What We Like
Machine-washable and dryer-safe
What We Don't Like
Not warm enough
Doesn’t distribute heat evenly
Too expensive given subpar performance
An electric blanket is a great way to provide some supplementary heat in your home. Manufactured by one of the most trusted names in heated bedding, the Sunbeam Reversible Sherpa/Royalmink Heated Throw boasts a dual-sided plush design and auto-adjusting heat. With the chilly weather upon us, we were eager to snuggle up with this blanket. We used it for hours on end, assessing aspects like design, durability, and heating capability. Want to know if this heated throw kept us warm and cozy or left us in the cold? Read on to find out.
Material: A mixed bag
As the name suggests, the Sunbeam Reversible Heated Throw has sherpa fabric on one side and faux royalmink on the other. We ordered it in honey—a warm and subtle neutral. It’s also available in Blue Plaid, Garnet, Olive, and Sable, however.
The plug for the cord is on the outside of the blanket along with a large (and rather tacky) warning label, which is unattractive in terms of design. We weren’t overly concerned with the aesthetics, though. Warmth and comfort were our top priorities when making this purchase. Since this throw blanket is intended for one person, it’s not an item we’d use when we have guests over. It is stylish enough to keep out, however. We suggest folding the blanket so the warning label isn’t visible, and stowing the cord in a drawer or closet when not in use.
Texture: Super soft, lightweight, and doesn’t shed
The Sunbeam Reversible Heated Throw is very soft because it combines two plush fabrics in one blanket: sherpa on one side and faux royalmink on the other. Sunbeam rates the softness of their throws on a scale of “soft” to “premium soft,” and this throw garners the latter distinction. The throw is easy to care for—it can go in the washer and dryer. Plus, after testing the throw while wearing dark clothing, we found it doesn’t shed at all—a major bonus in our book.
Although the blanket is incredibly soft, it is a bit thinner than we expected. We could feel some of the wires through the fabric, but, that said, they don’t protrude or create any discomfort. The upside to this blanket’s thin build is the fact that it’s very light. With a weight of about 3.5 pounds, you can easily carry it from room to room. Since it’s not bulky, it also folds up neatly for easy storage.
Performance: Not as warm as we expected
Although we loved the look and feel of this blanket, we were disappointed in its performance. We plugged it into the outlet next to our favorite armchair, set it to medium, and prepared to get cozy. After ten minutes, the blanket wasn’t throwing off all that much heat, so we turned it up to high for another five minutes. The blanket got a bit warmer, but not as warm as we expected it to be.
The center of the blanket (which covered our chest and torso) felt warm enough, but the sides and bottom remained cool.
Another issue we encountered was that the blanket wasn’t distributing heat evenly. So much for the ThermoFine technology that’s supposed to deliver consistent heat! The center of the blanket (which covered our chest and torso) felt warm enough, but the sides and bottom remained cool. Without the heating element, the blanket isn’t all that warm, so it left our arms and legs feeling chilly. We plugged the blanket into another outlet just to be sure there wasn’t a problem at our end, but it didn’t work any better.
The lack of heat had us wondering if we had received a defective product. Though the Sunbeam Reversible Heated Throw recieves good reviews on the whole, there are some complaints about blankets not being warm enough or not working at all. We contacted the manufacturer to see if they could shed some light on our issue. An automated recording stated that the blanket is designed to maintain your body’s warmth and it may not feel hot to the touch. The recording also said that warming blankets don’t operate like heating pads or older electric blankets.
Features: A few convenient extras
Despite its subpar performance, the Sunbeam Reversible Heated Throw does have a few nice features. For one, it’s very easy to operate. You can turn it off and on and switch between three settings (low, medium, and high) all with the push of one button. The blanket also shuts off automatically after three hours, which is a great safety feature. The royalmink material is very slippery and we found the remote kept sliding off the blanket onto the floor. But after this happened a few times, we noticed there was a handy clip on the back of the remote which allows you to attach it to the blanket and keep it at your fingertips.
After a thorough washing and drying the blanket maintained its shape, texture, and color.
Care: Machine-washable and fade-resistant
We didn’t realize an electric blanket could go in the washing machine, so that was a pleasant surprise. Following the manufacturer’s instructions,0 we washed it with cold water on a gentle cycle. Although it’s safe to put it in the dryer, we prefer to air dry most of our laundry to prevent shrinkage. The blanket took on a good amount of water in the wash, so we hung it over our shower door and let it dry overnight. It was still damp in the morning, though, so we put it in the dryer on low-heat wrinkle release for about 15 minutes. After a thorough washing and drying, we were pleased to see that the blanket had maintained its shape, texture, and color.
Price: More affordable than most, but still not worth it
With an MSRP of $80, the Sunbeam Reversible Heated Throw Blanket is one of the more affordable options on the market, but given its performance, we wouldn’t say it’s worth its full price. Unfortunately, after testing a few different heated blankets, we found that uneven and insufficient heating was a downfall of many models. So if you are set on buying one, don’t spend a lot of money on a potentially unreliable product. In our experience, the pricier models don’t perform any better, so stick to cheaper options like the Sunbeam.
Sunbeam Reversible Sherpa/Royalmink Heated Throw vs. Sunbeam Microplush Heated Throw
Retailing around $50, the Sunbeam Microplush Heated Throw is another budget-friendly option. Though it’s made from a different material (100 percent polyester microplush), it has similar features. What makes this blanket superior to Sunbeam’s Reversible Sherpa/Royalmink Heated Throw is its significantly warmer heat settings and its ability to heat evenly throughout. That’s not to say it doesn’t have its flaws, though. The Sunbeam Microplush Heated Throw’s polyester material is soft, but low quality and without the heating element on, it’s not very warm.
Purchase at your own risk.
We weren’t thrilled with the Sunbeam Reversible Heated Throw’s performance, but it might be a good choice if you prefer a subtle amount of heat. Unfortunately, electric blankets, in general, are a risky investment because the technology hasn’t been perfected. If you decide to buy this one, don’t expect miracles and be sure to take advantage of the five-year limited warranty if it stops working.
- Product Name Reversible Sherpa/Royalmink Heated Throw
- Product Brand Sunbeam
- Price $79.99
- Weight 3.52 lbs.
- Product Dimensions 50 x 60 in.
- Color Blue Plaid, Garnet, Honey, Olive, and Sable
- Material 100 percent polyester
- Warranty 5-year limited