Stay Warm With an Outdoor Heated Blanket

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Don't squirrel yourself away until spring. Spend a lot more time outside this winter by wrapping yourself in a toasty outdoor heated blanket.

Move over hot water bottles, hand warmers and earmuffs — the outdoor heated blanket is here. As the cold weather approaches, wouldn’t it be nice to spend more time dining, camping or socializing alfresco? An outdoor heated blanket is a real patio game-changer that takes the chill off when there’s a nip in the air.

What Is An Outdoor Heated Blanket?

Similar to the common indoor electric blanket, outdoor heated blankets (sometimes called stadium blankets) are portable and often untethered by cords. They usually come with an outer layer of insulating material and an inner lining of plush microfleece or other soft fabric for comfort.

Heated blankets are perfect for chilly evenings around the patio fire pit, at tailgate parties or on an airplane — virtually anywhere a jacket and hat just won’t cut it. Great for indoor use as well, a heated blanket is portable, making it a godsend for those enduring lengthy medical procedures like dialysis or chemotherapy.

How Do Heated Blankets Keep You Warm?

Cordless outdoor heated blankets keep you warm by delivering penetrating heat through thin wires embedded within the layers of material. Designed to heat up quickly, these lightweight, battery-powered blankets give off warmth that lasts from one-and-a-half to eight hours on a single charge.

Some models use a USB cord to plug into mobile devices, car consoles or rechargeable power packs for longer warming life. Here’s a heated car blanket for nippy winter morning work commutes.

Best Heated Blanket Options

Beautyrest Sherpa Fleece Electric Poncho Blanket

Beautyrest Sherpa Fleece Electric Poncho Blanketvia amazon.com

This do-it-all heated blanket for one wraps around you like a shawl, and you’ll love cozying up with it. It comes in eight patterns with an auto-shutoff feature if you think you may doze off. It’s corded, and so best used on a patio or deck near an outlet.

“I am obsessed with this blanket. Absolutely obsessed,” writes verified Amazon purchaser Erin. “As a constantly freezing person, this blanket is a dream come true! It is super soft, extremely warm even on the medium setting, and allows me to stay cozy as I work at the computer for hours at a time.”

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L.L. Bean Wicked Cozy Blanket

L.l. Bean Wicked Cozy Blanketvia llbean.com

The name doesn’t lie — this heated blanket is wicked cozy. It comes in two neutral colors and three sizes to fit popular bed dimensions. Reviewers say it’s a dream to take out on the deck for stargazing and sipping hot cocoa.

There are pre-heating settings and auto-shutoff features. The wires are ultra-thin so you never feel like it’s a bulky addition to your snugglefest. It’s also machine-washable.

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USB Heated Blanket

Usb Heated Blanketvia walmart.com

This ultra-soft sherpa material in this outdoor heated blanket offers enough warmth on its own, but the five-volt USB power can really crank up the heat on your outdoor coziness. The USB cable can plug into just about any portable power bank or car charger. That makes it one of the best heated blanket options to take when you’re on the go.

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Laycie Heated USB Pocket Blanket

Laycie Heated Usb Pocket Blanketvia walmart.com

Stay warm at the big game with this water-resistant pocket blanket, with synthetic materials that trap heat in and keep moisture out. This USB heating electric blanket doesn’t need to be plugged in, and the pocket works for your mobile power bank. You can even insert a hand-warming device if it’s extra chilly.

The blanket portion itself is easily machine washed and comes in red plaid or a sharp deep blue-toned pattern.

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Stalwart Heated Car Blanket

Stalwart Heated Car Blanketvia amazon.com

Leave this blanket in the car for cool mornings. It’s an Amazon bestseller thanks to its affordable price (less than $30) and stylish prints, and it plugs into any 12-volt car or RV cigarette lighter.

It comes with a 96-inch cord so even chilly backseat drivers can cozy up and quit complaining about the car’s temperature. It’s also an ideal addition to your trunk emergency kit and a thoughtful holiday gift for the road-tripper in your life.

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Outdoor Heated Blanket Safety and Considerations

Strict regulations govern household electrical equipment. Your outdoor heated blanket should be safe as long as you follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

To decrease the likelihood of overheating or malfunctioning, choose a blanket with an automatic shut-off feature. Be sure it operates on low voltage (no more than 12 volts). If your blanket is machine washable, remove the USB port and/or battery pack before immersing in water.

Pro tip: Include an outdoor heated blanket in your home and car winter survival kits, to guard against hypothermia should your home lose power or you’re stranded on the road.


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Toni DeBella
Toni DeBella is a freelance travel, lifestyle and digital content writer based in a medieval hill town in central Italy. Her work has been featured in such publications as Fodor's, The Telegraph, Walks of Italy, Italy Magazine, Frommers.com, Touring Bird (via [email protected]) and more. Most recently she authored the 2020 edition of DK Eyewitness Sicily travel guide. When Toni is not roaming around Europe, you'll find her tending her alley-side container garden or honing her clay-court tennis game.
Bryce Gruber
As Home Editor, Bryce Gruber covers gift ideas, shopping, and e-commerce at The Family Handyman. You've likely seen her work across a variety of women's lifestyle and parenting outlets and on TV shows. She lives and works in New York's Hudson Valley with her five small children.