As a native of Ireland, I, and all of us, were very familiar growing up with the hot-water bottle. A flattish rubber bottle that you fill with hot water, tuck into its cover, and place at your feet in bed at night for toasty toes. On many an occasion, friends in a group chat have complained about being unable to get warm, no matter how many layers they pile on. Each time, I tell them the same thing: Get a hot-water bottle.
Sometimes they respond with, “What’s that?” Other times they aren’t convinced that something so small could change their life. Until they actually try it. Then I can’t get them to stop talking about it. “Best tip ever,” or “I bought two: one for feet and one for body.”
I have practically been surgically attached to my HWB. During the day at my desk, I sit with one in my lap to afford me just the right level of warmth. There’s no sweating, no overheating, no gloves indoors à la Cameron Diaz in The Holiday. Not just any hot-water bottle will do, though. My favorite is the Attmu, which is made of thermoplastic rather than rubber, meaning that it holds heat longer. It also comes with its own handsome cable-knit cover, which provides a necessary buffer for your very hot bottle. It’s the ultimate luxury, like swaddling a little bundle of warmth with no danger of sparking an electrical fire or risking nasty burns.
As a longtime user, I’ve discovered a few tips for how best to use your HWB. Fill it about two-thirds of the way with hot water that’s just under boiling (I use a kettle). While it will stay warm all night in bed, during the day you will need to replenish it a few times to maintain maximum heat. Expel the air from the bottle gradually as you fill it, or the water can spit out in tiny scalding droplets. And don’t worry if after two years it wears thin and leaks—hot-water bottles are meant to be replaced.
Slate has relationships with various online retailers. If you buy something through our links, Slate may earn an affiliate commission. We update links when possible, but note that deals can expire and all prices are subject to change. All prices were up to date at the time of publication.