Turning up the thermostat to warm up just the bedroom is inefficient and will only drive your energy bills further up.
A better option is to just heat up your bedroom or even more efficiently, just the bed.
Here are the best ways to do that.
1. A Heated Mattress Topper/Pad
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A mattress heating pad consists of a network of wires inside. When you turn the heat on, current passes through the wires and they heat up.
This in turn warms up the pad and the mattress.
Using an attached controller, you can control how warm the bed gets. Most heating pads also have timer controls that automatically switch off the heat after some time.
Some heated mattress pads have dual controls that let you set different temperatures for each side of the bed. They are great for couples with different sleeping preferences.
2. Electric Blanket
An electric blanket works the same way as a heating pad. In fact, in some places ‘heating pad' and ‘electric blanket' are used interchangeably with heating pads sometimes referred to as underblankets.
The main difference between an electric blanket and a heating pad is that the former goes on top of your body. You cover yourself with it rather than sleeping on it.
Electric blankets come with the same controls as heating pads – temperature control, timer and dual controls (in some).
3. A Climate Control System
The best climate control system is BedJet.
It works by directing warm air directly into the mattress under the sheets. You can also plug it into a comforter with cavities where the system pumps in warm air.
A climate control system give you most of the same features and controls as a heated pad or electric blanket.
You can have a dual setup for you and your partner, you can control how warm the bed gets and you can set a timer.
4. A Hot Water Bottle
If you need something cheap to warm up your bed a night, a hot water bottle is a great choice. It's also ideal if its only your feet that get cold.
But if you want whole body warming, I recommend any of the above methods. They are much better and more efficient than a hot water bottle.
On the upside, a hot water bottle costs nothing to run.
5. Space Heater
If you cannot warm up your bed, the next best option is to warm your bedroom.
The best way to do this is using a space heater.
Now, you don't need something that outputs a gazillion BTUs of heat. It could end up being just as expensive as turning up the thermostat.
I recommend a small 1500 watt fan-forced or radiant ceramic heater. For something even more efficient, get a 1500 watt infrared heater.
One of the best things about using a space heater is its versatility. In the morning, you can pick it up and use it in the living room or your home office.
You can't do that with a heating pad.
A Note on Memory Foam Mattresses and Heating Pads
Be extra-careful if you have a memory foam bed in a box mattress.
Memory foam mattresses tend to react more to heat than other types of mattresses.
The Viscoelastic foam absorbs heat quickly, retains it and softens up noticeably.
This is not a problem on the first night or even the second. But over time, your mattress might start degrading and loosing its firm support.
But low levels of heat for a limited period of time won't cause any damage.
To protect your mattress, use the lowest setting on your heating pad, electric blanket or climate control system.
To make sure the bed is at the perfect temperature when you sleep, preheat it for around 30 minutes before bed.
Then turn it off and let the trapped heat keep you warm through the night.
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