How to stay warm in bed

how to stay warm in bed

Hopping into bed at night can reveal the true lack of warmth in the air. Not all of us want to sleep with the heating on and more importantly, few of us can afford to.
Here are a few simple tips for keeping warm at bedtime.

How to stay warm in bed

1. Switch for a king
Mr Thrifty and I share a double bed but we also share a king size duvet. The added extra duvet means we can each get warm and toasty without the other ending up with an exposed back.

2. Flannel sheets
Flannel sheets were a revelation to me about 8 years ago. I had totally forgotten my mother switched our regular sheets out for flannel sheets come November when I was a child and I can totally appreciate why she did. Shortly after our wedding we invested in a nice set of flannel sheets and our bed has been toasty ever since. They don’t have to be expensive either, these for instance are a great price and we used to have them in our spare room (currently packed away until our renovations are over).

3. Mattress topper or second duvet
Popping a mattress topper or second duvet under your bottom sheet really keeps your bed warm and cocoons you in an extra layer of snug, soft comfort. Opt for a topper which can be secured under your mattress that way it doesn’t shift around when you move during the night.

4. Bed socks
I can’t keep socks on all night even if the temperature dips well below zero, however wearing them when I first get into bed keeps me toasty enough to drift off into the land of nod. I will always find them discarded on the floor in the morning but at least I’ll have slept well.

5. Hot water bottle
Oh how I love hot water bottles. We have at least 5 in our house and our dog has claimed one as his very own. An hour or so before bed we will make up the rest of the hot water bottles, shoving two under the duvet to warm up the bed nicely and then snuggling on the sofa with the other two. I find it helps to go to bed feeling warm because you’ve already got a level of warmth to work with.

6. Exercise
We always take our hound out for a walk just before bed. We bundle up in warm clothes and march around watching our breath bellow from our mouths but it increases the heart rate and really gets the blood flowing leaving us warm underneath our layers of clothes.
Don’t forget there are other forms of exercise one can partake in at bedtime which will more than warm you up, if you catch my drift.

7. Hot drink
Grabbing a hot drink before you head upstairs to bed will warm not only your inners but your hands. You don’t have to knock back a caffeinated drink just before bed either, there are many and varied options such as herbal tea, hot chocolate, Horlicks and even hot water and lemon.

8. Gloves
Now obviously you don’t want to go to bed wearing gloves every night but some nights the temperature is beyond freezing. Once, (about 4 houses back) our landlord refused to fix our heating and the temperature dipped to about -15, it was COLD. I was ever so thankful to dig out a pair of these gloves from Boots. These gloves are actually designed to be slipped on to retain moisture from lotion but they’ve become my secret weapon against the cold. I can read a book in bed without my hands turning blue.

9. Thermal layer
Adding a thermal layer really helps on those bitter nights. I love thermal pyjamas but adding a layer of thermal leggings or a thermal vest under your regular pyjamas means you can double up on warmth but also easily strip down if you overheat during the night.

How do you stay warm in bed?


This page and all pages on this site contain links to outside sources including paid affiliates. Skimlinks facilitates affiliate links automatically once placed organically on a webpage. A Thrifty Mrs is not responsible for the content of any third party website.


  1. LYNDA COX says:

    Ooo, I’d forgotten about flannel sheets – used to have them for the children though so no excuse! I put a “summer” duvet under the mattress protector which keeps it snug and the bed very warm. PJ’s, socks and as I slip out of my fluffy bathrobe, I place it on top of the bed for extra snugness. If it actually stays on all night it’s ready to put back on again in the morning.

  2. I make my husband sleep nearest the drafty window! Haha!
    Only kidding, although he IS nearest the window but we put draft tape round the gaps and invested in thermal lining for the curtains which has helped a lot!
    For cold nights I tend to layer up, wear something with a hood to keep my head warm and definitely bed socks! Hate my feet being cold! We’ve got a couple of blankets at the end of the bed for extra warmth also.
    My issue is the air that I’m breathing in. It doesn’t really matter how many layers I’m wearing, or how many duvets I have on the bed, if the air is cold to breathe in, my lungs get really tight and painful (to be fair I have a lung condition). But if the heat gets left on all night it gets so stuffy (and to be fair this happens only very occasionally) which isn’t great either.
    When I lodged in London, my room had three outside walls and I really, really struggled with the cold. It didn’t help that the windows were single glazed sash style. I had a heated blanket, a low voltage mini radiator and I would even swap ends of the bed in the winter to be away from the window.
    I need to live in a hotter country (or at least spend winters in the southern hemisphere – if only eh!)

  3. my husband is a human radiator i can feel the heat coming off of him this keeps me lovely and warm in bed, on the really cold nights i wear fleecey jammies

  4. Thanks a lot, some great ideas here. One word of caution. A couple of years ago I tried putting an old duvet under my bottom sheet. It felt great, warm and comfy but after a few weeks I noticed that horrible, damp smell, the smell that no amount of washing removes, coming from the underneath of the duvet. Unfortunately the damp smell had also worked its way into the matress so it ended up a pretty expensive do. It must have been something to do with poor ventilation but I didn’t have any damp problems with anything else.

  5. Yes, all of these. I also have to recommend the humble blanket. I’m always amazed at the difference it makes to trapping heat under the duvet. We’re feeling very confused this winter though because our flat building is so warm that we haven’t needed any heating whatsoever yet and the duvet can sometimes be to warm still. When the temperature is under 10C. Not sure who it is that is heating everything up but goodness, it is good for our bills!
    Chambray & Curls

  6. I never realised this before, but the bf and I do many of these things without thinking. One extra I’d like to add for all those super tall people out there (the bf is 6 foot 4) is to have a small, thin single duvet at the bottom of the bed to tuck under the mattress and wrap over the top of your proper duvet on a night to keep your tootsies warm if they hang out over the edge of the bed and well out past the end of the duvet. We have a king size duvet too (such a good idea), but the length of it still manages to fall short of the distance from his chin to his big toe so the second duvet means he always has foot protection. He uses it all year round and it has been formally named Curtis. I have no say in where Curtis goes because Curtis pre-dates my arrival on the bedroom scene – eight years ago.

    The things people do for warmth, eh?

  7. imsecond the king size duvet idea. We were given one as a wedding present and we haven’t looked back.

    We also use an old single duvet as a mattress topper and sometimes, when my bones are sore (heavily pregnant so I don’t feel too guilty!) we put the electric mattress topper thingy on instead of the heating. Just enough to take the chill out and then we turn it off.

    There’s something so comforting about being warm in bed when it’s cold outside!

  8. Brigid visser says:

    how about an electric blanket? lol weve not busted ours out yet.

  9. Love this post! I’m a secret snuggly-nest-bedding nerd…

    Fleece is a miracle material in my opinion. It feels like it actually generates heat sometimes! I tend to have a fleecy blanket as a top layer, poking over the top of the duvet to stop those draughts around shoulders, and another thin one on top of and tucked around my pillows, rather like your flannel sheets. I might actually get around to sewing some fleece pillow cases at some point.

    During the week, when sans boyf, I also layer up with my cotton flannel sleeping bags: two fluffy brushed cotton ones, zipped together to make a generous double. Most sides are zipped up, especially the bottom corners making foot draughtage virtually impossible! Normal (one size up) duvet on top, fleecy blanket on top of that.

    Agree with the sub-sheet duvet in lieu of mattress topper too.

    I’m resorting to a hat tonight – but suspect that’ll go the way of bed socks before too long.
    I keep meaning to invent a tent for contain the head end of the bed, for warm air breathing without the suffocating effect of under-duvet-air… but I never quite get around to it…

    I’m also pretty proud of my fleecy camping cocoon. Just a cheap fleece blanket, folded in thirds lengthwise, envelope stylee (as opposed to concertina) – a long thin sausage – I sewed the bottom end shut. So there is a sealed envelope to put feet in if freeeezing (inside your sleeping bag,on top of you, with the free top end covering you and tucking under your shoulders as necessary), but it’s also escapable should you wake in the middle of the night melting. Works a blinking treat, even if I do say so myself! 😉

  10. antoinette says:

    some really interesting tips, which would never have thought off, like the oversized duvet and wearing gloves

  11. We started using Cozee Home bedding and we cannot be excited enough about going to bed.Its warmer than Flannel from Northern Nights.

  12. I’m always freezing in bed and often sleep in a dressing gown!! – yes that bad!!

    Thanks for the tips, they will definitely come in handy now that it’s gotten so so soooo cold!!

    Emma x

  13. I highly recommend buying an electric blanket for those cold winter nights.

  14. Electric underblanket, woolly overblanket, lightweight duvet. Much warmer than last year with an electric overblanket (it died and they were really ridiculously expensive), flannel oversheet and winter duvet.

    I can’t wear anything, I’m too restless.

  15. being single for longer than I care to recall….I recently got soooooo fed up with constantly feeling cold in bed, that I downsized back to a double! (just too ‘lonely’ in a kingsize all to myself..never felt I was warming it up enough!) … and… new quilt … 15 tog… absolute heaven!!! haven’t needed the heating on in the bedroom, no hot water bottle, no dressing gown draped on top of me…and no uber fluffy bed socks (and I wonder why I’m still single!!!???!!!! I was a nocturnal vision to behold!!! :-)

Speak Your Mind