Cold Hands or Feet? Our Homemade Hot Water Bottle Makes All The Difference

An old school solution we found that makes all the difference between being comfortable and being cold is a hot water bottle. If we have a warm bottle in our lap, we don’t notice the rest of the house is cold. We use it sitting at our computers and we use it while watching TV or even to pre-warm the bed at night when we turn the thermostat down.

homemade hot water bottle

A simple heated water bottle keeps my hands warm whenever I need it. My own lil’ bottle of sunshine!

Spreading Hot-Water Bottle Joy

I have a sister-in-law that is always cold. I swear she wears sweaters even when its 80 degrees. They keep their house about 72 degrees during the winter and she is still cold. We were visiting one Christmas and were all gathered around the TV watching “Lord of the Rings” Trilogy. I noticed she was huddled under a blanket, but looked miserably cold.

I went to the kitchen and found an empty 2 liter Pepsi bottle. I filled it with warm water, squeezed out a little water so the bottle doesn’t feel so tight and hard and gave it an extra minute in the microwave. I went back with the bottle and handed it to her. “What’s this for?” she asked. At first she was skeptical, but soon we could see the pained expression slowly melt from her face as she hugged that bottle. She was warm. During the winter now, she always has a hot water bottle which she calls “my precious” as if it were Gollum’s golden ring from Mordor. 🙂

We Save Money By Warming Our Hands Instead of the Entire House

We have found our house doesn’t not have to be warm in every corner for us to be comfortable. Instead of kicking the thermostat up a notch (here’s how to save money with a programmable thermostat), we just put the hot water bottles in the microwave for a few minutes and we can be comfortable.

You don’t need to buy a fancy water bottle container – just reuse a plastic soda-type bottle. Use plastic bottles that have thicker plastic – not the real thin, flimsy plastic because they may not hold up to microwave heating. Personally, I prefer to remove the labels and the sticky residue from the bottle. This way it’s a nice smooth, comfortable surface to hold. We have used all sizes, from 2-liter to 0.5 liter bottles depending on our needs. For example, I like a smaller bottle when I’m sitting at my desk but a larger one for laying on the couch or in the bed.

When we spend lots of time on the computer, our hands hurt. The bottle helps by keeping our hands warm, which increases circulation. It has helped with my carpel tunnel syndrome a lot. Sometimes if my feet are cold, I roll my feet on a 2 litter bottle. It’s also nice to slip a warm bottle under the covers before we get in at night.

Approximate Heating Time in a 1,000 Watt Microwave

These are the microwave time durations we use when heating up a bottle that has cold water in it. We don’t ever empty the water in the bottle once we fill it, so it will be at room temperature to start (plus saves water). Check your microwave wattage and adjust time accordingly. Don’t overheat the bottle. The first time you heat up a bottle, I would check every minute until it gets to the right temperature. Sometimes we notice when we take it out, it doesn’t feel as hot as it really is until we sit with our hands on it for a minute or so.

Also, don’t overfill the bottle. If you fill the bottle completely, when it heats up in the microwave it gets really tight and not as comfortable to hold. So fill it up so it still has some “give” to it. When its heated, it will be kind of squeezable and soft which is more comfortable to hold.

  • 2 -liter bottle should not be heated more than 6 minutes
  • 1-liter bottle should not be heated more than 3 minutes
  • 0.5 liter bottle should not be heated more than 90 seconds

So what do you use to stay warm?


  1. Definitely a great way to help keep warm, especially in crazy cold, polar vortex, winter weather! Thanks for this! 🙂
    This was mentioned in my company’s blog, as well as 13 other ways to help you stay warm.

  2. Literally, I could have never thought of this in light years. This would sure keep my family warm in the winter. Thanks a lot for this.

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