Crawling into bed on a cold, damp Louisiana night is one thing, but crawling into that same bed that's covered in warmth from an electric blanket is even more heavenly. The electric blanket cocoons your body in comfort, but at what cost?

Invented by Samuel Irwin Russell, the first electric blanket appear in 1912. Russell didn't put his invention on top of the bed but rather under the bed. An ingenious move. Today, in America, we put electric blankets on top of the bedsheet. In other countries, that's not always the case.

An electric blanket contains a hidden pattern of integrated wires that get warm when electricity flows through them. There is a controller that controls the amount of electricity that pulsates through the wires. The higher the setting, the warmer the blanket, and the more electricity used.

An average electric blanket in the U.S. uses about 15 watts at the lowest setting up to 200 watts at the highest. Some websites claim an electric blanket can use as much as 400 watts of power to heat up. That level of power consumption would make it impossible to sleep comfortably as the bed would become extremely hot.

So, Does an Electric Blanket Make Your Electric Bill Skyrocket?

Generally speaking, the average cost of running a 200-watt electric blanket on high all night would cost about 25 cents per night. And you would be rather toasty. Running a small electric heater, however, would cost about 90% more.

If you'd like to find out how much an electric blanket or any other heater costs to run,  just enter a few details at

Most manufacturers don't recommend sleeping with an electric blanket on for the entire night. Many of the new ones shut off automatically.

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