Your money-making expert. Financial journalist, TV and radio personality.
How can you stay warm without putting the heating on? With the cost of energy through the roof and the winter nights drawing in, here at MoneyMagpie we want to share our ideas on ways you can stay cosy without using your central heating.
We’ve priced up the best gadgets on the market and, where we can, included the cost of running them. Overall we’ve found that an electric blanket, for example, is much cheaper to run than your radiators.
Whatever your situation, we’ve got something for everyone.
Energyguide.org.uk has calculated that it costs around £4.50 to run an average sized gas boiler.
According to the Citizens Advice website, it costs an average of 7p to boil a full kettle. That will fill a normal sized hottie and one of those new long thin ones you may have seen. (Remember you should always let the water cool down a little bit before filling a hot water bottle and never fill it completely full.)
You can buy a cosy long hot water bottle from Dunelm for just £14.
Wilko sell a basic hot water bottle with cover for £6.50.
Electric blankets are a great way of warming your bed when the heating is off. Just pop it on for an hour or two before bedtime and then it will stay warm with body heat through the night. Silentnight sell one for £22 (available from Asda) which they say costs 1p to heat up for 2 hours.
If it’s a really bitter night, keeping your electric blanket on until morning would cost you a few pence, compared with leaving the central heating on it’s a much more cost efficient way of staying warm.
We are big fans of heated throws here at MoneyMagpie and VonHaus does a quality range of them. They have a great one reduced to £49.99 right now.
Another way of staying warm in bed is to use a weighted blanket. Amazon sell one for £18.99. Not only do they keep you warm, there is something ever so comforting about them, they keep you calm and are very cosy.
Another idea is to use a heat-reflective bedsheet underlay. These were developed by NASA to help astronauts cope with freezing conditions in space. This version stops heat from escaping through your mattress. You can buy one from Coopers of Stortford for just £19.99.
Have you heard of teddy fleece duvet covers? Along with brushed cotton sheets, this combination will help you stay warm in bed all night long. You can get both from Marks and Spencer. Duvet cover sets start from £19.50 and the sheets from £12.50.
Lastly you can buy teddy bear fleecy throws from Dunelm for as little as £10 – these really are very cosy and are great to wrap yourself in.
It also makes a big difference to have a warm duvet. Slumberland does a fantastic range – we’ve tried them! – and their All Seasons duvet is particularly good at this time of year. They go from 4.5-10.5 tog and retail from 325 upwqrds.
Selkistore sell heat pads that cost £33.99. Although aimed at one part of your body (they are intended for people with issues that require therapeutic heat), they can work to keep the whole of you warm.
Amazon also sell heating pads that are great to either sit on or pop on your lap, especially if you work from home. They have one that costs £15.34 that we’ve tried and it really does work!
Sheepskin is amazingly warm – almost too hot for some! One of our team wears sheepskin gloves to walk her dog and even in the depths of winter, on the coldest of days, she can find her hands are so hot she needs to remove the gloves.
Sheepskin products can be a bit pricey, but they will often last for years and are worth keeping an eye on the sales for.
Real wool products are also very warming, but are often cheaper. You can get a pure wool blanket from LaRedoute for £14.
The same can be said for wool and you can get real wool throws for a really reasonable price these days. Pagazzi have a fantastic one for only £45 which looks great on the sofa
Another member of the team swears by her Oodie. The people who make the Oodie describe them as “like a jumper crossed with a blanket , crossed with a cloud.” They are on sale at the time of writing – you can grab an adult sized one for £54.
Another idea is the Selkbag. It’s even warmer than the Oodie but a little less easy to move around in. We can only describe it as a giant sleeping bag. They retail at around £59.99 but you really wouldn’t need anything else on to stay warm and of course they are free to run.
The best way to keep warm as you move around the house, of course, is to wear warm clothes. Have layers on if you can so that you can take some off if you’re by the fire and put them on if you’re in the kitchen.
We’re big fans of thermal-wear and the big brand for that is Damart. We love their Thermolactyl Pyjamas – soft and lightweight, great for relaxing on the sofa watching your favourite film. Lovely ribbed fabric, these thermal pyjamas are a hit for a cosy afternoon in. Sale price £27.50
They also do lovely, cosy, fur-lined slip-on Thermolactyl mules that we found really comfy. Warm and very comfortable, perfect for those who prefer a slip-on rather than a boot style slipper. Memory foam adds to the comfort and at £25, a great price point from a well known brand. £25.00
There’s also the heated gilet from Yardforce. It’s a light-weight gilet that you can heat up through a USB port. It’s like wearing a heated throw…but much lighter. It’s brilliant for anyone who needs to spend extra time out in the cold, or even if you want a bit of extra heat around your upper body as you move around the house.
Do you have any products or top tips about how to stay warm without using the central heating? Let us know what you think in the comments below!