There’s no getting away from the fact that Carmen’s King Size Electric Heated Under Blanket is a basic buy: it’s on the small side considering it’s designed for a king-size bed, the control connector could dig in as you sleep, and the cords to attach and detach it are far from quick and easy. However, those on a tight budget will appreciate what it does have: affordable heating, simple controls and a welcome boost of heat at bedtime that’s consistent and cosy.
- Shouldn’t shift around as you sleep
- Heats up fast
- Low price
- Awkward to attach and detach
- Doesn’t cover whole mattress
- SizesAvailable for single, double and king sized beds.
- Energy usageIts single 70W controls means that this bed costs a maximum of 2p per hour to run (assuming 34p per kW/h).
- TemperatureThree heat settings (temperature in °C not disclosed).
Carmen is best known for its haircare and grooming products, which is why this affordable electric blanket is a welcome surprise. Available for single, double and king size beds, it’s a simply designed product but no less efficient for it. Three heat settings, a detachable control so it can be machine washed at 30°C and overheat protection make it a great-value buy for many households, as does a low running cost. Its 70W control means that an hour’s usage on the maximum setting (based on a 34p per kWh), will cost just over 2p.
Design and features
- Removable control for cleaning
- Overheat protection
- Small size
While it’s designed for a king-size mattress, Carmen’s Electric Heated Under Blanket is a little on the small side, measuring just H122 x W135cm, when the average size of a king size mattress is 6ft 6in x 5ft x or H198 x W152cm. This means that it doesn’t cover the whole mattress like some electric blankets do (plus the overheat protection can kick in if the blanket is covered by a pillow). Not covering the area where pillows sit isn’t an issue: where it might start to annoy is at the sides if you’re an active sleeper, or around the feet if you’re fairly tall, as you might discover cold spots as you sleep.
The connector for the control sits at one corner and is a smooth plastic block. The control cable clicks into place and release easily when a tab is lifted. There are three heat settings on the control: each one has raised bumps to denote if it’s 1, 2 or 3 (great for changing the setting in low light) plus there’s an LED light to show when it’s on. The blanket also features overheat protection, which triggers if the polyester blanket grows too hot and can be left on the lowest setting through the night.
The blanket attaches to the mattress using a cord looped through each corner. While this makes removing it for washing and fitting it more complicated, the fit is fairly secure and less likely to shift around during the night.
- Heats up in around 20 minutes
- Awkward to fit
- Control connection is uncomfortable
Fitting the Carmen Electric Heated Under Blanket is something of a challenge: its cord has to be looped through each corner and threaded both horizontally and diagonally under the mattress before being knotted in place. While this does ensure a snug fit – unlike elastic straps that can loosen over time – I found it a chore, especially when having to undo the knot after testing had finished.
Those with limited mobility could struggle with threading the cord while lifting the mattress too. While this could be a barrier to cleaning it, the instructions advise that the blanket can only be machine-washed three times over its lifespan, so it’s probably best to stick to spot cleaning anyway. The control detached easily for that.
The other issue with this blanket is where the control connector sits at one corner: through the night I found that it tended to rub against my shoulder and disturbed my sleep.
Other than that, the blanket was comfy enough: while the wires protrude from the surface a little, the feel of them didn’t keep me awake. While a 45-minute to one hour preheat was recommended, I found that even after five minutes I could feel the warmth starting to come through. Twenty minutes on the highest setting was enough to take the chill off, although the very bottom of the mattress not covered by the blanket remained cold.
I especially liked the bumps on the controls to denote the setting: more useful than printed numbers in low light. The LED light itself also shows a number that corresponds to the setting and gets brighter the higher it is.
Should you buy it?
If you’re looking for an easy way to keep your bed snug all season long without splashing the cash, this model could suit.
If you want edge-to-edge warmth or a greater choice of settings, there are better choices available.
Keen pricing and low running costs make the Carmen Electric Heated Under Blanket a good choice for homes on a budget: families, couples, even solo households are sure to enjoy its warmth when it’s chilly at bedtime. However, it’s important to be aware of how it stacks up against other models: if you’re a light sleeper easily woken up by a lumpy control connection, this might not be the one for you. A more comfortable option could be Slumberdown’s Wonderfully Warm electric blanket or the but it’s far more costly. Similarly, if you want an electric blanket that’s easy to put on and take off, it might be best to try one with elasticated straps, such as on the Vonhaus King Size Electric Blanket, rather than this corded design.
How we test
Unlike other sites, we test every heated blanket we review thoroughly over an extended period of time. We use standard tests to compare features properly. We’ll always tell you what we find. We never, ever, accept money to review a product.
Find out more about how we test in our ethics policy.
Used as our main heated blanket for the review period
We record how much power the blanket will use on maximum.
We see how evenly the blanket is heated and if there are cold spots.
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Single and double versions are available alongside the king size version reviewed.
This blanket uses a maximum of 70W, which is around 2p per hour to run.