For those of you that have frigid unforgiving winters, and even for those of us that live in more moderate climates such as myself, Here’s a quick and relatively inexpensive way to save on your heating bill. Even though it’s late in the season, it’s not too late to save a few dollars between now and Spring and to be ready for next fall when the cold starts all over again. It’s a pretty simple tip, get an electric mattress warmer.
Whats an Electric Mattress Warmer?
The electric mattress warmer is NOT the traditional electric blanket that may immediately come to mind. It is typically in the form of a fitted sheet and goes directly over the mattress and underneath the sheets. They are low voltage devices and most of them cut off automatically so are relatively safe to use. The typical mattress warmer consumes anywhere from 60 to 90 watts when set on high and in the neighborhood of 20 watts when set at a more comfortable level of 2 or 3 on the dial. I usually set my side of the bed to “low” or “1”, anything higher than that and it gets too warm for me.
One distinct advantage the mattress warmer offers over the electric blanket is that the heat it produces is trapped between the mattress and the blanket. The electric blanket loses most of its heat since it radiates up and into the room. That insulating effect is a major factor in why mattress warmers are so much more efficient than a standard electric blanket. If you think that they potentially use too much electricity then refer to the chart below, they are effectively the lowest power consuming appliance in the entire list. Although the list shows an electric blanket, mattress warmers use slightly less electricity than an electric blanket so they are definitely very low consumers of power.
Why We Love Our Mattress Warmer
My wife and I first started using a mattress warmer over two years ago and are on our third winter using the same one we originally bought. We both swear that we will never be without one (unless of course we end up in a tropical paradise sipping drinks on the beach). The feeling of sliding into a bed where you’re sandwiched between a toasty warm mattress and sheets is indescribable. This is especially true if your house, like ours, stays a bit on the cold side. One additional benefit I’ve found is that being enveloped in a warm cocoon typically knocks me out and lets me enjoy a nice deep restorative sleep.
How a Mattress Warmer Can Save You Money
The cost savings kick in when we reset out thermostat to go down to 60 degrees at night. We originally had it set to go down to 65 degrees. By adding the blanket warmer we could knock it down another five degrees at night and still be comfortably warm in our bed. This works best if you have a smart thermostat that sets the temperature down for you automatically. The really nice thing about a smart thermostat is that you can program it to raise the temperature before you get up in the morning so your feet don’t stick to the tile floor in the bathroom :).
Of course if you have other occupants in your home you have to take them into consideration as well. They may very well need a blanket warmer or at least an electric blanket for their bed. If you have a number of other folks in your home it may become cost prohibitive. Electric mattress warmers start at around $75 and go up to several hundred from there. We spent about $100 for our king size bed and that included dual controls. If you have to buy several of them then the overall cost may be high enough that the offset on your heating bill may not be enough to make it worthwhile. This is especially true if you add on the cost of a smart, programmable thermostat.
One quick word of caution, check with the manufacturer if you have a memory foam mattress or one that has exotic materials. Some materials do not hold up well to sustained heat and may be permanently damaged by a mattress warmer.
If you don’t already have one, consider adding an electric mattress warmer to your arsenal of energy and cost savings tools. If you don’t have one already, consider a programmable smart thermostat. You don’t have to spend several hundred dollars on one, I spent $50 at The Home Depot on ours and it took about 10 minutes to install it (and about a half hour to figure out how to program it). Do you have any home heating tips that you’d like to share? Let us know with your comments or better yet, if you have a good post you’d like to submit on energy saving tips send it to me as a guest post submission.