you think you're real hot sheet
January 6, 2022 2:02 PM   Subscribe

Seeking a bed-warming...gadget? I want the convenience of an electric heating pad but the old world charm of a hot water bottle or warming pan.

Needs to be easy to use (when I tell you boiling water is too much of a faff, please believe me), would be great if it could turn on/off as desired throughout the night, even better if it has an auto-off feature.

I got an electric hand warmer recently and it's such a neat little thing--surely there have also been recent similar innovations in bed-warming devices?

I am not a good candidate for a heated mattress pad, do not tell me to get a heated mattress pad.
posted by phunniemee to Shopping (27 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
It might help if we knew what about heated matress pads makes them unsuitable. Then we could look for ways to avoid those things in our advice.
posted by Too-Ticky at 2:05 PM on January 6, 2022 [12 favorites]

I have a far infrared heating pad that I use almost every night before I fall asleep.
It doesn't get as hot as a regular heating pad, but they claim the heat gets deeper than regular pads. I set it to 110 and that's plenty
It has a timer so I set it to turn off after about an hour and a half.
This is the brand I have - it comes in different sizes and shapes.
posted by mmf at 2:18 PM on January 6, 2022

I would suggest the old world charm of a large cat, or the convenience of an electric heating pad wrapped around a pillow.

Or more information to go on :)
posted by amtho at 2:39 PM on January 6, 2022 [10 favorites]

I am a huge fan of my heated mattress pad. And assuming that a heated blanket is also a no-go?

How about something like this disk as an alternative to a hot water bottle? Microwavable - no boiling water!
posted by hydra77 at 2:44 PM on January 6, 2022

There are also a variety of non-electric heating pads that are meant to be safe for pets. These will help reflect your body's heat. Not quite sure how well they'd work for a human.
posted by hydra77 at 2:46 PM on January 6, 2022

I cannot overstate how much my heated mattress pad increases my quality of life as a person with joint pain living in a place with hard winters (-8F right now). The controls run underneath the bedframe, I can adjust it whenever, turn it on and off whenever. I leave it on my bed year round.

If you can offer us some more information on why a heated mattress pad isn't okay here, it would really help us come up with other options - because right now it really sounds like you want a heated mattress pad.
posted by bile and syntax at 2:52 PM on January 6, 2022 [4 favorites]

I too love my heated mattress pad, but if you don't want that maybe you want one of these warmies plushes where you heat up a lavender scented pad in the microwave and pop it a cuddly animal?

I want the otter but have a perfectly cromulent non drunk driving mattress pad to keep me warm, so have not been able to justify the frivolity yet.
posted by the primroses were over at 3:27 PM on January 6, 2022 [6 favorites]

The bed-warmer innovation similar to your electric hand warmer is the heated mattress pad. Unless you're willing to shell out for something like a heated waterbed, I think that's as high-tech as this niche gets. It might help to know what the difference is for you -- between using the electric hand warmer and using the electric heated mattress pad. That difference will be key to us making useful suggestions.

I also use a heated mattress pad and love it. I don't sleep with it on, if that's helpful; I turn it on a couple of hours before bedtime, and when I get into bed I turn it off. It just feels safer that way, and the bed stays plenty warm and toasty until long after I've fallen asleep.

I have an oil-filled electric radiator I bought online that lives near the foot of the bed, that I keep on a timer switch controlled by my Alexa device. That helps, but it's really more total-room-warming than bed-warming.

I know some people use oat-filled pads or pillows that get warmed with like half a minute in the microwave. It's kind of like a hot water bottle, only you don't have to boil any water, you just nuke it and carry it to bed and stick it near your feet. Would something like that be what you're looking for?
posted by invincible summer at 3:27 PM on January 6, 2022 [4 favorites]

Response by poster: I do not wish to lie upon or to be blanketed by a layer of heat, ever, at any point, I do not feel like I need to explain myself.
posted by phunniemee at 3:32 PM on January 6, 2022

I know that you are not an electric cat. But maybe you could get a few Microwavable Pet Bed Warmers, and remove them from the bed before you get in?
posted by MonkeyToes at 3:35 PM on January 6, 2022

I mean, you don’t have to “explain yourself,” but explaining what you don’t like allows me to suggest that you take an electric blanket (the smallest you can find) and roll it up into a cylinder to put at the bottom of your bed. Hold it in place with a few large rubber bands.
posted by Betelgeuse at 3:40 PM on January 6, 2022 [11 favorites]

Attractive sack of rice, microwaved.

Shaka, where the walls fell.
posted by amtho at 3:50 PM on January 6, 2022 [9 favorites]

I really like a regular ol' electric heating pad for warming up the foot of the bed on cold nights.

An electric blanket that's on all night is Too Much, I just need my feet warm when I crawl into bed.

I can't go to sleep when my feet are cold, but once I go to sleep I guess they heat up or something? If I wear socks I wake up with hot feet and have to kick the socks off.

My heating pad automatically shuts itself off after 30 minutes or something, so that's perfect for me, but if I wake up in the night and I'm cold I can pop it back on again easily.

My non-electric cats like the heating pad too. They add charm, I guess.

(On rereading the OP this is useless, but I'll leave it in case someone else finds it informative?)
posted by BrashTech at 3:54 PM on January 6, 2022 [4 favorites]

You could get a heated throw, which is less enveloping, but should have similar controls. I've had electric blankets that have a fast warm-up feature, to deal with being miserably cold when you get in to bed, then you fall asleep and you want it to go to a low or off setting. Now I have a big, fat down comforter that warms up remarkably fast, and a 2nd lighter one to add for very cold nights.
posted by theora55 at 4:14 PM on January 6, 2022 [2 favorites]

I love a microwaved bag of dry rice. On the fussiness scale it's somewhere between hot water bottle and electric heating pad, and has a natural auto-off feature. If you're crafty it's cheap to experiment. What if you tie a few old socks together, fill them with rice and tuck them into the foot of your bed?
posted by doift at 4:15 PM on January 6, 2022 [2 favorites]

Flannel sheets are surprisingly (at least to me) warm and cozy. I was going to do a heated mattress pad but didn't because of the cost. Bonus that the bed is not cold when you get in, but the con may be that it's easy to get over heated if you have too many top blankets. I live in Chicago and keep my bedroom window open ~6 inches at night so I'm not over heated or I close up and use only the lightest Ikea comforter. Good luck in your search. Too hot/too cold beds are the worst!
posted by pumpkinlatte at 4:38 PM on January 6, 2022 [4 favorites]

You might want to experiment with a thin fleece blanket. The $3 Walmart kind. I had a cold neck and shoulders so I cut a piece to put under my torso and over my pillow in case I wanted to gather it around my neck. It really warmed me up and is very cozy. If it is very cold here I put a thin fleece directly on top of me(under a flannel sheet). I usually have to remove it later in the night.
posted by goodsearch at 5:00 PM on January 6, 2022 [1 favorite]

We use Maine Warmers. Warrm feet about an hour and a half. We don't have a bedroom microwave, but we've thought about it.
posted by SemiSalt at 5:23 PM on January 6, 2022

this is the closest to an electric cat I could find. I have a sunbeam electric throw for my computer chair and I've been happy with the brand. The heat has a 2 hour auto off timer I think.

I use a flaxseed microwaveable bag for warming up my bed but not ALL my bed. But! I am not a a night-waker so I never need to reheat it. We also have flannel sheets which are awesome.
posted by euphoria066 at 5:41 PM on January 6, 2022 [2 favorites]

If you sew even a little, you can make a bag out of flannel and fill it with dried corn from the feed store. Throw it in the microwave—you’ll have to experiment with the time—and it will stay warm for an hour or so. Otherwise you can buy such a thing at a somewhat greater cost. Searching for “corn bag” seems to be a good way to find them, along with a surprising number of things that *aren’t* corn bags.
posted by Gilgamesh's Chauffeur at 7:26 PM on January 6, 2022 [1 favorite]

The proper old-world way of heating your bed, short of the coal-fired bedpan, is to fill the hot-water bottle* with hot water from the washbasin in your bedroom. No boiling required. No bedroom washbasin? Then you'll probably have to make do with some electrical widget. Or a cat.

But don't go back too far into the old-world charm lest your bedroom washbasin only has a cold-water tap.

*I preferred the hot-water jug, bladder-like and pliable, not rigid like a bottle.
posted by Stoneshop at 10:51 PM on January 6, 2022

I'm with MonkeyToes, using "rechargeable" or "USB" for your search terms may yield interesting developments. I've seen those USB-charged handwarmers and larger (like foot warmers or sleeves), which intrigue me because it seems slightly safer not being full of water or direct current while you sleep.
posted by cendawanita at 3:46 AM on January 7, 2022

i have an electric foot warmer similar to this but not this exact one. i put it at the foot of my bed, under my sheets and turn it on when i'm brushing my teeth getting ready for bed. it tends to warm up much of the bed, and when my feet are extra cold (usually) it is so nice to slide them into the pocket. the one i have has an auto shutoff after some point of time.
posted by misanthropicsarah at 7:31 AM on January 7, 2022

I have a Zippo handwarmer like this and I think you would like it, if it isn't too small. It looks like my particular one isn't being sold right now but presumably later models would be okay.
posted by The corpse in the library at 2:09 PM on January 7, 2022

Best answer: How about this cozy little number? Reviews report it gives about an hour of warmth.
posted by jenquat at 6:37 PM on January 7, 2022 [4 favorites]

Response by poster: How about this cozy little number? Reviews report it gives about an hour of warmth.

I think this is the thing! If it were electric/rechargeable then it would be absolutely perfect, but as it is I think it's gotta be a B+. Certainly the closest thing to a modern hot water bottle (that doesn't look like it's got sharp vinyl edges) in this thread. Thank you!

(I also really like the vibe of the Maine Warmers.)
posted by phunniemee at 10:44 AM on January 12, 2022

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