When temperatures drop, you can only pile up so many blankets on your bed before you’re covered up in an excess of fluffiness. A better option is a heated mattress pad, which will warm your bed as well as add cushioning to your mattress. A pad can also protect your mattress from wear and tear and spills, prolonging its lifespan.
A heated mattress pad sits on top of your mattress. It has heating elements in it operated by electricity that distribute warmth throughout the pad, keeping you warm when you lay on it.
The best mattress pad provides enough comfort to get a good night’s sleep, and proper support to keep you from getting achy. The best heated mattress pad should also have safety features like an automatic shutoff and low-voltage heating mechanisms to keep it from overheating.
A high-quality mattress pad can not only provide a more comfortable sleeping experience, but it can also alleviate sore muscles and pain. So if you’re on the hunt for the best heated mattress pad, check out these shopping tips and recommendations.
- BEST OVERALL: Sunbeam Heated Mattress Pad
- RUNNER UP: MaxKare Heated Mattress Pad
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Biddeford Blankets Electric Heated Mattress Pad
- BEST LUXURY: Beautyrest Cotton Blend Heated Mattress Pad
- BEST HEATING & COOLING: chiliPAD Cube 3.0 Cooling and Heating Mattress Pad
- BEST ADJUSTABLE TIMER: Hyde Lane Premium Mattress Heating Pad
- BEST LOW VOLTAGE: Perfect Fit SoftHeat Heated Electric Mattress Pad
- BEST FOR COUPLES: Degrees of Comfort Dual Control Heated Mattress Pad
- BEST WATERPROOF: Serta Smart Heated Waterproof Mattress Pad
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Heated Mattress Pad
Here are some common features of mattress pads.
Heated mattress pads typically come in three kinds of material: cotton, polyester, or a blend of the two. Cotton is softer and absorbent, so you won’t wake up sweaty after sleeping in a heated bed. Polyester is stretchier, and while less absorbent, it is still breathable. You could opt for microfiber, a type of polyester, if you want a stretchy fabric with a plush feel. Blends are the best of both materials.
When choosing your heating pad material, remember that a high-quality product will have a higher thread count, making it softer and less likely to pill.
Size and Fit
Electric mattress pads come in the standard bed sizes of twin, king, and queen. Some come with an elastic skirt that will keep the pad in place throughout the night, and others are made like a fitted sheet and wrap firmly around the bed. The latter tends to be a better product, as it’s less likely to move or get bunched up in the night.
When choosing a mattress pad, make sure you know the depth of your mattress as well as its size. Mattresses range in thickness, and can be anywhere from 5 inches deep to more than 16 inches deep. The mattress pad should also fit the depth of the mattress.
Electric mattress pads get their heat from small wires spaced throughout the pad. Generally, the thinner the wires, the lower the voltage and the heat, and the safer the pad. You should also consider the space between each wire when choosing a mattress pad. Pads with wires spaced several inches apart will distribute heat over a wider area of the pad, while pads with wires centered in one area will not. Some newer models of mattress pads have tubes that carry heated water instead of wires that carry voltage which is a safer alternative.
Most heated mattress pads let the user control the temperature with a knob or a digital device. Temperature control on a high-quality pad will have multiple heating levels to choose from, including the ability to heat both sides of the pad individually. Some pads even have remote controllers.
Before purchasing, consider who will be using the mattress pad. Someone with poor eyesight might need a digital device with large, visible numbers, while someone with poor motor skills might prefer a push-button instead of a dial. No matter what kind of controller you choose, you’ll want one where the bed’s temperature is clearly displayed and easy to read.
Newer models come with a range of features and amenities to make your heated sleeping experience more enjoyable. A high-quality electric mattress pad will have a timer that turns the pad off after a certain period to prevent accidents or overheating. Some pads allow for personalized heat settings, dual heating options, and multiple heat levels.
Another feature to look out for is a water-resistance. A water-resistant pad will prevent you from waking up in a pool of sweat and protect your mattress and heating pad from spills.
Look for products with a UL certification, which indicates the independent consumer safety organization UL has tested it. Most pads come with an automatic shutoff timer that shuts off the pad after a set time. Some newer models have a feature that shuts off the heating element in the mattress pad when its built-in sensor detects too much heat.
Some mattress pads also come in a lower-voltage, which can be a better option for children, pregnant women, and those dealing with health or circulatory system issues.
Ease of Cleaning
Like any type of mattress topper, you’ll want to choose a heated mattress pad that’s easy to clean, and one you won’t damage by cleaning.
Before buying a mattress pad, check its cleaning instructions. Some are machine washable, but you should use the machine’s gentle or delicate cycle with your pad and wash it with cold water. Machine washable pads can be put in a clothes dryer or air-dried.
Other mattress pads can only be spot-cleaned with mild soap, which requires more work.
Our Top Picks
The recommendations below are based on a range of categories to help you pick the best heated mattress pad for you.
The Sunbeam Heated Mattress Pad has the latest features, making it a popular choice. Made of 200-thread count cotton, this mattress pad has a quilted design that makes it super soft. Its water-resistant backing protects the mattress from spills and accidents and it’s machine washable.
Its ThermoFine technology delivers 10 heat settings that sense your body temperature and adjust automatically to deliver the right level of warmth while you sleep. The digital control device allows two people to adjust the temperature for their side of the bed individually. An auto-shutoff option turns the pad off after 10 hours.
The MaxKare Heated Mattress Pad heats up quickly, so your bed will be warm in about three minutes. Its ultra-soft cover is 6 millimeters thick, so you won’t feel the wires in the pad, just the heat. A digital controller lets you access 10 heating levels and nine timer settings. Plus, it comes with two controllers with easy-to-read LED displays, so sleepers who share a bed can adjust the heating levels to their individual preferences. This pad is machine-washable.
The Biddeford Blankets Electric Heated Mattress Pad gives you a warm bed at an affordable price. Made from 100 percent polyester, this pad comes with 10 heat settings, an analog controller, and an auto-shutoff feature that turns off the heating element after 10 hours. The pad has ultra-thin wires so you won’t feel them through the pad, you’ll just feel the heat. This pad is machine washable and comes in five sizes. The twin and full mattress pads have a single control, and the queen and king have dual controls so sleepers who share a bed can both control the temperature.
Beautyrest’s heated mattress pad is a luxury wallow, with two digital controllers so you and a bedmate can have your own control over five heat settings on your side of the bed. This pad also comes with a pre-heating feature you can set to come on automatically so your bed will be warm and snuggly when you crawl into it. The pad has a 10-hour max auto-shutoff feature. It’s covered in a cotton-poly blend that’s water-resistant, resists static electricity, and is machine washable. The pad’s ultra-thin, flexible wires are engineered for the lowest electromagnetic radiation and are so small you won’t feel lumps or bumps in the pad―only the soothing heat.
If you alternate between being hot and cold when you sleep, or want a mattress pad suitable for year-round use, try this option from chiliPAD. This pad uses an adjustable, water-based system to regulate your mattress’s surface temperature by circulating water through silicone micro-tubes in the mattress pad. The water can be adjusted to hot or cold temperatures in precise, 1-degree increments, and there are two heating zones in larger pads so each sleeper can set his own temperature. It’s sophisticated, pricey technology, so this is not a low-end mattress pad. This pad comes with a 10-hour auto-shutoff timer and variable temperature settings of between 55 to 115 degrees.
The Hyde Lane Premium Mattress Heating Pad heats up in minutes, reaching its maximum warmth in 30 minutes. Both you and your partner can choose from 20 heat settings and 10 auto-shutoff time settings from your own controller. This UL-certified pad is engineered with a patented warming process that produces ultra-low electromagnetic radiation and maximum warmth. Plus, it’s machine washable and is designed to retain its softness through thousands of washes without matting or pilling.
The Perfect Fit SoftHeat Heated Electric Mattress Pad uses some of the lowest voltage on the market. While traditional mattress pads use 120 volts, this pad operates on just 25 volts. The low voltage will save you money on your electric bill and it emits no electromagnetic field (EMF.) The ultra-thin wires in this pad’s heating mechanism disappear in its padding, so you feel warmth, not lumpy, hard wires. The heat is more evenly distributed, too. It has dual controls with 10 heat settings (for king and queen sizes) and an auto-shutoff. It comes in five sizes and two styles: micro plush top and waterproof, both of which are machine washable.
If you like your bed warm but your partner likes it warmer, the Degrees of Comfort Dual Control Heated Mattress Pad will let each of you sleep comfortably. Dual controllers allow you to choose from five heat settings on your side of the bed. The pad also has a preheat setting that will warm up in under 30 minutes. It has a quilted padding that will keep you from feeling the wires and it heats up with little EMF radiation. This pad comes in six sizes.
If you’re worried about spills or other water damage on your mattress and need the bed warmed, the Serta Smart Heated Waterproof Mattress Pad can meet both needs. Its waterproof barrier and stain-repellent finish protect against spills while its wire configuration evenly distributes heat because its thin, flexible wires are only three inches apart, much closer than traditional mattress pads. King and queen mattress pads come with a pair of analog temperature controllers that have 10 settings, while twin and full have just one control. Pads have a 10-hour automatic shutoff feature and are made of a cotton-blend fabric that’s machine washable and resistant to pilling, shrinking, and stretching.
The Advantages of Owning a Heated Mattress Pad
Besides getting a warm and cozy night’s sleep, there are other benefits to an electric mattress pad.
- Heated mattress pads are safer than a heated blanket and are better at evenly dispersing heat in the bed.
- Heated mattress pads regulate temperature, which can help you fall asleep easier and stay asleep.
- Heated mattress pads can be a cost-effective alternative to turning up the thermostat on your central heating system, therefore, reducing your utility bill.
- Heated mattress pads can provide pain relief for back and joint issues and ease muscle soreness.
- Heated mattress pads can warm your bed in advance, so you never climb into a cold bed again.
FAQs About Your New Heated Mattress Pad
If you still have questions about picking the best heated mattress pad, here’s more information to guide your decision.
Q. What are heated mattress pads?
Heated mattress pads are electric mattress pads that use wires or water tubes to heat your bed to a warmer temperature.
Q. Can you feel the wires in a heated mattress pad?
In a high-quality mattress pad, you should not feel the wires. They’ll be sealed in a soft, quilted cover.
Q. How long does it take for a heated mattress pad to heat up?
It depends on the model, but most take 30 minutes to reach their maximum temperature.
Q. Can I place a mattress pad over a heated mattress pad?
Yes, but the more layers you put between you and your heated mattress pad, the harder it will be to feel its warmth.
Q. Can I wash my heated mattress pad?
Yes. Most heated mattress pads are machine washable. Some can only only be spot-cleaned. Check your pad’s label before cleaning it.