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Hot water bottles are useful in treating aches and pains. They can help with ongoing health conditions such as arthritis and menstrual cramps.
This article explores how hot water bottles work, what to look for, and some of the best hot water bottles. It also outlines health considerations and alternative treatments.
- Best range of colors: HomeTop Premium Classic
- Best fleece cover: Hugo Frosch Thermoplastic Hot Water Bottle
- Best silicone option: HEYPORK Silicone Hot Water Bag
- Best for neck pain: Samply U-Shaped Hot Water Bottle
- Best wraparound design: YuYu Body Bottle
- Best multipack: SteadMax Hot Water Bottle
- Best rechargeable design: RUIXIB Rechargeable Hot Water Sack
- Best knitted cover: KISEER Classic Transparent Hot Water Bottle
- Best pouch design: Toxin Hot Water Bottle with Waist Cover
Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information is purely research-based.
Hot water bottles retain heat after a person fills them with hot water.
When an individual applies heat to the skin, the blood vessels open, and blood flow to the area increases. This blood flow helps relax muscles and reduce lactic acid buildup, which soothes aches and pains.
A 2016 study on 388 students found that nonpharmacological treatments are a common method of pain relief. One of the most popular nonpharmacological treatments involved applying heat to the affected area.
Before buying a hot water bottle, there are several factors to consider, including the following:
- Material: Generally, hot water bottles consist of rubber. However, people may wish to purchase a bottle comprising a different material, such as thermoplastic, particularly if they are allergic to latex. Rubber also tends to have a stronger odor than alternative materials.
- Covers: A person should create a barrier between their skin and the heat source to avoid burns. Some hot water bottles feature covers for this purpose.
- Texture: Ribbed hot water bottles spread heat more evenly, while a smoother textured bottle provides a more targeted heat source.
- How to heat: Most hot water bottles require boiling water. However, some models are microwaveable or require electricity to heat them.
How we choose products
Medical News Today chooses products that meet the following criteria:
- Price: Products are available for a range of budgets.
- Features: Products have a variety of features to suit individual needs.
- Suitability: Products come in a range of styles, and they consist of different materials.
Nine of the best hot water bottles are listed below:
Best range of colors
This rubber hot water bottle is available in eight colors.
It can double up as a cold compress and features a ribbed edge to help maintain heat.
However, this hot water bottle does not come with a cover.
It costs around $9.99 on Amazon, depending on the color.
Best fleece cover
As an alternative to rubber, this bottle comprises burst-resistant and recyclable thermoplastic.
It also comes with a fleece cover, which helps insulate the bottle for 6–8 hours.
Additionally, when the bottle is frozen, a person can use it as an ice pack. The company also claims it is nontoxic and odor-free.
This bottle is available for around $25.95 on Amazon.
Best silicone option
This model is available in two colors, and a person can choose either a long or short style.
This bottle consists of food-grade silicone. It is also odorless, recyclable, leakproof, and corrosion-resistant. Additionally, it is durable, has a thick PVC liner, and a person can heat it in the microwave.
The bottle also features a knitted cover and can double up as a cold compress after placing it in the fridge.
It costs around $15.99 on Amazon, depending on the color and size.
Best for neck pain
This hot water bottle comes in two colors. It is U-shaped, so it is ideal for those with neck and shoulder pain.
The thickened PVC bottle is transparent, so a person can see how much water it contains. It also features an anti-explosion design and comes with a protective cover.
Additionally, it can double up as a cold compress.
It is available for around $16.99 on Amazon.
Best wraparound design
This bottle is a wraparound model with eight available designs available. It features a meter-long drawstring, meaning a person can tie it around their body. It is also flexible and lightweight.
The bottle is eco-friendly and consists of Sri Lankan biodegradable rubber. It has bumps on the surface to help retain heat and comes with a cotton cover.
It also has a water-resistant lining, so a person can add ice cubes to turn it into a cold compress.
This hot water bottle costs around $44.50 on Amazon, depending on the color.
This natural rubber hot water bottle is BPA-free and comes as a pack of two in random colors.
It features a ribbed outer surface to retain heat and make it safer for the skin.
However, the manufacturer recommends that people with a latex allergy should not use this product.
The SteadMax Hot Water Bottle is available for around $13.99 on Amazon.
Best rechargeable design
This hot water sack uses a USB power cable, which can heat the water in 1 minute. It features premium nontoxic graphene to generate heat and has an anti-leak design.
The material is an eco-friendly and recyclable lint. It is also portable, lightweight, and available in two colors.
This product costs around $15.99 on Amazon.
Best knitted cover
This bottle is available in six colors and comes with a knitted cover.
It consists of PVC material and is transparent, so a person can see the water level.
In addition, an individual can use it as an ice or cold bag.
The KISEER Classic is available for around $9.99 on Amazon.
Best pouch design
The hot water bottle comprises premium PVC material and is available in purple or pink.
The product comes with a cover and waist belt for attaching around the waist or shoulders.
The Toxin Hot Water Bottle costs around $13.59 on Amazon.
Hot water bottles may help soothe aches and pains across much of the body. They can also help keep a person warm in cold weather.
Many hot water bottles also double up as cold compresses, which can help reduce inflammation.
However, hot water bottles carry a risk of burning if the bottle bursts, leaks, or spills. A person should also ensure they wrap the bottle in a cover or towel to prevent direct contact with the skin.
A 2019 study conducted in two UK burns units found that across 14 months, 80 patients received treatment for hot water bottle-related injuries. These injuries were due to contact burns, scalds, and steam burns. Some of the patients also had full-thickness burns.
To soothe aches, a person can rest the affected area, gently stretch, take a warm relaxing bath, and avoid strenuous activities. If the area is swollen and inflamed, an ice pack may also help.
Hot water bottles may help reduce aches and pains. Many of these products comprise rubber, but there are also thermoplastic options available for those who prefer alternative materials or have allergies.
People should consider which style may be best for them, and they should always use a cover while using a hot water bottle. If a product does not include a cover, a person can use a towel to avoid direct skin contact.