British consumer protection organisation Which? has found unsafe electric blankets for sale by third-party sellers on online marketplaces including AliExpress, Amazon, eBay and Wish.
Electric blankets are an energy-saving way to stay warm. But in a bid to save even more money, people may be tempted to take a punt on extremely cheap electric blankets and throws. But a new warning says not only are these low quality – they may be unsafe.
“Electric blankets have surged in popularity as people look to save money during the cost of living crisis, but our latest research shows that buying these products cheaply on online marketplaces can put your safety at risk,” said Sue Davies, Head of Consumer Protection Policy at Which?
In November and December 2022, Which? tested 11 cheap electric blankets, heated throws and shawls priced between £13 and £21 and found eight of them to be poorly made, and some potentially dangerous. Only two of the budget-priced products passed all of the Which? tests.
Three of the blankets posed an electric shock risk, one had wires that could easily be pulled out and others were shoddily made, without safety marks, clear instructions in English or safety warnings.
In addition, two of the products weren’t likely to keep you warm at all, with only 5% of their surface area actually heated.
Although the poor-quality blankets identified by Which? have been removed from sale (which means we can’t link to them) if you bought one of the following products from AliExpress, you should stop using them immediately and request a refund from the seller:
- Electric blanket thicker heater body warmer (£13)
- Electric blanket 220v body warmer (£21)
- 22V [sic] Heated electric sheet (£18)
With no brands and very generic names, it may be hard to know for sure if you have an affected model, but if you have purchased something similar recently, do check it over and be careful.
If you’re considering buying an electric blanket we’d recommend reading our electric blanket buying guide, which has links to safe – but still budget-friendly – products we’ve tested and reviewed.
In the meantime, here are some quick tips for buying safely:
- Choose a reputable seller (don’t just consider the website itself)
- Check product reviews before you buy (and watch out for fake reviews)
- Avoid generic, unbranded products
- Don’t try to save more by buying something that’s suspiciously cheap
- Look for a CE or UKCA mark. The product should also have safety information and washing instructions
- If you’re buying in the UK, make sure that the product has a standard three-pin plug, not an adapter
- Check for loose wires and fraying before use
For some safe buying options, have a look at our reviews of the Glamhaus heated throw, the Cosi Home electric blanket and the Silentnight Comfort Control electric blanket.