Even though we've pledged for a night time temperature of 55 degrees in our house for this year's Freeze Yer Buns Challenge, our thermostat is in a faraway land as far as our bedroom is concerned. Because our old central heat is less than efficient, this means that, as the outside temps drop into the freezy zone at night, our bedroom gets colder than 55.
This really hasn't been an issue. Frankly, sometimes I'll wake up and it's 58 in the house and I'll be doing morning chores for a while before I realize I'd forgotten to turn on the heat. That's because I'm still kind of toasty from bed. So, when I get up and put on a sweater or extra layer, I'm fine. What's my secret? A down comforter.
We have two down comforters - the midweight one is the one we use. We have a heavier weight one, but that one makes us feel like we are in an inferno and have never actually used it in Seattle. I should probably sell it but I figure if we ever have a major loss of services, we could all survive under that at night.
If it gets really cold in the bedroom before bed, I'll warm up the bed warmer. A few years ago I researched like the dickens what the best bed warmer for me would be. I thought about a hot water bottle since they come in all fancy sorts of varieties with fuzzy, plushy characters, but I was afraid that it would pop and then I'd be left with water soaking my bed. I know this probably isn't a reasonable fear, but I think a wet bed is worse than a cold bed. Plus, once the water cools down, now you have a cold water bottle unless it's been near you all night. No thanks.
And then there are the microwaveable bed warmers. No, I'm not talking about those gel packs. I'm talking about those kinds that are filled with rice or some sort of other material that holds heat for a little while and conforms to whatever shape you want. Somehow I managed to stumble upon cherry pit bed warmers, which are like the rice ones but filled with, well, cherry pits.
Not too surprisingly, it was from Mother Earth News. They have been used for ages to help heat up a bed and, traditionally, have been heated using a warming oven, but they can be put in your oven's warming drawer, or popped into the microwave. Now, why would I choose cherry pits over rice or another filler? Well, they hold heat for a lot longer - upwards of 2+ hours in my experience. And, it smells like cherry pie when you heat it. I must admit it is a bit noisy, but well worth it.
When I was in the market for one, I wanted to make my own, but didn't have a sewing machine or the skills, so I bought one (see fancy leopard print one above). However, it's incredibly easy to make your own. Since I'm sure you don't have several pounds of cherry pits lying about, you can buy sanitized pits in bulk from The Cherry Pit Store.
To make a heating pad, just sew a natural fabric bag into whatever size you want and fill a little more than halfway up with cherry pits. Sew it shut and heat in the microwave no more than 2-3 minutes until hot. You can make a cover for it or you can just hand wash it by sliding the pits to one side, washing the cover and the sliding them to the other side and washing that side. You can also put it in the washing machine. Just don't do this with rice bags! The only caveat is that the cherry pits are expensive. So, if cost is an issue, then use rice (not instant rice!).
And, let's not forget, it's never to late to sign up for this year's Freeze Yer Buns Challenge!