Whether it’s to keep warm on a cold winter’s day or to soothe some aches and pains, hot water bottles are a useful item to have on hand. 

Admittedly, I did not grow up using hot water bottles so I never knew the appeal of them. However, my husband did grow up using hot water bottles and wanted to purchase one to help soothe his aching muscles after a day of construction work. 

I wasn’t sure how eco-friendly hot water bottles were, so I did what I always do and googled it. 

This is what I found.

Are hot water bottles safe?

Yes, hot water bottles are safe to use provided they are used responsibly by adults. I wouldn’t recommend prolonged exposure of any one body part due to the fact that hot water bottles are in fact, hot. 

A layer of clothing or a towel between the skin and bottle would not be a bad idea.

Also, make sure the lid is screwed on tight so the hot water does not leak all over you causing burns.

Children should probably not use hot water bottles, at least unsupervised, because their skin is more sensitive and could burn easily.

Can I recycle a rubber hot water bottle?

While you may not be able to recycle rubber in your curbside recycling bin, your municipality most likely has a rubber recycling program. You will have to drop off your old rubber at the recycling facility in your area. A quick google search should do the trick!

These were the most environmentally friendly hot water bottles I could find while scouring the internet:

Wearable hot water bottle

Honestly, had no idea this existed, but here we go!

the body bottle long hot water bottle by yuyu

The Body Bottle Long Hot Water Bottle By YuYu

  • Designed for chronic pain relief
  • Covered with fleece fabric
  • Bottle made with high-quality biodegradable rubber
  • PVC free

fashy hot water bottle

Fashy hot water bottle

  • Holds the heat longer than any traditional rubber bottles
  • Thermoplastic material that is odorless and recyclable
  • Can be used hot or cold

hugo frosch eco hot water bottle

Hugo Frosch Eco Hot Water Bottle

  • Hugo Frosch Eco Hot Water Bottle is Made of the Highest Quality ECO Sustainable Thermoplastic from 90% Renewable Sources
  • Comes with Two Years Water Tightness Guarantee
  • Absolutely Free of Any Harmful Substance
  • Phthalate-free
  • Odorless 
  • Recyclable

 What can I use instead of a Hot Water Bottle?

Instead of a hot water bottle, you can try a DIY hot water bottle, this was a suggestion from Reddit:

DIY hot water bottle: soak some dishtowels with warm water and microwave until steaming hot. Put in a ziploc bag, wrap in a t-shirt or towel, apply to the affected area, and you’re good for hours. This takes about 5 minutes to get ready.

If you are not into using Ziploc bags, try wrapping the warm towels in one big towel or use a fabric reusable bag instead.

Ecofriendly Alternative to Hot water bottles

An environmentally friendly hot water bottle alternative would be to use bean or grain-filled heat bags. You know, the ones with the fabric cover you microwave and get the whole house asking “What’s burning?” 

Alternatively, bean bags can be thrown in the freezer and used as a cold pack.

These can be reused time and time again and can even be stitched up if they blow a seam.

So, based on my research, there are not a whole lot of environmentally friendly hot water bottles on the market. 

Honestly, I am not inclined to purchase any. Instead, I think we will use bean bags (which we already own) and if that is not hot enough, try the hot towel method.

If I end up purchasing one, I will update this article.

What do you use to soothe your aches and pains? Are their environmentally friendly water bottles I missed mentioning? Let me know in the comments below.

 Cheers, and have an awesome day!



  1. Liz

    I ordered the Hugo Frosh bottle after reading this article. I grew up with my mom giving me a hot water bottle for aches and pains, menstrual cramps, and the hot towel/bean bag alternatives aren’t my favorite! I love how a hot water bottle can stay hot all night long. Thanks for sharing!

    • Kathy

      So glad you found this article useful! Sometimes we just need a little comfort!

  2. Fergus

    They do exist.

    When I go camping, I use a metal (Sigg type) or plastic bottle, filled with hot water and wrapped in a sock.

    No reason not to do that at home.

    However, one might also make an argument that the rubber purpose made ones are eco friendly. The reduction in need to use heating may well offset the other costs.

    • Kathy

      Thanks for your insight!

  3. Angelica Chayes

    Just want to comment that towels in ziploc pose the problem of ziploc waste. And if you use these with any frequency that adds up to a lot of plastic in the trash. Bean ones are great if you have a microwave. We don’t. So thanks again for the research!

  4. Meme

    I like the softness and pliableness of rubber or rubberless hotwater bottles BUT they do eventually perish (and much faster at the temperatures I like to use them!) sooooo for my feet in winter I use my 2L Patriti grape juice bottle filled with boiling water rolled up in a great length of something. I have a bottle opener at the head of my bed and in the morning when I get up, I unwrap my bottle, open the lid with the bottle opener and walah – I have my warm morning drink drink for the day. I keep this bottle in an insulated basket and that is my water goal for the day!

  5. Greg


    I have a natural rubber (renewable resource) hot water bottle and it is 12 years old. Might last another year or two and use it yearly. At the end of its life it can be recycled. The cap probably can’t because it is too small but I will keep it as spare.

    Hot water bottles are as environmentally friendly as it gets. I don’t have to warm up the whole room, just where I need.

  6. Isaac

    I use my steel water bottle, wrapped in a towel so I don’t burn myself. You can also use it to pre-warm under your covers like a bedpan if you don’t want to sleep with it.

  7. kev

    i heat a 2kg repurposed fire extinguisher filled with sand on top of our wood burning stove.


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