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Old Fashioned and Modern tips to keep your bed warm!

I hate crawling into a cold bed!  How can I get my bed warm when I don’t have power?  

When you are newly setting up your homestead, or if your primary heat source is off grid, such as a wood stove, you may have nights when you don’t have instant heat.

Maybe you’ve been traveling, and get home late. You have to make a fire and wait for it to warm up, but it still takes awhile for the heat to reach the bedrooms. And if you try to crawl into a bed in a room that’s been unheated, you’ll discover that those blankets and mattress really hold onto the cold! No fun!

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Your Grandparents knew how to get a Bed Warm!

Cold beds aren’t new. Our grandparents had to deal with such things. This is why the people from years gone by invented some pretty handy gadgets for dealing with with the problem.

Old-Fashioned & Vintage items to create a warm bed

  • Bed Warmers. Antique bed warmers are nifty inventions from yesteryear. They’d put hot coals in the pans, then run them along the inside of the bed to warm it. You need to look in places that sell antiques, or stores that create realistic reproductions. I’d love to get one!
  • Hot water Bottle–heat water and run inside sheets before jumping into bed. Keep at feet all night. Here is a vintage hot water bottle made for putting in the bed–for sale at Etsy ! Vintage water bottle bed warmerThis method is probably the most dangerous, since there is a possibility of it leaking and spilling hot water. Never use on a baby or person who can’t feel well. You can use it to warm the bed, just don’t leave it there if there is a risk. I actually use a rubber one for my feet, and my cat finds the water bottle and sleeps on top of it. I use this one. For one, it’s purple, and I love the cute foxy cover.
  • Rice Sock--warm on/near wood stove, or in microwave if you’re on power. Keep at your feet under the covers. Learn how to make your hot pack here at Wellness Mama. And to make the rice sock, look here at Made with Happy. Super simple idea but so toasty to use! I’m not sure why you’d need to purchase one, since they are so easy and cheap to make, but you can get a variety of these hot packs ready-made at Amazon.com. Here are a few.
  • Heated rocks–choose soapstone or a type that’s flat, and heat these beside your wood stove during the daytime. Run them across bed at night and keep at your feet. Or buy one if you’re feeling fancy! Vermont Soapstone Company sells heating rocks Heating rock
  • Baked potatoes–wrap in a cloth and stick them at your feet! Not sure who gets to eat them in the morning! ?. Actually, people used these to slip into a pocket for hands, but they’d work sort of in a bed. Poor people used these more in the olden days.
  • Cats–pile them on! Cats as bed Warmers
  • Pile on the quilts! Quilts
Picture from stray threads blogspot
  • I remember when we lived in North Dakota. Now that’s cold! When mom tucked me into bed, can still remember the feeling of being pinned down by a mountain of quilts and crocheted afghans. I actually liked that heavy blanket feeling. There was something cozy about it. But…if the bed was cold, it took quite awhile to warm it up! Then, I’d stay warm, but I’ve gotten soft over the years. I’d much prefer to crawl into a warm bed. Quilts to keep bed warm
  • Down comforter–or down sleeping bag thrown over your bed. These are the ultimate in warmth. And they feel really lightweight compared to mountains of quilts, so choose based on your preference and budget. Down comforters are more pricey but are an investment for the future.
  • Flannel sheets. These are much warmer and cozy than cold cotton or slick satin. They hold warmth longer and just feel good to crawl into in the winter! I love the cute design on these but you can find fun prints to fit your style, whether it’s country or modern!
  • A buddy! ? Seriously–in the olden days, the children lined up like sardines in bed, and this practical move helped to not only save beds, but to keep everyone warm from the collective body heat. It’s even Biblical–

Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone? Ecclesiastes 4:11

Although this way helps some, you still have to deal with the issue of a cold bed in the first place.Snuggling in warm bed

Modern Ways to get your Bed Warm:

Our modern conveniences are wonderful, as long as we have them! They are usually quicker, but do require some generator power or grid power.

  • Heated pad–plug into a battery pack, or use generator power in the day, and it’ll warm your bed by night. ~Years ago, when I went to Ireland, the rooms got quite chilly at night! But, in every bed and breakfast we stayed in, the beds were toasty warm, with heated mattress pads! They really made a difference! Much better than heat from the top, like an electric blanket. A couple years ago, my husband and I got gifted one of these heated mattress pads, and I must say, that since living off grid, I have missed it! But I plan to work out something next week with a battery pack, because I really hate cold beds! ~ This pad uses water and no radiation, so may be safer than the traditional pad. But we have this type with dual controls, so you can get your perfect level of warmth. ~Update: I dug our our electric heating pad and just used it while the generator was running, and I’m happy to say that last night our bed was toasty warm! ~
  • Electric blanket--same as above. If you have some power, like from a generator, this could work to get the Bed Warm enough to be comfortable to sleep in. Then your body heat will take over once your generator gets turned off. We never like to keep them plugged in all night anyways, just in case all those electric waves aren’t healthy for us! But, I just learned about the water-filled blankets, which to me sound more healthy.
  • Alternate power bed pad. This one is a little better than grid power, but not exactly practical unless you’re on the road. It has a car power charger to keep the pad going without requiring your car to keep running and use up gas, along with the dangerous fumes/noise. At the price, it would be a special situation item, in my opinion. However, for a creative person, which off-girders tend to be, there are ways to connect this to maybe your solar set up/run wires, and things beyond my mind’s conception to use this in your off-grid home. However, would it be worth it over a conventional heated pad, hooked up to your power charger? I’m not sure.
  • There are battery powered electric blankets, which sound promising if you’re off-grid and just want to warm up your bed! They are marketed towards campers and sports fans, but work anywhere! These would also be great to take as an emergency car blanket for the winter.

Learn more about Old-Fashioned Bed Warmers and ways to get your bed warm!

For more interesting articles about staying warm, here are a couple I found that were interesting to me.




We like to stay warm! For more on our quest for a warm house, see how we made our Super-Insulated Cabin Roof!

The takeaway…

There are plenty of ways, old and new, to get your bed warm, and to keep it warm! I hope you explore a few new ways to make sure you never have to sleep in a cold bed!

Did you learn anything new?  

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9 Replies

  1. Oh gosh, when it’s cold outside it doesn’t matter how warm my pajamas are or how many blankets and quilts are on the bed, I just can’t get warm!! I’ve been told I should buy an electric blanket. Thanks so much for linking up at the #UnlimitedMonthlyLinkParty 7. Shared.

What is your experience? 💜 I read every comment, and so many times I find that I gain encouragement from what’s shared. ❤️