Is the cold stopping you from sleeping? Online searches for ways to warm the bedroom increase by 800% between 2am and 4am, suggesting that Brits are wide awake, looking for ways to warm up in bed.
16 million Brits worry about expensive heating bills in winter, according to the latest statistics. But the same number of people admit they leave the heating on when they don’t need to, whether it’s out of habit or by accident. The research reveals that you could fritter away £3.12 per night by leaving your heating on unnecessarily. That’s £287.04 wasted in winter!
See our 10 cheap tips to warm the bedroom – they’re free or cost next to nothing, meaning you’ll spend a little to save a lot on your winter bills.
1. Use foil on your window for 65p
Insulate your bedroom by lining the edges of the window with aluminium foil. Heat easily escapes through your windows, but this everyday household product prevents the air from passing through. So, if you have your radiators on in the day, the foil will help to store the heat at night.
If you don’t already have it in the kitchen, a roll of foil costs just 65p.
2. Blow-dry your bed sheets
It might be an unusual trick, but you can warm up your bed sheets by giving them a brief blow-dry with your hairdryer. The short blast of hot air, around 70°C, will make your bedding toasty in less than a minute. Don’t leave the hot hairdryer on the bed, though – it should be unplugged and stored away safely.
3. Fit a floating shelf above the radiator for £8
When your radiator is switched on in the daytime, you can surprisingly control the flow of heat with a floating shelf. You can fit the shelf above your radiator, which will help to deflect the heat around the bedroom, meaning it won’t rise to the ceiling and get wasted.
You can find a decorative floating shelf from most home shops for just £8.
4. ‘Double-glaze’ your windows with bubble wrap for £2.11
Strangely, bubble wrap is great for insulating your windows. It works similarly to double glazing by reducing heat loss. Simply spray water onto your bedroom window and stick the bubble side down.
It might not look very attractive, but when tested, bubble wrap insulation improves heat loss by up to 50% on single-glazed windows. You can add a second layer of wrap for even more insulation, too.
At the supermarket, bubble wrap costs around £2.11 per roll, so it’s a cheap fix.
5. Keep your curtains open until 3 pm
It’s true that your bedroom curtains will keep the heat in at night, but you should keep them open during the day. Sunlight will naturally heat up the room, which you can help keep in the room when you close your bedroom curtains or blinds.
The sun sets at around 4 pm in winter, so make the most of the natural warmth by keeping your curtains open until around 3 pm.
6. Insulate your floor with a rug for £20
The National Energy Foundation says that you lose up to 10% of heat with an uninsulated floor. If you have bare floorboards in your bedroom, an easy and affordable fix is to place a rug down. The extra layer will help to insulate your floor and stop any drafts coming into the room. Plus, your feet will feel cosier when you step out of bed in the morning.
You can find a medium-sized bedroom rug at popular home retailers for around £20.
7. Seal a drafty door with a bath towel
Another free fix to warm your bedroom is to seal your drafty door with a cotton bath towel. Cotton insulation is commonly used in home construction, as it slows down the flow of heat.
All you need to do is place a clean, dry towel along the bottom of your door to help insulate your bedroom and stop cold air from coming through.
8. Wrap up in a fleece blanket for £11
Fleece is one of the warmest synthetic materials because the structure of its fibres help to trap warm air and keep the heat in. To stay cosy at night, wrap up with a fleece blanket, which costs around £11 if you buy from a supermarket’s home section.
9. Rearrange your bedroom for free
A recent study uncovered that half of the UK can’t sleep in the cold. But you could simply rearrange your bedroom for no cost and feel toastier in minutes.
If your bed is close to the window, you might feel the cold draft coming through. Glass also cools easily, so the area around your window is more likely to be colder at night. For a quick and free solution, move your bed away from the window.
10. Invest in a higher tog duvet for £34
If you feel cold in bed, your duvet tog rating might be too low. The higher your tog, the warmer your duvet is. It’s recommended that your duvet has a 13.5 tog rating in winter for you to get a cosy night’s sleep. You can find a high-quality 13.5 tog duvet for around £34.
Now you know how to save money on your winter bills and get a great night’s sleep, find out what you shouldn’t be doing as we bust three common heating myths.
3 common heating myths – busted!
Myth 1: A hot drink will warm you up
A cup of tea or hot chocolate before bed sounds like it would warm you up, but the human body is made up of too much water for one hot drink to have a lasting effect.
For example, an adult who weighs 70kg is made up of around 42 litres of water. Imagine adding a 300ml mug of hot tea to that – that’s only 0.7% of your water weight, which isn’t enough to warm you up.
Myth 2: Candles will keep the bedroom hot
Some people think that candles will heat up your room, but they simply don’t have enough power. One study showed that it would take 40 tea light candles to warm your bedroom for eight hours, which would be a serious fire hazard.
Myth 3: Heating should be kept on low all the time
The experts at Energy Saving Trust say that leaving your heating on low all the time is a waste of energy – and money. Only heat up your home when you need to, or use a timer if you want to wake up to a toasty home.
If your bedroom is warm but you still have sleep problems in winter, you could be suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). See our advice on SAD treatment and prevention or find more sleep tips in the Mattress Online blog.
Don't forget to check out our idea for a waterbed that makes you feel like you're abroad - the Holidoze!