7 Items to Keep You Warm When the Radiator Stays Cold

Remember last winter, when banging at the cold radiator sounded like a rocking drumbeat but still didn’t bring any heat?  This year, don’t depend on the radiator gods — be prepared with a few inexpensive items that’ll help make you get warm fast, no matter how cold your apt is.

A Hot Water Bottle Stays Toasty

Admittedly, I didn’t even think these were made anymore but…I’m totally in love with mine.  Especially if you pay for heat, bring a hot water bottle to bed and it will totally warm up your extremities. I like to keep mine at the foot of the bed, right next to my cold, cold, feet:)

Pillows Amp-Up The Couch

What may seem like decoration can really make your cheap couch feel delightfully cozy.  I have an Ikea couch that definitely gets the job done, but I wouldn’t exactly call it plush.  I bought two, plump pillows and leaning against them make the couch infinitely more snuggly, especially when I pile on a blanket or two. Speaking of which..

Bring On the Blankets: Heavy & Light

Living in a radiator-heated apartment, I have absolutely no control of the heat. Sometimes it’s boiling, sometimes frigid, sometimes absolutely freezing.  My first year here, I would toss and turn mid-night because I only had one comforter that was just not enough. I finally went to Target to find a lighter blanket to throw on top of the comforter for the below-zero January nights or use alone when the radiator went on overdrive. It’s made all the difference.

Get Flannel Sheets and Turn Down the Thermostat

Flannel sheets are the greatest bargain in the staying-warm department.  Shop around and you can get sets for under $30 and sleep well even when your room temp dips below 60.  And if you want to get super cozy, add a flannel duvet cover.

Electric Tea Kettle Heats Quickly

With the coming of cold weather, my first defense to staying warm is hot tea.  A kettle is cute and all, but an electric kettle makes hot water FAST.  I just bought one onAmazon for $25 and use it every day; my first one was $9.99 from Target and was a great first investment but broke after a year.

Slip On Some Slippers

Wood floors get cold, yo.  I spent my first apt winter wearing sandals around my apartment with socks, but last year I asked for slippers for my birthday (in December) and they’ve been a real wonder. No more cold floor AND my feet feel like they’re walking on clouds.

Robe It Up

My mom always had a robe and it seemed so…adult. I couldn’t imagine ever wanting one. But, after living in an ice box for a season and taking as few showers as possible  because of the icicles forming in my hair (almost) . . .I was desperate.  A warm robe is great after showers or for Sunday afternoon.  Target, K-Mart, and other larger retailers  have some in stock already, or you can try searching online as sizes tend to be S/M/L/XL and you don’t need a tailored fit.

What about you guys? Any good winter comfort tips?

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Author My First Apartment

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I've lived in apartments in 6 cities (including 2 foreign countries). Does that make me an expert? As of now, my ceiling isn't leaking and I don't have rodents (knock on wood) -- so I'm going to say yes . . . but ask me again tomorrow:) These days, I'm enjoying life Chicago style, but my years in Brooklyn are never far from my mind. P.S. By day I work at Cars.com, but these opinions are totally, 100% my own.

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Comments (4)

  1. Avatar fisher

    A couple of winters ago the power went out, for the whole neighborhood. My solution? Take wool blankets and hang them up in hall ways, and over windows if you dont have thick cutains. Wool or flanal works best because it isolates rooms, so that kitchem with the cold tile floor wont leach the cold into other rooms. Also for winter months, i use a sleeping bag as a cover. Just unzip it all the way and it should cover about the size of a full if not a queen size bed. sleeping bags are cheap and are designed to keep you warm.

  2. Avatar Amber

    If you cant find a traditional hot water bottle, a nalgene works great! I fill it with water from my hot shot which boils water in seconds and it stays warm all night if kept under the covers. And unlike most bottles it doesn’t damage your nalgene and the boy scouts have been using them for years! Just watch out the bottle is hot at first!

  3. Avatar Mandy

    To be honest, I cheat. I don’t use any super-organic planet saving remedy for coldness, or even anything cool – I use a space heater to keep warm! It was around $35. at a certain notoriously cheap department store, I’ve had it for three years and use it faithfully every winter, starting when the ‘high’ for the day drops below 50F. It works so well I’ve never had to turn it up even half as hot as it can get for any length of time and I highly recommend it to anyone who could afford the initial cost of it and the slightly higher electricity bill.