Winter is here! And that’s why it’s time to get a great hot water bottle to keep you warm and cosy all season long. Hot water bottles are a useful home remedy tool and great for everything from soothing achy muscles to keeping you toasty in bed at night.
Water bottles can come covered with soft knits, fleece, faux fur, cashmere or velvet, cheap or luxury, super lush or pared down and practical. But which is the best hot water bottle to suit your needs?
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What is a hot water bottle and why should you invest?
Hot water bottles, which have been around since the 1500s, are traditionally filled with hot water and closed with a stopper that you can then use to warm yourself up with, whether tucking it under your blanket, cuddling up to it on the sofa or in bed, or even wearing it when you go out for some extra warmth. Hot water bottles are the original heat therapy – they help improve circulation, and can also be used for targeted heat to soothe pain from menstrual cramps to muscle aches and tension.
Do hot water bottles work for stress relief?
Yes, heat reduces stress and tension throughout the body due to the fact that it increases the blood circulation and keeps the muscles functioning properly, providing more oxygen and nutrients. What's more, a hug releases oxytocin, the happy hormone.
Water bottles can come covered with soft knits, fleece, faux fur or even velvet
Pink Teddy Embroidered Water Bottle, £24, Oliver Bonas
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While rubber hot water bottles were all the rage starting in the 19th century, modern life means we’ve upped our game and you can now get hot water bottles with cosy knit or faux fur covers, and you no longer need to necessarily fill the bottles with water these days! If convenience is key, you will want to opt for a quick heating microwave hot water bottle, or a plug-in electric style, both of which will usually stay warm for at least four hours.
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Microwave, traditional or electric hot water bottle – which is best?
The best hot water bottle for you really depends on what your needs and priorities are, whether it is simplicity, convenience or even stylishness.
hush Shearling Hot Water Bottle cover, more colours available, £55, John Lewis
Traditional rubber or PVC hot water bottles are the classic old school home remedy and can also be used with cold water for cold therapy or during the summer. Filled with hot (not boiling) water, they don’t require electricity in either the form of a microwave or an electrical outlet, which is a plus if energy efficiency is a priority for you.
A microwave hot water bottle heats up quickly thanks to an interior thermal pack. Generally, you just pop it into the microwave for a 60 seconds, which means it is a nearly instant fix if you need warmth immediately.
With an electric hot water bottle you literally just plug it in! Which means that if you're in your bedroom or living room and need some warmth, there's no need to head to the kitchen to fill up a traditional water bottle or pop it into the microwave.
Microwave and electric hot water bottles don't have stoppers so that eliminates the risk of water leaks or spills.
When it comes to style, electric and microwave hot water bottles can be found in a host of looks, whether knit, fleece or faux fur. But don’t worry if you prefer a traditional rubber water bottle - you can buy covers for your hot water bottle separately and switch it up according to your mood.
Now that you know the difference between traditional, microwave and electric hot water bottles, here are our picks of the best, whatever your needs.
Best traditional hot water bottle to keep it simple
This traditional hot water bottle, which has earned a five-star rating on Amazon, isn't made of rubber but from recyclable thermoplastic material and it comes with two covers so you'll have an extra when one is in the wash. It will stay warm up to 8 hours and Amazon reviewers are raving about the great quality for the price. "The covering is not only adorable - it is very well made. The bottle, itself, is also well made. Great bang for your buck!" said one fan.
Aukiita Traditional Hot Water Bottle with 2 Covers, £12.99, Amazon
Best microwave hot water bottle for instant warmth
Hotties are known for their water-filled microwavable hot water bottles – differentiating them from heating pads filled with wheat or other substance. This microwavable hot water bottle heats up in the microwave a few minutes, then stays cosy for hours. This tartan hot water bottle is quilted, but the brand also makes hot water bottles in other fabrics like faux fur and fleece.
Hotties Microwave Hot Water Bottle in Quilted Royal Stewart Tartan, £15.99, Amazon
Best electric hot water bottle for easy heat
It may not be the most stylish hot water bottle in the world, but eBay’s top-selling electric water bottle is very easy to use – plug it in and charge it up for 8-12 minutes for four to six hours of warmth.
Bauer Rechargeable Electric Hot Water Bottle, £16.39, eBay
Best large hot water bottle for chilly nights
With a high rating on Amazon, the Country Club hot water bottle is a favourite – and we love the faux fur and pom pom design. The two-litre bottle will definitely help keep you warm on chilly nights, and if pink isn't your colour there are a host of other shades to choose from.
Country Club large hot water bottle with faux fur cover, £8.72, Amazon
Best velvet hot water bottles for cosy comfort
This velvet hot water bottle cover from indie brand Not Just Pajama has a light lavender scent and comes with a 1L rubber water bottle.
Not Just Pajama Velvet Hot Water Bottle, four colours available, £99, Wolf & Badger
You'll get a good night's sleep with this large gold silk velvet 2L hot water bottle that is actually scented thanks to a removable lavender satchet.
Holistic Silk Velvet Hot Water Bottle in gold, more colours available, £98, Amara
Best luxury and designer hot water bottles to keep it chic
Luxury brand Burberry is behind this 100% cashmere water bottle that definitely makes a fashion statement.
Burberry cashmere hot water bottle, was £355 Now £284, Farfetch
This cashmere water bottle from luxury knitwear brand Chinti & Parker suits any fashionista. Gift one to your most fashionable – and fabulous – friend or family member.
Chinti & Parker Star-print cashmere hot water bottle cover, £125, Selfridges
If Emily in Paris had a water bottle to keep her cosy in her tiny flat, we think this would be it. This French-made warmer is super glam – oh là là!
Evelyne Prélonge Himalaya Faux Fur Hot Water Bottle in blush, £100, Amara
Best eco-friendly heatbag
If you're looking for a huggable companion that doesn't waste water, or risk burn injuries, this Heatbag is so much more than a heating bag. Warm it up in the microwave and it becomes the perfect hugging partner, or freeze it for pain relief. What's more, it's made of recycled foam and a soft jersey fabric. The inner core is made out of clay and it stays warm or cold for longer.
Heatbag, £51, Ostrichpillow
Best small hot water bottle
Small hot water bottles can be tucked into your bag or suitcase, so are great for travel and their small size also makes them an excellent option for children. This .8 litre bottle in a cute penguin shape has a five-star rating on Amazon.
Fashy Hot Water Bottle, £12.42, Amazon
Best long hot water bottles
This long hot water bottle that has earned a 4.6-star rating on Amazon has a wearable strap so you can tie it around your waist or shoulders, and it provides 4-6 hours of heat. It’s also fashionable – it’s available in leopard print, shown, as well as plain grey, zebra and polka dot
The Body Bottle in leopard print, £24.99, Amazon
Available in grey and dusky pink, this long hot water bottle, which comes in its own drawstring carrying bag, is covered in felt and has a coordinating ribbon tie.
Chalk UK Henry long hot water bottle, £34, Trouva
The YuYu fillable hot water bottle has an extendable strap so you can comfortably wear it, the heat lasts for up to six hours. In the summer it can be used as a cold compress.
YuYu Hot Water Bottle, £60, Anthropologie
Best hot water bottle for kids
Marks & Spencer has a whole range of small traditional hot water bottles for kids that come in plush toy covers, like this fluffy lion that can also serve as a pyjama holder.
Lion Hot Water Bottle, £16, Marks & Spencer
Best hot water bottle for pets
Hot water bottle brand Hotties also makes a microwavable hot water bottle for your pet! Non-toxic and chew/claw-resistant, the Hotties from Petlife warmer can be used for dogs, cats and smaller animals, and is suitable for use anywhere from crates to pet beds.
Hotties Microwavable Pet Warmer, £14.95, eBay
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