Warm up to electric bedding

Want to turn the thermostat down overnight to save a few bucks—but you don’t want to be chilly? Try wrapping yourself up in an electric blanket.

Depending on how toasty you want to be overnight, you can turn your thermostat down and let an electric blanket keep you warm. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that you can save up to 3 percent on your heating bill for every degree you set your thermostat back during the winter.

So setting it back just 3 or 4 degrees for eight or more hours a day could add up to substantial savings.

Blankets aren’t the only bed warmers on the market, however. Heated mattress pads are popular because they don’t bunch up like blankets or fall off of the bed during the night.

Whichever product appeals to you, buy one with:

Overheat protection. When electric blankets bunch up during the night, the heat at the center of the ball has no way to escape. Overheat protection automatically switches the blanket off.

Low voltage. A blanket with 18 volts in both the controller and blanket eliminates the chance of electrical shock in case the heater’s wires become exposed or get wet. UL calls this low voltage “non-hazardous,” according to the Electric Blanket Institute.

Automatic shutoff. Choose a model with a 10-hour shutoff feature. That’s insurance against forgetfulness.

Clear instructions. Your blanket—and every electrical product you buy—should come with clear, detailed safety instructions. If it doesn’t, choose an alternative brand.