well as choosing a temperature, you can set a countdown timer, from one to nine hours. This will give you peace of mind if you’d like to nap under the blanket and want it to switch off when you fall asleep.
The blanket itself is soft to the touch and feels pleasant. I don’t think it’ll be hugely hard-wearing, although having said that, the cat has taken a liking to it and it’s survived a lot of kneading with only a couple of pulls. It has a year-long warranty.
You can feel the web of heated wires under the surface, which I thought would bother me – but it didn’t. The instructions say to ensure that the wires inside don’t get folded up, but it’s easy to keep it flat. They don’t get tangled or snarled up in use.
To wash the blanket, you just unclip it from the power cord. You can machine wash the blanket on a delicates setting at 30°C and hang it up to dry. You can’t tumble dry it – but then, if you’re buying a heated blanket to save money on your electricity bill, you probably won’t be tempted to use a tumble dryer.
Emma Rowley / Foundry
In terms of safety features, it has overheating and surge protection.
This is the real reason to buy an electric blanket. This Glamhaus throw has a very low energy consumption, as it’s just an 85W device. This means it uses around 85 watts an hour.
To find out what this will cost you to run, you can use an online calculator and your last energy bill. Input your tariff (or use the standard tariff on the site) and fill in the wattage of the blanket and you’ll get a figure.
In my case, my electricity unit price is 35.797p, so the blanket costs me 3p an hour to run. Your cost will be very similar. By comparison, an average plug-in electric heater would cost me around 54p an hour. It’s a huge difference.
Price and availability
The Glamhaus throw is competitively priced compared to rivals, which can cost as much as £100. It’s also widely available – many electric blankets have been going out of stock. At the time of writing, you’ll get the best price if you buy direct from Glamhaus, but you can also purchase from Amazon, Robert Dyas and B&Q. It’s worth browsing a few sites to find the colour you want.
Of all the plug in devices and appliances in my home – and there are many – this is one of the most used. Since the temperature dropped, I’ve been using it most days, while working from home and relaxing in the evening. Even if I have it on for 10 hours a day – which wouldn’t be necessary, as once it heats up, you can switch it off for a while – it would only cost me 30p a day. At that running cost, it’s well worth it.