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British Lung Foundation
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Hi I am having a hard time keeping warm at the moment especially in bed. Does anyone have any advice please?

I own a very small flat but don't have any central heating or modern windows. Can't afford either at moment so will just have to live with it. I have a halogen fire which I have right at my feet (me and cat fight for space - he usually wins :) ) but can only afford 1 bar on. With muffling up like snowman I am usually warm enough.

But its when I am in bed I am cold. I wear fleecy pyjamas, socks and a thermal vest, I have 2 (cheap) 13.5 tog duvets on my bed, 2 dressing gowns, a wheat pillow and a blanket but I'm still cold. Is it worth investing in a good duvet or any other ideas please?

Bev x

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47 Replies

If you can afford it an electric blanket, it's really helped me, don't need the heating on, keep well and hopefully warm, I've just got in and it's -1 out there x

I leave my heating on all the time in this cold weather, only if it goes below 10oc. My heating is set for 14 through the night and 18 during the day. I also find leg warmers are good for my knees and a 15 Tog Duvet helps as well. A nice warm drink and a book in bed. Hope that helps. Lynda. x

thanks for your reply Lynda (love your alias). I'm out of work so cant really afford more heating. Leg warmers good and 15 tog duvet good too. Will try them. Don't want to drink much before bed as will be waking in night wanting to go to toilet! :)

I just noticed you don't have C.H. Well you can buy some very good oil filled radiators on the market and these days they are energy efficient so shouldn't cost too much on the wallet. Oh and yes, invest in a good quality Quilt, I got mine last week from Amazon. It's worth the look to shop around. Good luck with that. x

I agree with medow, an electric blanket can really help, especially one which you can leave on while you are in bed, either under blanket or over blankets are available. Draught proof your windows and doors as much as you can to prevent more cold coming in. And an old fashioned hot water bottle can to cuddle up with can really help. Best wishes,

Hi Polly thanks for your reply. Not sure about an electric blanket - heard too many horror stories of them bursting into flames. Maybe the ones now don't do that??

Prefer wheat pillow as just put them in microwave but think hot water bottles, even though they are more bother, probably warmer. Will get myself one. Thanks

Bev x

I promise a hot water bottle with a fleece cover will keep you toasty. Fashy 1.2L hot water bottles are the best. You pay a bit more for them but the quality is worth it. I found handmade covers off of ebay for them too. We use ours all the time, for sleep and while just watching TV or going online. Warm your feet with it too. If you get your feet warm you'll be good to go. Beyond cozy and a cheaper way to keep warm. You'll sleep better too and so will the cat.


Lol dweebette cat has fur coat I dont! Gonna check out the hot water bottle on line now. Thanks.

Bev x

Agree with dweebette, I love my hottie! Even two, one for the feet and one to cuddle. In Homebase yesterday they were selling these fab garments, like a fleece blanket with sleeves, can't remember what they were called but looked very toastie. God luck with that Hypercat.

Agree with all of above plus how old are your duvets? Even expensive ones don't last very long - the stuffing goes funny and they loose their warmth. Are your socks actual bed socks - they tend to keep my feet much warmer than regualr socks. Got mine form Matalan so good price too!

Have you tried contacting Warm Front (or what ever they are called now)? They can send an assessor to look at insulation and may be able to give some ideas for keeping flat warmer.

Oooh are they the tog socks from Matalan? I wouldn't be without mine!

Agree with hot water bottles - mine has a fluffy cover and remains warm through to the morning.

Marie x

I think Social services could be contacted. I have done that because I needed some aids in the bathroom. Responded very quickly. You can do it online.

Hi Bewy. Matalan bed socks it is....thanks

Bev x

if your on certain benefits you can have central heating put in for free by stay warm its run by the goverment worth checking

have u tried getting an advocate to tell you what you are entitiled too that may help, you may then be put intouch with other agencies that can give you all the help you need with heating costs and items from ot etc worth trying hun xx

Mmmm advocate junegirl?? Do you mean like CAB?

bev x

i have an advocate due to being a carer for my son as well as being ill myself, but anyone that has a disability can have one mines not from cab, but carers advocacy, look it up in ur local telephone directory or online xx

Hi there, I have central heating but when the weather is this cold I put ahat and fleece on even in bed, plus extra blanket and socks. All the ideas above sound good to me and all worth a try till you find whats best for you.

It's no good piling on extra layers, if you don't have a good layer beneath you.We still have a blanket under layer in Winter

If you are going to buy a new Duvet,then sleep on top of your old ones. Agree with wearing a warm hat.

Going back to pre central heating days when the windows were covered in frost and icicles hung down outside (and I do !), we had an old thin eiderdown or blankets underneath as well as layers of newspaper or brown wrapping paper in extreme weather!!. These gave layers of warm air in between . Really toastie. Put in your hotties early and replenish at bed time.

Worth trying the old fashioned tricks first Good luck.

I'd just like to add my agreement here Myma, The layers underneath are just as important as the layers on top. The LAYERS trapping air are very important. A blanket over a duvet makes a big difference.

Hypercat, have you tried a sleeping bag? you can get them that go down to -10 nowadays, not cheap I know, but surprising what you can find in charity shops.

Hotties are an essential too, longer lasting than a wheat pillow, the microwave ones are so lightweight, and can be strung on through the day when moving around, which in important in cold weather.

From one has lived a long time without C.H. Have only had it in for 5 years, and do appreciate it, even if it makes me a softie in cold weather. Linda xx

Whats a hottie?

bev x

Hi got old sleeping bag. Can't use it as I feel too trapped and I need to be able to move freely! Good idea though.

Bev x

Just noticed that your windows need some help!

Try Googling Window Insulator Kits. You can buy kits to put a inner film over the frame ,They are designed to conserve heat and save energy.and not expensive

\\\\\\\\\\Hope this gives you some more ideas

I agree with Myma - put one of the duvets underneath you. also i wear a hoodie in bed over my jimjams and i keep the hood up.


grants are available for heating,


Hi Bev, Have you tried writing or calling your local council, for help in getting your windows & doors changed for upvc, plus you could also ask for loft & wall insulation you should be able can get grants, just tell them that you have disabilities, they should react in a positive vein if not, piont the disability act 1995 & the Equalties act 2010 one of these should get some move ment in the underwear department. If you belong to a union approach them for help . You could also ask your energy company for any ideas or help even. Try getting a dog to lay on top of the bed covers say sheep dog or St Bernard with a full barrell of Brandy.

Take care Friend.


Hiya hun,

Some really good ideas mentioned and all good in the short term but you definately need to get it sorted longterm. There must be help out there for you to have central heating put in or at least something more permanent. When I have gone away on a caravan holiday and it has had no heating, it is freezing so as mentioned, I always put a quilt on top of the mattress to lay on and use hot water bottles during the day to warm it up. I move em around every so often as that helps to air the bed then.

The best quilts I have found are the feather and down ones. If you can get them reduced even better, Matalan and Shaws have some of the best prices I have seen. Otherwise check out Ebay. Track down any draughts coming in, bottom of doors etc. You don't need to buy draught excluders, just cut up an old pair of jeans if you have em and use the legs. Fill em with woteva you find and tie the ends up. Any old heavy curtains/material to cover the windows or doors. Second hand shops usually have loads.

Hope you get somewhere, everyone deserves to be warm in winter xx

Thanks tanya appreciate your post. Good ideas.

Bev x

i have a spare double bed electric blanket if you want it- so warm when you get in bed -fantastic-I live by Edinburgh.

you must keep warm.

That would be fantastic stan5 can I take you up on your offer please?

PM me if thats ok.

Bev x

roughly how old are you, are you in council property, what is your illness, i found your situation very bad, if you can get some hot water bottles, do inform the social service and the council.

for a long time my husband and i put polythene at the windows as we never had C.H it did keep out the draughts.

im so sorry you are in this situation, and hope you will get the help you need.

god bless

Go with the hat and hot water bottles first and chase up social services for help. Also, see if you can get your MP on board, they can work miracles if they stir themselves. Good luck. xx

Thanks for your replies everyone. I own my own flat so council won't help. Have looked extensively into help available. There is none available for me. I am under pension age, get JSA, only have mild COPD and only get lower rate care DLA. All the help I have seen goes to those on pension credits or middle or higher rate DLA. I do at moment get a 130 pounds reduction on my fuel bill due to low income but under new scheme next year I won't qualify even for that.

I do have some savings but can't really spend it on getting my windows done until or unless I get a job. The savings might have to last me a long time. My windows in bedroom very bad and one of them I can't open because the glass is loose and very gappy. Daren't touch it. Maybe I can get just that one done?

Will get hotwater bottle though and look into buying better quilt. Mine are old...Not a feather or duck down one - thats not a good idea with asthma! Will have to be artificial filling - anyone recommend a good one please? And where to get it from?

Thanks again. Looking forward to being warm again. Hope we all keep warm and well this winter. Roll on summer (not a wet one please) a nice warm dry one...

Bev xx

I am under pensionable age and was only getting the mobility component of DLA when I asked social services for help and got it. They have a duty to assess your needs if you request them to do so. xx

Thats useful thank you auntymary. Do they even if you own your home?

Bev x


PS @"'&****** cat hogging fire again :)

Let him hog the fire then, when he is warm, wrap him around your neck or lay him across your feet!

Lol :) he won't do it I have tried!


A cheap way of draught proofing your window is to use sheets of polythene (you can get this cut to length from DIY shops and garden centres) fixed to the frame with tape. We did this in our student house, it wasn't pretty but was really effective. You will need to make sure you still have ventilation, in our case the doors didn't fit well either so that was not a problem!

Hotties make a huge difference.

We bought a really good artificial duvet from the Duvet and Pillow Warehouse, they are good quality but not the cheapest. It is also worth asking on Freegle or Freecycle, you will be amazed what people have that they are happy to give away.

Hope you get some help soon before winter really sets in.


I use hotukdeals website to look for cheap duvets etc. Here is there latest one hotukdeals.com/deals/value-...

Them you can use the old quilt as a mattress topper as suggested above :)

they say several thin layers are better than one thick one sometimes as the warm air gets trapped between the layers so if you have two 13.5 tog duvets then that should be ok, but I would then put a blanket on top of these to hold in the heat. We've got 2 oil-filled radiators in our garage and they're brilliant because once they get hot they hold the heat for a long time, they can be expensive to buy but they're energy efficient so you might find what you spend out on buying them, you save on energy costs in the long run as I imagine it's quite expensive to run halogen heaters!

I also agree about the bed socks thing. i'm sleeping in my matalan bed socks at the moment and they're so much warmer than normal socks.

We have an electric blanket too but no matter how safe they say they are I would not personally sleep with one plugged in. We use ours to heat up the bed an hour before we're due to get in it and then unplug it just before getting in for the night, they warm it up nicely for when you get in and with the other ideas from everyone you should be nice and warm and toastie in no time.

I find if I get into bed and i'm already cold and the bed is cold then it takes me a long while to get warm and i just cant get off to sleep, but if i use these little tricks to make the bed warm first and get me as warm as possible for when I get in then I stay warm once i'm in there.

I do hope you manage to find something that works for you really soon as it's only going to get colder from here on in!

good luck with this, keep us posted on how you're getting on.

another thing you could try - although I lkie the idea of sleeping on a duvet - is fleecy sheets. I know they not good idea for COPD or asthma but I was so miserable last year I decided to get some and they brill. Also now washed lots times so bits less likely to come off. I have one fitted sheet to lie on and one sheet then my duvets.

I also had help from social services & I own my own home (well the bank does) so would be worth you asking for an assessment of need to see if they can help.

Hope you and kitty get some warmth soon.

Thank you all for your replies. Have bought a fleecy hot water bottle today. I have good quality flanelette sheets but never heard of fleecy ones before! Going to check out that website gocat thank you. An electric blanket sounds good too.

I will get there in the end. At last when I am all warm and toasty I can think of you all when I get in bed :)

bev xx

Hi Hypercat

This dosen't sound great to be living somewhere so cold - even with your layers on.

Will you call us on the helpline to see if there are any options we can look at to help you keep warm?

03000 030 555.

Best Wishes


Yes I will tomorrow thank you Jo.

Bev x

Just to echo what a lof of folk have said, I also am in a cold area, and have no central heating. We rely on a small lounge and one very good gas fire. However as no heating in house if gets icy in the bedroom. I use a heating blanket, I got a king size one for around £40 in my Littlewoods catalog, which enables me to spread payments over 3 years at no interest.

Yes, there are some horror stories about heated blankets, but in this day and age they are really very very safe now.

Only other advice is what we do, sleep in jogging pants and a sweat shirt, and a decent high tog value duvet (Again I found Littlewoods, or any catalog where you can spread payments to make them more manageable. I worked out that if I get the Freezing/cold payment each year for 4 years it pays for the heated blanket at least.

I know what its like to be cold all day and night, but honestly, try a blanket.

Best of regards


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