What is a Bed Warmer?

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  • Written By: Kelly Ferguson
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 20 October 2019
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Frequently used in cold areas during the winter, a bed warmer is a device put into a bed to warm the bedding. A bed warmer can be one of many things, including electric heated bedding or simply a heated pillow or pad put under the covers to warm the sheets. Depending on the type of bed warmer, it can be left on and slept on all night or just used for preheating. People who sleep all night with bed warmers on a regular basis generally agree that it is best to look for a product that will hold a steady, comfortable temperature instead of one that gets progressively hotter until it requires shutting off or unplugging before becoming uncomfortable.

One of the most commonly known types of bed warmer is the electric blanket. Generally, this is a blanket with heating elements woven into the fabric. It is most commonly powered by electricity from a wall plug.

A heated mattress pad is a type of electric bed warmer that is fitted over the mattress similar to a regular mattress pad. Many have an adjustable thermostat where you can set a temperature and it will cycle on and off when needed, much like a house thermostat. These can be found to fit all sizes of beds from small twin beds to extra long king size beds.


Many people find it cheaper and simpler to place a hot water bottle under the sheets for a few minutes prior to bedtime. A popular place to put a hot water bottle is at the foot of the bed, because it is usually not large enough to cover the entire bed surface. Also, bed warmer pillows and pads filled with some kind of material that retains heat for a long period of time, such as feed corn or dry rice, may be microwaved and used in the same manner.

A bed warmer can provide many benefits to those who use one. Not only does it help make cold beds feel more comfortable and cozy in the wintertime, but it can also save money. Some people are able to turn the house thermostat way down or even turn off the heat entirely at night, which can dramatically reduce heating bills. Additionally, hot water bottles and heated pads are very useful for easing the pain of muscle strains and backaches.


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Post 3

I'm looking for a bed warmer that will cover either the entire surface of my bed or at least the mid part of my body. But I need to be able to lay on top of it. I have a back injury and my doctor recommended that I keep my back warm. I don't know how to do that when I'm sleeping unless I use a bed warmer. An electric blanket won't work for this, will it? Any recommendations?

Post 2

@turquoise-- If the hot water bottle is working for you, then I don't think you need a bed warmer.

I have an electric bed warmer and it's only large enough to cover the foot of the bed. So that's not too different than having a hot water bottle, except that it's more expensive. The only advantage of this type of bed warmer is that if you have a partner sleeping next to you who also has cold feet, the electric warmer is easier and more convenient.

Post 1

I still use a hot water bottle as a bed warmer. My feet are always freezing and they're even colder when I get into bed. If I don't warm them up, I can't sleep and I get into the most uncomfortable positions trying to warm them up. So I've started preparing a hot water bottle before bed. It heats up my bed and my feet and I fall asleep right away. It does eventually cool down, but with the mattress on top, it's usually morning by then.

Since I've been using a hot water bottle every day in fall and winter, maybe I should consider investing in a bed warmer instead.

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