Whether you're trying to ease aches or simply want to warm up, the best hot water bottles can provide a simple solution that's easy to use — whether or not you prefer the old school version. Traditional hot water bottles are designed to be filled with hot water, and they are available in different materials and styles. But if filling a bottle with hot water sounds precarious to you, opt for a microwavable version or a pre-filled electric bottle you simply plug in to reheat.
Most hot water bottles are made from rubber or thermoplastic, both of which are durable and provide targeted heat. Rubber can be thicker than thermoplastic, which means it may take you longer to feel the heat of the hot water, but it can also provide more insulation from a too-hot bottle. However, if you're allergic to latex, a thermoplastic hot water bottle could make for a better alternative. Thermoplastic bottles stay warmer for longer and are transparent, which makes it easy to quickly check the water level. The downside to thermoplastic bottles is that they tend to be more susceptible to tears and leaks than classic rubber versions.
Hot water bottles can come with a ribbed texture that will disperse the heat across the bottle so it doesn't feel too intense. A smooth texture is better for producing targeted heat. To protect yourself from getting burned, always create a barrier between the hot water bottle and your skin such as a towel or using a hot water bottle cover. Some water bottles include covers, but you can also purchase them separately.
If you don't want to mess with heating up water in advance, a microwavable silicone hot water bottle is a good choice — just fill it with water, seal it up, and heat it in the microwave. If you want fast, long-lasting heat, electric hot water bottles can be a great option — but unlike non-electric versions, they typically can't be chilled for use as cold compresses, too.
Here is my roundup of the best hot water bottles for easing pain and keeping chills at bay to help you choose the right option for you.
1. A Classic Rubber Hot Water Bottle
The HomeTop classic hot water bottle is made from natural rubber that's smooth on one side of the bottle and ribbed on the other. This hot water bottle features a copper bottleneck with a leak-proof stopper to prevent spills. It holds 2 liters of water, can be used for both heat and cold therapy, and stays warm or cold for up to four hours. It’s available in four colors to match your style — plus, it includes a lifetime guarantee. There’s no cover included, but you can purchase one separately or opt for one of HomeTop's cute water bottle sets.
Positive Amazon review: “This well-designed bottle has a threaded metal neck inside the bottle that the screw top firmly and completely seals too, and the thick natural rubber holds heat a long time. Highly recommended.”
2. A Thermoplastic Bottle With A Fuzzy Cover
Looking for something extra cozy? The Hugo Frosch hot water bottle is a great option. The 1.8-liter thermoplastic water bottle includes a faux fur cover that’s silky soft to the touch, offering plush comfort along with soothing heat. It can stay hot for up to eight hours and has an extra-wide mouth for easy filling. You can even fill it with icy water or freeze it to use as a cold compress.
Positive Amazon review: “I could give this item 100 stars. The water bottle itself is strong and durable - it must be thicker than the last one I owned because it seems to stay hot for so much longer - for hours on end! The cover is incredibly soft and luxurious - an unexpected plus! I suffer from chronic pain and rely on heat and cold to make it through the rough times.”
3. A Silicone Bottle You Can Pop In The Microwave
If you don't want to deal with heating up water beforehand, this 0.5-liter microwavable hot water bottle is worth considering. It's made from food-grade silicone and is soft, flexible, and odorless. The bottle has a wide mouth that's easy to fill, and the bag includes a matching knit cover. All you have to do is fill the bottle, close its lid, and heat it in the microwave for two to three minutes. (Just make sure the wattage of your microwave doesn't exceed 800.) And, it can also be used as a cold compress. This hot water bottle bag is available in pink, white, or blue, as well as two different sizes. Its bow-style packaging also makes it great to give as a gift.
Positive Amazon review: “This water bottle is amazing! It’s all silicone and a little plastic ( lid and stopper). The super cute pattern on the bottle itself and it’s sweater pretty friggin’ cute too. It’s also functional; it keeps you from being scalded by the silicone when hot (or cold!). The fact that you can microwave this or freeze it is the best thing ever. I use this for period cramps mostly, but I’ve also used it for my shoulders and back. When it starts to lose heat, I just pop it back into the microwave.”
4. The Best Electric Hot Water Bottle
The Happy Heat electric hot water bottle is a convenient option for anyone who doesn’t want to go through the trouble of boiling water or using the microwave. Unlike the other bottles on this list, there’s no refilling needed — the bag is pre-filled and sealed, so all you have to do is plug it in for 12 to 15 minutes and unplug it when the red indicator light shuts off. The water heats up to 158 degrees Fahrenheit, and it features an auto shut-off function to prevent overheating. The bottle can stay warm for over five hours before you need to reheat it, and the cord detaches, allowing you to take the warmed bottle with you. The removable cover that’s included is made from soft and breathable fleece and is machine washable.
Positive Amazon review: “They are pre-loaded with liquid and come with a fleece padding. You just plug them into to heat them. I found that a two-hour charge kept them heated through most of the night. It keeps my feet warm, and I can move it between my feet whenever I have discomfort. They really work if you tend to get neuropathy too. I sometimes charge it and rest my feet on my cold tile floors while watching television.”