Hot water bottle vs electric blanket - which is better for keeping warm at night?

We compared the hot water bottle and electric blanket to work out which is the best method for keeping warm this winter

Christmas house makeover with scandi bedroom
(Image credit: Future PLC)

During these cold winter days and nights, keeping warm as cheaply as possible is more important than ever. When it comes to ideas for how to save energy at home an electric blanket or hot water bottle is a perfect low cost option to keep you nice and toasty. 

As the price to heat your home increases each month, the hot water bottle and electric blanket have been praised as a cheaper alternative. However, when it comes down to the hot water bottle vs the electric blanket, which is better for both your pocket and protecting you from the cold?

The hot water bottle vs the electric blanket 

light grey hot water bottle on beige blanket

(Image credit: Murmur)

Before you decide on the best electric blanket or the best hot water bottle that you wish to buy. There are cost and safety precautions to take into consideration when it comes to the hot water bottle vs the electric blanket debate. 


white electric blanket with temperature setting controller

(Image credit: VonHaus)

Hot water bottle

The cost of a hot water bottle is dependent on how much it costs to run a kettle. According to Uswitch it costs around 7.8p to boil a full kettle of water which is 1.5L. A hot water bottle is around 2L in size, however, for safety reasons it is recommended that you don’t fill your hot water bottle completely to the top. 

The heat from a hot water bottle will keep you warm for a few hours, so if you filled the hot water bottle with 1.5L of hot water twice a day, that would amount to 15.6p per day and roughly £1.09 per week. 

Electric blanket

The cost of an electric blanket according to Octopus Energy costs around 2p to 4p an hour to run. They come in three main types, under blankets, mattress covers and over blankets. Some electric blankets have a range of heat settings which can make them cheaper to run and allows you to set them at your preferred temperature. 

Safety considerations 

rust bed head and base with white mattress and topper

(Image credit:

Hot water bottle

  • Don’t put boiling hot water into your water bottle, let the water cool for a few minutes so as not to damage the rubber. 
  • To prevent any burns cover your water bottle and don’t allow direct contact with one area of the body for more than 20 minutes
  • Don’t use a rubber hot water bottle if you have a latex allergy. 
  • Be careful to not apply too much pressure or sit on your hot water bottle.

Electric blanket

  • Don’t buy a second hand electric blanket 
  • Be on the lookout for any wear and tear and replace your blanket at least every ten years.
  • If your blanket does get wet, don’t turn it on to dry it.


To gauge the comfort verdict the Ideal Home team weighed in on their preference in the hot water bottle vs the electric blanket debate. 

Holly Walsh, Content Editor at Ideal Home says, ‘I'm personally in the hot water bottle camp. I love that it can keep you warm all night long and it's something to cuddle up with. I find I can always feel the wires of an electric blanket beneath me which disturbs my sleep plus I'd never remember to switch it on ahead of going to bed!’

Another lover of the hot water bottle is Rebecca Knight, Ideal Home's Deputy Digital Editor. ‘I'm a hot water bottle person in London as it was cheaper to buy one than an electric blanket - but I have an electric blanket at my mum's (freezing) house up north. it turns off after 2 hours and I do like that it heats the whole side of the bed.’

cosy bedroom with hot water bottle cover

(Image credit: Future PLC)

‘I love the nostalgia of a hot water bottle, it's so comforting and old cool. That said, on extra cold evenings I don't like to choose between cosy toes and the rest of my body, so an electric blanket means I can escape the chill much more quickly,’ says Thea Babington-Stitt, Assistant Editor at Ideal Home

Heather Young, Editor at Ideal Home, casts another vote for the hot water bottle. ‘I'm team hot water bottle! I'm quite fussy when it comes to temperature when I'm trying to sleep - I don't like to be too hot, but I love the comfort factor of a hot water bottle. I'm quite tempted by an electric blanket for when I'm snuggled up on the sofa for an evening in front of the TV though!’

So in terms of cost to run they are both very similar, but the electric blanket comes out as the slightly more expensive option. The hot water bottle has stolen the hearts of the Ideal Home team, but the main thing is to choose the one that best suits your lifestyle. 

Imani Cottrell
Content Editor

 Imani Cottrell is Ideal Home’s Content Editor, she graduated with a Masters degree in magazine journalism from Nottingham Trent University in 2018.

She then went on to join the Royal Television Society and worked on their digital team writing about all things TV. In 2022 she joined the Ideal Home team and is getting to express her passion for all things interior design. In her spare time she loves discovering new homeware brands and travelling to new places for design inspiration.