When the thermometer drops into the single digits and we keep the house temps on the chilly side to help save energy, I'm sometimes stuck with cold feet in bed. I don't know about you, but if my feet are cold, I have an awfully hard time falling asleep. If my husband comes to bed after I do, I can't always cheat and warm my feet up on him. 🙂 Since I figured others might be in the same boat, I made up this list of winter foot warming ideas to help you keep your feet toasty, too.
No More Cold Feet in Bed Option # 1 – Warm socks
Yes, sometimes I go to bed with socks on. Recently, I've been wearing socks in conjunction with using Herbalix detox deodorant on my feet, so I've been sticking to cotton, but wool and other natural fibers like alpaca or even silk are great for keeping in the heat. Make sure your socks are loose enough to be comfortable. Don't restrict blood flow, as decreased blood circulation cools you down. Before bedtime, I sometimes layer socks and slippers, to make sure my toes are toasty *before* I jump into bed. It's so much easier to keep your feet warm than to try and warm up feet that are already cold.
No More Cold Feet in Bed Option #2 – Hot Packs
My first microwavable hot pack was given to me by a friend of mine who works for Core Products of northwest Wisconsin. The first winter I tried it I fell in love – and ordered more. The packs are filled with a non-toxic, biodegradable gel, and are heated briefly in the microwave. They have a soft cover to make them comfy against your skin. Once heated, they stay warm all night. I warm mine up, stick it in bed while I go brush my teeth and get my jammies on, and slip under the covers to a toasty foot reception. Aaaaaah! Targeted heat without cords. Core Products makes all their products in the USA.
Cost: The 10×13 inch CorPak Soft Comfort Hot & Cold pad is a little over $10.
No More Cold Feet in Bed Option #3 – Heated Mattress Pads and Blankets
My sis has a heated mattress pad that she swears by when winter hits. Before bedtime, she preheats the bed, then shuts it off and climbs into a warm and cozy nest. This minimizes her electricity costs and her exposure to EMFs. My husband's grandmother was a huge fan of electric blankets. She had more than enough for every bed in the house. Either option concentrates the heat where you need it – on you.
Team heating pads up with a programmable thermostat, and you can drop the temp 5 or more degrees at night and still wake up to a warm enough house to shower in the morning. It takes a lot less energy to heat one or more beds than to heat an entire house.
No More Cold Feet in Bed Option #4 – Hot Water Bottles and Heated Bricks
Oldie but a goodies, these heat providers don't need a microwave or electricity. New hot water bottles are less likely to leak than older models, and many come with easy to use covers (although you could use a pillowcase in a pinch, or sew your own). Fill your bottle with very warm – not boiling – water, and use in a manner similar to the hot packs. These will not retain heat quite a long but are likely to be more than enough to help you fall comfortably asleep.
Heat clean bricks near a wood stove and cover them with something soft, such as an old, thick sock. Don't overheat – you should be able to handle it barehanded. You don't want to burn your feet, just warm them up.
Cost – probably free, if you can find a spare brick somewhere. 🙂
No More Cold Feet in Bed Option #5 – Hot Foot Soak
Give those tootsies a warm bath before you head to bed to bump up their temp. Dry well when done. For an extra treat, follow with socks fresh out of the dryer. (Not the wool socks. Don't put those in the dryer. 🙂 )
No More Cold Feet in Bed Option #6 – Spicy Foot Massage
Everyone knows massages help to increase blood circulation. If you pair up your message with a bit of spice, the effect lasts longer. Sprinkle a bit of ginger or cayenne into your favorite oil (such as coconut or olive oil) and mix well. Rub this mixture into your feet before bedtime. A little goes a long way, so don't overdo it. Allow oils to soak in, and cover with cotton socks to absorb any excess oil. If you're not sure about spicing your feet, warm your whole body by sipping some ginger tea.
Cost: varies, depending on your herbs and oils.
If you have persistently cold feet (not just when it's cold), you may have a health problem such as hypothyroidism. Some medicines, like beta blockers, can also cause cold feet. Talk to a health care professional. If you've got cooperative pet, they make pretty good foot warmers, too. 🙂
Please share if you find this post useful, and stay warm!
More Cold Weather Preparedness
Did you know we have over 100 preparedness posts on the site, including many on cold weather? They're all listed on the Common Sense Preparedness page. They include:
Originally posted in 2013, last updated in 2018.
Get Homesteading 101 FREE, plus weekly updates and Subscribers Only information delivered to your inbox.