As desired as lofty and grand homes are, they are not always the most comfortable homes when winter settles in. Our big country houses and huge farmhouses find it hard to keep in the heat when you need it the most and that means cola and Aga fire being lit on those very cold days when the thermometer can’t help but go down.
In reality, only a few UK period homes perform well in intense temperatures with most period homes under-performing as a result of being the most poorly insulated houses in Europe.
The energy crisis has brought high energy costs and the winter is already stressing before it has begun, how do we keep warm if all our energy-sapping devices were to be disconnected and the default setting for our thermostat was at 18°C? (According to research done by Uswitch.com, households can save up to £128 on energy bills if they turn down their thermostat by a single degree.)
With a chill in the air already promising what may turn out to be a very cold winter, looking for alternative cheaper ways to keep warm may just be what you need to prepare because your duvet may not be enough.
Heated gadgets are the answer to what promises to be a stressful and expensive winter. Getting sufficient heat at a low cost per hour as you sit and relax around the house or do domestic chores may just work with these six items. And for some that worry about safety, these gadgets promise to offer you the warmth you need while keeping you safe from accidents and they are fit for a variety of purposes with some made for when you’re on the go.
1. Heated Airer
If nothing annoys you the most as seeing damp clothes this gadget is a must-have for your home. With the tumble unplugged you will likely end up with damp laundry on your bannister during winter and the only way to solve that is getting yourself the heated clothes airer promising to half your winter laundry misery.
The Aldi Heated Airer is returning on Sunday 2 October and can be pre-ordered before it goes into major stores on 9 October. With this energy-saving alternative, you don’t have to worry about drying your clothes on a radiator and will only cost you a few pennies to use per hour. Forget the high cost and stiff dry clothes.
Price: £89.99, Aldi
2. Rechargeable Hand Warmer/ Muffler
If you can’t keep your hands and toes warm enough, winter may spell trouble and discomfort. Poor hand circulation may be the problem but it won’t be easy keeping warm if you’re cutting down on the cost of energy. The solution: a hand-warming muffler that can keep your hands without heating the whole room, a big save.
The rechargeable hand warmer from Lanaforms takes only 10 minutes to charge but will supply you with 4 hours of heat while disconnected from the cord. This portable design means you won’t be stuck in one room to keep your hands warm and cheery on top, you can use the fleecy exterior on your back, neck, feet or any other part of your body that you need to keep warm.
Price: £21.99, Stress No More.
3. Heating Pads
Finding a design that can boost comfort and style in one product and deliver is exceptional but this design from a Dutch start-up may just be it. Stoov has brought a catching design with their “Ploov” cushions and “Big Hug” heating pads. Not only do they speak comfort, but they are also stylish and come in elegant colours such as creams and terracottas and a variety of fabrics such as soft knits and bouclé.
Stoov was founded by Teun Van Leijsen and the idea behind heated pads came when he was helping his pregnant stay comfortable by heating pillows. Stoov designs use long-wave infrared heating technology also called far-infrared (FIR) a technology that heats people and objects instead of air. Waves from these heated pads penetrate deep into the body and with the best results coming when there is minimal distance between the product and body. It takes about four hours to change pads fitted with the larger batteries with 9 hours of heat after charging. For customers in the UK, Stoov is offering £10 off on all orders made before 3 October as they have just launched in the UK.
Price: The Proov cushions are ranging from £99.99 to £149.99. The Big Hug heating pads range from £139.99 to £149.99. Stoov.com
4. Electric Blanket
The electric blanket may be what you want but maybe you’re a bit unsure if they are safe. Some house fires have been caused by old designs of the electric blanket resulting in loss of family heritage or worse and that usually puts people off. If that is your fear meet this modern design of an electric blanket from Von Hau.
The heated throw from Von Hau is made of 250gsm of double flannel and lined with soft fleece with a digital remote for control that has nine heat settings to keep you safe from getting burnt or a fire, they come with an in-built timer in case you fall asleep accidentally. More importantly, is the automatic shut-off to prevent overheating. It comes with a detachable plug and is machine washable up to 30 degrees so you can easily get rid of stains or any fur if your cat decided to snuggle in.
Price £54.99, Vonhaus
5. Cup Warmer
Think of what can be worse than drinking tepid coffee on a cold day. Surely nothing comes to mind. If the cold air is taking out the heat from your morning cup then what you need is a USB-powered cup warmer that will heat your cup. Avoid wasting energy by using your kettle every half hour for a hot cup of coffee by using the cup warmer. Keep your beverage warm enough at 50°C for as long as you want by placing your mug on top of the cup warmer. Say goodbye to lukewarm tea.
Price: £9.49, I Want One Of Those.
6. Heated poncho
Not all of us are still working from home and even if you are, you still need to go out once in a while how do you stay warm? A heated poncho can do the trick. This wearable version of an electric blanket is a perfect choice if you need to stay warm when commuting or working outside your home.
It comes with nine heat and time settings but the most comforting is the overheating protection settings so you can wear it with less worry but enough heat. The clever designs cover your arms well enough to keep you warm but free enough to work on your laptop. Worried about what to do if you spilt anything on it? It is machine washable so you can look clean and stay warm.