Expert warns you should never fall asleep with a hot water bottle

During the winter it can be hard to get warm at night. As temperatures plummet many of us will wrap up in thick pyjamas and pile on the blankets in a bid to avoid the cold.

Hot water bottles are another popular choice for fending off the chill. While they are effective, one expert has warned against falling asleep with one at night.

Rebecca Swain, sleep expert at WinstonsBeds, warned they could expose you to some dangerous health risks. She warned that over time the material of a hot water bottle can start to degrade making it less protective meaning burns and injuries are more likely.

Therefore, they should be replaced every three years, Rebecca said. They should also be cleaned after each use as their ribbed design is a “perfect breeding ground for bacteria”.

She explained: “Hot water bottles are a great way to warm up in bed before you nod off but it becomes a problem for those who have gotten into the habit of sleeping with one all night.”

She continued: “They aren’t designed to handle any type of stress, pressure or weight which means if you roll onto it during the night, you risk causing the bottle to leak and this could lead to some serious burns and blisters if the water is still hot.

“If you’ve had your hot water bottle for a while then this is a concern as the material is likely to have degraded over the years making it weaker and more prone to splitting.

“Using a hot water bottle is a great alternative to putting the heating on so there’s no reason to stop using them, just ensure you’re taking it out of the bed before you drift off to sleep.”

Rebecca shared five reasons why you shouldn’t sleep with a hot water bottle.


One of the most obvious reasons why we shouldn’t sleep with a hot water bottle is due to the risk of burns.

“Keeping the hot water bottle in direct contact with your skin for too long can lead to burns,” Rebecca said.

Skin irritation

She warned: “The direct heat and material of the bottle itself can also lead to red rashes and irritated skin.”

Splitting the bottle

While we sleep there is the risk of rolling over on top of the hot water bottle.

“Hot water bottles are not designed to be sat on and accidentally laying on top of them in the night could cause them to split which can lead to blisters and burns,” Rebecca said.

“Older hot water bottles may be more likely to split as their material will have deteriorated over time.”

Risk of infection

Unless you are cleaning your hot water bottle after every use then it can become a breeding ground for bacteria especially if it’s being kept in your bed every night.

She said: “Sleeping with a hot water bottle for eight hours straight can increase the risk of infection if it comes into contact with broken skin.”


The purpose of a hot water bottle is obviously to keep us warm but this can be taken to the extreme.

Falling asleep with a hot water bottle can cause our bodies to overheat during the night.

Rebecca added: “This can cause night sweats and a disrupted sleep.”

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