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23 ways to stay warm without turning on the heating this winter

Young woman wrapped in blanket drinking hot tea to depict not putting the heating on
The soaring cost of energy bills are impacting almost all of us, with searches around 'how to keep warm without putting the heating on' up significantly. (Getty Images)

If you're a social media user, you may have seen a heating-related meme doing the rounds of late. The image features Kendall from Succession bundled up in a hat, gloves and coat alongside the caption "still refusing to put the heating on".

In typical British style it seems we're turning to dry humour to help get us through the pretty terrifying impact of the cost of living crisis, with soaring energy bills meaning families are facing real financial concerns this winter.

So much so that recent research has revealed that nearly one in four adults don't intend to put their heating on at all this winter due to worries about the cost.

Read more: The expert-approved date to turn on the heating this year

Meanwhile, searches for ‘how to keep warm without heating’ are up a staggering 7,900% year on year, as reported by retailer Studio.

Fortunately, there are methods to help you stay warm that don't involve cranking up the boiler. From plugging unwelcome draughts to making sure your bed is totally toasty, here are 23 simple and cost-effective ways to stay warm this winter, no radiators required.

Filling a flask with hot drinks could help keep you warm and save money. (Getty Images)
Filling a flask with hot drinks could help keep you warm and save money. (Getty Images)

1. Plug the draughts

Feeling the chill through the floorboards? One woman has shared a great way to keep your home warm if you have wooden flooring. TikTok-user lydsear demonstrated a hack on her social media account where she uses a £4.99 Amazon product to stop cold draughts coming through her floorboards.

2. Put tin foil behind your radiators

On the occasions when it's just too cold not to put on the heating, try putting foil behind your radiators to make sure the heat is forced back into the room, rather than escaping into the wall.

3. Dry your clothes and heat your room

As well as offering a solution that will help dry your clothes without the expense of running your tumble dryer, a heated clothes airer will also help heat up your room without altering the thermostat. And some have running costs at less than 4p an hour!

Our top pick: Dry:Soon 3-Tier Heated Airer | £149.99 from Lakeland

4. Swap your jumper for a wearable blanket

Still feeling the chill in your usual TV-viewing cocoon? Try the Marks & Spencer's Teddy Fleece Adults' Hooded Blanket, otherwise known as 'The M&S Snuggle'. But, you'll need to be quick. Having first launched last October, the blanket flew off shelves leading to numerous restocks – and it's already selling out again.

Our top pick: The M&S Snuggle Teddy Fleece Adults' Hooded Blanket | £25 from M&S

You could pull on an Oodie. On Martin Lewis' Money Saving Expert website, one fan says she hasn't needed her heating since buying the cross between a hoodie and a blanket. "Invested in an oversized hoodie blanket to snuggle up in, not used heating since," the user wrote.

Our top pick: Grey Oodie | £64 (Was £89) from Oodie

5. Have a hot lunch

The NHS says eating regularly will help keep you warm, and says you should have one hot meal a day. This Aldi soup maker will help you make cheap, nourishing and warming food to give you a post-lunch heat boost.

Our top pick: Ambiano Soup Maker | £34.99 from Aldi

6. Take your tea in a flask

Who would have thought that we'd be totting up the number of times we boil our kettle, but we are where we are. Reduce your kettle use to once a day by making up a vat of tea in a flask.

Our top pick: Thermos Stainless King Food Flask | £20 from Amazon

7. Pull on the thermals

Rethink your outdated views of thermals, by staying snuggly in the latest cosy yet cool base layers. From bargain £15 thermal leggings to simple but pretty tops, thermals are back in style. Here's our pick of the best.

Our top pick: Heatgen Plus™ Fleece Thermal Leggings | £16 from M&S

8. Plug the gaps

Ensure your home is as heat-efficient as possible by banishing draughts. "Allowing cold air to get into the home will, unsurprisingly, bring the overall temperature down," explains Laura O’Connell, product manager at Thomas Sanderson. "If you can stop these draughts from getting in and taking away the warm heat, it will make a huge difference to the temperature of your home."

9. Wearable hot water bottle

Hot water bottles are a cheap and cheerful way to stay toasty when trying to keep the heating off, but they've recently had an upgrade. The Body Bottle is an extra long hot water bottle than stays hot for up to six hours – and you can even wear it around your body thanks to its handy strap.

Our top pick: Wearable Hot Water Bottle | £25 from Amazon

10. Try some reusable hand warmers

If you struggle to keep your mitts warm, reusable hand warmers could help to sole the problem and will cost you less than 1p per hour to run, according to MoneySavingExpert.

Our top pick: Hot Hands Hand Warmer Value Pack | £7 from Amazon

11. Snuggle up with a special someone

If you curl up with another person or even a pet, you'll get twice the body heat than if you were sitting solo. As well as keeping you warm, cosying up with a special someone can release oxytocin, known as the cuddle hormone, which has a whole heap of benefits for your mental health.

12. Try a plug heater

Small yet mighty, not only are plug heaters space-saving, but they're also a cost-effective way to warm up a room without having to crank up all the radiators. The Russell Hobbs Compact Black Ceramic Plug Heater, £22.99, can reach up to a toasty 30°C – most likely why it keeps selling out and is the top-seller in Amazon's heating category.

Our top pick: Russell Hobbs Compact Black Ceramic Plug Heater | £22.99 from Amazon

13. Upgrade your slippers

Make sure they have rubber soles. The rationale? Rubber is a bad conductor of heat and will therefore keep your toes toastier.

14. Leave the oven open after cooking

While many are turning to airfryers to save money on bills, those who are still using their oven can leave it open after cooking to release additional warmth into the room.

15. WFH in fingerless gloves

They may be an 80s throwback, but fingerless gloves could be a cheap yet simple solution to keeping our circulation going while tapping out that report when working from home.

Our top pick: Black Thermal Fingerless Gloves | £2.51 (Was £3) from Amazon

16. Get your exercise on

As well as increasing your metabolic rate, exercising also helps accelerate body heat production, so why not try doing a quick round of jumping jacks in between meetings? Cardiovascular exercise increases blood circulation, while strength training will increase heat production in the muscles. But try not to get too sweaty as you'll start to get cold as you cool down.

17. Take a morning cold shower

This may seem utterly bonkers and completely counter-intuitive, but cold showers help improve blood circulation, and that in turn could help to keep you warm.

18. Put your feet up

A chilly floor is usually the coldest part of your home, but popping your feet up on a stool or chair can help your tootsies stay that little bit warmer while you're sitting down.

19. Upgrade your duvet

The best temperate for sleep is around 18°C. "To reach this easily in winter, choose a higher tog duvet of at least 13 which will retain as much heat as possible," Georgia Metcalfe, co-founder and creative director of The French Bedroom Company told Yahoo UK. If you're struggling to recall the last time you changed your duvet it might be time to do so as the stuffing in older duvets can clump together and lead to cold spots.

Our top pick: Fogarty Superfull 10.5 Tog Duvet | £35 from Dunelm

(Dunelm)
(Dunelm)

20. Switch up your PJs

Changing up your nightwear can actually have an impact on how warm you feel in bed. "One of the best materials to feel warm on cold evenings is silk – it is a natural thermal regulator and keeps heat between the threads," explains Metcalfe.

Our top pick: Piped Silk Spot Print Pyjama Set | £135 from John Lewis

21. Try an electric blanket

Warming up yourself and your immediate surroundings, rather than the entire house can help to ensure your heating stays off. And electric blankets have come a long way since from the stiff and scratchy ones your granny used to swear by. These days best heated blankets are soft and light, with wires you'll barely notice.

Our top pick: Silentnight Comfort Control Electric Blanket | £35 from Amazon

22. Rearrange the furniture

By moving any furniture or items that are blocking your radiator, the heat generated can circulate more freely. "While the efficiency of your radiator does depend on its quality and the size of the room it is in, this hack should help you reduce the time you keep your heating on," explains Leanne O’Malley, marketing manager at Studio. You should also make sure your bed is positioned away from windows and doors to avoid any draught.

23. Wear the warm

Wearable tech has switched its attention to keeping warm and heated gilets are providing a cosy boost. Heated panels in the chest and back and are powered by lightweight portable battery packs, which you charge up to keep you toasty warm round the house and on the go.

Our top pick: Heated Vest | £52.99 from Amazon