Hot water bottles have been used as a source of warmth and wellbeing for many many years. More recently we have seen the arrival of the microwaveable version. There are many differences between the two and these should be considered carefully before making your choice.
A hot water bottle is generally filled with hot (not boiling) water and when used in conjunction with a good hot water bottle cover can remain warm all night providing it remains inside the bed. A microwave heat pack is heated only in the microwave and will stay warm for 20 minutes to 2 hours. Both can also be used as cooling aids. A hot water bottle filled with cold water in the summer months can help keep you cool. A microwave pack can be placed in the freezer for a couple of hours and then be used as an aid to ease sprains etc.
Hot Water Bottles are more generally made from Rubber which when first purchased can have an odour that some may dislike although this passes with use. Thermoplastic PVC although slightly more expensive are odourless and are now becoming more readily available. Microwave heat packs are generally filled with wheat, which again can be intolerable to some. However, most heat packs tend to be fragranced with lavender which can help to mask the smell of wheat. Lavender also provides relaxing aromas that aid sleep and relaxation, the animal versions of these packs are very popular as a bedtime cuddle for young children. A new alternative filling to wheat is cherry pips as this is odourless and not fragranced which may be an option if wheat or lavender is not your thing.
Hot water bottles were originally available in 1 standard size which was the 2 litre version. Although this remains the largest available, you can now purchase hot water bottle in smaller sizes : 500 ml, 750 ml and 1.5 litre . The smaller versions tend to be useful for taking away on trips and are compact for packing into a suitcase. The smaller sizes are always used when inside an animal toy cover aimed for young children.
Microwave heat packs also known as wheat bags and hotties come in a wide range of colours designs and styles. From a standard pack, they vary from body wraps, neck, shoulder and back warmers and are also available in vast range of various cuddly animal covers.
Both should be used with caution and ALWAYS follow the manufactures instructions on heating. Whichever you choose either will give you an aid for natural pain relief and are great to snuggle up to on a cold winters night.