Heated mattress pads not only keep you warm, they also soothe tired and aching muscles when used safely and effectively. However, users must be aware of the risks and dangers also associated with mattress heating pads.
Many heated mattress pads have safety features that include an automatic shutoff, low-voltage operation and the ability to adjust to the room's temperature. Some pads are waterproof and most have covered wires to protect them from moisture.
Heated mattress pads can be dangerous for children age 5 or younger. Children tend to overheat or burn at lower temperatures than adults.
Adults who are insensitive to heat or who cannot adjust or understand the controls should not use heated mattress pads. They may not recognize when the pad is too warm or when it malfunctions.
Heated mattress pads should never be used on a water bed because of the danger of leaks and electric shock. If you are worried about spills, manufacturers recommend placing a rubber sheet or waterproof pad over the heated pad.
Plug-in devices such as mattress heating pads emit electromagnetic radiation. Researcher Henry Lai advises limiting use of these devices, since scientists are studying whether long-term exposure contributes to cancer or damage to the immune system or brain-cell DNA.
Don't use a heated mattress pad with any other heated pad or electric blanket. You risk overheating. You should not use a heated mattress pad on a sofa bed or adjustable bed because the wires could be damaged.