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Best hot water bottles for warmth and comfort this winter

When it’s chilly outside, there’s nothing better than snuggling up on the sofa with your best hot water bottle or sinking into a pre-warmed bed at the end of the day. We've rounded up the best hot water bottles UK to keep you warm, relieve pain and save money on your heating bills.

By Carol Linfield | Last updated Jan 30, 2023

Best hot water bottle

A quick and easy way to provide extra warmth when temperatures drop, the best hot water bottle is a useful addition to any home. And in the throes of the energy crisis, where most of us will be paying about £1,570 more per year for gas and electricity, one of the best hot water bottles will offer a cheaper way to get warm without having to rely too heavily on central heating.

Along with other penny-saving solutions for keeping toasty like finding the best electric blankets and warming your feet with a pair of the best women's slippers, selecting a good quality hot water bottle is a cost-effective way to keep you toasty in the depths of winter. Plus, many of the best hot water bottles come with faux-fur, knitted or fleece covers, adding comfort as well as style to your keeping-warm arsenal.

Heat therapy can also be effective at relieving aches, joint pains, and period cramps according to the NHS. But what is the best hot water bottle design? Are the best microwavable hot water bottles better at retaining heat than the traditional kind? Is the best rechargeable hot water bottle more energy-efficient than a refillable rubber design? Can you use hot water bottles when pregnant? We tackle all these questions in our handy buying guide for the best hot water bottles below.

So put on your comfy clothes, curl up on the sofa in your best blanket hoodie, and check out our guide to the best hot water bottles UK to snuggle up with this winter, including tried-and-tested recommendations from Mumsnet users, the biggest online network of UK parents.

Here are the best hot water bottles UK 2023.

1. Best overall hot water bottle: M&S Supersoft Faux Fur Hot Water Bottle

Price on writing: £20 | Buy now from M&S

Key specs

Hot water bottle type: Traditional hot water bottle with faux fur cover | Size: 37cm x 24cm | Colours: Light grey, charcoal, cream, navy

What we love

  • Machine washable
  • Snuggly soft fabric
  • Perfect for gifting

What to know

  • Navy and charcoal options currently out of stock online

What Mumsnet users say

"I’ve a fab M&S one from a few year ago in a thick fluffy cover. It looks a bit raggy these days but it sits on my lap when I’m working in winter."  (Recommended by Mumsnet user SarahDippity)

Our verdict

M&S customers have been raving about the Supersoft Faux Fur Hot Water Bottle, which has a luxurious feel thanks to its plush cover but an affordable price tag under £20. The faux fur cover helps keep the inner bottle insulated for longer, with several reviewers reporting that theirs had stayed warm throughout a whole night.

There are four subtle colour options to choose from (though the navy and charcoal are currently out of stock online, so it might be worth popping to your local M&S store if these take your fancy). The sizing provides good heat coverage and the softness of the cover makes this a great hot water bottle to cuddle up with to soothe aches and pains. We also think it'd make a super-stylish gift option for loved ones who feel the cold.

Snuggle up with one of these under the best heated throw and you may not even need to turn the heating on at all this winter!

2. Best budget hot water bottle: Cassandra Hot Water Bottle

Cassandra hot water bottle

Price on writing: From £4 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Hot water bottle type: Traditional ribbed rubber hot water bottle | Size: 32.5 x 21.5cm | Colours: Blue; red; pink

What we love

  • Budget-friendly
  • Stays warm for up to six hours
  • Ribbed on both sides to offer heat that’s evenly distributed
  • Meets British Safety Standards

What to know

  • Covers are sold separately
  • You can’t fill this hot water bottle over 2/3 full
  • Not suitable for those allergic to latex 

What Mumsnet users say

"Hot water bottles - any will do, as long as it has some way of attaching the stopper when you're not using it. Do not store it stoppered. Always use it wrapped in something: a soft towel or a sweatshirt are good. You can buy all sorts of cuddly covers." (Advice from Mumsnet user JellySlice)

Our verdict

With thousands of top reviews online, the Cassandra Hot Water Bottle is reliable, easy to fill and features a washer-less stopper to prevent leaks. Ranking top for budget hot water bottles with options under £5, the Cassandra is your traditional, no-frills, ready to come to the rescue, hot water bottle. Our budget option has a ribbed surface so it's gentle on the skin and is the nostalgic hot water bottle we all grew up with. Oh, and it comes with a reassuring five-year guarantee. 

Some have reported a slightly greasy feel to touch, but you can’t have it all for this price. It comes in a choice of colours so you could stock up on bottles to suit different family members. And, on the subject of keeping the whole family warm this winter, we've also researched and compiled a guide to the best kids' hot water bottle so you can select the right one for your child's age.

3. Best hot water bottle for the body: YUYU Luxury Fleece Hot Water Bottle

Price on writing: From £25 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Hot water bottle type: FSC certified, Sri Lankan rubber bottle, 100% polyester fleece cover | Size: 81 x 13cm | Colours: Koala grey, panther black, grey polka dot

What we love

  • Keeps the whole body warm for up to eight hours
  • Comes with a plush mink cover
  • Great for targeted pain relief
  • Has a wearable strap

What to know

  • Pricey
  • Might be a little trickier to fill

What Mumsnet users say

"I love my YUYU hot water bottle. It can warm the length of my body at once and you can tie it around your torso so it is hands free. The fleece cover is really soft and snuggly." (Recommended by Mumsnet user TryingToDrinkMoreWater)

"The long ones are fantastic, they can go along the bottom of the bed so you’re not rummaging around for it in the night or lengthways down the side of your body. I’d never be without mine now." (Tried and tested by Mumsnet user retainertrainer)

Our verdict

This long hot water bottle is nothing short of amazing, according to Mumsnet users (and there’s no better judge). The award-winning YUYU is a cosy delight that simply moulds around the body for maximum comfort and its fleece covering will keep you feeling super snuggly, as one forum convert confirms. This long bottle with plush mink cover features a strap so you can pop it around your waist or back to soothe aches and pains while you go about your day or curl up on the couch. This great companion will keep warm for up to eight hours, and its cover can be popped in the washing machine at 30°c so keeping it in tip-top shape won’t be an issue. Online reviews also recommend it for easing chronic pain.

And who says your hot water bottle has to look plain and boring? YUYU has a wide variety of styles, sizes and patterns to choose from, making them an ideal home accessory too. Wear it under your best women's dressing gown to complete the cosiness!

4. Best microwave hot water bottle: Hotties Microhottie Microwave Hot Water Bottle

Price on writing: From £14 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Hot water bottle type: Microwaveable heat pack with fleece cover | Size: 24 x 24cm | Colours: Sheep design in grey and cream, also available in plain grey lambswool, starry fleece and many more!)

What we love

  • Quick and easy to heat (in one to three minutes)
  • No need to empty or refill  
  • Safe for kids
  • Comes with machine washable cover

What to know

  • Only stays warm for three to four hours
  • Some say it’s a little small

What Mumsnet users say

"I swear by the Hotties. I use them several times a day and we've had our current Hotties for about four years. They stay really warm for a long time too." (Recommended by Mumsnet user user1493122149)

Our verdict

With a huge variety of designs to choose from, Hotties Microhottie Hot Water Bottles offer a quick source of warmth in a style that suits you. Its internal thermal pack means it just needs 60 seconds in the microwave to offer a consistent (but lower) heat for a few hours and some quick relief for those general aches and pains. 

It’s best not to compare your microhottie to a traditional hot water bottle as it won’t offer the same level of heat for lengthy periods, but we’d still be happy to swap our best winter coat for one after a chilly day out.

5. Best electric hot water bottle: Vivo Powatron Rechargeable Electric Hot Water Bottle 

Vivo Rechargeable Electric Hot Water Bottle 

Price on writing: From £29| Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Hot water bottle type: Electric hot water bottle | Size: 25 x 17 x 5cm | Colours: Pink; blue; grey

What we love

  • Easy to heat (only takes eight minutes to charge) 
  • Safe and reliable
  • Made with a soft touch cover
  • Automatic heat control

What to know

  • Pricey
  • Only stays at maximum temperature for around two to three hours
  • May need to be replaced after one or two winter seasons

What Mumsnet users say

"I took an electric hot water bottle (I bought it on Amazon). It was so good I used it for the first few hours of labour. It helped so much"  (Advice from Mumsnet user Millykitty)

Our verdict

There are some great advantages to using an electric hot water bottle: it’s convenient as you don't need to use a kettle or a microwave, there's no water spillage to contend with and 15 minutes of charging will offer up to six hours of heavenly cosiness. Our plug-in pick from Vivo  will come to the rescue no matter where you are in the home when some extra warmth is needed. 

You can expect it to reach temperatures between 70-75°C. This top hottie will also work as a hand warmer on a chilly day (it has a pouch), or as a heat pad to soothe back pain. One Mumsnetter also recommends it for use in labour, telling us: "It helped so much", making it a brilliant gift for an expectant friend, or if you just wanted to treat yourself.

6. Best hot water bottle for gifting: Just Sheepskin Rebecca Hot Water Bottle

Price on writing: £60| Buy now from Just Sheepskin

Key specs

Hot water bottle type: Rubber hot water bottle with 100% sheepskin cover | Size: 24.5cm x 40cm x 7.5cm; 2 litre capacity | Colours: Dove grey; natural

What we love

  • 100% sheepskin cover means it retains heat really well
  • Comes with a gift box

What to know

  • Pricey
  • Not many colours to choose from

What Mumsnet users say

"Sheepskin cover keeps them warm til morning." (Type of hot water bottle recommended by Mumsnet user aramox1)

Our verdict

While it might be the priciest hot water bottle on our list, this Just Sheepskin Hot Water Bottle feels super luxurious and comes with its own gift box, making it a perfect gifting option for loved ones who feel the chill and don't like synthetic hot water bottle covers. It's extremely soft to touch thanks to its 100% sheepskin cover, which also keeps the inner bottle warmer for longer.

Though the initial cost is a little on the steep side, this high quality hot water bottle could save money in the long run, particularly when teamed with one of the best draught excluders and a pair of the best thermal curtains by reducing the need to rely on central heating to stay warm this winter. 

7. Best long-lasting hot water bottle: Fashy Hot Water Bottle with Fleece Cover

Fashy Hot Water Bottle with Fleece Cover

Price on writing: £18 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Hot water bottle type: Thermoplastic hot water bottle with fleece cover | Size: 32 x 19cm | Colours: Blue

What we love

  • Durable and long-lasting
  • Has an extra wide spout for easy filling
  • Comes with removable, washable cover
  • Doesn’t emit a rubber odour

What to know

  • Not the prettiest style or cover
  • Some say the stopper is flimsy
  • Thermoplastic can be prone to tears with repeated use

What Mumsnet users say

"Fashy hot water bottles are the absolute best. Hold the heat well and no horrible rubbery smell." (Recommended by Mumsnet user KeziaHatto)

"These are great." (Tried and tested by Mumsnet user Freyanna)

Our verdict

The Fashy is recommended on the Mumsnet forums and receives rave reviews online for being a fuss-free trusty option that’s going to deliver on many cold winter nights. Its blue fleece cover retains even more heat and can be kept clean easily with a machine wash so there'll be no unwanted odours seeping out. This bottle is made from a type of thermoplastic that’s guaranteed to stay warmer for much longer than other traditional hot water bottles.

This hot water bottle can also be recycled when its job is done – though this won’t be for a good while. Granted, it’s not the most attractive hot water bottle on the list but it’ll deliver hours of heat and will make leaving your bed very difficult (we recommend investing in a super cosy heated gilet to make it that much easier!)

8. Best large hot water bottle: Vagabond Extra Large Hot Water Bottle with Handle and Supersoft Grey Cover

Vagabond hot water bottle

Price on writing: From £14 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Hot water bottle type: Traditional rubber with fleece cover | Size: 37 x 23cm | Colours: Grey; black; navy; ochre; rose; silver

What we love

  • Good value for money  
  • Comes with a super comfy fleece cover
  • The stopper is easy to tighten and open
  • Double ribbing distributes heat evenly

What to know

  • The top of the fleece cover may get wet when pouring or emptying
  • Some say the handle is a little flimsy
  • Not suitable for latex allergy sufferers

What Mumsnet users say

“I’ve been using mine for months but not for bedtime, I have it to keep me warm while I’m working from home! I work in the kitchen at the dining table and it’s freezing in there because the floor is tiled, and I don’t like turning the heating up too high all day or it would cost a fortune. So, a nice cosy hot water bottle cuddled on my lap does the trick nicely!” (Advice from Mumsnet user DinoGreen)

Our verdict

Whether you’re lying in bed, working at a desk or relaxing on the sofa, it’s easy to escape the chill under an extra-large hot water bottle like this one. The Vagabond Extra Large Hot Water Bottle is made from durable rubber that’s ribbed on both sides and doesn’t smell (thankfully), plus it has a safety handle for easy filling. It offers heat across a larger area than other hot water bottles, plus the fleecy cover is a real treat too.

The fleece cover has a wide opening, so you can remove the bottle with ease, and it also comes with an elastic band that scrunches at the top to keep it tidy. Online reviewers also like the fact that the stopper feels sturdy and leakproof. If you’re looking for a larger hot water bottle to cover more surface area in the midst of winter, this one won’t disappoint. Combine with the best thermal underwear for women to ward off the cold on the frostiest of nights.

9. Best hot water bottle for period pains: Wuka Wearable Hot Water Bottle

Wuka hot water bottle

Price on writing: £25 | Buy now from WUKA

Key specs

Hot water bottle type: Natural rubber hot water bottle with fleece cover | Size: 77cm long | Colours: Black

What we love

  • Works well for pain relief
  • Comfortable and easy to wear
  • Distributes heat evenly
  • Stays warm for hours

What to know

  • A little pricey
  • Not suitable for latex allergy sufferers
  • Size may not fit all body shapes

Our verdict

When that time of the month arrives, you may need to seek out some pain relief and this long, wearable hot water bottle from Wuka is brilliant for the job. It comes with two ties to provide a snug fit around your tummy or back to help ease those inconvenient aches and pains, especially in the lower back area. You could even wear it around your neck and shoulders to ease upper body tension.  The wrap-around style makes it easy to wear around the house or when working from home. 

Its soft fleece cover also has a pocket to keep your hands warm, or you can use it as a phone holder. You can machine wash the cover too at 30ºC, but make sure you leave the fabric conditioner out.

10. Best eco hot water bottle: Hugo Frosch 2 Litre Eco Hot Water Bottle with Black Zip Cover

Hugo F

Price on writing: £33 | Buy now from The Hot Water Bottle Shop

Key specs

Hot water bottle type: Natural hot water bottle made from 90% renewable materials and softshell cover | Size: 31.5 x 19cm  | Colours: Black; orange; blue; green; purple

What we love

  • Wide neck for easy filling
  • Durable, safe design
  • Free of phthalates and plasticisers
  •  Zip cover for easy bottle removal

What to know

  • Pricey
  • Could feel a little stiff initially

Our verdict

This innovative hot water bottle from Hugo Frosch may come with a slightly heftier price tag, but it has an impressive list of sustainable credentials. It has an ultra-modern rubberless design, in fact it’s made of over 90% sugar cane, plus it’s fully recyclable. It’s also PVC-free and odourless, making it a good choice for people with sensitive skin.

We also like that it’s easy to snuggle up to, as it has a specially designed safety cap, so no chance of leaks and the bottle softens slightly when hot water is added. The bottle itself can comfortably hold two litres of water and the lightweight softshell cover is made from a type of polyester fabric with a zip that allows you to remove the bottle easily. Combine with the best kids' blanket hoodies and the best men's dressing gowns for more ways to keep the whole family warmer (without stealing your lovely new hot water bottle) this winter.

11. Best hot water bottle for hands and feet: GoldMiky Miniature Hot Water Bottle

GoldMiky

Price on writing: £12 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Hot water bottle type: Miniature hot water bottle made from food grade silica gel | Size: 16 x 10.3cm | Colours: Rose; grey

What we love

  • Won’t leak or spill
  • Microwave safe
  • Non-toxic and odourless
  • Small and discreet 

What to know

  • Pricey for such a small bottle
  • Not ideal for warming up the whole body
  • May get cold quite quickly 

What Mumsnet users say

“It goes under my feet, as they are always the bit that I find the hardest to get warm. If my feet are cold, I can't sleep.” (Advice by Mumsnet user DramaAlpaca)

Our verdict

If you’re looking for a nifty little hot water bottle to instantly warm up your hands and feet during or after a cold, wet commute, then the GoldMiky Miniature Hot Water Bottle is a good choice.

The bottle itself is small, practical and made from food-grade silicone or silica gel. It’s also non-toxic, odourless and explosion-proof, making it a safe option (and the right size) for kids too. In fact, this little bottle can withstand plenty of pressure without the risk of leaking, tearing or breaking, plus it’s microwave safe. However, manufacturers suggest only filling with cold water and heating for no more than three minutes. In summer, this bottle can be filled with ice cubes or stored in the fridge to keep the body cool.

We like that it comes with a warm knitted cover that’s machine washable and is available in pink or grey. The only downside? It’s too small to warm a large surface area and is best suited for targeted spots like hands, feet, your neck or lower back. Also, due to its size it may need to be reheated more frequently than a regular hot water bottle. Why not stock up on one of the best hand warmers for more pocket-sized warmth generators!

What should I look for when buying a hot water bottle?

There are three main types of hot water bottle. We outline the features below.

Traditional hot water bottle: This is the one we’re all familiar with - a hot water bottle made from rubber or thermoplastic, a type of PVC. Rubber is a thicker material so it can take longer to feel the heat than a thermoplastic version. A ribbed hot water bottle will work to defuse the heat so it lasts longer but ensures that it won’t get too hot to the touch. A double ribbed hot water bottle will stay warm for even longer. One side may be smooth for comfort, while the other side is ribbed for heat control. You must always wait for a boiled kettle to cool for around five minutes before adding water to a bottle. A hot water bottle should always comply with British Standards so look for the Kitemark symbol too.

Microwavable hot water bottle: This type is a brilliant choice for children. They are often disguised as super-cute, cuddly plush toys for added appeal and can even provide a calming scent. They heat very quickly with generally only a minute or so needed in the microwave. There are no stoppers and you’ll never have to empty, refill or worry about water leaks. However, the exception to this rule is the GoldMiky Miniature Hot Water Bottle which can be filled with water and heated in the microwave.

It's best to choose one that isn’t filled with wheat or gel, like they once were. These don’t hold their heat for as long as a traditional type, but they work well for a bedtime routine or after returning home from chilly, outdoor adventures.

Electric Rechargeable hot water bottle: Electrodes heat up a gel or liquid to create comfort in an electric hot water bottle. After 10-15 minutes of being plugged in, an electric warmer will heat up enough to keep you warm for 6-7 hours. Before using your electric hot water bottle, it's best to disconnect it to prevent any shocks. It's a small drawback that electric types are more expensive and don't provide as much of a cosy companion feeling as you get with a traditional hot water bottle with a cover.

Which hot water bottle stays hot longest?

How long your hot water bottle will stay hot depends on the type of hot water bottle you own. Traditional ribbed hot water bottles made from plastic or PVC such as theCassandra Hot Water Bottle or the YUYU Fleece Long Hot Water Bottle can keep warm for up to six hours. Electric hot water bottles also stay warm for around six to seven hours, but some say they’re not as warm as traditional hot water bottles. Although they heat up in minutes, microwavable hot water bottles such as the Hotties Microhottie Microwave Hot Water Bottle only stay warm for around three to four hours, but these also vary depending on the filling. For instance, moor gel or water-filled bags stay warmer for longer than wheat ones. Mumsnetters have reported that hot water bottles with faux fur covers - such as our top ranking Super Soft Faur-Fur Hot Water Bottle from The White Company stay warm for several hours, similarly the Just Sheepskin Rebecca Hot Water Bottle reportedly retains heat for a decent time.

Are hot water bottles good for pain relief?

The modest hot water bottle has been used for easing aches and pains for centuries via simple science – heat helps you relax. Studies have also found that “hot packs” used within 24 hours after exercise help to reduce and even delay muscle soreness.

For lower back pain, a hot water bottle can be applied for up to 15 minutes an hour. When experiencing cramps, a hot water bottle can also help relax the muscles, which in turn helps ease pain. For muscular pain it can provide heat therapy to reduce soreness. Some hot water bottles also function as cold compresses, which can reduce inflammation. They can also help relieve joint pain for those suffering with arthritis.

Are hot water bottles safe to use when pregnant?

According to the NHS, a hot water bottle is perfectly safe for women to use during pregnancy. They can be an effective way of treating aches and pains in areas like the lower back or between the thighs. It's recommended that hot water bottles aren't placed directly on the skin to prevent burns and scalds.

What’s the best type of hot water bottle to buy?

Again, this depends on what your needs are. Traditional hot water bottles are ideal for general pain relief and to snuggle up to in bed or on the sofa. They come in all shapes and sizes including long, large and small – for hands and feet, plus you can purchase a variety of covers in different designs and materials such as faux-fur, cotton or wool. Another bonus is that there are plenty of PVC options for latex-allergy sufferers.

On the other hand, a microwavable or electric bottle means no chance of leaks or spills, making these a safe option for kids, but the downside is that they don’t seem to retain heat for as long as traditional types.  

Which brand hot water bottle is best?

Our top hottie bottie is the M&S Supersoft Faux Fur Hot Water Bottle. Not only did we find lots of love on the Mumsnet forums for the faux fur style of hot water bottle, but it's a great all-rounder and delivers everything you could ask for from a warm companion. Plus, its luxurious, deep pile cover feels amazing and would make a wonderful gift for under £20!

How we chose our recommendations

Recommendations from real parents

Because we know that there’s nothing like a real recommendation, we first headed to the Mumsnet forums to find out which hot water bottles our trusted Mumsnet users (of which there are more than 7 million each month), were recommending and had bought.

Consumer feedback

We then broadened our search and did some research across the wider web, looking at which hot water bottles had been featured in ‘best buy’ lists across websites, and what customer reviews said about them. We analysed what users had to say about special features such as ease of use, heat retention, pain relief (as this is one of the main reasons people use hot water bottles), price point and of course, comfort.

Expert guidance

We always ensure our information represents the latest recommendations from experts so you can rely on it, and we research each product thoroughly to ensure it follows the latest expert advice and stands up to scrutiny. Here, we consulted reputable sources such as Which? and the NHS, and evaluated various studies on effective pain relief methods, one of which is the use of heat packs.

Celebrated best products

Finally, we check to see which products have won industry awards and received recognition from trusted sources and feed this into our analysis too.

Having collated all that information, we then narrowed our list down to the top hot water bottles on the market.

Why you should trust us

We work hard to provide unbiased, independent advice you can trust. We do sometimes earn revenue through affiliate (click-to-buy) links in our articles. This helps us fund more helpful articles like this one.

The best hot water bottles to buy in 2022: a roundup

1. Best overall hot water bottle:M&S Supersoft Faux Fur Hot Water Bottle

2. Best budget hot water bottle: Cassandra Hot Water Bottle

3. Best hot water bottle for the body: YUYU Luxury Fleece Mink

4. Best microwave hot water bottle: Hotties Microhottie Microwave Hot Water Bottle

5. Best electric hot water bottle: Vivo Rechargeable Electric Hot Water Bottle

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