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With winter very fast approaching, it's time to dig out all my winter warmers- my snuggies and slankets, hot water bottles, electric blankets, and of course my footwarmer.
I actually won this in a raffle a couple of years ago - it's not something that I would have purchased myself at the time, as I do tend to associate these kinds of appliances with old people - not helped by the rather old fashioned patterned fabric that the cover is made of, in it's less than delightful shades of brown and darker brown. It has a nice quilted feel to it though, and the inside and top cuff are lined with a fluffy white fleece like material, which is removable for washing (on a cold hand wash only.)
Slipping my feet into it, it's easily large enough to accommodate my size 9 feet, though my boyfriend, with his abnormally large size 15 can't get them in comfortably - not unless he used one for each foot, anyway. Disappointingly, the passing on the base is neither as soft, nor as cushioned as I would like - I could feel the heating elements through the fleece. There also seemed to be rather a lot of wasted air around my feet.
The warmer itself has a small white control console, which is wired into the main appliance, and has a cord that is a reasonable length when sitting down. There are three heat settings, 1-3, with three being the highest, and also a timer, which may be handy if you only want to use this for a few minutes. The warmer also has a safety cut off point after 90 minutes of use, which is a sensible precaution against overheating.
The instructions say to turn this on for 15 minutes to warm up before putting your feet in - an instruction that I totally ignore. After all, who wants to sit around with cold feet whilst waiting for this to work - okay, so it might not get hot immediately, but why not at the very least get the immediate benefit of the soft fluffy fleece lining. I would actually say it only takes around 8 minutes to heat up fully anyway. I have to say, the heat settings are not very hot.
Three, the hottest setting, is more a pleasant, 2 pairs of socks kind of warmth than a 'pointing your feet at the fire' toastiness. Whilst this is perfectly sufficient if, for example, I've been in all day and just want that little extra warmth while I sit and read, it's not that great if I'm come home in the rain with a leaky shoe that's been letting in cold icy water. In fact, should your feet be actively cold when using this, I find it woefully inadequate and would instead recommend just plonking them in a bowl of hot water for that immediate hit.
Overall, I think this was a nice enough little raffle win, but I really don't use it that often - I think I used it every day for the first couple of weeks, and then never really bothered with it much except for the occasional time when my feet were aching from standing all day - as I do find the warmth very soothing for tired achy feet.
I still wouldn't buy one myself - partly because I think it just isn't effective enough, but also because it simply looks old fashioned and ugly. From looking around online, these cost between £30 and £37, which I think is really a lot of money to spend on something like this, especially as a pair of fleece lined slipper socks cost around £3, look nicer, and do the job just as well.
I did consider deducting an additional star because the one I won was fitted with a 2 pin plug, but that might be something to do with where the raffle organiser purchased it, as my elderly neighbour has one that came with a three pin - so I'll award 2 stars - does warm you up a little, but not enough.
Heated foot warmer.