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Are Hot Water Bottles Safe? Follow These 6 Rules

Updated: Jan 21, 2023

Winter is coming and energy prices are rising. Time for your hot water bottle to do what it does best: keep you warm and cosy.

Many of you might ask yourselves the following: are hot water bottles safe? As often, the answer to this is: it depends. We have been using hot water bottles for over 10 years now and never had a safety issue.

How we managed this? By following a few essential rules when it comes to using a hot water bottle. Read our tips below to safely use a hot water bottle and keep warm.

Are hot water bottles safe?

Hot water bottles are safe as long as you fill them, use them, and store them correctly. A few essential rules when it comes to hot water bottles: don't fill them with boiling water, don't fill them at full capacity, don't sit on them, avoid direct contact with your skin, store them in a dark and dry place, and don't leave them with children without supervision.

3 Steps to check your hot water bottle is safe before use

1. Check your hot water bottle has the British Safety label

To first step to making sure your hot water bottle is safe for use is checking it has the British Safety Standard label (BS 1970:2012). If this label is not mentioned on your bottle or in the instructions, purchase one that does.

Having a hot water bottle with the British Standard label guarantees your item adheres to the strict guidelines and standards when it comes to the quality and safety of hot water bottles.

2. Check your hot water bottle's expiry date

Another important step to making sure your hot water bottle is safe for use is checking it hasn't expired. Yes, hot water bottles expire!

The way you can verify this is by checking the date of manufacture, indicated by a stamp which you'll find on your hot water bottle. This is called a daisy wheel (see picture below). In this case, the bottle was manufactured in the first week of January 2022.

Manufacturers also usually indicate how long you can use your hot water bottle on the side of it. If you do not have this information, we recommend you change your hot water bottle after 2 years to be on the safe side.

If your hot water bottle hasn't expired, you're almost good to go: check our next steps.

Daisy wheel hot water bottle

3. Check for leaks

We recommend you always check your hot water bottle's condition before use. Does it have tears? Does it have leaks? If you fill it and it does, you could burn yourself. Let's avoid a trip to the burns unit, shall we?

Perform a test by filling your hot water bottle with cold water above your sink. Gently squeeze it to check for potential leaks. If you see no apparent leaks or tears, you're good to go!

Safe filling, usage, and storage

4. Fill your hot water bottle safely

Congratulations, you can start filling your hot water bottle. To be safe, here are a few basic instructions you should follow:

  1. Don't use boiling water: the water you use to fill your hot water bottle should be around 80 degrees Celsius (boil water in your kettle and let it cool for about 10 minutes)

  2. Don't use hot tap water: impurities may damage your hot water bottle and lead to the material degrading

  3. Don't heat it in a microwave: read our article on why you shouldn't heat a hot water bottle in a microwave

  4. Fill your hot water bottle up to a two-thirds maximum: this will allow the water to flow freely and prevent bursts due to too much pressure

  5. Push the air out of your hot water bottle before sealing it: this will also prevent high levels of pressure inside of your bottle

  6. Make sure the stopper is screwed on tightly: hang your hot water bottle upside down above your sink after filling it

Easy peasy, right? Congratulations, you've safely filled your hot water bottle!

Full hot water bottle

Blue hot water bottle

5. Use your hot water bottle wisely

Now that you've filled your hot water bottle safely, make sure you use it wisely too. In our experience, very little can go wrong if you've filled your hot water bottle correctly and ensured there is no pressure inside of it.

That being said, to stay on the safe side:

  • Don't sit, stand, (or dance) on your hot water bottle to avoid it from bursting

  • Don't use for children that are less than 3 years old: this can damage their skin, still very sensitive a that age

  • Do not leave hot water bottles with unsupervised children

  • We highly recommend you use a hot water bottle cover at all times to prevent direct contact with your skin (a cover will also keep your hot water bottle warm for longer)

  • Avoid sleeping with it: read our article on why we advise against sleeping with hot water bottles

6. Store your hot water bottle properly

A hot water bottle safe for use is a hot water bottle well stored. Some hot water bottles (notably those manufactured by Fashy) can last up to 5 years from the date they are manufactured.

That is if you store them correctly. Make sure you store your hot water bottle in a dark and dry place. In addition, make sure you have the stopper removed to prevent humidity and rot from building up inside your bottle while you're not using it: this may damage the material! Want to learn more about hot water bottle storage?

Blue hot water bottle in closet

Final thoughts

While a few accidents involving hot water bottles are reported in the UK and Australia, notably, hot water bottles are safe if you use them and care for them the right way.

All points cited in this article are important when it comes to the safe use of hot water bottles.

That being said, we insist on the following ones:

  • Check for leaks and tears before use

  • Don't use boiling water

  • Only fill your hot water bottle up to two-thirds maximum

  • Push the excess air out before screwing the stopper on

A hot water bottle that feels and looks like a balloon can burst, make sure there is no pressure inside of it!

All of this being said, hot water bottles have many benefits and are great companions at all times of the year. They just need to be treated well to stay healthy and safe, just like all of us!

Red and grey hot water bottles in bed


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