Does a Space Heater or Electric Blanket Use More Electricity?

When it comes to heating your home or keeping yourself warm, the choice between a space heater and an electric blanket can have a significant impact on your electricity consumption and utility bills. To help you make an informed decision, let’s dive into the technical details and compare the power usage of these two heating options.

Wattage Comparison

The wattage of a heating device is a crucial factor in determining its electricity consumption. Space heaters typically have a wattage range of 750 to 1500 watts, while electric blankets generally have a wattage between 200 to 400 watts.

Heating Device Wattage Range
Space Heater 750 – 1500 watts
Electric Blanket 200 – 400 watts

This means that space heaters consume significantly more electricity than electric blankets, with the potential to draw up to 4 times more power. The higher wattage of space heaters is necessary to heat an entire room, while electric blankets are designed to provide localized warmth, focusing on heating the user directly.

Energy Efficiency Comparison

does a space heater or electric blanket use more electricity

In addition to wattage, the energy efficiency of the heating devices is another important factor to consider. Electric blankets are generally more energy-efficient than space heaters for several reasons:

  1. Targeted Heating: Electric blankets provide direct, localized warmth to the user, rather than heating the entire room. This targeted approach reduces the amount of energy required to achieve the desired level of comfort.

  2. Insulation: Electric blankets are designed with insulating materials that help retain the generated heat, minimizing heat loss and improving overall efficiency.

  3. Thermostat Control: Many electric blankets come equipped with thermostats that allow users to precisely control the temperature, ensuring the blanket only uses the necessary amount of power to maintain the desired warmth.

In contrast, space heaters often have to work harder to heat a larger area, leading to higher energy consumption and potentially higher utility bills.

Cost Comparison

The difference in energy consumption between space heaters and electric blankets is also reflected in their operating costs. According to data from McKenzie Electric Cooperative, a standard 1500-watt space heater running for 5 hours per day can cost around $14-$15 per month, while an electric blanket with a wattage range of 200-400 watts used for the same duration would cost a little under $2 per month.

Heating Device Monthly Cost (5 hours/day)
Space Heater (1500 watts) $14 – $15
Electric Blanket (200-400 watts) Under $2

This significant cost difference highlights the financial benefits of using an electric blanket over a space heater, especially for individuals looking to save on their energy bills during the colder months.

Factors to Consider

When choosing between a space heater and an electric blanket, there are a few additional factors to consider:

  1. Heating Area: Space heaters are better suited for heating larger rooms or open spaces, while electric blankets are more effective for personal, localized warmth.

  2. Portability: Space heaters are generally more portable and can be moved from room to room, while electric blankets are typically designed for use in a single location, such as a bed or a chair.

  3. Safety: Both space heaters and electric blankets require proper safety precautions, but electric blankets may be considered safer as they do not pose the same fire risk as space heaters when left unattended.

  4. Personal Preference: Ultimately, the choice between a space heater and an electric blanket may come down to personal preference and individual needs, such as the desired level of warmth and the specific heating requirements of your living space.


In conclusion, when it comes to electricity consumption, an electric blanket is the more energy-efficient and cost-effective option compared to a space heater. With its lower wattage, targeted heating, and improved insulation, an electric blanket can provide the necessary warmth while significantly reducing your energy bills. However, the choice between the two heating devices should also consider factors such as the size of the area you need to heat, portability, and personal preference.