Electric mattress pads an alternative to an electric blanket. Instead of providing a source of heat above the body, these pads provide heat under the body. Some people use the mattress pad all night long, if they feel exceptionally cold at night. Others use them simply to warm up the bed before jumping in. In this way, the pad helps one avoid the shock of cold sheets on cold nights.
Some people found the initial versions of electric mattress pads to be a bit uncomfortable, since one still had to contend with wires in the pad. Many felt that cushioning over the wires provided adequate comfort. Others found the wires annoying, and found sleeping on the pads challenging.
Since the initial advent of electric mattress pads, wires have gotten much smaller. Thus many people who own pads say they don’t even feel the wires. Also, newer pads are now more energy efficient. In fact, many companies claim that using these devices for a portion of the night can save money since one can also turn the heat down to a lower temperature without discomfort.
When partners share a bed, an electric mattress pad may offer dual controls like an electric blanket. This way, each partner can adjust the setting for individual comfort. Many find that dual controlled pads resolve sleeping issues when one partner is more susceptible to warmth or to cold.
Many also find that the heat underneath the body can be helpful for certain conditions like arthritis. However, caution should be employed when a person suffers from a painful condition that may be age related.
First, people using electric mattress pads or blankets should have sufficient control of their limbs so they can shut off the pad. People who are likely to forget to turn off an electric mattress blanket or pad should also not use one, as the pad may pose a fire danger if left on too long.
Babies should never use either type of electric heating device, as they may be more likely to be burned at lower temperatures, and they cannot control the temperature. As well, experts recommend not employing any type of electric pad or blanket on pets.
Further, those who suffer from urinary incontinence should not use electric mattress pads or blankets. This encompasses some of the elderly and children who might still have the occasional nighttime accident. Though very unlikely, a slight danger of electrocution exists from an accident in the night while a pad is turned on.