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It was the traditional hot water bottle that caused a little girl I know terrible burns on her stomach. The rubber deteriated and there was no cover on the bottle. She has been left with life-time scars and a disturbing memory.
It was the humble hot water bottle that also caused a relative to have sore, reddened, skin from slight burns. He hadn't realised how hot the water was against his body until it was too late. He was left with soreness for a couple of days. Furthermore, I find it annoying to waste water every time I need to fill and re-fill the kettle. A hot water bottle can be great for backaches or just as a comforter but why can't it be safe and energy saving in this day and age? If these weren't reasons enough to wish for an alternative to the hot water bottle then burning my hand whilst trying to pour water from the kettle into the bottle was enough. Research led to the discovery of Hotties Microhottie Microwave Hot Water Bottle.
The bottle is placed into a large microwave and used according to strict instructions. It comes in a soft fleece cover. Amazon have put a legal disclaimer on their website, (in 2011, post my purchase) to warn against not adhering to their instructions. Please do not buy unless you are sure you have read this and made sure that you follow their instructions to the letter. My experience has been good but other people have had problems of explosions in the microwave.
I've owned my alternative hot water bottle for going on two years and it still works as well as the first night I used it. In fact, it's better because the first night I had to play with the microwave settings before I could settle on the correct timing.
The bottle keeps me warm into the night despite it not feeling hot on the thick cover. Give it a shake once it is out of the microwave to disperse the heat. Enough heat comes through whilst I hold it to me. I wake up in the morning and by then the bottle is cold. I don't know when it stopped being warm but it certainly allows me to be cosy in bed so that I fall into a blissful sleep.
It feels quite cuddly and soft.
There are no issues with water leaking out.
No difficulties with screwing and unscrewing the cap.
No burns or scalds.
Water isn't wasted.
There are no concerns with weight if your hands aren't strong enough to hold a bottle whist pouring water in.
It has been particularly soothing when I've had aches and pains.
The cold side:
It is very easy to overheat the pads. This can be a worry. I do fear that it could explode one day and now I've discovered the warning on Amazon proving my fear is justified. Please read the instructions carefully. I have a high functioning microwave. I put it on for a minute on each side. Never try heating it longer than fifteen seconds at a time if you feel it needs more than two minutes. The core pads can be bought separately if they are accidently overheated but thankfully, I've not had this experience. It might be cheaper to just buy a brand new replacement bottle though.
It isn't boiling hot, with the cover on, just pleasantly warm. With the cover off it is dangerously hot. Make sure children won't access the pads. They should have put buttons or better yet, Velcro across the cover to prevent any fingers reaching in.
I have a family-size microwave but I can see it would not fit in smaller microwaves. I'm not sure how you would fold down the sides whilst avoiding folding over the internal pads.
It's smaller than a standard water bottle size. This is a shame but I suppose it has to fit in the microwave. For this reason I feel it is an ideal purchase for a child. Give children the old fashioned water bottle and you can't control what might happen whilst they cuddle up with it. With this product you have much more control so long as you get past the microwaving stage successfully.
I have used it for one of the children that stays here overnight from time to time but only the eldest with the warning not to touch the inner pads. If you can sew in some Velcro this safety issue would be altogether avoided. If you need a very hot bottle don't buy this.
Hotties Microhottie Microwave Hot Water Bottle is not the perfect answer to safety issues. You will need to check all the points here to see if this bottle suits your own needs. Now that I am aware of the safety concerns, despite my good findings, I will look for an alternative to the Hotties hot water bottles when I decide to replace it. In the meantime, I am very happy to continue using the product as my microwave is the correct size and I know how to time the heating perfectly.
If I rate on my experience alone it would get four stars but based on a product now being sold with a safety warning it will have to go down to a cold two stars. Update - I have now give this up due to safety fears.
I am a big fan of my microwavable wheat bags which act like a hot water bottle, the problem is that the covers get really grubby and there is no way of washing them. The hotties microwave hot water caught my eye as it worked on a similar principal only the inner core of the hottie was filled with water instead of beans and as it is made of a plastic material I would be able to wipe it clean if it became dirty. Each hottie comes with a fabric cover, mine was a faux sheepskin fabric but many other designs are available, these covers can also be removed and washed in the washing machine.
The heating pad itself is a rectangular shape and covered in thick plastic which encloses a water filled pouch. To heat it up you stick it in the microwave for a maximum of 3 minutes depending on what power of microwave you have. When you remove it from the microwave it is extremely hot to the touch and needs to be put into its liner where it gives off a gentle heat for a couple of hours. When the hottie works ok it is really nice, the shape is ideal to place on your lower back when you sit on a chair to help with pain or to put at the foot of your bed to keep your tootsies warm.
The problem is that the hottie is prone to bursting which is dangerous. It does warn you on the packet that overheating your hottie can cause it to burst and then it needs to be discarded. There is a guarantee of a year on hotties but it does not cover overheating. Mine burst after I had used it only a few times, I'm fairly certain I did not overheat it as I followed the instructions carefully. I took it out of the microwave and squeezed it and a shot of steam came rushing out of the seam and when I had a look I realised it had burst. It could be dangerous when it bursts like that causing scalds. If you look at the reviews on Amazon for the hottie it seems many of them burst in this way, even if it bursts when it is more than a year old and you have had a lot of use out of it I would be concerned about the safety aspect.
The hottie is a good idea and is nice when it works properly but given it's tendancy to burst I will be sticking with my wheat filled microwave hot water bottles from now on.