Current Favorite: My Hot Water Bottle

hot water bottle

My entire family had the flu, even me, and I’ve been struggling to get my strength back. One thing that’s helping me to survive the cold weather this winter is my hot water bottle. It’s one of my favorite low-tech things that I keep with me. I usually can’t find my phone, but I sure know where the hot water bottle is all the time.

I used to think that these were just for sick people, and it’s true they are good for helping aches and pains. A hot water bottle is even more for cold people, and I am cold all the time, even in the summer.

It comes down to this: a hot water bottle feels like a hug.

It also sort of feels like you’re holding a baby because it has a similar weight, and you can just sit there in the relaxing way where you don’t have to get up, but you also don’t have to take care of it. I loaned out my baby sling, but if I still had it I would probably use it to carry around the hot water bottle with me. Just at home, obviously.

How to use a hot water bottle:

I thought hot water bottles were pink and flabby and liver-shaped, unappealing mostly, but the one I purchased is nice and well made. You can find cheaper ones at the drug store, but I think it’s worth spending a little more to not spring a leak. I bought the Fashy brand hot water bottle from Amazon (affiliate link) which is made in Germany. It has a strong stopper, and it’s not made from rubber like other kinds.

Fill it up with hot water from your sink faucet. Don’t use your tea kettle, that is not smart thinking. The sink will be hot enough.

Put the hot water bottle under the sheets before you go to bed. My kids go to sleep really fast this way.

It should stay warm for a few hours, but it doesn’t get cold, it eventually settles at room temperature.

The sweater, I mean the cover, is optional but important for cuteness and extra warmth. I bought mine from Toto Knits which was ideal so I didn’t have to make one. I love it. I think I want a second one so I can dress it up.

Do you have a hot water bottle too? What’s your go-to aid for cold weather?
About Rachel

I write about practical tips that will help you simplify at home. Connect with me on Pinterest and Twitter.


  1. Not a hot water bottle, but a cherry stone pillow that I heat in the microwave or oven if it’s on. It will even heat on the woodburner. Love it!

  2. We have rice sock owls that are cozy and oh-so-cute, but I suspect they don’t hold the heat as well as a hot water bottle would. And I’m floored at how adorable this one is with it’s darling sweater cover! I had no idea :)

    So sorry you all were sick. Take good care of yourself (I know you will) so you can finally feel all the way better. Here’s to a healthy February!
    Anne @ Modern Mrs Darcy´s last post…On Not Letting My (New and Novel) Weekends Slip Through My Fingers

  3. Hi Rachel! We used bed buddies made with corn feed and heated in the microwave. We use them all year round. I think we feel similarly about our items because even when we travel, they come with us.

  4. Your cute water bottle sweater gave me an idea. I’ve been planning on making a throw pillow cover from a thrift store cardigan. But hmmmm. Maybe my water bottle could be dressed up this way!

    Glad you’re all on the mend! We had a flu bug tear through our house. Not fun. The inverse of fun.
    Robin from Frugal Family Times´s last post…A Super Bowl Party Game that’s fun for non-fans, too! (2013 edition)

  5. Oooo, thanks for sharing! I went straight to the sites and ordered. Love Toto Knits!
    And I’m always cold, too. My go-to aid in cold weather? Uggs. Indoors and out. They’re fabulous.
    Susie Davis´s last post…when you feel alone

  6. I haven’t ever used a hot water bottle, but now that I have read about yours, I think that it would be a welcome addition for our family. It is cold where we live more than half the year…so maybe it is time to think of something other than an electric space heater :-)
    Heather´s last post…what i am eating #14

    • Get one – you won’t regret it! My mother-in-law introduced me to the Fashy brand hot water bottles like this one, and they are really superior – our stays warm all night! Although we don’t have a cover for it – I think it is time to get knitting. They really make a remarkable difference, and they make you feel cozy too. My mother-in-law always puts a hot water bottle (filled, of course) in our bed when we visit at Christmas and it is a great welcome after long trip.
      Bronwen´s last post…Blanket in the snow

  7. I’ve never used a hot water bottle but I do use a rice sock. It’s so nice when I’m sick and I love the way it conforms to whatever body part needs it the most. It helps me fall asleep so much faster if I’m cold, sick or just achy. It doesn’t hold heat for a few hours though so I wonder if a hot water bottle would be better that way.
    Steph´s last post…Shaking up the Shortest Month

  8. My cold-weather go to is blankets. I love blankets. I currently have three on my couch, and one will be coming with me into the office to help me with my online classes. Blankets. Oh! And flannel sheets. I love our flannel sheets.
    Little Wife´s last post…Mostly Wordless Wednesday: Some Beautiful Places

  9. Hope you’re feeling better. I’m a big fan of the hot sack filled with corn seed too. I stumbled upon it at a holiday craft fair from this nice gal, I can’t imagine winters without it. Here’s a link to her shop, just a nice local girl and she has lot’s of different fabrics to choose from.

  10. I use my heating pad for this. If my feet are warm, the rest of me feels so much better!!

  11. I find a hot water bottle helps put me back to sleep if I wake up in the middle of the night. I usually put it on my lower back or between my knees. I switch it around according to what I need. The warmth is soothing, especially during cooler weather. It’s saved many a night!

  12. We used cherry seeds in a pillow for years (love it!) Recently, we’ve got a far infra red heating pad for therapeutic purposes and it is better than I have hoped. Ideally, we would have a FIR sauna with one salt brick wall, but this will do just fine until then.

  13. I enjoy my fuzzy socks and electric blanket to defend against the chill.

  14. Have you had your thyroid tested? Hypothyroidism can cause low body temperature. It is a simple blood test you might want to look into.

  15. a friend asked for one for christmas, so i got it for her and made a cute little turtleneck sweater for it…and was soo, soo tempted to keep it for myself. what doesn’t look better in its own sweater?!
    paige´s last post…weekly wuzzup.

  16. I love the scene in “The Queen” with QEll holding her “hottie”.

  17. Rachel, YESSS! Getting into my bed when I don’t have my flannel sheets on it has been shockingly cold–every night I have to prepare like I’m jumping into a freezing lake. I finally got around to finding my rubbery pink water bottle the other day only to discover it was leaking. I didn’t know they made cuter ones! I stayed at a B and B in Ireland once where the woman placed hot water bottles in the beds when she turned down the covers and I’ve been dreaming about doing this.

  18. Oh I just love this! I will have to order me one! And that sweater is adorable! Thank you so much for the links! I too, have that nasty flu this season as well, twice!
    I will be getting a flu shot very soon!

  19. I guess mine is like what others are calling their rice sock?? I made it from a dish towel and filled it with rice. It’s sort of long so it can go around my neck, but it’s wide enough to be perfect to heat up the pillow and drape down onto the flannel sheets. The bedroom is always colder than the rest of the house and while I like it that way during the night with covers piled on, my face, hands, and feet are always cold at bedtime (and my thyroid is fine). So I go to bed with it by my face and hands and then when they’re warm, it goes down by my feet and I fall asleep. So comforting! I’ve been known to take it in the car with me until the car warms up too. Not for my feet–for my lap and hands!
    (But I do like my blankets too–2 very soft thick ones with an extra sherpa throw on top–mmm.)

  20. How funny to read your blog post right now. I started using my hot water bottle to heat the bed last week when it got really cold. I thought about how I could make a cover for it so it would be even more cozy. The price of the Toto Knits cover is very reasonable and probably less than it would cost me in materials. Thanks for sharing and feel better.

  21. I have loaned the electric throw our daughter gave me for Christmas to a friend who is very ill. A hot water bottle would be a great substitute on this frigid windchill day.
    Lori @ In My Kitchen, In My Life´s last post…Dumplings, the Chicken’s Best Friend

  22. LOVE LOVE LOVE our hot water bottles! We save our juice and tea bottles and fill them at bed time to keep the kiddles warm. They stay warm all night.

  23. That’s about the cutest thing ever. And I’m now wanting to make my own from an old sweater, just so I can have the cute thing. The warmth will be a bonus. In the meantime, I’m just going to keep using our mini-wiener dog, Daisy. I think she’s about the size of a hot water bottle, and her favorite thing to do is lie on my stomach. When I’m feeling crummy, it’s the best. :-)
    Rita@thissortaoldlife´s last post…Not what I’d planned on

  24. Hope you get well soon. I just finished your book. Very useful and practical. Thank you for writing. As for go to aid during winter, I use rice bag heated in microwave. Found the instruction to make one here:
    We use it daily during the winter months that way we can turn down the heater temperature. It stays warm for about 2 hours under my down-alternative comforter.

  25. We have rice bags that we nuke in the microwave AND a hot water bottle. I made a cover for mine, but yours is cuter. I use them for cramps and aches and pains. The kids carry them around like loveys. I think I should warm up our beds with them – why not? A vintage home, indeed.

    Hope you get your strength back soon! I miss your posts.
    Margo, Thrift at Home´s last post…How to Freeze Unbaked Sticky Buns to Bake Later

  26. I too am always cold it seems. I love my heat packs. I take two to bed with me every night. One for my feet and one I lay across my tummy. Ahhh! My heat packs are cloth bags filled with rice. I also have one filled with flax seed. I just pop them in the microwave for a couple of minutes. I always look at hot water bottles with fond memories though. My grandma always heated up a hot water bottle for my leg aches when I was a child. Grandmas are the best.
    Tracy´s last post…Bread Machine soft pretzels

  27. Mary Frederick says:

    I haven’t had the flu, but I’ve been suffering from low hemoglobin due to low iron. I was a 6 and now I’m I’m a 9. I am usually not a cold person but I have been freezing these last 2 months. The hot water bottle sounds divine!! Does anyone have any other ideas?

  28. I love my hot water bottle for muscle aches! I’d like to make a cute cover myself though.
    Amber´s last post…Jorge Cruise on Anderson Cooper Live

  29. This may keep my heating bills down in the winter. Thanks.
    Zipporah Bird´s last post…INTERVIEW WITH CLAIRE: “As flawed as they are . . . if you speak truth to them, they accept it and don’t argue.”

  30. I want to buried with my hot water bottle. Nothing compares. And yes, it has a cover. Purple velvet. It was a gift. Best gift ever.

  31. I used to love them too, until one broke open on my friend and gave her major burns… need to be careful!!! I stopped using since then :(

  32. I’ve been keeping warm this winter by being pregnant. :) There is so much extra volume in my blood that I don’t get cold very often. But when I do, I wrap up in my comforter in front of our space heater. It gets instantly warm and toasty and only takes me a few minutes to heat back up.
    Jennie´s last post…Apologies and New Developments

  33. My L.L. Bean “Wicked Good Moccasins” that I got (NEW!) at the local consignment store are my savior. I am usually warm, unlike Rachel, but my feet are always cold. When my feet are warm, I am happy, and I can sleep well.

  34. Well, had I known hot water bottles were so cute, I probably would be using one as an always-cold lady myself. We use a microwaveable rice bag instead. They kick around in various shapes and sizes, but the current favorite is froggy-shaped and comes to bed with us every night, so we’ve nicknamed him Horny Toad. Before you start brushing your teeth and winding down, nuke the little guy and put him in the bed to take the chill off. I’ve heard of folks using flax seed or even little additions of chamomile or lavender. They wouldn’t be hard to make, really. I’ve also seen the tiniest of rice bean bags serving as reusable hand warmers for coat pockets, so that’s also on the to-make list.

    Here’s to good health!