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In this freezing cold weather there is nothing worse than getting into a cold bed, I hate the feeling of pulling back the duvet knowing that it's a cold there as it is outside the house. So I decided to act impulsively and I used some of my Amazon vouchers that I got from cashing in my Dooyoo miles and I bought an electric blanket. I have always thought items such as an electric blanket was for older people, you know, until a conversation I had with a friend of mine, who happens to be a few years younger and she mentioned she also had an electric blanket and would never be without one. I had usually stuck to using hot water bottles; the problem with them is that they go cold after a while along with whatever it is they are touching. So I needed something else for the winter months, especially as at the time the weathermen were all full of doom and gloom stating that we were to face one of the very coldest winters ever, that there would be heaps of snow and temperatures would drop in the minus figures and that would be unbearable. So I purchased an electric blanket. I am no expert when it comes to electric blankets, so after a bit of advice from my Mum I purchased a King-size Morphy Richards washable fleeced electric blanket, they are also available in double and single sizes. The first reason that I bought it was because Morphy Richards is a known brand and one that I had heard of and after looking around online there was so many different types of electric blankets to buy that it got a tad confusing. I never realised you had so many options as to what you wanted your electric blanket to do. As my bed is King-sized, a double electric blanket would obviously not be big enough and like most items; the bigger it is the more you pay. This particular electric blanket set me back £39.99 which I actually felt was quite reasonably priced, given that during my browsing online I found some that were priced in the £100's and that was a little bit out of my budget. The one I purchased is the middle of the market priced and it comes with a three year guarantee. Despite the Christmas post being pretty rubbish, I had ordered by electric blanket at the end of November, so it thankfully arrived before the postal service became a bit of a nightmare. In its packaging there was a really helpful instruction book which I read from start to finish as it was only 8 pages long and within the book was everything from the safety instructions and information on how to look after your blanket and stay safe, some of which was pretty obvious such as not to use the blanket if it is wet and that you shouldn't tamper with the wires and power source. I always had that worry in the back of my mind that I would leave one on for too long and it would catch fire and all sorts of really silly thoughts. However, satisfied that I wasn't going to fry in my bed I was ready to test my electric blanket out. This blanket can be used as either an under blanket, which means you lay on top of it, or as an over blanket, which means it goes over the top of you. To touch it is extremely soft and smooth and the fleece material is really thick, so thick that you cannot actually feel the wires which run through it to the power source. Again I have always thought lying on some wires would be really uncomfortable, a bit like laying on a broken mattress spring which sticks into your back, but in this case you cannot feel a thing because the wires are ultra thin so that they don't prevent you from sleeping. When it comes to using this blanket for the first time, the instructions tell you that once you have fully fitted the sheet to the bed as shown in the diagram, you should turn both heat controls to the 4.5 to 6 heat setting, this then gives the blanket between 45 and 90 minutes to warm your bed, so again you need to slightly think about setting all of this up before you go to bed, there is no point deciding to go to bed and then switching it on, it sort of takes the whole point of the product away. This blanket also has dual heat controls and adding to that six different levels of heat so again for someone who shares a bed this is really handy, the heat controllers are palm sized and white in colour and to look at they feature a sliding part which you move between the variable levels of heat settings and then at the bottom of the control is Auto Timer off button which will be mentioned later in the review. If one of us gets too hot, we can simply turn our half of the blanket down a notch or off completely because you have your own power settings that allow you to do so and naturally you both have your own power supply so you will need two plug sockets fairly close together. The heat controls range in level from 1 to 6, they are numbered settings and as the numbers gets greater the warmer the heat setting. An added extra with this blanket is that it comes with what is called "Extra foot warmth" and this means that extra heat is provided where your feet settle to ensure you have warm feet throughout the night, excellent news for Hubby because his feet are always freezing cold and excellent news for me because he might stop using me as his hot water bottle to warm his feet up by placing them on my warm legs. So once you have got the bed warmed and you are nicely settled you can put all your worries of frying in bed to the back of your mind. Why? Well this electric blanket comes with Safeguard Protection and that means that it has a built in protection system that will automatically shut off the power if it a temperature is reached which it feels is higher than is considered comfortable, so if there is a malfunction and it will also shut off after 2 hours using its inbuilt timer. Should this happen and you want to put your blanket back on again you actually do need to switch the entire blanket off using the off switch and then re-set it all over again as you did when you switched it on. When it comes to washing and drying your blanket you can actually put in both your washing machine and tumble dryer and again the accompanying instruction booklet gives you advice on what you can and cannot do for this. I bought this blanket because it was machine washable and having followed the instructions on various occasions has never found a problem with doing just that. You naturally need to remove the power sources before putting it into your machine and your dryer and the instructions on how to do so are really straightforward. Once your blanket has been dried and is ready to use again, I have always found it to have not lost its shape or become unusable, so as long as you follow the instructions it should be perfectly fine. So having used my electric blanket from the day I got it right through Christmas and New year to today, I suspect I will continue to use it until the spring, even as the weather gets warmer, there is nothing better than getting into a warm bed at night and I wish I had bought an electric blanket sooner and not stereotyped their usage to old people, I feel rather foolish now and whilst I have seen the error of my ways, I wouldn't be without my electric blanket, it provides a nice warm bed, warm feet for hubby and its safe and reliable to use and Morphy Richards also claim that it costs only 2p per night to run, so a cheap solution to keeping warm. I bought my electric blanket from Amazon using my Dooyoo miles which I had converted into vouchers but a quick search online will give you a lot of options to choose from. Each make or brand comes with its own price tag so it is worth shopping around to find one that is within your budget. So as long as you adhere to the health and safety guidelines when using an electric blanket they are brilliant in my view and hot water bottles for me have become a thing of the past and if you haven't got an electric blanket, well it I would be finding one in the sales!
A battery operated unit with an audible alert.