From aches and pains to cramps and cold toes, sometimes it’s nice to have a little bit of extra heat for some quick relief. While hot water bottles might seem old fashioned, they’re simple and easy to use, plus you don’t have to worry about accidentally starting a fire or tripping over cords as you do with electric heating pads.
There aren’t too many options out there, but you still want to look for a product that is both high-quality and fits your needs. In this guide, we’ll go over the factors you should consider when choosing the right hot water bottle for you. At the end, we’ve also got a list of our 10 favorites to help you get started on your search.
How to Choose a Hot Water Bottle – Buying Guide
Picking the right bottle is about finding something that meets your needs in terms of both quality and practicality. So don’t forget to consider how it would fit into your lifestyle.
Choose a Material Based on Heat Retention and Durability
The two main materials that hot water bottles are made from are rubber and thermoplastic, and choosing which one you want is really a matter of preference rather than quality.
Rubber is All-Natural and Reliable
Traditionally, hot water bottles are made from rubber as it retains heat well, lasts for years, and can take a bit of a beating. However, rubber is opaque, and you won’t be able to see how filled your bottle is, which might be an issue for those less familiar with hot water bottles.
Additionally, rubber contains latex, and those with latex allergies should steer clear, even if you use a cover with it.
Thermoplastic Retains Heat Better but Can Be Less Consistent
Thermoplastic is a type of PVC that retains heat extremely well. It can stay warm longer than rubber can and is sometimes transparent for easy filling. Thermoplastic is also usually recyclable.
However, despite the fact that some of the best hot water bottles are made from thermoplastic, depending on the company, you may find some quality discrepancies between bottles, so it’s important to read reviews before buying.
Larger Capacities Stay Warmer Longer and Cover More Space but Smaller Ones are Easier to Store
Larger capacity water bottles hold more water. Therefore, they have higher heat capacity, and given the smaller ratio of surface area to water, it’ll release heat more slowly than bottles with smaller capacities.
They’re also better for warming larger areas–say if you’re trying to heat up a bed or even target areas like your abdomen or back. A large bottle will hold about half a gallon of water. On the other hand, smaller bottles will be lighter when full and are easier to store and take care of.
Microwaveable Bottles Heat up Quickly and Prevent Hot Water Burns
If you don’t want to wait for your water to heat up, look for a hot water bottle that can be microwaved. Microwaveable bottles can be heated up within just a couple minutes, and you don’t have to worry about accidentally burning yourself trying to fill your bottle with hot water.
Just be sure to read and follow all directions carefully so that you don’t damage the bottle or hurt yourself.
Find a Bottle with a Cover for the Perfect Fit
Since you’ll be filling your hot water bottle with nearly boiling water, it’s important to also have a cloth cover for it so that you’re not directly touching the bottle.
If this is your first hot water bottle or you’re looking into getting a different size or shape, it would be helpful if it came with a cover. It saves you from having to make another order, plus you know that it’ll fit perfectly. Some covers are pretty generic, but there are a few companies that sell their bottles with a wide variety of adorable covers too.
Top 10 Best Hot Water Bottles to Buy Online
Now that you know what to look for, here are our 10 favorites to help you get started.
10. Peter Pan Long Hot Water Bottle
Extra Long Bottle for a Customizable Fit
This extra long, 32-inch hot water bottle is great for cuddling, bending, and wrapping, making for a customizable fit. It can be laid flat along your back, draped around your neck, or even tied into a circle around your mid-section.
It is made from rubber and is BPA- and phthalate-free. However, some reviewers note a fairly strong smell, so it might be a good idea to air it out for a few days prior to using it for the first time.
9. Rukaza Microwave Heating Bottle
Compact Silicone Water Bottle that’s Microwaveable
This hot water bottle is made completely from food-grade silicone and is microwave safe. It is chemical- and odor-free, and its compact size makes it great for children or for treating smaller areas like the neck or head.
However, some reviewers note that it’s smaller than expected and that because of silicone’s heat-proof properties, it doesn’t get as hot as a normal hot water bottle. Depending on what you’re looking for, this could be a good thing.
8. Nolonger U-Shaped Hot Water Bottle
Perfect for Alleviating Neck Pains
This U-shaped hot water bottle is designed to be used around your neck to alleviate aches and pains. It is odor-free, which is good since it’s so close to your face, and is made from sturdy, high-quality plastic.
However, it doesn’t come with a cover, and while it’s unlikely that the water will burn you through the plastic, you’re probably still going to want a fabric barrier to keep it comfortable. Reviewers note that an old shirt sleeve would work well.
7. Fashy Hot Water Bottle with Organic Cotton Cover
Long-Lasting Bottle with an Organic Cotton Cover
This hot water bottle stays warm for up to six hours. It comes with a super soft organic cotton cover, with six attractive options to choose from, so you won’t feel frumpy or outdated.
It’s well-made and produced in Germany, and several reviewers note that prior purchases from this company have lasted over a decade of use.
6. Arctic Flex Hot Water Bottle
Freezer-Safe for Hot or Cold Packs
This transparent hot water bottle comes with markings so that you can easily tell until where to safely fill the water. It is both heat-safe and freezer-safe and can be used for both hot and ice packs.
However, some reviewers note that the plastic is less sturdy than other hot water bottles, so you might want to check for leaks before you fill it with hot water. In case you do find a problem, it also comes with a 60-day warranty.
5. Winnprime Hot Water Bottle
Long-Lasting Heat with Two Covers
This hot water bottle is made from a high-quality rubber that keeps warm for hours–up to four hours in the open and up to eight under a blanket. Unlike most rubber bottles, it has a non-metal neck.
It comes with two adorable covers for a bit of variety, and there are five different sets to choose from. It has a mild rubber smell, but unless you’re particularly sensitive to odors, it shouldn’t be much of an issue.
4. Athoinsu Animal Rubber Hot Water Bottle
Safe and Snuggly–Perfect for Kids
This hot water bottle comes with a whimsical animal cover and is perfect for kids. The bottle slips easily into a large pocket on the back and tucks away behind a velcro flap, ensuring that the user stays safe.
There are six different animal options, and the thicker cover offers a slower heat release–it stays fairly hot for up to eight hours and is still noticeably warm for up to eleven.
3. Sanger Extra-Large Hot Water Bottle
Extra Large Capacity for Extra Large Surface Area
This hot water bottle is an extra large 16″ x 8″ and can cover a much larger area and stays hotter for longer than a normal bottle. It’s great for heating up your bed as well as alleviating aches and cramps on larger body parts.
However, it doesn’t come with a cover, so if you’re concerned about it being too hot, you’ll have to find your own cloth barrier. However, it’s quite heavy duty, so you likely won’t burn yourself without one.
2. Samply Hot Water Bottle with Knit Cover
Cost Effective Bottle with a Sweater
This hot water bottle is made from a thick layer of thermoplastic that is fully recyclable and retains heat for longer than traditional rubber. It’s transparent for easy filling and comes with a knit sweater cover.
It can handle near boiling water and the mouth is wide enough to insert ice cubes for use as an ice pack as well. It’s a little stiffer than a rubber bottle, which could be better for you depending on your needs.
1. HomeTop Premium Classic Rubber Hot Water Bottle
High-Quality Rubber with Machine Washable Cover
This hot water bottle features ribbed rubber that helps to retain heat and prevent accidental burns. It is extremely sturdy and easy to fill without worrying about spilling.
The cover is machine washable, and there are nine different options for you to choose from. The bottleneck is made from copper and is designed and certified to be completely leak-proof.
How to Fill a Hot Water Bottle
Considering you’re pouring scalding water into a bottle meant to be put on your body, it’s fairly important that you know how to fill it properly.
First, visually check that there are no cracks in the bottle. Place it inside its case and hold it over the sink. Carefully pour the heated water into it until it’s about two-thirds full. If you can, use a kettle with a spout as it’ll give you much more control than pouring out of a saucepan.
Make sure that the water you use has been left to cool for a while and isn’t boiling. Boiling water can damage the integrity of the bottle. Gently squeeze out the remaining air until the water level rises to just below the top. Cap it off and turn it upside down to check for leaks.
There you have it–a quick and easy guide to choosing the right hot water bottle for you. Hopefully, this guide has helped you to find the perfect one to keep you cozy.
By Jacqueline Oshiro
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