How Do Heated Mattress Pads Work? Complete Guide 2023

Heated mattress pads are an innovative technology that provide the ultimate convenience and improve comfort in our day-to-day lives.

Just a quick introduction on what heated mattress pads really are:  These heating pads are installed in your mattress and they build up heat through these heating elements when plugged in to a power source.

These heated mattress pads also may come with a lot of heating settings to choose from depending on the need of use, it also comes with an auto-off feature that automatically turns off the heat after completing the time set.

But keep in mind that heated mattress pads just impact the parts of the body that are directly in contact with it – not the parts apart from it.

Although it can benefit you if you suffer from joint pain, bruised muscles, arthritis, etc. that get worsened by the cold, so heated mattress pads can be the answer to its cure.

How Do Heated Mattress Pads Work?

heated mattress pad

A heated mattress pad works by building heat through the heating elements installed in it; they are pretty identical to the ones found in a heated car seat.

In this article you will learn about heated mattress pads, how many types do they have and how do heated mattress pads work.

The heating elements in the pads are usually made up wires, carbon fibers, heated water tubes, etc.

They are planted into the mattress pad, and when you turn it on or plug it into a power outlet, these heating components start to warm up, and in no time start producing gentle and desirable heat that will keep you warm throughout!

Types of Heated Mattress Pads?

There are a lot of these heated mattress pads out on the market, but here are some of the most common ones and how they work:

Electrically Heated Pads: Electrically heated mattress pads work by using electric currents to heat the wires.

Water Heated Pads: Water-heated mattress pads use water as a heating medium.

Infrared Heated Pads: Infrared heated mattress pads use infrared technology to generate heat.

Gel Infused Heated Pads: While gel-infused heated mattress pads use a gel that can absorb and dissipate heat.

How Do These Heated Mattress Work? With Potential Safety Hazards!

Electric Heated Mattress Pads:

Electrically heated mattress pads work by heating components that are implanted into their pads.

Commonly they are made up of a bunch of wires that are networking with each other in order to form heat, and so they start getting your electric-heated mattress pads warm when you pass electric currents through them or when you plug them into a power socket.

More importantly, these wires are knitted into the fabric of the pads and so are evenly spread or laid throughout the pad like a snake ​with its twisting maneuver also known as the ​Serpentine movement.

Mostly electric heated mattress pads come with a range of temperature settings, and so giving you access to control the amount of heat according to your preferred temperature generated by the wires.

Water-Heated Mattress Pads: 

Water-heated mattress pads work by circulating hot water through a network of tubes that are implanted into your pads. These tubes are then linked to a temperature managing unit in the pads, which then heats the water to your selected temperature.

And after that, The water is flown through the tubes which then impacts the pad and starts to heat them in no time.

These also come with a range of temperature settings like electric pads, and therefore giving you the ability to control the amount of heat according to your preferred temperature regulated by the tubes.

Infrared Heated Mattress Pads:

Infrared-heated mattress pads work by using radiation for generating heat. The technology that operates in them is called electromagnetic waves and they transmit the amount of heat produced to your body, rather than relying on wires or water to keep you warm.

The infrared heating components are implanted within your mattress pad, and whenever you plug in or turn on the pad, the components inside start producing heat in no time. These pads are often found more energy-efficient than electric or water-heated mattress pads.

Gel-infused Heated Mattress Pads:

These mattress pads are made up of layers of foam and gel that can absorb heat. We found out that a lot of people who use these don’t experience many problems with them.

The foam layer found in them holds tiny gel beads that assist to regulate the heat that is generated when you plug it into a power outlet and also improve airflow, making the mattress comfier to sleep in.

These also come with a temperature adjuster, that will allow you to gain control over the gel-infused foam layer to get to your desired cozy temperatures.

Dual-zone Heated Mattress Pads:

Lastly, these heated mattress pads work by using two individual heating sides, allowing you to change the temperature on each side of your bed.

Every side has its own batch of wires or tubes that are installed within the pad, and so that you can have your own set of temperature controls and so the other person can set the amount of heat produced according to his/her own preference and provide both of you with a personalized sleeping or cozy experience.

Do Heated Mattress Pads Cause Cancer?

Researchers haven’t found any significant evidence regarding heated mattress pads causing cancer. Moreover, mattress pads are referred to as safe to use as long as you are using them according to the guidelines provided by the manufacturer.

Nonetheless, there are some references that the electromagnetic fields that are produced by using heated mattress pads in the form of radiation can increase the risk of cancer if used for an extensive period of time because of the high levels of EMFs in you, although this information is also not definitive.

So we suggest you take some precautionary measures to further minimize the risk by keeping your heated mattress pad on a low or medium setting and you should avoid sleeping with your head close to them.

You can also find a heated mattress that has lower EMF (Electromagnetic Frequency). Look for heated mattress pads that have a lower EMF grade or you can opt for a shielded power cord.

Overall, there is no definitive evidence out there that can give an assurance that heated mattress pads cause cancer, but it is always a good idea to follow the guidelines provided by us and the manufacturer and use them accordingly to ensure the safety of yourself and your loved ones in the long run.

How Long Do Heated Mattress Pads Last?

how do heated mattress pads work

Most heated blankets and mattress pads come with a 5-year warranty, but they typically last only a year or two because the wires being planted are so thin and sometimes low quality that they break over time.

Hence reducing the lifespan of the heated mattress pad to approximately two years, so we suggest you should buy a high-quality heated mattress pad that minimally last from 5 to 10 years, depending on your use, and maintenance you provide.

One should understand the biggest issue that will affect the lifespan of a heated mattress pad is the quality of the product, the cheaper the price means the lower the quality, and as well as the lifespan will be.

On the other hand, more elevated price means a higher and more durable quality of the components, as well as a higher lifespan of approx. 5 years or more.

Another factor that can affect the lifespan is that the more frequently it’s used the more wear and tear will be caused rather than the ones that are used less often.

Tips to Improve the Lifespan of your Heated Mattress Pads.

  • Read the manual — Firstly you should go through the manual provided by the manufacturer and look for the care instructions. It will help to give you an idea of how to take care so that it could last longer.


  • Buy a mattress protector — Having it can protect the mattress pad from any spills, stains or other serious damages, So a mattress protector can help improve the lifespan of your heated pads by keeping it clean and free from damage.


  • Try not to leave it on all night — Because over time heat will damage the fabric and it will cause it to tear after some time.


  • Try not to wash the mattress pad too often — You should wash your heated mattress pad so that it’s clean but don’t wash it too often because it will wear down fabric and the components earlier than the expected life span. Be sure to follow the care instructions provided by the manufacturer and avoid using bleach or harsh detergents that can damage the heating elements.


  • Try not to use it on high settings all the time — Use the lower heat settings, so that you can increase the lifespan of the heating components.


  • Try keeping it in a cool, dry place when not in use — This will protect them from the damage caused by heat and humidity.


Lastly, you should replace it with a new one if it shows any signs of wear and tear — If there is a sign of any significant wear and tear, it is a life-threatening or a safety hazard because you can get shocks, burns, etc. which could lead you to be hospitalized.

How Hot Does A Heated Mattress Pad Gets?

It is really important for you to know the exact temperature ranges of your heated mattress pads so that you can set them up to your preferred temperature and also to ensure the safety of yourself and your loved ones while using them.

The factors consist of:

Power consumed: The wattages that are being consumed by the heated mattress pads, because the higher the wattages are the maximum the output of temperature you can have from your heated mattress pad.

Heating components: The number of heating components implanted into your heated mattress pad, the bigger the number the better the output will be in the form of temperature to get your heated mattress pad warmer.

Material: To ensure the maximum temperature output you can have is by knowing the material of the heating components used because different materials conduct heat differently, which might affect the temperature ranges, and also keep in mind the type of fabric used in knitting the heated mattress pad because different fabrics control the heat differently, ultimately affecting the temperature to get you warmer.

The Most Common & Typical Range of Temperature Found in Heated Mattress Pads:

The lowest or minimum temperature range commonly you can get from a heated mattress pad can vary from 75-85 degrees Fahrenheit.

The medium or the ideal temperature range commonly you can get from a heated mattress pad can vary from 90-100 degrees Fahrenheit.

The highest or the hottest temperature range commonly you can get a heated mattress pad can vary from 110-130 degrees Fahrenheit.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, heated mattress pads are a cozy addition to our bedrooms that can help us sleep good at night. They work by using electricity to generate heat through wires that are woven in to the fabric of the mattress.

So, next time if you’re feeling cold or having any sort of muscle ache and want to stay cozy in bed, just turn on your heated mattress pads and enjoy the warmth from the comfort of your bed.

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