Winterize Your Bedroom
According to the calendar, Winter may not be upon us, but according to my wife’s cold feet, it is officially here. Not everybody lives in a house or apartment with central heat. In fact, the more cozy and rustic your cabin, the more likely you are to dwell in an abode with antique heating methods and drafty bedrooms. Wood-fired stoves are great for heating but are usually located in the middle of the house, not a bedroom. So, what to do? What you need are some #lifehacks to winterize your bedroom, turning it from a dreary icicle-laden cave to a warm, comfortable place to take a long winter’s nap. We just so happen to be experts at life hacks around here (and we live in a cold, drafty cabin), so allow us to impart some wisdom. Here’s how to winterize your bedroom for maximum comfort.
1. Adjust Your Expectations (and Your Bed)
Most sleep scientists say that a slightly cool environment (say, around 63-67 degrees) leads to better and more restful sleep. But if you simply must sleep warm, there’s no reason to subject your partner to discomfort. Many adjustable beds feature built-in heating elements that you can easily tailor to your desired temperature. Then you can be as snug as the proverbial bug without making your partner feel like he’s dying of some kind of mysterious Middle-Age sweating sickness.
2. Top Your Mattress
A mattress topper is a swell way to add a little extra insulation to your sleep system. Options abound–from down to synthetic to memory foam, but the basic concept is the same. Any type of insulation works by creating tiny pockets of air in-between whatever fibers are trapped between the two layers of fabric. The heat from your body warms that trapped air, which in turn warms you right back. Neat, huh?
Memory foam traps a lot of air, which leads to its reputation as a hot-sleeping material. So if you are looking for maximum heat retention and maximum squishy comfort, head in that direction. If you want a more pillow-top feel, lean towards a down or synthetic-down alternative.
3. Electrify Your Life
Maybe nothing will improve your winter relaxation time like an electric blanket. Electric blankets work in two ways. The first is by trapping body heat under a thick layer of cozy goodness, just like all blankets. The second is by generating extra heat, ensuring that your piggies will be nice and warm no matter how cold it is outside (and in your bedroom).
Electric blankets achieve this pro-level warmth via a system of wires running back and forth through the blanket. Simply plug in the blanket, set the dial to your desired heat level, and reap the rewards of technology.
Electric blankets can be so warm, in fact, that many people choose not to leave them on all night. Some come with timers, but our favorite technique is to turn them on about thirty minutes before bedtime. Then your bed is nice and warm when you hop into it, and you can turn the electric blanket off; its job is done for the night.
4. Space Out
Of course, sometimes you need a little hot air. That’s where space heaters come in. These portable heating machines excel at warming up small rooms (like bedrooms) quickly, thanks to heating elements, built-in fans, and, often, rotating elements that swivel back and forth. A lot of times, they have variable heat settings and rotating speeds as well.
The downside is that space heaters are relatively inefficient as compared to the previous things on our list. Experts in energy efficiency know that the best way to conserve power is to heat the person rather than the room. But if you are willing to absorb a slightly higher electrical bill, a space heater might be what you are looking for as you winterize your bedroom.
5. Electric Baseboard Heater
If you want to winterize your bedroom with warm air but don’t want to trip over a space heater when you wake up in the middle of the night to use the restroom, consider an electric baseboard heater. These handy devices mount to your baseboard and plug into whatever outlet is closest. Once they are plugged in, simply turn them on and let them pump out as much warm air as you can handle.
Electric baseboard heaters are much less obtrusive than space heaters (and less portable) but also suffer from the same major drawback–they inefficiently use electricity to heat your entire room rather than heating small spaces or helping you trap the body heat you are already generating.
6. Sweater Weather
Our final recommendation is one that your dad would approve of–put on a sweater, some thick socks, a cozy robe, and wrap up with a furry friend or a friendly and accommodating human. Not only will it save some energy, but it will also be nice and cozy. Throw in a steaming mug of hot chocolate, and you have a winning recipe for a lovely winter’s evening!