* Prices may differ from that shown
Amazon really is a haven for, well, just about everything! Every time I'm lusting after something I turn my attention to Amazon's haul of goodies to try to snatch a bargain. I particularly like looking at the best sellers and have seen some really innovative products on there. One of my first ever buys from Amazon was the Intelex cozy plush microwavable warmer in the design of a duck. I bought is as a replacement for my old hot water bottle, plus, I couldn't resist the cute design!
When I took my fluffy duck from the box it was the same size as a standard teddy bear around 10cm wide and 20cm high. It's arms, head and legs were all stuffed with cotton wool type material and the body was filled with beans and felt similar to that of a bean bag. Given the materials used to make the microwavable warmer the plush toy is quite heavy!
To use the warmer it's as simple as putting it into the microwave for the recommended times stated on the instruction manual: For a 850-1,000 Watt microwave the maximum time that the teddy should be heated is 1 minute 30 seconds and for a 600-800 Watt microwave it is 2 minutes. As you can tell from the timings the teddy heats up very quickly. You should be careful when removing your warmer from the microwave as there can be hot spots on the bear itself.
You will also notice the overwhelming scent of lavender, this is quite pleasant when the bear is dry and new however once you heat the bear up the smell is vigorous and overwhelming, as the warmer 'sweats' due to the heat the lavender smell intensifies and becomes so unpleasant that I've had to give up using it!
The heat inside the warmer does stay as well as a hot water bottle which I was surprised at as hot water bottles have boiling water inside whereas the plush toy is merely put in the microwave for a matter of seconds or minutes.
The warmer has soothed many aches and pains that I've had over the months and is also a joy to have around in the cold winter months so has probably saved me a few £££ on my heating bills!
Given the novelty designs of the warmers they would make great gifts as they come in a whole host of different varieties such as pigs, bears, elephants, dogs and sheep amongst others. I bought mine for around £8 and after a quick look on Amazon they are available for £8.63 (July 2011) making them a cheep, cosy friend!
Since my mum received a heat pad for Christmas a couple of years ago, we have fought over it a lot. But recently I got one for my birthday which was an adorable puppy!
The idea of these special heat packs is that when you have a sore spot on your body that seems relieved by heat - especially good for your time of the month ladies! I have to admit, it is much more comforting than a rubber hot water bottle or a hot bath that soon turns cold.
I am not sure of where my mother purchased the warmer, but I know that it does come in a huge range of animals - there must be at least 20 in the collection! They have become favourites when buying presents for the rest of the family or friends as they are so useful and perfect as not many people have one.
After some research though, I have found them on Amazon from around £7 depending on which seller you choose.
Now to describe my adorable pup which I named Minnie due to the size and cuteness! The warmer is around 30cms long so it is good for draping over your shoulder, belly or any other achy area - especially as it is not completely filled with beans making it more flexible to your body shape. The puppy smells quite like lavender, but I find that when warmed it seems to smell more like a sort of oatmeal (but that might just be me).
To use your heated lovely, you simply need to pop it into the microwave for your desired amount of time. I would advise no more than a minute if you intend to put it directly onto your skin, but 2-3 minutes if you are holding it over clothing as it tends to get very hot. Due to the heat there is also a guideline age of 3+ but I doubt a 3 year old would want it heated up too much anyway.
I love how the fragrance fills the room once you take your warmer out of the microwave, its really soothing before you put it on your skin. I would say that it the heat lasts for around half an hour but obviously this depends on how hot you make it in the first place. You can reheat once the toy is back down to about room temperature. Do not reheat before it is down to a low temperature as it could set alight or burn. It can also be easily cleaned with soapy water but it is not advised to put it into the washing machine due to the beads inside.
I would definately recommend this over a hot water bottle or a bubbly bath as it is so much more soothing and makes your muscles and pains feel better much quicker. The range of animals is also a nice touch as it means you don't just have a plain heat patch.
My boyfriend is very romantic and a big softie at heart, and buys me a little gift each month. Januarys gift was the 'Intelex Cozy Plush Microwaveable Warmer -Stegasaurus' or as I prefer to call him...Larry.
I should explain that Larry is no ordinary cuddly toy. He is filled with wheat grains and has a scent of lavender. The idea is that you put him in the microwave for a couple of minutes, which warms him up and releases a strong lavender scent. You (or your child) can then cuddle him, as he warms you up and his lavender scent relaxes you. Lavender is also said to aid sleep, making Larry a perfect bedtime buddy. If you're not looking for warmth from your purple dinosaur friend, Larry can also be frozen and used as a sort of ice pack...or of course you could just leave him at room temperature.
I actually first saw Larry on Dooyoo and had added him to my Amazon wish list which is how my boyfriend knew that this was something I wanted. If you don't fancy a dinosaur, there are plenty of other options to choose from, including a puppy, a lady bird, an exceptionally cute polar bear, a lamb, a pig, a monkey, an elephant...the list goes on and on, so you should be able to find something to suit you or your child. If you do want a dinosaur but aren't keen on having a lilac stegosaurus, a green brontosaurus or blue triceratops are also available.
The first thing I noticed when I was given Larry was the weight of him! I suppose being a soft toy you expect him to be reasonably light, but you have to remember he is full of wheat which makes him a little on the heavy side. Whereas his body is wheat his head and neck just feel like they are made from regular stuffing which means his head has a tendency to flop to one side. His fur is soft to the touch and the stitching seems strong. His eyes are embroidered on rather than little buttons, so he's soft all over, and shouldn't present a choking hazard. It does say on the label that the product should be inspected at regular intervals and discarded if found to be worn or damaged, as I guess if the stitching came out, leaking wheat could become rather dangerous.
There is no age limit on the label, but Amazon where this product was bought, has the product down as being suitable for all ages.
I'd owned Larry quite some time before I was brave enough to microwave him. I'd read horror stories about these sort of toys catching fire as they were heated and being a gift I didn't want to ruin him. I do suffer with particularly cold hands and feet though, and when I'm particularly feeling the cold I do now microwave him and then use him as either a hand or foot warmer.
The toy should only be placed in the microwave for 2 minutes. It advises that microwaves with powers between 600 and 1000w should be used and he should be heated from room temperature. No setting is suggested, so I first tried this on a medium setting. Unfortunately I found the toy wasn't really warm after the two minutes were up, so now I microwave it on a high setting instead. As I am particularly paranoid about the toy catching fire, I always stand next to the microwave and keep an eye on it as it's heating up. I know it sounds incredibly pathetic but I always feel really sad as I see his little face spinning round in the microwave!
The tag does warn you when you buy this that the first few times the dinosaur is heated its fur may become quite damp and I did find this. I think I had actually microwaved Larry about 6 times before this stopped happening.
The smell of lavender is quite strong, even when cold, but when heated it really comes out. I have found however, the longer I've had Larry the more muted the lavender scent has become.
When you take the toy out of the microwave it is beautifully warm...not too hot and as long as you don't microwave it for more than the suggested time, I don't think it could ever become so hot as to burn you. I love to hold this to warm up my hands as I watch TV, or put him under my feet when I go to bed. He's lovely to cuddle too and the lavender scent is very relaxing.
As mentioned the toy can also be frozen but I have never done that and so can't comment further. Should I ever decide to freeze him however, I'll come back and update the review.
Cleaning the dinosaur is simply a case of sponging down with a damp sponge.
At present one of these dinosaurs will set you back £7.65 from Amazon, but I have found that the price of this product seems to go up and down a lot so you may be able to get it cheaper if you look around.
Overall I think this is a fantastic little product. It's effectively a cuddly hot water bottle (minus the water!) and will appeal to all ages not just children. I absolutely love mine and it's a product I would recommend.
Anybody coming to my house a few of weeks ago may well have thought I had slipped into my second childhood on seeing me hugging a soft cuddly toy like a child, afraid that it would soon be snatched away.
I could see their quizzical looks and allowed them their moment of thinking me a tad looney before enlightening them as to the real reason for my infant-like stance.
You see - my sciatic nerve fell victim to some obviously incorrect posturing whilst hauling the weeks shopping, a mile uphill, through 7 inches of snow. The following day I suffered the beginnings of my first, and hopefully last, painful attack of sciatica.
Until prescribed some strong painkillers and anti-inflammatory pills, the only thing that would help reduce the torture a little, was a hot bath, a hot water bottle or my microwaveable warmer, in the guise of a soft cuddly dog.
Well as you can imagine, sitting in a hot bath all day long was not an option, and heating the water to keep filling my hotty took ages - 5 minutes is an hour in pain-time.
After reading an excellent review about these microwaveable warmers, I decided to buy one in readiness if ever there was a need - usually by my dogs, when they got a colicky tum or were cold and because of the exceptionally cold weather, I could have done with one to warm my Yorkie after her ploughing through the snow. Never thought I would be the first to benefit from my purchase and so soon.
I searched Amazon and found a surprising array of different models of Cozy Plush warmers. There were at least 20 animals from which to choose, a ladybird, sheep, rabbit, duck and elephant to name but a few. Each individually priced ranging from about £ 5.95 to £14.95. I think you can guess which one I chose - the puppy, of course, though equally drawn to the polar bear, lamb and Bagpus.
I ordered my microwaveable puppy warmer direct from Amazon at a cost of £6.45, on the super saver deal - free postage. It arrived not a moment too soon. With it came a small card with instructions for use.
My 15.2cm wide and 28cm long gorgeous, soft puppy smelt strongly of lavender when removed from the packaging, but over time, the fragrance faded. However, a few drops of Lavender oil will replenish the beneficial effects of lavender.
Because it is not stuffed to the hilt and is very supple, the dimensions are such that it fits snugly along any curve of the body - ankle, knee, waist, shoulder, back or head.
The filling is a mix of treated millet seeds and dried lavender, hence the lovely aroma, and conforms to the British Safety Standard BS 8433:2004
~~~~Directions for use~~~~
To avoid burning the skin care must be taken not to overheat the product. The maximum warming time in a 600 - 800 Watt microwave is just two minutes. If, however the microwave is an 850 - 1,000 Watts, then the maximum heating time is a mere 90 seconds.
There is a warning that this should not be used on children under the age of three, due to the risk of burning their delicate skin. However, I think any mother will know not to heat the warmer to the maximum and would test it before applying it to a child's skin, whatever their age. Always err on the side of caution, as if using a hot-water bottle. I think this would also apply to the very elderly where their skin is perhaps even more fragile.
The instructions also say that the cozy-plush warmer should always be allowed to cool to room temperature before reheating.
~~~~My experience and opinion~~~~
When pain strikes, muscles tend to become very tense thereby increasing the intensity of the pain. The application of heat to the affected area will help relax the muscles and reduce the pain.
Soppy as it may sound, I felt a tad cruel watching my little Cozy-plush warmer cooking in the microwave.
At first the 'fur' felt a little damp, but on reading the instructions found that it was quite normal for it to feel damp on its first trip in the microwave.
On removing it, a lovely aroma of lavender wafted towards my nose. The cuddly toy felt gorgeously soft and warm to the touch. I placed it directly next to my skin at the base of my spine and felt the warmth beginning to relax those oh so tense muscles, reducing the pain to a more tolerable level. The warmth lasted for around 35 to 40 minutes, and although still slightly warm, I reheated it for a minute and a half rather than the two minutes.
I am pleased to say that I no longer have the need for painkillers of heat therapy for the muscles, and feel that my new found puppy pal helped aid recovery.
When not in use, I keep the puppy in a bag, well out of Moses's way, who thinks it should join his mounting collection of toys. If I need to use it on my pets, and in order to keep it clean, I will place it in a poly bag once warmed, before placing it next to their skins.
The instructions say that it can be cleaned with a damp sponge, but if it is kept covered whilst not in use it does stay clean, but can be sponged quite safely without damaging the Cozy-plush outer cover or seeds.
~~~~Word of warning~~~~
If you have very young children around, do not let them see you place your Cozy-plush pet into the microwave, else you might one day find your pet hamster being given a whirl in the oven by your well-meaning toddler.
Children and adults will love their Cozy-plush pet.
2013 Update: My little Cozy-plush pet has lost its lavender aroma, but a little dab of lavender essential oil restores the relaxing aroma. I rarely use it now, but know where to find it if ever I'm in pain again.
I don't know about anyone else but with the cold snap that has been hitting our shores for what seems like weeks now, I seem to have been buying a few things that I normally wouldn't consider. I've suffered a fashion taste by-pass or three (welly warmers anyone?), frankly anything (well bar ear muffs where I draw the line) that will keep me warm and more comfortable gets my consumer vote, including the rather more appealing and tasteful Intelex "cozy plush" microwaveable warmer in two of its various guises.
The Cozy Plush warmers are available in a number of different designs, (21 in all), I paid £10 each in a shop for an orange cat and cream teddy, but they seem to cost about the £6 mark on amazon, and designs include the dinosaur as pictured above. As the name would suggest you place the soft toy, once you have removed the tag, into the microwave for 2 minutes, and it is designed to be used as hot water bottle. Both the creatures that we have are filled with lavender scented wheat in their limbs and bodies, which get warm, and have normal stuffed heads. They are about 30cm tall and made of a good quality plush with bodies that are nicely filled but not so overstuffed that they can't bend around your body or be cuddled, they feel and look just like normal cuddly toys, with the details such as eyes and whiskers being stitched.
Once put in the microwave, the manufacturer says they will stay warm for "up to 2 hours" - in my experience that's a little bit optimistic, but there's no doubting the fact that when you do heat them up, they smell lovely, and the heat is gently diffused for long enough to take the chill off a bed, be cuddled by a child or to place around a sore back. I tend to put the toy to heat on a clean plate - it does seem a bit weird but is straightforward enough, I always check how hot it is before giving to a child.
The heat seems to last about an hour, which is not too bad, and it's good to know that there's nothing that can leak or scald you, or a child (they are child safe, conforming to British safety standards). Strangely when you first use these they are noticeably moist after heating, which is mentioned on the instructions as being "normal" - but this wears off luckily over time, making them all the more cuddly. The lavender does smell quite strong, though it fades a bit over time, but if you don't like the smell of lavender these might not be for you, I find the smell quite comforting, and I believe it is supposed to promote sleep, though I can't testify as to its effectiveness at this myself - but only as I live in a house of poor sleepers!
Overall these items seem very well made indeed and actually look very cute in my opinion, and they certainly appeal to children. Though not washable but rather "wipe clean", I should think they will last a few years, as the comprehensive instructions that they came with suggest - you should probably take care to follow these and not exceed the guidance 2 minutes warming.
I have used these warmers myself, but generally they end up in my children's beds, and I really think that they are a great alternative to a hot water bottle indeed. It does seem a little strange putting the toys in the microwave I have to admit, but they really do work well!
I shall be buying some for presents I think as I just think they are a great idea, what's more they are a British made product which makes a change dare I say it - highly recommended, as a great gift or for just keeping that little bit warmer!
This funny looking cuddly toy was found at the bootsale a while ago by my grandaughter who just had to have it as she is dinosaur mad. it cost us 50p which is a real bargain considering you will pay £9.95 for it on Amazon and a little less on Ebay as its secondhand.
Its an Intelex Cozy Plush Microwaveable Warmer - Stegasaurus incase you were wondering what it was and when we bought it I was told you can put it in the microwave and heat it up for bedtime snuggles.
It is about 12 inches tall and is filled with wheat grains and scented with lavender, this didn't smell when we bought it but as my grandaughter insisted on having it warmed up for bedtime and I did notice the slight scent of lavender after it was taken out of the microwave.
Lavender has been used for years as an essential oil and perfume, it relaxes and can be used as an antiseptic and pain reliever and may be effective in the relief of joint and muscle pain, or in chest rub mixtures for the relief of the asthmatic.
The wheat grains hold the heat which lasts for a little while to heat up the lavender oil and give warmth and relaxation at bedtime.
I was a little worries before I microwaved the toy as I didn't want it to come out boiling hot but you only put it on for two minutes and then it warms it up but doesn't heat it up to any uncomfortable temperature.
It hold the heat for a few hours so this gives the child something warm and cuddly to hug whilst falling asleep. This is much better than a hot water bottle as they can burst and scold and are not 100% safe whilst this just holds the heat and is a nice comforting toy.
I have even used it during the day, having been in a car accident a while ago i am left with neck and lower back aches and this really helps to sooth the pain away, heating it up and sticking it behind my back to lean on helps but I can only do this when my grandaughter has gone home as she tells me off for leaning on him and squashing him.
we have used this a lot and it has been a favourite soft toy of my grandaughters and she plays with it during her stay here and sleeps with it at night warmed up, even in the hot weather she has to take it to bed. I am very happy with the 50p i paid for it and to be honest I would have bought it for full price if I had to and will replace it when it's christmas with a new one as it has had such an impact on my grandaughter.
*This review is for the cuddly little sheep, rather than the stegosaurus, although they're both quite sweet*
I've seen this about since last year, and the price has remained the same at about £10. There are other similar products available, some cheaper and some more expensive, but if you want something that feels substantial, looks and feels adorable and is of good quality then the Intelex version is probably the way to go.
I don't think I recalled having heard of Intelex before seeing these microwaveable toys, but then I realised they do have many years of experience and a strong line of other products under their belt.
I bought one of these when they were on sale on Amazon at just over £5, but there's large range of Intelex plushes to choose from, including a duck, bunny, ladybird, cow and elephant, so we're spoilt for choice!
I know these are aimed more so at the younger consumer, acting as a snugly toy for children, but I would argue they make good comforters for adults alike because they're good quality and quite substantial in terms of size and weight.
So what's sets this apart from regular teddy bears? The giveaway is in the name, as these are microwavable, and so act like a bit like a hot water bottle. They're also lightly scented with lavender, so they should, in theory, aid sleep. Conversely, I've learnt you can also place the sheep in a plastic bag inside the freezer and use it as a cool pack, but in this weather I wouldn't recommend it!
This sheep, who goes by the original name of 'Wooly', is around 12" tall. He's also quite heavy because of the wheat grain filling inside his stomach, which gives him a more substantial feel. First appearances are good, with nice soft fluffy material on the outside and a good finish with stitching that makes it feel like a well made, good quality plush.
Obviously you don't have to put Wooly in the microwave; he makes a great friend just as he is. But if you want a bit of warmth from him then you just pop him in the microwave. There's no set amount of time he should be in there really, but try it at 2 minutes first and see how it goes. I found the smell can be quite strong at first, but it does disperse after a while, as does the heat, so it's not quite the same as a hot water bottle. It does, however, make Wooly feel all the more warm and snugly, plus he smells of pretty lavender (just sleep with your face up against the smell because it can be a tad strong and sickly).
Overall, I would recommend this; it's a warm, soft and snugly item that kids (and adults perhaps) would enjoy as a comforter, and the added lavender scent may help aid sleep.
RRP £10, but currently selling for £8-9 on Amazon and available as other animals too! (Worth checking out other sites as I've seen a few £5-6 deals).
The Intelex Cozy Plush Microwaveable Warmer is amazing. I originally purchased a pink bear for my daughter to use as a safer alternative to a hot water bottle and it wasn't long until I invested in one for myself, a very cute and very soft purple stegosaurus (approx 12 inches in size).
Cozy Plush are designed to be heated in the microwave for soothing warmth and comfort and are lightly fragranced with lavender.
There are a variety of microwaveable products available from Intelex; these include a plush toy - there are 20 different ones available (ladybird, polar bear, bumble bee, various coloured dinosaurs, etc), slippers, slipper boots and more recently a hot water bottle shaped warmer.
Each Cozy Plush comes with it's own instructions regarding use. To use, simply place your cozy plush in the microwave, follow the time guide depending on the wattage of your microwave and wait. I generally find that 2 minutes is long enough to bring my purple stegosaurus to a comfortable temperature. I adjust heating times for my daughters bear depending on whether I am giving it to her to hold in the car on a cold morning, or popping it in her bed to warm it up before she goes down for the night. They really are simple to use.
For the first couple of uses, your cozy plush may feel slightly damp but this is to be expected but literally by your third or fourth use this is gone. The cozy plush is lovely to touch, it has very soft fur and is filled with wheat so is quite squishy for little people (or big people) to cuddle in to. As previously mentioned the lavender fragrance is very light but this can be topped up with lavender oil if necessary. I have found when using our Cozy Plush in the house he stays comfortably warm for about an hour and sometimes longer. If we've taken him into the car he does cool down a lot quicker but it is still a great thing to have on cold mornings. He would be great for use on a school run !
I would recommend Cozy Plush for little people and big people as a safer and cuter alternative to a hot water bottle.
(Prices vary online - I managed to get the Purple Stegasaurus at a great 5.99 !!!)