Why is it now so difficult to buy a hot water bottle stopper?

There is a problem identifying the right stopper as all stoppers look the same so it’s easy to assume they all fit the same. Best to think of it like car tyres, they all look the same but you couldn’t put a Focus tyre on a motorbike.  Each manufacturer makes to a specific and exact size, the replacement must match to create a lasting watertight seal. It’s the lasting seal that is important as you can buy a stopper that is a near fit and it will plug the hole. But after time and use that near fit will wear and force uneven thread causing either a crack to the neck or broken seal which will inevitably lead to a leaking bottle.

different types of hot water bottle stoppers
Different types of hot water bottle stoppers

Years ago when only a few manufactures produced locally it was easier to buy the rubber seal and replace just that part. With improved production techniques and new patents these simple rubber seals have become more sophisticated. Most are now an integral part of the stopper, it’s not just a plug to stop water but a solid and sturdy custom stopper. These improvements have evolved over the years to offer the best and most secure hot water bottle ever made. Each manufacture will have their own moulds, designs and often patents that are protected. Getting a replacement part is not so easy, it must be like for like.

Fashy hot water bottle stopper
Fashy Hot Water Bottle Stopper

Things have moved on since the old stoppers, Fashy manufacture a much wider stopper and it is rubber free, no latex seal for it’s latex allergy free hot water bottle. These are amazing and work beautifully well, last for years and it’s specific to Fashy brand of hot water bottle. Other manufactures have tried to copy and there are some now without a rubber seal, these are new and time will tell if these are as good as Fashy. The traditional stopper with a rubber seal is still available on a good traditional rubber hot water bottle and will continue for those that prefer them.

Hot Water Bottle Stopper

To replace first look for a makers mark, these are embossed into the rubber usually around the middle. However, there are a lot of generic products in the shops and supermarkets that only put shop name on the packaging. Once out of the bag it can be difficult to tell where it was purchased from, some might say this is deliberate as should it leak there is no trace to the shop or supermarket. Also some traders import a budget hot water bottle without any certification, they really don’t want anyone to know where it came from and avoid branding at all cost. If you have a generic product there is no easy way to get a replacement stopper, these types are the most tricky and very hard to find a replacement.

When replacing a stopper it’s worth having a good look at the bottle and its age. Stoppers will last the life of the hot water bottle. If the stopper is worn or the rubber has perished there is very good chance the same has happened to the bottle. Take a few minutes to inspect, first look at the general condition, look for wear patterns, creases, cracks and feel if the bottle is thin in areas especially around the belly. A hot water bottle will wear out from the inside out, rubber is a natural ingredient and will over time perish. Average age is 3 years, if you have owned it for 3 years and over and the stopper has failed the bottle will not be long after. It’s not worth taking a risk on something that has to carry hot water and may be used in a bed, next to delicate skin and could fail at any time. Invest in a decent well-made hot water bottle that has a British Standard mark, latest is BS1970:2012 and read the safety information.

If you have just lost a stopper there is help, reputable suppliers will hold stocks of spare stoppers and be able to supply.

Easy to find one at LoveHotWaterbottles.com, it is the go to place for a good quality and genuine replacement stoppers for the major brands.

  • Fashy
  • Sänger
  • Hugo Frosch
  • Vagabond
  • Coronation

Best advice is to first buy a good quality branded hot water bottle and look after it, chances are you will never need to replace the stopper.

4 thoughts on “Why is it now so difficult to buy a hot water bottle stopper?

  1. I have been looking for a replacement stopper in Canada for my son’s Spider man bottle. This all makes sense, I can stop looking, showed this to my partner and we now agree on a new bottle, just need to find one that he likes. Glad I found this useful snippet :).

  2. Now I know why I have no luck getting my hot water bottle to work with the stopper I found on another bottle. After it stuck in the neck I searched around for a new stopper and found all this very helpful information, explained my problem. I guess I’ll have to bin it and buy a brand new hot water bottle and since you have spare stoppers I’ll get a spare one at the same.

  3. Have got several Comfi SURE hot water bottles the supplier does not list any seals at all I am a person who likes to repair thing rather than throw them in a landfill. What ever happened to the B.S. If they were made to a B.S. then they would be available. Grrrrrr

    Rob Holmes.

    • Hello Rob
      Most hot water bottles will have been made to BS, they should follow the standard to the letter and have the bottle tested. A reputable brand will provide stoppers as back up (generic and sub brands often don’t) and it is up to the retailer to provide support and stock the correct stopper. Never heard of ComfiSURE, there are loads of sub brands and own labels used by Chinese importers for the drug store and discount market so unable help on this. We do keep stoppers and some have a rubber seal but they rarely fit generic makes, always best to find the original maker stopper but you will struggle with Chinese imports. One other thing to consider is that if the seal on the stopper has perished the bottle will not be long behind as rubber will perish at the same rate. The bottle will start thinning around the belly, look for any wear and if it’s more than 3 years old best to replace and be on the safe side. Hope this helps.

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