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Recommendations for all natural bed warmer

 
pioneer
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Hi there. We are trying to axe our heat budget. Party of this is getting a mattress cover with a heater built in. But it seems like everything in the market is either microfiber or is a cotton shell with polyester fill. Has anyone found a natural material? Are natural dinner folks prohibited for safety reasons due to the electrical wiring? Just want to minimize toxic gick.
 
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What's your target temperature in the bedroom?  We consider it cold when it gets down to 60 in the bedroom.  To handle those temps we have flannel sheets and about 3 blankets.  
 
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My best recommendation is a large dog!
 
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Jordan Holland wrote:My best recommendation is a large dog!



I was gonna suggest a really close friend of whatever gender you prefer snuggling with, but the dog is way less complicated.
 
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With 3 of you folks, there should be enough body heat.

I think that getting a 55gallon fish tank for your room will help alot.
Maybe seperate blankets if 'someone' keeps on hogging all of it at night leaving others cold
Keeping your hair longer than normal.
Playing with the vents so that more hot air makes it into your bedroom.
Using a tiny fan to de-stratify the air temp.
Raising your bed higher off the ground.
 
Jordan Holland
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Dan Boone wrote:

Jordan Holland wrote:My best recommendation is a large dog!



I was gonna suggest a really close friend of whatever gender you prefer snuggling with, but the dog is way less complicated.



Seriously, there is no greater feeling in the world than waking up feeling soft, warm, luxurious fur.
 
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We used to put rocks on top of our wood stove and then carry them to the bed about a 1/2 hour before bedtime. I got worried because it was hard to regulate how hot the rocks were and I didn't want a fire. Not to mention, the heat tended to be in one spot, rather than spread evenly.

So we gave up and went the electric bed-warmer route, despite the artificial material. If you don't want to be exposed to toxic gick, you could buy a bed warmer and unstitch it from the artificial material, and stitch it onto a wool blanket (wool's good for fire resistance) in the same configuration.

At least with the bedwarmer, we get the heat where and when we want it. I find if I get into a warm bed, I get to sleep more easily and rarely wake up cold. If I do wake up cold, I've got the option of turning the warmer on again without even getting out of bed. Life is sometimes about compromises.
 
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we are also in the "put on a sweater" school (and lock on the thermostat, just like how I grew up. Actually that's not true, we don't have a thermostat or heating in our house).
Many blankets
clothes when you go to bed- a hood or hat is essential if it's really cold
floor covering in the winter if you can
hot water bottle in bed, with a cover (one for each person if you want to be fancy). If you need to order one/can't find one/etc people have been known to use 2L soda bottles. Use water that is not yet boiling or you will ruin your bottle quickly.
There are some good threads here about keeping warm in winter while cutting your heating bill.
 
D.W. Stratton
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This is my fault because I didn't make caveats and stipulations.

1. We are vegan so fish tanks and such will not be acceptable solutions for us
2. We have rescue rabbits who would flip their gord if they smelled a dog or any other predator
3. We definitely want an electric blanket-type solution because one of the three folks who lives here is not on board with going full-on "no heat" wofati-style living and would probably oppose a rocket mass heater.
4. We don't all 3 sleep in a bed together, y'all watch too much Big Love or something lol. So someone is always sleeping solo and therefore cold 🥶. There are interpersonal reasons that 3 in a bed would never work. Trust me, I know you all are prepared for society to collapse, but getting the two of them to get along would, in fact, usher in the Ragnarok. ☠️
5. Wool liner won't work because vegan as previously indicated. I realize some view that as a big limitation. We have strongly held ethical feelies about it. Watch Dominion and tell me you want a wool liner. 🤮

Anyhoo, I appreciate everyone responding thus far and I hate to be a buzz kill by shooting down all the suggestions, but they just won't work for our situation. Maybe a toxic plastic death shroud is what we will have to accept. 😔
 
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Hot water bottle or 2. you can get them made of natural rubber and the cover can be whatever you want.
We don't heat the upstairs of our house unless it's way below freezing outside. So we have a double duvet and I have a blanket over my side, when it gets really cold I swap the blanket for another duvet and add a hotwater bottle for my feet. By cold I mean under 11C (52F) in the bedroom add a hat and thick but loose socks if you need to.
 
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Our bedroom is always above freezing but we don't heat it deliberately and usually close the door so that the rest of the house stays warmer...so maybe 40-50F much of the winter?

What warms us, besides each other, is a wonderful down comforter.  
It is so light but insulating that even in the coldest weather we only need to add one blanket or quilt to the top...usually it and a sheet are plenty....no pajamas needed.

Downside, it's hard to get out of that nice warm bed ...and first one to bed, usually me, has the cold sheet to warm but that doesn't take too long.

I think the feathers are starting to break down (after more than 20yrs.) so have been shopping for a replacement....will pay most any price for this creature comfort after years of layers of weighty blankets, sleeping in hats and clothes, etc.

EDIT: now I see that you are all vegan so down and feathers would be out...I'll leave this anyway as it might be a good suggestion for someone else in a similar situation?
 
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I don't have a furnace and I live in a crap cabin right now.  Last winter it would get down to -25 to -30C and I often went to bed when I got home in an unheated cabin.  Some warm pjs and lots of good blankets/duvet works quite well.  It's freezing when you climb in but you start shivering right away so you warm up and the bed's warm in a few minutes.  

If you don't want the toxic crap extra blankets may be the answer.
 
D.W. Stratton
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Judith Browning wrote:Our bedroom is always above freezing but we don't heat it deliberately and usually close the door so that the rest of the house stays warmer...so maybe 40-50F much of the winter?

What warms us, besides each other, is a wonderful down comforter.  
It is so light but insulating that even in the coldest weather we only need to add one blanket or quilt to the top...usually it and a sheet are plenty....no pajamas needed.

Downside, it's hard to get out of that nice warm bed ...and first one to bed, usually me, has the cold sheet to warm but that doesn't take too long.

I think the feathers are starting to break down (after more than 20yrs.) so have been shopping for a replacement....will pay most any price for this creature comfort after years of layers of weighty blankets, sleeping in hats and clothes, etc.

EDIT: now I see that you are all vegan so down and feathers would be out...I'll leave this anyway as it might be a good suggestion for someone else in a similar situation?



There are duvets with natural fiber fill that are as warm as down. We have a duvet and it goes a long way in keeping us warm for sure. I don't know if I can sell the idea of no heat at all to the X-chromosomally abundant folks in the house as they tend to get *cold*. I shall endeavor to strike a compromise and suspect that hot water bottles will help.

I wonder though... If I burn gas on my range to boil water for a hot water bottle.... Am I offsetting any gain from not hearing the house? I would assume it's much less gas than the furnace would crank through to heat the whole house, hmm?
 
Mike Haasl
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Yes, I'm fairly sure that heating water with gas to focus heat into a hot water bottle in your bed would use less gas than heating the whole house up.

So what temperatures are you having issues at?  My flannel sheets and multiple blankets don't involve wool or feathers.  And we're in a King sized bed so there isn't that much sharing of heat.
 
D.W. Stratton
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Mike Haasl wrote:Yes, I'm fairly sure that heating water with gas to focus heat into a hot water bottle in your bed would use less gas than heating the whole house up.

So what temperatures are you having issues at?  My flannel sheets and multiple blankets don't involve wool or feathers.  And we're in a King sized bed so there isn't that much sharing of heat.



Don't know what temp precisely. I would guess below 60F broadly speaking and certainly below 50.

Thing is we have a Buderus gas furnace for the upstairs part of the house that let's to set individual rooms via a radiator, so I'm not entirely certain that it *is* much more efficient to do the water bottles. I am trying to think of a way to measure the amount of gas used by each method but since the gauge on the tank varies with ambient temperature I don't know if I can get an accurate read.

For the downstairs it's fuel oil furnace which *for certain* is a dirty, filthy beast. But the bedrooms are all upstairs. We are going the route of dog bed warmer and chairpad heaters and such for downstairs
 
Mike Haasl
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D.W. Stratton wrote:Thing is we have a Buderus gas furnace for the upstairs part of the house that let's to set individual rooms via a radiator, so I'm not entirely certain that it *is* much more efficient to do the water bottles.


I think I'd consider a thought experiment.  

Experiment (don't actually do this):  Move the gas range in the bedroom and heat the water there.  Never take the water off the stove so it radiates its heat to the room.  

How much heat does that whole process deliver to the bedroom?  That is both the heat from the gas flame and the slow release heat from the water.  I'm guessing it would heat up the bedroom by 5 or 10 degrees for the first half hour and after 5 hours it would be back down to ambient temperature.  Since the stove and water are in the bedroom, all the heat is delivered to the bedroom.

Compare that to running the furnace.  It would raise the temperature by 5-? degrees all night long.  

If the water bottle process consumes enough gas to heat the room for an hour or so, and the furnace consumes enough gas to heat it for the whole night, I think the furnace uses much more gas


 
D.W. Stratton
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Mike Haasl wrote:

D.W. Stratton wrote:Thing is we have a Buderus gas furnace for the upstairs part of the house that let's to set individual rooms via a radiator, so I'm not entirely certain that it *is* much more efficient to do the water bottles.


I think I'd consider a thought experiment.  

Experiment (don't actually do this):  Move the gas range in the bedroom and heat the water there.  Never take the water off the stove so it radiates its heat to the room.  

How much heat does that whole process deliver to the bedroom?  That is both the heat from the gas flame and the slow release heat from the water.  I'm guessing it would heat up the bedroom by 5 or 10 degrees for the first half hour and after 5 hours it would be back down to ambient temperature.  Since the stove and water are in the bedroom, all the heat is delivered to the bedroom.

Compare that to running the furnace.  It would raise the temperature by 5-? degrees all night long.  

If the water bottle process consumes enough gas to heat the room for an hour or so, and the furnace consumes enough gas to heat it for the whole night, I think the furnace uses much more gas




Fair. Makes me wonder if I could rig up there radiator dial to turn down to zero after a set time. It isn't digital, it's analog with a pin that closes off the inlet for heated water. So I'd need a mechanical device on a timer I suspect. Anyway, I agree with you that the water bottle would be lower petrol cost.
 
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There are duvets with natural fiber fill that are as warm as down. We have a duvet and it goes a long way in keeping us warm for sure.



I would try a second duvet under the bottom sheet then? I think it would respond to body heat quicker than a mattress and might be a step worth trying before the electric heat? It could be that a 'sandwich' of comforters would do the job...

I was wondering what natural materials other comforters/duvets are made from? buckwheat hulls and cotton come to mind.....
 
D.W. Stratton
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Judith Browning wrote:


There are duvets with natural fiber fill that are as warm as down. We have a duvet and it goes a long way in keeping us warm for sure.



I would try a second duvet under the bottom sheet then? I think it would respond to body heat quicker than a mattress and might be a step worth trying before the electric heat? It could be that a 'sandwich' of comforters would do the job...

I was wondering what natural materials other comforters/duvets are made from? buckwheat hulls and cotton come to mind.....



Hemp fiber I think is an option. My partner would know more about this than I would, but there is a natural filling store online that specifically sells buckwheat and that sort of thing as you are suggesting expressly for the purpose of filling pillows and such.

Edit: here is the link: https://www.naturalfillingstore.com/

They offer kapok, hemp fiber, buckwheat, infused seaweed, etc.
 
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Couple of extra ideas;
- a mattress topper that somehow eliminates the cold that can be sucked from you.
- Converting the oil furnace to vegetable oils.
- improving insulation generally and on the windows.
- create a small hydronic heater that pumps hot water through a radiator in the room.
 
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A big recommendation would be wool blankets. You can find point blankets at a good price sometimes. Though I would recommend Alpaca wool wherever possible. A good place to look is https://www.alpaca4less.com/ I have their Banderita blanket which is 50% Alpaca 50% Merino. Alpaca is softer, warmer, and lighter.
 
D.W. Stratton
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Devin Lavign wrote:A big recommendation would be wool blankets. You can find point blankets at a good price sometimes. Though I would recommend Alpaca wool wherever possible. A good place to look is https://www.alpaca4less.com/ I have their Banderita blanket which is 50% Alpaca 50% Merino. Alpaca is softer, warmer, and lighter.



Vegan. Animal products not a solution.
 
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Gick or no, a mattress warmer is incredibly efficient when you look at its miniscule electrical consumption. Electric blankets are too, but not everyone (and particularly not me) likes that heavy sarcophagus on top of them. Add a dual-zone heat controller and domestic harmony follows. My 2c.
 
Devin Lavign
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Jordan Holland wrote:My best recommendation is a large dog!



There is a stove company this rates it stoves by how many dogs they replace.
 
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Rescue Rabbit = Rescue Dog

Any type of electric heating pad will have metal wires wrapped in insulative plastic/silicone.
If so just get a greenhouse heating mat and then place a regular old fashion mattress pad.
DIY style

Think water bed, but thinner, so a water mattress pad.
https://www.navienmate.com/products/eqm-350
 
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I ran across this video a few weeks back when I was looking for a smaller mattress for my Chevy Blazer so I wouldn't have to stay in a hotel when I drove up to Michigan to see my sister.
I wanted something soft and warm but being the picky person I am I also wanted it to be natural. I even toyed with the idea of using a mattress ticking bag/mattress cover filled with straw - Lol Any way whatever I chose for the base I think I want this on top for it's warmth and softness.


 
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The video didn't pop up, I hope it does, but if it doesn't the title of the video is:

DIY Wool Mattress Topper (easy no sew), It shows a woman hand looping a wool blanket/mattress topper with slightly felted wool Roving generally used for spinning.

I am going to make one for myself ...I really want one! My apartment get's so cold in the winter.
 
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I lived with no heat and an electric Blanket for years, then got married and central heating became "necessary". That said still kept the bedroom cool and upgraded to the DUAL temp control model. Get the next size up from the bed (bed is double, get queen blanket), worst thing is the draft that sneaks in when you roll over or two bodies hump up the blankets (I do this with the flat sheet, blankets etc.).

THEN I discovered SILK DUVETS (Not sure if this would fit with Vegan?)!!! Was at Costco, one of those deal of the week kiosks, some lady extolling the virtues of silk duvets...but overheard her discussing "night sweats" which plagued my husband. She swore this would solve all that (often 3X per night for hubby changing drenched clothes). So I gambled dropped $200+ and brought home my prize.

We have never looked back, and it's been over 2 yrs. No more night sweats, no more one person too hot, the other too cold. No changing bedding with the seasons, winter summer, spring fall, no matter. This super lightweight maybe an inch thick duvet is priceless. So much so I have tried to track the original supplier down to purchase a second strictly as a spare in case a catastrophe occurred and something happened to our original.

Oh and the replacement electric bedwarmer? Never came out of it's box! Mistakenly thought we would need it come winter, so bought it on sale at the same time, being the frugality Queen I am...

So look into silk, if that passes for a vegan. If not, bite the bullet for toxic gick, just invest in the next size up and dual controls.
 
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Silk isn't vegan, sadly, though I agree it makes for great duvet filling.

I think a good bet is hats.  For longer hair, a slick inner cap (again I'd say silk, but high-thread-count cotton or linen would work) to keep tangles down, and then something thicker and warmer over it.

When I stay overnight in the cabin in the winter, it's air-tight enough that eventually body heat + hat + silk duvet + flannel cover (+ sleeping bag when it hits -15 degrees C) is fine to sleep in, and even to get out of bed into not-freezing ambient air.  But to be able to sleep I definitely need to start with a hot-water bottle.
 
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dw brings up a good point
I don't like cloths or bedding with artificial fibers either
finding a warm all natural blanket theses days is not an easy task. lots of places advertise stuff that is not all natural fibers but they are not.
last time I seriously looked a warm blanket made of soft natural fibers the prices started around $300 dollars
all natural quilts prices started at least double that but good ones were well over $1000
I would like to find something like a wool stuffed blanket with cotton outer shell at a reasonable price.
the last inexpensive wool blanket I bought was infested with some sort of bug larvae that all hatched in middle of winter with the heat of wood stove in the house. I was severely bitten by these bugs and spent a week washing everything else with boric acid and bleach. and ended up throwing out the infested wool blanket.
 
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bruce Fine wrote:
the last inexpensive wool blanket I bought was infested with some sort of bug larvae that all hatched in middle of winter with the heat of wood stove in the house.



Yuck, you can stop that happening again by freezing the blanket before you use is or even bring it into the bedroom! I have to say that's not something I would think of doing with a blanket before using it, but we do wash all bedding before use so maybe that would work to.
 
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I still own two old-fashioned metal hot-water-bottles. Maybe they'd be considered 'antique' now. I rarely need to use them. The way to use them is: bring 1 liter of water to a boil, put it in the hot-water-bottle, close the lid very firmly, put the hot-water-bottle in a sock (or in the dedicated knitted cover made for it). Put one or two of those at the feet-end of your bed, about 10 minutes before going to bed.

In the cold season I always wear 'bed-socks' (loosely fitting wool socks). Good pajamas of course are a must, and a special winter duvet (filled with sheep wool or down).
 
Tereza Okava
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Inge Leonora-den Ouden wrote:metal hot-water-bottles.  


WOW!! I am looking at pics online and wow! They look like my old scout canteen!! I had forgotten that the metal ones existed-- and wish some of these cool old things were more common. Awesome.
 
Inge Leonora-den Ouden
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But now I see you're vegan. That's very difficult. There's a topic on warm winter clothes for a vegan and there it's mentioned too: plant fibers are never as warm and insulating as animal fibers.
 
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Inge Leonora-den Ouden wrote:But now I see you're vegan. That's very difficult. There's a topic on warm winter clothes for a vegan and there it's mentioned too: plant fibers are never as warm and insulating as animal fibers.



Here's the link to the thread Inge mentions Vegan friendly warm and natural textiles - a big oldfashioned brainstorming thread

There might be some good suggestions that you could use?

I added this thread to the 'vegan' one since the thread I linked to is in that one...might help focus the answers?
 
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We used electric blankets growing up.
I'm not comfortable with electrical  resistance heating next to my skin anymore.

It would be a bigger project,  but you could enclose your bed.
Box beds are an old style of bed that are enclosed for warmth and privacy.
Canopy beds did the same,  but currently tend to be decorative.

Once you have a box or a tent for your bed, an oil filled radiator style space heater .
 
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Well it would depend on your personal interpretation and application of veganism, but my favourite non-human all-natural bed warmers tend to be quadripeds.

Yes, dogs, and the occasional cat, but I am allergic, so a good hypoallergenic dog would be my choice. I know some people sleep with their rabbits. My bunny has chisels in her fuzzy face, and she weighs sixteen pounds, so I will take a hard pass on pissing her off in the night by rolling on or kicking her.

Mind you, sleeping with giant rabbits might apply better. Rabbits are obligate vegans, after all.

-CK
 
Lorinne Anderson
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As to the multiple references to dogs (which could terrify the resident rescue Buns) this is one of those cases where good things come in small packages...it is not a LARGE dog you want for this, but the small ratters (Manchester, Pinscher, Rat terrier) that you would want.

We have all heard the phrase "Three Dog Night" it references how COLD it was and the number of dogs it took to keep warm!

The tinies were/are preferred as they end to tuck in close; crooks of your knees, belly, feet, small of your back. Our Miniature Pinschers are SUCH a comfort on a chilly winter's eve.  With a normal temp, a few degrees above humans, the "skin to skin" contact is literally the ideal bedwarmer with security alarm and rodent patrol all rolled into one.

How many rescued rabbits? Enough that collected, shed fur could be used for quilt insulation or spun into thread for blanket making?
 
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I get cold in bed it will keep me awake so I use a 100%nylon with insulating blanket to sleep on,it really helps a lot. Then of course I sleep with long sleeves snd jogging pants win the winter months. My grandma always had a goose feather matters we would just sink into it and boy was it warm.
 
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Around 7 or 8pm my body starts shutting down for the night and by the time I go to bed I'm usually freezing.  I can't stand wearing pyjamas when I sleep.  Socks are borderline.  A duvet or super thick mattress topper under the bottom sheet helps a lot in keeping things warmer.  Fuzzy sheets so they don't feel so cold when you first get in are good.  

If the room is quite cold, but under the blankets is warm, I find I sometimes have trouble regulating my body temperature.  In those instances, a toque with ear flaps fixes the problem.

Hot water bottles are great.  I didn't know there were metal ones!  I'd recommend going with one of those if you decide to try it.  The last hot water bottle I bought smelled so strongly of rubber that I had to hang it in a drafty porch for a couple YEARS before I didn't get a raging headache from the fumes.

I agree that another living body is the best bed warmer.  Luckily, my husband's body does the exact opposite of mine - by bedtime, he's burning off all his extra energy from the day and is way too hot.  I get to put my cold toes on him to cool him down.  So maybe you guys just need another partner - must be a hot sleeper
 
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