* Prices may differ from that shown
** My Experience **
I was out Christmas shopping with my other half and I pointed out these sweet animal hotties in Dorothy Perkins. I am a big fan of my hot water bottle as I am always cold and frequently go to bed with one - even in the summer! These little animals looked a lot cuter than my hot water bottle so I hinted at my partner that it would make a great stocking present!
Sure enough on Christmas morning I had one under the tree. They are so soft and feel so cuddly that I couldn't wait to try it out (I am sad I know!). You have to put the hottie bag in the microwave to heat up and then you put the bag inside the animal cover. I have to say that I was a little disappointed by this product. The supposedly lavender scent is quite musty and not at all pleasant. The bag also produces steam inside the animal cover which makes it feel wet rather than hot and cosy. I can honestly say I used this once as a hottie and now it just sits on my unit as a soft toy ornament.
** Further Information **
These hotties are available in four different woodland animals which are squirrel, badger, owl and duck. They are produced by Dorothy Perkins in partnership with the Woodland Trust.
The hotties come in simple packaging with the woodland animal being fully displayed on a piece of black, cardboard (for support and hanging purposes). There is a velcro opening at the back of the hottie which you open up and inside is a bean bag containing lavender balls. You put the whole microwavable bag in the microwave for about 1 minute. Then you remove the bag from the microwave and place it back inside the hottie. The product is now ready to use.
** Price **
The hotties are available to buy in store or online at Dorothy Perkins. They cost £8 with £1 of each sale going to the Woodland Trust.
** Summary **
Buy this product if it is the cute aspect that you like. Don't buy it if you want a proper, working hot water bottle replacement.
Whilst doing some Christmas shopping in November/December last year, I was in my local Dorothy Perkins store and happened to see a display of several little animal 'hotties' on sale. As I had still to buy a gift for my little cousin who is only eleven and is obsessed with bears of any kind, I decided to purchase a Panda 'hottie' there and then as I thought it would make a really delightful gift for her.
The outer of the Panda 'hottie' is what you see on the top of the Dooyoo page, and to the untrained eye it looks just like a soft toy. The difference with this little cuddly panda though is that he is not only a cute bear to snuggle up to, but the panda contains a bag of wheat that can be easily heated and thus you have a Panda shaped 'hottie'!
A 'hottie' is a fairly new and modern term and in my opinion these little snugglers are trying to replace hot water bottles. This is completely fine with me, as I own several similar 'hotties' as well as traditional hot water bottles and I know which is most convenient....
I think it is worth noting that I use hot water bottles or hotties to help with aches and pains. I have poor health and suffer with many painful episodes from sciatica as well as chronic gut inflammation which gives me crippling cramps. A lot of the time - more often than not - the application of a heat pack or hot water bottle will help to soothe the pain I am feeling although unfortunately does not make it disappear completely. It is perhaps worth noting too - in case any of you suffer with similar conditions as myself - that at times the weight of a full hot water bottle is far too much for me to stand on the site of any pain or inflammation, particularly in my stomach. Obviously because a traditional hot water bottle contains liquid it makes it heavy and the subsequent weight of the bottle tends to just add to my discomfort a lot of the time. This is where the beauty of these little 'hotties' comes in. Not only are they MUCH lighter than traditional hot water bottles, but they have a sort of 'bean bag' texture which allows me to manipulate the shape of the bag over the painful area, given how flexible the material is. I can not alter the shape or size of a traditional hot water bottle in any way obviously due to the plastic/rubber material. I think these points are all worth mentioning in case you have been wondering if a hottie would be right for you.
Anyway, back to this little bear which I paid £12 for in my local Dorothy Perkins store. This was before Christmas though and I believe that the hotties this store has are now reduced to around £5 which I think is just a great bargain. My local store didn't have any when I was in two days ago but you might have more luck than I did. There were several animals to choose from at the time and I think these included a monkey as well as the panda that I purchased.
To use the hottie, all you need to do is remove the inner bag which is filled with wheat, although some hotties I have bought before have other substances in the bag. The inner bag can then be placed directly into the microwave and heated up. I tend to think that two and a half minutes is ample for my needs, but this is down to personal choice. I certainly do not want a roasting hot bag to use on aches and pains but if you are intending to use the hottie to heat you up on a cold night or to heat up a cold bed, then you might want to pop your hottie in the microwave for a little longer. One thing is for sure though, and that is that sufficient care should be taken when heating up the hottie. The first thing to remember is that you should NEVER leave the hottie bag in the microwave unattended. The second thing is that every microwave is different and so you should alter any recommended heating times accordingly. My microwave is quite powerful and so I think that a couple of minutes is ample. If you have an older model though you might want to pop him in a bit longer, but either way you should keep an eye on the hottie bag whilst it is heating up. Any hotties I have bought before have all had sufficient instructions on their packaging so that you know what you are doing before you pop it in the microwave.
Once the heating time is up, you simply replace the bag into the cuddly panda exterior and voila! You have a snuggly heated panda to cuddle! All of this takes mere moments which is ideal for me as I am often looking for a heat pack in the middle of the night after being woken up with disabling stomach pain. The panda has a Velcro fastening to allow for easy fastening when it comes to removing and replacing the inner bag.
Even though I bought the Panda hottie for a child, I wouldn't have necessarily thought that she was the intended 'ideal market' for this product so you shouldn't feel put off by the cuddly looking panda. Dorothy Perkins is, after all an adult ladies' wear shop and so I personally would buy a hottie like this one for a gift for friends as well as youngsters. Who could resist that cute little panda face?
It is worth pointing out I think that the wheat used inside Hotties like this little panda are made from a natural product and need to be treated as such. That is, the wheat is not really designed to be microwaved at full power for years on end. I personally find that my Hotties last me about a year before starting to lose their effectiveness and needing replaced. I have no problem with this considering how fairly inexpensive they are to buy in the first place, and also considering the amount of use I get from them.
I know that some people - my mother included - insist on heating a little cup of water alongside the hottie each time it is being heated and I think that this is supposed to stop the wheat becoming too dry. I have tried this and to be quite honest I didn't think it made much difference to the life span of the hottie but then again perhaps I just use them more than most people do, so therefore mine perhaps have a shorter life span?
Even though I did not keep the Panda hottie for myself, I have a very similar cat hottie from a different store and I have had no problems with popping the furry outer cover into the washing machine from time to time. This of course adds to the wear and tear of the hottie and it will eventually look grubby and need replaced but to be quite honest, for the amount of use I get out of an item like this, I don't have a problem with that.
All in all I would thoroughly recommend this little panda from Dotty P's. He is really very cute looking and is of a very high quality as well as being functional and practical at the same time. The panda hottie is essentially a teddy bear to cuddle that heats us up at the same time... What more could we want?
My daughter adores Panda's, so when I spotted this cute Panda 'Hottie' in Dorothy Perkins before Christmas, I knew she would love one.
As well as being a cute, very soft and furry Panda, it is also a good alternative to a hot water bottle. Hence the name 'Hottie'.
The Panda opens up at the back and inside is a Lavender scented wheat bag. The wheat bag is filled with pure, natural wheat and the grains contain a small amount of moisture, allowing them to be heated in a microwave.
Therefore, all you have to do is remove the wheat bag and heat it in the microwave for a couple of minutes.
Once you have warmed it up, just pop it back in the Panda and cuddle up to it in bed!
Instructions for use are included on the back of the card which the Panda is attached to when you purchase it.
The wheat bag only needs to be warmed in the microwave for a couple of minutes. Care must be taken when heating the wheat bag, not to exceed the recommended, maximum heating time of 3 minutes in an 800 watt microwave oven. Over-heating causes the wheat to dry out completely which could lead to spontaneous ignition.
The Panda itself is 100% polyester and can be wiped clean with a damp sponge or cloth, but I would imagine it is safe to pop inside the washing machine, as long as you remember to remove the wheat bag first!
My daughter was over the moon with her Panda Hottie and heats up the wheat bag every night. It gives off a light Lavender fragrance when warm, which she thinks is just about right and not too heavy.
The Hottie stays warm for over an hour, which my daughter is quite happy with, as she says she is asleep by then anyway.
She also feels much happier heating up a wheat bag rather than a hot water bottle as feels these are much safer to use.
One thing you must remember to do after using your Hottie a few times is rehydrate the wheat bag to replace the moisture. You may replace the moisture in the wheat by heating the wheat bag in the microwave along with a cup of water.
My daughter uses her Hottie every day so rehydrates it once a week and it is fine.
Wheat bags can have lasting use over several years so long as the wheat is not dried out, so there is no need to buy replacements if you use them properly and remember to rehydrate regularly.
The Panda Hottie is an ideal gift. It is really soft with thick fur and looks incredibly cute. My daughter loves hers.
The RRP is £12, but they are now available in the Dorothy Perkins sale priced at only £4! So a great bargain right now.
I have also seen them available from other online retailers and Ebay. Other animal Hotties are also available in the range.
This is one of those purchases I made TOTALLY on a whim. I was out shopping with a friend and one of the store clerks gave me a compliment on my handbag (which looks like a panda's head) and pointed out that they had these 'hotties' on sale for only £4 each, one of which was a panda! I just had to have it!
I was familiar with the concept of a hottie, but for those who aren't - it's a cuddly toy, inside of which is a beanbag (or sometimes a bag of peat or even water). You can heat the hottie up in the microwave and in this way it acts like a hot water bottle. Perfect for the recent cold snap!
There were two things that struck me on first impressions about this hottie (aside from the fact that the panda was really cute and the price was amazing) - firstly, it was quite a bit smaller than the hotties I had seen for sale elsewhere (which for me was a big plus as I'm a student and need things to be as portable as possible), and the fur on the panda was so amazingly super soft...it felt really luxurious and great to touch and stroke. I did worry though, that the length of the fur meant it would very easily get grubby and matted (especially as it's main colour is white).
I was ever so slightly disappointed when I got it home as I realised that this particular hottie could not be placed directly into the microwave - you had to remove the bean bag first and microwave that. The piece of card it came strapped to gave really detailed instructions though, and soon I had removed my bag from the velcro pouch on the panda and was microwaving away! It doesn't take long to heat up (depending on the power of your microwave) - but a minute is the longest it will take.
I thought putting it back into the panda would be hard because it would be hot - but actually it was quite easy to handle, as the beans in the middle are hottest and the ones on the outside are quite cool when you first take it out. Soon though, the heat evens out and you get a really warm teddy.
An added bonus with this teddy was that the beans were lightly scented with lavender! This wasn't apparent when the bear was cool, but when it had been heated up there was a really pleasant smell. This was very relaxing...although it did transfer to my clothes and skin where I had been holding the bear - this wore off after a couple of hours and wasn't too overpowering anyway, but I would be aware of it if you plan to go out after using this. The warmth and the smell are both really good for unwinding and it can be very soothing on aching muscles (in particular I found it worked wonders on my neck and lower back), and for stomach cramps.
The beans don't hold their heat for a massive amount of time - this would be my only real criticism - if you plan to use this for more than a couple of hours you'd definitely need to re-microwave. I think a larger one would stay hotter for longer - but then it wouldn't fit in my weekend bag! I should also point out that I've had it for 3 weeks now and the fur is still as good as new - so no worries on that front!
All in all a great little invention that I would definitely recommend - especially at sale prices!