Warming up your bed on chilly nights before you go to sleep may be the only way you’ve used a hot water bottle. For those who prefer a cooler sleep, you may not have used them at all. Now, as well as improving your sleep or keeping you warm, they’ve been proven to help you relax, relieve stress and even relieve aches and pains too.
What can you use hot water bottles for?
Tucking one into bed for five or ten minutes before slipping in yourself is a great way to prep for the perfect night’s sleep. Hot water bottles are also great for staying snug when cuddling up on the sofa or for keeping warm in your sleeping bag while out on a camping trip. They are also great for helping children to get to sleep or giving them (or you) a bit of extra comfort when they’re unwell.
Are hot water bottles bad for you?
Putting hot water close to your skin is always a bad idea. This danger may put some off using hot water bottles, particularly if you’re giving one to a child. Indeed, if you do put boiling water in a hot water bottle then there is a small risk of burning or scalding, but by taking a few sensible steps, you can enjoy their benefits safely.
Regular checks and correct storage
Make sure you regularly check for any cracks and holes, particularly in rubber hot water bottles. Take a close look at the lid and fill up the bottle with cold water first to make sure there are no leaks. Once you’ve used your bottle, make sure its completely empty and leave it to dry out on the inside before storing it in a dark, dry place. This will help your bottle to last longer and safe to use.
Take care during use
Especially if you’re using a bottle with a child, taking extra care when you’re using them will help you to stay safe. Removing them from the bed before you or your child hops in will reduce the risk of bursting or leakage.
Wrapping them in a blanket or buying a bottle with a cover will also mean there’s no direct contact with the skin and less chance of burning. Plus, using warm rather than boiling water means that even if there is a leak, there’ll be less chance of injury.
How can hot water bottles benefit you?
As well as being great bed warmers, the heat from hot water bottles can help to stimulate circulation and blood flow in the body. This type of heat therapy can give pain relief for persistent muscle aches or joint pains, such as neck and shoulder pain or arthritis. Plus, this extra blood flow can relieve stress and anxiety to help you relax or fall asleep more peacefully.
However, it’s worth noting that some recent studies found that repeated use of this type of heat therapy can mean your body becomes resistant to its benefits. This is particularly the case when using hot water bottles for period pain.
Which bottles are best for children?
There are plenty of fun, cuddly designs that can give children extra comfort when they’re ill or in bed. From dinosaurs to teddy bears, there are plenty of cute and cosy hot water bottles available to help keep their bed warm or sit next to them on the sofa.
What can you use instead of a hot water bottle?
If you’re worried about the safety of a hot water bottle or want something with a more gentle heat, then getting a bean or barley-filled wrap or bags is an alternative option. Often filled with other natural beneficial herbs such as lavender or sandalwood, you can heat them up in the microwave or even chill them in the fridge if you need some contrast therapy.
Wraps are a great option for persistent neck or shoulder pain as they sit snugly on the affected area, so you can just sit back and relax.
What’s the best hot water bottle for you?
Hot water bottles are great for giving comfort and helping you to stay warm, but by choosing a bottle with a faux fur cover or knitted cover will help you to stay extra cosy. Some bottles also come with essential oils or relaxing scents to help you get to sleep or stay happy and calm. By choosing a cute, cosy hot water bottle and teaming it up with your favourite blanket, you can enjoy the benefits of ultimate comfort and warmth safely.