The 10 Best Hot Water Bottles
This wiki has been updated 27 times since it was first published in October of 2016. Whether you're searching for a cure for those bone-chilling winter nights or you're in need of a compress to ease some aches and pains, look no further than these soothing hot water bottles. They are constructed from high-quality materials to minimize the chances of leaking, and many come with soft covers that make them ideal sleeping companions for adults and children alike. When users buy our independently chosen editorial recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
October 19, 2020:
Our goal during this update was to introduce a bit more variety to a category that generally seems to have similar, if not identical, items. With that goal in mind, we removed the Samply Warmer, since it didn't offer anything different than many other options on our list, and replaced it with the Samply U-Shaped, which is designed to wrap around your neck, or perhaps a limb that is suffering from muscle soreness. We also replaced the Nolonger Transparent because, though it had the U-shape, it was a bit too stiff, so it didn't always make full contact with the skin. In its place came the OLizee 1.6-Liter, which has a very similar design but was crafted from a more flexible material.
Another model that was replaced was the Kayota Daily. As with the Samply Warmer, it simply didn't offer anything unique to separate it from other models on the list so we didn't fell it warranted a spot any longer. Instead, we now have the Opliy Wide-Mouth, which comes with a sleeve that allows it to be worn like a belt. This makes it ideal for those who need to get work done or take care of other responsibilities while still providing their body with the heat therapy it needs.
We also added the Peter Pan 90-Ounce. At 30 inches long, it notably stands out from the others and is perfect for someone who needs heat on the entire length of their torso, or anyone else who wants a hot water bottle they can curly their body around while sleeping.
It is worth mentioning that the majority of the options on the market are not safe to put in the microwave, however, the Rukaza Heypork Silicone is an outlier here. Thanks to the material it is made from, it can be put in the microwave, so you don't need to deal with heating up water on the stove. It, along with the Arctic Flex XL, is also freezer safe, so they can take the place of cold packs, too.
November 13, 2019:
Hot water bottles as we know them have been in use for decades, and it's clear to see why. Their classic designs, which have benefited from improved materials and feature upgrades over the years, are ingeniously simple and effective for everything from achy muscles to cramps, stiffness, and more. They're great for placing under your duvet for a few minutes to warm your bed up, and many can also double as cold therapy packs, too.
It's been a while since we've revisited this list, and so we had to scrap many of its items to make way for stronger, more current recommendations. Some, like the Peter Pan XXXL and Pure Sanctum Snugglez, were removed due to availability issues. Others, such as the Kooder 2L and Azmed Classic, were replaced with newer items of better quality, like the Samply Warmer and Arctic Flex XL.
Also joining the ranks today is the Nolonger Transparent, which we love for its elongated, U-shaped design that makes it all too easy to sling over your neck, lower back, tummy, and arms and legs. Then there's the Rukaza Environmental, which boasts a different design from its peers on the market and has a small size that makes it great for applying to targeted areas.
The HomeTop Premium comes with a snuggly teddy bear cover that makes it even more comforting on days when you're feeling under the weather or just need extra reassurance. The cover also makes it appealing to children, but note that no type of hot water bottle should be given to a very young child, especially without supervision — there are just too many ways they can injure themselves with one. For older kids, we still recommend watching them, since any parent knows that a child's penchant for opening things they shouldn't is strong.
We also added the Fashy Quilted, one of the strongest, most reliable units on the market today. It features strong, thoughtful German construction and comes with a thin, 100% cotton pouch that interferes with its heat distribution less than the typical fleece, knit, and polyester ones you usually see.
Aroma Home Scented This 2-liter PVC bottle from Aroma Home is infused with pure essential oils of lavender, patchouli, and bergamot. Once filled with hot water, the soft fragrance becomes more pronounced. This combination of soothing warmth with a relaxing fragrance is ideal for drifting off to sleep, and the bottle keeps its scent throughout many uses. It comes with a striped knitted cover made from a mixture of lambswool and acrylic for an extra soft feel. aromahome.com
Hot Water Bottle Shop Rubberless Made in Germany and subject to strict regulations, this offering from the Hot Water Bottle Shop uses an ultra-modern, rubberless design that makes it easy to use as well as eco-friendly. It's crafted from 80% renewable materials, is PVC free, recyclable, and odorless. The special design includes a safety cap and soft polyester cover that unzips sideways to mitigate potential accidents. hotwaterbottleshop.com
YuYu Bottle Measuring nearly 32 inches, the YuYu Bottle is ideal for wrapping around your body to soothe pressure points, aches, and menstrual cramps. It can stay warm for up to six hours and sports bubbles that massage and create air pockets under its cover, allowing it to stay warmer for longer. YuYu offers covers in luxury fleece, soft cashmere, designer prints, and Japanese cotton. yuyubottle.com
A Brief History Of Hot Water Bottles
This is a little too close to a spit-roast for my tastes, but I guess some people will do anything to beat the cold.
If you've ever had to slide underneath ice-cold sheets on a frigid winter night, then you already know the value of keeping a warm bed. You may have even considered getting a pet or even a spouse just to increase the temperature under your covers. While I can't condone marrying someone just for their body heat, you should still keep your bed toasty — and a hot water bottle is a great way to do it.
While humans have been trying to keep their beds warm since the first caveman moved his pile of leaves closer to the fire, the first documented bed warmers were invented in the 16th century. These were long, metal pans with hot coals inside, and while they did an admirable job, they also caused a lot of severe burns and bedding fires.
Of course, if you didn't want to have to deal with a metal pan of death every night, you could get a bed wagon, which was a large wooden frame built over a pot that burned fuel. This is a little too close to a spit-roast for my tastes, but I guess some people will do anything to beat the cold.
A few centuries later, the stoneware hot water bottle came along. These were heavy, oblong plaster bottles with a stopper at one end that were excellent at radiating heat. The downside, however, is that they could leak if the stopper came out, and they broke easily when dropped. Still, the idea was sound, and it was only a matter of time until someone improved on it.
That time came in 1903, and that someone was Slavojub Eduard Penkala. The Croatian inventor patented a rubber bottle that could disperse heat without the danger of severe burns. His basic design is still in use today, but we have many other options to choose from, as well, including gel packs, latex bottles, and stuffed cushions that you can warm up in a microwave.
Health Benefits Of Hot Water Bottles
Hot water bottles aren't just for comfort. They also double as therapy devices, and if you don't have one, your body could be paying the price.
Your muscles are especially receptive to heat therapy, particularly when they're cramping or aching from over-exertion. Heat can increase blood flow to the affected area, whisking away lactic acid and bringing your muscles needed nutrients. The warmth is also reassuring, which can have an analgesic effect, essentially acting as a non-chemical painkiller.
Heat can increase blood flow to the affected area, whisking away lactic acid and bringing your muscles needed nutrients.
If you're stressed, but you don't have the ability to schedule a massage, grabbing a hot water bottle may be the next best thing. They're fantastic for relaxing trigger points, which releases any stored tension in your muscles and works out painful knots. Of course, it will be even more effective when paired with a massage, but then we'd be running the risk of spoiling you.
A hot water bottle should be part of your go-to therapy for menstrual pain as well. Applying heat for up to four hours has been shown to reduce cramping, making it a great way to fight discomfort without medication.
These bottles aren't an absolute cure-all, however. If you have an injury, or if you're dealing with inflammation, you should ice the area instead of applying heat. A good rule of thumb is that ice is for trauma, and heat is for aches, pains, and stress.
Of course, the best therapy often involves adding ice to a glass and finding a good numbing solution, but that's a discussion for another time.
Getting The Most Out Of Your Hot Water Bottle
Having a hot water bottle around the house is a good idea, but many people buy one and then just stash it underneath the bathroom sink or in a closet somewhere. If this sounds familiar, then you're not getting full value from your bottle, and as we've seen, you're missing out on some pretty fantastic benefits. However, while using it is important, using it properly is also critical.
You should also wrap it in a towel before applying it to your skin, just in case.
First off, you should boil the water before you put it in the bottle. I know, this sounds unnecessary, since you won't physically be touching the liquid, but boiling removes impurities that can damage and degrade the material. If you have a water purifier, bringing the water to a boil is less important, and you can just heat it to your desired temperature.
After you're done cooking the water, let it sit for a few minutes before pouring it in. You can even cool it further with a splash of cold water or a couple ice cubes.
Don't overfill your bottle, either. About two-thirds full is plenty, as any more would stress the elasticity of the bottle. This can lead to cracking, and trust me, you do not want to find a hot water leak the hard way. You should also wrap it in a towel before applying it to your skin, just in case.
If you're primarily using it for warmth, spring for a larger model that can really heat up your bed. Slip it under the covers a few minutes before you're ready to turn in, so that you can climb into a toasty little cocoon rather than having to wait for the heat to slowly spread across the frozen expanse of your mattress.
If, however, you're using it for aching muscles, apply it directly to the affected area for 20-30 minutes. Once your time is up, take a moment to stretch and massage the sore spot, which should now be loosened up from the heat. Repeat this a couple of times a day until you've fully recovered.