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Best hot water bottle 2022: Cosy up this winter with one of our favourite hot water bottles

Say farewell to aches, pains, and impromptu shivers with our pick of the best hot water bottles

When the nights draw in and your bed gets chilly, there’s nothing better than snuggling up with a hot water bottle. But you don’t have to endure the odd rubbery smell you may remember from childhood: today’s hot water bottles have gone through an upgrade.

Rechargeable hot water bottles heat up super fast when plugged into a wall socket, and pose no risk of accidental spillages. Then there’s the microwaveable version, filled with grains or seeds to which you can add a dash of essential oils for a peaceful night’s sleep. Fans of the old-school traditional bottle can still fill theirs from the kitchen kettle – but they can also opt for a miniature-sized version to keep chilly hands warm in pockets, or place them on particular areas of the body. With so many hot water bottles on the market, we’ve put together some of our favourites here.

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Best hot water bottles: At a glance

  • Best luxury hot water bottle: Helen Moore | Buy now
  • Best hot water bottle for aches and pains: YuYu | Buy now
  • Best rechargeable electric hot water bottle: Vivo | Buy now
  • Best small hot water bottle: Medipaq | Buy now
  • Best hot water bottle for kids: Jo Mandy Highland Cow | Buy now
  • Best clay hot water bottle: Ostrich Pillow | Buy now

How to choose the best hot water bottle for you

What kinds of hot water bottles are there?

Traditional hot water bottle The oldest and most familiar, these require a little prep work. Boil a kettle with around 1.5 litres of water, then wait a few minutes to allow the water to cool slightly. When filling the bottle, pour carefully to avoid spillages – upright while in the sink is the most sensible method.

Microwaveable hot water bottle Usually filled with wheat or gel, these are popped into the microwave and heat quickly in around a minute. The heat remains trapped in the filling material and is then released over a period of time. A microwaveable bottle means no chance of spills or water leaks, but the downside is the heat doesn’t seem to last as long as a traditional bottle.

Electric hot water bottle These usually contain a form of gel or liquid that’s heated by electrodes when a current is introduced. They’re plugged into an outlet, heat up in just a few minutes, and should stay warm all night. Although some models can be used while charging, it’s highly recommended to disconnect before you place it on your body to avoid any risk of shocks.

How does a traditional hot water bottle work?

It may sound obvious, but there’s still a bit of science involved when it comes to the choice of traditional hot water bottle materials. The bottle itself is made from rubber or thermoplastic with insulating properties that prevent the heat from escaping too quickly. A threaded stopper ensures a tight seal, and the bottle’s cover – usually fleece, knit, faux fur or something equally cosy – helps protect your skin from the heat.

They typically provide about six hours of warmth; to get the maximum amount of heat from a hot water bottle, fill it up two-thirds of the way and then carefully squeeze out the excess air until the water level is just below the top.

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Is it safe to use a hot water bottle?

All of the heated bottles we’ve included here involve the user either being in close proximity to extremely hot water or electrically powering heat devices to be used when you’re falling asleep. This means you should always be aware of the possibility of fire risks and scalding. Read all the information that comes with these products, and ensure you switch off kettles and disconnect plugs before sleeping.

Before filling traditional bottles, check the rubber for any obvious signs of damage and discard immediately if you find any tears or cracks. Never sit or lie on a hot water bottle, as it could burst. When not in use, drain them completely of water to avoid mould issues, then keep hot water bottles out of direct sunlight to prevent the rubber from perishing. It’s actually advised to replace bottles entirely every two or three years, but you can still switch over your favourite covers.

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The best hot water bottles to buy in 2022

1. Helen Moore Luxuriously Soft Faux Fur Hot Water Bottle: Best luxury water bottle

Price: £39 | Buy now from Not On The High Street

It’s hard to resist stroking the faux fur of this hot water bottle from Not On The High Street. Available in two sizes and seven different patterns, the cover is beautifully soft and plush, making it perfect for cuddling up to on a cold night. Although perfect to use in bed, there’s something particularly luxurious about sitting on the sofa with this hot water bottle, too – and if you don’t have pets, it will make a great replacement. The smaller Mini version, which is just 27 x 17cm, can easily be tucked into a pocket during a long winter walk.

The inner bottle is made from thermoplastic, while the zippable covers are all 100% faux fur, which can be machine washed. We’re fans of the solid cover options, like sea green and steel, although lynx and arctic leopard are stunners, too.

Key specs – Dimensions: 34 x 21cm (Standard), 27 x 17cm (Mini); Heating type: Hot water

Buy now from Not On The High Street

2. The Body Hot Water Bottle By YUYU: Best hot water bottle for aches and pains

Price: £25 | Buy now from Argos

For those who want to be surrounded by warmth, the YuYu is a fantastic choice. This is essentially a wearable hot water bottle: it’s 81cm long, with a loop at one end and a metre-long drawstring at the other so you can tie it securely to yourself and wear it hands-free. YuYu was designed with chronic pain sufferers in mind and is adored on social media by those with painful period symptoms, bad back pain and endometriosis sufferers in particular.

Inside the cover is a flexible, narrow bottle made from biodegradable Sri Lankan natural rubber, which you fill with recently boiled water – and although the elongated design allows for more surface area, the YuYu still uses the same amount of water as a traditional bottle so you don’t have to boil the kettle more than once. It also doubles as an ice pack in hot weather, too: Team GB was even sporting them at the Tokyo Olympics.

There are plenty of fabric covers to choose from, made with cotton, fleece, linen, cashmere, cosy knit and tartan. All of them are washable but also have a water-resistant lining on the inside to protect against any leaks. We particularly like the little pocket on the outside of the cover to tuck away the drawstring when not in use.

Key specs – Dimensions: 81 x 11cm; Heating type: Hot water

Buy now from Argos

3. Vivo Rechargeable Electric Hot Water Bottle: Best rechargeable hot water bottle

Price: £25 | Buy now from Amazon

This rectangular heating pad-style bottle from Vivo can be charged up in ten minutes and is a great alternative to traditional bottles if you’re too impatient to wait for the kettle to boil – and, more importantly, if you have mobility issues that can make filling a bottle dangerous.

The bright blue fleece cover contains a liquid gel that’s permanently sealed, so there’s no chance of leaks or spillages. The front of the Vivo bottle has openings on either side so you can tuck chilly fingers inside, and on the reverse you’ll find a small charging port covered by a small plastic disc. Once you slide the charging cover open to expose the pins, connect the charging cradle and charge for around 15 minutes until the orange indicator light turns off. When you unplug it, the bag will have reached a temperature of 70-75°C, and it retains a decent level of heat for six hours once unplugged. There’s no dial for choosing a temperature, but if the pre-ordained level is too high you can stop heating before it hits maximum. Helpfully, the charger cuts out when it reaches the right temperature so you can’t really overheat it, but make sure you unplug it before falling asleep for safety’s sake.

Key specs – Dimensions: 25 x 17 x 5cm; Heating type: Rechargeable/electric

4. Medipaq Mini Hot Water Bottles: Best small hot water bottles

Price: £12 | Buy now from Amazon

Why use one full-sized hot water bottle when you can have three mini ones instead? At just £4 per bottle, this brightly coloured selection is cheap and cheerful, and perfect for using on three parts of your body at once. Alternatively, they can be tucked into pockets on a long walk or placed on your lap when sitting outside – and they’re an ideal size for travelling, too.

Each bottle measures 13.5 by 25cm – about the size of an outstretched hand – and has a 750ml capacity, although you’ll only fill it with about 250ml of water so one kettle’s worth will usually fill all three. These Medipaq bottles are made from thick natural rubber with plastic, leak-proof screw caps, although they don’t come with covers so make sure you find something to wrap them in for maximum comfort and heat protection.

Key specs – Dimensions: 13.5 x 25cm; Heating type: Hot water

5. JoMandy Soft Toys Highland Cow Hot Water Bottle: Best hot water bottle for kids

Price: £27 | Buy now from Not On The High Street

A cuddly toy that doubles as heated comfort – what could be better? There are plenty of child-friendly options available at Not On The High Street, including this gorgeous brown Highland cow with outstretched legs and arms that you’d never think was hiding a hot water bottle inside. The cow cover is made from extremely soft and lush 100% polyester plush so it can be popped in the washing machine, and the one-litre bottle is made from recyclable high grade rubber. When it’s not being used as a hot water bottle cover, this cute cow is just as happy being used as a pyjama case or a cuddly toy – it’s hard to resist giving it a cuddle! This would be perfect for a Christmas or birthday present.

Key spec – Dimensions: 40 x 14.5cm; Heating type: Hot water

Buy now from Not On The High Street

6. Ostrich Pillow Heatbag: Best clay hot water bottle

Price: £50 | Buy now from Amazon

Multipurpose, microwaveable, freezable and huggable: the Ostrich Pillow is a heat bag designed primarily for therapeutic purposes, but it also manages to be seriously cuddly. The removable inner core is filled with natural clay, which is then zipped into an extremely soft case made from eight insulating layers of recycled foam and topped with jersey fabric. Heat releases slowly through the thinner side, leaving the other thickly insulated side to prevent temperature loss, so it’s purely for hugging.

Using natural clay as a filler means it can be reused an unlimited number of times without losing its properties, and it can stay warm or cold for longer than conventional fillings. To heat the Ostrich Pillow initially, pop the inner core in the microwave for 35 seconds at 1000W, or alternatively, you can put it in the freezer for an hour and use it as a cold compress pack instead.

Key spec – Dimensions: 30 x 16 x 7cm; Type: Microwaveable

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