Can you use a mattress cover with your electric blanket?

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Those who have lived in colder climates will know that there are times when you need something extra to warm up in bed, other than what the radiator can provide. An electric heating pad is the most popular solution in that regard, but for those who have to use a mattress protector too, it poses a dilemma.

Can you put a mattress protector over an electric blanket? Is it safe? Do you put it over or under the blanket? Will the blanket provide enough heat if you put the cover on top? These are all valid queries, which may not have as straightforward an answer as you might imagine.

This post is meant to address these very questions, and should hopefully help you decide how best to combine your mattress cover with an electric blanket.

Can You Use A Protector Alongside A Blanket?

The short answer is yes. Modern electric blankets are designed with safety features that should eliminate any chance of a fire starting due to overheating caused by an added layer of plastic and fabric. As this is the concern that worries most individuals, you should know at the very least that you can combine a cover and an electric blanket these days.

A risk of fire does, however, exist in older electric blankets, that lack an auto-shutoff feature in case of overheating caused by having a protector on top of the blanket. You can verify whether your blanket has this feature or not by carefully perusing the manual that comes with it.

What Goes On First?

There are proponents of both theories, so I’ll discuss them both, and see which one is suited to your scenario:

Cover On Top Of Blanket

This viewpoint makes sense when your main priority is protecting your bed against fluid spills, leaks, allergens and similar threats, and/or you’re not in need of serious heating. When you put the protector over the blanket, this allows it do its intended job of safeguarding your bed (including the blanket), against these threats.

Since most protectors have thick underlying plastic membranes to keep fluids from reaching whatever is underneath them, this does pose a risk of trapping heat from the blanket if the cover isn’t breathable (so that it doesn’t reach you, but builds up under the cover). Breathability can be determined by the micron size of the membrane.

In case the cover isn’t breathable, a new-gen electric blanket will automatically shut itself off after the heat accumulates beyond a certain temperature threshold. Keep in mind that a flimsy membrane may get damaged by the heat accumulated in this way, in any case.

Blanket On Top Of Cover

This approach is suited to people who are more intent on warming up their bed than they are concerned about protecting it against the threats described above. The blanket is able to offer you heat directly, without any issues with accumulation since the cover is underneath it – thus, even older blankets with no self-shut-off mechanism can be used safely in this manner.

This will, of course, expose the blanket to all those harmful agents that the protector was intended to guard against. Fluids in particular may pose a shock hazard if the wiring inside the blanket has been frayed at any point.


As far as putting a cover over a blanket goes, you have your answer in the form of a yes. But you will now have seen that there is more to it than that – you could even put the cover beneath the blanket, depending on your particular situation:

Start by deciding what the priority is for you - heating the bed, or protecting it against fluids and allergens. Next, read the product details of both the blanket and the mattress cover, to become fully aware of their functionality e.g. an auto-shutoff feature for the former, and breathability for the latter.

Use the answers to these questions to choose the most beneficial configuration for yourself. Feel free to leave your questions and comments below, and I will try to answer them as best as I can.

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