Has the world gone mad, my hot water bottle has changed shape?

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Yep, it’s happened, we can longer rely on the good old fashioned hot water bottle shape, they now make all shapes and size, what’s going on?

We all knew where we stood with a good reliable rubber hot water bottle in blue, green or if you dared to dream even red. Then along came pink, turquoise, cream and even mustard. Just get used to those then some smart guys in Germany develop a thermoplastic hot water bottle. OK, so these are nicer colours and even transparent but they then make some in heart shape – cute.

heart-hot-water-bottle
Heart Hot Water Bottle

To add to the confusion somebody decided it would interesting to have a hot water bottle in miniature, yes, mini hot water bottles. Then along came square shape as apparently they are easier to use with soft toys. So, you get a soft toy like a teddy bear and shove a hot water bottle in its belly. What happens when that wears out, and it will as it’s made of rubber (perishable) so you’re left with a your child’s favorite soft toy and no bottle. So we have to have square hot water bottles now or the little darlings will never forgive you.

square 750ml purple hot water bottle
Purple square 750ml hot water bottle

Suddenly out of nowhere everyone has gone long, why do we need another shape? Not only are there long hot water bottles but some are longer than others, that’s confusing. The cut down versions in discount stores are short long (I know it doesn’t make sense) to get discounters to a low price point. The full length ones hold the same amount of water as a standard bottle. The cut down long bottles have less than half. Forget the cut down long bottles as these are only for the discount guys and don’t really add anything except a budget price tag on a long bottle that is not long and kinda misses the point. The real reason for a long bottle is to wrap it around your waist or spread it out inside the bed, diagonally. That gives the full benefit, anything else is just a cheat and really a waste of money as it falls short of what you can do with a proper long hot water bottle.

Ecru long hot water bottle
Ecru  Long Hot Water Bottle

So has it now settled down, well no? Eco warriors want eco bottles. The same guys that brought us all thermoplastic bottles have now developed eco hot water bottles made from cane sugar crop. Sort of the same shape as a traditional bottle but rigid and slightly smaller, has a different feel to it. No plasticisers or PVC used and made with the Finneck Foundation providing a safe work place for people with disabilities.

Green Eco bio based hot water bottle
Green Eco Bio Based Hot Water Bottle

With all the changes what hasn’t change is people, the best selling bottles are still the good old traditional shape and the question is why? The classic hot water bottle shape is universally known around the world, it packs a mighty 2 litre of hot water which is enough to last inside a bed all night without going stone cold. Easy to carry, fill and cuddle up to when you need instant heat, what’s not to like, young and old alike.

We’re running out room with all the different sizes, types and colours, everyone wants choice these days and who are we to argue, if you want it we’ll just have to find room for more hot water bottles.

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 water tightseal. 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 bottles 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 bottles. They are amazing and work beautifully well, last for years and it’s specific to Fashy brand of hot water bottles. 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 good traditional rubber hot water bottles 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 hot water bottles 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 dangerous and most difficult to resolve.

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. Hot water bottles 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 product 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.

So where to buy good quality genuine replacement hot water bottle stoppers:

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.

10 Green bottles standing on the wall

How green are those hot water bottles standing on the wall?

Well let’s look firstly at rubber. Surprisingly latex is a sustainable natural renewable product, one of the first on the market is still getting it right by being not only a sustainable product but also a recyclable product. Old bottles can be taken to the recycling depot and once the brass seal and stopper are discarded the rest can be put in for recycling. Old rubber is first crushed, chopped, washed and made into granules at a specialist recycling facility. All impurities and foreign bodies are removed so only latex compound remains. These granules can be used in the manufacture of tyres, floor mats, electrical and bathroom fittings. So the traditional and original rubber hot water bottle is kind to the planet.

How about thermoplastic, how green are these. PVC is also surprising as it is recyclable and can be broken down to make fleece, mats and same as rubber to make electrical and plumbing fittings. The other benefit is the factory in Germany was an early adopter of solar energy and fully kitted out with solar roof panels to reap green power to run the plant.

So what’s new to the market?

Science has developed bio based plastic made from renewable sugar cane. These are moulded to shape and although they are more rigid than a standard bottle they work in the same way. Production is in cooperation with the Finneck Foundation providing a safe work for people with disabilities and meeting the demands for greener products. To recycle they cannot be put in the plastic waste they should be classed as green waste. Not all local authorities have grasped this yet, putting a hard hot water bottle in with the green waste is a big leap but they will catch up. These new biodegradable bottles will break down naturally. These are quite new to market, there are plans to develop these further to increase uses and widen the appeal.

Those 10 green bottles standing on the wall are going in the right direction, just using a hot water bottle is good for the environment cutting down expensive heating costs in keeping the young and the old warm in our beds.

Do Hot Water Bottles Ease Period Pain

Granny really did know best as scientist have proved a hot water bottle on the tummy can ease period pain. University College London scientists discovered heat treatment works by blocking pain messages to the brain.

hot-water-bottle-used-as-heat-treatment

                      Hot Water Bottle Used as Heat Treatment

Presenting his findings to the Physiological Society’s annual conference, Dr Brian King said: The pain of colic, cystitis and menstrual period pain is caused by a temporary reduction in blood flow to organs, causing local tissue damage and activating pain receptors. The heat doesn’t just provide comfort and have a placebo effect it actually deactivates the pain at a molecular level in much the same way as pharmaceutical painkillers work. We have discovered how this molecular process works.

natural-painkillers-daily-mail-clipping

                                 Natural Painkillers Daily Mail Clipping

Menstrual pain is one of the most common gynaecological complaints in women of reproductive age. More than 80 per cent of British women are thought to suffer from period pains. Research found that 20 per cent of young women said their monthly pains cause trouble in their relationships, while one in three is left feeling depressed.

A hot water bottle has many uses, don’t put it off and road test your own bottle. There are so many to choose from, traditional rubber to the latest technology latex allergy free.There’s even a mini sizes to take with you on the move and at the other end of the scale take a look at the giant hot water bottles.

The 2005 survey from UCL, one of the world’s top universities with an international reputation for quality of its research and teaching.

hot-water-bottles-add-up

Hot water bottles adds up

Why we all need Giants

Giant Hot Water Bottle

OK, so what’s so special about a giant, is big really better?

Well that depends, if you’re on the move in the car or at work perhaps you don’t want a giant sitting on your lap (we have mini ones for that) but on the sofa or tucked up in bed that’s another thing altogether. With a third more surface area you can heat up a third more of the bed or sofa or wherever you want to use it.  We love these as they offer something that a normal size just can’t do and that is to up the heat output.  To get the larger heating area meant increasing the liquid capacity up from 1.8 litre, this is the size of a standard 2.0 litre bottle up to 2.5 litre.  Now I know it sounds confusing, it says on the tin it is 2.7 litre so how do get to 2.5 litre.  Well never fill to the top, always leave a space, expel the air carefully before adding the stopper.  The same with a standard 2.0 litre only it’s not really 2.0 litre but nearer 1.8 litre.  So with a massive 2.5 litre of hot water the bottle will stay warmer for longer and since good quality ones have higher rubber content that the budget ones in discount supermarkets they will stay hotter for longer. As a sustainable natural renewable product rubber is highly elastic and lends itself to mould with you, ideal to snuggle up to.

Here’s when a giant hot water bottle comes into its own.  Forget cold chilly nights or days, this have an impressive heating area, heavy weight and ribbed both sides to gently defuse heat.

giant-hot-water-bottle

Giant hot water bottle

Want to carry it around, no problem, it’s got a very useful carrying handle on the side.
Want a choice of colour, again, no problem, red, blue or cream.
Want a cover on it, you guessed, no problem, they come with or without a cover, you choose just how you want to use it.  Covers are super soft velour like fleece, we call it cuddlesoft.  These are from our made in Britain of high quality covers at very affordable prices.  Many of the budget fleece covers are imported from China and made to a budget for the high street.  By using British manufacturing we can improve the quality, not just a little better but at least double the quality of the cheap imports which means these wash and wear and last and last.  Also the colour of fabric and style is more in keeping with UK trends.  It’s a win win for everyone and our regular customers know what to expect on quality.

jade-large-hot-water-bottle

Jade Large Hot Water Bottle

Finally a decent sized hot water bottle for when you really need one, it’s more than capable for any occasion. Extremely safe and reliable backed with a 2 year warranty, manufactured to latest British Standard BS1970: 2012.

Stay warm as toast this winter and join the land of the giants.