Best Heated Car Blankets: Stay Warm With These Top Picks
Check out these top heated car blankets to keep you warm and cozy while traveling
The Review Team
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PUBLISHED ON March 27, 2019
If your car, truck, or RV heater isn't powerful enough to keep you warm in winter (or your fellow passenger prefers a different cabin temperature), consider purchasing an electric travel blanket. They plug into your vehicle's 12-volt outlet or cigarette lighter, and an insulated wire heats it up. See our picks for the best-heated car blanket.
- Best OverallCar Cozy Heated Travel Blanket by Trillium WorldwideSummarySummaryThis blanket plugs into a 12-volt power outlet and has an automatic shut-off. It's made of 100 percent polyester fleece.ProsProsThe blanket is large, soft, and warm (without getting too hot) even when it's not plugged in. It includes an indicator light that shows when it is on.ConsConsThe blanket turns off after 30 or 45 minutes. It does not have a high/low setting. The fuse may blow, and the blanket may not reach high enough temperatures.
- Best ValueRoadpro 12-Volt Polar Fleece Heated Travel BlanketSummarySummaryThis 12-volt blanket is 100 percent polar fleece. It has an eight-foot power cord, LED indicator, and is 58 inches long by 42.5 inches wide.ProsProsThe blanket feels nice and warm even when it's off. The cord is long enough to reach the back passengers. There is no automatic shut-off timer.ConsConsThe blanket is not machine-washable, and it can take a while to warm up. There is no adjustable temperature setting.
- Honorable MentionHeated 12 Volt Fleece Travel Throw for Car and RV by StalwartSummarySummaryThis 12-volt blanket is 100 percent polyester and has an eight-foot cord. It's 59 inches long by 43 inches wide and comes in a storage case with handles.ProsProsThe blanket is warm and does not overheat. The material is durable, and an indicator lets you know when it's working. It does not have an automatic shut-off switch.ConsConsThe blanket is not machine-washable and does not feature a high/low setting. The blanket may not reach high temperatures.
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All of our reviews are based on market research, expert input, and practical experience with each product we include. This way, we offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.
Why Buy a Heated Car Blanket?
- Keep your body warm. If you often get chilly while traveling, a car blanket warmer will ensure that you don't get cold on the road. They're also handy if your vehicle unexpectedly breaks down and you end up waiting for assistance in the cold weather.
- Keep your partner warm. If your spouse likes it warmer in the vehicle while you like it cooler, a plug-in car blanket is a solution. You no longer need to argue about the temperature inside the vehicle.
- Get warm quickly. When the temperature is particularly low, it may take a while for the cabin of your vehicle to heat up. Heating blankets for cars will keep your body warm while you wait for your vehicle to reach a comfortable temperature.
- Preheat your truck bed. If you drive a truck, heated travel blankets can make a big difference. Plug in the blanket after a long drive, and it will make your cold bed much cozier.
- Loosen your muscles. You can wrap auto blankets around your shoulders while driving to relax your muscles and make your back feel better. This is particularly advantageous if you drive long distances and suffer from joint issues.
Types of Heated Car Blankets
Cars, trucks, boats and other vehicles have 12-volt sockets, which are also known as 12-volt auxiliary power outlets or cigarette lighters. They deliver power to portable electronics, such as heated car blankets. A plug-in car blanket is powered up through the 12-volt sockets. Some vehicles contain multiple sockets to power several accessory devices at once.
Top Brands of Heated Car Blankets
RoadPro, based in Palmyra, Pennsylvania, has been in the business for over 30 years. The company produces general travel products and auto accessories for both professional drivers and other motorists. Their featured electric blanket is the Roadpro 12-Volt Polar Fleece Heated Travel Blanket.
Stalwart, a subsidiary of Trademark Global, LLC, is based in Lorain, Ohio. The company is primarily known for its range of power, electronic, and hand tools. Their top heated electric blanket is the Heated 12 Volt Fleece Travel Throw for Car and RV by Stalwart.
Heated Car Blanket Pricing
- $30-$50: Heated car blankets are not cheap. Typically, they cost more than $30 unless you can find them on sale. While there are many heated blankets on the market, very few of them are specifically geared towards road travel.
Some heating blankets for cars include an automatic shut-off feature. An auto shut-off can kick in when the temperature gets too high or after a specified amount of time, i.e., 30 minutes. This allows you to use the blanket and not have to worry about turning it off. Most electric heated blankets do not have this feature.
Number of Temperature Settings
If you like to control a range of heating options, consider purchasing a plug-in car blanket that has at least dual controls for temperature settings (high and low). The more heat settings you have, the easier you will be able to control how hot the electric travel blanket will get. Few 12-volt heated blankets have this feature.
Some heated travel blankets have an indicator on the cord that lets you know when the product is functioning. The indicator lights up when the blanket is on. The light turns off when the blanket is off. This will allow you to look at the indicator to determine if the blanket is on without having to touch it.
- Size: If you are an adult and want the blanket to cover your entire body, you should purchase one that is at least 58 inches long by 42 inches wide. If a kid, a child in a car seat, or pet is using the blanket, a smaller size may work just as well.
- Cord Length: The best 12-volt electric blanket will have a cord that is at least 6 feet long. This will enable you to plug it into the outlet and use the product in both the back seat of a passenger vehicle or the sleeping cabin of a tractor-trailer. Otherwise, you may need to use an extension cord.
- Material: Heated blankets for cars come in various fabrics, including polyester fleece. Some are softer and/or more durable than others. These blankets can also feature several designs, including plaids or Realtree camouflage. Choose a material that you like and that will be most comfortable and warm during a road trip.
Best Heated Car Blankets Reviews & Recommendations 2019
Best Overall: Car Cozy Heated Travel Blanket by Trillium Worldwide
The Car Cozy heated travel blanket plugs into 12-volt power outlets and features a safety timer and automatic shut-off. Made of 100 percent polyester fleece, the blanket is big enough to cover two people, making it ideal for road trips and boating excursions.
The blanket is large, soft, and warm even when it's not plugged in. When it is connected to a power source, the Car Cozy warms up within minutes. One benefit is that it doesn't get too hot, making it perfect for kids, particularly those in child car seats. It features an indicator light that shows when it is on or off, it folds up easily, and it takes up little space.
One potential downside is that the blanket turns off after 30 or 45 minutes, which may be inconvenient if you want it to stay on for longer periods of time. Also, it does not include a high/low setting. Other drawbacks are that the cover is not removable, and it can't be cleaned in a washing machine.
The Roadpro 12-volt heated car blanket is 100 percent polar fleece and plugs into a cigarette lighter socket. The blanket is 58 inches long by 42.5 inches wide and comes in a zippered storage bag. It includes an eight-foot power cord with an LED indicator and has a 4.6 low amp draw (55 Watts). The blanket is pre-set to reach a max operating temperature of 110 F to 115 F degrees.
The Roadpro starts working as soon as it is plugged into a power source, and even when it's turned off, the blanket feels nice and warm. One advantage is that the cord stretches far enough to reach passengers in the backseat.
One downside is that the blanket is not machine-washable. Also, it can take a while to warm up to your desired temperature. The blanket does not have an adjustable temperature setting, and there have been a couple of reports that the wiring can catch fire.
Honorable Mention: Heated 12 Volt Fleece Travel Throw for Car and RV by Stalwart
The Stalwart 12-volt electric blanket is 100 percent polyester and features an eight-foot cord that plugs into the car, truck, and RV cigarette lighters. The blanket is 59 inches long by 43 inches wide and comes in a storage case with handles. It is lightweight and is easily folded for storage.
The blanket is very warm even when it is not plugged in, and it takes 10 minutes or less to reach a comfortable temperature. One benefit is that it does not get too hot to the touch. Also, it does not overheat. The material is durable, and the blanket is a decent size. In addition, it features an indicator on the plug that lets you know when it is on and working.
The blanket does not have an automatic shut-off switch, which may be a deal-breaker if you want to keep the heat on for a long period of time without forgetting about it. Also, the blanket is not machine-washable and does not feature a high/low setting. Finally, the built-in heating elements struggle to reach high temperatures.
Tips & Advice for Heated Car Blankets
- Due to their internal wiring, the majority of electric blankets for cars can’t be cleaned in a washing machine. They should not be submerged in water. Spot clean them instead.
- When you wash your blanket by hand, use a mix of soap and water. Be sure to unplug the blanket first and make sure that it is cool to the touch before you clean it.
- After cleaning your blanket, do not put it in the drying machine. Instead, let it air dry. Ensure that it is completely dry before you plug it in again.
- Replace your heated blanket if you notice any damage or frayed wires. It can cause harm if it's not functioning properly. Also, do not iron the blanket because that can damage it.
- When you are not using an electric travel blanket, make sure to turn it off and unplug it. For safety reasons, it is not advisable to leave the blanket on without supervision.
- If the blanket does not have an automatic shut-off and you leave it plugged in while the receiving power is on, it will drain the battery. Unplug it when your car isn't running.
- Gently fold or roll up the heated blanket for storage purposes. Rolling it will protect the insulated wires contained within. Then place it in a plastic bag and seal it closed.
- Be careful not to use the blanket while it is folded over itself. This may create a hotspot and could potentially cause an electrical issue. Read the manufacturer's instructions and use as intended.
Q: How long does a heated car blanket take to heat up?
A: It depends on the product. Some heated car blankets will start to get warm shortly after you plug them into a power source. Others take several minutes before reaching the desired temperature.
Q: How long do heated car blankets last?
A: The best 12-volt electric blanket will last between three and five years if you use it as intended. Make sure you follow the manufacturer's recommendations.
Q: Do heated car blankets retain heat after they’re turned off?
A: Heated blankets can retain heat for a short time after they're turned off. Some can stay warm for 15 to 30 minutes. Eventually, they will cool off and act as a regular, non-heated blanket.
Q: Are heated car blankets safe?
A: Some heated car blankets have shut-off timers to prevent them from getting too hot, thus ensuring the user's safety. Electric blankets that stay on indefinitely have the potential to be problematic if they are not monitored during use.
Q: Will a heated car blanket stay on when the vehicle is off?
A: It depends on what type of 12-volt plug you have in your vehicle. Some plugs only function when the vehicle is on or when it is placed in accessory mode. If the 12-volt outlet works without the engine running, the blanket will stay on while the vehicle is turned off.
Our top pick for the best-heated car blanket is the Car Cozy Heated Travel Blanket by Trillium Worldwide. It is large, soft, and warm even when it’s not turned on.
If you’re looking for something a little less pricey, consider the Roadpro 12-Volt Polar Fleece Heated Travel Blanket.