Thermal comfort and safety of cotton blankets warmed at 130°F and 200°F

Patricia A. Kelly, Susan K. Cooper, Mary L. Krogh, Elizabeth C. Morse, Craig G. Crandall, Elizabeth H. Winslow, Julie P. Balluck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations


Background: In 2009, the ECRI Institute recommended warming cotton blankets in cabinets set at 130°F or less. However, there is limited research to support the use of this cabinet temperature. Purpose: To measure skin temperatures and thermal comfort in healthy volunteers before and after application of blankets warmed in cabinets set at 130 and 200°F, respectively, and to determine the time-dependent cooling of cotton blankets after removal from warming cabinets set at the two temperatures. Design: Prospective, comparative, descriptive. Methods: Participants (n = 20) received one or two blankets warmed in 130 or 200°F cabinets. First, skin temperatures were measured, and thermal comfort reports were obtained at fixed timed intervals. Second, blanket temperatures (n = 10) were measured at fixed intervals after removal from the cabinets. Finding: No skin temperatures approached levels reported in the literature that cause epidermal damage. Thermal comfort reports supported using blankets from the 200°F cabinet, and blankets lost heat quickly over time. Conclusions: We recommend warming cotton blankets in cabinets set at 200°F or less to improve thermal comfort without compromising patient safety.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)337-346
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Perianesthesia Nursing
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2013



  • Blanket warmer cabinet
  • Cabinet temperatures
  • PACU
  • Thermal comfort
  • Warmed blankets

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medical–Surgical

Cite this

Kelly, P. A., Cooper, S. K., Krogh, M. L., Morse, E. C., Crandall, C. G., Winslow, E. H., & Balluck, J. P. (2013). Thermal comfort and safety of cotton blankets warmed at 130°F and 200°F. Journal of Perianesthesia Nursing, 28(6), 337-346.