Hot-water bottles are… hot
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When I was a child, my stepmother put hot-water bottles in each of our beds a few hours before we went to bed – a tradition that my own children now insist upon today. “When my husband’s away on tour my hot-water bottle is the next best thing,” says Susie Cave, who cast the hot-water bottle front and centre of her new The Vampire’s House homeware collection, with decadent covers in floral silk-satin (£165) and sequin-embellished velvet (£365).
MatchesFashion has grown its hot-water bottle offering to reflect “the feeling of comfort people are seeking,” says Liane Wiggins, head of womenswear. As well as stocking Susie Cave’s creations, it offers everything from cashmere classics (£119) from Johnstons of Elgin and Allude (£130) to a rubber embossed black bottle (£40) from Christopher Kane’s More Joy label.
Anya Hindmarch’s Ouch bottle (£175) was inspired by “the bumps and bruises over the years when my children were smaller, all made better with a hot-water bottle.” Hannah Weiland, of Shrimps, offers a retro Maria (£75) hand-knitted in a merino wool blend and embroidered with pink flowers.
Much like a wearable radiator covered in cashmere or Belgian linen, the 81cm-long YuYu Bottle (from £33) can be worn across the body or tied around the waist. Designed using 100 per cent natural biodegradable rubber, it has special bobbles that aim to trap warmth and extend its heat for 25 per cent longer than traditional designs. The brand enjoyed recent fame supplying Team GB in Tokyo as well as England rugby players.
While nostalgia might be the key to the enduring appeal of the hot-water bottle, there’s also an increasingly persuasive environmental argument for “wearing” one. Richard Yu, YuYu’s founder and CEO (yu means “hot water” in Japanese), commissioned research concluding that if everyone in London turned down their heating by just three degrees, supplementing with a hot-water bottle, it would save 8.6m kg of CO2 – the equivalent of 19.3m flights from London to New York.