When I first took the blanket out of the box and lay it on the bed, I was frustrated with how small it was. I was expecting something that would cover the whole of the bed, but it only covers about 4/5ths. However I maneuvered the blanket around, trying to find the best way to lay it for maximum coverage, and i found that having the controls to the top right of the bed worked for me. I put the blanket on the 2nd setting about an hour before I came to bed and when I got in it was lovely and toasty. I'm sure if it was put on for 10/15 minutes, that would have warmed it up nicely but I ended up going to bed later. Because the foot of the bed isn't entirely covered, I found myself with cold feet unless I lay diagonally. I haven't tried the 3rd setting as the 2nd is hot enough for me. I left it on the 1st setting all night and woke up comfortably warm. The strings work fine, although a bit of a bother lifting up both sides of a double mattress. The blanket seemed to be hottest in the centre of the blanket - which makes sense, but if you only use one side of the bed it can be quite awkward trying to find the warmest part. (That's probably just me, though!) Overall, quite pleased. This is my first electric blanket and I had a great night's sleep.