Overall star rating: 4.5/5
Price on writing: £90 | Buy now from Amazon
Working from home throughout winter, things can often get a bit chilly. On the days when I'm at home, I tend to be the only one in, so it seems rather uneconomical to crank up the thermostat and heat the whole house when only one room is occupied. With this in mind, I've been on a mission to hunt down energy-efficient, cosy products like the best heated throws to help me stay toasty and comfortable without relying on central heating.
When I first heard about the Lakeland Electric Heated Poncho on the Mumsnet forums, I was intrigued – it's effectively an electric blanket you can wear that warms your shoulders, back and torso while keeping your hands free to tap away at a keyboard. Part of me was a little sceptical though – at £90, it's certainly an investment purchase. To see if it's worth the expense, I decided to put it to the test, using it extensively for a month before analysing its performance and scoring its key features. Here's what I thought...
What we like
Nine heat and timer settings
Great warming power
Ideal for tasks where you need your hands free
Super cosy fabric
Heats up quickly
Cheap to run
Can also double up as a throw
What we don't like
Has to be plugged in to the mains to work
Only one colour choice
Temperature settings: 5/5
Ease of use: 4.5/5
Ease of cleaning: 4.5/5
Value for money: 4/5
After using the Lakeland Electric Heated Poncho daily for a month, I was highly impressed with this winter buy. My favourite features were the fast heat up time, the warmth it provided on chilly December days (the highest setting got a little too hot sometimes!), and how cosy and soft it felt. It was very practical too – the fastenings held it in place so I could freely type on my keyboard while still getting a welcome boost of heat across my upper body.
The biggest downside is the premium price point, but do look out for offers – it sometimes has a generous reduction on the RRP. That said, it is cheap to run and is part of Lakeland's 'Spend Smart Live Well' range of products, which aim to keep you warm while saving on energy bills.
All in all, while a poncho design won't appeal to everyone, I loved this and it was a total godsend for working from home when temperatures dropped to 0°C. I even started using it unfolded as a throw in bed, so it's surprisingly versatile too.
How easy is the Lakeland Electric Heated Poncho to use?
Pretty easy. The set-up instructions were clear and easy to follow, and after connecting the controller to the blanket and plugging it in at the mains, it was good to go.
The control unit was simple to operate with three intuitive buttons to turn the blanket on, select the temperature setting and adjust the timer. The temperature setting is chosen by repeatedly pressing the button to reach your desired setting between '1' to '9' ('9' being the hottest).
The timer is controlled in a similar way – numbers show between '1' to '9' followed by a dot (pictured above), with each number representing a time in 20-minute increments. The only downside here is that it would have been useful to see the chosen temperature and timer setting on the screen at the same time – instead it defaults to showing the temperature setting only.
Related: Discover the best heated gloves for winter
How warm is the Lakeland Electric Heated Poncho?
This is the area the poncho excelled in the most; I was thrilled with how quickly it heated up and how warm it got. There's a good variety of temperature settings to choose between, with nine different options, although '2' and '3' are recommended for heating up purposes only in the instructions.
I tended to opt for '6' or '7' mostly, and '9' was great for a quick fix on particularly chilly days before switching to a lower setting.
Design and style: Lakeland Electric Heated Poncho
Admittedly, a poncho style isn't going to appeal to everyone (I have to admit, the word 'poncho' did give me severe noughties flashbacks), but I loved how it fitted and it was very comfortable and soft to wear.
I was a big fan of the overall design of the poncho – it was perfect for wrapping up in at my desk or on the sofa. I did have two minor gripes though; it's only available in one colour (grey), and it has to be plugged in to heat up. This is the case with most heated throws (unlike heated gilets, they tend to be powered via the mains rather than a battery pack), but due to the design, I was expecting it to be more like a heated blanket hoodie you can walk around in. Still, I adored the poncho, and if I did need to move about the house, it was easy to detach from the connector plug so I could keep it on. The cord is long at 230cm too, so you don't have to be too close to a plug point to use it.
How easy is it to wash the Lakeland Electric Heated Poncho?
Really easy – it's just simply a case of detaching the control unit and popping it in the washing machine on a wool cycle. It can't be tumble dried, however, so I did need to wait for it to dry on an airer. Thankfully, it came out of the wash super soft and the quality hadn't deteriorated at all.
Related: Best thermal socks for warm toes
Price: does the Lakeland Electric Heated Poncho offer good value for money?
I loved the Lakeland Heated Poncho and on a cost-per-wear basis think it offers good value for money. I was impressed that it has a three-year guarantee too for added peace of mind.
Overall though, I think it is quite pricey at its full RRP, but it definitely stopped me from turning the heating up when working from home, so the initial outlay could be worth it if it'll help you save money on your energy bills in the long run.
How we tested
I tested the Lakeland Electric Heated Poncho in my north London home. During testing, I carefully rated it on its warmth, how comfy it was to wear, the overall design and how well it washed.
Worn daily for a one-month period in cold weather
Completed everyday household stain tests to assess the care instructions
Cross-compared with other heated products I've tested
About the author
Natasha Gregson is an Affiliate Content Editor at Mumsnet, with an expertise in home and lifestyle product reviews and round-ups. With several years of editorial experience under her belt, she also has had work featured in national publications including The i Paper and Stylist Magazine.
When she’s not busy finding the latest cosy winter buys like the best hand warmers or heated socks for Mumsnet, you can find her searching for the next best restaurant, curling up with a good book, cross-stitching, or enjoying a good swim.
About Mumsnet Reviews
All Mumsnet product reviews are written by real people after extensive research and testing. We work hard to provide honest and independent advice you can trust. Sometimes, we earn revenue through affiliate (click-to-buy) links in our articles. However, we never allow this to influence our coverage.
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